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12 posts from April 2007

April 11, 2007

Reports of Pace's demise exaggerated

I stand guilty as charged for thinking Pace would struggle this season in baseball.

Granted, there's no denying the team has had a drop-off in power hitting after losing great hitters like Adrian Cardenas and Chris Marrero, but that doesn't mean they can't compete with top-flight teams.

They have a stud lefty in Chris Hernandez. He was hitting the low 90s last night in front of a bunch of scouts last night. I counted at least 7 radar guns behind the plate, checking out Pace's dominant ace. Add lefty Anthony Gallego to the picture and the Spartans, if healthy, have a solid 1-2 pitching punch for the postseason.

Their lineup can also make good contact starting with the top of the lineup with outfielder Ozney Guillen - son of Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie - and with leading hitter third baseman Miguel Sanchez. First baseman Rene Mateo, who went 2 for 3, is a great contact hitter.

Pace's toughest obstacles in the regional playoffs are Cardinal Gibbons and Merritt Island. But the Spartans have quality wins like American Heritage, Flanagan and close losses to Palm Beach Gardens and Sarasota.

Pace is still good enough to make a run to reach Sarasota again if they can win one of these big games at home.

But repeating looks difficult with still undefeated Orlando Bishop Moore, which is ranked 18th nationally right now by Baseball America, in the way.

April 10, 2007

George Edmonson

Last Wednesday I was watching the Miami Heat game while on vacation and I was saddened when I heard that Miami-Dade College sports information director George Edmonson had passed away.

George was the SID when I got my first real newspaper writing experience as a student at Miami-Dade and although we didn't work together a great deal, we always got a long great and he was there to help whenever I needed information to write a story.

Then at the Herald during my years as a sports clerk, we'd often chat for a little bit about sports over the phone as if he'd known me forever.

From former Metropolis sports editor, Andre Fernandez, I want to extend my personal condolences to his family.

last but not least...6A

Good to see Edwin Rios and Javi Gonzalez get their due on this team, as well as Ely superstar Kenny Boynton and Dr. Phillips' stud senior guard Chris Warren. That was some duel in Lakeland.
First Team
Jordan Bolton (Winter Park) 6-5 Sr. F
Kenny Boynton Jr. (Pompano Beach Ely) 6-2 So. G
Orane Chin (Miramar) 6-8 Sr. C
Javier Gonzalez (Miami Dr. Krop) 6-0 Sr. G
Edward Rios (Miami Senior) 6-1 Sr. G
Chris Warren (Orlando Dr. Phillips) 5-11 Sr. G

Second Team
Roderick Bombard (Orlando Edgewater) 5-11 Sr. G
P.J. Gaynor (Jacksonville Mandarin) 6-9 Jr. C
T.Y. Hilton (Miami Springs) 5-10 Jr. G
Chris Malcolm (Orlando Timber Creek) 6-7 Sr. F
Alex Starling (Miami Killian) 6-3 Sr. F
Tony Watson II (Palm Beach Gardens) 6-1 So. G

Third Team
Anthony Banks (Lantana Santaluces) 6-6 Jr. F-C
Isiah Brown (South Miami) 6-7 Sr. F
Rashard Dantzler (South Dade) 6-4 Sr. F
Ariel Robinson (Parkland Stoneman Douglas) 6-4 Sr. F
Willie Whitfield (Miami Springs) 6-5 Sr. C
Julius Williams (Lakeland) 6-4 Sr. F

Honorable Mention
Tevin Galvin (Flagler Palm Coast) 6-4 Jr. G; George Gray (Miami
Northwestern) 5-9 Sr. G; Max Groebe (Miami Dr. Krop) 6-5 Sr. F; Mike Harris
(Orange Park) 6-0 Sr. G; Anthony Jackson (Melbourne) 6-4 Sr. F; Carlin
Jacobs (Pompano Beach Ely) 6-3 Sr. G; Matt Johnson (Tampa Sickles) 6-5 Sr.
C; Mitch McGrath (Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley) 6-3 Jr. G; Anthony
Phillips (Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson) 6-4 Sr. F; Cory Roth (Jacksonville
Sandalwood) 6-6 Sr. G; Ray Willis (Orlando Dr. Phillips) 6-5 Jr. F; Marcell
Williams (Ocoee) 6-7 Sr. C

April 06, 2007

The Lake Howell team

First Team
Dantae Anderson (Gainesville Eastside) 6-4 Jr. G-F
Nick Calathes (Winter Park Lake Howell) 6-6 Sr. F-G
Shaquille Johnson (Jacksonville Lee) 6-3 Jr. G
Ed Nixon (St. Petersburg Lakewood) 6-3 Sr. G
Chandler Parsons (Winter Park Lake Howell) 6-9 Sr. C-F
Joey Rodriguez (Winter Park Lake Howell) 5-10 Sr. G

Second Team
Fred Brown (Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer) 6-2 Sr. F
Anthony Dorsey (St. Petersburg Lakewood) 6-3 Sr. F-G
Lance Kearse (Fort Myers) 6-7 Sr. F
Larry Sanders (Port St. Lucie) 6-9 Sr. F
Shawn Vanzant (Tampa Wharton) 6-1 Sr. G
Kore White (Fort Lauderdale Dillard) 6-9 Jr. C

Third Team
Jarrell Douglass (Leesburg) 6-4 Sr. F
Anthony Gomez (Tampa Wharton) 5-9 Sr. G
Edward Lonon Jr. (Fort Lauderdale Dillard) 6-3 Jr. G
Dago Pena (Punta Gorda Charlotte) 6-5 Jr. G-F
Freddie Riley (Ocala Vanguard) 6-5 Jr. G-F
Phadarius Taylor (Jacksonville Wolfson) 6-2 Sr. G

Honorable Mention
Joe Alleva (Daytona Beach Seabreeze) 6-3 Sr. G; John Barnes (Fort Walton Beach) 5-10 Jr. G; Carlos Figueroa (Tampa Chamberlain) 6-5 Sr. F; Marcus Capers (Eagle Lake Lake Region) 6-4 Jr. G; Greg Gantt (Gainesville) 6-2 So. G-F; Derrio Greer (Lynn Haven Mosley) 6-1 Sr. G; Jakeem Hill (Lake City Columbia) 6-4 1/2 Sr. F; Martavis Kee (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) 6-3 Sr. G; Luke Loucks (Clearwater) 6-3 Jr. G; Jared Mabry (Tallahassee
Lincoln) 6-1 Sr. G (18.3 ppg., 3.1 rpg., 3.0 apg., 2.0 spg.) Dre Ross (Rutherford) 6-3 Sr. F; Dominique Waters (Jacksonville First Coast) 6-0 Sr. G.

Ray Shipman headlines 4A All-State

Pace's Ray Shipman should have had a shot at Mr. Basketball as the Class 4A state player of the year. He makes first team at least.
First Team
Adam Allen (Milton) 6-7 Sr. F
Dominique Jones (Lake Wales) 6-4 Sr. G
Samuel McLauren (Havana East Gadsden) 6-7 Jr. F
Alvin Mitchell (Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons) 6-5 Sr. F
Rayford Shipman (Miami Monsignor Pace) 6-5 Jr. G
Walt Torrance (Port Orange Atlantic) 6-1 Sr. G

Second Team
Idell Bell (Lakeland Kathleen) 6-2 Sr. G
Joe Hills (Palmetto) 6-5 Sr. F
Dan Krazit (Orlando Bishop Moore) 6-0 Sr. G
Evan Reece (Orange Park Ridgeview) 6-0 Sr. G
Sheldon Shine (Arcadia Desoto County) 6-3 Sr. G
Ray Taylor (Miami Monsignor Pace) 5-6 So. G

Third Team
David Blackwell (Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons) 6-3 Jr. G
Jerel Blocker (Lake Wales) 6-4 Sr. F
Chad Lutkenhaus (LaBelle) 6-5 Sr. G-F
Miguel Paul (Lakeland Kathleen) 6-1 Sr. G
C.J. Reed (Port Orange Atlantic) 6-2 Jr. G
Mike Whisman (Celebration) 6-5 Sr. F

Honorable Mention
Latrell Baker (Citra North Marion) 6-0 Sr. G; Mike Bedford (Eustis) 6-1 Sr. G; Calvin Buckholtz (Jacksonville Andrew Jackson) 6-2 Sr. G; Andrew Darst (Tampa Jesuit) 6-4 Sr. F; Damon Evans (Eustis) 6-2 Sr. G; Nick Hollinghead (Cocoa) 6-5 Sr. C; Reshard McGill (Havana East Gadsden) 6-2 Jr. G-F; Terrance Mitchell (Milton) 6-2 Sr. F; Anthony Salter (Tallahassee Rickards) 5-11 Jr. G; Shay Shine (Arcadia DeSoto County) 6-5 Jr. G; Steven
Shipwash (Alachua Santa Fe) 6-0 Jr. G; Joey Woods (Naples Golden Gate) 6-3 Sr. G.

April 05, 2007

If we don't already know, we might now

Kissimmee Klassic starts Thursday and we will find out how good Palmetto's softball team is after this weekend.

That's because bless their hearts and I mean that giving them props for taking on the competition they will in the Blue division of the tournament - by far the most loaded of the three brackets.

Some of the names in their division:

Cooper City - 4th in Class 6A

Clearwater Countryside - 9th in 6A

Tampa Chamberlain - 1st in 5A...SlamFest champs

Groveland South Lake - 3rd in 4A

Pines Charter - 4th in 4A

Bartow - 8th in 4A, 3-time state champ

Lake Wales - 9th in 4A

No breaks in that slate, but it should toughen them up for the stretch run.

Today's lucky winner: La Salle's Ruben Cotto

Ruben Cotto of La Salle makes 2nd team All-State in Class 3A

Benito Santiago, Jr. gets gipped for some odd reason. I don't get it, honestly.

Anyway here's the team:

First Team
Adam Branch (Interlachen) 6-6 Sr. C
Myk Brown (Gainesville P.K. Yonge) 6-4 Sr. F-G
Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest) 6-3 Fr. G
Rihard Kuksiks (Melbourne Florida Air Academy) 6-6 Sr. G-F
Willie Powers (Gainesville P.K. Yonge) 6-2 Sr. G
Chris Summers (Jacksonville Ribault) 6-6 Sr. F
Second Team
Ruben Cotto (Miami La Salle) 6-1 Jr. G
Jiwan James (Williston) 6-4 Sr. F-G
Josh Jones (Jasper Hamilton County) 6-2 So. G-F
Ed Rolax (St. Petersburg Catholic) 6-6 Sr. F
Ian Scott (Mount Dora) 6-4 Sr. G
Eloy Vargas (Plantation American Heritage) 6-10 Jr. F-C

Third Team
Deon Kennedy (Chipley) 6-1 Sr. F
Demetrius Porter (Boca Raton St. Andrew's) 6-5 Sr. F
Quenton Ragland (Jacksonville Ribault) 5-11 Sr. G
Matt Sauey (Ocala Trinity Catholic) 6-6 Jr. F
Brett Williams (Oviedo Hagerty) 6-3 So. G
Brent Wood (Fort Myers Bishop Verot) 6-4 Sr. G-F

Honorable Mention
Antonio Allen (Ocala Trinity Catholic) 6-2 Sr. F; Zach Bailey (Hollywood
Chaminade Madonna) 6-1 Jr. G; Jerome Burgos (Melbourne Florida Air Academy)
6-0 Sr. G; E.J. Ciaccio (Tampa Catholic) 6-3 Sr. G; Gilberto Clevell
(Melbourne Florida Air Academy) 6-5 Sr. F; Cedric Cox (Frostproof) 6-2 Sr.
G; Justin Davis (Jacksonville Episcopal) 6-10 Sr. C; Demetrice McCray
(Wildwood) 6-0 So. G; Nakita Myles (Bratt Northview) 5-10 Jr. G; Tracy
Parks (St. Petersburg Catholic) 6-0 Jr. G; Brandon Reese (Fort Lauderdale
Pine Crest) 5-10 Jr. G; Kyle Sarra (Pensacola Catholic) 5-10 Sr. G.

April 04, 2007

Yasmani Grandal is the real deal

This kid's got power from the plate, skills behind the plate and he hustles.

During the couple of hours I spent covering that game, he came up in conversation several times among the people watching the game at Westminster Academy that included Major league scouts and legendary coach Rich Hofman.

Between him and Chris and Adrian Morales, Pablo Bermudez and Yoandy Barroso, Springs, in my opinion, has the best lineup among Dade's 6As. They tagged Miami Christian, a state ranked team in 2A, for 16 hits and hit 3 monster HRs, and have done similar things most of the season.

But pitching is the question mark.

They get back one of their aces in Rey Cotilla, who's been out the whole season, but this is where I think teams like Palmetto or Killian with deep pitching staffs can hurt them if they get consistent come playoff time.

It should be most interesting to see how the wild card in all this plays out ... and that's who will win crazy District 15-6A. The district that's always loaded with talented players and unpredictably exciting in the playoffs. Will it be Columbus, South Miami, Braddock?

I'm going to go out on a limb and call at least one playoff upset by an unlikely team against a favorite and that could be Sunset against whoever they're playing.

Springs and Hialeah will duel for the 14-6A title, and Palmetto, Killian, Coral Reef and Southridge will make the 4-team 16-6A title, interesting.

Going back to Springs before I go, they have a big test next week against Florida Christian - and a chance to see Dade's top two home run sluggers, Grandal and David Villasuso square off.

I'm out.

April 03, 2007

Class 2A All-State (Montverde heavy)

First Team
Solomon Alabi (Montverde Academy) 7-1 Sr. C
Gary Clark (Montverde Academy) 6-4 Sr. G
Larry Jackson (Greensboro West Gadsden) 6-1 Sr. G-F
Devon Lamb (Jacksonville Arlington Country Day) 6-2 Sr. G
Walter Perkins (Tampa Prep) 6-6 Sr. C
A.J. Stewart (Jacksonville Arlington Country Day) 6-8 Sr. F
Second Team
Justin Cecil (Lakeland Christian) 6-8 Sr. C
Muha Conteh (Jacksonville Providence) 6-7 Jr. F
Dashon Harris (Montverde Academy) 6-0 Jr. G
Quinard Jackson (North Palm Beach Benjamin) 6-5 Jr. F
Rashard Rouse (Port St. Joe) 6-0 Jr. G
David Waller (Tampa Prep) 6-5 Jr. F
Third Team
Greg Beretta (Community School of Naples) 5-9 Sr. G
Altavious Carter (West Palm Beach Summit Christian) 6-5 So. F
Gabriel Charly (Jacksonville Arlington Country Day) 6-2 Sr. G
Billy Serle (Daytona Beach Father Lopez) 6-5 Jr. G
Jared Siedow (St. Augustine St. Joseph Academy) 6-3 Sr. G
Bryan Walker (Sneads) 6-1 Sr. G
Honorable Mention
Gabi Belado (Montverde Academy) 6-0 Jr. G; David Brown (Delray American
Heritage) 6-2 Sr. G; Jamey Goddin (Freeport) 6-0 Jr. G; Jason Holland
(Altha) 6-3 Sr. F; Rick Katz (West Palm Beach Summit Christian)
6-2 Jr. G-F; J.P. Kuhlman (Jacksonville Providence) 6-1 So. G; Matt Miller
(Lakeland Christian) 6-1 Sr. G; Greg Nelson (Jay) 6-1 So. G; Richard
Petruccelli (Mount Dora Bible) 6-0 Sr. G; David Swan (Jacksonville Arlington
Country Day) 6-1 Sr. G; Martez Walker (Montverde Academy) 6-7 Jr. F; Jean
Michel Yotio (Montverde Academy) 6-10 Sr. F-C.

April 02, 2007

Class 1A All-State


First Team

David Loubeau (Davie Westlake Prep) 6-9 So. C

D.J. Magley (Bradenton Christian) 6-10 Sr. C

Shamar Marston (Lake Mary Prep) 6-6 Jr. F-C

Daniel Martinez (Tampa Bayshore Christian) 6-0 Sr. G

Ed Piccinini (Orlando Pine Castle Christian) 6-1 Jr. G

Vytas Sulskis (Gainesville The Rock) 6-6 Sr. G-F (17.7 ppg., 7.8 rpg., 4.2

spg., 1.1 bpg., 3.4 apg.)

Second Team

Kevin Cantinol (Clearwater Calvary Christian) 6-9 Sr. F

Keith Germann (Allentown Central) 6-0 Sr. F

Andres Irarrazabal (Weston Sagemont) 6-6 Sr. F-C

Willie Kirkland (Graceville) 6-3 Sr. F

Carlos Parra (Boca Raton Grandview Prep) 5-7 So. G

Antwan Towns (West Palm Beach Berean Christian) 6-8 Sr. C

Third Team

Thomas Austin (Orlando Pine Castle Christian) 6-0 Jr. G

Bryan Benefiiel (Lake Mary Prep) 5-11 Sr. G

Jacob de Grom (Ormond Beach Calvary Christian) 6-3 Sr. F

David Minaya (Oldsmar Christian) 6-6 Sr. F

Marlon Rivera (Miami Calusa Prep) 6-1 Jr. G

Josh Snodgrass (Gainesville The Rock) 6-3 So. G

Honorable Mention

Juan Alverio (Miami Calusa Prep) 6-5 Sr. F; Christian bibi Ndongo

(Clearwater Calvary Christian) 6-8 Jr. C; Logan Campbell (Allentown Central)

6-2 Jr. F-C; Billy Donovan (Gainesville St. Francis) 5-9 Fr. G; Harris Gelin

(Boca Raton Grandview Prep) 6-4 Sr. G; Ryan Gogarty (Fort Myers Southwest

Florida Christian) 6-4 Sr. G; Mike Kirkhart (Lakeland Victory Christian) 6-5

Sr. F; Tom Leonard (Palm Bay Covenant Christian) 6-6 Sr. F-C; James McGlynn

(Tallahassee John Paul II Catholic) 6-7 Sr. C; David Norwood (Seffner

Christian) 6-0 Sr. G; Daniel Oliver (Orlando Christian Prep) 5-10 Sr. G;

Chris Perez (Oldsmar Christian) 6-0 So. G; Kory Pugh (Orlando Pine Castle

Christian) 6-3 Jr. F; Jeffrey Reese (Laurel Hill) 6-3 Jr. G-F; Ryan Scharps (Lake Worth Christian) 6-6 Jr.

F; Eddie Stafford (Lake Mary Prep) 5-11 Sr. G; Chris Taylor (Lakeland

Sonrise Christian); Mackenzie Williams (Apalachicola) 6-1 Sr. G.