Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#2 SYRACUSE LOSES STAR PLAYER FOR BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT

Syracuse University (31-2) announced on Tuesday that Fab Melo, the 7'0 sophomore center and Big East Conference defensive player of the year, will not play during the NCAA College Basketball Tournament.


The reason given is an eligibility issue and no further comments have been provided. Syracuse University, the #2 overall seed in college basketball and #1 seed in the East region bracket will face the 16th seeded UNC-Ashville, winners of the Big South Conference with a record of 24-9. Fab Melo did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh for the Thursday matchup at 3:10 pm.

RANDY MOSS SIGNS WITH NEW NFL TEAM

Randy Moss, the future NFL Hall of Famer, has signed a one year deal to play for the San Francisco 49ers.

Moss worked out with the New Orleans Saints last week in a bid to return from a one year retirement stint. The initial reports from that workout were that Randy looked excellent. That news got other NFL teams around the league interested, especially the 49ers, who are in desperate need of a WR threat.

Following the New Orleans visit, Moss traveled to San Francisco on Monday to work out with the 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh. Just hours after that workout, a deal was inked, bringing Moss back to the Bay area for the 2012-2013 season. Moss had previously played for the Oakland Raiders.

San Francisco hopes to benefit from Moss' physical skills, renewed interest in proving himself and one year of rest.

The 49ers went 13-3 and made a run to the NFC Championship game before falling to the eventual SuperBowl Champion New York Giants. However, San Francisco had dismal wide receiver performances in the playoffs and during last year's NFC championship game.

The 49ers top receiver during the postseason run was their running back Frank Gore, followed second by the tight end Vernon Davis. In fact, only one receiver, Michael Crabtree, even had more than 20 catches during the entire 2011-2012 season.

Signing a receiver like Moss could stretch the field and open up space for Frank Gore and Vernon Davis even more. However, the 49ers must now focus their attention on the passing game as they wait for current quarterback and former 1st round pick Alex Smith to make a decision on his upcoming free agency.

Monday, March 5, 2012

KENTUCKY VS FLORIDA BASKETBALL HIGHLIGHTS

 Home of the University of Florida Gators Basketball Team.

 Fans scan their tickets early to watch pre-game warm-ups.

 Freshmen Anthony Davis warms up for the #1 Kentucky Wildcats.

 John Habgood from St. Petersburg is all smiles as Sarah Haggerty, left, and Margeaux Jordan, right, pose for a picture. Sarah and Margeaux are both members of the UF Dazzlers.

 Over 12,000 fans came to watch the Gators host the Wildcats.

Kye Hendrix, Regina Lee, Penny Barrett and Barbie Reed traveled from both Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida to cheer on their Kentucky Wildcats.

Florida Gator Erving Walker gets a congratulatory hug from Coach Billy Donovan on Senior Night.

 Florida Gator and lone senior Erving Walker stands center court with his family on Senior Night.

 The UF Band entertains the crowd.

 The UF Cheerleaders raise the crowd spirit with the "Rowdy Reptiles."

The #13 Gators take the court to host the #1 Kentucky Wildcats.

 Florida's championship banners hang in the O'Connell Center.

 
 Patric Young scores an easy dunk against the Wildcats.

 Patric Young shoots over Kentucky's Anthony Davis.

 Kentucky's Michael Gilchrist shoots over the Gator defenders. 

 Kentucky's Marquis Teague connects on this three point shot. Teague finished with 12 points.

 Patric Young rises above three Kentucky players on his way to 21 points on the night.

Florida and Kentucky players stare each other down at midcourt.

 Kentucky's Darius Miller elevates and shoots the three. 

Kentucky Freshman Anthony Davis dunks the ball in the second half.

#13 GATORS HOST AND FALL TO #1 WILDCATS

Gainesville, Florida
  
#1 Kentucky   - 74
#13 Florida     - 59

Over 12,000 fans packed the Stephen C O’Connell center on the campus of the University of Florida to watch the #13 Gators play the #1 team in the land, the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

Kentucky had too many weapons for the undermanned Gators to contend with as the Wildcats became only the 4th team to finish regular season play in the Southeastern Conference unbeaten, as they finished with a 16 - 0 record. The other undefeated teams were Alabama in 1956 and Kentucky in both 1996 and 2003. In 1996, the Wildcats won the NCAA National Championship.

It was the Terrence Jones show at the beginning as he scored the first 8 points for the Wildcats and totaled 16 by the half. Follow that up with the typical performance from freshmen sensation Anthony Davis with his double-double and the Wildcats were looking prime for the SEC tournament. Kentucky’s big men blocked shots, dunked balls and even hit threes. Anthony Davis stepped out hit only his 2nd three of the season. Jones added 1 long ball, also.

The Gators fought back after the break and were down only 2 points but could never tie the game.

Patric Young, the 6’9 sophomore from Jacksonville, put 21 points on the board for the Gators and was just one rebound shy of a double-double. However, Young couldn’t get any help from his supporting cast.

Florida is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country with Walker and Boynton but both were cold from behind the arc when it mattered most, hitting only 6 on 22 attempts.

The Gators have dropped 5 of their last 8 games, including three straight. That is not the kind of momentum that coach Billy Donavon wants to have heading into both the SEC and the NCAA tournaments. 

Plus, the Gators are down a man as Will Yuguete, the sophomore who played his high school ball at Holy Trinity High School in Melbourne, fractured his foot a couple weeks ago. Yuguete is out for the remainder of the season and is sorely missed. He was a key player throughout the season, adding size at the forward position. Yuguete averaged over 6 points a game and was known for his rebounding and hustle, an important factor when the Gators are known for guard play and putting up lots of 3's.

Kentucky beat Florida in Lexington earlier this year by a similar score. That game, played on February 7th, ended 78 - 58.

Kentucky finishes the season 30-1, 16-0 while the Gators tally up a respectable 22-9, 10-6 heading into next weeks’ SEC Basketball Tournament in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

FORMER FHSAA PREP STARS TAKE THE FIELD AT SPACE COAST STADIUM

Viera, Florida.

On Friday, March 2nd, the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball Team will host the Georgetown University Men's Baseball Team at 12:00 pm for an exhibition game. Both rosters have graduates from various Florida high schools making the homecoming trip.


Former FHSAA Prep Athletes on the Georgetown Hoya Roster

*Senior Catcher Nick Gleary
Miami, Florida
Played at Ransom Everglades.

*Freshman Catcher Roberto Rodriguez
Clermont, Florida
Played at Montverde Academy.

*Sophomore Pitcher Patrick Camporini
Safety Harbor, Florida
Played at Clearwater Central Catholic.

*Red Shirt Senior Pitcher Pablo Vinent
Miami, Florida
Played at Belen Jesuit.

*Red Shirt Senior Pitcher Tommy Isaacs
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Played at Bolles.

*Senior Pitcher Will Harris
Winter Park, Florida
Played at Trinity Prep.


Former FHSAA Prep Athletes on the Washington Nationals Roster
*Pitcher Sean Burnett

Dunedin, Florida 
Played at Wellington HS and won a 6A state title his senior year.


*Pitcher Gio Gonzalez 
Hialeah, Florida
Played at Hialeah HS and 2 state championships then Monsignor Edward Pace HS.


*Shortstop Ian Desmond
Sarasota, Florida
Played at Sarasota HS.


*1st Baseman Christopher Marrero
Miami, Florida
Played at Monsignor Edward Pace HS.


*1st Baseman Michael John Morse
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Played at Nova HS.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS TAKE THE FIELD FRIDAY, MARCH 2ND

Viera, Florida.

Everyone has reported, taken batting practice, talked to the media and are ready to toss out the first pitch of the 2012 Washington Nationals Spring Training games. Opening day for this season features a collegiate experience as the Georgetown University Mens Baseball Team travels south to compete against the Nationals.

The Georgetown Hoyas play NCAA Division I ball in the Big East Conference and are coached by Pete Wilk. They are 6-2 this season after a very disappointing finish during their 2011 campaign. The Hoyas finished 10 games under .500 with a 23 - 33 overall record but were 5-21 in conference play, losing many of those games on the road.

Georgetown has enjoyed their newfound success of winning on the road this year as every game, save one, have been on the road. Coach hopes to parlay that road confidence into wins as the Hoyas travel to face Big East opponents USF, Villanova, Pitt and Cincinnati during the 2012 season. Especially considering the Big East Championship games will be played in Clearwater, Florida in late May.

The Washington Nationals are looking to improve on last year as they finished in the middle of the NL East standings with an 80-81 record. The 3rd place standing was their best finish and just a handful of games behind the consistently dominant Atlanta Braves.  

With big time names such as pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman and Rick Ankiel, the Nationals are looking to get above the .500 mark and make a push for a pennant.

This exhibition game is also a homecoming as several Hoya and Nationals team members played and graduated from various Florida high schools.


2012 Home Game ScheduleAll games listed below will be played at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida.

Fri, Mar 2   Nationals vs Georgetown University Hoyas    12:00 pm EST     

Sun, Mar 4   Nationals vs Houston Astros    1:05 pm EST     

Wed, Mar 7   Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals    1:05 pm EST     

Thu, Mar 8   Nationals vs Houston Astros    1:05 pm EST     

Sat, Mar 10   Nationals vs New York Mets    1:05 pm EST     

Mon, Mar 12   Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals    1:05 pm EDT     

Tue, Mar 13   Nationals vs Detroit Tigers    6:05 pm EDT     

Thu, Mar 15  Nationals vs New York Yankees    1:05 pm EDT     

Sat, Mar 17  Nationals vs Miami Marlins    1:05 pm EDT     

Sun, Mar 18  Nationals vs Detroit Tigers    1:05 pm EDT     

Wed, Mar 21  Nationals vs Atlanta Braves    1:05 pm EDT     

Sun, Mar 25   Nationals vs New York Mets    1:05 pm EDT     

Mon, Mar 26  Nationals vs Houston Astros    1:05 pm EDT     

Thu, Mar 29  Nationals vs Atlanta Braves    1:05 pm EDT     

Fri, Mar 30    Nationals vs Miami Marlins    6:05 pm EDT     

Sat, Mar 31   Nationals vs St. Louis Cardinals    1:05 pm EDT     

Sunday, February 26, 2012

NBA All Star Jam Session Highlights

NBA 2012 NBA All Star Jam Session at the Orlando Convention Center


The Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard high fives a young fan during an autograph session.

11 year old Kiara Torres, of West Palm Beach, Florida, gets an autograph from Andre Iguodola of the Philadelphia 76'ers.

Roy Hibbert, former Georgtown Hoya and current Indiana Pacer talks with 9 year old Paxton Wong of Boston, Massachusetts. 

Evan Turner, former Ohio State Buckeye and current Philadelphia 76er signs autographs for his fans at the NBA 2012 All Star Jam Session.

Allan Houston, former Kentucky prep athlete, Tennessee Volunteer and New York Knick enjoys the NBA D League All Star Game. 

 Bob "Butterbean" Love signs autographs for his fans. Butterbean played for the Chicago Bulls and is a 3x NBA All Star player.

 Dikembe Mutombo, NBA legend and 8x All Star signs autographs for his young fans. 


NBA Legend Rick Barry, right, talks to his son Brent Barry at the NBA D League All Star Game. 

 Grey's Anatomy star, Jesse Williams, competes in the Celebrity 3-Point Shooting Contest.


Michael Rapaport, television and movie star, competes in the Celebrity 3-Point Shooting Contest.



Michael Rapaport talks about winning the Celebrity 3-Point Shooting Contest.

 Fans line up for pics and autographs of several NBA stars, past and present at the 20120 NBA All Star Jam Session. 




 NBA D League Slam Dunk Contest.

 NBA D League Slam Dunk Contest.

NBA D League Slam Dunk Contest.


Fans of all ages enjoy the games at the NBA All Star Jam Session.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FLORIDA AIR ACADEMY GRADUATE TAKES ON THE #1 KENTUCKY WILDCATS

Melbourne, Florida - The #1 ranked college basketball team in the country, the University of Kentucky Wildcats, will have to face former Brevard County prep star and Florida Air Academy graduate Will Yeguete.

Tonight, the University of Florida Gators, ranked #7, play the Wildcats in SEC basketball action and Yeguete is expected to see significant time. Will is a sophomore forward who has played in 22 games. Of those, he has started in 10 while averaging 23 minutes a game for Coach Billy Donovan.

Wearing the same number he wore in high school, number 15, the local FAA Falcon talent puts his minutes to good use. He has scored over 104 points on the season, but it is his rebounding skills that are keeping Coach Donovan happy.

At 6’7 and 222 pounds, Will is one of the top rebounders on the team with over 140 on the season. Add that to the fact that he is nearly leading the team in steals and it's apparent why he is on the floor.

However, Will’s offensive prowess will need to improve as he gets older. His size qualifies him as a small forward who should be able to use his quickness to get off a quality jump-shot or draw the foul while driving.



He shoots about 60% from the field, which is respectable for his young age, but he will definitely need to improve his free throw shooting.  At just 35% from the charity stripe, poor free throw shooting is not typical from the forward position.


HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Will was a junior his first year at FAA. The Falcons went undefeated through both regular season and district play on their way to earning a District Championship Title. They would win two more games, making it to the 2009 FHSAA Regional Final game before being clipped by Arlington Country Day 63-50, ending their season with a 24-1 record.


During the swan song of his senior year, Will was a All-State, first team selection in Class 2A and led Florida Air Academy to a District Runner-Up spot and two playoff wins to reach the 2010 Regional Final game. Just like the year before, they would be defeated. It took an overtime period for Providence to outlast FAA by a score of 62-59.

GAME PREVIEW

The Florida Gators are on a roll, having won 9 out of their last 10 games and just recently defeated #25 Vanderbilt. That puts the Gators at 18-4 on the season and 7-1 in the SEC. In fact, two of their losses came from some of the top ranked teams in the country when the Gators faced Ohio State and Syracuse.

The #1 Kentucky Wildcats are 23-1 and haven’t lost since Dec 10th, 2011. They are 9-0 in SEC play and have rattled off 15 in a row with average victories of more than 20 points per game.

However, that stat isn’t the one the Gator fans should be worried about.

It’s the fact that Coach Calipari hasn’t lost a game at Rupp Arena...ever!
The Wildcats are 48 - 0 in Lexington since Calipari took the reins.

The Gators are a scoring threat with their small and speedy guards who can hit it from the perimeter. “They are a great 3 point shooting team,” said Kentucky’s Anthony Davis. “They put up a lot of threes, they make them and they are physical.”

Coach Donovan has been lucky to also add points due to the Gator’s length at Center and Power Forward. Erik Murphy is a 6’10 center who, along with 6’9 forward/center Patric Young, provide Florida with balance on the inside. The Gators will need that length as Kentucky has two of the nations' premier big men with Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis blocking shots at every turn.

In fact, Anthony Davis just set an SEC Freshman record for single season blocked shots, replacing LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal with 116 and counting. Plus, Davis is still the nation’s top shot blocker and currently ranked 9th in NCAA single season all time. That kind of play can make it difficult for the Florida guards to get off quality shots.

“You just know that they’re going to take 30 threes, however you guard it,” said Coach Calipari. “Murphy is playing well. They put him in pick and rolls and they get him in threes. They are good. They are a very good team.”

Both Gator big men, Murphy and Young, average about 10 points per game and that is where local talent, Will Yeguete, can become a factor. As the next, tallest Florida player to get quality minutes, Coach Donovan may rely on Will to maintain a defensive and rebounding presence on the inside while hoping the Gator guards can find their way around Kentucky’s shot blockers.

Will’s play also becomes important as Patric Young has been hampered with an injury the past three weeks. Young‘s injury has been listed as tendinitis in his ankle, though MRI’s have revealed no ligament damage. Young’s minutes have been limited during SEC play and his game is still struggling. That has led to Will starting more games this season and increased his role for Coach Donovan.

Florida’s most recent game against #25 Vanderbilt was the first time Young returned to the starting line-up in over three weeks.  However, he was benched early in the first with foul trouble. Subbing in, Yeguete pulled down 8 rebounds and 3 steals to help seal the Gator victory.

As game time approaches in the Bluegrass state, the one stat Florida fans hope holds true is that Coach Donovan stays unbeaten against top-ranked teams. The Gators are 2-0 against the nation's #1 ranked team. Florida defeated Ohio State in 2007 and Duke in 2000, both victories coming in the NCAA tournament. 


Saturday, February 4, 2012

FHSAA STATE SOCCER TITLE HOPES FALL SHORT FOR MELBOURNE AND MELBOURNE CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Melbourne, Florida.


MELBOURNE CENTRAL CATHOLIC OUTLASTED IN PENALTY KICKS
Melbourne Central Catholic took Palmer Trinity through regulation time, the first and the second overtime and all the way to penalty kicks. However, MCC’s road to the championship game would fall one short as they were defeated 6-5 in those penalty kicks, making the final score 7-6 in the 2012 FHSAA state semifinal game.

MCC’s Sophia Carroll put the Hustlers in an early, high-flying mood with the game’s first goal in just the 18th minute. However, Palmer Trinity would have Fernando Rojas equalize in the 49th minute, making the score 1-1. That score would stand throughout the game, even though Palmer Trinity had numerous shots on goal.

Palmer Trinity will now advance to play in the championship game against St. Johns Country Day, who defeated Lakeland Christian 6-2.

Palmer Trinity has played well in Class 1A all year and their 19-1-1 record shows it. The Falcons have been the recipient of experience by having 6 starting seniors on their roster. MCC finished with a 14-6-3 season record, a district championship and 3 straight wins in the playoffs.

This year’s MCC team was looking to continue a storied soccer tradition. The Hustlers won the Class 1A state championships in 2003 and the Class 3A state championship in 2004.


MEL-HI LOSES IN STATE SEMIFINAL GAME
Similar to the MCC game, the Melbourne Bulldogs fell just one game short of the 2012 state championship game. Ida S. Baker got the best of Melbourne by a score of 2-0. The first goal for Baker came in the first half as junior Shannon Pearl stole the ball, outraced Mel-Hi defenders and put one in the back of the net at the 25th minute.

As soon as the 2nd half started, Ida S Baker would get an ambitious but eventually successful goal from over 30 yards away by sophomore Franny Farella. That shot would eventually creep just under the cross bar and over the out-stretched Mel-Hi goalkeeper.

Mel Hi would play good defense the rest of the game, but were unable to get any points on the board. Melbourne never gave up as they had several second half shots on goal, but weren’t able to net any of them as the Baker goalkeeper, Amanda Kapole, made 5 saves to seal their victory.

The Melbourne Bulldogs end their season with everything to be proud of as they have a 19-4-1 record and a state semifinal appearance.

Ida S. Baker will take their 25-2-4 record on a tough and daunting task. They must face nationally ranked George Jenkins High School for the 2012 FHSAA State Title. ESPN currently ranks the Eagles of George Jenkins as the #3 team in the country.

Brevard County fans and Satellite High School students may recognize the George Jenkins Eagles. It was George Jenkins who defeated Satellite in the 2008 Class 5A State Championship Game in 2008 by a score of 4-1. Satellite High School was looking for back- to-back state championship rings after having won the 2007 State Title in Class 5A.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS ALL SMILES ON NATIONAL SIGNING DAY

Brevard County, Florida


Florida high school athletes in all sports made lifetime decisions as they chose which college they will be attending following their graduation. The following students from Brevard County have signed to play in numerous sports throughout several divisions of college athletics including the Southeastern Conference, The PAC-12, SunBelt Conference, Southern Conference and more.

Football
Holy Trinity’s Marcus Maye signed with the University of Florida.
Holy Trinity’s Anthony Storm signed with Florida Institute of Technology.
Satellite's J.T. Washington signed with the University of Arizona.
Viera's Kevin Mall signed with Furman.
Cocoa's Mike Ferguson signed with Florida Institute of Technology.
Cocoa’s Grady Redding signed with Georgia Southern.
Melbourne's Jamal Stadom signed with Troy.
Bayside's Neally Cunningham signed with Dean Junior College.
Bayside’s T.J. Boges signed with Dean Junior College.
Bayside's Alton Eliphar signed with Florida International University.
Bayside's Taylor Corn signed with Florida Institute of Technology.
Astronaut’s Favian Upshaw signed with Florida International University.
Astronaut’s Brian Hepburn signed with Pearl River Comm. College of Mississippi.

Softball
Eau Gallie's Megan LaFon signed with Seminole State.
Satellie’s Carleigh Fales signed with Indian River State College.
Satellite’s Morgan Kingston signed with the United States Coast Guard Academy.

Track
Melbourne’s Vanessa Valentine signed with Vanderbilt University.
Cocoa Beach's Shelby Davidson signed with the University of Florida.

Soccer
Merritt Island’s Sydney Drinkwater signed with University of South Florida.
Merritt Island’s Amanda Wilkin signed with University of Central Florida.
Merritt Island’s Mitch Matthias signed with Minot State.
Merritt Island’s Andrew Adair signed with Florida Institute of Technology.
Eau Gallie’s Cheyenne and Chawnee Gulick both signed with Jacksonville soccer.
Melbourne’s Alexis Moran signed with University of North Florida