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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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Pinellas: Boys basketball preview
A look at who is rebuilding, who is poised to contend for a district title and who might be a surprise.
By BOB PUTNAM
Published November 21, 2007
Class 6A, District 7
Teams: Alonso, Countryside, Gaither, Mitchell, St. Petersburg, Sickles
Outlook: The Green Devils lost their best player, Shamon Cox, who transferred to Lakewood. That will be tough to overcome, especially in a district that includes always-strong Sickles.
Class 5A, District 9
Teams: Clearwater, Dunedin, East Lake, Largo, Palm Harbor University, Pinellas Park, Tarpon Springs
Outlook: The Tornadoes have two Division I signees in Luke Loucks (FSU) and Adam Pegg (Delaware). That talent should give them the edge over the Patriots, a great shooting team led by Cam Carden. The Packers, who lost most of their starters from last season, are in rebuilding mode.
Outlook: The Spartans, the defending state finalist, lost several key players, including Ed Nixon, the Times player of the year last season. But do not cue the violins. Lakewood still has talent with Mike Morrison and the addition of Shamon Cox. The Pirates could take a while to get into a rhythm after getting several players back from football.
Class 3A, District 11
Teams: Berkeley Prep, Clearwater Central Cath., Lennard, St. Petersburg Cath., Tampa Catholic
Outlook: The Marauders have some height with Paul Freedman. The Barons have some sharpshooters, led by Tracy Parks. Both teams should be in contention along with Tampa Catholic.
Class 2A, District 9
Teams: Bishop McLaughlin, Calvary Christian, Indian Rocks Christian, Tampa Prep
Outlook: The Warriors, who made the final four last season, lose some talent, most significantly Kevin Cantinol, who graduated. But they have Christian bibi Ndongo to go along with several transfers.