Hillsborough: News and notes

By Eduardo A. Encina and Keith Niebuhr, Times Staff Writers
Published February 23, 2008

Terps coaching search under way

Tampa Prep isn't wasting any time finding a replacement for ultra-successful boys soccer coach Jose DaCosta, who announced this week he's stepping down. Athletic director Carol Chalu said Friday the school will "open up the search" today and hopes to have a new coach in place soon.

"We're looking for an experienced head boys soccer coach," Chalu said. "I've always believed that the sooner the better. That way no one has to wait around wondering. Plus, we've got new people coming in that want to be sure we have someone on board that will keep our tradition going."

DaCosta, who led the Terrapins to state titles in 2005, '07 and '08, will leave the school after the spring semester and move to Rhode Island with his family. He has been at Tampa Prep 15 years and spent the past 14 as head coach.

Gaither star not quite healthy

Gaither pitcher Morgan Grove, the 2007 Times Player of the Year, returned to the field Thursday night after missing three weeks with a lower abdominal injury. The bad news is that during a two-inning stint she re-aggravated the injury.

Now it looks like Grove, who has signed with Tallahassee Community College, won't play again for at least a week. She is scheduled to visit the doctor Feb. 29.

"She came in for the second and third innings and struck out five of the six batters she faced," Cowboys coach Al Alcala said.

Spring stats

The Times will begin publishing baseball and softball statistics next week. Coaches are reminded to send updated stats via e-mail to kniebuhr@sptimes.com softball or eencina@sptimes.com (baseball) no later than Wednesday afternoon each week.

HCC tennis complex to remain open

The 28-court Hillsborough Community College tennis complex, which many county teams call home, will remain open to the public under new management, the Hillsborough County Tennis Association reports on its Web site. The facility was scheduled to close March 3 when a 20-year operating lease with the city expires.

Locals win 3-point shootout

Ayala Wasser, a junior guard at Tampa Prep, won the Class 2A 3-point shootout Friday afternoon at the Lakeland Center; Megan Fitzpatrick, a senior at Armwood, is the 5A champion. The winners from each class will compete for the overall title tonight. Wasser made 10 3s in 15 attempts; Fitzpatrick made nine.

Contact us

Eduardo A. Encina can be reached at eencina@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3353. Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kniebuhr@sptimes.com or at (813) 226-3458.