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Spring seasons under way
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Updated: 02/21/2013 08:00:03AM

Spring seasons under way

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Larry Jewett

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The winter sports season has wrapped up for most of the teams at Bartow High School. The boys basketball team was involved in a regional game last night in East Bay (results unknown at press time) and a win will mean they play on in the weekend in a quest to repeat the recent state title.

For the boys’ wrestling team, senior wrestler Brian Pennington carried the school colors to the final day of the Florida High School Athletic Association state tournament. Winning his first two matches on Friday, Pennington fell in the opening match of the 132-pound class on Saturday and earned fourth place.

Now, the attention is shifting to spring sports, most of which have already started. The varsity boys baseball team will again be led by manager Robbie Harris, who will be assisted by Tim Delph and Jeff Ruiz. After participating in the Preseason Classic in Lake Wales, the team will be hosting Lake Placid tomorrow at 7 p.m. One other home game is scheduled for February as Bartow will host Sebring in another 7 p.m. starter. Home dates in the month of March include a doubleheader contest featuring both the JV and varsity squads against George Jenkins on March 12. The game will be the first of a three-game home stand at Bill Phebus Field that also includes a match-up with Lake Gibson on March 14 and a home date with Lakeland on March 15. Three home games will be played in April with Ridge arriving on April 5, Lake Region meeting Bartow in a mid-week match-up on April 10 and the final regular season home game, which will honor the senior players, will be held on April 16 against Fort Meade.

The junior varsity baseball team will be coached by Ross Jeske and the squad will play 12 games before spring break. In addition to the games scheduled with the varsity (Feb. 19 versus Lake Wales, Feb. 22 versus Lake Gibson, March 7 against Lake Wales and March 12 against Jenkins), the team will have four games at Bill Phebus Field. The JV squad will face off with Lake Region on March 4 with another home game the next day against Lake Gibson. The team will match up with Fort Meade on March 11 and close the regional home season with the back half of a “home and home” series with Sebring on March 21. The team will also be playing in the JV Classic at Lake Gibson from April 1-6.

The boys and girls track and field teams start their season today against Teneroc after hosting the pre-season classic last week. Like some sports, the track teams have very few home dates, but will maintain an active schedule in and around Polk County. The date to be circled on the calendar is the annual JJ Corbett Meet at Bartow High School, which will be held on April 5.

The event serves as the perfect tune-up for upcoming district competition, leading to the state meet which will again be held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The girls team is coached by Marnee Cobb while the head coach of the boys team is coach Jesse Marion.

The 2013 boys tennis team will have a long home stand in the middle of their schedule, which will be coming sooner than you may imagine. The team has already participated in five matches with the home opener held last night at the Bartow Civic Center courts. The team, coached by third-year tennis coach Michael Brennan, heads to Winter Haven tomorrow before starting the string of six consecutive matches at the Civic Center.

The home stand starts with George Jenkins on Feb. 26 and continues with Kathleen on Feb. 28. Four more matches line up in the month of March as Lake Region comes to Bartow on March 4, Santa Fe arrives on March 7, All Saints Academy visits on March 12 and McKeel Academy closes the run on March 14. From there, the team will travel to Kelly Rec in Lakeland the next week to participate in the Polk County tournament. District play starts at the Edgewood complex in early April. With the exception of the Santa Fe match, which will start at 4 p.m., home matches begin at 3:30 p.m.

Angela Reynolds has taken over coaching duties for the 2013 Bartow High School girls tennis team. The Lady Jacket squad has six matches under its belt, half of those on the familiar confines of the Bartow Civic Center. The team will return to the home court on Monday (Feb. 25) for a meeting with Hardee. Three days later, it will be Lake Gibson for a district matchup before the team hits the road to play Kathleen. A non-district match with McKeel is set for Tuesday, March 5.

All Saints Academy comes to play on March 12 and the home season concludes with senior night, a 3:30 match with Lake Wales. The Polk County tournament starts on March 18.

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