Coach has Keystone reaching new heights


Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
The Keystone Heights' girls basketball team is off to a 12-6 start in great part because of a head coach familiar to area fans.
Jessica Rhodes Marquart, a 1998 graduate of P.K. Yonge, was a six-year starter and four-year all-state softball player who played her college ball at North Florida.
The Indians picked up a nice win at a good Oak Hall team last week, but did struggle in a loss at Eastside (who doesn't?) on Monday night.
Keystone Heights plays a relatively tough schedule that still includes another game against the Rams, at home against undefeated Bradford, at Hawthorne and home against traditional small-school power Jacksonville University Christian.
A game against Marquart's alma mater will have to wait until at least next season, as the Blue Wave and Indians didn't schedule each other this year.
  • CALL TO ARMS: By now everyone knows about P.K. Yonge's talented football/baseball player Derrick Robinson, who has committed to play for Urban Meyer next season.
    Yes, he will be on football scholarship at UF, but you might find more than a few who say he is a better baseball player.
    The centerfielder/pitcher, whose 6.19 60-yard dash time is the fastest recorded in high school history, is one of Baseball America's top high school prospects. But he's just one of three hurlers on the Blue Wave roster who can hit at least 90 miles-an-hour on the radar gun.
    Robert Strecker, who just transferred to P.K. Yonge in January, reaches 92 and is scheduled to sign a national letter of intent with Hillsborough Community College on Jan. 15. Fellow senior Carrick Tuck also has clocked in at 90, and senior righty Kyle Abernathy has committed to Carson-Newman, according to coach Roger Strecker.
    Tuck, first baseman Mike Lane, catcher Jose Rosa and catcher/infielder Ray Mollison also are being actively recruited, according to Strecker.
    n TIDBITS: This Friday's Gainesville-Eastside boys basketball game will have an 8 p.m. start at Santa Fe Community College, which proved to be a nice venue for that always heated matchup last year. Those two teams will travel to Belleview High School the next day for the Diamondback Challenge, where GHS will play Clermont East Ridge at 1:30 p.m. and the Rams will meet St. Petersburg Lakewood at 4:30 p.m. P.K. Yonge is set to face Ocala Vanguard in the 9 p.m. nightcap. ... The first scholarship offers for Blue Wave juniors Willie Powers and Myk Brown came in the preseason from Florida A&M, according to coach Mark Griseck. ... The Florida Dairy Farmers Association named Bloomingdale's Robby Carl and Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton St. Andrews the state's boys and girls golfers of the year, respectively, for 2005. If Pressel's name is familiar to you, that could be because you may have heard the LPGA accepted her as a member in mid-December, three months before her 18th birthday. Sarasota's John Watson (boys) and Linda Sibio of Plantation American Heritage (girls) won the coach of the year awards.
    John Patton is The Sun's high school sports editor. You can reach him by calling 374-5074 or by e-mail at pattonj@gvillesun.com.
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