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Players honor ailing assistant
By Bryan Burns, Times Staff Writer
Published February 10, 2008
Ft. Lauderdale--Moments after winning their first state championship, amidst the hugs and the high fives and the tears of joy, the Tampa Prep players placed a phone call back home and passed the phone around one-by-one so each player could have a chance to speak.
On the other end of the line was Cindy Schofield, an assistant coach with the Terrapins who was unable to make the trip to Ft. Lauderdale with the team. Schofield experienced severe headaches after the team won its district tournament. Early fears were that the headaches might be a brain tumor, however, those fears appear to be unfounded. Further testing will be done in the coming days to determine the nature and the extent of the problem.
Through their two tournament victories, Tampa Prep players wore a red No.11 armband around their left arm, a reference to Schofield’s jersey number while playing for George Jenkins High School and later at Florida State.
Herself a standout soccer player, Schofield’s No. 11 was retired at George Jenkins after she set the all-time state record for most goals in a career with 238.
No doubt, Schofield was ever-present on the minds of the Terrapins as they made their historic playoff run. “It’s good to play for yourself, but it’s kind of nice to play for someone else,” Tampa Prep coach Pam Smith said.
During pre-game introductions, each Terrapin held up the armband as their name was called. As the players received their first-place medals during the award ceremony, Schofield’s name received the loudest cheer from the crowd.
“She is a big part of what we were able to accomplish this season,” Smith said. “She’s still part of us, and we’re still part of her.”