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Jefferson could play fewer games

To accommodate a move to 4A-8, the Dragons and three 2A-7 schools might have an open date.

By FRANK PASTOR

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 11, 2001


TAMPA -- Two days after a mistake in projected enrollment was discovered, county athletic director Vernon Korhn said he might not be able to completely fill Jefferson's schedule but is confident he can get the Dragons into a district.

"Everybody has worked hard to accomplish what we're trying to accomplish," Korhn said Friday. "Unfortunately, there are not enough games or changes at this point that can be accomplished to give everybody a 10-game schedule."

Korhn said three of the four Class 2A teams on Jefferson's original schedule -- Tampa Catholic, Berkeley Prep and Clearwater Central Catholic -- agreed to drop the Dragons but did not want to play any of the other schools Korhn could pair them with.

As a result, Tampa Catholic, Berkeley Prep and Clearwater Central Catholic likely will play one less game this season.

Korhn would not reveal the schools the three declined to play but said they are in a higher classification.

St. Petersburg Catholic was willing to be more flexible, Korhn said, making it more likely the Barons will play a full schedule.

Jefferson was placed in Class 2A, District 7 after enrollment figures submitted in the fall projected the school to have 790 students this year.

However, 1,340 students were counted on the first day of school, making Jefferson the size of a 4A school.

Bill Person, the county director of pupil administration, said he failed to account for the new International Studies Academy magnet program, which attracted an additional 700 students.

Korhn is trying to get Jefferson into 4A-8, which includes Plant, Armwood, Brandon, Sickles and Tampa Bay Tech.

Though it is unlikely Jefferson will play a a full 10-game schedule, Korhn said he hopes to get the Dragons enough district games to make them eligible for the state playoffs.

"We're moving toward a conclusion," Korhn said. "By Monday, I think all will be said and done pretty much.

"We've got all the puzzle pieces together. We've just got to make it work."

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