FAMU’s Adam, Nani and Rakotondrazafy make 2018 All-Meac Tennis Team

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Production Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced that Florida A&M University had three players selected to the All-MEAC tennis team. The team is selected by the league’s coaches and media relations directors.

Junior Noureldin Adam, originally of Khartoum, Sudan, was named All-MEAC first team on the men’s side. Adam completed the season with a 7-5 overall record in singles. He was 3-1 in conference play. 

Frederico Nani, a junior from Cordoba, Argentina, was named to the second-team. He tallied a 5-6 record in singles, finishing 3-1 in the MEAC. He and Adam combined to form the team’s top doubles record at 8-4 overall, a perfect 4-0 record in the conference.

Mialiniaina Rakotondrazafy, a junior from Paris, France, was a second-team women’s team pick. She posted a 5-9 record in singles and a 4-1 record in MEAC play. 

The 2018 MEAC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships will be held Thursday through Saturday, at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. FAMU’s women’s team claimed the top seed in the Southern Division. The defending champion men’s team captured the second seed in the Southern Division.

FAMU has 107 Student-Athletes Named to MEAC All-Academic Team

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Production Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – On Monday, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced the 1,366 student-athletes to make the 2018 Commissioner’s All-Academic team. Florida A&M Unversity had 107 names featured on the list, including 54 women and 53 men. 

The team is constructed of student-athletes between their junior and senior year with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. It includes all of the MEAC’s 13 institutions during the spring 2017 and fall 2017 semesters.

FAMU’s representation is a diverse bunch. On the women’s side, 24 athletes from the track and field team, nine from the basketball team, six from the volleyball team, five from the tennis team, four cheerleaders, four from the softball team and two bowling athletes made the list.

For the men, 17 from the football team, 12 from the baseball team, eight from the track and field team, eight from the tennis team, five from the golf team and three from the basketball team were on the list of honorees. 

The entire list of athletes is below:

FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY (107)

Women (54): Dicaria Alvarez (T&F), Briana Ballat (T&F), Tiara Barnes (T&F), Demetria Bethel (BWL), Cori Bostic (WBB), Mary Brooks (T&F), Shalaunda Burney-Robinson (WBB), Kierra Calhoun (CHR), Valentina Carrasco (VB), Elizabeth Clayton (TEN), Shalynn Cyprien (T&F), Taylor Darks (WBB), Lanese Davis (CHR), Whitney Farris (SB), Alelee Figueroa (T&F), Amber Fullwood (SB), Ashley Giacomucci (T&F), Alexis Gosha (VB), Amber Hannah (CHR), Akievia Hickman (CHR), Alexandria Hightower (VB), Benisha Johnson (T&F), Destiny Johnson (T&F), Shontielle Johnson (T&F), Judith Kibii (T&F), Dawn King (WBB), Caroline Kiplagat (T&F), Emmax Kiplagat (T&F), Nicole Kvitkauskas (T&F), Mia Lewis (T&F), Fridah Limo (T&F), Valeria Lopez (VB), Ginna Lopez-Chavez (VB), Karen Machisa (TEN),
Alexandria Marshall-Paul (T&F), Alicia McCray (WBB), Briana McCrimmon (WBB), Nancy Murgor (T&F), Victoria Nguyen (WBB), Florence Ouattara (WBB), Kenya Pereira (SB), April Polite (T&F), Evelyn Ralph (T&F), Tanzania Ralph (T&F), Arrice Robinson (TEN), Kiara Shaw (TEN), Olivia Simmons (T&F), Tahlia Snider (SB), Naomi Tanui (T&F), Symone Townsend (TEN), Erica Tyler (T&F), Destiny Williams (BWL), Ecenur Yurdakul (WBB), Maria Yvette
Garcia (VB)… 

Men (53): Osman Aguilera (FB), Tarique Akbar (FB), Yahia Aly (FB), Korteece Baker (T&F), Shareek Branch (T&F), William Brooks (BSB), John Capra (BSB), Elijah Casey (FB), Marquan Cromartie (FB), Prince Cunningham (GLF), Patrick Dalton (T&F), Joshua Engram (FB), Walner Espinoza (TEN), Jalen Evans (TEN), Herandre Fair-Curry (T&F), Hunter Fillingum (BSB), Jayson Francois (T&F), Aaron Hanna (T&F), Samer Hasona (TEN), Thomas Howell (T&F), Vincent Jefferies (FB), Terry Jefferson (FB), Chase Killette (GLF), Dock Luckie (FB), Mahindra Lutchman (GLF), Elijah Mays (MBB), Austin Michaud (BSB), Jacky Miles Jr. (BSB), Dennis Minefee (GLF), Octavien Moyer (BSB), Brandon Myles (MBB), Frederico Nani (TEN), Kevin Newman (FB), Desmond Noird (FB), Obinna Nwankwo (FB), Courage Okungbowa (TEN), Dallas Oliver (BSB), Shamari Pittman (FB), Michael Poole (T&F), Rodney Randers (BSB), Elijah Richardson (FB), Travis Richardson (BSB), Cameron Riley (GLF), Jacob Rios (FB), Kodi Russ (BSB), Kolton Russ (BSB), Zachary Safford (FB), Illya Skoromnyy (TEN), Nicholas Severado (MBB), Karlyn Small (TEN), Hans Supre (FB), Carlos Waitman (TEN), Garrett Wilkinson (BSB).

Green Team Defeats Orange Team in FAMU Spring Game

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –

The Green team, or the offensive team, put up four touchdowns and a field goal, while the Orange Team, or the defensive team, forced 2 turnovers, both being interceptions. The final score by the rules for the Florida A&M Orange and Green Game was the Green Team winning 36-31.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

Ryan Stanley started the game off with a 76-yard TD pass to redshirt freshman Chad Hunter.  These two would connect again, with Stanley throwing a 10-yard touchdown to Hunter, making the lead for the Green team 16-0.

The Orange team, though, would get their first points, forcing a punt and giving them three points, making the score 16-3.  The Orange team would force punts on two drives, while the Green team got it’s first field goal in the last minute of the first quarter, making the score 20-6 in favor of the Green team after one quarter.

In the second quarter, the Orange team would force three straight punts and would sack quarterback Ryan Stanley, which would tie the game at 20. The Orange team would take the lead for the first time with Chris Jerry intercepting Ryan Stanley, giving them a 25-21 advantage.  At the end of the half, the Orange team led 28-21.

In the third quarter, the Green team would convert two third downs, as well as a fourth and one, which would lead to an eight-yard rushing touchdown for freshman running back Bishop Bennett, giving the Green team a 29-28 lead. Redshirt freshman Tahj Tolbert would be intercepted, giving the Orange team a 31-29 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Green team would get another score at the start of the fourth quarter with Tolbert throwing a touchdown to redshirt freshman Dock Luckie. This would be the last score of the game, giving the green team a 36-31 win.

Newly-hired head coach Willie Simmons said his return to Tallahassee, where he was born, was “very thankful.”

“To be able to go in the stands, have people call me by my childhood name, call me by my nicknames and talking about relatives, it’s truly a special feeling for me,” Simmons said. “It was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back home. I was very thankful that this opportunity presented itself.”

Defensive back Terry Jefferson said he saw an intensity in this new coaching staff, as well as a few other differences.

“I see a lot of differences in the energy and in the intensity. They believe in us as much as we believe in them. We trust them and what they are coaching us to do,” Jefferson said.

The Rattlers will start off the 2018-2019 season with a home game against Fort Valley State on September 1.

 

Florida A&M Passing Game on Display in Orange and Green Game

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Florida A&M Rattlers football team played their Orange and Green Game Saturday at the Bragg Memorial Stadium at noon. The ending score was 31-0, with the Green team coming out on top. The Rattlers passing game was the highlight of the game.

In the first half, FAMU’s passing game was clicking. On the first play of the game, Ryan Stanley, the red-shirt sophomore quarterback, threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Chad Hunter. The field goal attempt was made to give the green team a 7-0 lead. The two linked up again on a 10-yard touchdown to put the green team up 16-0.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

In the second quarter, Stanley hooked up with Kevin Troutman, the junior wide receiver, on a 46-yard pass converting a first down from their own 20-yard line. In the middle of the second quarter, Tahj Tolbert, a redshirt freshman quarterback, checked into the game. Tolbert completed a pass to convert a first down on a 30-yard pass to Christian Mastramico.

The Rattlers passing game was still on point in the third quarter. A 40-yard pass from Stanley to Troutman was one of the key plays that setup FAMU to be in the red zone. With 14:33 left in the fourth quarter, Tolbert threw a touchdown strike to Dock Luckie, the redshirt freshman wide receiver.

FAMU’s first-year head coach Willie Simmons talked about how the offense played and how the team played overall. He also talked about how he and his team are ready for this season.

“I thought today was a very productive day. I wanted to see those guys compete on both sides of the ball.It was good to see the game close. It was a good competitive game,” Simmons said. “Offense was able to put some drives together. I thought all of those guys individually made some good plays.” 

“All in all thought today was a good scrimmage, a great combination of 15 really good days of spring ball. We are looking forward to this season.”

Stanley talked about how the offense and offensive scheme is going. He also talked about the bond he and Hunter had on the field.

“We put in all of our playbook, which really gives us a head start come fall time and that helps with everybody getting the feel of each other,” Stanley said. “I’m really comfortable with this offense. I trust the coaches and all of the reads they are teaching me and I really like this offense. I fell we are going to be very explosive”

“Chad is my guy. That’s a playmaker.” Stanley said. “That’s what playmakers do. My job as a quarterback is to get the ball in his hands and he is one of our go-to guys.”

Florida A&M will open up this season against Fort Vally State Wildcats on September 1 at 5 p.m. at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

 

 

 

Andrew Karp Named Weekend Starter

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State starting pitcher Andrew Karp has been moved into the weekend rotation, starting Sunday Apr. 22 at Boston College. He was originally scheduled for Sunday, Apr. 15 against Duke, but rain forced the teams to cancel the game. It will be the junior’s first weekend start since last year, where he made two such appearances, combining for a 6.43 ERA in 7 innings against the University of Virginia and University of the Pacific.

The decision comes in the midst of freshman Austin Pollock’s recent struggles. Pollock was originally put into the Sunday spot in the rotation when FSU’s ace, Tyler Holton, suffered a season-ending injury on opening day.  Pollock is posting an 8.87 ERA in five conference starts.

Karp has been the main starting pitcher for weekday games, including pitching in each of the last six games against the Florida Gators over the last 2 seasons. With his six starts against UF, FSU coach, Mike Martin said that he thinks the experience could help him adapt to the brunt of ACC play.

“Any time you’re given the ball three straight times against a team that’s as talented as Florida, and you pitch as well as he did, you’ve got to feel ‘I don’t know what [The ACC teams] have, but I know what Florida had, and I know what I can do,” Martin said.

Karp, who has a 2.88 ERA and a team-leading 65 strikeouts, credits his progress to staying in Tallahassee after the College World Series last year.

“I stayed here right after Omaha. I stayed here and I lifted everyday with coach Seth [Diters], and definitely got my body in position where I’m able to go out there every week and compete,” Karp said. “I wanna throw as many innings as possible. I wanna go deep into games, save our bullpen, and give our team a chance to win.

Coach Martin said that he first noticed Karp was a weekend-caliber starter last year, in one of his starts against UF.

“Lost on a check swing. Pitched very well against them all three outings this year. Lost a one-run ballgame in Jacksonville. So I would say going back to that game is when I said, ‘This guy’s got a good chance to pitch in our rotation,'” Martin said. “He’s earned it, I’m anxious to see how he does with it.”

Karp was needed this past Tuesday against Stetson University. He pitched a one-hit shutout in five innings, collecting  nine strikeouts on 71 pitches. He’s expected to throw around that same amount on Sunday.

His first weekend outing of the year is expected to come Sunday, Apr. 22 at Boston College. It will be his first ever appearance against the Eagles.

Chiles Extends Win Streak Against Leon

Devin Craig, Correspondent (@DevinCraigFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The 11-7 Chiles Timberwolves took a seven-game win streak into a game against the 13-6 Leon Lions. The Timberwolves were able to pull out a 5-3 win.

“It’s not about the streak, it’s about making enough plays to win the game and that’s what we did,” Chiles head coach Dick Steed said.

Runs for Chiles were scored by Zach Holcomb, Garrette Greene, Ben Anderson, Tyler Gerteisen and Sam Rudd. Runs for Leon were scored by Josh Rozental, True Fontenot and Victor Castillo.

The first two innings were deadlocked, with both teams testing the other out. It wasn’t until the top of the third that someone struck. Rosental stole home after a single by Tyler Borges and an error by Chiles’s Mason Sanford. Chiles answered right back in the bottom of the third with a run of their own by Holcom.

“It was a well-fought game, not a particularly well-played game, but hard fought,” Steed said.

Chiles proceeded to score two unanswered runs in the bottom of the fourth by Anderson and Greene.

No runs were scored until the top of the sixth when Leon’s  Fontenot stole home off of a Tyler Sims single. Soon after, Castillo stole home to tie the score at three.

In the bottom of the sixth Chiles took off and never looked back.  Gertesisen hit a single which was followed up by a double by Rudd that led to another single, this time by Jozef Rohbacher. Gertesisen and Rudd waltzed home.

In a last-ditch effort, Leon attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh that was quickly extinguished by the Timberwolves defense.

“We wanted to win to get first place in our district. If you win the district, you’re automatically in the playoffs and that’s what we got tonight,” Steed said.

Godby-FSU Alumn Looks To Hear Name Called At NFL Draft

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Jacob Pugh is one of many athletes hoping to hear his name called during the NFL Draft. Pugh began his path to the draft in Tallahassee, where he attended Amos P. Godby High School.

Pugh made his talents known there as a defensive end in his junior season in 2012. That year, he collected a total of 98 tackles along with 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions.

During Pugh’s senior season, he saw much of the same as he ranked in the top-100 players in the country and led the Cougars to a playoff appearance.  He had 64 total tackles along with nine sacks and three fumble recoveries. Pugh ended his high school career with a trip to the Under Armour All-American game.
The following spring, Pugh signed his letter of intent with the Florida State Seminoles. His freshman season he transitioned from defensive end to linebacker. Pugh recorded twelve tackles and two interceptions on the season.

His sophomore campaign saw an increase in his playing time. He played in 10 games that year with 32 tackles and three sacks.
Pugh had a breakout season in his junior year. He made 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Instead of entering the draft, he stayed for his senior season.  

Pugh called last season a “nightmare”, as FSU only won two of its first seven games. Pugh also had injury problems that kept him out for an extended time his senior season; only playing in eight games with 21 tackles.
Pugh now looks forward to entering the draft and pursuing a career in the NFL. At the combine, he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash, recorded a 38.5 inch vertical jump and  122 inch broad jump. Pugh is projected as day-three selection. 

TCC to take on Chipola College

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Tallahassee  Community College Eagles will play Chipola College on the road on Monday, as well as at home on Wednesday.

The Eagles will look to maintain their success, as they have gone on a six-game winning streak, as well as an  8-2 record over their last 10 games.  TCC is 31-14 so far this season, while going 9-7 in conference play, and 21-10 at home. They are 10-4 on the road.

A reason for this success is the team’s batting. They have a .303 batting average as a team this season. Cole Vann, a sophomore outfielder, is a major contributor. He leads the team in home runs (six), slugging percentage (.583), doubles (12) and hits (47). Vann is also second in on-base percentage (.503) and RBI (34).

The team’s pitching has helped as well, though they have a 4.12 ERA. Jake Kinney, a sophomore relief pitcher for the Eagles, has helped with a team-low 1.21 ERA. Kinney also leads the team in strikeouts per nine innings (16.38), saves (5) and appearances (19).

The Eagles’ pitching has improved as the year has gone on.  In the month of February, the Eagles gave up 145 hits, 77 earned runs and accumulated a 4.94 ERA in only 16 games. However, in March, they only gave up 120 hits, 56 earned runs as well as having a 3.61 ERA, despite playing in four more games.

After the Eagles play Chipola, they will finish the season playing three two-game series against Gulf Coast State College, Pensacola State College and Northwest Florida State College.

Florida State Falls to Florida

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – For the eighth time in a row, and the 13th in the last 14 games, the Florida State Seminoles fell to the Florida Gators.

The No. 1 Gators (29-6) defeated the No. 10 Seminoles (24-10) 6-3 in Tallahassee on Tuesday.

“We made a couple of mistakes, and they were taken advantage of,” coach Mike Martin said.

Alex Krutchik | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

After jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the 3rd off a Cooper Swanson home run, the Seminoles committed 2 errors in the 4th inning to help UF get ahead.  Florida third baseman Jonathan India stole second, and advanced to third when FSU catcher Cal Raleigh threw the ball wide of shortstop Mike Salvatore. From there, India scored on a double from Wil Dalton. Two batters later, Austin Langworthy singled to left to score Dalton, and advanced to second when Raleigh couldn’t field the throw coming in from the outfield. Langworthy would then score on a Blake Reese single.

The Seminoles offense battled, but every run they scored was quickly answered in the very next inning by Florida. In the 5th inning, FSU second baseman Nick Derr scored on  a Mike Salvatore sacrifice groundout to pull the Seminoles within a run. The Gators answered with 2 more runs in the next inning to push the score to 5-2.

Seminole left fielder Jackson Lueck hit a solo home run to right-center field in the 7th. The very next inning Gator catcher JJ Schwarz answered with a home run of his own. Schwarz has gone 22-for-65 (.369) for 8 home runs and 25 RBI in his career vs FSU.

The Seminoles had a lot of chances to capitalize on offense. They loaded the bases in the 6th inning, but Swanson grounded out in front of the catcher before anything could get started.

This marks the eighth time in a row that FSU has fallen to UF. The last time FSU beat UF was in the 2016 super regionals in Gainesville. This is the second year in a row that the Gators have swept the three-game “Sunshine Showdown” series.

“I wish I could explain a little bit of my frustration,” coach Martin said. “But we still have 22 games left in the regular season. And he hope we can continue to get better every day.”

The Seminoles return to the field for a 3-game weekend series vs. Duke, starting Friday at 6 p.m.

SPORTS BRIEF: LEON HIGH TAKES ONE WALNUT GROVE

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –  The Leon Lions boy’s baseball team will face off against Walnut Grove Warriors on April 6 at Leon High at 6 p.m. The Lions (12-4-1, 1-1) are playing the Warriors (11-10, 5-3) for the first time this season. Leon High just came off a 3-0 win against Bainbridge Bearcats (9-11, 3-7).  

Junior True Footenot led the Lions with one run, two RBI and went two for three. Junior Zack Treadway threw six innings and allowed only four hits. He also walked five and struck out six without giving up a run.

Junior Josh Rozental recorded his fourth save of the season. Bryce Palmer contributed with a double and went one for two. Matt Williams went one for three. The Lions defense also contributed by not letting the Bearcats score.   

The Bearcats senior Connor Strickland finished the game four for three with a double and one walk. Senior Dalton Harrell went three for two and finished the game with one walk. Caleb Boutwell went three for four and had two walks. Senior Quayde Hawkins went three for three. Senior Will Kelley went four for four.

The Warriors are coming off a 5-0 loss to the Satellite Scorpions (17-2, 9-1). Walnut Grove is on atwo-gamee losing streak. 

Leon average 6.9 runs and the warriors average 4.0 runs. The Lions usually provide 7.7 runs and 2.3 errors. 

Franchise Sports Brief: Chiles Baseball

Devin Craig, Correspondent (@DevinCraigFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)– It’s baseball season and the Chiles Timberwolves are hungry for revenge.

Last year, the Timberwolves, led by head coach Dick Steed, finished with an overall 15-12  record and suffered a first-round playoff exit to the Fletcher Senators. Last year’s team graduated nine seniors who played pivotal roles in the batting rotation as well as served as leaders.

The Timberwolves dominated district play, posting a 7-1 record and even earning the 48th spot for the best team in the state.

Experience isn’t an issue. The Timberwolves have eight returning players who all received a fair amount of playing time last year.

Talent shouldn’t be an issue either. Three of those eight returning players are juniors or younger. Players who will finally get a chance to step up into a bigger role.

As of now, Chiles has a 10-7 record, at home they are 5-3 and away they are 5-4. In their last 10 games, they are 6-4 but they’re currently on a six-game win streak that they plan on extending against the Lincoln Trojans in a home match on April 6. Chiles has seven games left, five of which are district games.

Although consistency has been an issue (the Timberwolves have had several losing streaks of two or more games), Chiles plans on making some noise in the playoffs. Their final game this season is a tough match-up against the NFC Eagles. The same Eagles that secured a 14-3 victory over the Timberwolves earlier this season.

SPORTS BRIEF: TCC WINS NCJAA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Tallahassee Community College women’s basketball team beat Trinity Valley Community College  64-51 on March 24  to win their first National Junior Athletic Association Women’s Basketball National Championship.

The leading scorer for the Lady Eagles (29-6, 8-5) was freshman guard Nakiah Black off of the bench, pacing the team with 13 points, five rebounds, three steals and one block. Freshman forward Jamyra McChristine finished second in points with 12, seven rebounds and one block.  Japonica James ended the game with 10 points and eight rebounds. 

Sophomore guard Mercedes Brooks led the Lady Cardinals (32-6, 16-4) with 17 points, six rebounds and one steal.  This was her fourth consecutive game scoring in the double digits. Michal Miller finished with 10 points, three rebounds and one block.

The Lady Eagles shot 39 percent from the floor compared to the Lady Cardinals’ 31 percent. Tallahassee recorded 48 rebounds to Trinity Valley’s 38. The Eagles also shot 37 percent from the three-point line.

The Lady Eagles forced 14 turnovers and turned them into 12 points. The Cardinals scored two points off of TCC’s 11 turnovers. 

This is the Lady Eagles first women’s basketball championship and the first national title for the school since the softball team won the NJCAA crown in 1994. 

The Lady Eagles finished their season 26-6.

 

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