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Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

Plant's Ty Thompson out with torn ACL

Ty Thompson is out for the season with a torn ACL

Tampa Bay Times

Ty Thompson is out for the season with a torn ACL

Plant running back Ty Thompson is out for the season after tearing his ACL during a scrimmage this past weekend.

“Ty’s foot was planted in the turf and his leg gave way awkwardly on the tackle,” Panthers coach Robert Weiner said. “It was nothing intentional. It’s just unfortunately one of those things that is part of the game.”

This is the second time in the past three years the Panthers have lost one of their premier skill players to a knee injury before the start of the season. In 2015, quarterback Rex Culpepper tore his ACL during USF’s Sling-n-Shoot tournament.

“Just because we’ve been through this kind of injury before make it any easier or prepare us any more for it at all,” Weiner said. “We’ll do what we have to do to be a good football team. But it goes beyond that, especially for a guy like Ty who has come so far.

“There’s sadness because he is not able to play Plant football his senior year, which is all he ever wanted to do.”

Thompson became the team’s main ball carrier last season and rushed for 827 yards and nine touchdowns. He has 14 offers from Division I-A schools, and Weiner said there will still be plenty of college opportunities available. …

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Clash 4 Clayton raises thousands for Mahler family

Charlie Kaijo | Times

SPRING HILL — Saturday’s officials scrimmage at Springstead High featuring 12 teams from Pasco and Hernando counties also doubled as a fund raiser. Springstead athletic director Dustin Kupcik renamed the scrimmage the “Clash 4 Clayton,’’ with proceeds going to aid former Hudson coach Rob Mahler’s 1-year-old son in his battle against Stage III pediatric cancer.

Kupcik said the final donation tally was $3,000, not including money earned from T-shirt and wristband sales as well as gifts given directly to Mahler.

“The crowd was steady throughout the day,” Kupcik said. “I feel like we had a great turnout. The donation buckets were overflowing. We got a $200 donation from the officials association. Our cheerleading coach gave $100. One of the other football teams gave $200. So it’s been coming in. It’s awesome.”

Dressed in a “Clayton’s Crew’’ T-shirt, Mahler attended the scrimmage without Clayton, who had just gone through a round of chemotherapy and was unable to attend. Mahler said Clayton is on his way to recovery but his immune system is still fragile. …

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Treshaun Ward transfers to Tampa Bay Tech

Plant City's Treshaun Ward transfers to Tampa Bay Tech

Tampa Bay Times

Plant City's Treshaun Ward transfers to Tampa Bay Tech

With preseason games less than two weeks away, Treshaun Ward was in his own personal limbo.

The former Plant City running back was scrambling to find a place to play. He wanted to attend Armwood since the spring, but his mother said the Hillsborough County school district denied a hardship waiver to go there.

On Tuesday, Ward found a home. He announced via Twitter that he is transferring to Tampa Bay Tech.

“This year I learned that throughout life when you’re doing well there will be haters and will do anything in their power for you to become unsuccessful or block wherever you are trying to go,” Ward said in his Twitter post.

Ward, who has offers from East Carolina and USF, among others, said he will start with the Titans on Wednesday.

His arrival gives Tampa Bay Tech another dynamic weapon in an already loaded offense. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr., a Tennessee commit, returns. So does receiver Levi Jackson, who has an offer from Mercer.

Last season, Ward, ranked 22nd on the HomeTeam 100 list, rushed for 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns.

So will Ward try to go to Armwood after this season?

“Nah, I’m staying at Tech,” he said. 

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Armwood's Malcolm Lamar commits to Oregon

Armwood's Malcolm Lamar is the fourth area player in the 2018 class to commit to Oregon

Tampa Bay Times

Armwood's Malcolm Lamar is the fourth area player in the 2018 class to commit to Oregon

Armwood defensive lineman Malcolm Lamar indicated last month he would most likely wait until national signing day to make his college commitment.

On Friday, Lamar decided he could not wait any longer, announcing through a video on his Twitter page that he was committing to Oregon.

“I wanted to wait because I thought it was going to be hard to find a home to play in college,” Lamar said. “But I found that home in Oregon.”

Lamar, the No. 2 player in the Tampa Bay Times’ HomeTeam 100, picked the Ducks over an impressive list of SEC schools that included Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee.

His pledge continues Oregon’s run of landing top tier talent in the bay area. Former USF coach Willie Taggart, who took over this season, is using his Tampa Bay ties to his advantage. Besides Lamar, the Ducks also have commitments in the 2018 class from Armwood receiver Warren Thompson, Wesley Chapel athlete Isaiah Bolden and Tampa Bay Tech defensive lineman Jonathan King.

The local haul has helped Oregon vault to the No. 5 recruiting class in the country according to a composite ranking by 247Sports, putting them ahead of Florida and FSU. …

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Cambridge Christian's Latanna Stone wins junior golf tourney

Latanna Stone won the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships by four strokes.

Scott Purks, Special to the Times

Latanna Stone won the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships by four strokes.

Cambridge Christian junior Latanna Stone finished the summer on a high note.

Stone won the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships girls 15-18 tournament on Wednesday at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens. Stone shot a 71-70-72-73—286 to finish on top of a field of 143 by four shots.

Also, former Cambridge teammate Ashley Zagers, who graduated this year, finished tied for fourth with a score of 296.

Stone was a Tampa Bay Times' all-area first-team selection as a sophomore. She finished tied for 10th with Zagers at the Class A girls state tournament last season with a two-round score of 148. 

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Live Blog: CONCACAF Gold Cup - U.S. vs. Martinique

11:00: The U.S. holds on for the 3-2 victory, in a game that was much closer than it should've been. The Americans outshot Martinique 21-13 and had a 62-38 advantage in time of possession. Next up: winless Nicaragua.


10:50: Martinique appeared to tie this thing back up, but it wasn't meant to be. Sebastien Cretinoir got called offsides, and the score will remain 3-2. Quite a shift in the stadium atmosphere.


10:40: Justin Morris comes through again, putting the U.S. up 3-2. And what a shot, off a high cross that he pounces on in midair and fits past Kevin Olimpa.


10:37: Now we're tied again. Brad Guzan makes a sliding stop on a cross off a fast break, but Martinique's Kevin Parsemain taps the ball over his head. Guzan falls backward and grasps in vain, unable to prevent the fading shot from drifting in.


10:35: Gentle touch, Alejandro Bedoya. On a perfectly placed cross from Justin Morrow, Bedoya again overshoots, sending the ball back into the crowd.


10:34: Martinique's second corner kick of the day (the U.S. has 10) ends uneventfully, as Gyasi Zardes heads the ball up the field. Through thick and thin, the U.S. defense has been able to stop Martinique's attack once it gets set up. …

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Live blog: CONCACAF Gold Cup: US vs Martinique

9:06 p.m.: We're underway. Martinique kicks off.


9:04 p.m.: US Goalkeeper Brad Guzan reads a statement against derogratory chants before the game begins, he receives applause from  fans.


8:55: p.m.: The teams take to the field for national anthems and handshakes. The United States and Martinique will kick off the second game of this doubleheader from Group B of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the coming minutes


8:50 p.m.: Starting lineups - US: Guzan, Hedges, Gonzalez, Morrow, Lichhaj, Zrdes, Acosta, Roldan, Morris, Agudelo, Arriola

Martinique: Olimpa, Cretinoir, Delem, Jean-Baptiste, Vitulin, Herelle, Audel, Zaire, Abaul, Parsemain, Arquin


Former USF star Dom Dwyer is on the bench today for the US on his return to Tampa, while former Rowdies loanee Justin Morrow earns his second ever international cap.

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Live blog: CONCACAF Gold Cup - Panama vs Nicaragua

8:30 p.m.: What does this result mean for the United States? They'll likely have to win both of their remaining game sto top the group, but have a good chance of putting up a better goal difference than Panama if they can record some more comfortable victories. Of course, with drama in Group A over French Guiana allegedly fielding an ineligible player it's unclear who may await in the next round.


8:28 p.m.: FINAL: Panama 2-1 Nicaragua. Ffor two minutes early in the second half, Nicaragua looked to be approaching their first ever Gold Cup victory, but goals from Torres and Diaz within the next 10 minutes ensured Panama's victory.


8:24 p.m.: Three minutes of time is all that remains.


8:20 p.m.: After bursting runs down the left, Nicaragua wins a free kick just a couple of feet from the corner of the box. Copete's powerful free kick is right at Calderon, but too powerful for him to hold on to. The ball bounces out to Marlon Lopez, whose deflected shot loops up and onto the roof of the net. 


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Former Gaither standout Drew Doty homers for first professional hit

Former Gaither standout Drew Doty hit a home run for his first professional hit

Douglas R. Clifford | Times

Former Gaither standout Drew Doty hit a home run for his first professional hit

Former Gaither standout Drew Doty has had an eventful few weeks. Doty, who was the Times Hillsborough Player of the Year in 2009, made his professional debut on June 26 for the Lancaster (Penn.) Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. On June 27, in his second at bat, Doty recorded his first major league hit, a home run.

Hi stint on the Barnstormers' roster was supposed to be only a few days, but as of Monday he is still on the team. He is hitting .150 in 40 at bats as an outfielder/designated hitter.

After graduating from Gaither, Doty played at St. Petersburg College, Santa Fe College and the University of Tampa. He was undrafted out of high school and college. He signed with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League in 2015 but tore his labrum before the season started.

Doty worked in a grocery store in Millersville, Pa. before getting the call to fill in for Lancaster.

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Fort Lauderdale Archbishop McCarthy baseball team fined, forced to forfeit games

Fort Lauderdale Archbishop McCarthy was forced to forfeit all regular season games and fined by the FHSAA.


Fort Lauderdale Archbishop McCarthy was forced to forfeit all regular season games and fined by the FHSAA.

Fort Lauderdale Archbishop McCarthy's baseball team has been hit hard by the Florida High School Athletic Association, according to a story in the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel. The team was forced to forfeit all 22 regular season wins and pay a fine of $15,947 for using three ineligible players. However, those players were not used in postseason games, which means the state title the Mavericks won over Jesuit in the Class 6A final in June will stand.

Archbishop McCarthy, which has won seven of the past eight Class 6A championships, has also been placed on probation. The Mavericks were 29-2 overall and were named the top team in the nation by Maxpreps.

The FHSAA investigation began in February after it was tipped off about three players who received impermissable benefits. Here are details about the story.

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NFL lineman Jon Halapio returns to St Petersburg to host football camp

Jon Halapio started every game of the 2011 and 2012 seasons at right guard for the Florida Gators and was named a team captain for 2013, appearing in 10 games.

Getty Images

Jon Halapio started every game of the 2011 and 2012 seasons at right guard for the Florida Gators and was named a team captain for 2013, appearing in 10 games.

Jon Halapio, St. Petersburg Catholic High School grad and current New York Giants offensive lineman, is returning to his former high school to host a free, one-day, non-contact youth football program for 8-12 year-old children on Saturday.

"I'm so excited to be hosting my first football camp this weekend, in my hometown of St. Petersburg," Halapio said in a news release. "Football has played an integral role in virtually every stage of my life. Few environments can teach a child major life skills — like leadership, teamwork, patience, fortitude, and character — like the game of football.

"For me, that age range (8-12 years old) is such an impressionable window for young kids and if we can just use football to reach and connect with them about these valuable life lessons, then that's certainly a scenario where everybody wins — the kids, the families, the schools, and the community as a whole. In the end, that's really the goal of my program." …

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Wiregrass Ranch's Jordan Miner commits to Penn State

Wiregrass Ranch's Jordan Miner catches a pass against Wharton

Tampa Bay Times

Wiregrass Ranch's Jordan Miner catches a pass against Wharton

Wiregrass Ranch defensive back Jordan Miner said Thursday that he was committing to Penn State. 

Miner made his announcement on Spectrum Sports. He chose the Nitany Lions over Florida, Maryland, Oregon and Tennessee. 

A four-star recruit, Miner is ranked among the top 50 players in the state. He had 29 offers before whittling his list down to a top five. 

Last year, Miner had 38 tackles, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. He led the Bulls to a playoff appearance as a district runnerup. 

Penn State currently has two players on the roster from the Tampa Bay area -- receiver Cody Hodgens (Robinson) and defensive back Amani Oruwariye (Gaither). 

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Former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox feels the love (and hate) on social media

Kevin Knox

Kevin Knox

As one of the top recruits in college basketball, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox gets showered with plenty of attention. Most of it is good, but some of it is not so good, as this story points out:

Knox, a 6-foot-9 forward, was recruited by all of the top schools in the country and narrowed his list down to Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Missouri and Florida State. He chose Kentucky, which didn’t sit well with some fans from other schools.

His twitter page was full of positive comments, but there were others who were downright nasty. “Hope you tear your ACL,’’ said one commenter. “What a joke! Another corrupt player to a corrupt program???,’’ said another.

Guess that’s just the way it is in the age of social media.

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Melanie Margalis, Robert Finke each secure spots on US National Swim Team

Former Countryside standout Melanie Margalis is on the US National Team

Special to the Times

Former Countryside standout Melanie Margalis is on the US National Team

A pair of Countryside swimming standouts, past and present, will represent the U.S. National Team at the FINA World Championships July 14-30 in Budapest.

Melanie Margalis, who graduated from Countryside in 2010, won the 200 IM in 2 minutes, 9.57 seconds at the U.S. National Championships. Her time ranks as the third-fastest in the world this year.

Margalis won a gold medal in the 4x200 meter relay at the Rio Olympics after swimming a leg in the preliminaries. She also took fourth in the 200 IM in Rio.

This week, she secured a spot on the U.S. 4x200 relay thanks to her third-place finish in the 200 free at the national meet.

Margalis swam for the Cougars from 2006-09 and won the state title in the 200-yard IM three times, including a state-record time of one minute, 57.07 seconds in '09, a mark that still stands. She went on to swim for the University of Georgia.

Robert Finke, a rising senior at Countryside, made the team after taking second in the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:01.31 at the national meet.

The field in the 1500 was wide open with no Olympians or national team members in the finals. True Sweester, a sophomore at Stanford, won in 14:59.73. …

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Tampa Mustangs square off in national 14U softball final

The Tampa Bay area has become a prime destination for college softball recruiters, especially underclassmen and middle schoolers.

That talent was on display this week at the Colorado Fireworks Tournament in Denver. The Tampa Mustangs had a pair of 14U teams that advanced to the championship game of their power pool.

In the all-Tampa final, the Mustangs-TJ beat the Mustangs-Hennigar 8-5. The game was televised on ESPN 3.

Jenna Lord, an incoming freshman at Sunlake, hit three homers in the title game, including a three-run shot in the first inning. Admiral Farragut sophomore Krystina Hartley hit a solo homer for the Mustangs-Hennigar.

The two teams were the only ones from the bay area selected for the 48-team field in that age bracket. The players will all be freshmen and sophomores this year. 

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