Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kieron James saves win for WIU

Kieron James saved the day for Western Illinois and helped the Leathernecks moved into the “Sweet 16” round of the FCS (I-AA) playoffs last Saturday with a key interception at the goal line.

It was the first college career interception for the former Southeast High standout and preserved his team’s 17-10 victory over host Coastal Carolina.

The victory earns James and his teammates a game at I-AA power and FCS Tournament top seed Appalachian State this Saturday.

The 6-0, 185 pound sophomore cornerback picked off the pass with 1:33 left in the game and returned it 35 yards allowing WIU (8-4) to run out the clock.

James has started 11 of 12 games this season and has 41 tackles with six pass breakups, eight passes defended one forced fumble.

Does Notre Dame hurt Big East football teams?

Now that TCU has an accepted an invitation to join the Big East Conference there is talk that the league should view Notre Dame in a different light and no longer needs to include the Irish in any bowl agreements.

The Irish compete in the Big East in all sports but football, which irritates many fans and raises questions about how much value the school really brings to the conference.

The Big East is generally considered among the best two or three basketball conferences in the country if not the best. It certainly doesn’t need Notre Dame to help them in that sport.

Notre Dame has been included in several bowl arrangements that the Big East has made; specifically it could cost a football Big East team a spot in the Champs Bowl in Orlando, which has the second pick of Big East teams and the right to select Notre Dame.

The Champs Bowl has the first selection from the Big East after the league's BCS Bowl representative is determined. But it can select Notre Dame in place of a Big East team once during the four year agreement between the league and bowl.

If Notre Dame goes to the Champs Bowl it affects every Big East team and worst of all it could send USF to the St. Petersburg Bowl, which would be the last choice for players and fans.

The Bulls were hoping to get an invitation to the Compass Bowl in Birmingham, but now the talk is that game will match Pittsburgh against Kentucky. If USF beats Connecticut Saturday and finishes with an 8-4 record (4-3 Big East) it would be a big disappointment f the Bulls were forced to go to the St. Petersburg Beef O Brady’s Bowl.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Southeast Williams getting offers

The offers are starting to pile up for Southeast linebacker Terran Williams.

A four year starter for the Seminoles, Williams has received offers from USF, Iowa State Western Kentucky, Kent State and Bowling Green. He took an official visit to WKU earlier this season and plans to visit Iowa State on December 29th.

A weakside linebacker, is tied for the team lead with 5.5 sacks and has 7 tackles for losses. He also has recovered two fumbles, been credited with 6 quarterback pressures.
and is second on the team with 110 tackles.

Williams said Iowa State and WKU are his two favorites right now. He has taken an unofficial visit to USF, but prefers the other two because he sees a faster chance of getting on the field there.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sailes ends college career with historic win

Henry Sailes ended his collegiate career on a high note helping Tennessee Tech secure an historic victory overcoming a 17 point fourth quarter deficit to earn a 35-24 victory over fourth ranked (FBS/I-AA) Jacksonville State last Saturday.

The former Southeast High standout finished the game second on his team with 107 all-purpose yards built on 52 yards on kickoff returns, 25 yards receiving and 30 yards rushing. His team scored 28 fourth quarter points to wipe out a 24-7 deficit.

Sailes ends his senior year as the Tennessee Tech’s leading punt and kickoff returner averaging 19.3 yards on punt returns and 18.1 on kickoff returns. He was also the Golden Eagles second leading receiver with 18 catches for 186 yards.

Sailes finished his career with 98 receptions for 703 yards and two touchdowns, 1.670 yards on kickoff returns and 226 yards on punt returns. Tennessee Tech completed the year with a 5-6 overall mark and a 4-4 record in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jan Brady receives honor at Bayshore

The Bayshore High School gymnasium was officially named the Jan C. Brady Gymnasium Monday night in tribute to a man who served as a teacher and basketball coach at the school for more than three decades.

Brady was an original member of the Bayshore High School staff transferring from Manatee High School in 1974 and worked in the county as a teacher for nearly forty years.

Coach Brady's focus was never about wins and losses - he valued student effort and sportsmanship. He stressed family values and academics over athletics. When a student played for coach Brady, he became a part of the Brady family.

His son Chris served as head basketball coach at Bayshore and is now the school’s athletic director. His other son Brac was the head basketball coach at the old Manatee Community College and has been head coach at the University of Maine at Machias for the past six years.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sanders gets first collegiate touchdowns

Ace Sanders finally got the one big thing that was missing in his young college football career Saturday when South Carolina crushed Troy 69-24.

The former Manatee High standout was one of the key pass receivers for South Carolina, who had not caught a touchdown pass all season. He ended that disappointment against Troy turning his only two receptions of the day into touchdowns.

Sanders caught a career long 51-yard pass from Stephen Garcia in the first quarter that he turned into a touchdown to give the Gamecocks a 28-0 lead. Sanders then put the final points on the board for South Carolina when he caught a 15 yard TD pass from backup Seth Strickland with 2:53 left in the game.

Sanders also had five yards on a run and caught one punt that he was unable to return. For the season, the 5-7, 166 pound true freshman is third on the team with 21 receptions and is averaging 13.9 yards per catch.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Boise State interested in Jared Williams

One day after he was approved to participate in the FHSAA football playoffs, Jared Williams had one of the most important phone calls of his life.

The Southeast High running back had a conversation with the coaching staff at Boise State, which had been keeping an eye on him and liked what it saw.

After feeling satisfied that there was mutual interest, a member of the coaching staff told Williams they would work on trying to get him an official visit to the school.

For his part, Williams hopes that might be awhile. It’s not because of lack of interest in the Broncos. He just hopes Southeast can make a deep run into the playoffs.

Williams has a lot on his plate. He has also been offered by West Virginia, Iowa State and FIU and there figures to be more suitors if he does well in the playoffs.

Following his transfer to Southeast from Bradenton Prep, the senior didn’t receive approval to play until the ninth game of the regular season.

Williams said he was interested in Boise State and likes what he knows about the
Broncos, who are ranked fourth in the BCS standings and have a chance of going to the BCS championship game.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mike Jenkins under fire

Dallas Cowboys Starting cornerback Mike Jenkins practiced Wednesday after missing more than two quarters last week against the Giants with a neck strain. Jenkins left the game in the second period when he was caught under a pile-up of players.

As long as the former Southeast/USF standout continues to practice, it appears he would return to his starting right cornerback post this weekend against the Lions this Sunday.

However, injuries might be the least of Jenkins problems. He has come under heavy fire this season for his play. He has been criticized for avoiding contact on plays in particular not attempting to tackle Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones in a recent game allowing the receiver to score a touchdown on the play.

Jenkins leads the NFL in pass interference calls with five after having only one pass interference call all of last season when he was a Pro Bowl selection. There has been quite a bit of talk that he needs to pick up his play if he wants to be with the Cowboys next season.

“This was a good week of preparation for the ’Boys. A lot of energy and inspiration from J.G.Physically I’m good to go against Detroit, passed all the tests for the week,” Jenkins said on his blog. “I thought our team came out and played hard (in win over Giants) when everyone was against us, even some of our own. The goal for us now is to find a way and finish strong.”


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Axon and Butler face Navarro for national JUCO title

The Citizen's Bank Bowl will host the NJCAA Football Championship as No. 1 Butler Community College (Kan.) will take on No. 2 Navarro College (Texas) on Dec. 5th.

The game will be played at Carnie Smith Stadium in Pittsburg, Kan., which is one the premier football stadiums in the nation and home to Pittsburg State University of the NCAA Division II ranks.

Butler with leading rusher Ben Axon from Manatee High, will be playing for its third national championship in four seasons, having captured titles in 2007 and 2008. Navarro (10-1) will be playing for its first national title since its 1989 championship season.

The two squads opened the 2010 season back in August in a contest played at Wichita's Cessna Stadium. The Grizzlies (11-0) got past the Bulldogs 16-10 and never looked back, winning 11 straight games and claiming both the Kansas Jayhawk CC Conference and Region 6 Championship crowns. Butler has been ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA poll for the past seven weeks.

After the loss, Navarro won 10 consecutive games and locked up their fourth-straight Southwest JC Football Conference regular season title and also won their first conference playoff championship since 2007. The Bulldogs have been ranked in the top 10 in the NJCAA poll all season and have held the No. 2 post for the past three weeks.

The 2010 NJCAA Football Championship at the Citizen's Bank Bowl will be broadcast live online via NJCAA TV (www.njcaa.org/tv) and PSB LIVE (www.psblive.com) through the NJCAA's official broadcasting partner Panhandle Sports Broadcasting.

Hart suspended at Towson

Chris Hart the starting quarterback for Towson University (Md.), has suspended from the team indefinitely.

Towson head coach Rob Ambrose would not comment on Hart but released a statement that said in part: “Being a member of our football program carries with it certain responsibilities and expectations. Unfortunately, Chris made choices that are not in line with the direction of our program.”

Hart was the sixth player on the Towson football team to be suspended during a three week period leading up to his release, which was announced on November 5th.

Hart ranks 61st nationally (FCS) in total offense averaging 191.4 yards per game. He has completed 82 of 172 passes for 1,013 yards and 9 TDs with six interceptions and has rushed for 518 yards.

The 22 year-old looked to be making a comeback after attending several Valdosta State and Georgia Military following his graduation from Southeast in 2007.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sailes finishing college career on high note

Though it came in a losing cause, Tennessee Tech’s Henry Sailes had the kind of game that will last a lifetime.

The Southeast High graduate piled up 220 yards of all purpose offense against Eastern Kentucky. Sailes returned five kickoffs for 123 yards, caught five passes for 60 yards and gained 37 yards on his only rushing attempt.

Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the Golden Eagles in their 42-29 Ohio Valley Conference loss last Saturday, which left them with a 4-6 record (3-4 conference).

Sailes will end his college career this Saturday at home against Jacksonville State. He leads Tennessee Tech in All-Purpose yards with 726, also tops the Golden Eagles in punt and kickoff returns with 174 yards (19.3 avg) and 346 (17.3 avg) respectively and is second in receptions with 16 for 161 yards.

Taggart gets his second win at WKU

With his second victory at the helm of the Western Kentucky football program, Manatee County legend Willie Taggart has doubled the number of victories the Hilltoppers had last year in a winless season.

Derrius Brooks came up with two interceptions at Arkansas State on Saturday, but it is his dive for the end zone on a two-point conversion that WKU fans may never forget. Brooks took a pitch on a reverse and snuck the ball across the goal like to give the Hilltoppers a 36-35 overtime win over the Red Wolves Saturday afternoon at ASU Stadium.

The conversion capped off a stretch that saw the Hilltoppers (2-8, 2-4 SBC) score on the final play of regulation to force overtime, then gamble with the two-point try to win the contest.

"This was great for our young football team because of all we have been through this season," Taggart said. "I told our guys earlier in the week that all we were missing was a come-from-behind win. Our guys came out and were relentless. They haven't quit all year. I'm of these guys, our coaching staff, and everyone just sticking together and believing in each other."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

USF hoops gets bigger

The University of South Florida men's basketball program announced the signing of Andre Jackson and Tolulope "Jordan" Omogbehin to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.

Both recruits bring tremendous size. Jackson is a 6-10, 285-pound center from Lee College in Texas, and Omogbehin is a 7-3, 291-pound center from Atlantic Shores Christian in Virginia.

"We are excited about the additions of Andre and Jordan," said USF head coach Stan Heath. "We felt the need to bulk up our front line and we have overachieved in that area."

Omogbehin, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, plays for Atlantic Shores Christian in Chesapeake, Va., after stops at National Christian Academy and Montrose Christian. At NCA, he averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots per game last season.

The incoming freshman was also a player for Team Takeover AAU - a squad that had 10 players in the class of 2011 commit to Division I schools.

Jackson averaged 9.2 points and 6.0 rebounds in his first season with Lee College in Baytown, Texas. Listed at 300 pounds a year ago, he has dropped down to 285.

Jackson played his prep ball at L.G. Pinkston High School in Pinkston, Texas, averaging 15.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest. He helped lead Pinkston to the Texas State playoffs the last two years, earning first team all-district both seasons.

Jackson committed to Southern Mississippi for the 2008-09 season and then played a year at Lee College and will enter USF next season with two years of eligibility


Monday, November 8, 2010

USF earns football honors

The University of South Florida football team picked up a trio of honors following its 28-27 victory over Rutgers last week.

Senior Jacquian Williams was named the Big East Defensive Player of The Week and Maikon Bonani earned Special Teams Player of The Week Honors for the second time in his career, while senior running back Moise Plancher was listed on the honor roll.

Williams had a game and career highs of 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks to help USF. He assisted on a third-quarter sack that backed the Scarlet Knights to their own 7-yard line in a drive that ended in a safety. He later registered a sack on fourth down in USF territory ending a Rutgers threat to score the go-ahead points in the final four minutes.

Bonani was named conference player of the week for the second time in his career after he scored nine points and was perfect on two field goal and three extra point attempts. Bonani made field goals of 47 and 21 yards, improving to 8-for-9 on field goal attempts on the season.

Plancher set career highs in carries (21), rushing yards (135), receiving yards (45) and all-purpose yards (180).

USF will look for its third-straight victory when it travels to Louisville this Saturday in a game which will be televised on ESPNU. Kickoff is set for noon.

Shed Haynes leaping into USF hearts

The University of South Florida men's basketball team enters the 2010-11 season stronger than ever, proven by strength and conditioning testing conducted in the Sun Dome during preseason training.

"We had great dedication this offseason and that is reflected in our testing numbers," says Graham Anderson, USF's strength and conditioning coach

The players were first tested last spring, again in July, then were checked a final time on Oct. 4.

Palmetto's Shedrick Haynes, a junior transfer from Lackawanna after a year at State College of Florida, is tied for the team lead with a 42 inch vertical after adding 2.5 inches to his leap since July and is tied for the team lead with a 36 inch no-step vertical.

Senior Jarrid Famous showed the most progress in the bench press, increasing his max weight in the one-rep press by 50 pounds. He also improved his 185-lb bench press to 25 repetitions, which would have been the most reps at the 2010 NBA Combine.

Junior Augustus Gilchrist pumped out 22 reps on the 185-lb press, which would have been in the top three at the NBA Combine and freshman Jordan Heath totaled 19 reps, which would have tied former Bull Dominique Jones for the top guard at the event.

Sophomore Toarlyn Fitzpatrick increased his vertical jump three inches while junior Anthony Crater is tied with Haynes with his 36-inch no-step verticals.

Hugh Robertson is just behind at 35.5 inches and sophomores Mike Burwell and Shaun Noriega are each at 33 inches. Six players have a running vertical jump of over 40 inches.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Williams has good debut for Southeast

In a limited role, Jared Williams debut in a Southeast High uniform had to be called a success.

Barely more than 24 hours after he was approved by the FHSAA to play for Southeast, Williams carried the ball five times for 39 yards in the Seminoles 48-14 victory over Bayshore Friday night.

The former Bradenton Prep standout ran for 19 yards on his first carry, which came with 2:22 left in the third quarter.
It’s obvious he can add some quality depth to the Southeast offense, but head coach Paul Maechtle doesn’t know if the senior will be available for the playoffs.

Williams needs to receive a waiver from FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing to be eligible for the playoffs. That decision could come this week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Maechtle: Jared Williams will play tonight

BRADENTON- Highly touted running back Jared Williams has been cleared to play tonight for Southeast, according to Paul Maechtle, the school's athletic director and head football coach.

The former Bradenton Prep standout was granted a waiver by an FHSAA sectional appeals committee on Thursday that allowed him to play against Bayshore tonight pending receipt of an official transcript.

Maechtle said the paper work was sent off around noon today and an FHSAA official told him Williams could play.

The committee ruled in Williams' favor after listening to testimony from the senior, his parents and Maechtle.

However, several pages of Williams’ transcript were missing in the paper work he submitted to the committee. It would not allow its ruling to take effect until the FHSAA received the full transcript, which showed the 5-10, 190 pound tailback is academically eligible.

That has been done and Williams can play tonight, Maechtle reiterated.

The playoffs are another matter.

Southeast has two regular season games left, but Williams will have to receive a waiver from FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing to be able to participate in the playoffs.

As district champion, Southeast has qualified for the playoffs and will play its first round game at home.

The FHSSA has a ruling that a student must play in four regular season games to be eligible for the football playoffs and Williams will have to file an appeal with Dearing. Several committee members indicated that could be ruled on fairly quickly.

“Things went the right way. I think everybody understands that,” said Jared's father Walt Williams. “He is young man that really deserves it and I believe God works through mysterious ways. I am sure all the other stuff will be put in place.

"Mr. Dearing will have to make the decision about the playoffs and I think it will still play out in our favor. I feel excellent about everything.”

Williams will join a talented backfield that includes Noles leading rusher Brian Poole, who is considered Manatee County’s top college prospect in the class of 2012.

Williams put up astonishing numbers for Bradenton Prep gaining more than 3,800 yards with 55 touchdowns. As a junior, last season he rushed for more than 1,900 yards and scored 27 touchdowns.

The FHSAA has a ruling that if he student plays for one school he cannot play for another until the next school year. Walt Williams said Bradenton Prep shut down its football program and then closed down leaving his son no choice but to transfer.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Big East wants to expand to 10 teams in football

Good news for the University of South Florida and the other members of the Big East Conference.

The conference presidents agreed that the interests of each of the league's 16 member institutions would be best served by increasing the number of Bowl Subdivision football-playing members to 10. The decision has come after a lengthy study.

They unanimously approved the process to evaluate the terms and conditions for potential expansion candidates.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said the conference will refrain from commenting further on the expansion process.

Athletic directors and football coaches in the Big East Conference have spoke publicly in favor of a ninth team if only to even out the schedules. Right now, conference teams alternate playing four Big East home games one year and three the next.

The most likely candidate right now appears to be Villanova, which is studying plans to move up to the FBS Division(I-A) from I-AA. Another school often talked about is TCU, now a member of the Mountain West Conference. Also in the discussion is UCF, though there is a feeling that USF would oppose allowing the Knights into the conference.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kieron James making presence felt at WIU

Defensive back Kieron James is having quite the season for Western Illinois University.

The former Southeast High standout has 35 tackles, including one tackle for a loss and is one of the Missouri Valley Conference's top pass defenders with four pass breakups and four passes defended to go along with a forced fumble.

The six-foot, 180 pound sophomore has started eight of nine games for the 6-3 Leathernecks, who are 4-2 and in second place in the conference behind Northern Iowa (4-1), who they play in two weeks in their regular season finale.

Injury sidelines Todd Speight

Former Southeast High standout Todd Speight has not played since the fifth game of the season for Western Illinois because of an injury.

One of the top return men in the Missouri Valley Conference, the senior was averaging 9.7 yards on seven punt returns and 20.2 yards on 12 kickoff returns.

He was a first team All-MVC special teams selection last season when he ranked 15th nationally in punt returns and 73d in kickoff returns.

He has only played in five games this season after incurring the injury to his rib area following a hard hit. It's not certain if he will play again this season.