CCC coach receives Class 3A accolade

Published May 29, 2007

Clearwater Central Catholic's Todd Vaughan was named the Class 3A baseball coach of the year after leading the Marauders to their second state title in the past five years.

The award adds to Vaughan's long legacy at the school. In 1979, he won a state title as CCC's starting shortstop. In 2002, he took the Marauders to their third state title as coach, and went back to the state semifinals in 2003 and last season.

This season, CCC won its last 16 games, including victories over Jacksonville Bolles in the state semifinals and Winter Park Trinity Prep in the state final.

CARSON COMMITS: Northeast rising senior Antwan Carson has orally committed to play safety for Bethel College, an NAIA program in Tennessee.

Carson played linebacker as well for the Vikings last season and returned a fumble recovery 73 yards for the winning touchdown against Dixie Hollins on Sept. 1.

The 6-2, 205-pound Carson said he connected with Bethel coaches, and with family in the area, the school made for a "great fit." The Wildcats won the 2006 Mid-South Conference championship.

Carson, one of the school's top basketball players, said he will not return to Northeast in the fall. He's filed through the county's school choice program, putting Seminole, Osceola and Dixie Hollins as his top three choices.

"I'd get a fresh start, " Carson said. "That's what I decided to do."

CCC SIGNING: CCC defensive back Grant Ridgeway has signed with Mississippi College of the American Southwest Athletic Conference.

Ridgeway, who ran track and played basketball for the Marauders, will likely line up as safety or outside linebacker for Mississippi College.

"Grant Ridgeway is a fighter, " CCC coach Mike Jalazo said. "He fought through challenges, adversity and injury to be an excellent contributor over the last couple of years for the varsity football program."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com or 727 893-8129. Bob Putnam can be reached at putnam@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4169.