All posts by Katherine Broomfield

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.

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

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.

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M vs Mercer

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M men’s baseball team has won five of the last seven games in the season. This is head coach Jamey Shouppe’s fourth season at FAMU, and it is the best start to a season since his arrival.

Their next match up will be at home Tuesday against Mercer University at Moore-Kittles field. The scheduled start time is at 4 p.m.

Mercer is 7-0, the 7-0 mark is the  third time in school history for the Bears.  Mercer remains the only unbeaten team in the Southern Conference.

The Rattlers should have a look out for Mercer catcher Charlie Madden. Madden was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week, the first for Madden’s career, for his performance in games played between Feb. 20-26. Madden hit .438 and slugged 1.125 to lead the Bears to an undefeated week that included a win over the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia and a three-game sweep over Hartford.

Rattler Ben Ellzey was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Baseball Player of the Week on Monday. The honor is the first time for Ellzey. Ellzey finished the week for the Rattlers going 8-for-17 (.471) at the plate in games against Auburn University and George Washington University.

The MEAC also recognized outfield Willis McDaniel, and infield and pitcher Aubrey McCarty for their performances.

The Rattlers have a 3-8 record against Mercer and have won two of the four games against the Bears last season.

 

Hampton gives the Rattlers their third loss in a row

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M men’s basketball team has continued to struggle offensively this season. Monday night the Rattlers (7-18, 5-7 MEAC) had another disappointing night in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center. FAMU was defeated 72-55 by the Pirates of Hampton University on Senior Night. The loss is the third in a row for the Rattlers.

The only senior on the FAMU men’s team is forward Trey-Cary Warren. In honor of Senior Night, Warren started. Warren put five points on the board for the Rattlers and 2 rebounds, an offensive, and defensive.

Katherine Broomfield | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

FAMU shot 33.9 percent from the field, whereas Hampton shot a little better at 47.2 percent. The Rattlers were heavy on the free-throw line, shooting 71.4 percent. Head coach Byron Samuels said the goal is to get to the free-throw line at least 25 times. Shooting 15-21 from the free-throw line was not enough to secure a win over the two-time defending champions of the MEAC.

“We try to be aggressive, we got there. Our goal every game is to get there at least 25 times and shoot at least 75 percent, so we accomplished that feat,” Samuels said. “The greater issue is we didn’t shoot the ball well from the floor.”

Hampton (11-14, 8-4 MEAC), who stands third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, did not make the match-up against the Rattlers easy. Freshman guard Jermaine Marrow put up 31 points for the Pirates. The Pirates had 39 rebounds, AJ Astroth and Kalin Fisher had seven each.

“I thought we defended pretty well for the majority of the game, but certainly the Marrow kid gets hot, hits two or three 3s in a row,” Samuels said. “Hampton is a good team, it’s a good basketball program. They’re used to winning, finding ways to win.”

Junior forward Desmond Williams offensively and defensively ran the court. He had 12 points and 8 rebounds for the Rattlers.

The Rattlers are 22-11 against Hampton, and the Pirates have won each of the last five meetings between the two teams. Last season, the Rattlers loss in overtime 71-65.  Overall, Hampton has won seven of the last nine games against FAMU, and the Pirates are 7-6 against the Rattlers on the road.

“We just didn’t have it tonight,” Samuels said. “I probably didn’t do my best job getting our guys prepared with the turnaround. We tried to rest, keep our legs fresh. Hats off to Hampton, but I’m hurting for our guys, disappointed. We’ve got to find a way to get some energy and continue to fight.”

This is the last game for the Rattlers at home, and they have two more until the MEAC Tournament in March. FAMU will face South Carolina State on Feb. 25 and rival Bethune-Cookman on March 2.

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M VS Hampton

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M women’s basketball (9-16, 7-5 MEAC)  and men’s basketball (7-19, 5-8 MEAC) teams will host a doubleheader against Hampton University Monday in Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Saturday, FAMU took on the Spartans of Norfolk State. The women were able to secure a 59-51 victory over the MEAC’s second-place team. It took the game to go into double overtime to determine the outcome of the men’s game. NSU outlasted the Rattlers, winning 77-65.

Last season, the Lady Rattlers were able to bring home a 66-59 victory over the Lady Pirates. The men were not able to secure a win over Hampton in a 71-65 loss for FAMU.

Khadejra Young was the leading scorer and rebounder for FAMU. She had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Rattlers. Malcolm Bernard led the men’s team in points and rebounds as well. Bernard had 23 points with 11 rebounds.

Hampton’s women are 14-11 and the men are 11-14. Both teams are 8-4 in the MEAC.

Monday’s game will also serve as Senior Night for the Rattlers. Free admission will be granted to those with a valid FAMU ID. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

Sports Brief: 2017 MEAC Indoor Track & Field Championship

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) will host the 2017 men and women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships Feb. 16-18 at the Prince George’s Sports Complex in Landover, Maryland.

The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats took home the 2016 championship for the men’s indoor track and field, and the Pirates of Hampton University were the champions for the women.

The competition will begin on Thursday at 3 p.m. and it concludes Saturday. A schedule of events and live statistics for the championships can be found at www.meacsports.com.

Admission for the Indoor Track & Field Championships is $5 daily, and tickets are available at the Prince George’s Sports Complex on the event dates.

Rattlers fall short to the Hornets in OT

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter) 

Junior forward Derrick Dandridge led the Rattlers with 17 points in an overtime game against Delaware State Monday night in Al Lawson Multipurpose Center that ended in disappointment for the Rattlers. Delaware State (7-18, 4-6 MEAC) took an 80-77 overtime victory against Florida A&M (6-16, 4-5 MEAC).

The Hornets were defeated 81-68 at home by the Rattlers on Jan. 28, becoming DSU’s fifth straight loss. Desmond Williams also added17 points for the Rattlers. Dandridge also led his team with nine rebounds.

Royal A. Shepherd

Although the Rattlers and Hornets had the same amount of 3-point attempts, DSU was able to convert at a higher clip.  Delaware State shot 41.7 percent beyond the arc, compared to the Rattlers’ 29.2 percent.

Junior guard Marcus Barham put up the first three-pointer for the Rattlers within minutes of the game starting. Barham made three of eight of his attempted 3-pointers. The teams battled on the court all night in three-pointers, the final one coming with 21.1 remaining.

“They were hot offensively from the start, but we were able to sustain it throughout the game,” FAMU head coach Byron Samuels said. “I thought we had our chances and we just couldn’t warm up offensively.”

Williams tied the game at 66 from the free-throw line. Williams, who has struggled with free throws this season, manged to successfully get half of his free-throws in the basket.

“Every possession is very crucial, from the first half, if you miss, you have the chance to dive on the floor. If you don’t get that and you don’t do it, that can have a ripple effect,” Williams said. “So every step or every misstep is very crucial to the whole outcome of the game.

At the free-throw line, the Rattlers shot just over 50 percent, going 14-21.

“The key for us is getting there. If we keep getting there, the percentages are going to keep going up,” Samuels said. “Des[mond] is a tough-minded kid, and I’ve got confidence in our guys.”

In OT, the Hornets shot 100 percent from the field, beyond the arc, and in free-throws. The Rattlers were not able to make any of the three, three-pointers they attempted.

“Well we wanted to get the best shot we got, we got a wide open shot. You get the best shot you can get and it happened to be the shot that we took,” Samuels said. “It just didn’t work out for us tonight.”

DSU had just ten more defensive rebounds than the Rattlers in the second half. FAMU fought against the trees in trying to secure another win against Delaware State.

“I mean we [have] played against a lot of taller teams before. I just try to do what I can down there and not back down. I mean I don’t know, I don’t really see it as a problem if somebody else is tall.” Dandridge said.

The Hornets junior guard, Kavon Waller, led his team with a game-high 19 points. Waller also had seven of the 28 rebounds for the Hornets.

The Rattlers will face the Aggies of North Carolina A&T University Feb. 11 at 4 p.m.

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M vs Delaware State

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter) 

On Saturday, the Florida A&M  men’s basketball team got off to a good start en route to a  71-62 victory over Howard University, completing a season sweep of the home-and-home series this year. The Rattlers are hoping to do the same against Delaware State (7-18, 4-6 MEAC) on Monday night in Al Lawson Multipurpose Center.

FAMU (6-16, 4-5 MEAC) defeated the Hornets 81-68 back in Delaware on Jan. 28. Junior guard and forward for the Hornets, Dana Raysor, led his team with a total of 23 points. Freshman Kobe Gantz, along with sophomores Devin Morgan and Demola Onifade, each had a total of five rebounds for DSU.

Juniors Desmond Williams and Derrick Dandridge were the Rattlers leading scorers, both putting up 17 points each. Dandridge also led the team with nine rebounds.

Students with a valid FAMU ID will be granted admission to the game. Tip off is at 8 p.m.

Hot shooting boost Rattlers over Bison

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

Howard’s struggles with offense in the first half gave Florida A&M an early advantage in securing a 71-62 victory Saturday night.

FAMU (5-16, 3-5MEAC) took advantage of Howard’s (5-17, 2-5MEAC) lack of shooting in the first half. Howard’s field goal percentage was only 33.3, compared to FAMU’s 52.2 percentage.

The Rattlers have had struggles with offense during the season so far, but were able to showcase in this match up their capabilities of putting up buckets.

“It’s very encouraging. It’s one of the things that coach always emphasizes,”  forward Desmond Williams said. “I think we [are] just taking more shots, taking better shots, getting the best shot is one of the things we most look for. That’s one of the things that’s really helping our percentages do a little bit higher.” 

Calvin Sykes

FAMU shot 49 percent from the floor in the game and 46.7 percent from the three-point line. Williams led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds.

The Rattlers last match against the Bison was Jan. 4, where they snapped a 10-game losing streak when they defeated Howard 78-66.

“It’s always good to come out on the winning end,” FAMU head coach Byron Samuels said. “I knew Howard was going to come back out and fight and do what they are good at doing.”

The second half became crucial for the Rattlers because the Bison improved their shooting to 51.7 percent. The defense did not get set in good until the second half for Howard.

“In the second half they drove it hard to the rim, they weren’t making jump shots and they just decided to drive it in,” Samuels said. “We got about eight to ten points in the second half before their defense got set. And we want to run, we want to play fast, and there are teams that try to slow us down, especially in conference season.”

The top scorers for Howard was senior, Damion Collins, and junior, James Miller. Both Collins and Miller put up 14 points for the Bison.

The Bison have yet to win a conference game at home this season but has won two of three on the road. FAMU is scheduled to face Delaware State Feb. 6 in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center at 8 p.m.

 

Florida A&M releases 2017 Football Schedule

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M Rattlers ended the 2016 football season 4-7 and are bringing the Rattler fans a home season-opening game for the 2017 season. FAMU released their 2017 football schedule Jan. 25 and it opens with a home game for the first time since 2010.

At the start of the season head coach Alex Wood will be entering his third season with the Rattlers. They will open the season on Aug. 26, against Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) rival, Texas Southern University, in the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic in Bragg Memorial Stadium.

The Rattlers will also host several games in Bragg, including against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion Eagles of North Carolina Central on Sept. 30, the North Carolina A&T University Aggies Oct. 14 on Homecoming, and the Bison of Howard University on Nov. 4, in the home finale.

The Rattlers will face seven opponents on the road during the 2017 season, starting Sept. 2 against the Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas. The MEAC opener will be against the Tigers of Savannah State on Sept 23 at Savannah, Georgia. The Rattlers also has a lineup on the road against the Spartans of Norfolk State, the Pirates of Hampton University, and the Bears of Morgan State.

FAMU will also have a match up against Tennessee State University on Sept.16, the location of the game is still in the works.

FAMU will end the regular season with the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic against rival Bethune-Cookman University. A series that began in 1925, is now the largest football game between two historically black colleges in America. The Florida Blue Florida Classic will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Nov. 18.

All start times for games are to be announced later.

2017 FAMU Football Schedule
AUG. 26 TEXAS SOUTHERN Jake Gaither Classic/HOME
Sept. 2 at University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark.
Sept. 16 Tennessee State Site TBD
Sept. 23 at Savannah State* Savannah, Ga.
Sept. 30 NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL* HOME
Oct. 7 at Norfolk State* ` Norfolk, Va.
OCT. 14 NORTH CAROLINA A&T* HOMECOMING
Oct. 21 at Hampton University* Hampton, Va.
Oct. 28 at Morgan State* Baltimore, Md.
NOV. 4 HOWARD UNIVERSITY* HOME
Nov. 18 Bethune-Cookman*# Orlando, Fla.

*MEAC Games. #Florida Blue Florida Classic

Home games are in BOLD

Defensive woes sink Rattlers

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M’s lack of defense plagued the Rattlers in their 86-79 loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore on Monday in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center.  The Rattlers inability to stop the Hawks at the three-point line early contributed to nine made shots from beyond the arc.

MDES only made seven three-pointers in the first half, but attempted almost as many outside shots as FAMU had total field goal attempts in the half.

“We had some chances, missed a couple of layups, and certainly didn’t shoot free-throws well again tonight,” FAMU coach Byron Samuels said. “We just couldn’t get out of our own way.”

FAMU switched to man-to-man defensive to slow down the threes in the second half. The Rattlers shot 33.3 percent compared to the Hawks 44.4. In the second half, the percentages were much closer: MDES 45.7 percent and FAMU 45.8 percent.

“When you’re struggling, you got to find a way to make simple plays and make tough plays, but we just didn’t do that enough. Eastern Shore is a good team,” Samuels said. “They exploited some areas where we struggled.”

“We just didn’t play as well as we were capable of playing. It’s frustrating, but we got a lot of basketball left, ten conference games left and we just got to find a way to get it done,” said Samuels.

FAMU made a run late in the second half, two late turnovers halted the comeback bid. 

“I think that when it’s time to step up, we could have helped ourselves early on, starting off a little bit better in the first half,” Justin Ravenel said. “So I knew coming into the second half shots had to go in, and just be aggressive and make sure that every time a shot goes up it goes in every time, but unfortunately all of them don’t go in.”

Desmond Williams, who had spent a lot of efforts on the defensive and offensive end was the Rattlers leading scorer and rebounder.  Williams had a total of 19 points and seven rebounds.

“As we can see, we can come back. We just have to get over that hump. It’s just a matter of continually to play hard every possession., taking no plays off, and listening to each other,” Williams said.

The Hawks leading scorer was Bakari Copeland, with a total of 25 points. The leading rebounder for the team was Derrico Peck, with seven rebounds in total.

The Hawks defeated Bethune-Cookman 82-79 on Saturday. This match up with FAMU sealed a perfect two-game Florida swing.