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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.
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Ex-Dunedin star full of optimism
By NANCY MORGAN, Time Sports Correspondent
Published October 7, 2007
When Scott Stevens graduated from Dunedin High four years ago, he looked for a college where he could play football and help establish its program.
Stevens didn't look long and selected Maryville College, a Divison-III school in Maryville, Tennessee.
This season, he approaches his final year with the Scots with optimism.
"We started off the season 4-0, and that was a great feeling," said Stevens, 22, a linebacker. "For us to continue to be successful, we need to play good on both sides of the ball. When I came here, I knew I had an opportunity to help build a winning program - one that would be feared by our opponents."
Stevens' first year found him switched from playing offensive and defensive line in high school to linebacker, which turned out to be Stevens' more natural position.
"For my size, playing linebacker was the best," the 6-foot, 200-plus pounder said. "It's a neat feeling breaking up plays and like being the quarterback on defense. You've got to be smart, call plays for the defense, get lined up and deal with reaction and still do your own job. You also need to be athletic and strong to be ready to take on blocks and tackle."
Stevens, a tri-captain, is among the team's leaders in tackles with 33 over four games, including 15 solo tackles.
"Scott has been an outstanding linebacker the past four years and one of our leading tacklers the past two," said five-year coach Tony Ierulli, a Maryville alumnus. "Scott has played outstanding in our first four games and has almost doubled his tackle production. The challenge for Scott this year is to rise from being a good linebacker to a great one."
Although Stevens said football was always his favorite sport, he only played a little in elementary school with the Dunedin Jr. Falcons before reaching high school.
Moving from high school football to college included adapting to an increased speed of the game, along with the game's complexity.
As a freshman, Stevens contributed mostly on special teams for the Scots.
As a sophomore, Stevens was named to the All-USA South Athletic Conference and again last year.
As a junior, Stevens was second on the team in tackles with 71, including 41 unassisted.
"One of my best highlights from playing was a great win for us last year in quadruple overtime," Stevens said. "That was against conference favorite NC Wesleyan College, and it was huge."
Then, the Scots won 50-48 with Stevens recording eight tackles.
Again facing the conference preseason favorite last month in its fifth game, the Scots' four-game winning streak was broken with a 51-20 loss to the Battling Bishop.
MORE FOOTBALL: Sophomore defensive lineman Adam Lewis Dunedin has 13 tackles for Denison in four games.
- Through Wake Forest's first four games, redshirt junior wide receiver Chip Brinkman (Clearwater Central Catholic) is averaging 13.5 yards per game. Brinkman started against Maryland in the Demon Deacons' 31-24 comeback overtime win.
- Wake Forest senior wide receiver Kevin Manion (Dixie Hollins) is averaging 12.2 yards rushing and 39.2 yards receiving.
- Trey Schmidt (Shorecrest) is a senior wide receiver for the Demon Deacons, and Louis Frazier (Clearwater) is a redshirt senior offensive guard.
SOCCER: Megan Honig (Countryside) was named the Peach Belt Conference's defensive player of the week after leading her Columbus State teammates to two shutout conference wins. The senior captain scored her second goal of the season, a winner headed in on a corner kick.
- Redshirt freshman goalie Andrew McAdams (Berkeley Prep) of Palm Harbor was chosen Colonial Athletic Conference rookie of the week last month after recording his first career 10 saves for William and Mary against North Carolina.
- North Carolina junior midfielder Brian Shriver (Clearwater) took three of the team's 27 shots against William and Mary, but the game ended in a scoreless tie.
- Freshman Amanda Tucker (Seminole) is third on the depth chart for No. 8 North Carolina.
VOLLEYBALL: Junior outside hitter Ashley Martin (Seminole/Winthrop) leads Florida Southern in kills and points.
- Beverly Stasis (Countryside) recorded her 73rd double-double in Florida Southern's win over Barry. The senior outside hitter posted 10 kills and 14 digs.
- Florida Southern's senior libero Daryl Baby (Clearwater) posted a team-high 27 digs against Nova Southeastern.
- Tammy Zimmerman (East Lake) and junior Brittany Tuliano (Northeast) are defensive specialists for Webber, who through last month had lost just one match among 16.
News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan at 445-4119, e-mailed to email@example.com or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include phone number.