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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.
Combining the criteria of athletics and academics, Hillsborough County coaches voted, and on Thursday morning the individual winners for wrestling and boys and girls basketball were announced for the 2006-07 winter season.
By SCOTT PURKS
Published March 30, 2007
Gianna Messina, Academy of the Holy Names
Averaging almost 25 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, the 5-foot-6 guard led the Jaguars to the Class 3A state semifinals and earned the state's 3A player of the year award. She finished her Academy career with more than 2,000 career points and will play next fall for the University of South Florida. Messina also rolled up a 4.7 grade point average and a 1200 on the SAT.
"I'm very happy to get this award because it's for both athletics and academics," Messina said. "A lot of people know I worked hard at basketball but I also worked very hard in the classroom as well."
Adam Noble, Wharton
The 6-foot-2 Noble may not have been the flashiest player but few could argue anyone was more of a team player. In the three years he played for the Wildcats, the team's record was 76-11. As a senior, Noble was among the team's top three in assists, scoring, steals, taking charges and rebounds. His unweighted GPA stands at 3.75. Weighted comes in at 4.83.
"I can't say anything but good things about Adam," Wharton coach Tommy Tonelli said. "I have two young sons and I can say that if they end up as good of young men as Adam Noble then I will be one proud father."
Sean Joyce, Brandon
A three-time state champion and one-time runnerup in his four-year high school career, Joyce finished his senior year with a 48-0 record that included 21 pins. His high school career record was 154-7. Joyce, a straight-A honors student, will attend West Point in the fall.
"This was a complete surprise to me today," Joyce said. "I didn't even know I was coming down here until 20 minutes before it happened. What a great surprise it was."
Other awards included coach of the year for wrestling, given to Bloomingdale's Donny Peek, who has a 73-26 record in his five years of coaching. This year Peek had three wrestlers qualify for the state tournament.
The team academic awards: boys basketball, Armwood (3.183 combined GPA); girls basketball, Lennard (3.458); boys soccer, Newsome (3.297); girls soccer, Hillsborough (3.613); wrestling, Durant (3.416); cheerleading, Durant (3.550).