Hillsborough: News and Notes
By JOE SMITH AND KEITH NIEBUHR
Published November 17, 2007
Long time coming
When Jannica Mollett helped the Bayshore Christian volleyball team win the state title as a freshman in 2004, she looked forward to getting her championship jewelry.
But ... "I never got a ring," Mollett said Thursday. How come? Because many of her teammates that fall also had won the title the previous year, they decided not to purchase any. Asked after the program's Class A championship win over South Daytona Warner Christian if rings would be ordered this time around, Bayshore coach Melanie Humenansky didn't hesitate to answer.
"Yes!" she said.
That won't be all. Faith Warrior players are likely to get commemorative hoodies. And, of course, the team photo will go up on the wall inside the school's gym, right next to the program's three previous title squads.
Jesuit junior Connor Revord has led the Tigers to big meet wins at the prestigious Southern Stars and flrunners Invitational, placing second (15:38) and ninth (16:10) in each race, respectively. But after the Tigers finished second to Naples in their regional last week, he said he has heard some "doubters" who don't believe they can win the 2A title today at the state meet in Dade City.
"There are some doubters out there," Revord said. "But I just use it as fuel for my race. We've got to show what we can do."
For full coverage of the meet at Little Everglades Ranch, check out Sunday's Times.
Bucs honor TBT football coach
Tampa Bay Tech football coach C.C. Culpepper, readying his team to board the bus for their bowl game Thursday afternoon, received some big news.
Culpepper was told by the Tampa Bay Bucs he was their Coach of the Year and will be invited to the Bucs' Nov. 25 game at Raymond James, where the Titans will run out of the tunnel with the pro players before pre-game warmups. Culpepper also was asked recently to be an assistant coach for the South team in the FACA State All-Star Game in Lakeland next month.
After two winless seasons, the Titans went 6-4 this year. TBT lost its bowl game at Mulberry 7-0 on Thursday.
Sickles star leaves soccer team
Sickles freshmen Sydney and Shelby Payne, members of last year's U.S. U-14 national developmental team, have left the Gryphons just a couple weeks into the season. The identical twins played one game, but their father, Mark Payne, said "it wasn't working out."
"They wanted to represent Sickles and the community and have fun," Payne said. "And it wasn't fun."
The duo will compete in this weekend's inter-regional tournament at Coral Springs, where the top 18 players from each region (in three age groups) are selected to play.
Former Florida State All-American second baseman Tony Thomas, one of Bloomingdale's most decorated alumni, attended the Bulls' home finale vs. Durant on Nov. 9. Thomas, a Cubs third-round draft pick this year, is home until spring training following a stint with the club's short-season affiliate in Boise.
Thomas also showed love for Corey Brinson, who resigned after his fifth losing season with the Bulls (2-8). Brinson coached Thomas during his senior year. "He's a good guy - good coach," Thomas said. "I loved playing for him - I learned so much about the mental part that I had never thought about before."