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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.
By JOEY KNIGHT, Times Staff Writer
Published September 28, 2007
TAMPA - For Middleton sophomore receiver Justin Sanders, the hoopla surrounding his team's annual showdown with Blake will be tinged with heartbreak.
At last year's contest, also at Raymond James Stadium, Sanders watched from the stands as his older brother, Jonathan, scored on a 68-yard touchdown pass from DeAndre Presley during Middleton's 19-12 triumph.
Around that same time, Justin found out his dad, John, had died hours before at Tampa General after suffering a heart attack. Jonathan was told after the game.
"It's gonna be different (Saturday)," said Justin, who had a broken left fibula during last year's game. "I can't think about it. I've just got to go out and play."
Justin said he visited his father, a diabetic whose left leg had been amputated below the knee, at the hospital the morning of the game.
"Your dad passing on the day of the game is tough, but you've got to bounce back from it," Justin said. "Me coming in and playing this year, it's going to be different, but I can't remember that moment."