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By BRANT JAMES and GREG AUMAN

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 11, 2001


WHO'S HOT? WHO'S NOT?: 1. Tim Gaynor, Central: How do you stay atop the hot list? Follow a 182-yard football performance with a 184-yarder. SMOKIN'.

2. Huey Whittaker, South Florida: The former Springstead standout had 5 receptions for 63 yards and drew 2 pass interference calls inside the 10 on the Bulls' final scoring drive of a program-making win over Pitt. HEATING UP FAST.

3. Brooke Szabo, Florida Southern: Sure, the ex-Central soccer standout has just one goal for the Moccasins, but she has only three shots. Throw in her assist in 168 minutes and she's been a sparkplug for the 2-5 team. STEADY WARMTH.

4. Central football: Loss to Lecanto was stunning. RAPID HEAT LOSS.

5. Traveling to road football games: Two weeks ago, we spotted former Central standout Lance Holland in Brooksville ... to watch Hernando play at home while his ex-teammates were playing in Inverness against Citrus. Then Friday, Leopards basketball star Jerrell Graham was seen in Brooksville ... watching Central play at home while Hernando's squad was eking out a win at Citrus. By this logic, we'll be looking for Springstead and Central fans at Hernando on Friday since the other two schools are (gasp) on the road. DOWNRIGHT CHILLY.

FOOTBALL: Interest in Eagles

The Hernando Eagles had a strong turnout for their first organizational meeting Saturday night, with 38 prospective semi-pro players in attendance.

Another 15 had left messages with team owner Abraham Dowdell, indicating an interest. That gives the Eagles a good starting point for building their first roster.

"We were very pleased with Saturday's meeting," Dowdell said. "It went extremely well, and what I was most impressed with was how professional, how well-mannered the group was."

The high level of interest helped Dowdell decide to move Hernando's training camp up from December to early November, giving the squad more time to prepare for its Southern States Football League season opener in January.

The next stop in the Eagles' early history is an open tryout Sept. 29.

No Hudson?

The top 10 teams in the Southeast as selected by scholastic sports experts Jamie DeMoney and Jeremy Plowman and a national panel of 35 prep sportswriters with records through Sept. 9:

1. Tallahassee, Fla., Lincoln, 2-0

2. Belle Glade, Fla., Glades Central, 2-0

3. Lilburn, Ga., Parkview, 2-0

4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Aquinas, 2-0

5. West Monroe, La., 2-0

6. Shreveport, La., Evangel Christian, 2-0

7. Hoover, Ala., 2-0

8. Lakeland, Fla., 2-0

9. Murfreesboro, Tenn., Riverdale, 4-0

10. Brandon, Miss., 2-0

HORSE RACING: Lucarelli mare rallies

Samantha the Great, owned by Brooksville's Al Lucarelli, finished second at Calder Race Course on Sunday in a 1-mile, $28,000 test for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Manuel Aguilar, the 5-year-old broke poorly and rallied from third down the stretch to finish 3/4 of a length behind Blondaway.

The mare won a $28,000, 51/2-furlong optional claiming race for fillies and mares Aug. 25 at Calder.

CROSS COUNTRY: Scales paces Bears

The Central boys team finished seventh in an elite field at the Ridgeview Invitational in Orange Park.

Trever Scales was the first Bear in at 16:22, placing 12th, but Central didn't have another runner in until Joe Costanzo crossed at 17:04 for 40th. Aaron Henley (63rd, 17:41) was next, with the rest of Central's contingent (Adam Dixon, Bryan Gordon, Joel Crandall and Joshua Bergeron) clocking in at 18:04-18:26.

BASEBALL: Youth clinic

West Hernando Little League will have an instructional clinic for players 8-12 at the Deltona complex in Spring Hill from Sept. 20-22.

Former major-league players Mike Walker and John Frascatore and area coaches are scheduled to participate as instructors. The clinic will emphasize proper mechanics and fundamentals.

Players may register at the complex 6-8 p.m. on Monday or Sept. 20. The cost is $15.

The clinic schedule is 6-8 p.m. Sept. 20-21 and 9-12 a.m. Sept. 22. For information, call (352) 666-6236.

SOFTBALL: Eagles fundraiser

Springstead will have a fundraiser 5-8 p.m. Sept. 18 at Pizza Hut in Spring Hill. Eagles players will serve as waitresses. Tips will benefit the team's uniform fund.

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