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By ROD GIPSON
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 21, 2000
VOLLEYBALL: Sickles standout Kim Rice has signed a scholarship with Pasco-Hernando Community College. A middle hitter, Rice is following her high school coach Sam Cibrone to PHCC. The only coach the three-year old program has known, Cibrone recently resigned to take the PHCC position. Rice was a member of a regional-finalist and two district-championshipsquads. Armwood math teacher and volleyball assistant Robert Brashear has been hired as the new head coach at Sickles. Brashear takes over for Cibrone and inherits a team returning seven players.
BASEBALL: Mike Macaluso and Jeff Lucas are among the former area prep players competing in local college tournaments this weekend. Macaluso, a former Gaither infielder now at the University of South Florida, is at the Conference USA Tournament in St. Petersburg. Macaluso hit .229 in 29 games this season as a freshman. He started five games at second base, collecting nine hits and posting a perfect fielding percentage. Lucas, a former Sickles standout on the 1999 Gryphons team that advanced to the state finals, is playing for Florida Southern in the Division II South Region tournament at Baseball City. Lucas, an infielder, hit .380 in 32 games this season. He scored 14 runs and knocked in 10 more.
COACHES: Gaither High baseball coach Frank Permuy was named Class 6A Coach of the Year last week by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association. Permuy led the Cowboys to the Class 6A-7 title and a 21-4 record. By winning the Class 6A honor, he is also nominated for the state coach of the year award, which will be announced June 24.
GOLF: Former Chamberlain standout and current USF player Brett Hitchcock shot a 67 to place him second in the opening round of qualifying for the U.S. Open. An All-Conference USA selection this past season, Hitchcock finished eighth in the conference tournament last month. Qualifying continues this weekend with the top finishers advancing to sectional qualifying June 5 at various sites throughout the country.
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