Pro Hockey News

Thursday, March 31, 2016

AFL: Capozzoli back with the Sharks

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks announced Wednesday that kicker Marco Capozzoli has been assigned to the Jacksonville Sharks on a one-year contract.

 The 28-year-old Capozzoli returns to Jacksonville for his fourth season with the Sharks and fifth season in the AFL.

Capozzoli’s most memorable kick on Sea Best Field came during the 2012 season, when he drilled a 51-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to send the Sharks past the Georgia Force in the first round of the playoffs. Capozzoli was also a part of Jacksonville’s ArenaBowl XXIV championship team in 2011, finishing that season with seven field goals made in 11 attempts, and converted on 121 of his 155 point-after tries.

Prior to joining the Sharks, Capozzoli began his AFL career with Tulsa in 2010, going three-for-three on field goals and hitting 44 of 53 extra points (83 percent). Over the course of his time in the AFL, Capozzoli has converted 26 of 38 field goals (68.4 percent) and 371 of 454 PATs (81.7 percent).

Capozzoli attended Montclair State University where he was named Division III Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year by the Collegiate Athletic Administration of New Jersey in 2009. He led the NJAC in PAT percentage with 35 of 36 extra points as a senior in that same year. Capozzoli was also the first player in Red Hawk history to connect on three 40-yard field goal attempts in one game.

A native of Montvale, New Jersey, Capozzoli attended Saint Joseph High School in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Noles Keep Grinding During Third Week of Spring Practice

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After hosting Pro Day and taking Tuesday off, the Florida State football team returned to practice on Wednesday at the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility. Now into the third week of spring practice, the Seminoles are continuing to show signs of improvement in all areas but head coach Jimbo Fisher would like to see those improvement happen on a more consistent basis.

“We’re getting things done,” said Fisher. “We’ve just got to do them better. (Today was) A good hard day. We got a lot of situations worked. A lot of run, pass, two-minute, a lot of third down stuff. Hopefully, we’ll look at the film and try to get better and go on from it. (It’s) the middle of spring, we’re getting a little better. We just got to keep grinding.”

Jesus ‘Bobo’ Wilson was one of the bright spots during Wednesday’s practice as the rising senior wide out returned to practice on Monday after missing the first two weeks. Wilson is coming off a junior campaign in which he set single-season career-highs on receptions (58), receiving yards (662) and receiving yards per game (47.8). The Miami, Fla., native is one of 11 starters back on offense in 2016 while Wilson joins lineman Roderick Johnson with the longest active start streak on the offensive side of the ball at 18 consecutive games.

“It was great to see him back,” added Fisher. “He made a couple plays today and caught the ball and moved well and I’m very encouraged and (he) helped us, we’re banged up at wide out and it was great to see him out there.”

Florida State will return to the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility on Thursday, March 31 before wrapping up the week on Saturday, April 2.

Sanders Visits Seminoles
All-time Florida State great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders visited the Seminoles on Wednesday while filming a special with Jalen Ramsey for the NFL Network. One of the greatest cornerback’s to every play the game spoke to the team after meeting with head coach Jimbo Fisher earlier in the day. Ramsey led Sanders on a tour of the FSU football facilities. Ramsey is looking to join Sanders (No. 5, 1989) and Terrell Buckley (No. 5, 1991) as Florida State cornerbacks selected in the Top 5 of the NFL Draft in Chicago on April 28.

“It was great,” Fisher said. “He came in with Jalen (Ramsey) and we talked in the office and like he said, he was very proud of the way the program has come back and proud again of – and also when he’s out there with these camps he hears all these kids come up and say ‘I’m going to Florida State’ and hearing that name again and just being here in the presence.”

Tickets for Spring Game
Tickets continue to go fast for Florida State football’s Garnet and Gold Spring Game presented by SunTrust. Over 23,000 tickets have already been sold for the event which be held at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 9.

General admission tickets remain available for $5 each in advance and $11 day of game. A limited number of club seats are available, as well.

Kickoff for the game will be at 3:00 p.m. Construction at Doak Campbell Stadium moved the game to Orlando, but many of the highlights that make a Seminole game special will travel with the team, including Osceola and Renegade, the Marching Chiefs and the Seminole Cheerleaders.

Florida State and FCSports will be sponsoring several additional events surrounding the game, including the Friday Night Block Party which will be held at I-Drive 360 from 5-10 p.m. and feature the Velcro Pygmies.

For more information on the event visit Tickets are currently on sale at

COLLEGE BASEBALL: No. 3 Florida Defeats No. 8 Florida State, 3-2, To Clinch Season Series

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Freshman right-hander Jackson Kowar limited No. 8 Florida State to one run over five innings as No. 3 Florida notched a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. A crowd of 9,035 fans watched the Gators secure the regular-season series and emerge victorious for the ninth time in the last 11 meetings between the Sunshine State rivals. 

The teams will meet again on April 12 in Tallahassee.

Kowar (3-0) scattered five hits, registered four strikeouts and allowed one walk before freshman Brady Singer entered the game with a runner aboard in the sixth. The righty totaled three strikeouts, yielded two hits and an unearned run in three innings and junior Shaun Anderson picked up his fourth save with a perfect ninth in which he had a pair of strikeouts.

Freshman Cal Raleigh had given the Seminoles a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a two-out homer to right field.

Sophomore Mike Rivera moved the Gators in front, 2-1, the following inning with his team-leading sixth homer of the season. Freshman Deacon Liput had singled up the middle against sophomore Drew Carlton (4-1) and Rivera sent a 0-1 pitch over the left-field fence. 

After freshman Jonathan India drew a leadoff walk from freshman Cole Sands and stole second base with one down in the third, junior Buddy Reed (2-for-4) roped an RBI triple into the right-field corner for a 3-1 score. Junior Jim Voyles was summoned from the bullpen and struck out JJ Schwarz before issuing a free pass to junior Peter Alonso. The right-hander stranded the runners with a strikeout of Liput.

Florida State mounted a two-out rally in the fourth, as senior Jackson Lueck (2-for-4) singled to left field and sophomore Darren Miller (2-for-4) rifled a double into right field. However, the Gators cut down Lueck at the plate on a picture-perfect relay from sophomore right fielder Jeremy Vasquez to sophomore shortstop Dalton Guthrie to Schwarz.

Singer started the seventh with a strikeout before Miller doubled into left center. Although a grounder by junior Matt Henderson advanced Miller to third base, Singer left him there by striking out sophomore Taylor Walls.

Junior Quincy Nieporte pulled the Seminoles within 3-2 on a two-out RBI single into center field in the eighth. Senior John Sansone had reached on a leadoff error, advanced to second on a passed ball and went to third on a grounder by Raleigh. Singer struck out sophomore Dylan Busby and Nieporte blooped a base-hit to narrow FSU’s deficit to a run.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Jim Morris gets his 1,000th career victory

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – You never forget your 1000th.

A walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning propelled head coach Jim Morris to his 1,000th career victory as skipper of the Hurricanes Saturday night, as Edgar Michelangeli lifted fourth-ranked Miami to a series-clinching 5-4 victory over No. 17 Clemson.

The win was the second milestone reached in a little over a week for Morris, who became just the sixth coach to win 1,500 games as a Division I head coach last Friday in similar walk-off fashion against Louisville.

“A crazy way to get your 1000th win. In the competition of the game, I had no thoughts about the 1,000 [wins] until we won,” Morris said. “We’re competing to try to win a game, and a series.”

When asked to reflect on his 23 seasons at the University of Miami, and if he ever thought he could reach 1,000 wins in Coral Gables, Morris paused.

“I really didn’t. It was the furthest thing from my mind,” he said, fighting back tears. “I was following, to me, the most influential coach in the history of college baseball – that’s Coach [Ron] Fraser. I wouldn’t have come here if it wasn’t for him.”

With Saturday night’s win, Morris joined his predecessor Fraser as the second coach in the history of Miami baseball to achieve 1,000 wins in Coral Gables.

Fraser won 1,271 games in 30 seasons as head coach of the Hurricanes.

“You’re following an impossible act,” Morris said. “As I told him, I’m the following the Bear Bryant of football, the John Wooden of basketball. Ron Fraser is in that same category…The only reason I came is because I knew he was with me.”

A career night from Michelangeli helped Morris in his quest for 1,000.

With two runners on base and one out, Michelangeli laced a pitch from reliever Alex Bostic through the rightside to score a sliding Johnny Ruiz from second. The hit was the fourth of the night for Michelangeli, who finished a career-best 4-for-6 at the plate.

“Just trying to hit it hard somewhere, trying to make things happen,” Michelangeli said. “Happened to go through the [gap between] first and second.”

With a base open, Bostic (3-2) intentionally walked Friday night hero Willie Abreu before deciding to pitch to Michelangeli, who delivered his fourth hit of the night.

“I was just trying to stay disciplined, stay within my approach, trying not to make it too big of a scene for me,” Michelangeli said of his mindset. “I was just trying to slow everything down.”

The win was Miami’s third walk-off victory in a span of six games dating to March 18.

Clemson (17-5, 5-3 ACC) struck first Saturday night, as freshman standout Seth Beer connected on a line drive home run to center off sophomore Michael Mediavilla to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage.

Miami (19-4, 6-2 ACC) would respond immediately, however, as an RBI single from junior slugger Zack Collins halved the deficit to 2-1 in the home half of the first.

The hit extended Collins’ streak of reaching base to 18 straight games.

The Hurricanes plated single runs in next three innings to take a 4-2 lead.

An RBI groundout from freshman Romy Gonzalez in the second, an RBI double from Brandon Lopez in the third and an error by Clemson in the fourth all led to Miami runs.

Mediavilla struggled with command during a 100-pitch outing that spanned just four innings. He walked four batters and struck out six, but surrendered just two runs on the Beer homer.

Clemson tied the game in the sixth on a two-run home run from Chris Williams off Miami reliever Keven Pimentel.

The Hurricanes looked poised to regain the lead in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out, but an inning-ending double play kept the score locked at 4-4.

Freshman righthander Andrew Cabezas rebounded from a tough outing Friday night to toss three scoreless on Saturday.

Freshman Frankie Bartow pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th inning, allowing just three hits with one strikeout.

With Chris Okey at first and facing the dangerous Beer in the top half of the 10th, Bartow induced a double play to keep the score locked at 4-4.

“I was just throwing strikes, letting him put it in play to see what happens,” Bartow said. “That’s what he did. Got the ball, turned it and got him out.”

Bartow (2-0) earned his second career win to clinch the milestone night for his head coach.

“I’ve seen it on Twitter,” Bartow said when asked if he knew about the win being the 1,000th for Morris. “We tried to treat it like a regular game, and we just got it done.”

Saturday, March 26, 2016

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Freshmen Raleigh And Lueck Power FSU To 8-5 Win Over NCST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State’s freshman duo of Cal Raleigh and Jackson Lueck combined for five RBI and were vital in helping the Seminoles (18-5, 6-1) establish a six-run lead in the first inning as they topped NC State (16-8, 3-4) 8-5 on Friday evening.

Friday night's win was the first of three games in the next 24 hours for the Seminoles as the series was adjusted for the remainder of the weekend. The two teams will now play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 12:00 pm. As of now, the plan is to play game three of the series (game two of the day) 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

In the series opener, FSU relied on Raleigh (2-3, 2 RBI, HR) and Lueck (1-2, 3 RBI), who each had a double in the contest. They were joined among the Seminole offensive leaders by Dylan Busby, who capped off a 1-for-3 outing with two RBI.

On the mound, FSU starter Mike Compton pitched 3.1 innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs while striking out two. He was followed by Jim Voyles who surrender just his first earned run of the season, while striking out three Wolfpack batters in just over two innings and 41 pitches 

Matthew Kinney (2-0) relieved Voyles in the sixth and held seven NC State batters hitless over the next 2.1 innings. Tyler Warmoth then closed the door in the ninth with three strikeouts, helping FSU improve to 15-3 at home while picking up his first save of the season.

“It is one of those games that you go up 6-0 and you better not relax and think that you’ve got it all figured out, because they are going to come back at you,” said head coach Mike Martin. “Our pitchers did an outstanding job and we got exceptional relief from Matthew Kinney and certainly were pleased with Jim Voyles.”

Friday, March 25, 2016

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Jacksonville Drops 6-3 Decision to East Carolina

GREENVILLE, N.C. – JJ Gould belted his fourth home run of the season and Jacksonville totaled eight hits, but the Dolphins fell to East Carolina, 6-3, Thursday at Clark-LeClair Stadium.

“I thought Nathan Disch had good stuff tonight but made a couple of mistakes that a nationally-ranked team will make you pay with,” said Head Coach Tim Montez. “I think these guys understand how close they are to being a good, solid ball club. We need to be a mentally tougher now that we’re on the road, because we were in that right until the last pitch, and this series is a good test for all of our club.”

Gould’s long ball was a solo shot that came with two-outs in the first inning.

ECU (15-7) answered with an RBI single by Eric Tyler in the second. The Pirates took the lead in the fourth on a two-run home run by Bryce Harman.

Jacksonville (14-7) scored two runs in the fifth inning thanks a two-out rally. Nathan Koslowski ripped a line drive single and Seth DeWitt reached on infield error. Dakota Julylia then delivered a hit to right field to plate Koslowksi. Parker Perez finished the scoring with an infield single to score DeWitt.

ECU pulled away with a pair of runs off starter Nathan Disch (3-2) in the sixth. Disch went 5.1 innings with six hits and four earned runs in the loss. He registered five strikeouts and walked two. The Pirates scored on a Zack Mozingo single and after Ryan Granda entered in relief, a bases-loaded walk.

Kyle Arjona would finish the inning and total one inning of relief an allowed a run in the seventh off another Mozingo single. Shane Wise threw the final inning and a third and struck out two batters.

Evan Kruczynski (3-0) was credited with the win with only one earned run off eight hits in 7.2 innings. He totaled seven strikeouts while only walking one.

Joe Ingle picked up his fourth save with no hits over 1.1 innings. The Dolphins play East Carolina again Friday with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch.

Following the series with ECU, Jacksonville returns home to host UCF on Tuesday, Mar.29 for its Vs. Cancer game. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

AFL: Tampa Bay hosts Orlando in league's 3,000th game

LAS VEGAS – The Tampa Bay Storm will host the Orlando Predators at Amalie Arena in Tampa for the Arena Football League’s 3,000th game to kick off the League’s 29th Season on April 1 at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN3/Watch ESPN.  The Storm-Predators rivalry dates back to 1991.

“The longevity and perseverance of the Arena Football League is a testament to the high-quality, action-packed and authentic nature of the sport,” said AFL Commissioner Scott C. Butera.  “It also recognizes the quality of our athletes, coaches and operational professionals.  Having Tampa Bay and Orlando involved in our 3,000th game could not be more appropriate.  The rich history of both teams is symbolic of our great game.  The combined total of 17 Hall of Famers between the two speaks volumes to what this rivalry has meant to our history.”

A rivalry that has been brewing almost since the inception of the League, the “War on I-4” officially began on June 1, 1991, in Tampa Bay.  The expansion Predators dropped the Storm 51-38 in Tampa’s only home loss of the season.  The Storm would even the score later that season, taking the second meeting in Orlando, 26-16.

This year’s addition features Tampa Bay QB Adam Kennedy (2,865 passing yards and 43 TDs with New Orleans in 2015) throwing to the receiving duo of T.T. Toliver (112 receptions for 1,536 yards and 35 TDs) and Julius Gregory (98, 1,036 and 27).  Orlando counters with QB Randy Hippeard (2,297 passing yards and 61 TDs) targeting receivers Brandon Thompkins (100 receptions for 1,266 yards and 23 TDs) and Larry Brackins (68, 756 and 29).

ESPN3 kicks off its schedule of AFL games with two contests on opening weekend, including the first game of the 2016 season - an American Conference matchup between the Philadelphia Soul and their rival Cleveland Gladiators, slated to kickoff at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 1.

CBS Sports Network kicks off its AFL schedule when the Arizona Rattlers travel to take on the Portland Thunder on Friday, April 1, 2016 (10 p.m. ET), while the ESPN2 schedule kicks off on Saturday, April 2, with a Week 1 matchup between the American Conference champion Jacksonville Sharks and LA KISS at 9 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

SUNS: Tiki Terrace among upgrades to Baseball Grounds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Before hosting a Jacksonville Suns game for the first time April 7, the team’s new ownership, along with the City of Jacksonville and SMG, are enhancing guest areas around the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. 

The team announced the projects at a press conference Tuesday afternoon near the construction site of a left-field Tiki Terrace.

The Suns’ major additions to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville are a group picnic area directly behind the Suns bullpen and a Tiki Terrace near the left-field foul pole. Improvements include the renovation of all 12 private Suites and the expansion of the suite-level Sundowner Lounge to give all fans a climate-controlled space to overlook the playing field. 

These and other projects total more than $1.8 million invested by Suns ownership, Jacksonville Baseball, LLC, and are scheduled for completion by Opening Day. 

“Fans will see a fresh look at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, as the renovations and facility improvements create a unique environment for affordable family fun,” said Suns owner Ken Babby. “We are extremely grateful that the City of Jacksonville, SMG and several local partners collaborated with us to begin to fulfill our vision for a ballpark that shines by its hospitality and extraordinary fan experience.”

The City of Jacksonville Sports & Entertainment Division and SMG have helped guide the process of the improvements and facilitated the City’s cleaning and maintenance of the ballpark to prepare for the 2016 season. 

NASL: League, ONE World Sports Set To Kick Off Second Season Of Broadcast Partnership

NEW YORK - North American Soccer League (NASL) action returns to national sports network ONE World Sports in 2016 as part of a multi-year broadcast television partnership. Beginning on Saturday, April 2, ONE World Sports will be home to the NASL Game of the Week, as well as NASL This Week, a 30-minute highlight show featuring action from around the league.

"We're proud to continue our great partnership with ONE World Sports," said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. "They were the first national broadcaster to partner with us and they have done a fine job of producing some very exciting television. We're looking forward to the new streaming component that will allow anyone in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico to watch our ONE World Sports matches."

ONE World Sports will carry 11 Saturday games - one per week - during the NASL Spring Season and 12 games during the Fall Season. Broadcasting veterans JP Dellacamera, Ed Cohen, Shep Messing, and Janusz Michallik will serve as the on-air talent this year. The NASL Game of the Week will move from Saturdays to Wednesdays for the Fall Season, which starts in July. The NASL Game of the Week schedule for the Spring Season can be found here. 

In addition to TV viewers having access to NASL action through their cable providers, fans across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico will be able to watch unrestricted live streams of games on All NASL games will also be available to authenticated users via the Watch ONE World Sports mobile app.

"The NASL has become a formidable presence on the international soccer scene with domestic and imported talent cultivating new fans on a regular basis," said Sandy Brown, President & CEO, ONE World Sports. "ONE World Sports is investing a significant amount of resources to help grow the NASL audience including access for every fan to view the NASL Game of the Week via the network's website and the continuation of our league highlight show, NASL This Week."

Tina Cervasio and Ed Cohen will host NASL This Week every Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, bringing fans closer to the field with all-access features, highlights, and more.

ONE World Sports is currently available in more than 30 million U.S. homes on cable, telco, and satellite. The sports network's distribution portfolio includes Verizon Fios, go90, DISH Network, Charter Communications, Sony PlayStation Vue, Cablevision's Optimum TV, RCN, and Google Fiber.

Following its debut in 2015, the NASL Game of the Week will return on Saturday, April 2, when the Tampa Bay Rowdies host Indy Eleven at 7:30 p.m. ET at Al Lang Stadium.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

NHRA: Brittany Force races to first career victory at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Brittany Force raced to her first career victory and took control of the Top Fuel point standings Sunday at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also victorious at the third of 24 events in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Force powered her Monster Energy dragster to a 3.772-second run at 318.77 mph to outlast Terry McMillen’s 3.981 at 266.90 in his Amalie Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR dragster. This was Force’s eighth career final round appearance and first ever at Gainesville Raceway. 

After also racing to the finals three weeks ago in Phoenix, Force became the first female Top Fuel racer to appear in back-to-back finals since Melanie Troxel in 2006. As the No. 5 qualifier, Force defeated Morgan Lucas, Tripp Tatum and Dave Connolly before beating McMillen in the final.

“It feels good to finally bring home the win,” said Force, daughter of 16-time Funny Car champion John Force. “Our car was on fire all weekend. It went down there and had great runs. This is a very proud moment for me and the John Force Racing team, the Monster Energy team. It took everyone to get us here.”

McMillen, also appearing in his first ever final round, sped past defending world champ Antron Brown, eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher and Clay Millican before having engine problems in the final against Force. McMillen jumped from 10th to fifth in points.

Leah Pritchett raced to victory in Phoenix three weeks ago, and with Force’s victory in Gainesville, this is the first time since 1990 that female Top Fuel racers have won back-to-back events. 

Pritchett’s Phoenix win was also the first of her career, so Gainesville marks the first time there have been back-to-back first-time Top Fuel winners since 1993.

John Force Racing doubled up for the first time in team history as Hight pushed his Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car to a 4.429 at 280.95, outrunning Ron Capps’ 7.047 at 89.05 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T. This is Hight’s first win in 2016 and third at Gainesville. He qualified third and beat Terry Haddock, Matt Hagan and Chad Head en route to earning his 37th career win. Hight leads the Funny Car points.

“We’ve had a great race car the first two races, so we actually felt that we let a couple slip by that we actually could have won,” Hight said. “To come in here and actually get it done, and get it done with Brittany, both of us leaving with the points lead, man it doesn’t get any better than this. It’s been a lot of hard work and it’s finally paying off.”

Capps, who has three victories in five final round appearances at Gainesville, raced past John Hale, Cruz Pedregon and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the first three rounds. Capps is second in points.

In Pro Stock, Anderson raced his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to a holeshot win against Ken Black Racing teammate and points leader Jason Line. Anderson posted a 6.590 at 210.01 and used a quicker reaction time to cross the finish line before his teammate, who powered his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.581 at 210.57. Anderson raced past V. Gaines, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Allen Johnson in the earlier rounds. The KB Racing duo of Anderson and Line has combined to win the first three Pro Stock events this year. 

“The whole weekend was great for KB Racing,” Anderson said. “These races are not decided on paper, they’re decided on the racetrack every time. We are human and things happen different on the starting line. Somehow, I overachieved in the final and stole a victory from Jason. Good for me, but it’s still great for KB Racing. No matter had happened in the final round, it was a victory for the team. I can’t be prouder of the race team I’m on.”

Line, who won the last event in Phoenix, qualified first and had a first round bye. He then defeated Vincent Nobile and 2015 Rookie of the Year Drew Skillman in the second and third rounds respectively. Line has four victories in six final round appearances at Gainesville. This is second consecutive year Line has lost to Anderson in the final at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.820 at 198.23 to defeat Hector Arana’s 6.920 at 196.44 on his Lucas Oil Buell. This marks Krawiec’s 32nd career win and his fourth victory at Gainesville Raceway. As the No. 1 qualifier, Krawiec outran Michael Phillips, Jerry Savoie and teammate and world champion Andrew Hines to make it to the final.

“Going out there I had a great motorcycle,” Krawiec said. “I have a great crew behind me, but the key thing for me was to not screw it up. You have the first round jitters after four months of not racing, but I knew I had a fast motorcycle. We’re all really excited, everybody back at our shop. We’re glad one of our Harley-Davidsons got the win.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series travels to Las Vegas, April 1-3, for the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Sunday's finale shaping up at AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Sunday's first-round pairings for eliminations for the 47th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the third of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel -- 1. Richie Crampton, 3.698 seconds, 319.37 mph  vs. 16. Chris Karamesines, broke; 2. Clay Millican, 3.722, 326.71  vs. 15. Ike Maier, 3.937, 301.00; 3. Antron Brown, 3.729, 319.07  vs. 14. Terry McMillen, 3.895, 308.57; 4. Leah Pritchett, 3.744, 325.69  vs. 13. Tripp Tatum, 3.862, 317.05; 5. Brittany Force, 3.745, 320.81  vs. 12. Morgan Lucas, 3.810, 315.64; 6. Tony Schumacher, 3.754, 315.12  vs. 11. Shawn Langdon, 3.783, 318.84; 7. Steve Torrence, 3.757, 325.22  vs. 10. J.R. Todd, 3.779, 323.35; 8. Doug Kalitta, 3.761, 324.05  vs. 9. Dave Connolly, 3.762, 325.45.

Funny Car -- 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 3.879, 329.26  vs. 16. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 11.122, 83.59; 2. Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.893, 322.96  vs. 15. Dave Richards, Ford Mustang, 7.160, 195.68; 3. Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.921, 327.43  vs. 14. Terry Haddock, Solara, 6.288, 161.32; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.928, 321.65  vs. 13. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 5.143, 146.42; 5. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.929, 321.27  vs. 12. John Hale, Charger, 4.170, 290.19; 6. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.953, 323.74  vs. 11. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.041, 314.61; 7. Chad Head, Camry, 3.957, 321.04  vs. 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.016, 307.65; 8. Del Worsham, Camry, 3.958, 320.28  vs. 9. John Force, Camaro, 3.996, 299.20.

Pro Stock -- 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.584, 210.44  vs. Bye; 2. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.591, 209.33  vs. 15. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.724, 206.01; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.595, 209.65  vs. 14. V. Gaines, Dodge Dart, 6.685, 208.17; 4. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.614, 209.04  vs. 13. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.663, 207.91; 5. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.616, 208.94  vs. 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.651, 208.17; 6. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.627, 208.30  vs. 11. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.644, 208.46; 7. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.628, 207.91  vs. 10. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.636, 208.33; 8. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.631, 208.17  vs. 9. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.632, 208.62.

Pro Stock Motorcycle -- 1. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.801, 197.71  vs. 16. Michael Phillips, Suzuki, 6.938, 194.49; 2. Hector Arana, Buell, 6.821, 197.10  vs. 15. Mike Berry, Buell, 6.937, 190.11; 3. Chip Ellis, Buell, 6.829, 195.34  vs. 14. Hector Arana Jr, Buell, 6.917, 194.13; 4. Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.844, 194.94  vs. 13. Angie Smith, Victory, 6.914, 192.85; 5. Angelle Sampey, Buell, 6.847, 195.70  vs. 12. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.907, 197.22; 6. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.850, 196.04  vs. 11. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.901, 193.65; 7. Melissa Surber, Buell, 6.853, 194.86  vs. 10. Michael Ray, Buell, 6.885, 196.47; 8. Scotty Pollacheck, Buell, 6.862, 195.82  vs. 9. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.868, 196.62.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Matt Smith, 6.942, 193.71; 18. Cory Reed, 6.950, 191.40; 19. Shawn Gann, 6.965, 190.59; 20. Kalle Lyren, 6.967, 193.21; 21. Karen Stoffer, 6.968, 193.63; 22. Joe DeSantis, 6.978, 192.58; 23. Brian Pretzel, 7.017, 193.90; 24. David Hope, 7.058, 188.86; 25. Katie Sullivan, 7.136, 187.26; 26. Lance Bonham, 7.212, 187.21.

First round-by-round results from the 47th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the first of 10 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

ROUND ONE -- Chip King, Dodge Daytona, 5.845, 244.43 def. Pete Farber, Daytona, 9.081, 99.95; Steve Matusek, Chevy Camaro, 5.873, 247.57 def. Troy Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 5.822, 256.65; Bob Rahaim, Corvette, 5.835, 247.20 def. Michael Biehle, Ford Mustang, 6.091, 249.95; Mike Castellana, Corvette, 5.812, 247.47 def. Mike Janis, Camaro, 6.119, 235.10; Sidnei Frigo, Corvette, 5.810,
254.04 def. Kevin Fiscus, Mustang, 8.643, 85.99; Rickie Smith, Camaro, 5.784, 250.23 def. Steven Whiteley, Cadillac CTS-V, 5.901, 246.35; Jonathan Gray, Camaro, 5.751, 258.02 def. Kenny Lang, Camaro, 5.913, 245.81; Danny Rowe, Corvette, 6.016, 243.41 def. Robert Patrick Jr., Mustang, 6.965, 151.15;

Final order after 3 rounds of qualifying in Pro Modified at the 47th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals:

Psn---Num-Driver, Home Town, Car Type---------------Qual-ET--Qual-Spd-Top Spd

  1  288 Sidnei Frigo, Ball Ground GA, '15 Corvette      5.839  240.47  252.24
  2  262 Robert Patrick Jr., Fredricksburg VA, '14 Must  5.850  242.58  242.58
  3 2133 Jonathan Gray, Artesia NM, '14 Camaro           5.851  255.34  255.48
  4    4 Rickie Smith, King NC, '15 Camaro               5.851  248.93  248.93
  5   44 Mike Castellana, Muttontown NY, '15 Corvette    5.854  246.48  246.48
  6  360 Bob Rahaim, Grosse Pointe MI, '15 Corvette      5.860  245.76  245.76
  7    1 Troy Coughlin, Columbus OH, '15 Corvette        5.870  255.24  255.24
  8   10 Pete Farber, Baldwinville MA, '69 Daytona       5.876  247.43  247.43
  9  213 Chip King, Semora NC, '69 Daytona               5.878  243.41  243.41
10 5450 Steve Matusek, Olathe KS, '68 Camaro            5.884  248.11  248.11
11  318 Michael Biehle, North Vernon IN, '67 Mustang    5.885  252.43  252.43
12    2 Mike Janis, Lancaster NY, '13 Camaro            5.915  233.80  237.80
13 5200 Steven Whiteley, Grand Junction CO, '14 CTS-V   5.922  246.57  246.57
14 5012 Kenny Lang, Grande Pointe MB, '69 Camaro        5.926  245.63  245.63
15    7 Danny Rowe, Laguna Hills CA, '15 Corvette       5.963  245.27  245.27
16 220F Kevin Fiscus, Jacksonville FL, '12 Mustang      5.982  246.44  246.44

       ------------ Not Qualified ------------

17    6 Bill Glidden, Whiteland IN, '10 Mustang         6.009  235.56  235.56
18 1938 Eric Latino, Port Perry ON, '69 Camaro          6.029  241.80  241.80
19 2105 Doug Winters, Pleasant Garden NC, '69 Chevelle  6.048  244.65  244.65
20 5087 Jim Whiteley, Grand Junction CO, '69 Chevelle   6.051  241.54  241.54
21 1109 Gerry Capano, Greenville DE, '63 Corvette       6.068  230.21  230.21
22 275T Ruben Tetsoshvill, West Chapel FL, '70 Camaro   6.140  223.47  223.47
23 2377 Von Smith, Oak Ridge TN, '16 Corvette           6.153  184.75  200.77
24  701 Clint Satterfield, Albuquerque NM, '68 Firebi   6.275  235.72  241.80
25 6967 Jim Bell, Edmonton AB, '69 Camaro               6.670  191.97  191.97
26 6718 Shane Molinari, Battle Ground WA, '70 Camaro    7.067  158.28  158.28
27  303 Dan Stevenson, Lisle IL, '13 Camaro             7.227  130.63  130.63
28 1262 Chuck Little, Atkinson NH, '63 Corvette         7.728  127.14  127.14

NHRA: Frigo claims the No. 1 qualifying position and first round victory in Pro Mod Drag Racing Series

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sidnei Frigo claimed the No. 1 qualifying position and first round victory Saturday during the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. T

This weekend’s Pro Mod racing, co-presented by the Pro Line Racing and Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Inc., is the first of 10 events on the season.

Frigo’s second-session pass of 5.839 seconds at 240.47 mph in his late model Artivinco Racing/FuelTech Chevy Corvette held up for his first career No. 1 qualifier.

In the first round of eliminations, Frigo outran Kevin Fiscus, of Jacksonville, Fla., with a 5.810 pass at 254.04. Fiscus ran an 8.643 at 85.99 in his 2012 Ford Mustang. Frigo will face Chip King in the second round of eliminations on Sunday.

Robert Patrick Jr.’s second round pass of 5.850 at 242.58 kept him qualified at second in his Purvis Ford Mustang. Patrick Jr. fell in the first round of eliminations to No. 15 qualifier Danny Rowe, of Laguna Hills, Calif., in his Agave Tequila ’68 Chevy Camaro with a pass of 6.016 at 243.41. Rowe will matchup against Steve Matusek, from Olathe, Kan., in the second round.

Matusek, in his Agave Underground ’68 Camaro, took out eleventh place qualifier and reigning world champ Troy Coughlin with a 5.873 pass at 247.57. Coughlin ran a 5.822 at 256.65 in his late model Corvette.

Third place qualifier, Jonathan Gray in his Precision Turbo and Engine Chevy Camaro, ran a 5.751 at 258.02 in his first round win over Kenny Lang and will face Bob Rahaim in the second round.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

COLLEGE BASEBALL: No. 1 Florida Works Extra To Edge Missouri, 4-3

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Junior Peter Alonso delivered a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning to bring home sophomore Nick Horvath as No. 1 Florida defeated Missouri, 4-3, on Friday night at McKethan Stadium. 

With their 13th consecutive victory, the Gators (19-1) claimed their SEC opener after the Tigers (14-7) had tied the game on a two-out single in the ninth.

Sansone Highlights 17-4 Seminole Win Over Pitt
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – For the eighth time this season and second time in ACC action the Florida State baseball team scored double-digit runs, this time as it downed Pittsburgh 17-4 in Friday night’s series opener at Charles L. Cost Field.

The Seminoles, who moved to 14-4 overall and 4-0 in league play, were led at the plate by Pennsylvania native John Sansone (2-5, run, double) who established a new single-game career-high in RBI with five. Joining him at the plate with multiple hits were Gage West (2-4, RBI, double) and Matt Henderson (2-3) who also tallied two runs and two RBI.

Senior hurler Mike Compton, who surrendered five hits and four earned runs in 4.1 innings, also posted a pair of strikeouts as he passed volunteer coach Clyde Keller on the all-time strikeout list. He was followed on the mound by Alec Byrd, who notched one out in one at-bat.

Matthew Kinney followed Byrd, who suffered an ankle injury, and collected his first win of the season as he held the Panthers (8-7, 1-3 ACC) hitless in 1.1 innings. Kinney gave way to Ed Voyles, who earned the save after yielding only one hit and one walk, while striking out four in three innings.

Ninth Inning Rally Comes Short in JU’s 8-4 Loss to Samford
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A four-run rally with two outs in the ninth inning wasn’t enough as Jacksonville fell to Samford, 8-4, Friday at Joe Lee Griffin Field.

“That was a strange ballgame to see 29 strikeouts and 15 walks combined on both sides,” said Head Coach Tim Montez. “The positive was that our guys didn’t quit at the end. We put together some good at-bats there at the end and hopefully that momentum carries over tomorrow.”

Jacksonville (11-6) broke up a no-hitter on an Austin Hays single in the eighth inning and then rallied with four runs in the ninth. Hays launched his seventh homer of the season for a three-run blast, and Franco Guardascione singled home JJ Gould.

Jacksonville scored its first run of the game on a passed ball in a fifth inning where the Dolphins walked four times.

Michael Baumann (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season despite striking out a career-best nine batters. He allowed solo home runs in each of the first two innings but ran into his most trouble with five walks in the fourth inning which led to five earned runs. 

Osprey Blanked by Quinnipiac in Series Opener
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Quinnipiac (6-8) starting pitcher Thomas Jankins shut down the high-powered North Florida offense, tossing eight innings in a 3-0 series opening victory. The loss snaps a season-high five-game win streak for the Ospreys as they fall to 11-9 on the year.

Jankins struck out seven batters and stranded nine Osprey base runners in the process. He scattered seven hits and walked only one for his second victory of the season. It was the first time in six games the Osprey offense was held under 10 hits and is their second-lowest hit total of the year.

Alex Merritt was responsible for two of the Ospreys seven hits on the night, going 2-for-4. Senior Corbin Olmstead extended his hit streak to 13 games with a single in the bottom of the eighth inning. Classmate Kyle Brooks' single in the bottom of the sixth moved his reached base streak to 14 games.


Friday, March 18, 2016

NHRA: Force has qualifying lead in Top Fuel at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla.  – Brittany Force raced to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals on Friday.

Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders at the third of 24 events in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.

Force powered her Monster Energy dragster to a 3.745-second pass at 309.56 mph to earn the qualifying lead at Gainesville Raceway. Force, who was the runner-up in Phoenix three weeks ago, has four No. 1 qualifiers in her career. She is chasing her first career victory.

“Coming out here, we didn’t know what we were going to get with the weather conditions,” Force said. “We were at least hoping to get one good run in and we did that our first run today and then we really stepped it up on the second run. When I got out and they told me that we were number one and what we ran, I was blown away.”

2015 Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown pushed his Matco Tools dragster to the second qualifying position through Friday with a 3.755 at 319.07. Brown, who won this event in 2013, was followed by Steve Torrence, the winner of the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., in his Capco Contractors dragster. Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher is fourth and Clay Millican is fifth.

Beckman set a Gainesville Raceway Funny Car track record during Friday’s second session with a 3.913 at 323.74 in his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T. There were eight three-second runs in Funny Car on Friday. Beckman has 16 No. 1 qualifiers in his career and is two sessions away from securing his first at Gainesville. 

“It’s always tough when you show up to a race and the forecast is rain, rain, rain,” Beckman said. “It rained yesterday and the forecast didn’t look good for today. We got one run in and I thought for sure that was going to be it and we smoked the tires on that first run so I was a little bit frustrated. So to be able to get the full session in for the Florida fans and to be able to run that good for the Infinite Hero Team, that’s a perfect day for me.”

Beckman opened the 2016 season with a No. 1 qualifier at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona. Last year, Beckman won a career-high seven events and reset the national record four times before finishing second in points to eventual world champion Del Worsham.

Beckman’s Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Ron Capps, is currently second in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T with a 3.929 at 319.37. Capps rode into Gainesville with momentum after winning in Phoenix. John Force Racing teammates, Courtney Force and Robert Hight, sit third and fourth respectively. Reigning world champ Worsham is sixth.

Line took the qualifying lead in Pro Stock with a 6.596 at 210.01 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro. The Phoenix winner has 41 No. 1 qualifiers in his career and four wins at Gainesville Raceway. He is hoping to secure his first No. 1 qualifier at the facility tomorrow.

“There’s a long ways to go and we don’t feel like we are running up to our potential and I know the other teams aren’t doing as well,” said Line, a two-time world champ. “It’s just a matter of time but for right now I’m going to enjoy the fact that we have a small advantage and it’s fun – fun to come to the race track.”

Line was followed by both of his Ken Black Racing teammates, Greg Anderson and Bo Butner, currently in second and third respectively. Anderson powered his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a 6.613 at 209.39 while Butner posted a 6.617 at 209.33 in his Jim Butner Auto Chevy Camaro. Back-to-back defending world champ Erica Enders is fourth and Alex Laughlin is fifth.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec raced to the provisional lead in the two-wheeled category season-opener with a 6.808 at 197.71 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Krawiec has 27 No. 1 qualifiers in his career and one at Gainesville. He has three wins at the event.

“Anytime you can come off the trailer and make a great run like [we did] it sets the pace for the season,” said Krawiec, a three-time world champion. “That’s the way I look at it; not just the event but the season because that’s what’s all in front of you.”

Chip Ellis rode his Junior Pippin Trucking Company Buell to the second qualifying position with a 6.829 at 195.34. 2015 Pro Stock Motorcycle title winner and Krawiec’s teammate, Andrew Hines, sits third and Angelle Sampey is fourth.

Qualifying resumes Saturday at noon with the final two sessions to set the fields for Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations.

NHRA NOTEBOOK: Hines seeking third straight Pro Stock Motorcycle championship at Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Andrew Hines will start the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle season firmly focused on going after his third straight world championship.

But another major accomplishment and one of the great, noteworthy NHRA milestones remains in the form of the first 200 mph pass in Pro Stock Motorcycle. That mark appears within reach in 2016 and Hines predicts fans won’t have to wait long to see it.

That adds another exciting layer to this weekend’s 47th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, where Hines will also be trying to win for the second time on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.

“I think we'll see that sitting on a scoreboard somewhere early in this year,” Hines said in reference to the 200 mph speed. “It could be one session where you might see two, three, maybe even four motorcycles run over that 200 mph mark and it might just stack up on who goes out first that qualifying session. It could be as exciting as that, or heck, you might see maybe the last two bikes of a certain session put it up side by side.

“That would be pretty spectacular. We are all looking for it. I know a lot of us motorcycle guys have been trying to get it the last couple years. It’s just a matter of all the stars aligning correctly and finding that couple horsepower that we all need to push us to that next threshold.”

Hines has been incredible over the past two seasons, pushing his career world championships to five. But he has lauded the competition level in the class and it again will be at a high level in 2016.

Two-time world champion Matt Smith transitioned to a Victory motorcycle a year ago, making strong progress even while having to make a number of adjustments. With a year of experience under his belt on his Victory Gunner, Smith, who finished fourth a year ago, has high expectations.

"We're excited," Smith said. "We worked really hard this winter, trying to find some power. We worked with Elite Motorsports and they helped us out a lot. We made some big gains over the winter, so I think it's really going to show when we get to Gainesville."

The two-bike Lucas Oil team of Hector Arana Jr. and Hector Arana also has big hopes for 2016 after bringing on William Cavallo as the team’s new chief.

Arana posted a win in St. Louis and finished eighth in points, while Arana Jr. picked up two victories and a fifth-place finish during a solid 2015 campaign. But with the addition of Cavallo, Arana Jr. figures the team will be even more well-rounded. Arana Jr. is also one of the favorites to reach the 200 mph mark, setting the national record a year ago with a speed of 199.88 mph in Charlotte.

"I have a lot of big expectations for this year," Arana Jr. said. "We've got a lot of great things going on. We know we have really good horsepower, but we were struggling leaving the starting line. Sometimes we'd get it, but for whatever reason in these last two years, we've struggled with that. We figured it would be a good move to hire a guy like William."

Gaining every advantage possible is a necessity is a class as talented-loaded as Pro Stock Motorcycle. Hines’ teammate, Eddie Krawiec, earned his last championship in 2013, and finished second a year ago, winning the season finale in Pomona.

Other standouts include Jerry Savoie, who won three races and finished third, Karen Stoffer, who posted two wins in the first five races last year, Chip Ellis and three-time world champion Angelle Sampey. But even with the recent success, Hines and his team have worked hard to constantly improve and he hopes that will again carry over into a strong 2016.

“I’m feeling pretty confident about what we have done here with our Harley in the off-season,” said Hines, who earned four of his 42 career wins a year ago. “We’re going to go test and hopefully we're going to reap our benefits for all the hard work we've put in over the off-season. When we get out there, I guess the time ticket is going to tell the truth, but we'll see what happens.

“We've got a lot of great bikes in the class. The racing this year is going to be fantastic and just like you saw at the end of last year, it's going to be a crapshoot who is going to win on any given Sunday. We just have to focus on qualifying in the top half this year, that's going to be key.”

The event also will serve as the season-opening race for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series and feature plenty of thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 12:45 and 4:15 p.m. on Friday, March 18 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, March 19, at 12 and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 20.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit

Thursday, March 17, 2016

NHRA: Troy Coughlin on a mission to win in J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A remarkable 10 different drivers won races during the 2015 NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season, meaning not a single racer won more than one.

Of those 10 winners, none were Troy Coughlin, something he hopes to change in 2016 and as soon as this weekend’s season opener as part of 47th annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. 

This weekend’s Pro Mod racing is presented by Pro Line Racing and Jerry Bickle Race Cars.

One thing Coughlin would like to keep, however, is the finish, as he claimed his second NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series world championship a year ago in his late model Chevrolet Corvette.

“It's been a pretty remarkable run these last four years," said Coughlin, who also claimed the 2012 title. "You don't think about it as it's happening because you're generally focused on the next round, the next race, but it's neat when you do have time to reflect to see how well we have done.

"It's definitely all about this remarkable team. Steve Petty is the best crew chief in the business, and having guys like Mike Rees, Justin Beaver, and Kyle Pettis stick with us for so many years, that makes such a huge difference. I'm so honored to drive this race car and work with these guys."

Coughlin’s quest for a third world championship starts in Gainesville after slipping past Mike Janis by a mere 14 points one year ago. But, as the parity in winners from a year ago indicates, it won’t be easy. Coughlin will face off against a talented group in a 28-car field in Gainesville, including past world champions Rickie Smith, who posted back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, and 2010 title winner Von Smith.

Other stalwarts include Danny Rowe, Mike Castellana, Janis, Steve Matusek, Bill Glidden, Pete Farber and Bob Rahaim, who is the defending winner of the Gainesville event. That victory in the first race a year ago propelled Rahaim’s strong season, as he finished third in his sleek silver and black Corvette.

“I think we’re in a really good place right now and hopefully we can pick up where we left off,” Rahaim said. “We have to qualify well and hopefully go rounds, and that’s the gist of it. One of the key things is, and this is what we learned last year, is you have to qualify at every event. We didn’t do that at the U.S. Nationals and that hurt our championship hopes. But we’re really looking forward to this season.”

NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, March 18 with qualifying sessions at noon and 3:30 p.m., continuing with the final qualifying session on Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m. Round one of eliminations is later on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. Round two of Pro Mod eliminations starts at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Sunday.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit

FSU: Seminoles Hold First Football Practice of the Spring

Jimbo Fisher
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State opened spring practice Wednesday afternoon with plenty of familiar faces hungry for the opportunity to get the Seminoles back atop the Atlantic Coast Conference and into a fifth consecutive New Year’s Six bowl game.

The Seminoles enter the spring returning 57 lettermen including 17 starters – tied for the fifth most nationally. 

In fact, Florida State returns all 11 starters on offense from last year including rising junior tailback Dalvin Cook, rising redshirt senior quarterback Sean Maguire and three wide receivers (Travis Rudolph, Bobo Wilson and Kermit Whitfield) that each caught 50 or more passes. 

On the defensive side, FSU welcomes back five of its top 10 leading tacklers including rising freshman defensive back Derwin James, who finished his first season in Tallahassee with the second most tackles on the team at 91.

Despite all the familiarity and starting experience on both sides of the ball, one thing is certain – nothing is guaranteed, every position on the field is up for grabs.

“Every spot on this team is up for grabs,” said Fisher. “There is not one spot on this team that is locked in. You go play terrible in the game, there’s a chance the next day you don’t play. That’s the thing about sports – nothing is ever in stone. You have to prove yourself in athletics every day.”

And after the first of practice that is certainly the case for everyone that put on a uniform on day one as Fisher was disappointed with his team’s performance all over the field.

“Today’s practice had a lack of enthusiasm,” said Fisher. “Practice was decent but not at the level which we’re used to practicing. One of the worst ones since I’ve been here. No enthusiasm. No life. Just out here going through the motions. That’s all it is. That’s why we lost three games last year.”

Florida State will quickly put Wednesday’s practice behind as the Seminoles return to the Albert J. Dunlap Practice Facility on Thursday, March 17 before wrapping up the week in shells on Saturday.

The Seminoles will hold their annual Garnet and Gold Spring Game at the Orlando Citrus Bowl while construction continues inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Kickoff for the game will be at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 9.

Position Change

Two notable Seminoles will transition to a new position on the football field this spring as both players are making the move from defense to offense. Chris Casher, who spent his first three seasons at defensive end, will move to tight end, while Rick Leonard will transition from defensive end to right tackle

Casher appeared in 34 games his first three seasons tallying 60 tackles including 9.0 TFLs and three sacks. The Mobile, Ala., native added four pass break-ups, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Leonard appeared in all 13 games as a sophomore both on special teams and at defensive end. He finished the 2015 season with five tackles and 2.5 TFLs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

MBB: UNF Falls to Florida in First Round of NIT

JACKSONVILLE -- North Florida fell victim to some torrid 3-point shooting in the first half by visiting Florida as the Ospreys saw their 2015-16 season come to an end with a 97-68 loss to the Gators Tuesday night in a first round NIT game in front of a packed house at the UNF Arena.

The Gators placed six players in double figures, led by Dorian Finney-Smith's 15 points. Florida coach Mike White announced after the game that center John Egbunu will undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. 

Egbunu suffered the injury in practice on March 8, but played two SEC Tournament games and tonight’s game with heavy tape and a brace on the hand.

The Ospreys finished with a 22-12 overall mark, including a program-best 14-3 at home.

Florida shot lights out from beyond the arc in the opening half, hitting on 12-of-18 shots from that distance. The shots weren't falling for the Ospreys from that range as they managed just four long-range baskets in 14 attempts. The assist-to-turnover ratio was also heavy in Florida's favor. They had 13 assists and only 4 turnovers while UNF was just about the complete opposite with 5 assists and 13 turnovers. The turnovers led to another one-sided Florida advantage of 21-3 in points off miscues.

The crowd was announced as 6,011 which is the second largest in UNF history, topped only by the 6,155 on hand for the 2015 Atlantic Sun championship game in which UNF defeated USC Upstate to earn its first trip ever to the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The long-range shooting for the two teams also took on a new look.  Florida struggled behind the arc, hitting on just 4-of-14 shots in the second half while UNF improved to 5-of-11 from that distance.

Dallas Moore finished his junior season with a 23-point effort on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor, all five free throw attempts, a team-high seven rebounds and five assists. 

It was the final game for UNF seniors Beau Beech, Trent Mackey and Demarcus Daniels, three players who have played in all 34 games for the Ospreys this season. Beech finished with 13 points and had 6 rebounds, Mackey had nine points on 3-of-8 shooting from long range and Daniels finished with 2 points and 5 rebounds. Chris Davenport was the only other UNF player in double figures, finishing with 14 points.

Florida next plays at Ohio State on Sunday at noon

NASL: Fondy's Two Goals Lead Armada to 3-0 Win Over JU

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tuesday night proved to be a coming out party of sorts for both Matt Fondy and Alex Dixon in the Jacksonville Armada FC’s dominating 3-0 win over Jacksonville University at Southern Oak Stadium.

The Armada, which improved to a 4W-2D-2L record in the preseason, had a handle on possession all night and had a 14-6 shot advantage. JU was able to get three on goal, but Armada goalkeeper Sebastian Evers saved all three.

After a myriad of just-missed chances so far during the preseason, the flood gates finally opened for Fondy, who was named United Soccer League MVP and was that league’s Golden Boot winner a year ago with 22 strikes. 

His two goals set a club preseason record, with his first coming in the seventh minute on a header. The assist came from midfielder Junior Sandoval, who whipped it in close to goal on a sidekick.

Fondy found the back of the net again in the 14th minute when got behind the defense, ran down a long ball and finished with a chip over charging JU goalkeeper Patrick Harding. The Armada continued to pile on the pressure but had a few near misses and went into halftime up 2-0.

The Armada will return to action at 10 a.m. on Friday when it hosts NASL expansion side Rayo OKC at Patton Park. The match is free and open to the public.

Monday, March 14, 2016

MBB:UNF hosts Florida Tuesday in opening round of NIT

JACKSONVILLE -- The North Florida Men's Basketball team is making history again in 2016 as the Ospreys will host in-state foe the Florida Gators in opening round action of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at 9 p.m. Tuesday in UNF Arena.

UNF secured a spot in the prestigious NIT by virtue of winning the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title after going 10-4 in league play and posting a 22-11 overall mark. The Ospreys were tabbed the No. 7 seed in one of the tournament's four regionals while the Gators (19-14, 9-9 SEC) were seeded No. 2, but were unable to host the game due to renovations at UF's O'Connell Center. 

The two programs have met four times before with all the previous games played in Gainesville. UF has won all four of the meetings including a 77-69 decision in the 2013-14 season opener.

"It's a tremendous honor to play in the postseason," said seventh-year head coach Matthew Driscoll, who has led the Ospreys to back-to-back national postseason tournament appearances. "It's very exciting to have the opportunity to play in the nation's oldest postseason tournament event. Having the chance to play at home, no matter what the circumstances, is definitely a plus for us. We are looking forward to having a great atmosphere and the comfortability of being at home gives to our guys. Its unique in a sense that we are able to play a Power 5 team at home, because in the seven years since our staff arrived, we have faced many high level opponents but always on the road. It's a challenge our guys eagerly anticipate."

Sunday, March 13, 2016

WBB: Dolphins KO FGCU; win trip to NCAA Tournament

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Jacksonville University women's basketball team won its first-ever Atlantic Sun championship and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament Sunday as sophomore Brandi Buie hit a jumper with three seconds to play to nail down a 56-54 victory over the two-time defending champions, Florida Gulf Coast.

JU (22-10) fought back from a 13-point deficit to make it was a one-point game, the Dolphins down, at the 6:24, 4:40 and 1:10 marks of the fourth quarter, before freshman Jasmyn Brown split a pair at the free-throw line to tie the game at 54-all with 37 seconds left in regulation. Buie, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, scored the game-winning basket as time ran down.

Buie finished the evening with a team-high 16 points while Sherranda Reddick added 11 and Briona Brown 10. All three were named to the Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

AFL: Jacksonville Sharks sign veteran DB David Hyland

Jacksonville SportsDay
The Jacksonville Sharks announced that veteran defensive back David Hyland was acquired from free agency. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hyland (6’0”, 190) comes to Jacksonville from the SaberCats where he helped lead the team to an ArenaBowl Championship last season. Hyland devastated the Sharks in ArenaBowl XXVIII after recording five tackles, a fumble recovery and a pick-six that came from a deflected Tommy Grady pass. 

Hyland ended the night as the Defensive Player of the Game and Playmaker of the Game. During his time with the Saber Cats last season he recorded 95 tackles, 76 solo tackles, five fumble recoveries, five interceptions, one forced fumble and was awarded the Al Lucas AFL Pulse Hero Award for his community service efforts.

 The five-year veteran has played for the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, Utah Blaze and San Jose SaberCats. Hyland amassed 374.5 total tackles, 302 solo tackles, 25 interceptions, 15 fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles.

At Morehead State University, Hyland was named First Team All-PFL three times. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

SUNS: Single-game tickets go on sale March 16

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The most affordable regular ticket in the history of the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville will be available for the first time on Wednesday, March 16, at 10 a.m., when single-game tickets go on sale for the Jacksonville Suns’ first season under new ownership.

In November, the Suns announced new single-game ticket prices for all 70 home games, beginning with $5 general admission. Reserved tickets comprising the majority of individual seating at the ballpark are $9 each. Dugout box seats, the closest to game action between the two dugouts, are $18 each.

Fans may purchase single-game tickets beginning Wednesday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville box office or over the phone at (904) 358-2846. Beginning at noon Wednesday, fans may also purchase single-game tickets online at

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tim Tebow Foundation’s Celebrity Golf Classic is This Saturday

Jacksonville SportsDay
The Tim Tebow Foundation is hosting its 6th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic presented by American Residential Services this Saturday, March 12 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. 

The Celebrity Golf Classic serves as the signature fundraising event for the Tim Tebow Foundation and promises to bring a marquee list of celebrity participants to the First Coast. Celebrity commitments for the weekend include: Tim Tebow, The Band Perry, Urban Meyer, Chipper Jones, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, Duck Dynasty members, Archie Griffin, Marcus Allen, Ashley Benson, Chris Tomlin, Tom Rinaldi, Hugh Freeze, Ashley Greene, Paul Finebaum, Danny Wuerffel and many more!

Over the course of the event’s five years, it has raised more than $5.5 million. But, that isn’t the most important narrative. The Celebrity Golf Classic not only raises money for the foundation’s initiatives, but it also provides a unique atmosphere for the North Florida region unmatched by other events. 

This weekend, the Tim Tebow Foundation will welcome an array of celebrities to challenge the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course and will provide fans unique interaction opportunities throughout the day. Included among the spectators are more than 2,500 children from local charities, such as The First Tee, Step Up For Students, Dreams Come True and more!

“This is not your typical golf tournament,” said Tim Tebow, Founder and Chairman of the Tim Tebow Foundation. “Fans can expect a really fun and relaxed environment, while also having the opportunity to experience our ministries first hand, which is my favorite part.”

Fun interaction will be plentiful this Saturday, as highlights include a Lip Sync Competition on the 17th tee for all the golfers, a Silent DJ Dance contest on the 9th tee and the Spectator Putt on the 18th green.

The event also features an interactive fan-zone geared for adults and kids, with merchandise, delicious food and games, making it a fun-filled day for all!

The Tim Tebow Foundation welcomes fans of all ages to experience this one-of-a-kind event in a beautiful setting that raises significant funds for outreach initiatives, as 100% of proceeds from the tournament go towards serving children worldwide. Spectator tickets can be purchased for $15 for adults and $10 for 18 & under through

Whether or not fans are able to attend the tournament, everyone can participate in the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop presented by Coastal Spine and Pain Center.  Each golf ball sponsored by a suggested $15 donation will be dropped by helicopter onto a target on the TPC Sawgrass practice range.  

This will take place immediately following the tournament, and prizes will be awarded to the five balls closest to the pin.  The grand prize is two tickets to next year’s exclusive Celebrity Gala and a meet and greet with Tim Tebow.  (No purchase necessary. Visit for official rules).

For more information, to purchase spectator tickets, or to sponsor a ball for the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop, please visit the Events section at