Hillsborough County: News and notes

By Times Staff
Published November 15, 2007

Goin' bowlin'

Tampa Bay Tech made a dramatic turnaround in football this year, going 6-4 after two winless seasons. The reward? The Titans will play tonight in a bowl game at Mulberry. Coach C.C. Culpepper said the reward is partly for the seniors, who didn't jump ship to the Middletons or Hillsboroughs. "They stuck with the team, and we're no longer the 'same old Tech,' " he said.

Sound bite

"They had pogo sticks for legs." - Merritt Island Christian volleyball coach Laurie Haines on Bayshore Christian's blocking in its state semifinal win

Numbers game

5 School records set by the county's leading rusher, Cambridge senior Taylor Cabral (single-game rushing, season rushing, career rushing, single-season points, career points)

Gator bait: Buc pulls signing switch

Berkeley Prep senior Jonathan Jordan, one of the bay area's top swimmers, will sign today with Florida - not Virginia.

Jordan, a silver medalist in the 500, had said Monday he would commit to Virginia, but after sleeping on the decision and talking to UF coaches, he picked his childhood favorite.

"It was a very, very tough decision," Jordan said. "But Florida offered everything I wanted plus a better team - and it's close to home."

The early signing period began Wednesday and goes through Nov. 21. Of the county signing classes, there's the firsts, Freedom's first softball signee Lisa Grant (Michigan State); the biggest (five Plant baseball players); and the unique (Sickles softball player Khrystyne Ely joining her sister, Katie, at Troy).

Here's a list:

Bloomingdale: Katelyn Molkenthin, softball, (South Carolina Upstate);Kristen Kelly, softball (Saint Leo)

Brandon: Evan Ravenel, basketball (Boston College)

Chamberlain: Mary Kate Smith, softball (Stanford); Gina Kafalas, softball (USF); Danielle Moreda, softball, (Saint Leo); Jamie Mera, tennis (Missouri)

Freedom: Lisa Grant, softball (Michigan State)

Holy Names: Hilary Hunt, volleyball, (Miss. State); Kim Renspie, tennis (Catawba (N.C.) College); Becky Vyzas, softball (University of Tampa)

Newsome: Kyle Parker, baseball (USF);Kris Castellanos, baseball (FSU)

Plant: Hannah Ojeda, softball (N.C. State); Jared Womack, baseball (High Point); Tyler Stinson, baseball (Naval Academy); Logan Welch, baseball (Maryland); Preston Tucker, baseball (Florida), David Bergin,baseball (Georgia So.); Kellie Catanach, volleyball (Duke)

Plant City: Kendall Dawson, softball, (Alabama)

Riverview: Dianne Gonzalez, softball (Saint Leo); Ashley McClain, softball (FIU); Brittany Yates, softball (Saint Leo); Anthony Ferrera, baseball (USF);Colby Fairfax, baseball (Florida Southern)

Sickles: Khrystyne Ely, softball (Troy University)

Bayshore to add football

One day after Bayshore Christian held a board meeting and discussed adding football, athletic Chad Clark got the feedback he wanted.

"They told me this morning it's a go," Clark said Wednesday.

The plan is to begin playing six-man football next fall and eventually jump to 11-man. Bayshore Christian, which opened in 1971, has never fielded a football team.

"I'm excited," Clark said. "I'm ready to get started on what I've got to do."

Bayshore Christian will compete in the Florida Christian Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Clark estimates startup costs will be in the $10,000 range.