Friday, January 19, 2018
Hometeam

North Suncoast football trio headed to the International Bowl IX

Playing for the United States against international competition is not often a thought for football players. That is usually reserved for players in Olympic sports such as basketball, baseball and even hockey. But three Tampa Bay area high school players will get the chance to do such a thing in the next two weeks.

Nature Coast’s Louis Miele, Wesley Chapel’s Isaiah Bolden and Wiregrass Ranch’s Jordan Miner will all be representing the United States at International Bowl IX, a collaboration between USA Football and football governing bodies of other countries. The event features a series of practices, scrimmages and games that will be held at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Miele will play for the under-19 U.S. Select Team that will take on Team Nordic, comprised of players from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The game is 8 p.m. Friday.

Bolden and Miner will play for the U19 U.S. national team that will take on Team Canada on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m.

All of the games will be streamed at internationalbowlix.com.

While all three players said it is an honor to be suiting up for their country, there are other reasons why the game is meaningful for them.

For Miele, an honorable mention selection on the Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast team, it is another opportunity to showcase his talent to colleges in hopes of finding a good fit.

"This will definitely get me some looks from more colleges," said the 6-foot-8, 315-pound offensive lineman, who said he has gotten an offer from Division II Northwestern Oklahoma State and interest from other schools. That is why when he heard about the open tryouts in Orlando, he jumped at the opportunity.

Also, Miele figured, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

"It’s going to be a great feeling wearing America on your chest and playing against another nation," he said.

Bolden and Miner agree, but the long-time friends have personal reasons why they are excited about playing in this game. They often have faced each other as opposing teammates, so they will finally get a chance to play with each other in their last high school football game.

"That’s my guy," said the defensive back Miner, a Penn State signee who was named the North Suncoast Defensive Player of the Year. "We talk to each other at least once or twice a week. We both got invited and we’re excited to play and get after it."

Bolden, who signed with Florida State, said he couldn’t think of a better place than AT&T Stadium.

"This is a big stage," he said. "Since we’ve always wanted to play with each other this is a good time to have that opportunity."

Notable NFL players who have participated in this game include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston, Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley as well as Carolina Panthers’ Devin Funchess.

"It is an honor to be selected to play for my country in my last high school game," Miner said. "I never really imagined it. Football isn’t an Olympic sport. I am blessed to be voted in."

 
Comments

High school scoreboard for Jan. 18

Thursday’s scoreboardGirls basketballNortheast 64, Largo 24Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Berkeley Prep 2Palm Harbor U. 7, Tarpon Springs 0Girls soccerCountryside 5, Pinellas Park 0Palm Harbor U. 5, Tarpon Springs 1...
Published: 01/18/18

Carrollwood Day cruises past new district foe Seffner Christian

TAMPA – Carrollwood Day moved up to Class 4A this season, which meant it was in the same district as perennial power Seffner Christian. The Patriots made it clear Thursday night that they are the new team to beat.Four Carrollwood players scored...
Published: 01/18/18
Long-distance appreciation from Guy Toph winner Michael Penix Jr.

Long-distance appreciation from Guy Toph winner Michael Penix Jr.

TAMPA — Being handed the Guy Toph trophy — which has been awarded to Hillsborough County's top football player every year since 1939 — is a pretty big deal.Winners love smiling for photo after photo while holding up the big, old, go...
Published: 01/18/18
New school, same coaching style for Renaldo Garcia

New school, same coaching style for Renaldo Garcia

Berkeley Prep's Renaldo Garcia still is the same coach. He still bellows instructions from the sidelines. His players still are methodical on offense, efficient on defense.The only difference is Garcia now wears navy and Columbia blue instead of gree...
Published: 01/18/18
Gap closing between River Ridge and soccer power Sunlake

Gap closing between River Ridge and soccer power Sunlake

NEW PORT RICHEY — The string of state tournament runs for Sunlake High School has made a great mark for Pasco County boys soccer.But it’s also been kind of a pain for the county teams stuck in the same region as Sunlake. One of them is River Ridge. "...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

High school scoreboard for Jan. 17

Wednesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 62, Clearwater 52Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Dunedin 0Girls soccerPalm Harbor U. 5, Dunedin 0
Published: 01/17/18
HomeTeam 25: Boys basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Boys basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. St. Petersburg (11-1)This week: Friday at Osceola; Saturday vs. Oak Hill (Va.) @Berkeley Prep's National HoopfestThe buzz: The Green Devils returned to action last week, beating Palm Harbor University by 33 and Sickles by 10. Guards Serrel Smith a...
Published: 01/17/18
Sorry, Dad, no baseball for this Radke

Sorry, Dad, no baseball for this Radke

TAMPA — From the very beginning, Ryan Radke was surrounded by baseball.The son of former major-league right-hander Brad Radke, Ryan grew up in stadiums, playing with toys at ballparks all over the country while his father made a living during a...
Published: 01/17/18

Overtime favors Countryside in girls hoops bout with Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Two similarly successful teams in Clearwater and Countryside combined for one exciting game.Facing each other Tuesday night in a brilliant, all-out girls basketball battle, one unfortunate play turned the tide.Leading by two p...
Published: 01/17/18
From Finland, with love: Kyle Curinga’s back stateside with Rowdies

From Finland, with love: Kyle Curinga’s back stateside with Rowdies

When Kyle Curinga decided he wanted to be a professional soccer player, he knew it was going to take a lot of sacrifice. There aren’t many places nearby for a kid from Clearwater to get paid to play the game.So after a stellar career at Clearwater Ce...
Published: 01/17/18