Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Private Funds Keep Endangered Sports Going

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Private Funds Keep Endangered Sports Going

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Boleky

Editor's Note: This is Mark Boleky's last column for the Southside Sun, which ceases publication Sept. 15.

The fall high school sports season is now under way, and the best thing I can say about it is ... they're all here! Golf and cross-country were at risk, but community groups have raised private funds to cover the needed costs of both of these sports in Duval County.

There are still some questions about winter and spring sports, such as wrestling and lacrosse, as well as what to do next year. But I'm happy we're all set for this fall.

Football kicked off Aug. 25, and the Times-Union sports section did a fine job of previewing area gridiron teams, so I'm focusing on the other sports at Southside high schools.


Not a lot of the Stingray teams made much noise in their first year of existence in 2010. That was to be expected, especially since there were no senior athletes. One fall highlight was junior swimmer Hanna Schaefer placing ninth in the FHSAA Class 2A state meet 200-yard IM event.

Atlantic Coast coaches are Rebecca Solomon, bowling, first year; Dione Thomas, boys cross-country, first year; Marcellus Holmes, girls cross-country; Joel Davis, boys golf; George Davis, girls golf; Amber Walker, swimming; and John Alipio, volleyball.


The Crusader program was strong as usual last fall, and should be again. The girls swim team was the most dominant, coming in second at the FHSAA Class 2A state. In a big loss, Heather Coutts graduated, after winning the state 100-yard backstroke and placing second in the 100 butterfly. The boys swim team finished 16th in the state.

Both cross-country teams were solid, coming in top 10 in the state. Eric Portalatin and Lauren Barr graduated, and were big-time runners, but Michael Barr and Macey Kaczorowski are both back and were some of the best in the region last year. The girls volleyball team was solid, making it to the regional finals last year. …

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