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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.
TAMPA - Over the past several years, Bloomingdale baseball coach K.B. Scull had collected a figurative mountain of reasons for walking away from the job he has held 12 seasons.
Descending that mountain always was the hard part.
But after lengthy contemplation, Scull, 50, said he "finally got enough nerve to pull the trigger." This postseason, which began Monday night with a first-round district tournament game against Tampa Bay Tech, will be Scull's last as Bulls coach.
The reasons? "You ain't got enough paper," said Scull, whose 22-year career as a varsity coach included 10 seasons 1986-95 at Armwood.
"It was just my time, my time to go, that's all I can say. I went out on my own terms, which was good, and have been coaching in the afternoons for 28 years, 22 of them in baseball. It was the hardest decision I've ever made."
The county's fourth longest-tenured active coach, Scull has won more than 300 career games.
His 2002 and '04 Bloomingdale clubs reached the Class 6A state tournament and his '89 Armwood team won the Saladino Tournament.
The competition and camaraderie, he said, will be difficult to leave behind, but the 12- to 16-hour workdays and meager coaching supplement ($1,716.54 annually) won't.
"It's been fun," said Scull, who remains a driver's education teacher and athletic department business manager at Bloomingdale. "I enjoyed every minute."