Pinellas: News and notes

By BOB PUTNAM and BRANDON WRIGHT, Times Staff Writers
Published September 30, 2007

Tornadoes rebound with win

Clearwater bounced back from a 24-0 loss to East Lake in Week 4 - one in which quarterback Luke Loucks tossed five picks - to beat Gibbs 15-7 on Friday night.

One source of the Tornadoes' success was their running game. Loucks said Clearwater implemented new formations last week to take some of the pressure off him, and it worked, resulting in 224 rushing yards on 36 carries.

"We had a few problems in the huddle against Gibbs getting the plays together, but it worked," Loucks said. "The line had all kinds of new schemes to get down, and they did a great job."

Loucks finished an efficient 13-of-21 for 145 yards and no interceptions. It was also the first game Loucks felt completely healthy. He injured his back against Lakewood and said it hindered his mobility against East Lake.

Record breaker

St. Petersburg Catholic swimmer Kelsey Krauss broke two meet records at the 17th annual Florida Catholic High School Invitational in Altamonte Springs. Krauss won the 50 free in 23.90 seconds and the 100 fly in 56.94.

Whidden earns C-USA honors

Former Palm Harbor University soccer star and Times' player of the year Courtney Whidden was named Conference USA offensive player of the week.

The UCF sophomore striker scored a goal in the Knights' 3-3 draw with No.11 FSU and netted the game-tying strike with 2.8 seconds remaining against Miami. Whidden leads the Knights in goals (seven), points (14) and game-winning goals (two). 

Times' Pinellas Super Seven

1. Largo (4-0): The Packers survived their biggest test of the season, beating rival Dunedin in double overtime.

2. Northeast (4-0): The Vikings' bye week came at an opportune time, allowing them to prepare for a showdown with Boca Ciega.

3. Boca Ciega (4-0): The Pirates made their they took care of business, shutting out St. Petersburg.

4. Dunedin (3-2): It's rare that a team actually moves up in the rankings after a loss. But not every can give Largo a scare.

5. Northside Christian (4-1): The Mustangs bounce back with a resounding win against Orlando First Academy.

6. Keswick Christian (4-0): The Crusaders keep rolling along, thanks to the running of Jared DiMaggio.

7. Tarpon Springs (3-1): The Spongers' struggles against Countryside continue. The loss knocked Tarpon Springs from the undefeated ranks.