Craig Bowman and Byron Samuels not expected to return to FAMU next season

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida A&M men’s basketball seems to slowly spiraling down hill. Last week FAMU guard Craig Bowman confirmed that he will be transferring and after three seasons as head coach, Byron Samuels’ contract with the Rattlers will not be renewed.

“I just want a different opportunity,” Bowman told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I feel like we accomplished a lot since I’ve been here. I just wanted a new opportunity. A new chance to compete against some different talent. I just want to think everybody for the opportunity. It was a pleasure. I’ll always be a Rattler. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

After Bowman would confirm his transfer, it was released that Samuels’ contract would not be renewed.

“After review and evaluation of the Florida A&M University men’s basketball program, FAMU Athletics has decided to take its program in a different direction,” Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Bowman and Samuels have both been with the Rattlers since the start of the 2014-2015 season.

After FAMU’s coach was fired and most of its players had left the program, Samuels had to essentially build a team from scratch before the start of 2014-15 season.

Bowman would start for the Rattlers in the 2014-15 and 2015-2016 seasons. He averaged 7.6 points per game in his freshman year and 8.9 points per game in his sophomore year. He played in 19 games for the Rattlers this season, who went 7-23, and started seven games and averaged 5.8 points per game.

Bowman’s transfer continues a recent trend of contributors leaving the Rattlers. Two years ago, Jermaine Ruttley left FAMU for Arkansas-Little Rock. Ruttley was the MEAC’s No. 3 scorer, averaging 17.4 points per game. Last season, Malcolm Bernard left the program for Xavier. Bernard led the Rattlers in points, rebounds, and assists. Bernard averaged 14.4 points per game, averaged 7.1 rebounds per game and averaged 4.3 assists per game.

Samuels was 17-71 as FAMU’s head coach. The Rattlers ended the season with South Carolina State knocking them out of the MEAC tournament 82-78 in overtime in the first round.

 

Florida A&M defeats Savannah State in doubleheader

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M Rattlers (13-5, 4-1 MEAC) played against the Savannah State Tigers in a doubleheader on Saturday at Moore-Kittles Field.

In the first game, FAMU had four runs in the seventh inning and three in the eighth to secure a 7-5 victory.

Cameron Johnson for the Rattlers had two runs batted in and pitcher JoJo Durden recorded seven strikeouts in five-and-two-thirds innings.

Continue reading Florida A&M defeats Savannah State in doubleheader

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M vs Savannah State

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M baseball team (11-5, 2-1 MEAC) will host a three-game homestand against Savannah State University beginning Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m.

Marcus Joseph | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

FAMU has won nine of their twelve home games this season and enters the series against SSU having lost against to Bethune-Cookman 1-5, and Jacksonville 5-12.

Savannah State (9-8) enters the series having defeated Mount St. Mary’s last weekend, by scores of 9-1, 6-5 and 9-8.

Outfielder Eric Blanc, Jr. has a .429 batting average, a category leader for the Rattlers.

Bryce Luken, who plays both shortstop and third base, and catcher Turner Davis lead the Tigers offensively, hitting .361 and .354, respectively.

The Rattlers ended the 2016 season 31-21 overall and 19-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) while the Tigers ended the 2016 season 12-40 overall and 7-17 in the MEAC.

Last season the Rattlers won four of six games against Savannah State. Games will be held at Moore-Kittles Field and the weekend’s three-game stand will be during the 5th Annual Alumni Weekend.

Seminoles Survive and Advance

Andrew Miller, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State survived a late surge by Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday night, winning their first game in the NCAA Tournament since 2012.

The Seminoles (26-8) used their collective size to alter shots all night, producing nine blocks over the course of the game to overcome poor foul shooting at the end.

“We’ve been a team that contests shots and changes shots all year long. It’s a part of who we are,” Coach Leonard Hamilton said after the game.  

Continue reading Seminoles Survive and Advance

Lady Eagles Lindsay John Understands Transitioning

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – She went from playing high school basketball in Cholet, France and learning how to communicate in English with her Lady Eagles teammates. Now she is working towards helping her team win the NJCAA Division I Women’s National Basketball Championship.

From an early age, she wanted to play in the United States.

“It was kind of like a goal,” Lady Eagles guard LindsayJohn said. “My brother, when I was six and he was ten said when we’re older, we’re gonna play in America.”

John came from a basketball family. Her brother played a year of college basketball in America, and her father played for Cholet Basket, a professional team in France.

And when a mutual friend of her and TCC head coach Franqua Bedell came to her about TCC, she was interested.

“He told me that coach Q would build me,”John said. “Not only as a basketball player but as a woman. So I thought that’s exactly what I need because I’m gonna be far from my family.” 

photos courtesy of TCC Sports Information
Photo courtesy of TCC Sports Information

Continue reading Lady Eagles Lindsay John Understands Transitioning

Noles Earn No. 3 Seed In the Big Dance

Andrew Miller, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Following a historic season, Florida State has been selected to participate in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2012.

The Seminoles (25-8) are slotted as a No. 3 seed in the West Region, and will face off against Florida Gulf Coast (26-7) on Thursday, March 16 in Orlando.

Continue reading Noles Earn No. 3 Seed In the Big Dance

TCC Rob Chaney Earns Athletic Director of the Year Award

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Tallahassee Community College Athletic Director Rob Chaney has been chosen as a  Junior/Community College Athletic Director of the year by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. The award is given to four athletic directors in each division of collegiate play, from the Community College level all the way to NCAA Division 1. Continue reading TCC Rob Chaney Earns Athletic Director of the Year Award

Florida State Seminoles Spring Football 2017 Preview

 Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State football is back in full swing this week. The Seminoles started spring practice this Monday, with lots of new and returning faces.

Sophomore defensive back Derwin James is back after missing 11 games last season with a torn meniscus, and five-star running back Cam Akers donned the garnet and gold for the first time.

With seven early enrollees, a few players coming back from injury, and some guys who were up-and-coming toward the end of last year, there are several people to be watching this spring. Continue reading Florida State Seminoles Spring Football 2017 Preview

TCC Men’s Basketball Face St. Petersburg College at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Kevin Murphy, Correspondent (@KevinMurphyFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Tallahassee Community College men’s basketball team are on their way to the state tournament in Ocala for the second year in a row, both years being the first two of Coach Mark White’s tenure at Tallahassee Community College.

The Eagles head to Ocala with a season record of 24-6 overall, 7-5 in Panhandle Conference play, and looking to end a two game losing streak.

They also look to eventually reach the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas after falling just one game short last year after losing in the state tournament’s championship game to Northwest Florida State College. 

A possible rematch in the final game of the tournament with Northwest Florida looms, a fact that is not lost on the players and Coach White.

“Definitely, going to that game is definitely extra motivation,” said TCC Eagles freshman guard Jeremy Hayes said when asked about the possible matchup in the tournament. ” I feel that we really got a chip on our shoulder and we are ready for this tournament.” Continue reading TCC Men’s Basketball Face St. Petersburg College at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Lady Eagles Face Palm Beach State College in State Tournament

Kevin Murphy, Correspondent (@KevinMurphyFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Tallahassee Community College women’s basketball team are headed to their first state tournament since 2010. They will play Southern Conference Champion and nationally-ranked Palm Beach State College tonight at 8 p.m. in Ocala for their first meeting this season.

The Eagles head to the tournament ranked 9th in the final NJCAA poll. They also have top 5 scorer in the country Lawriell Wilson leading them in this historically successful season. Wilson recently received the honor of being named the Panhandle Conference’s women’s basketball player of the year, being only the second TCC player ever to receive the award.

She also looks to become TCC’s all-time leading scorer with only 15 points separating her from clinching the record.

“I’m just focused on the game, it’ll come,”  Lady Eagles Sophomore Guard Lawriell Wilson when asked by Franchise Sports reporters about her potentially reaching this milestone in the game tonight.

Teammate Japonica James was also named the Panhandle Conference Freshman of the year. Another standout this year has been freshman Jas Hill, who averaged 15 points per game in conference play. All three were named to the 2017 Coaches’ All-Panhandle Conference team as well.

Palm Beach State enters the tournament on a two game skid after only losing two games the entire season. The Eagles will look to hand PBS their third straight loss in order to move on to the next round and play the winner of a matchup between Gulf Coast State and Central Florida.

TCC Baseball Disappoints In Conference Opener

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Max Fay, Editor in Chief (@Max_Fay on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)–Tallahassee Community College got off on the wrong foot, then couldn’t put one foot in front of the other.

The Eagles (15-11) fell behind early and never could make it a ballgame, getting thrashed 16-5 by Chipola (20-4) in their first conference game of the season.

Starting pitcher Brooks Buckler lasted only 1.2 innings, giving up seven earned runs on five hits and three walks. The lone bright spot for TCC was Cole Vann, who homered to straight away center field, and then came on to pitch in the sixth inning, recording a pair strikeouts.

Max Fay | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

“It was a bad start,” TCC head coach Mike McLeod said. “We made some mistakes on the mound and out in the field early. We walked guys and gave up a lot of hits, and that is a recipe not very conducive to winning a baseball game. The lack of defensive really took us out of the game.”

Continue reading TCC Baseball Disappoints In Conference Opener

North Florida Christian Baseball Beats Maclay at Home

Jordan Pandy, Correspondent (@JordanPandyFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – North Florida Christian started the game out slow but had a big fourth inning to help them beat rival Maclay. Sophomore catcher JD Jerry had a strong showing on both defense and offense and broke the game open for NFC.

The first three innings of the game would see no hits from either team; the North Florida Christian Eagles (3-1, 2-0) had back-to-back quick innings to start the game, only three plate appearances each inning. NFC players were swinging early in the count and were lacking patience. A few pitching mistakes from Maclay (3-3, 0-1) and timely hitting helped the Eagles find their rhythm offensively.

“We just relaxed a little bit,” said NFC head coach Mike Posey. “The pitcher’s pitch count was getting up there a little bit, so we started looking at more pitches. We did a great job with two strikes – we had several two-strike at-bats and we worked the guy for walks. We just had to relax a little bit. Zero, zero in the fourth inning you get a little tight.”

After three walks and two players hit by pitches, JD Jerry eventually got to the plate with his team winning 2-0 and the bases loaded. Jerry sent a ball into left field – for the first hit of the game – that unloaded the bases and put him on 2nd. Jerry finished the game going 2-for-3 and also threw somebody out at 2nd base after a wild pitch.

The Eagles scored a combined 30 runs in their previous two games before tonight, but in this game it took them a while to heat up offensively. Mike Posey credited Maclay to his team’s early struggles.

“I think our offense is pretty good – we’ve been scoring some runs, but this was a better team today that we played,” said Posey.

Even though NFC came out on top, coach Posey still thinks the team has some areas to improve on early in the season.

“We have to work a little bit better on concentration at the plate,” said Posey. “I think we battled and fought with two strikes a lot, but I think we swing at pitches sometimes that weren’t in the strike zone – we just have to do a better job at that.”

Maclay will try to shake this one off in their next game as they face Godby at home on March 10th at 4PM. North Florida Christian plays again at home against Hamilton County on March 9th at 4PM. Both

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