Pinellas-Hillsborough all-star soccer games lead off busy weekend
CLEARWATER - Winter sports aren't quite finished up just yet. Soccer jumps back onto center stage Friday night at Countryside High School with the 2013 Senior Soccer Challenge that pits some of the best senior boys and girls from Pinellas County against their counterparts from Hillsborough. Beyond providing players with one last night under the lights as a high school athlete, the games also allow players to showcase themselves to college recruiters who typically attend. All four teams — boys and girls from both counties — are made up of 22 players apiece. Fourteen of the Pinellas girls and 12 of the boys represent North County schools this year.Players are provided additional incentive during this event in the form of four $1,000 scholarships and four MVP scholarships being up for grabs. Pinellas County has largely dominated the games for both genders of late. The boys ran their winning streak over Hillsborough to five after winning 4-2 in penalty kicks. The girls' streak of three straight victories over Hillsborough ended in 2012 when they fell, 3-1. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students and youths. Children under 8 get in for free. Parking is $2 and the price of admission is good for both games. Tickets can also be purchased in advance for $5 by sending emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Going on at the same time as the all-star soccer game and just down the road will be another annual springtime event. Palm Harbor University High School's Lady Canes Spring Softball Tournament will start Friday afternoon and extend into Saturday. This year's tournament attracted 16 teams, primarily from Pinellas and Hillsborough, but also one from Pasco and Citrus. North Pinellas programs involved are PHU, East Lake, Tarpon Springs and Dunedin. Most games will be played at Clearwater's Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex, on Drew Street. PHU will attempt to defend its title and once again win its own tournament. Last year's final played out as a wild, 10-inning slugfest against rival East Lake. PHU won 15-14. Be sure to check out The Suncoast News online at www.SuncoastNews.com for coverage and photos from Friday's soccer games and Saturday's softball schedule.