Saturday, July 28, 2012

Did Schiano pull the trigger too quickly on Briscoe

Is Greg Schiano getting too quick on the trigger for his own good?
Did Bucs give up Briscoe too quickly?
The new Tampa Bay Bucs head football coach is intent on unloading players he feels don’t fit his mode that he apparently he released receiver Dezmon Briscoe without checking to see if he could get anything in return.

 SB Nation reports that Adam Caplan on WCHE1520 said he talked to two teams that were willing to give up a draft pick for Briscoe and neither team received a call from the Bucs. The report said one of the teams was willing to give up a conditional fifth round pick.

The Briscoe release Friday came on the same day that the Bucs traded former second pick defensive tackle Brian Price to the Chicago Bears for a seventh round selection.
There is no doubt Schiano has taken a hard stance on getting rid of players who don’t fit the “Buccaneer Men” that the coach wants on his roster.

Bucs GM Mark Domink has already been under fire from several sides on Brian Price. Critics say it was a huge error in judgment to select Price in the second round of the 2010 draft and others argue he should not have let Price go to the Bears for so little compensation.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tampa Bucs lose Benn for four weeks with MCL sprain

The Bucs experienced their first major casualty of spring camp when wide receiver Arrelious Benn suffered a sprained MCL and is expected to miss four weeks.

The Bucs final pre-season game is August 29th so he could return for the season opener against Carolina on September 9th. The 2010 second round pick out of Illinois started 14 games for the Bucs last season catching 39 passes for 441 yards and three touchdowns. He tore his ACL in 2010.

With the acquistion of free agent Vincent Jackson, Benn's role figured to diminish even more from last season.

Joe Hills finishes Arena League season in style

Joe Hills finished his Arena Football League season in a flourish that he hopes will get him invited to an NFL camp.

Joe Hills ends AFL season with flourish
The 6-5 Tampa Bay Storm receiver from Palmetto High caught a team high eight passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s last regular season game, a 63-53 loss to Spokane.

In his final two games, Hills was the Storm’s main target hauling in a combined seven touchdown passes with 14 catches for 354 yards.
Hills, who got a chance to play regularly in the last couple of games because of injuries to other players, led the Storm receivers in yards per catching averaging 16.6 yards per reception.

For the season, Hills caught 39 passes for 648 yards and 13 touchdowns. In the finale against Spokane he had touchdown receptions of 45. 35 and 33 yards.
Hills, who finished his college career at Tennessee State after transferring from South Carolina, is working with an agent in hopes of landing a tryout with an NFL team. He was in the Tennessee Titans camp last year, but was released after getting injured.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Manatee Country trio earns first team All-State Softball honors

Courtney Mirabella leads all-state trio
Pitchers Courtney Mirabella of Braden River and Huntyre Elling from Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton Christian’s Rachel Brown were selected to the Miracle Sports first team All State Team in their respective classes.

Mirabella, the Bradenton Herald reigning two time Player of The Year, was named to the Class 7A All-State team. Elling, who pitched the Mustangs into the State Tournament, was chosen for the Class 6A team and the versatile Brown, who plays multiple positions, was a 3A selection.

Named to the second team in their respective classes were Lakewood Ranch’s Dana Hutchins and McKaleigh Goodale, Cardinal Mooney’s Natalie Maglich and Hannah Loyer and Jessica Cadorette from Braden River.

Miracle Sports is an independent, not for profit volunteer organization comprised of 19 current and former high school, college and travel softball coaches. It was founded in 2008 and picked up a lot of the responsibilities that was previously done by the Florida Sports Writers Association.

Palmetto's Joe Hills man on fire for Tampa Storm

Joe Hills has big night for Tampa Storm
Joe Hills is quickly turning into a household name in the Arena Football League leading some to believe he might be able to use his time with the Tampa Bay Storm as a springboard into the NFL.

The Palmetto High product was a man on fire in the Storm’s recent 65-61 road victory over the Pittsburgh Power.

The wide receiver tore up the stat sheet for the Storm leading the team with 13 receptions for 160 yards and four touchdowns. The next busiest receiver for Tampa was Michael Lindsay who caught eight passes for 47 yards and two touchdowns.

Hills was all over the field. He recovered an onsides kick that the Storm later turned into the game winning touchdown. It was the first road victory of the year for Tampa and kept its playoff hopes alive with two regular season games remaining.
Inthe three games he has played in since joining the Storm, Hills has caught 25 passes for 294 yards and six touchdowns. With his height, athleticism and pass catching skills, he is now the most inviting target with former USF and Riverview High receiver Amarri Jackson out for the season with an injury.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ray Bellamy trying to pave the way for Southeast product A.J. Love

Ray Bellamy offers advice
As an undrafted free agent A.J. Love is  a long shot to make the Minnesota Vikings opening day roster.

But in Ray Bellamy, Love is learning from a person who could be the master of long shots.  It helps that both are receivers, but it's the history here that could prove invaluable to Love, the Southeast grad who had to overcome two ACL surgeries during his career at USF.

When he came out of old Lincoln High in 1966 during segregation days, Bellamy did what most would consider the impossible.

Major college football in the South during that time was all-white. Bellamy and the University of Miami had a dream that they turned into reality.

Bellamy broke the color barrier for major college football in the South in 1967. It was an enormous task, but so were the other things he did.

Bellamy become the first Africa-American president of the University of Miami Student Government. The fact that he was an excellent student despite coming from parents who were not educated was another one of his great achievements.

"I just believed I could do certain things that most people considered impossible," is one way Bellamy sums up his accomplishments.

Bellamy believes in Love and likes his work ethic. He won't make a prediction about his future, but
says anything is possible and insists staying positive is crucial.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Former Southeast guard Lacey Houston transfers to Nebraska JUCO

Lacey Houston is transferring from Eastern Wyoming College where she averaged 10 points per game in the early part of the season.

Lacey Houston at Eastern Wyoming
The former Southeast High standout signed with North Platte Community College in Nebraska after receiving her release from Eastern Wyoming and will be joining the program in August.
"I asked for my release from Eastern Wyoming because I wasn’t getting along with the coach,” Houston said. “I had scored about 20 points against North Platte because they are in our conference and coach there offered me a full ride. I am going to be playing point guard.”

Houston played off guard and some wing when she was at Southeast. It took her awhile to get used to running an offense in college.
“It was one of the hardest transitions I ever had to make,” Houston said. “At two-guard, you always shoot the ball and go to the basket. But at the one (point guard) you’ve got other people to do that. You’ve got to keep the offense going and get others involved. It’s a different world out there.”

Houston says her goal is play division I after next season. If she has a choice she would like to play for the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She already has a rapport with the coach there.
“For me the hardest change from high school was the weather out there. It got to be one degrees and I had never seen anything like that,” Houston said. “It was unbelievable and switching to the one you have to learn to get everyone involved and make sure your teammates score.”


Monday, July 2, 2012

Palmetto's Joe Hills has big night for Tampa Bay Storm

Joe Hills; photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
Joe Hills fell seconds short of earning hero status, but still turned in a stellar performance for the Arena Football League Tampa Bay Storm.

The former Palmetto High standout caught his second touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the game, which gave the Storm a 79-76 lead over the Philadelphia Soul Friday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Tampa missed clinching the game when defensive back Riley Swanson dropped a sure interception that would have sealed things and on the next play Philadelphia scored the winning touchdown.

Hills caught seven passes for 84 yards that included touchdown receptions of six yards each. The 6-5, 215 pound rookie from Tennessee State joined the team June 13th and in two games has caught 12 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns.

Hills played for the Spokane Shock earlier this season and caught 24 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011 before being released as he battled some injuries.