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Bulldog ready to kick again

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 16, 2000


Zephyrhills placekicker and punter Brett Cimorelli is the lone Pasco County representative at the Georgia-Florida all-star football game and the first since former Bulldog Ryan Pickett (in 1998) to be invited.

Cimorelli left June 9 for Orlando, where the Florida team had a minicamp before leaving for Atlanta on Monday.

"They're going to treat us really, really good up there," Cimorelli said. "We're staying in the best hotel and having dinners every night."

Cimorelli didn't have much time to practice his kicking during the baseball season but managed to sneak out to the Zephyrhills field once a week with his father, Bruce, who served as his holder, and during physical education class at school.

The biggest adjustment as he prepares for college is kicking off the ground as opposed to a 1-inch tee. "I have to kick it off the ground now, and that takes a little bit of practice," Cimorelli said. "I'm used to that tee."

Cimorelli, who kicked field goals of 55 and 54 yards last season and averaged more than 40 yards punting, said he doesn't think the lack of kicking has affected his leg strength. He said he has been kicking well and feels as strong as he did during football season.

"It's not any stronger or any weaker," Cimorelli said. "The biggest thing you have to get back is the accuracy. That's what I've been working on."

Standing out will be no easy task. The game features the best players from Florida, though many are skipping the game.

"There's a lot of great players on that team," Cimorelli said. "Every kid is going to a Division I school."

The only other player from the area competing is King running back Fred Reid.

All-star football game

WHAT: 16th annual Georgia-Florida High School Football All-Star Game.

WHEN/WHERE: 6 p.m. Saturday at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium.

TICKETS: $10 each; available at local high schools or through Ticketmaster at (404) 249-6400.

SERIES: Tied at 6-6-3.

LAST GAME: Georgia won 13-7, its second victory in a row.

PAST STARS: Garrison Hearst (1990), Derrick Brooks (1991) and former Nebraska star Tommie Frazier (1992) are former MVPs.

PROCEEDS: The game benefits The Child Care Fund at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

-- Compiled by John C. Cotey

-- Information from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.

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