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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.
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Out of the rough
King's Kelsey Gibson keeps her game sharp on her grandfather's trick course.
By JOE SMITH
Published October 10, 2007
TAMPA - Some of the toughest shots King sophomore Kelsey Gibson ever takes are in the back yard of her grandparents' Temple Terrace home.
There, the smooth-swinging southpaw tries to solve the puzzling "miniature-golf style" course created by her grandfather, Edwin, a World War II vet and retired engineer.
"It's so creative," Gibson said. "There's one where you have to hit a lob shot over a branch and into one of those Halloween caldron buckets."
Gibson, 15, has spent more time this year completing trick shots at her grandparents' place. That's where the former Tampa Prep standout is homeschooled and helps care for Edwin, who, at age 87, suffers from symptoms of dementia.
It was Edwin who made golf a family tradition by teaching the game to Gibson's father, Jeff, who runs a local golf academy. It was Edwin who witnessed Kelsey's first birdie at age 8.
And now it's Kelsey's turn to lead, cooking her grandfather meals or keeping him company as he plays his guitar. Keeping him in tune? That's another matter.
"There's one time he stayed up all night singing God Bless America," Kelsey's mother, Deedra Gibson, said. "And he only knew one verse."
Since the move, Gibson's schoolwork - and scorecard - have improved. Gibson, with a 38 average, leads the Lions (7-1) into Monday's district tournament.
After every round, Gibson's first phone call is to her grandparents, Jannie and Edwin, whom she affectionately calls "Bo."
Golf is what brings Gibson and her grandfather together, whether it's watching it on TV, discussing matches or tallying a "running tab" inside of who chips better on Edwin's backyard course.
"At one time, my grandma pulled ahead of (Edwin)," Gibson said. "But I think he's pulled ahead. ... It's a big source of amusement."
District tournament schedule
Monday at Alonso (Alonso, Blake, Chamberlain, Gaither, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Leto, Plant, Sickles) at Silver Dollar Course, 8 a.m.
Monday at Sickles (Alonso, Blake, Chamberlain, Gaither, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Plant, Sickles) at Heritage Harbor, 8 a.m.
Tuesday at Plant City (Armwood, East Bay, Bloomingdale, Brandon, Durant, Freedom, King, Newsome, Plant City, Riverview, Tampa Bay Tech, Wharton) at Walden Lake, 9 a.m.
Monday at Plant City (Armwood, East Bay, Bloomingdale, Brandon, Durant, Freedom, King, Newsome, Plant City, Riverview, Tampa Bay Tech, Wharton) at Walden Lake, 9 a.m.
Monday at Tampa Catholic (Bayshore, Berkeley Prep, Cambridge, Citrus Park, Jesuit, Oldsmar Chr., Robinson, Spoto, Tampa Catholic, Tampa Prep) at Eagles, 10 a.m.
Monday at Tampa Catholic (Berkeley Prep, Cambridge, Academy of the Holy Names, Oldsmar, Robinson, Spoto, Tampa Catholic, Tampa Prep) at Eagles 10 a.m.
Who moves on?
The top three teams and top three individuals who are not members of the top three teams in the district tournament advance to the region tournament.
Jesuit junior Jack Twomey, whose Tigers are 2A-14 favorites, breaks down the Eagles course, site of districts and the only place he shot over 40 this season:
Overall: "It's tough with a lot of doglegs - a shopmaker's course. ...
"As long as you stay in the fairway you're in good shape. If not, you'll be scrambling. ...
"(The greens are) not lightning fast, but they have good speed. So you can be aggressive out there."