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Hillsborough: News and notes
By JOE SMITH
Published December 12, 2007
On the Web: Recruiting picks up steam
Armwood running back Eric Smith appears on our PrepCast audio report, which recaps last weekend's playoff games and looks ahead to recruiting season. Also, catch up on the rest of Tuesday's action from around the county. Check it out at highschool.tampabay.com.
Catanach named Gatorade Player of the Year
Plant senior setter Kellie Catanach was named Gatorade State Player of the Year on Monday.
The Duke-bound star, who earned Florida Dairy Farmers "Miss Volleyball" honors Friday, led the Panthers to back-to-back state titles. Catanach, the Times Player of the Year, is in the running for Gatorade National Player of the Year, to be announced next week.
Gainesville Buchholz's Shelbey Bleke and Sheryl Davis of Fort Myers Evangelical Christian also were considered.
"I've seen some of those candidates around the nation and they're amazing, amazing players," Catanach said. "I'm not expecting anything - I'm just honored to be state player of the year."
Florida, Miami 'neck and neck' for Patchan
Armwood senior two-way lineman Matt Patchan, a rivals.com five-star recruit, apparently is getting a crash course on courting from his two favorite state schools.
Patchan, a 6-foot-8, 265-pound tackle, said last month he has narrowed his choices to Florida, Miami and LSU. Two Gators assistants sat next to his parents in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal loss to Miami Booker T. Washington; four Gators coaches were at the game. Urban Meyer will make a home visit on Thursday. Hawks coach Sean Callahan said between UF and Miami, Patchan is getting "recruited as hard as anyone I've ever had."
"They both know they're right there, neck and neck with each other," Callahan said. "Matt hasn't alluded to where he's going to, but both (Miami and UF) are really pressing it. They had a presence at every one of our games. "Miami and Florida, they're going to battle this to the end."
Plant's Harrison earns FHSAA
Plant cross country coach Roy Harrison has been named Florida High School Athletic Association Girls Coach of the Year for 2007. Harrison, 52, has been coaching 30 years, but his best job may have been this fall, when the Panthers had to replace three of their top five runners (including state champ Brigithe Moreno) but still took fifth at the Class 3A meet. "It's an honor - it's probably a career award," Harrison said.
It would be a fitting pick, considering his record: