Numerous NP coaches, athletes among award winners

The 2012-13 school year resulted in plenty of celebratory moments for North Pinellas sports programs.

Whether it was Palm Harbor University wrestling producing its first individual state champion, Jared Prince, or the East Lake boys and girls soccer teams exciting fans with deep postseason runs, area student-athletes put on quite a memorable show this year.

During a ceremony last week, many of the coaches who helped guide those top performances gained a little recognition for their efforts.

The Pinellas County Athletic Conference held its 2013 Coach of the Year Luncheon on June 3, at which peers from each sport select the one coach that stood out among the rest.

And of the 20 total sideline leaders recognized, 10 came from North Pinellas schools.

Six of those 10 steered East Lake High School teams and were: Terry O'Reilly, boys golf; Timothy O'Keefe, girls swimming; Alex Stenson, boys soccer; Sergei Stopek, girls soccer; Dan Genna, baseball; and Britt Taylor, girls track.

The four other North Pinellas coaches recognized were: PHU's Darryl Southard, girls cross country, and Kerry Katchuk, softball; Dunedin's Kassandra Will, volleyball; and Countryside's Ian O'Neil, boys swimming.

Four student-athletes were also honored at the luncheon, including Dunedin wrestler Clarence Arrington. The senior won his second straight Class 2A state title this season and earned the Knology Athlete of the Year award.

Receiving the Henry Deck Award for male and female athletes of the year in the county were Jack Maguire of St. Petersburg High, who won the Class 2A boys golf state title, and Tianah Alvarado of Lakewood High, a top girls basketball prospect.

The Mike McPheron Award, which recognizes a student-athlete who overcame life challenges to achieve personal and athletic success, went to Lakewood High's Shaquem Griffin. Griffin, a defensive back who will play at the University of Central Florida next season, was born with a deformed hand that eventually was amputated.

MLB draft recap: A handful of North Pinellas-bred baseball players got calls from Major League Baseball teams last week during the annual first-year player draft.

Leading the pack was former PHU pitcher Kyle Westwood, now at the University of North Florida, selected in the 13th round by Houston.

Seven rounds later in the 20th, Seattle picked up Saint Leo catcher Daniel Torres, a Countryside grad.

Rounding out the trio of area selections was Dalton Martinez, son of Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Dave Martinez. Dalton did not play for an area high school this season after being with Countryside for his first three years.
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