The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on May 15, 1991 · 61
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 61

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Wednesday, May 15, 1991
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61
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Peninsula-9 THE TAMPA TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 15, 1991 ; Doug Carlson i -Plant City man teaching values 'from ringside 1 PLANT CITY To the average man, tfte distinction between amateur and professional boxing is as vague as the boundary line between two counties. The highway looks the same on either side. 1 In Plant City, Ralph Worthington is on a crusade founded in the understanding that the highway isn't the same on either side. On the amateur side, anyway, he contends the road is built by hard work, discipline and loyalty to a project. ; On the professional side, well, that's where the grease and grime residue of greed and selfishness can sometimes be found. The victims have been documented beside that stretch of asphalt. . They have been run over by a sport that sometimes is not capable of policing itself, allowing virtual pimps to make a buck. IT At its .best, professional boxing is a mi-drocosmic spectacle of the human struggle for survival. At its worst, it is a cock fight in dark woods. 2 Amateur boxing isn't without detractors, either. What Worthington argues, however, ii? the detractions stem from misunderstanding. That's why Worthington, 62, has organized, coached and fought for the sport. 3 Today in a vacant barn behind Barnett Liquor Stores on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Plant City, he does all three. 15-to-l against staying Worthington, a retired Air Force master sergeant, organized the Plant City Cobra Boxing Club because he is intent on rewarding a community with the gift of the sport he loves. In a month, the club has grown to nearly a dozen potential boxers from 11-24 years old. Worthington coaches them in fundamentals that lean more toward the importance of dedication and commitment than to the significance of knowing when to use the uppercut. And each day, Worthington is fighting to make understood the significance boxing can have for a community's resources. This isn't New York City, but Plant City has suffered its share of crack cocaine abuse and wasted human potential. "I want to teach them to keep their mind in boxing so when they go outside and do other things they'll use their mind there, too," Worthington said from the perimeter of the open barn. On a humid Wednesday, 10 boys were going through their workouts inside and out, jumping rope, running, hitting the heavy bag and sparring. Most are not ready to spar in the makeshift ring of rope and worn indoor carpeting on a cement floor. "He has to train for three months before he can box," Worthington said, referring to no one in particular. "I won't let him spar until he learns to defend himself. Then I'll put him there with an older kid who knows enough to take it easy on him." In the time it takes to actually hit somebody at Worthington's club, many of the kids who wander into the barn are gone back to whatever they were doing before. Worthington said it takes 10 or 15 kids to get one who will stay for more than a year. "And it takes 25 to 30 boys to get one who will stay for several years," he said. The barn was free In the short time many of the boxers are in the program, Worthington hopes he can make an impression. He makes it as easy as possible to become involved. A participant pays an annual $15 fee to become a member of the United States Amateur Boxing Federation, which records all sanctioned events and helps ensure the safety of the sport. Other costs are limited to sharing expenses on any of the several trips the club will take in a year's time to participate in various amateur cards around the state. Worthington, who coached a Police Athletic League boxing club in Orlando for eight years until the group no longer could retain the needed financial support, has been fortunate so far with the Cobra club. Tampa businessman Steve Prevatt donated use of the barn behind his liquor stores for a practice facility. Worthington has received coaching assistance from Plant City boxer Bruce Hall and ex-fighter Richard Garcia, as well as Plant City High teacher Ron Becton. Some of the equipment has been donated and Worthington is recruiting local sponsors to help with expenses. But his greatest reward so far has been the Influx of boys into the program. His greatest hope is that they will become a community reward whether or not they learn to use the uppercut. Woodruff's resiliency pays off with Tigers LAKELAND It was a fitting ending to the college baseball career of Pat Woodruff. He was watching an afternoon matinee of "Bull Durham" by himself, when he decided to hang up his cleats, pack it in, call it a career. For weeks Woodruff had sat by his tele- FSL Patrick Conners phone waiting for a call from anyone. After a two-year career at the University of Texas at Arlington, Woodruff had not been drafted, even though the Philadelphia Phillies had told him they would. Just like in the movie, Woodruff learned baseball can be a game with a lot of broken promises. So he quit for a few hours. "Of course, a few hours after I quit baseball the Phillies called me up," Woodruff said. "It was an easy decision to make." Woodruff played for a year and a half in the Phillies' farm system. Considering his first three years of college at Nebraska and San Diego State were dedicated solely to football, he believed last year's .240 average with 49 RBI and 34 stolen bases in 135 games at Clearwater was a significant improvement. The Phillies disagreed and released him at the end of the season. "When you get released there's nothing verbal about it," Woodruff said. "I got a certified letter that said, 'Pat Woodruff, you have been unconditionally released. Bam! Just like that, it's over." This time Woodruff didn't wait for a phone call. He picked up the phone himself and called Joe McDonald, the Tigers' Director of Player Development. McDonald decided to give Woodruff one more chance, and no one has been disappointed because of it Woodruff practically has carried the Lakeland Tigers to their present position atop the Central Division standings. He is tied for first with six home runs and 24 RBI, and his .347 batting average is second in the league. "Sometimes a guy gets a new lease on life, and that's all he needs," Lakeland Manager John Lipon said. "Sometimes all of a sudden a guy just learns how to hit the ball better. Pat has a lot of potential, and he sure has come through for us this year." Perhaps Woodruff's most impressive statistic has been his three game-winning home runs. On March 13 he hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to give Lakeland a 12-9 victory against Osceola. On May 2, he hit a solo shot in the bottom of the 12th to beat West Palm Beach 6-5. Saturday he hit a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to beat Winter Haven 6-5. "I've never had so many game- Batting leaders Player, team Avg. G AB H HR RBI John Massarelli. Osceola Pat Woodruff. Lakeland Chris Colon. Charlotte Scott Cepicky. Sarasota Rusty Greer, Charlotte .363 26 113 18 41 1 17 .347 26 95 17 33 6 24 .327 27 104 14 34 0 10 .322 29 115 20 37 3 24 .320 29 115 20 37 3 18 Home Runs Hayden (Miami) 6; Woodruff (Lakeland) 6; McMurray (Vero Beach) 5; Hyde (Clearwater) 4. RBI Woodruff, (Lakeland) 24; Cepicky Sarasota) 24; Hayden (Miami) 20; Fordyce (St. Lucie) 19; Howard (St. Lucie) 19. Stolen Bases Howell (St. Lucie) 17; Griffin (Vero Beach) 15; Moore (Baseball City) 13; Massarelli (Osceola) 12. Pitching leaders Player, team W-L ERA IP H BB SO Mark Hutton, Fort Lauderdale 3-2 0.72 38 22 20 33 Kevin Shaw, Baseball City 2-2 0.74 36 31 11 23 Tom Drell, Lakeland 2-1 0.77 23 19 6 10 Nate Minchey, Miami 2-1 1.29 42 29 20 27 Rick Shackle, St. Petersburg 2-1 1 .29 35 28 9 21 Saves Batchelor (Fort Lauderdale) 9; Salvior (St. Petersburg) 8; Braley (Lakeland) 8. Strikeouts Michno (Miami) 44, Bolton (Sarasota) 41; Newhart (Dunedin) 41; Painter (Winter Haven) 39. winners this close together," Woodruff said. "I can't explain it except that I'm just a lot more relaxed this year. Last year I was trying to hit on top of the ball and was worried about trying to hit a lot of line drives. This year I'm just swinging away, and while I'm popping the ball up more, a lot of them are going out of the ball park." Woodruff, a former tailback in college, also has supplied Lakeland with speed, collecting nine stolen bases. He hardly considers himself the Jose Canseco of the Florida State League. He knows that in the minor leagues humility can be delivered swiftly and efficiently via registered mail. Ump bump: Florida State League President Chuck Murphy ; currently is investigating an inci- ; dent between Winter Haven Red Sox catcher Pedro Matilla and fn-', pire Pat Connors in which MatiHa ; allegedly bumped Connors during' a Lakeland-Winter Haven game; ! According to witnesses, Matilla : was attempting to get at Lakeland ; batter Kirk Mendenhall who he had just exchanged words with. ! When Connors stepped in front of , Matilla to separate the two play-: ers, the bump occurred. Connors apparently thought the . bump was incidental and did not: merit an ejection from the game, Murphy said, and Connors was upset that a local newspaper called it : a violent shove. Gone with the wind: Dunedin outfielder Nigel Wilson, 21, a' native of Ajax, Ontario, has been; one of the few bright spots in Dun-; edin's stormy 12-16 season. Literal-' iy. ; The Blue Jays played the last week of April with a temporary! right field fence after theirs was! blown over during an April 25! storm. Grant Field is now back to normal, and the Blue Jays are hoping Wilson's impressive num-j bers are also the norm. ; Wilson's .312 batting average" and five home runs place him among the leaders in both categories. Not bad for a guy who htt .204 and .217 in his first two seasons as a professional. T- .. ,. "' : :'- ' &m rW&f j. , . Eg- f -v itSi ,,n- , If'JP " eS-v. 3-- 1 Jj ilf ITT t 'JJ hmmimAi ' j 1 j : ( jg;V ' I N, I ..... Tribune photograph by CLIFF McBRIDE Back to the basics Robinson High School defensive line- Jefferson, Jesuit and Plant. In other area men work out recently during spring jamboree action on May 24, East Bay, practice football drills. Robinson plays Armwood, Bloomingdale and Brandon host to a jamboree May 24 that includes will be at East Bay. Ferguson counts on 'stormy' future Former FSU QB hopes Arena League will keep him in football. By BOB CHICK Tribune Staff Writer ST. PETERSBURG Chip Ferguson is the voice of a thousand athletes of today and several thousand before him. His message is familiar, but each time it is retold, it touches a cord deep inside many of us. His sport is football; yet, the echoes can be heard from all levels of professional athletics. "Just give me a chance. If I fall on my face, fine, release me. That's all I ask." Ferguson certainly has earned the right to fail. But that doesn't mean much, either, as he discovered during those two days in April 1989 when the NFL conducted its annual cattle drive. When the last name was called, he wasn't drafted. The total shock that filled his 6-foot-3 frame the first day dis solved into frustration the second and then the realization he wasn't wanted. Worse yet, the telephone calls that always follow the draft, the invitations that are extended to free agents, didn't come either. The NFL cut back on the numbers a team could bring to camp, but if there had been interest, he would have have been given a look. "No one ever gave me a reason why I wasn't drafted," he said as he sat up in a chair in the Florida Suncoast Dome, the words probably easier now than when the news was fresh. "The whole II III! Ferguson thing is still a mystery to me." Although he'd never say so, he had to suspect he provided all the necessary answers during the fall of 1988 when he led Florida State to 11 consecutive victories after Danny McManus suffered a season-ending injury in the opener. Sugar Bowl champion FSU placed third in the polls. Ferguson has yet to place. The trauma didn't end with the draft and in a way continues today. Yet, unlike many who despair because they can't get a shot, he seems to have it in perspective. "I will never look back on my life with regrets. I will be just as happy today as I was yesterday. I know there is a reason it didn't work out. These things are in control of the man upstairs. I know God has a plan for my life." Others have gone to the Canadian Football League to fulfill career expectations. So, when Ferguson took that step and stood on the sidelines for five games with Calgary and then was released, it was another setback. He had been signed as a backup but was deemed expendable when another player came off the disabled list. A business decision, if nothing else. When the International League of American Football folded shortly before it opened in the spring of 1989, it was probably a wise business decision. Ferguson had been signed to play for Helsinki. A season ago Birmingham, England, sought to employ him in the European League, but just before he was to fly out, his dad developed lung cancer and he knew his place was at home with his family, his wife and his father's corrugated box company in Charlotte, N.C. Now it's May and the Tampa Bay Storm signed him for the Arena League. He knows little about the game but does know the football is thrown a lot and he's ready. Mixed tournament heads agenda at Royal Lanes By KIM DEFALCO Tribune Correspondent TAMPA As bowlers adjust to the seasonal metamorphosis between fall and summer leagues, those looking for inspirational tournaments have a diverse field to choose from. At the top of the BOWLING agenda is the Tarn-pa Men's and Women's Ninth Annual Tampa Mixed Tournament, June 1-2 and 8-9 at Royal Lanes. The handicapped event will be based on 80 percent of 210. "This tournament is unique in the Tampa area in that there are no average qualifications and any 1990-91 local league mixed team or pairs may enter," tournament co-director Bud Ginn said. "We are setting this up so that the tournament will be a fun experience for every entrant." Averages from the women's and men's 1989-90 yearbooks will be used. Those without a yearbook average will use their highest 1990 summer league average of 21 or more games. Anyone not meeting this criteria will bowl scratch. "Bowling is America's No. 1 family sport," Ginn said. "As the percentage of mixed leagues continues to grow in the Tampa area, it is great to have tournaments like this so that those who enjoy bowling with a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend or a friend can have some fun while still in a tournament format. "It really is a good healthy, quality time." Applications can be obtained at area bowling centers. Entry fee for each event is $11. Entry deadline is May 20. For information contact Ginn at 681-6673 or co-director Jean Berkley at 837-3808. For those interested in picking up a little extra spending money, the StyleMaster 300 continues Saturday at Brandon Crossroads with entrants competing for a $4,000 first-place prize and a $2,000 second-place prize. Steve and Trudy Lavoie started the ABCWIBC-sanctioned tournament last August and pay $10,000 to the winner of its year-end tournament in Tampa. The National Classic Bowlers Association for high average men and women and the National Amateur Bowlers Inc., also offer highly competitive bowling with lucrative rewards. The next stop for the NABI is at Sunrise Lanes in St. Petersburg. The NABI has paid over $500,000 in 88 events. For information call tournament directors Bob Manker or Shirley Lockyer at 789-NABI. The Florida YABA tournament begins May 25 with team events at Florida Lanes and singles and doubles at AMF University Bowl. Spare Stuff: Florida Lanes is holding a youthadult bumper league beginning May 26. Entry fee for the eight-week league is $5. Florida Lanes will also be the site for the Youth Scratch Trio beginning May 28. For information call Linda Doll or Nick Oliver at 932-6161. Senior Tour Activity will resume at the Showboat Bowling Center in Las Vegas June 2-8 for the AMF UNIVERSITY BOWL. Men: Greg Jay . 630 226. Mike DeVore 600 234. Bob Day 657,234. Bill Whiteside 624.-268. Harry Pope . 621235. Cu Tran 623224. Rick Traina 625255. Bill Halstead 663 -256. Bobby Chavis 655252. Ler-oy Parr 603 222. Lee Crump 614, 257. Tommy Bishop 647 232. Doug Patham 236 Women: DeDbie Hurley 578. Nancy Hughes 572, 232. Irene Asbury 598 246. Ethel Helton 521. Karia Williams " 523 Biine Rogers 548-212 Caria Carlton 593.211. '-Debbie Conn 540 207. Sandy Pooe 531. Mairine ' Larkin 611 231. Pat Whitehead 569-236 Juniors: Randy Petne 174-95. Nadia Helton 15791. Jenny Sneed 169.-102. , CROWN LANES. Keglers: Troy Wilson 735, 289. Bii I Helsel 720 289. Corey Pidgeon 760279. Curl Suchas 776 278. Darin Hays 268 Derrell Cannm-ton 703 256 Ken Smith 715 254 NCBA: Kay Tall-man 572 247, Chris Evering 663 233. Sham Johnson 653 230. Debbie Mercer 623 226. Char Siegfried 621 -215, Dee Alverai 595-255. Trudi Lavoie 223. Pam Spro 612,234, Barb Hendricks 597 244 Tuesday Mixers: Ken Barken 648 226. Ann Hood 255 Fellowship: Allie Archer 257 Tiger- etles: Okie Jackson 575 -235 FLORIDA LANES. Men: Wayne Howelh Sr ' 683 279. Joe Rjendeau 708 279, Corey Pidgeon 692 257. Tom Ream 717 257. Dan Shafer Sr. 678 245. Mark Collins 706 259. Greg Forcier 730 266 Mark Salka 751 279. John Nicklin 681 246. Mike Wheeler 711 279. Willie Peterson 752 266. Mike DeVore 721 264. George Guerrett 653.238. Fred Gleason 673, 254. Mark Zeller 640. .. Rick Donoho 688, 248. William Jeantils 659246, Rich Kehrer 694 279. Gary Fishner 707266. Andy Waitman 662288. Rich Walls 706247. Steve Mayer 634. Guy Woolweaver 662 '245 Women: Pat Rosas 644 257. Barbara Almond 613211. Ter- ry Broyies 600 247. Debbie Rudolph 594-223 IMPERIAL LANES. Feisty Friends: Roy Thompson 635 258. Jerome Miller 502 174 Mike Frye 438 146 (triplicate). Stephanie Passamome 472 185. Pat Sonnenberg 506177. Rob Rodda 574 201. Gary Borgh 669,232. Cindy Kilpatnck 515 192 Jay Campberg 520194. Frank Peister 556208 Ken Redding 562227. Smuggler's Blues: Van Berry 599 219. Dennis Valdez 220 0AKFIELD LANES. Men: Mark Bullmgton 265. Ron Hainley 693 255. Hank Jenks 247. Herb Thai 238 Leonard Marmino 614 237. Bob Hemtzel 236. Creed Lewis 235. Lee Garcia 234 Mike Essenwein 232 Mike Clancy 613 232. Women: Trish Harper 235. Gienda Shumate 226. Charlie Jenks 221. Edg-lah Timmons 216. Phyllis Williams 216. Eleanor Bean 214 Shirl Grund 210. Melissa Keyes 208. Pat' Warbntton 208 Janet Davidson 205. Seniors: John' Guplon 666 241. Bob Arndt 235. Jim Strickland 215 Hank Thomsen 204. Lynn Hostetlet 200 Juniors: Erie Scott 565 256. Travis Smith 619 220. Sean Seghi 521 218 Wayne Kissam 202. Marc' Weaver 201 Wally Fong 201. Kevin Commons 185 Rvan Scheilig 179 Valerie Norman 177 Yale Hoicomb 169. Staci German 167. Laura Schuier 166 , REGAL LANES. Men: Tom Eldndge 626 254. Pat. Sallot 247. Steve Lopez Sr 266. John DeMott, 705 '244, Larry Avers 258, Don Birkentall 232.-Scott Siegfried 232 Stephen Lpez Jr 253. Eddie Eastndge 200 Gene Teston 761 267. Bob Godbey 659 259 Bob Martin 600 230. Bud Nash 628 236. Tom Hughey 241 Timothy Dallman 617266 Mark Yankovich 620 213 J'm Clayborne 221 Women: Margaret Fisher 223 Phyllis Holley 210. Armi Hen- i ry 200 Linda Schmidt 210 Seniors Chiro Canzo- nen 224, Ed 0 Connor 581 202, Cando Santiago ' 20J ' ROYAL LANES. Men: Ray Sturgess 746-243- 300-193, Norh Truetei 720 246-227-247. Joe Mul- . money Jr 673 255. Elroy Breault 625 242. Robert . Siwieck. 622 231. TJ Clark 614 229. Mark Best . 619 222. Curtis Elder 606 214. Bill James . 604 208. Bob Weyman 597 218. Gil Castillo . 596 208 Paul Fedgd 591 223 Thomas Weld 589 202 Jim Gardner 588-214. Danny Lee - 587 236. Bill Giliesoi 580 200. Boo Mitchell . 577 213 Tom Mahoney 575-206. Dick Farina i 569 231 Jim Reiiiy 566'215. Rusty Eider . 550 207 Tom Burnam 541212 Women: Kay Tall- -man 648 247 Betty Cromer 573-216, Joanne -Marsh 560 203 Mnzi Sherman 544 220 Juniors: Daniel Chang 684 267 Brian Arrjenbright 635 246. -Brandon Cole 609 208 Tim Vizzan 605 224 Marci Lee 597 227 Eric Maddo 595 236 Canssa Jones 588 214 Frank Romasco 560-214. Eli White 538 214 . THUNDERBIRD LANES. Men: Guy Woolweaver- ; 696,257. Mike Praznovsky 683, 257. Tony Frank--land 675 238. Dick Witty 653-265. Gary Hone 646 234 Rick Lawhorn 642. Gene Estill 248 Ray . Tmde! 245. Bob Kiefier 234. Dick Vale 631 243 " Bob Kietler 688 246. Marty Swanson 651-235 1186 pms over averagei Women: Debbie Rimes 636 238 Karen DeBolt 593 227, Florence Estill 526 213 Seniors: Andy Goosey 510 186 Charlie ' Smith 506 191. Carl Hagerman 501-178 Bob Condgon 499 173 Herb Galloway 496173 Bill French 485 193. Tom Abhate 173. Don Roscel ' 496-188 Joan Garland 501184 SUPERSTARS OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY. I Men: David Menendez 295 160, Danny Backus 263 152. Robert Chacon 281 150 Jimmy Riggs . 268 144 Danny Shanahan 255 139 Jerry Garcia , 238 130 Dana Licht 321 186 Womon: Donna , Soerooulas 196 101 Stephanie Beogs 266 146. Josetie Puiiara 193 97 Pam Boose 2'3 108 Len- . nis Brown 204 109. Christine Crawford 229 119.'. Tracie Butler 229-124 Ramp Division: Jackie Books 216 110. Dennis Budges 108 95 Gary Wai- i lace 186-108 David Miliar 149-77 Fred Morgan i 277 139 Lalonya Young 193 109 Maite Vivero . 130 66 Lynn Crawford 137 69 in 1991 with one tournament. ; sixth annual Showboat Senior Invitational. ABC Sports will air the finals on June 8. Last year, the Showboat Invitational attracted more than 280 participants and that number could increase this year with more eligible players. - Of the PBA's 3,400 members, more than 550 are older than 50 and eligible for Senior Tour competition.

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