St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

New programs join middle school ranks

Centennial and Chasco middle schools are ready to take the field - but not quite ready to compete for a conference title.


© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 30, 2001

NEW PORT RICHEY -- When the middle school season begins Sept. 4, two additional teams will be contending for a championship.

The Centennial Cyclones in Dade City and the Chasco Chargers in Port Richey are the county's 10th and 11th teams. They will vie for the Pasco County Middle School Athletic Conference title that ended in a three-way tie between Hudson, Pasco and Weightman last season.

Chasco reduces overcrowding at Bayonet Point and Gulf. Centennial draws primarily from Stewart in Zephyrhills.

"It's a win-win situation for the kids," Bayonet Point athletic director Mike Wood said. "Instead of 45 or so playing here, now you have that number here and 40 or 50 more playing at Chasco."

Centennial coach John McDougall, a Zephyrhills assistant the past eight seasons, expected similar numbers. Initially, 15 players showed up, but that number increased to 36 by the second week of practice.

"I was really surprised for the good," McDougall said, adding that some had no prior football experience.

The new teams have early-season byes -- Chasco the first week and Centennial the second week -- by design. Hudson athletic director Joe Wajerski, who's also the conference executive secretary, made out the schedule anticipating the newcomers could benefit from an early break.

"That'll help us get ready," Chasco coach Nick Zizo said.

The extra week to prepare will give Zizo more time to come up with a game plan to beat Seven Springs on Sept. 11. Zizo coached at that school the past three years.

"That'll be very interesting," Zizo said of the game against Seven Springs.

Wajerski also purposely didn't schedule a Chasco-Centennial game, he said, "because I didn't want one to have bragging rights over the other in the first year."

"It doesn't matter either way," Zizo said of a possible matchup against Centennial. "We'll play whoever we have to play. We'll play (the Cyclones) eventually."

Zizo is glad Weightman, which has won five conference titles and shared three others, is not on his team's schedule. But the Chargers play Hudson Oct. 9.

Hudson and Weightman, who also tied for the conference title in 1997, will not share another championship if those schools are unbeaten this season. Instead, they would meet in a playoff. "This will probably be the first year where there's a good chance of that happening," Wajerski said.

A playoff game, if necessary, would take place Oct. 23, a week after the last regular-season contests. Wajerski said a site is yet to be determined, but he would prefer a neutral school.

In his first year, McDougall is more concerned with building a program than winning a championship.

"My main goal is I want to turn (the players) on to football, so when they leave here they like football," McDougall said.

"A lot of them have played before, a lot of them haven't. There's got to be some fun tied into it."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

College football
  • UM's Dorsey exploring whole new world
  • Georgia loss still is a gain for Bulls
  • Rackard's time not here yet
  • Extra points
  • Practice reports

  • Bucs
  • Leaf's season left in doubt
  • Duncan still has starting MLB job

  • Rays
  • The real M's on display for Rays
  • Rookie catcher Hall named IL MVP

  • Sports Etc.
  • Sports briefs
  • Another heartbreaker as Mutiny falls in 2 OT
  • LaJoie praises Humpy Bumper
  • Warhawks coach has many admirers
  • District previews
  • Pressure to win increases for Indian
  • Brandon coach earns silver at world tourney
  • Daily fishing report
  • Texas trainer chases glory at Saratoga
  • Charities benefit from birdies program
  • Turning pro is the right career call

  • Preps football preview
  • Stories

  • College football preview
  • Stories

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts