Pro Hockey News

Friday, February 26, 2016

MBB: UNF earns second straight Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title with win over JU

The University of North Florida (21-10, 10-4) scored four points in the final 10 seconds of the game, escaping with an 81-80 win over Jacksonville University (16-15, 8-6 A-Sun) Thursday in the Historic Swisher Gym.

UNF made history by earning their second straight Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title.

"I am extremely proud of our guys and the history they made tonight," said head coach Matthew Driscoll. "We made it harder on ourselves than it should have been but I loved the way they really trusted each other and kept battling to earn a tough road victory. I thought in the final minutes, the guys really rose up and made some huge plays down the stretch to get the victory. We are thrilled to have accomplished one of our goals for the season and now turn our attention to the next phase of the year... postseason play."

Dallas Moore led the way for UNF scoring 22 points including 8 of the team's final 11 points in the first half, helping the Ospreys to a double-digit advantage. Demarcus Daniels added 14 points and Chris Davenport shipped in 10 points as both players topped the 1,000 point mark for their careers. 

Trent Mackey finished with 13 points, going 5-for-6 from the free throw line highlighted by a pair of free throws made with two seconds remaining to secure the victory, while Beau Beech also reached double figures in scoring 11 points.

"Give credit to UNF," said Head Coach Tony Jasick. "They really took advantage of some opportunities that were created through the game, especially in the second half, which changed the game. At times I was frustrated by the lack of urgency and effort." 

JU's Kori Babineaux impressed in his final regular season game, scoring 24 points on 11-22 shooting. The senior from Folsom, Calif., had seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal in 40 minutes. J.R. Holder had 23 points, four boards, three steals, and two assists. 

The Dolphins' Josh Adeyeye had 14 points, three rebounds, and one assist in his senior finale. Marcel White had eight points and six rebounds. Darien Fernandez had five points and five rebounds, Antwon Clayton had four points and five rebounds, and Demontrez Austin had two points.

The Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament begins play Tuesday with quarterfinal action. Top-seeded North Florida hosts No. 8 USC Upstate, at 7:30 p.m. No. 2 NJIT hosts No. 7 Stetson while Jacksonville, the No. 3 seed welcomes No. 6 Lipscomb and No. 4 FGCU hosts No. 5 Kennesaw State.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

MBB: Jones, Roberson take over in Vandy SEC road win over Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- If Vanderbilt makes the NCAA Tournament, the Commodores probably will be able to point to two circus shots against Florida. 

Damian Jones scored a career-high 27 points, Jeff Roberson added 18 points and 10 rebounds and Vandy beat the Gators 87-74 Tuesday night for a resume-building road win. 

"Damian was obviously spectacular," Vandy coach Kevin Stallings said. "Jeff Roberson was spectacular." 

Wade Baldwin IV chipped in 13 for Vanderbilt (17-11, 9-6 Southeastern Conference), which won for the fourth time in five games. Stallings' team also snapped a four-game skid in Gainesville. 

Although the Gators (17-11, 8-7) had no answer for Jones inside -- he made 12 of 13 shots -- the biggest difference may have been two amazing shots the Commodores made. 

Trailing 37-35 in the final seconds of the first half, Florida looked like it would tie the game. But Schuyler Rimmer had an easy layup blocked, and Josh Henderson tossed in an 80-footer at the buzzer. Vandy hit one nearly as improbable in the second half, when Matthew Fisher-Davis banked in a contested 30-footer as the shot-clock expired. 

"My goodness," Florida coach Mike White said. "That's eight points right there. Just huge plays. They made a lot of plays." 

For Henderson, a fifth-year senior averaging 11 minutes a game, it was just the second trey of his career. Teammates mobbed him near the free-throw line before both teams headed to the locker room. 

"We had a couple of lucky plays and balls went in, but we always tell our team that when you're the aggressor, it's amazing how many times those balls go in," Stallings said. 

Justin Leon led Florida with 16 points, John Egbunu added 14, and Devin Robinson finished with 11. 

Florida's biggest problem was defense. 

Vanderbilt shot 57.7 percent -- by far the highest percentage the Gators have given up this season. The Commodores finished 10 of 20 from 3-point range. 

"They were unbelievable," White said. "I'm not going to sit up here and tell you that we were terrible defensively. We made mistakes, yeah. Was it our best defensive efforts? No. It needed to be one of our best defensive efforts." 

Despite Vandy's gaudy offensive numbers, Florida still had plenty of chances. 

Trailing 69-67, the Gators had at least four attempts to tie or take the lead. Eventually, the Commodores took over and put the game away with a 14-2 run. 

"We just weren't playing hard," Robinson said. "It's real surprising." 

Vanderbilt: Swept the season series. ... Now has four big wins: against Alabama, Texas A&M and two against Florida. 

Florida: Guard Kasey Hill wore a plastic mask to protect his broken nose in the first half, but removed it at the break. ... Extended its 3-point streak to 824 games, which dates to 1992. 

Florida's top two scorers had off nights, something the Gators hardly could afford. Dorian Finney-Smith finished with seven points and 11 rebounds, but missed 6 of 7 shots. KeVaughn Allen missed all seven shots and finished with three points. "The two guys we count on scoring the most, obviously, had rough nights, " White said. "Defense had a lot to do with it. They stayed extended on those guys, did a really good job on those guys." 

Vanderbilt moved into sole possession for fifth place in the SEC, but finishes the regular season against Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Winning those would be huge. Losing those would leave the Dores on the NCAA bubble. ... The Gators could be in trouble now, too, with remaining games against LSU, Kentucky and Missouri. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

SOCCER NOTEBOOK: Armada overcomes first half goal to win second preseason match over MLS club

Jacksonville SportsDay
The Jacksonville Armada FC of the North American Soccer League (NASL) overcame Kaká’s first-half free kick goal to post a 2-1 preseason win over the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Orlando City SC last Saturday night at Community First Park.

“All due respect to their organization, but if anybody says it’s a friendly game and they didn’t care to get the win, obviously I would have to disagree with that,” said Armada goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo. “You could see the intensity those guys were playing with — especially in the first half. They were getting upset when they weren’t getting calls or when my teammates would steal the ball.”

The Armada second half offense was highlighted by scoring on a free kick from defender Mechack Jérôme. Then a long strike from forward Alhassane Keita that beat goal keeper Earl Edwards Jr. to secure the second preseason win in as many matches. Both against MLS clubs.

“The last thing we said coming out of the locker room was find a way to win the game and we did that,” said Armada first year head coach Tony Meola. “The atmosphere probably gave them a little extra boost. I’m proud of the effort. I thought we were really organized against a very good team, especially in the second half when we figured it out a little.”

The Armada, entering their second NASL season, features five field players who are new to the club. Orlando City has just one new field player, as well as the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year in Cyle Larin and a former FIFA World Player of the Year in Kaká.

“I’m really pleased with this game for us. Thought it was a good first half with a lot of positivity. Considering we are two weeks out, I thought there was a lot of good stuff happening in the game,” said Orlando head coach Adrian Heath. “Did we want to win, yes, but that’s not what these games are all about.”

The Armada will be back in action on Feb. 24 at the University of North Florida before hosting the MLS’s New York Red Bulls on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. 

ORLANDO MATCH NOTES -  Several former Lions played for the Armada in the match including goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo and defender Bryan Burke-- both players made significant contributions to the Club’s success when it played in the USL. Former Orlando City draft pick Akeil Barrett and Jérôme also featured….the Armada signed goalkeeper Sean Lewis and defender Patrick Otte this week. The additions bring the Armada’s current roster size to 25…Jacksonville launched the club’s first mobile app features information on upcoming matches, team rosters, schedules, standings, ticket information, weather forecasts, video and news and social media links.

OWNER TO MANAGE CLUB OPS  - Armada owner and CEO Mark Frisch has assumed oversight of day-to-day operations of the club. “The passion that the Northeast Florida community has shown for soccer since our club was founded has been tremendous,” said Frisch. His increased role comes along with the announcement that club President Steve Livingstone is no longer with the organization. “I want to thank Steve for all of his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Frisch added.

MLS STARS TO FACE ARSENAL - Major League Soccer (MLS) announced that Arsenal FC will play the league’s best in the 2016 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Avaya Stadium in San Jose in July. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.  “We are pleased to welcome Arsenal, one of the most successful clubs in the world, to compete against the best of MLS,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.  “Our AT&T MLS All-Star Week has become a celebration for the North American soccer community, highlighted by two teams showcasing many of the world’s top players.  We look forward to a world-class event on July 28 at our newest state-of-the-art venue, Avaya Stadium.”

Thursday, February 18, 2016

NHRA: Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series powers into Gatornationals next month

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to the swamps of Gainesville, Fla., March 17-20, for the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals – the third event of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello season. 
Fans in the Sunshine State will be in for a treat at the circuit’s traditional East Coast opener at Gainesville Raceway as the world’s best drag racers power their 10,000 horsepower, fire-breathing machines down the strip in pursuit of championship points and early-season momentum. 

Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including live finals coverage at 1 p.m. (ET).

The excitement and energy of NHRA racing on the track will be as adrenaline-pumping as ever, but in 2016, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is shifting gears and venturing boldly into a brand new era. It’s one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons for the NHRA community in many years.

New TV partner FOX Sports will aim its cameras at the exciting side-by-side racing on the dragstrip and showcase the sport with live coverage of Sunday eliminations at 17 events – including the Gainesville race – and provide more than 500 hours of NHRA programming on its family of networks. 

There are new rules for the Pro Stock category that will help the factory hot rods recapture the 200 mph magic that makes the class a fan-favorite. There are many new rules in place to improve competition in other classes, and there’s even a bold new NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series logo.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK: Club touts off season projects as enhancements to fan experience

Jacksonville SportsDay
Coming off a 5-11 record last season the Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled off field plans at last month’s State of the Franchise presentation. Owner Shad Khan and president Mark Lamping unveiled designs and details for three new projects for EverBank Field, as well as the club’s 2016 ticket pricing.

“All of us are proud to take this opportunity to give our fans and partners a crystal clear look into where the Jacksonville Jaguars are as a franchise, and where we plan to be in the future.  And we plan to be in Jacksonville,” Khan said.  “But, we don’t want to be a franchise, on or off the field, that merely exists.  We want to thrive and be respected.  

The stadium improvements include a complete re-imagining of the US Assure Clubs, a covered Flex Field and an amphitheater. All were approved unanimously by Jacksonville City Council in December.

US Assure Clubs - The design includes the installation of a glass wall between the Upper and Lower Clubs and the stadium bowl on each side of the stadium  The improvements will include the installation of premium seating products—club tables and bar rails; distinct theming of each Club interior to reflect the demographics and tastes of fans; and upgraded premium padded seats for all club patrons.

Covered Flex Field - Will be located along Gator Bowl Boulevard at the south end of the stadium, is designed to serve multiple purposes. It will be a climate-controlled, covered pavilion with multi-use synthetic turf. Sliding “hangar” doors will allow the space to be used both in closed and open air formats. The facility will provide a venue for the football team to practice during inclement weather, and entertainment events on game days as well as year-round events for other special purposes.

Amphitheater -  Designed with 5,500 fixed seats and additional room for temporary seating. It will be located at the south end of the stadium, under a continuous roof that will cover both the amphitheater and the Flex Field. 

Ticket Pricing – In 2016, 5 percent of the seats in the stadium will decrease in price. Ten percent will be unchanged and 46 percent will be unchanged if they are renewed before the early renewal deadline of Feb. 29. The effective increase in average ticket price will be 3.6 percent. 

ROBINSON BOWLS THEM OVER - Jaguars’ second-year wide receiver Allen Robinson made the most of being named to the 2016 Pro Bowl in Honolulu. Robinson had a game-high 102 receiving yards including a 55-yard reception and a 50-yard TD catch in his first Pro Bowl appearance. A 2014 NFL Draft pick from Penn State, he caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and a franchise-record 14 touchdowns in 2015. Robinson’s receiving yards were the second-most in franchise history behind Jimmy Smith’s 1,636 in 1999. His 17.5-yards-per-reception average led all NFL receivers with 80 or more receptions by more than two yards. Robinson was first Jaguars player named to the Pro Bowl since middle linebacker Paul Posluszny following the 2013 season.

BRADLEY EXTENSION - The Jaguars signed head coach Gus Bradley to a one-year contract extension. Defensive line coach/run game coordinator Todd Wash has been promoted to defensive coordinator. Tony Sorrentino was promoted to assistant wide receivers’ coach, Aaron Whitecotton was promoted to assistant defensive line coach and Daniel Bullocks was hired as the assistant defensive backs coach. The team promoted Mark Ellenz to director of college scouting.

DRAFT NAMES TO WATCH – According to NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein the Jaguars top need with the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft is cornerback then safety, center and outside linebacker. Top draft prospects include cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) and Mackensie Alexander (Clemson). At safety Darian Thompson (Boise State), Jayron Kearse (Clemson) and Deon Bush (Miami). Centers Ryan Kelly (Alabama), Max Tuerk (USC), Evan Boehm (Missouri). And at outside linebacker Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame) and Leonard Floyd (Georgia). 

Monday, February 15, 2016

MBB: No. 12 Miami Holds Off Florida State, 67-65

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Sheldon McClellan scored 20 points and No. 12 Miami fought off a second-half rally from Florida State to win 67-65 on Sunday night.

The Hurricanes led by four with less than a minute remaining when Dwayne Bacon's 3-pointer brought the Seminoles to 66-65. After Davon Reed missed a 3, Florida State had a chance to go ahead but Devon Bookert was short on a 3-pointer from the corner.

Ja'Quan Newton hit one of two free throws for Miami, leaving Florida State one last chance, but Malik Beasley missed a 30-footer that would have won it.

Reed had 14 points and Angel Rodriguez scored 11 for the Hurricanes (20-4, 9-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who secured their fourth 20-win season in Jim Larranaga's five years as coach.

Bookert led Florida State (16-9, 6-7) with 14 points, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 12. Bacon and Beasley, who came into the game averaging a combined 33.2 points as the ACC's top freshman duo, were held to 15 — nine for Bacon.

Miami jumped out to an 11-2 lead and was up by seven before Florida State scored eight straight points — consecutive 3-pointers by Benji Bell and Terance Mann's jumper — to take a 15-14 advantage with 10:13 remaining. After the score was tied at 17, the Hurricanes regained control with a 17-5 run and built their largest lead of the half (34-22) with 1:49 remaining.

Tonye Jekiri's layup gave Miami its biggest lead (39-26) before Florida State started coming back. After trailing 45-36, the Seminoles made a 14-5 run to tie it at 50 on Bookert's 3-pointer with 8:44 remaining.

Florida State, though, was never able to regain the lead.


Florida State's bench scored all but six of its 26 first-half points. Seminoles starters were 2 of 7 from the field in the first 20 minutes. ... McClellan's 3-pointer with 4:24 remaining was Miami's last field goal of the game. The Hurricanes were 0 for 4 from the field the rest of the way and got their final four points at the line.


Miami: Reed has hit 48.3 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range in the past six games. The junior is averaging 12.5 points during that span. In the first six ACC games he was shooting just 37.5 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from beyond the arc while averaging 9.2 points

Florida State: Beasley's double-figure scoring streak ended at 24 games, which is tied for the second-longest in ACC history for a player at the start of his collegiate career. Stephon Marbury has the record at 26 during the 1995-96 season at Georgia Tech, and Jahlil Okafor also had 24 last season for Duke.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

MBB: Miami Wins on Rodriguez's Last-Second Tip, 65-63

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- Angel Rodriguez scored on an offensive rebound with 1.4 seconds left Tuesday, and the No. 12-ranked Miami Hurricanes edged Pittsburgh 65-63.

With the game tied, the Hurricanes missed two shots in the final 6 seconds and Pitt's Ryan Luther batted the ball before Rodriguez charged into the lane and slapped it into the basket with his left hand.

That was the only offensive rebound of the game for the 5-foot-11 Rodriguez, who had 17 points and eight assists.

The Hurricanes (19-4, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed by eight points in the first half but won for the sixth time in the past seven games. Pittsburgh (17-6, 6-5) has lost two straight for the first time this season.

Pitt overcame a 55-49 deficit and took its final lead at 58-57 on Sheldon Jeter's fast-break dunk. Miami went ahead 63-58, but the Panthers tied it on James Robinson's 3-pointer with 31 seconds left.

The Hurricanes then ran the clock down to 6 seconds. Sheldon McClellan missed a 3-pointer, and Davon Reed missed a follow before Rodriguez scored, and then raised his right fist in triumph as the crowd erupted.

Robinson missed a shot from midcourt at the final buzzer.

The Panthers' Jamel Artis shot 2 for 10 and scored a season-low five points, 10.5 below his average. Luther had 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Michael Young scored 12 points.

Seven-footer Tonye Jekiri played only 6 minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls but finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hurricanes, who shot 52 percent in the second half.

The Panthers led for most of the first half, and their largest margin was 27-19. McClellan drove the length of the court and sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut Pitt's lead to 33-29.

That marked the start of an 18-4 run by the Hurricanes. Jekiri made three consecutive Miami baskets, hustled for the rebound that set up a 3-pointer and even forced a turnover at midcourt that led to another score.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

NASL: Jacksonville Armada FC begins year with preseason win

Jacksonville SportsDay
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville's Charles Eloundou scored late in the match to give the Armada FC a 1-0 preseason victory over MLS foe Philadelphia at Community First Park Saturday night.

Eloundou took a pass from Akeil Barrett and curled it over the Union goal keeper for the score.

Jacksonville new head coach Tony Meola’s debuted a formation and new signings during the rain soaked contest. The Armada introduced with five defenders, including new signings Tyler Ruthven, Beto Navarro and Bryan Burke.

The Armada will be back in action next Saturday when they host another MLS club, Orlando City SC, at 6 p.m. 

Tickets, starting at $10, can be purchased by calling 1.844.2.ARMADA or visiting

Saturday, February 6, 2016

MBB: JU Takes Down Hatters in OT

DELAND, Fla. – Jacksonville University men’s basketball team needed overtime to stretch its win streak to five games, but in the end the Dolphins (15-11, 7-2 A-Sun) emerged victorious, 96-88, over Stetson (9-16, 3-6 A-Sun) on Saturday.

“We’re now playing unselfishly and taking the shots we can make, which has led to our success,” said Head Coach Tony Jasick. “This is a unique environment to play in here at Stetson, and a lot of people struggle here, but I give a lot of credit to our guys who continued to play tough, even when we were struggling. I’d love to be that blue collar team in the league that’s hard to score on, that will fight you, and that has some toughness, and I think we’ve started that process with this club.”

The Hatters struck first in overtime, sinking two free throws to take a 79-77 lead. JU came back with a 10-0 run, taking an 87-79 lead. Stetson would come within six with a little over a minute remaining, but JU would sink several clutch free throws to put the game out of reach.

The Dolphins started the second half aggressively, scoring the first seven points of the half. But Stetson responded with a run of its own, 7-2, to pull back within two points, 45-43, at the first timeout on the floor. The two teams traded buckets for the next four minutes, with Stetson taking the lead, 55-53, at the second media. Out of the timeout the Hatters went on a 5-0 run, leading 60-53. JU fought back, outscoring the Hatters 18-2 over the next five minutes to lead 71-62 with 5:03 left. But Stetson answered again with a 13-6 run, forcing overtime tied 77-77.

Kori Babineaux had 28 points on 13-22 shooting. The senior guard also had seven assists and five rebounds. J.R. Holder had 20 points and 11 rebounds, his second double-double of the season. Adeyeye had 16 points and eight boards, Marcel White had 15 points and four boards, and Antwon Clayton had six points and nine rebounds.

“I think we’ve got more weapons offensively and defensively right now than we’ve ever had,” continued Jasick. “We’ve got a group of guys that can all come in and contribute. Some guys may play two or three minutes, some may play eight or nine, and some may play 35, and our team doesn’t have a big ego when it comes to that stuff.”

Stetson took an early lead thanks to Brian Pegg, who had 15 points in the first half but only two in the second half. But JU’s defense asserted itself, forcing the Hatters to miss four of their next five shots while the Dolphins scored six straight, giving JU an 8-6 lead at the first media stoppage. The Dolphins went on a 5-0 run out of the timeout, but Stetson responded with a run of its own, outscoring JU 11-0 over the next three minutes to take a 19-13 lead. At the third media the Dolphins began to chip away, taking the lead once again with less than a minute remaining. JU and Stetson were tied 36-36 at the half.

The Dolphins continue their road trip next week with a Thursday evening game at Lipscomb and a Saturday afternoon tip at Kennesaw State.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FSU's Aguayo, Ramsey Shine at All-Star Football Challenge

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Former Florida State All-Americans Roberto Aguayo and Jalen Ramsey outperformed the competition winning their respective event at the 2016 Quicken Loans All-Star Football Challenge. 

The event, held at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Feb. 2, is an exciting skills competition featuring some of college football’s brightest stars.

Aguayo won the Speed Kick competition with 323 points defeating UCLA’s Ka’imi Fairbairn (278 points) and Georgia’s Marshall Morgan (220 points).  The Mascotte, Fla., native posted a perfect score connecting on all seven kicks inside a minute. Aguayo converted a pair of field goals from 40, 45 and 50 yards and his final kick from 53 yards out.

Ramsey displayed his speed and agility to capture the PlayStation Hands Competition completing the event with a time of 27.4 seconds. The Smyrna, Tenn., native edged Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman, who finished the event in 27.6 seconds. Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller finished third with a time of 30.3 seconds.

The challenge, which is now its 18th season of existence, will have encore airings on ESPNU at 12:30 a.m. ET and 9 a.m. ET on February 6. ESPN will also air an encore at 5 p.m. ET on April 9, and ESPN2 will air an encore at 7 p.m. on April 25.

2016 Quicken Loans All-Star Football Challenge Results:

Speed Kick
1. Roberto Aguayo – Florida State (323 points)
2. Ka'imi Fairbairn – UCLA (278 points)
3. Marshall Morgan – Georgia (220 points)

PlayStation Hands Competition
1. Jalen Ramsey – DB – Florida State (27.4 seconds)
2. Corey Coleman – WR – Baylor (27.6 seconds)
3. Will Fuller – WR – Notre Dame (30.3 seconds)

Quicken Loans QB Accuracy Competition
1. Brandon Doughty – Western Kentucky (226 points)*
2. Cody Kessler – Southern California (226 points)
3. Cardale Jones – Ohio State (188 points)
*Won long distance throw to break tie

Mercedes-Benz Lineman Strength Challenge
1. Kevin Dodd – DE – Clemson (26.8 seconds)
2. Shaq Lawson – DE – Clemson (28.7 seconds)
3. A'Shawn Robinson – DT – Alabama (32.7 seconds)

Marines Obstacle Course
1. Alex Collins – RB – Arkansas (30.9 seconds)
2. Darron Lee – LB – Ohio State (32.6 seconds)
3. Reggie Ragland – ILB – Alabama (34.2 seconds)

Alumni of the All-Star Football Challenge include three Heisman Trophy winners (Ron Dayne, Troy Smith and Jason White), 60 first-round NFL draft picks and 29 Pro Bowlers, such as: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jamaal Charles, Greg Olsen, Dez Bryant, Von Miller, Vernon Davis, Joe Flacco, Donovan McNabb and Edgerrin James.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NASL: USL MVP and Golden Boot Fondy Signs With Armada FC

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Armada FC announced on Thursday the transfer of 2015 USL Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot winner Matt Fondy from Louisville City FC.
The 26-year-old striker, along with Armada FC defender Bryan Burke, who signed with Jacksonville in December, helped lead Louisville City to the Eastern Conference final in its first season in the league. He scored 22 goals, six of which were game-winners, and notched seven assists after starting every league match.
“Matt Fondy is a guy who is hungry to score goals,” said Tony Meola, Armada FC head coach and technical director. “He proved last year in the USL that he has a knack for scoring goals by leading the league, and we’re confident that will translate to the NASL and our efforts here in Jacksonville.”
His goal mark from 2015 shattered the league’s previous high mark of 20. A 6-foot-1 native of Foster City, Calif., Fondy was also named to the All-USL first team. Before making the move to Louisville City, Fondy made 15 combined appearances for MLS clubs Chicago Fire (2014) and Chivas USA (2013). He has tallied 38 total goals in USL play, which includes stops with the Los Angeles Blues (2012) and Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2011).
Between 2007-10, Fondy led the line for the University of California, Santa Cruz, collecting a 2010 NSCAA Division III All-American honor while with the Banana Slugs.
The Armada FC also announced it released forward Tommy Krizanovic and defenders Nurdin Hrustic and Jordan Gafa.
Krizanovic finished last season with 578 minutes of action in 17 appearances and scored one goal. Hrustic played 239 minutes in 11 NASL matches in 2015, while Gafa made five appearances and logged 135 minutes in NASL play while also making a U.S. Open Cup start in an injury-shortened 2015.
The Armada FC preseason kicks off against the Philadelphia Union at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Community First Park at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Tickets, starting at $10, can be purchased by calling 1.844.2.ARMADA or visiting

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Florida State Lands Top Ranked Signing Class

Jacksonville SportsDay

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State football program signed 18 recruits on Wednesday during National Signing Day that, along with the seven early enrollees already on campus, helped the Seminoles earn its fifth Top 3 finish in the recruiting rankings in Jimbo Fisher’s seven seasons.

"Very happy with the group we've got. Very proud of our coaches. I think our coaches did an outstanding job of building these relationships. A lot of these relationships are two, three, and four-year relationships. Spent a lot of time, a lot of hard-fought battles," Fisher said.

 Florida State’s 2016 class ranks as the best in the nation by ESPN and second in the country by 247Sports and Rivals. According to Rivals, the 19 four- and five-star recruits for Florida State are two more than the second most in the nation (Ohio State).

"It's a very unique group and if you can go back and look at this class, it's 25 signees, 13 kids in the state of Florida,"Fisher added. "But we signed kids from 10 different states. So I think the brand of Florida State being able to be out there and people being interested in being part of our culture and what we do here and our winning traditions and championship traditions, I think speaks for itself."

Sixteen of Wednesday’s 18 signees are high-school seniors, while offensive linemen Landon Dickerson and Mike Arnold have already graduated.

Among the 2016 signing class, FSU signed 16 players in ESPN’s top 300, 247Sports, and Scout rankings. Three five-star players and 15 four-star players are among the 25 signees. The class also features 13 Under Armour All-Americans and four U.S. Army All-Americans.

 Among the 25-man signing class are 13 players from Florida and nine other states. The position splits are 12 defensive, 11 offensive, and two specialists.

"I’m very excited about the future, and hopefully in time we'll see how things turn out. We've got to keep developing players, and our coaches do a great job of that as some of our highest draft picks and things that went on came from our even lower-ranked guys, so not only our higher ranked guys are panning out also," Fisher said. "So I think it's a great job and testament to our staff and how they're developing these guys once they get here in all phases. So very proud of this group.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MBB: Win Streak forOspreys Ends in 86-82 Loss to Stetson

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The North Florida basketball team suffered their first loss of 2016 as Stetson outlasted the Ospreys for an 86-82 victory Monday night at UNF Arena.

UNF (18-7, 7-1 ASUN) saw several streaks come to an end with the loss to an energized Hatters (9-15, 3-5) squad. The Ospreys 18-game home win streak, eight-game overall win streak and nine-game win streak versus Stetson were all halted.

Dallas Moore led the way for the Ospreys finishing with 25 points including four three-pointers and 10-for-20 shooting from the floor. Beau Beech nearly had a double-double tallying 15 points and nine rebounds, but was saddled with four fouls early in the second half along with teammates Demarcus Daniels and Chris Davenport, as UNF was unable to have continuity with its lineup. Sophomore Nick Malonga scored 14 points and had a career best seven boards as a spark for the Ospreys.

Derick Newton topped the Hatters with 22 points including the decisive three-point play in the closing seconds. Brian Pegg chipped in a double-double for Stetson finishing with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

The Hatters were flowing offensively in the first half shooting 64 percent from the floor. The two squads traded the lead early in the game before a 10-0 spurt by Stetson midway through the period pushed the momentum in the visitors favor.

The Ospreys closed the half on a 12-5 run highlighted by nine points from Moore to pull within three, 46-43, at intermission. 

UNF appeared to get things rolling to start the second half and eventually opened up a seven point advantage, 62-55, after a three-pointer by Malonga with 14 minutes left on the clock. Stetson again used a 10-0 run to regain the lead just over three minutes later.

From there the two squads traded baskets and turns with the lead. Moore converted a jumper with 50 seconds left to put UNF in front 82-81. Newton then grabbed a rebound after the Osprey defense forced a tough shot with 18 seconds to play and converted the putpack and free throw after he was fouled to give Stetson the lead for good. 

North Florida now opens up a three-game road swing beginning Saturday with a rematch against FGCU in Ft. Myers.

Monday, February 1, 2016

GATORS INSIDER: Men’s Golf Surges to 19-Stroke Lead at Sea Best Invitational

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The No. 12 University of Florida men’s golf team used some of its lowest scores of the year on Monday to build a 19-stroke lead and place four Gators in the top five entering the final round of play at the Sea Best Invitational.

The Orange and Blue posted a season-best round of 15-under 265 to open the day at TPC Sawgrass’ Dye’s Valley Course. The squad then recorded a 2-under 278 in the afternoon to wrap up the day with a total of -17 (543). The 265 tied for the lowest round score in school history and is Florida’s best team round in relation to par since 2010.

Freshman Sam Horsfield and sophomore Alejandro Tosti are tied for second with a total of 7-under 133. Each recorded the best round of his Gator career in the morning, with Horsfield posting a 5-under 65 and Tosti carding a 6-under 64. Horsfield shot -2 (68) in the afternoon, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 first hole, while Tosti totaled -1 (69) in Round 2. The pair sit one stroke back of leader Joshua Martin of North Carolina.

Freshman Jorge Garcia’s rounds of 66-72 landed him in fourth place with a total of -2 (138). One shot behind him is junior Ryan Orr, who totaled -1 (139) by shooting rounds of 70-69.

The Gators aim to secure the win when they return to the Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass on Tuesday for the final round. Tee times start at 8 a.m., with the Florida lineup beginning to tee off at 9:30 a.m.

Women Nab Team and Individual Titles at Florida Challenge

The Gator women’s golf team opened its spring season with a bang on Monday by capturing the team and individual trophies at the Florida Challenge. The No. 12 Gators posted a score of -5 (571) to win the team title, beating runners-up Florida State and the five-team field by 12 strokes.

The 36-hole competition also saw junior Kelly Grassel and sophomore Taylor Tomlinson capture co-medalist honors alongside two FSU golfers, after firing a three-under 141. While it is Grassel’s first individual victory, the individual honor marks Tomlinson’s second collegiate championship after she won the Gators’ fall opener. Monday’s titles mark the second straight tournament the Gators have swept the podium, after wrapping up the fall season with the team title at the Alamo Invitational, where junior Maria Torres earned her first collegiate championship.

Juniors Torres, Sydney Needham, and Karolina Vlckova joined Tomlinson and Grassel in the top-10 at the par-72, 6,114-yard Black Diamond Ranch Quarry Course. Torres shot one-under 143, good for seventh place, while Needham scored 147 and Vlckova 148 for ninth and 10th, respectively.

Monday’s finish also marks the second time the Gators have swept the medals at the Florida Challenge, after UF won the team and individual titles at the inaugural 2013 in-state competition. The Orange and Blue have now accumulated 98 team titles and 75 individual titles in program history