St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 


Run-in with ref sidelines Eagle

FHSAA suspends Dante Valentine six weeks after he was ejected from a game.

By DAVID MURPHY
Published February 7, 2007


ADVERTISEMENT

Springstead likely will be without its second-leading scorer for the rest of the season after the Florida High School Athletic Association suspended sophomore point guard Dante Valentine six weeks for an incident during the Eagles' loss to Land O'Lakes on Saturday night.

A transfer from Atlanta, Valentine was averaging 12.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for the Eagles, who went undefeated in Class 4A, District 8 and entered the postseason tournament as the No. 1 seed.

Valentine received a technical foul late in the game against Land O'Lakes. After protesting, he was assessed another technical and expelled from the game.

According to West Central Officials Association booking commissioner Joe Wajerski, who reviewed paperwork filed by the referees involved, Valentine then "used profanity" during a confrontation with the referee.

Eagles coach Craig Swartout declined to discuss the situation in detail, but said he thought the punishment by the FHSAA was "too severe" and he would appeal the suspension.

Nevertheless, Springstead doesn't plan on having its starting point guard for the postseason. The Eagles' best ball-handler, Valentine improved greatly throughout the season.

"I've said all season, we've got 11 guys that can play," Swartout said. "Yeah, we are going to miss him but we are going to plug another person in."

Springstead 19-6, 14-0 faced Gulf (2-12 4A-8) Tuesday night in the first round of the district tournament at South Sumter. The Eagles cruised through the district this season, winning nine of its 14 games by double digits. They face a tough potential second-round matchup against South Sumter, which lost to Springstead by just four points this season.

Second-seeded Nature Coast faced Hudson Tuesday, while No. 6 seed Hernando takes on No. 3 seed Pasco today at 5.

In the Class 5A, District 7 tournament, host and No. 5 seed Central faced No. 4 seed River Ridge Tuesday for the opportunity to face top-seeded Ridgewood in today's semifinals.

David Murphy can be reached at dmurphy@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1407.

[Last modified February 6, 2007, 21:59:12]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT