Hillsborough: News and notes

By JOE SMITH and KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writers
Published January 26, 2008

Armwood strikes Nike deal

The Armwood football team, one of the county's most recognizable programs, will soon be outfitted by one of the world's top sports apparel companies - Nike.

The Hawks will receive $10,000 in products - home and away jerseys - from Nike in what coach Sean Callahan called a "gentleman's agreement." The deal, discussed the past couple weeks, came closer to reality Friday when county athletic director Lanness Robinson said the proposed uniforms would meet the district's specifications.

Armwood will be one of just five football programs in the state outfitted by Nike - Miami Northwestern, Booker T. Washington, St. Thomas Aquinas and Lakeland are the others. The Hawks will now "look like the college kids and NFL guys," Callahan said.

"People say we're gonna look 'fresh,' " Armwood junior Ryne Giddins said. "But I call it 'ripe.' "

Callahan said the agreement is a year-to-year thing with no contract. He said Under Armor approached Armwood about a deal, but it was never finalized. Among the other changes coming up at Armwood are new lights for the soccer/football field, opening of a $600,000-plus fieldhouse in June; an all-weather track has already been put in.

County Championships

The County Wrestling Championships will finish up today at Wharton, with the fourth- and fifth-place matches at 5 p.m. and finals at 7. For coverage, check out Sunday's Times.

On tap today

Girls basketball

King at Blake, 3

Boys basketball

Alonso at Jefferson, 2:30

Sickles at Spoto 7:45


Hillsborough County meet at Wharton

Girls soccer region semifinals

All games at 7 p.m. Tuesday

Class 5A: Newsome at Bloomingdale

Class 3A: Berkeley Prep at Clearwater Central Catholic

Class 2A: Shorecrest at Tampa Prep


Recruiting tidbits

Armwood welcomed a who's who of coaches Friday, including Ohio State's Jim Tressel, Tennessee's Phil Fulmer and Auburn's Tommy Tuberville. The Tigers, who have a commitment in tailback Eric Smith, are after juniors LB Petey Smith, DB Angelo Hadley and DE Ryne Giddins. ...Alonso junior defensive end Demonte McCallister recently received offers from South Carolina and Tennessee, to go along with Florida, Florida State and Auburn. A visit from South Florida coaches is scheduled soon. ... There are several county standouts making official visits this weekend, including Plant's Derek Winter (Iowa), offensive tackle Rhonne Sanderson (Florida State), Riverview's Quincy Barr (Hofstra), Chamberlain's Justin Bell (Colorado State), Chamberlain's Deven Persaud (New Hampshire), Freedom's Cass Couey (Valdosta State), Cambridge's Taylor Cabral (Iona College).

Contact us

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com or (813) 310-9024. Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kniebuhr@sptimes.com or at (813) 226-3458.