tampabay.com

Hillsborough: News and Notes

By JOE SMITH AND KEITH NIEBUHR
Published February 9, 2008


Raven 'leaning toward FSU'

Alonso junior defensive lineman Demonte McCallister has seen his recruiting stock rise, with schools like Florida, Auburn and recently Georgia offering. But it looks like McCallister likes his first offer, Florida State, best.

McCallister, an explosive, 6-foot-3, 240-pound tackle, said there's a long way to go, including several trips, but, "I'm leaning toward FSU." FSU signed three bay area players Wednesday: tailback Carlton Jones Middleton, defensive lineman Moses McCray (Hillsborough), tackle Rhonne Sanderson (Plant).

 

Bell learns recruiting business

Chamberlain senior defensive back Justin Bell learned the hard way that college recruiting is a business. Bell, who happily signed with Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, got his hopes up two weeks ago when Colorado State offered him a visit. The CSU coaches told him, if he came, they would offer him. Bell didn't want to go unless they would offer, since he had a few other schools wanting him to visit.

"They flat out lied to his face," Chiefs assistant Brian Turner said.

Bell went on his visit, loved the Rocky Mountains and facilities, told the coaches he'd commit on the spot. Bell said new coach Steve Fairchild told him before he left, "We'll tell you either way on Wednesday." A call never came.

"It's okay," Bell said. "My mother told me, 'God never closes a door without opening another one.' "

EKU was like a second home. After all, his mother, Karla, is from Lexington. His father, Chester, is from Winchester. His grandmother, Judy Parker, is close by.

"He'll always have a place to eat on Sunday," Karla said with a smile.


Volleyball trio tabbed All-Americans

Plant senior setter Kellie Catanach, sophomore hitter Maddie Martin and Bayshore Christian senior Jannica Mollett were named All-Americans by prepvolleyball.com this week. Catanach, a Duke signee, and Martin led the Panthers to the 5A state championship last season. Mollett led the Faith Warriors to the Class A state title game. Martin has received interest from some of the nation's top programs, including Stanford most recently. "I was surprised," Martin said of being an All-American. "It was cool, though."

 

Coming Monday

Look for the baseball season preview in Monday's Times, then visit the Web for video breaking down the top bay area teams as well as team pages with schedules and rosters for all of our teams at highschool.tampabay.com.