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Lastings Milledge Donates $5,000

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Milledge gives alma mater $5,000 donation

EAST MANATEE - Thanks to a $5,000 donation from Lakewood Ranch High graduate and former Mustangs player Lastings Milledge, the school's baseball team will wear new uniforms next spring.


Milledge, who recently finished his rookie year with the New York Mets, was at Friday night's football game between Lakewood Ranch and Punta Gorda Charlotte. Introduced before the game, he presented the check to Mustangs baseball coach Dave Moates.


Wearing a white Mets jersey with Milledge's name and "06" on the back, Moates happily accepted the donation.


Moates has been seeking someone with deep pockets to purchase new uniforms since the ones the players have been wearing date back to the beginning of the program.


Milledge, who wore those uniforms only three years ago when the Mustangs won a state championship, found out about the team's need and pledged the money more than a month ago.


"He said he was going to take care of it," Moates said. "This (having a major league benefactor) doesn't happen very often."


As Milledge, the most famous athlete in the school's short history, walked off the field, he shook hands with Lakewood Ranch cheerleaders and fans and waved at the crowd.


Though Milledge spent the majority of the season in Triple A, he played in 56 major league games, registering 14 runs, 40 hits, 22 RBIs and four home runs in 166 big league at-bats. He hit .241.


Cougar with Mustangs ties


Because Cardinal Mooney's cross country team made the regional tournament, senior Kaitlyn Hennessy wasn't able to play in the Cougars soccer team's season opener Monday at Lakewood Ranch. She was on the Cougars bench and represented the team as a captain with the referees, but did not suit up.


If Hennessy didn't go to Cardinal Mooney, she would attend Lakewood Ranch, where her younger sister is currently a student. After moving here from the east coast of Florida, Kaitlyn thought she might get to know people better in a smaller school environment.


Kaitlyn said her sister, Meghan Hennessy, decided to go the public school route. Meghan, a sophomore cheerleader, is close friends with Michelle Miller, who plays varsity soccer for the Mustangs. Michelle's family, which includes standout senior Lakewood Ranch soccer player Melissa Miller, lives next door to the Hennessys in Panther Ridge.


State-bound swimmers


Matt Torres will be Lakewood Ranch's lone representative at Florida Swimming and Diving Championships this weekend in Fort Lauderdale. Torres, a sophomore, earned the 24th and final spot in the 200 freestyle with his 1:50.84 at the regionals Saturday in Sarasota. The 3A meet will be held Friday.


At Saturday's 1A meet, Out-of-Door Academy sophomore Maura McDonald will swim in the 100 butterfly after registering the 12th best overall time at regionals. Cardinal Mooney's Patrick Ceddia, a freshman, will also compete at the state meet. He qualified 11th in the 200 freestyle and sixth in the 500 freestyle.


Maybe this will put him one step closer to fitting in the club house.

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He got better as the year went along until that supposed dugout blowup thing.


I think if we trade him, it's because we are getting a fair amount in return, not because of his weird attitude.


There really isn't anyone worth it to trade for that seems to be avalible anymore.

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