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Bowl game extends seasons for teams

St. Petersburg Catholic and Osceola, a combined 14-3 this season, will face off in the Time Warner Bowl, which will be broadcast live on TV.

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 1, 2001


As far as matchmaking goes, Eric Keating had all the pieces right in front of him.

Although the sports director for Time Warner Inc.'s TW-TV47 had to alter his preseason plan for the inaugural Time Warner Bowl, he couldn't resist the urge to select two Pinellas County teams when St. Petersburg Catholic and Osceola were sitting there with no place to go after Friday's final slate of games.

"Originally we wanted a Hillsborough County team versus a Pinellas team," Keating said. "We wanted it to be the game of the week for both sides; we wanted that cross-bay matchup. But this, these two teams, just made it a logical choice."

So next Thursday at St. Petersburg Catholic, the Barons (7-1) will host the Warriors (7-2). The game is scheduled to be televised live.

Keating is excited about the game, which will feature St. Petersburg Catholic's Chris Davis, a top national recruit and the county's most dangerous player. The county's leading rusher, Osceola's Jason Teague, also will be on hand. Instead of having to match up two disappointed teams with losing records that missed the playoffs, Keating gets two teams that had good seasons and are eager to play one more game.

St. Petersburg Catholic is ineligible for the postseason for recruiting violations and Osceola is an independent.

"It makes up for us not being in the playoffs and it helps showcase our team and his," Barons coach Dan Mancuso said.

"And I think it's a really good private versus public school matchup."

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