The Buzz

Published March 21, 2007

Pirate slow to regain form

Have we seen the best of Leeann Eble?

The vivacious Pasco sophomore lit up race courses with her smile and dominance.

It seemed just a matter of time before Eble, a standout runner and soccer player, would grace the podium wearing a state medal around her neck.

Then came a three-month block with no running or exercise.

Eble wore a cast to protect a fractured right fibula sustained during a soccer game. She also had a planned procedure, catheter ablation, in an attempt to fix an arrhythmia. The irregular heartbeat was causing dizziness during races and is believed to have caused her to collapse in two events last fall.

Eble has struggled to return to form, virtually out of energy after competing in the 1-mile run - her times have slumped into the six-minute range - keeping her from other events, her father Bill Eble said.

Even worse, the catheter ablation failed to fix Eble's heart and she continues to get dizzy during races.

One of her limited options is another procedure with more advanced equipment. Now her family and the Pirates just hope she can finish the season.

"We're trying to figure out if we stay with distance running at all," Bill Eble said. "I keep suggesting golf. ...Right now I'm not optimistic for this year. I told her not to go back to track this year, just to try and get back to some kind of shape."

Help wanted

The Sunlake Seahawks have posted a list of coaching vacancies at the Pasco County Schools Web site. The school is still under construction but slated to open next fall.

Want to be an athletic director? How about a head football coach? Maybe you are the baseball or softball coaching type? They've also posted openings for boys and girls basketball, cheerleading and wrestling coaches.

Resumes can be sent to Sunlake High School at 3023 Sunlake Blvd., Land O'Lakes, FL 34638. You also can contact principal Angie Stone at 813 346-1002.

Walk-on wonder?

Former Ridgewood punter C.J. Hnilica was at USF football offices Monday, hoping the cleats in his hands and his powerful leg could help earn him a spot as a walk-on punter.

Rams coach Chris Taylor loaned him a few footballs so he could prepare for the tryout.

"He was a heck of a punter," Taylor said. "He had an 83-yard punt against Hudson."

Taylor still remembered Hnilica's punting average of 45.7 yards per kick.

Too bad he can't remember his cell phone number. Hnilica still hasn't brought the balls back and Taylor has no clue how the tryout went. So C.J., if you're out there, give Coach Taylor a ring. And bring back those footballs.

Izzy Gould can be reached at igould@tampabay.com or (727) 580-5315.