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Friday Sports Update 8/29

By on August 29th, 2014

A lot of sports to talk about today in our Friday Sports Update including college football, NFL, high school football, Gator sports, baseball and more.

** Not a great night for some teams in the SEC in college football.   Vanderbilt was drilled 37-7 by Temple and Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks were hammered by Texas A&M 52-28.   Ole Miss beat Boise State with 28 fourth quarter points in a 35-13 win.  More openers tonight.

** In high school football, a thriller to open the season as Columbia County beats Gainesville High 44-43 in overtime.   Oak Hall lost to Florida School for the Deaf 33-0.  More opening night games on tap for tonight.

** The NFL wraps up its preseason schedule.    Atlanta beat Jacksonville 24-14; Miami beats St.Louis 14-13 and Tampa Bay loses 24-10 to Washington.

** The NFL has come down hard on domestic violence.   First time offenders will receive a six game suspension and a second offense will ban a player for life from the league.

** In Gator sports, the Florida volleyball team opens its season with a pair of matches today and Gator soccer, 2-0 on the year, will play at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this weekend.

** In baseball, Baltimore downs Tampa Bay 5-4 and Atlanta routs the New York Mets 6-1.  The Rays have a weekend series with Boston while the Braves host Miami.

** Tony Stewart will return to racing this weekend in Atlanta for the first time since an August 9 accident he was involved in killed a fellow driver.

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Columbia Stuns Gainesville High, More Local Prep Schools Begin Season Tonight

By on August 29th, 2014

The Columbia Tigers broke the hearts of the Gainesville High School faithful on Thursday night with a 44-43 overtime victory at Citizens Field.

With the game tied at the end of regulation, Gainesville quarterback Caelan Christian tossed a 25-yard touchdown to Dock Luckie to draw first blood in overtime to take a 43-36 lead.

When the Tigers gained possession, Columbia gave the ball to senior running back Lonnie Underwood, who responded by rushing for his fourth touchdown to bring the score to 43-42.

Rather than tying the game with the extra point, Columbia head coach Brian Allen elected to go for the two point conversion. Underwood took the hand-off, bounced outside, then cut back in to convert.

“In a game like this, I felt it was better to lose and go home than to go into three or four overtimes,” said Allen. “I put the ball into (Lonnie Underwood’s) hands and told him to go score and he was able to get it done.”

It’s a tough loss for Hurricanes head coach Mark Latsko. The Canes allowed Underwood to run rampant, amassing 156 yards on the ground.

“Two good teams – been pretty good for the last several years… they made a play when they had to,” said Latsko. “We’ll go back to the drawing board, watch the film, and clean our mistakes.”

Gainesville (0-1) will look to regroup as they prepare to take on rival Eastside next week.  Columbia (1-0) will now prepare to face another tough opponent next week when they host Tallahassee Lincoln.

** Oak Hall opened its season Thursday night with a 33-0 road loss at Florida School for the Deaf.

** The Eastside Rams will play the Buchholz Bobcats tonight at Citizens Field.

Eastside head coach Jeff Parker is entering his fourth year at the helm. He’s looking to build on a team that went 5-5 in 2013.

“We’re definitely still young. We have some guys that definitely have some talent,” Parker said, “We have to get them to play together and be on the same page.”

Look for the Rams to use two quarterbacks in their opening game. Seniors Malachi Lofland and Landon Rogers will both take turns running the offense.

Meanwhile, the Buchholz Bobcats will look to make a statement after finishing with a lackluster record of 3-7 last season.  Third year head coach Mark Whittemore hopes to see a repeat of last year’s season opener against Eastside where the Bobcats beat the Rams 13-6.

“Some of the same kids that play offense play defense. So really our strong suit is our quarterback spot,” said Whittemore. “We’re returning Jackson White – he’s got one year under his belt so I think that we be a big help for us.”

Kickkoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

** The Santa Fe High Raiders will host the Newberry Panthers.

The Raiders are optimistic on building on last year’s 6-4 record. Santa Fe showed big improvement after shattering expectations to finish above .500 following a one-win season in 2012.  Bill Wiles enters his third year with the Raiders and he wants to continue having an old-school offense.

“We want to be physical. With all the spread offenses and finesse type offenses and all that, people don’t see a whole lot of (teams) that hit you in the mouth,” said Wiles. “That’s what we do.”

The Panthers will look to stomp on the smash-mouth style with a defense that includes Florida State commit Ja’len Parks.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

** Some other area games feature PK Yonge playing Williston and Lafayette facing Trenton in a Class 1A match up.


For audio on above quotes, click below:

Columbia head coach Brian Allen talks about the decision to go for the 2-pt conversion in overtime

Gainesville High head coach Mark Latsko recaps the overtime loss

Eastside head coach Jeff Parker admits to having a young team

Buchholz head coach Mark Whittemore hopes a returning quarterback will lead to improvement

Sante Fe High head coach Bill Wiles wants to sustain their physical identity

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Local High School Football Kicks Off Tonight

By on August 28th, 2014

The Friday night lights will be turned on one day earlier than usual for a few local high schools. The Oak Hall Eagles will travel up to St. Augustine to play the Florida School for the Deaf on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Gainesville Hurricanes will host the Columbia Tigers.

Oak Hall is coming off a struggling 2013 campaign where the team finished a dismal 1-9. Head coach Scott McDaniel has the challenge of competing despite having a small roster. The Eagles will only have 19 players on the sidelines in their season opener.

Despite having a small squad, McDaniel is optimistic that his team has quality over quantity.

“I’ve got a great sophomore class,” said McDaniel. “Our quarterback Chase Trunnell is a big strong kid. He had about 50 yards rushing and 150 yards passing last week (in a preseason game against Ocala Christian Academy). Jackson Carey – another sophomore, he’s our strongest guy. He’s also our halfback, he had over 100 yards rushing last week as well.”

McDaniel, who enters his eighth season at the helm, will have multiple guys playing offense and defense. He hopes the team chemistry will propel the team to improvement.

“When you got large numbers in a class, (the players) tend to gravitate towards one another so this group is really, really good about that,” McDaniel added. “I think they like each other. I think as the season goes, they’re really going to want to play hard for one another. That hopefully will translate into some success for us as the season goes along.”

The team kicks off in St. Augustine at 7:00 p.m.

It’s a meeting between two state title hopefuls when Gainesville High will host powerhouse Columbia at Citizens Field.

The Hurricanes and second-season head coach Mark Latsko will look to make it back to the state playoffs after falling in the regional semi-finals to Springstead.

The Canes will look for revenge on Thursday night. Columbia stomped on GHS with a 49-7 victory in last year’s season-opener.

Coach Latsko will only have two returning starters on offense but Caelan Christian returns as the team’s quarterback.

Meanwhile, the Tigers will look to continue the sustain the success they’ve had over the last three years. After posting a 10-2 record and a regional semi-final berth in 2013, head coach Brian Allen is focused on preparing his guys for a deep postseason run.

Columbia will once again lean on the services of senior running back Lonnie Underwood. He ran for over 1700 yards and a school record 36 touchdowns last season.

Kick-off at Citizens Field is set for 7:30 p.m.

For audio on above quotes, click below:

McDaniel talks about the guys on his team to look out for.

McDaniel says his team has great chemistry.

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Thursday Sports Update 8/28

By on August 28th, 2014

College football kicks off in earnest, high school football too, baseball, more money for an NBA coach and more in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The college football season kicks off with an SEC flavor tonight as South Carolina hosts Texas A&M.  Also, Ole Miss plays Boise State and Vanderbilt and new coach Derek Mason face Temple.

** When North Carolina opens its season, it will do so without four suspended players who allegedly were part of a hazing incident, according to head coach and former Gator assistant Larry Fedora.

** Local high school football starts tonight as well as Gainesville High School hosts Columbia High and Oak Hall travels to face Florida Deaf.

** The NFL wraps up its preseason schedule with a slew of games tonight.    Jacksonville hosts Atlanta while Tampa Bay hosts Washington and Miami hosts St.Louis.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay beats Baltimore 3-1; Miami loses 6-1 to the LA Angels and Atlanta nips the New York Mets 3-2.   Miami is off today while the Rays and Braves will face the Orioles and Mets, respectively.

** In NBA news, LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers has signed a new five year contract extension to remain with the team.


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Santa Fe Volleyball Wins First Ever Game

By on August 27th, 2014

 History was made last night – right here in Gainesville, Florida.

The Santa Fe College Saints defeated the Pasco Hernando State College Conquistadors in a five game match in the program’s first ever volleyball game in front of 800 supporters at the Santa Fe College Gym. Saints head coach Nick Cheronis, who was also the assistant to Gator volleyball coach Mary Wise for 18 years, said he’s extremely happy with his squad’s performance and is proud of Santa Fe’s VERY first win.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the first game or the last game,” Cheronis said. “Getting the win feels pretty darn good. I’m very happy with the team’s performance; I think their effort was outstanding. I thought a couple of times Pasco Hernando did a great job challenging us and we responded.”

“It was a pretty nervous environment and a pretty nervous atmosphere to start out with. We knew we were going to have our hands full with Pasco Hernando. They’re very well coached and have really great players. So we’re very happy with the win.”

Cheronis added that he’s thrilled to start the new era off on the right foot winning  (25-23, 23-25, 25-16, 24-26, 15-8) at the Santa Fe Gym and is looking forward to what the future has in store.

“I’m so happy that so many people came out to watch our first ever match,” Cheronis said. “I’m starting to get comments about people watching it live online so I’m hoping we start building something pretty exciting here.”

“We’ve got some things to iron out,”  he added. “Obviously it’s just one match and we have about 35 more to go so we can’t get to high over this one, but right now we’re going to enjoy the moment and enjoy the fact that it was our very first game and we got a win out of it.”

Up next, the Saints will battle Eastern Florida State College at 12 PM prior to taking on Pensacola State at 2 PM Friday afternoon at the Marriot Classic in Jacksonville.


For audio on the above quotes, click below:

Cheronis on team’s performance

Cheronis on support from fans

Cheronis on matchup



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Wednesday Sports Update 8/27

By on August 27th, 2014

A Gator football depth chart is released, an NFL trade, baseball and more in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** The Gator football team releases a two deep depth chart for its opener Saturday against Idaho.   True freshman Treon Harris wins the backup quarterback job and senior Clay Burton wins the starting tight end job as well.

** Speaking of freshmen, a lot of them are scheduled to see playing time Saturday.  Gator coach Will Muschamp says nearly 20 redshirt or true freshmen could see action against Idaho.

** The college football season officially starts tomorrow night when South Carolina faces Texas A&M and Boise State tangles with Ole Miss.   Vanderbilt will also play, taking on Temple and Rutgers takes on Washington.

** In the NFL, the Tampa Bay Bucs acquire New England Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins for a fourth round draft choice and tight end Tim Wright.

** In baseball, Baltimore edges Tampa Bay 4-2 while the Atlanta Braves lose 3-2 to the New York Mets.   Miami loses 8-2 to the LA Angels.   Those same match ups are on tap tonight.

** The Santa Fe Saints won their first ever volleyball match last night, beating Pasco-Hernando State College in five games.


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Muschamp Releases Depth Chart For The Season Opener

By on August 26th, 2014

On Tuesday, Florida football coach Will Muschamp released the depth chart for the season opener against Idaho on Saturday. The biggest question mark for many was who would be named the back up quarterback to starter Jeff Driske; Muschamp chose to go with true freshman Treon Harris over freshman Will Grier.

“The back up quarterback will be Treon Harris going into this game,” he said. “There was really no separation from the back up standpoint. We met through the weekend and talked moving forward and felt like Treon had some things he could provide for us offensively. “

As for the other back up quarterbacks, Muschamp said they would keep taking reps.

“No decisions have been made [about redshirting] Will Grier, Skyler Mornhinweg or anyone else. All of those guys did some good things and we’re gonna move forward from week-to-week on that situation there.”

Another decision that has yet to be decided is who will do the kicking and punting. Austin Hardin and Frankie Velez are competing for the starting kicking position, while Kyle Christy and Johnny Townsend are competing at punter.

“We haven’t really decided yet, as far as Austin or Frankie who will kick. I have confidence in both guys who had really strong camps. We can win with both guys I do know that,” Muschamp said. “We haven’t made a decision on the punter yet, as far as Kyle and Johnny. We’ll punt through the week and see where we go there.”

The only player that Muschamp mentioned who could be questionable for Saturday’s home opener is defensive back Marcus Maye. Maye is suffering from a hamstring injury.

“He will not practice today, but we hope to get him back tomorrow,” he said.

Another surprise on the depth chart was at the tight end position. Clay Burton was named the starter ahead of Virginia transfer Jake McGee. Many thought McGee would get the starting nod, but he is expected to be involved in most passing situations.

Continuing on the offensive side of the depth chart, Matt Jones, Kelvin Taylor, and Mack Brown will all split the running back duties.

At the wide receiver position, Quinton Dunbar, Latroy Pittman, and Ahmad Fulwood earned the starting receiver spots.

Switching over to the defense, Muschamp feels pretty confident about the defensive line and linebackers. He also revealed who will start in the secondary.

“Defensively, our front seven I feel pretty solid with where we are on the defensive line, the four linebackers I’ve talked pretty extensively about through camp,” Muschamp added. “Secondary, Vernon Hargreaves, Brian Poole, Jabari Gorman and Keanu Neal will start in some form or fashion. “

In addition, Muschamp noted that nine true freshmen and eight or nine redshirt freshmen will play on Saturday against the Idaho Vandals. He mentioned Idaho, who went 1-11 last season, does a good job of mixing up pressure on the defensive side of the ball, but also praised their offense.

“Offensively, very similar to what [Bobby Petrino's] done before. They’re going to be very balanced in what they do in the run and the pass game with Paul. They do a nice job of free releasing the backs in a lot of situations and getting five out. You have to make sure you’re covered down on every one. They create a lot of explosive plays because of that.”

 “We’re young in the secondary so we have to make sure those guys have their eyes where they’re supposed to be and cover down on the guys as far as the receivers are concerned,” Muschamp said.  “They have some explosive players. They have nine players from the state of Florida. So we need to go play well.”

The Gators will get their first chance to “play well” in front of their home fans on Saturday night when their 2014 season kicks off at 7PM.

For audio on above quotes, click below:

Muschamp names Treon Harris as the back up QB

Muschamp on the other back up QB’s

Muschamp on injured Marcus Maye

Muschamp on who will start on defense

Muschamp undecided on the kicker and punter

Muschamp on Idaho’s offense

More on Idaho

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Sante Fe College Plays Inaugural Volleyball Match Tonight

By on August 26th, 2014

Despite not having played a single game in program history, the brand new Santa Fe College volleyball team opens up its first season ranked ninth in the FCSAA preseason poll as tonight they host Pasco-Hernando State College. The Saints are coached by Nick Cheronis, who formerly served under UF head coach Mary Wise as an assistant for 18 years. Although he is wary of such a high ranking in the polls, Cheronis says he likes where his athletes are at mentally.

“They have outstanding character and they’re all trying to do the right thing,” says Cheronis. “They’re all trying to make themselves better every day, and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”

The Saints roster features five players from local area high schools: Mersedes Bowers of Gainesville High, Ann-Lorrayne Bzoch and Farah Rajaee from St. Francis, Chelsea Dola from Williston and Julie Fuchs of Buchholz. That alone should a draw a crowd, but Cheronis thinks fans will attend regardless to take in some high-quality volleyball.

“There aren’t very many opportunities to see a brand new program,” says Cheronis. “If you want to see some history made and you can say ‘I was there,’ this is your opportunity.”

A tailgate for students and other fans will take place at 5:30 p.m. in front of Santa Fe Gym, with first serve at 7.

Cheronis on the state of his team

Cheronis on the excitement of the first match



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Tuesday Sports Update 8/26

By on August 26th, 2014

History being made tonight at Santa Fe College, college football, NFL news, baseball and more in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** History will be made tonight at Santa Fe College where coach Nick Cheronis will play the school’s first ever volleyball match at 7pm.   The program was started from scratch by Cheronis, a former long time Gator assistant.

** The Gator football team continues to prepare for its season opener Saturday against Idaho and today we should know from Gator coach Will Muschamp who the backup quarterback will be as a depth chart is scheduled to be released for the game.

** Alabama is still looking for a starting quarterback among Blake Sims and Jacob Coker and LSU coach Les Miles says he will play two quarterbacks in its opener against Wisconsin.

** NFL teams are making cuts to pare their rosters down and two former Gators have been cut in offensive lineman Max Starks by Arizona and defensive lineman Damien Jacobs by Buffalo.

** In baseball, Baltimore tops Tampa Bay 9-1 while Miami downs the LA Angels 7-1.   Atlanta was idle and the Braves start a series at the New York Mets tonight.

** The U.S. Open tennis championships continue today in New York.

** Tiger Woods has fired his swing coach.   Sean Foley was Tiger’s tutor for four years.  Woods did not win a major championship under the guidance of Foley.

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Monday Sports Update 8/25

By on August 25th, 2014

College football, baseball, Gator soccer NFL roster cuts and more in our Monday Sports Update…

** The college football season starts Thursday and Florida begins its season Saturday by hosting Idaho.   Gator coach Will Muschamp is expected to release a depth chart Tuesday.

** NFL roster cuts are starting to happen after most teams have now played three preseason games.   So far, no former Gator players have been released.

** More bad news for St.Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford who has been hurt many times in his career.   He’s out for the season after tearing his ACL.

** The Gator soccer team is now 2-0 after beating South Florida 2-0 Sunday.   Senior Annie Speese scores twice for Florida which will now go on the road to play Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this weekend.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay edges Toronto 2-1 and now begins a series with AL East leader Baltimore tonight.   Miami loses 7-4 to Colorado and the Marlins start a series at the LA Angels tonight.   Atlanta loses 5-3 to Cincinnati but the Braves do have the day off today.

** The U.S. Open tennis championships get underway today in New York; the event will run 15 days.

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