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Cimorelli leads all-conference spring choices


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 2000

ZEPHYRHILLS -- Brett Cimorelli, the premier slugger among Zephyrhills' record-setting bashers, topped the spring list of all-Sunshine Athletic Conference athletes.

Cimorelli clubbed 16 home runs (tied with Danny Wardell for the team lead) to help the Bulldogs set a state record of 63. That, a team-high 54 RBI and a 10-1 pitching record earned the Florida State-bound senior the SAC Player of the Year award.

Cimorelli's heroics were even more remarkable by the fact he played in the regional final and state semifinal despite broken cheekbones, sufferered when he was hit by a pitch in the regional semifinals.

Derek Thompson of rival Land O'Lakes was named the conference's pitcher of the year after establishing team records for victories (nine) and strikeouts (111).

Cimorelli and Thompson ranked among the best players on their respective teams. Thanks to their contributions, Zephyrhills reached the final four while Land O'Lakes reached the regional semifinals. Not coincidentally, the coaches of those teams -- Zephyrhills' Bruce Cimorelli and Land O'Lakes' Calvin Baisley -- shared the SAC coaching award.

"That's fine," said Baisley, whose Gators won the conference with a 13-1 record that included two wins over Zephyrhills. "That's the best season (Zephyrhills) ever had and the best season we've ever had.

"To have them both at the same time ... whew."

Among the other notable achievements this spring were River Ridge's first undefeated girls tennis team and Hudson's first conference title in boys tennis.

Hudson also won the SAC boys weightlifting meet. And the Ridgewood girls weightlifters went unbeaten.

Lastly, what else would a spring season in the SAC be without Ridgewood's annual dual titles in boys and girls track?

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