The teasers to the 2013 high school football season are mostly kicking off this week in Pinellas County. Spring football offers up sneak peeks of what different programs have in store this fall, but at a limited level. Incoming freshmen are months away from suiting up, playbooks are scaled down and the intensity isn't quite like autumn Friday nights. Regarding North Pinellas programs, four of the five will be taking the field either tonight or Friday night. The exception is East Lake, which will play host to Osceola May 31. Palm Harbor University is holding a three-team game tonight that also features two of the county's top teams in recent years: Countryside and Largo.
Tarpon Springs gets to work one night later when it travels north to Brooksville to play at Nature Coast Tech. Dunedin High will play its spring game against Seminole on Thursday. East Lake athletes recognized: East Lake High School student-athletes received plenty of attention for their accolades on various sporting surfaces, but they aren't too shabby in the classroom, either. The Eagles were named the Class 8A Florida High School Athletic Association Academic Team Champion, outpacing Sarasota Riverview and Vero Beach by considerable margins to earn the honor. It's the third straight year that East Lake has won its overall classification. The FHSAA has a point system that ranks all the school's athletic teams. Rankings for the three sports seasons — fall, winter and spring — are compiled when they each end. Then they are compiled to determine the overall winners in each classification for the entire school year. East Lake's cumulative 144 point total cleared Riverview (110) and Vero Beach (94) to top all Class 8A schools. The Eagles overall score was the second highest in the state, finishing just behind Class 4A Berkeley Prep of Tampa. East Lake was the only Pinellas County public school to finish in any classification's top 10. St. Petersburg's Northside Christian (Class 3A, ninth) and Keswick Christian (Class 2A, third) made the cut.