Pro Hockey News

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Fred Taylor Named to 2015 SEC Legends Class

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.  - The Southeastern Conference announced its 2015 SEC Football Legends class, a collection of former football standouts who will be honored at events surrounding the SEC Football Championship Game in Atlanta in December.

The 2015 Football Legends Class includes 14 former stars who excelled on the gridiron and helped write the rich history of the sport at their respective institutions. This year's class includes All-Americans, All-SEC selections and Academic All-Americans as well as NCAA and SEC record holders. The group represents teams that won National and SEC Championships and are represented in state, school and college football halls of fame.

Taylor, a standout running back from 1994-97, earned first-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and was named All-SEC his senior year, leading the Gators in rushing that season with 1,292 yards on 214 carries and a team-high 13 touchdowns. 

Taylor had eight 100-yard rushing performances and served as a team captain that stellar season. He was a first-round selection in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and went on to record seven 1,000-yard rushing seasons to rank No. 15 on the NFL's all-time rushing yards list. He retired from the NFL following the 2010 season after a 13-year career with the Jaguars and Patriots.

The class will be honored at the 2015 SEC Football "Weekend of Champions" Dec. 4-5 in Atlanta, Ga. The annual SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T will be held Dec. 4 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and the group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at the Georgia Dome on Sat., Dec. 5.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

SOCCER: JU Men Fall to UCF 3-2

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The rain would not go away and despite what the box score read, neither did the Jacksonville University men's soccer team. In its midweek nonconference finale, Jacksonville invited UCF to Southern Oak Stadium where it put forth a strong showing but fell, 3-2.
Allan Morgan and Ejiroghene Mrabure scored for JU while Matias Pyysalo had an impact on all three of UCF's scores with a goal and a pair of assists registered on the night.
"We're getting tested all the time but we're battling back," said Head Coach Mauricio Ruiz. "We're still making individual mistakes but for the third game in a row we were the better team. We're just not finding a way to get the result."
There was plenty of action in the first 10 minutes of play and much of the momentum sided with the Dolphins. The home team recorded two shots and earned a corner kick but it was the Knights who took the early lead on a shot by Hadji Barry (11:45).
The Dolphins evened the score at 1-1 after a foul outside the box led to a free kick. On a bit of trickery, both Juan Manuel Arguedas and Morgan lined up to take the kick but it was the latter who buried the 15-yard shot.
In what may have been the play of the match, Patrick Harding stonewalled a UCF penalty kick at the 36:47 mark as he leapt to the left to stop Pyysalo from scoring.
The Knights, however, tacked on another goal just before halftime to stretch their advantage to 2-1.
Coming out of the break, after assisting on the first two goals, Pyysalo scored one of his own in the 51st minute.
Twenty-five minutes later, the Dolphins again found the back of the net when Mrabure ran through the box to connect on a cross from Wayne Campbell. With that goal, he now leads the team with three on the season.
"Our guys are growing," continued Ruiz. "Eji and Allan and a bunch of our returners are fitter, stronger and more intelligent. Those two just keep combining the right way. There is a great chemistry between them and they keep putting up numbers."
Each side recorded one shot in the final 15 minutes, neither on target.
Jacksonville visits the defending Atlantic Sun champions, Florida Gulf Coast, next Wednesday in its first conference match of the season.
"We don't have a choice but to keep going. The guys are all in. We'll show up tomorrow and get back to work. We are in a much better position entering conference now than we were last year."

Monday, September 21, 2015

NASL: Armada FC Director of Player Development Eric Dade named interim head coach

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Armada FC owner and CEO Mark Frisch announced on Monday the dismissal of general manager Dario Sala and head coach Guillermo Hoyos along with assistant coaches Edison Ibarra, Rafael Perez Niño and Sebastian Fabres.

The Armada currently sits in last place in the North American Soccer League Fall and Combined Season standings and has been held scoreless in their last five matches and 498 minutes of play. In addition, the team has yet to win a single game on the road, with a record of 0-2-11 (W-D-L).

"Since the inception of the Armada FC, I have made it clear that I have a very high standard for performance on and off the field. To achieve success in this league, and win championships, we must defend effectively, attack relentlessly, score goals and win games - both at home and away from home - on a consistent basis. We have not done this," said Frisch. "Following an in-depth analysis of the team and operations, I am confident that a new direction is needed to turn around our team. Our players and fans deserve our very best and I strongly believe this is what is needed for us to move forward."

Dade, who has more than 28 years of experience in professional and youth soccer development, is a former Major League Soccer player, playing as a defender with the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) from 1997-2001 and also played with the USL Dallas Rockets and professional indoor soccer for the Dallas Sidekicks and Baltimore Spirit. 

He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor of science in physical education after playing on the men's soccer team from 1987-91 and was inducted into the VCU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

SEELY COLUMN: College basketball: can't be much worse


We almost have reached the bottom of college basketball. We aren't there yet, but it's in sight.

If you are a college fan, you're in the wrong town, pal. You may have two Division 1 schools but they aren't making it easy for you to watch their games and, considering the opposition, you probably won't want to bother.

The main culprit is Jacksonville University. It has a bad team, a terrible home schedule, poor promotion, plays in the near-worst conference and a dumpy place to play in a not-so-hot part of the city.

Don't let the University of North Florida’s appearance in the NCAA tournament last year fool you. It has a so-so team, a terrible home schedule, poor promotion, the same near-worst conference and an arena that's nothing special.

Playing downtown? No games from these two. If you must see basketball in the Veterans Memorial Arena, you'll have to settle for an NBA exhibition and a doubleheader involving women's teams.

The bottom is upon us.

Let us start with JU, which has been in a 45-year slide from the best team in college basketball to one of the worst (the Dolphins were ranked 343rd of 351 Division 1 teams last year by the respected Sagarin system.) 

• They have moved all their games to Swisher Gym, a 50-year-old facility that looks like it was built years earlier.
• They play in the Atlantic Sun Conference, rated by Sagarin as 33rd of 35 last year. The A-Sun has a continually changing cast; it's where teams start, and flee as soon as possible.
• In addition to their no-name conference schedule, their non-conference list of worse. It's hard to imagine driving over to Arlington, hunting a parking place, and then paying to see (in order of appearance) Florida College, Thomas University, Florida A&M, Marist, Bethune-Cookman, Florida Memorial and Trinity Baptist. You've only heard of FAMU, Marist, Bethune and Trinity. And you know none of those are any good. Of this list, only three teams are Division I and none of those are much: Marist (No. 314,) Bethune (No. 330) and FAMU (No. 350 and next-to-last.)

Now, UNF.

They got to a reasonable level last year (No. 151 Sagarin,) went to the NCAA tournament last year and are trying to ride that wave, but consider:

• They only got into the tournament by winning the A-Sun tournament, which meant beating (in order of appearance) Stetson (No. 335,) Lipscomb (No. 300) and USC Upstate (No. 181.) Their NCAA experience lasted one game, losing to Robert Morris (No. 176.)
• Their home schedule is a tad better than JU's but certainly nothing to drive halfway to the beach, park in a big garage and pay good money to see. They's bringing in (in order of appearance ) FAMU, Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edward Waters, St. Francis (NY), Trinity Baptist, Coastal Georgia, Florida International and Austin Peay. Like JU, the Division 1 pickings are slim: FAMU, St. Francis (No. 161,) Florida International (No. 253) and Austin Peay (No. 318.)
• And, they play in the no-name A-Sun. Kennesaw State, anyone?
Now, time for a quiz. Of all the non-conference teams coming to town, how many of their hometowns can you name?

A few are easy: FAMU (Tallahassee,) Edward Waters (downtown Jacksonville) and Bethune (Daytona Beach) for sure, and you should know Trinity (it's part of the megachurch on the west edge of Duval County.)

That leaves Florida College, Thomas University, Marist, Florida Memorial, Texas Rio Grande Valley, St. Francis, Coastal Georgia, Florida International and Austin Peay.

Eh? Give up? 

(In order of appearance: Tampa; Thomasville, Ga.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Miami; Edinburgh, Tex.; Brooklyn;  Brunswick, Ga.; and Clarksville, Tenn.)
We all know that this is an incredibly unsophisticated basketball town. Always has been. Football is king, particularly college football. It took a near-NCAA championship by JU to fill the old 8,000-seat Coliseum. 

JU tried playing in the 14,000-seat Arena for a few years and it added to the embarrassment, as most games were seen by 500 or so desultory souls.

UNF got more people to come but remember: this is an on-campus facility and games are something for students to do, other than roam around the Town Center.

So …
• If you really have nothing better to do, or
• If you are addicted to college basketball, or
• If you want to throw good money after bad, and
• If you want to see bad teams, everyone of which was outranked by 150 other schools last year,

Then …A season ticket at UNF is $140, at JU it's $135.

Such a deal.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

NASL: Strikers Down Jacksonville Armada FC, 2-0

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -  The Jacksonville Armada FC mounted a series of opportunities against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Wednesday night at Lockhart Stadium, but it wasn't enough to get the Armada on the scoreboard as they fell 2-0.

Armada goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo finished with six saves.

In only their second meeting of the year, the Armada (3W-2D-8L NASL Fall, 6-5-12 Combined) and Fort Lauderdale (5-5-2, 8-7-7) took to a wet rain soaked pitch. 

Jacksonville will return to action at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26 when it hosts the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Community First Park next Saturday Sept. 26. The Armada will host a tribute to Jacksonville's original NASL club, the Tea Men, and also celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night. Tickets, starting at $12, are available by calling 1.844.2.Armada or visiting

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

GOLF NOTES: Fun at the Village


The World Golf Village has a big weekend ahead. It's October 2-4 and there's something for everyone in what they're calling a Golf Festival.

It starts with a golf tournament, includes a chance to visit with two Hall of Famers, and there's also lots of family activities.

Here's the deal:

Oct. 2: A scramble tournament on the Slammer & Squire. It's $200 includes what they say is a $100-value gift bag. The shotgun is at 1.

Oct. 3: A big demo day from noon-4. In attendance will be Hall members Nancy Lopez and David Graham. Then, from 4-6, there's a Family Fun Zone with foot golf, a putt-putt course, free 9-hole rounds of golf for families, bounce house, face painting, and a Pitch, Chip, & Putt Challenge for juniors.

Oct. 4: They'll have an Adult-Junior competition starting at 1 that includes a gift bag and dinner. For those who aren't playing, the museum is open at no charge and the Tour Academy will have a free clinic.

Everything is at the main complex and information and prices are at

Monday, September 14, 2015

SEELY: Setting of one Sun


Peter Bragan gave himself a grand farewell this month as he ended his family's 30-plus year ownership of the Jacksonville Suns.

What we lose is a good businessman, one who fought the system and won. Bragan made a lot of money, certainly in the seven figures each year, because some greedy big shots in town tried to pull a power play on him.

Here's what happened. Around 2002, some of the city's self-proclaimed big shots decided they wanted Triple-A baseball to go with the new Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville when it opened in 2003. 

Mayor John Delaney went along (after all, politicians don't argue with the big shots.) Bragan was a pain in the derriere and getting rid of him would be a bonus.

Getting rid of Bragan wasn't like getting rid of a pimple on the butt. He is a fiercely protective person who won't back away from a fight. He may be crass, cheap and hard-headed, but he ain't dumb.

But, why wouldn't Bragan make a deal to get a Triple-A franchise and make everyone happy?

Bragan didn't want Triple-A for many good reasons:

• It's more expensive, starting with being an airplane league rather than a bus league.

• The quality of play is only marginally better, certainly not better to the average person's eye.

• Triple-A is more of a rehab place these days; think of the number of players who have gone straight from Jacksonville to the big leagues without stopping on the way.

• People who go to minor league games don't care who their team is playing. Most don't care about their team. They want a fun evening out with cold beer and good hot dogs. So what if we play Montgomery rather than Indianapolis?

Bragan's resistance was met with an implied threat. It's going to be our ballpark and we'll go get a team, and you'll be left out. You can take your little Double-A and go elsewhere.

Okay, said Bragan, I will. Orange Park or St. Augustine will be glad to have me. Both counties are looking for something to claim as their own and building a ballpark would be enthusiastically received by the taxpayers. Sticking it to Jacksonville would be a bonus.

So Bragan had all the cards. If Jacksonville wanted to play hardball, they'll lose because they won't get Triple-A for two big reasons:

• Bragan had the rights to this geographic area. That included Clay and St. Johns counties.

• The Bragan family has been deeply ingrained in baseball for decades, and baseball isn't about to let a loyal family get screwed.

So, who got screwed?

Surprise! The city finally realized they had a $30 million-plus ballpark under construction with no one to play in it. The people who wanted to screw Bragan got the message: they could really be screwed.

When they figured that out, they conceded. Forgive and forget, Pedro.
But Bragan doesn't forgive and forget.

Want me to play in your new ballpark? Okay, here's the terms. If you don't like them, look for me down I-95 or US 17.

The terms he demanded, and got, are stunning. His financial obligation was $84,000 a year. For that, he got everything, including city-paid security. Probably a tenth of what others paid, maybe a twentieth.

That's why he drove away in the sunset. When you make a few million a year, and you're very cheap, there's plenty for the future.

You and I paid for it, of course.

But don't blame Pedro, as cheap and crass as he might be. He left the ballpark that night with a bagful of cash in that little red convertible. He earned every bit of it.

Let's hope some big shots and the politicians learned a lesson. Doubtful, but let's hope.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

NASL: Minnesota and New York Pick Up Ground in Fall Season Race

NEW YORK -- Minnesota United FC extended its unbeaten streak to six games and the New York Cosmos upped their regular-season home unbeaten run to 18 games in North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season on Saturday night.

United and the Cosmos are tied on points (22) in the Fall Season Standings - three points behind Ottawa Fury FC. Minnesota spotted the Carolina RailHawks an early tally before scoring three unanswered goals to end up on the right side of a 3-1 result, while Raúl's sixth goal of the year helped the Cosmos defeat 10-man Jacksonville Armada FC.

In Saturday's matinee match, Ottawa, which boasts the league's top defense, stymied one of the league's top offenses in a 0-0 draw against the visiting Fort Lauderdale Strikers. First-place Ottawa, however, has only taken 3 of a possible 12 points in its last four home matches and plays its next three games away from home.

The San Antonio Scorpions, behind two goals from Rafael Castillo, blanked visiting Indy Eleven as the defending league champions moved out of last place in both the Fall Season and Combined Standings.

New York Cosmos 1, Jacksonville Armada FC 0

New York (6-4-2, 22 Fall; 11-9-2, 42 Combined), playing a man up after Lucas Trejo's straight red card in the 52nd minute, finally broke through in the 74th minute when Raúl flashed the skill that made him a star for Real Madrid and Spain's national team. He settled a pass from Walter Restrepo, cut the ball back with his right foot and calmly buried a left-footed shot past Jacksonville (3-2-7, 11 Fall; 6-5-11, 23 Combined) goalkeeper David Sierra to record his sixth goal of the year.

The Armada FC are winless on the road (0-2-9) in their inaugural season in the NASL, while the Cosmos now have an 18-game regular-season home unbeaten streak. Argentine striker Gaston Cellerino made his debut for the Cosmos as a second-half substitute.

Ottawa Fury FC 0, Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0

Fort Lauderdale (4-5-2, 17 Fall; 7-7-7, 28 Combined), with one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, faced the NASL's best defense in Ottawa (7-4-1, 25 Fall, 9-9-4, 36 Combined) before 6,327 at TD Place in Canada's capital. Ottawa's defense stood the test, keeping the Strikers' league-leading goal-scorer Stefano Pinho off the scoresheet. Goalkeeper Romuald Peiser recorded the club's 11th shutout of the season, making several acrobatic saves to preserve the deadlock.

Former Fort Lauderdale forward Aly Alberto Hassan nearly gave Ottawa the late victory when his header skidded wide of the goal in the final minute of second-half injury time. The Strikers entered the match on a three-game winning streak and now are unbeaten in their last five. Ottawa maintained its place atop the Fall Season Standings, but the club is about to face a string of tough road tests in the coming weeks.

Minnesota United FC 3, Carolina RailHawks 1

Carolina (3-3-7, 12 Fall; 6-8-9, 26 Combined) jumped in front before 8,222 at NSC Stadium in Blaine, Minn., when Futty Danso rose above the Minnesota (6-4-2, 22 Fall; 9-9-4, 36 Combined) defense in the 4th minute to head a corner kick from Tiyi Shipalane off the post and into the net. The Loons drew even in the 72nd minute when a free kick was headed into his own net by Carolina defender Daniel Scott.

Minnesota took the lead four minutes later when Kevin Venegas found Christian Ramirez with a lead pass. Ramirez headed the pass back into the path of Pablo Campos, who struck the ball first time and powered it low to the far post and past Akira Fitzgerald. Venegas made it 3-1 when he dribbled past a pair of RailHawks defenders before planting a shot behind Fitzgerald. Minnesota is now unbeaten in six games and the club has scored a goal in 20 straight league matches. Carolina has allowed three goals in six of its last seven games - five of them losses.

San Antonio Scorpions 2, Indy Eleven 0

San Antonio (3-4-5, 13 Fall; 6-7-9, 25 Combined) took a 1-0 lead in the waning seconds of the first half when Rafael Castillo slotted a penalty kick past Indy Eleven (3-3-7, 12 Fall; 6-7-10, 25 Combined) goalkeeper Keith Cardona. The PK was set up after Cardona crashed into Marvin Chávez.

Billy Forbes set up Castillo's second goal in the 72nd minute with a pass that split two defenders. Castillo ran on to the pass, held off a defender and scored. The victory, which was played in front of 7,232 fans at Toyota Field, enabled San Antonio, the defending league champions, to move out of last place in both the Fall Season and Combined Standings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

GOLF: Men’s Golf, Wicks Win Titles at GolfWeek Program Challenge

PAWLEY’S ISLAND, S.C. – Jacksonville University’s men’s golf team has won the 2015 GolfWeek Program Challenge with a three-round score of 30-under 834, and JU’s David Wicks won the individual medal thanks to a three-round score of 13-under 203.

“It was a nice way to open up the season,” said Head Coach Mike Blackburn. “After losing the lead briefly on the front nine, the boys rallied with a six-under back nine to secure the win.”

Wicks won the individual medal, but it took a team effort to win the tournament. Franck Medale also had an incredible three rounds, carding ten-under 206 to tie for third place. Raul Pereda tied for 17th overall at four-under 212, Ryan Jahn tied for 35th overall at one-over 217, and Prem Samritpricha rounded out the championship team with a score of eight-over 224.

It took quite a lot for Wicks to win the individual title. James Madison’s Ryan Cole was in first place at 12-under 204 while Wicks was still out on the course, and Wicks had to par the final three holes to secure his individual and the team championship.

“I'm always confident going into tournaments, but I didn't expect to come into my first tournament and win," said Wicks. "More importantly, our team managed to win. It was a good chase by James Madison. Our main goal was to come in and win as a team, and we accomplished that.”

Blackburn explained how the Dolphins managed to keep the lead through all three rounds of the tournament, despite the limited practice time they had and the tough conditions on the course Monday.

“What little time we've had, we've focused on short game," said Blackburn. "When you don't have your best game, you can manufacture a score through your short game. That's what we've started working on and we're going to continue there."

The overall Program Challenge winner was Campbell University, whose men’s and women’s program combined to finish +9. Second was Old Dominion with a combined score of +14, and in third was Mercer with a +19. Elon came in fourth with a +23 combined score, and Jacksonville rounded out the top five with a combined score of +26.

The men’s golf team tees off again this coming Sunday at the Bridgestone Match Play at the Chateau Elan in Braselton, Ga.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

NASL RECAP: Armada Fall at Indy: Rowdies Celebrate Anniversary By Beating Cosmos

NEW YORK -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies celebrated the club's 40th anniversary by defeating their long-time rival New York Cosmos, 2-0, on Saturday night before 5,630 fans at Al Lang Stadium.
Corey Hertzog and Darwin Espinal each found the net for Tampa Bay, which used the victory to put itself back in the top four of the NASL's Combined Standings in the race to The Championship, the league's four-team postseason tournament. The Rowdies snapped the Cosmos' eight-game unbeaten streak and dashed their hopes of overtaking Ottawa Fury FC for first place in the Fall Season Standings. The Cosmos have already clinched a berth in The Championship by virtue of winning the Spring Season.
In Indianapolis, local product Zach Steinberger scored twice as Indy Eleven erased a four-game winless streak with a complete performance and a 3-0 win over Jacksonville Armada FC. Defending champion San Antonio finds itself at the bottom of both the Fall Season and Combined Standings after dropping a 1-0 decision to Fall Season leader Ottawa Fury FC at Toyota Field.
On Sunday, Minnesota United heads north of the border to square off with FC Edmonton at Clarke Field. The Loons are currently on a three-game winning streak, while the Eddies have dropped two results in a row.

Indy Eleven 3, Jacksonville Armada FC 0
Playing in front of 9,078 fans at Carroll Stadium, Indy Eleven (6-7-9 25 Combined; 3-3-6, 12 Fall) took a 1-0 lead only 9 minutes into the match when Don Smart latched onto a lead pass through the visiting Jacksonville's (6-5-10, 23 Combined; 3-2-6, 11 Fall) defense. He touched the ball around goalkeeper David Sierra to Zach Steinberger, a product of nearby Butler University, who tapped the ball into an empty net with his left foot. Steinberger scored his second of the game in the 73rd minute when he took a through pass from Smart and chipped a shot over Sierra. Marvin Ceballos put an exclamation point on Indy's victory, its third shutout at home this season, when he curled in a right-footed shot from about 18 yards out in the first minute of stoppage time. Jacksonville fell to 0-2-9 on the road this year.
Tampa Bay Rowdies 2, New York Cosmos 0
Tampa Bay (8W-6D-7L, 30 points Combined; 3-2-6, 11 Fall) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute when Georgi Hristov picked up a deflected pass, dribbled to the end line and crossed. An airborne Corey Hertzog reached back with his right foot and flicked a shot past New York (10-9-2, 39 Combined; 5-4-2, 19 Fall) goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer. Darwin Espinal scored a goal as a substitute for the second straight game when he made it 2-0 in the 76th minute, finishing a nifty, multiple pass combination. The loss ended the Cosmos' eight-game unbeaten streak.
Ottawa Fury FC 1, San Antonio Scorpions 0
After a scoreless first half, Ottawa Fury FC (9-8-4, 35 Combined; 7-3-1, 24 Fall) jumped in front in the 50th minute when Oliver Minatel headed a pass from Paulo Junior past San Antonio (5-6-9, 21 Combined; 2-3-5, 9 Fall) goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes. The Scorpions played more than 50 minutes a man down after defender Zourab Tsiskaridze received his second yellow card and was ejected late in the first half. The victory enabled Ottawa to increase its first-place lead over the Cosmos in the Fall Season Standings and its hold on the automatic berth in The Championship that goes with winning the season title.
Carolina RailHawks 2, Atlanta Silverbacks 0
On Friday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., the Atlanta Silverbacks (6-8-8, 26 Combined; 5-3-4 18 Fall) allowed two quick goals in a span of four minutes as the Carolina RailHawks (6-7-8, 25 Combined; 3-2-6, 11 Fall) snapped a four-game losing streak. Carolina took the lead in the 24th minute on a goal by Nazmi Albadawi and doubled the score when Connor Tobin scored just four minutes later. The victory for the RailHawks was the club's first since July 18, when they defeated San Antonio. Atlanta played the match without its first-choice goalkeeper, Steward Ceus, who is with the national team of Haiti for World Cup qualifying matches.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JU special teams, defense beat Delaware, 20-14

NEWARK, Del. – Jacksonville kicker Brandon Behr kicked two second-half field goals and linebacker Justin Horton recovered a fumble in the end zone with 2:09 to play as the Dolphins beat Delaware 20-14 Friday.

Behr, from Fleming Island, Fla., connected from both 42 and 41 yards as the Dolphins won a second half field position battle to capture their season opener.

JU punter Ryan Giaratano kept the Blue Hens (0-1) bottled up with some pinpoint efforts which led to Behr's 42-yarder with 3:15 to go in the third.

The Dolphin defense stifled Delaware and JU punt returner Terrance Bryant returned a kick 34yards  in the fourth quarter that led to Behr's 41-yard field goal and a 13-7 lead.

Horton, from Clermont, Fla., then recovered a fumble by Blue Hen quarterback Joe Walker in the end zone on a hit by defensive lineman TJ Jenkins.

"Our special teams were big time,'' JU coach Kerwin Bell said. "Special teams coach Kerry Webb does a great job,  Giaratano did a great job and so did Behr and Bryant.''

Delaware came back and scored with 1:20 to play on a five-play 46-yard drive when Jalen Randolph ran in from the 1. The Blue Hens tried an onside kick but touched the ball before it went 10 yards and JU ran the clock out from there.

The Dolphins overcame three penalties on their first drive of the season to get on the board early when Kade Bell hit senior Andy Jones on a 22-yard pass with 10:08 to play in the first quarter. The score capped a 90-yard drive that took 14 plays.

After the opening score, the teams played even through the remainder of the first half until the Blue Hens struck with 1:20 to play in the second quarter when quarterback Diante Cherry hit running back Jalen Randolph on a 25-yard touchdown pass. The play ended a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took five minutes, 15 seconds.

Giaratano averaged 47.6 yards per punt with a 67-yarder and five went inside the 20.

Kade Bell ended the game 25-for43 for 269 yards and one touchdown. Jones caught nine passes for 118 yards.

Not only did Bryant shine on special teams, he led the team with 10 tackles while Grady Redding and Malik Slater each had seven.

The Dolphins travel to Newberry next Saturday.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

GOLF NOTES: Palatka wins Club Team

Jacksonville Golf News

The Palatka Golf Club team won the Jacksonville Area Golf Association's Club Team Championship played last month at Timuquana Country Club. The team consisted of pro Paul Trettner and amateurs Ron Jerin, Ron Millis and David Perkins.

The winning score was 29-under-par 115 and there were three teams a stroke behind: Deercreek, Atlantic Beach and Fleming Island.

The reason for the low scores: the new rules which allow professionals to carry a handicap. This is a recent trend to equalize the professionals in a pro-am competition, and strokes are now awarded starting with players on the forward most tees.

For instance, Charles Raulerson of Fleming Island is one of the state's best players and he was given five strokes. 

The complete results:
115: Palatka Golf Club (Paul Trettner, Ron Jerin, Ron Mullis, David Perkins.)
116: Deercreek (Tom Maxwell, Arch Copeland, Lee Fields, Mark Rutland); Atlantic Beach (Spencer Brown, Joe Fitzgerald, Bryan Croft, Mike Lee); Fleming Island (Charles Raulerson, Alan Stuckey, John McCormick, Charles Petranella.)
119: Fernandina Beach (Mike Benjamin, Price Poole, Charles Kicklighter, Jim Edwards); Queen's Harbour (Jim Camp, Bob Sykora, Ray Felice, Joe Wolke.)
123: South Hampton (Bryan Kipnis, Jamie Turngreen, Barb Biber, Sue Fitzgerald); Timuquana (Jason Smith, Jon Thompson, Michael McKenny, Bill Hardaker.)
124: Julington Creek (Brent Miller, Andy Jackson, J.D. Arms, John Gaston); Orange Park (Michael Simmons, Jeff Sullinger, Scott Geeser, Tony Roberts); Hidden Hills (Russ Libby, Barney Poston, Dave Vince, Tex Blinn.)
125: Amelia River (Alan Clack, Paul Worley, Dale Dignum, Chris Wimsett.)
126: Amelia Island Club (Dean Grunewald, Bill Smiley, Don Millen, Ron Turner); Blue Cypress (Byron Comstock, Rod Ellison, Earl Kelly, Jerry Wood); Jacksonville Golf and Country Club (Ray Barr, Paul Creven, Skip Lunsford, Tom Joseph.)
128: Magnolia Point (Mike Trinley, Bob Wildner, Joe Thill, Brad Lucas.)
129: Hyde Park (Gary Murfitt, Rusty Nicholas, Hank Veno, Wes Pacheco); Deerwood (Jim Lohrbauer, Ken Hicks, Cindy Riley, Rod Van Pelt.)
131: Ponte Vedra (Bruce Mohler, Adair Roberts, Jim Brennan, Tom Kassing.)
132: Suwannee (Robert Budwick, Don Branske, Jimmy Prevatt, Keith Scott); Jacksonville Beach (Sandy Suckling, Al Levene, Ed Tormollen, Fred Bridges): NAS (Joe Carreiro, Sean Haley, Jack Morehead, Russ Hamilton.)
133: San Jose (Josh Vidoli, Mike Cooper, Bill Basney, Don Wilkinson.)
138: Marsh Landing (David Media, Ray Cabano, Don Gould, Marc Battreall.)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Florida State continued preparation for Texas State on Tuesday

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 8/10-ranked Florida State football team continued preparation for the season-opener against Texas State on Tuesday with a two-hour practice in full pads at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility.

The Seminoles transitioned in and out of the indoor facility because of weather, but still got plenty of solid work in to get ready for the Bobcats, who went 7-5 last season and are picked to finish fifth in the Sun Belt Conference.

“We did a lot of work today,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “We got in, had to go back inside for the weather and then got back out. It was good to get that transition and get back outside…Good solid work week and we’re getting ready to play on Saturday and I like where we’re at.”

Texas State returns eight starters from an offense that averaged 464.4 yards per game in 2014, including preseason second-team All-Sun Belt quarterback Tyler Jones (2,670 passing yards and 22 touchdowns last season). 

The Bobcats run an up-tempo spread offense that is expected to rely heavily on Jones, but also on senior running backs Robert Lowe and Chris Nutall. Lowe rushed for 99.2 yards per game a year ago to spearhead the nation’s 18th-ranked rushing attack (238.5 yards per game).

“Here’s the things you get caught up with the spread,” Fisher said. ”Everybody thinks throw. A lot of those spread teams do it with the run. You’ve got to play both. That’s going to be a test from up front to back end. It’s going to be both because they run the ball as effectively as they throw it.”

Green Out For The Season
Fisher announced junior cornerback Ryan Green will likely be out for the season with a shoulder injury. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native had been earning second team reps at cornerback since the spring after moving to defense following two seasons as a backup running back. 

Fisher Praises Johnson
The Seminoles return only one starter on the offensive line this season in sophomore left tackle Rod Johnson. The 6-7, 323-pounder has emerged as a potential star, however, since stepping into the starting lineup at Miami in 2014. Johnson collected Preseason All-ACC honors this summer after garnering several Freshmen All-America honors for his play over five games down the stretch last season. 

“I wish he was left guard, right guard, center and right tackle,” Fisher jokingly said after practice. “That’s the most important position as far as protecting the quarterback and things you’ve got to have. They’re hard to find. Left tackles are really hard to find. I’m not complaining.”