HomeTeam Hot Shots
Emily Joseph, Northeast
Joseph, a senior, has been a deadly shooter since her sophomore year. But this season she has added to her game.
"She’s gotten physically stronger and has gained confidence," coach Will White said. "She used to be a straight up shooter, but this season she has been attacking the basket really hard. She averages about eight free-throw attempts per game."
Joseph averages 18.8 points per game for the 5-3 Vikings. She is coming off a particularly good week. She scored 20 points in a win over Boca Ciega, added 30 in a win over Largo, then had 19 against St. Petersburg. She was 13-for-22 on 3-pointers. In fact, she is the school’s record holder with 104 3-pointers and counting.
This week might not be as good. Joseph was sick Monday and unable to practice. But when healthy she has made herself into a two-dimensional player who is tough to guard. White said that is thanks to an offseason conditioning program and games with her club team.
"It’s kind of that LeBron James thinking of get bigger and stronger," White said. "It hasn’t taken anything away from her shooting. She’s still at 52 percent for 3-pointers. But she knows now when teams try to press her outside she can go by them and get to the basket. She’s just added that dimension to her game."
Devin Cosser, St. Petersburg
Since he started playing soccer more than a decade ago, Cosser has always been a defender or midfielder. That meant he did not get many opportunities to score. In three previous seasons at St. Petersburg, Cosser had just six goals.
Last month, he finally got his opportunity to produce points. Cosser became a forward, a move he was thrilled to make.
"It’s my senior season, and I want to have fun," Cosser said. "Everyone wants to score. I love it. You have more freedom and the ability to create things."
The position was due to scoring, or a lack thereof. The Green Devils started the season 0-2-1.
Once Cosser took over at forward, he started scoring.
And scoring. And scoring.
In five games, Cosser has nine goals, surpassing his total from the previous three years combined. Usually, the goals come in bunches. He had two each against Tarpon Springs, Pinellas Park and Northeast, and three against Lakewood. Better still, the goals have helped St. Petersburg turn things around. The Green Devils were 4-1 in their past four games entering the week.
Cosser, who had been in the school’s International Baccalaureate program, has a 4.2 weighted GPA and scored 32 on the SAT. His solid grades and test score likely will get him into most prestigious academic schools.
The original plan was to find the right scholastic fit in college, then try to walk on with the soccer team. But Cosser’s performance the past month has him thinking more about attending college on scholarship. He has no offers but that could change.
For now, it is just about having fun — and scoring.