All posts by Jacob Wicinski

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.

 

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.

Mike Gauger Creating His Own Coaching Lane

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (@JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA.,  (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Lincoln High School varsity head baseball coach Mike Gauger considers himself a mix between an old-school and new-school coaching breed. 

Gauger has been coaching since he graduated from Florida Atlantic University, where he played for 2 seasons.  Gauger interned and coached at Lincoln High School, and moved on to Wakulla High School, where he coached for 15 years.

Growing up, Gauger said his family is a big reason he got into baseball. He said he followed a somewhat normal path towards getting into baseball.

“I started probably like every other kid. Just played anytime from Tee-ball on up. Baseball was a big thing in my mom’s family,” Gauger said. “I had parents that put us in the opportunities and places to do things. [My father] was always able to drive us to tournaments, all-star games, practices, wherever we had to go.”

Gauger, who graduated also from TCC, left to go to Florida Atlantic to continue playing baseball. A meeting with his guidance counselor at Florida Atlantic University helped him decide on being a coach.

“When I got to Florida Atlantic, I had to speak with guidance counselors to declare for a major,” Gauger said. “I was already a history major and the woman talking to me said ‘Well, what do you want to do?’ I said ‘Well, I like history and baseball,’ she said. ‘What do you think about teaching and coaching?”

After Gauger graduated, he took a position interning and coaching under now Lincoln Athletic Director, Joe Vallese. Here, Gauger would learn a variety of ways to coach and to teach.

“Teaching wise, a woman named Ann Atkinson, who is an amazing history teacher, and Bill Fuller, who the field is named after, taught me a lot. There also was the head coach at the time, who is now my assistant coach, Matt Robinson. So, I learned a lot. learned how to do things the right way. Matt [Robinson] and Bill [Fuller] were awesome baseball people.”

After interning, Gauger then took an assistant coaching position at Wakulla for three seasons, where he’d then become the head coach for 12 seasons. During this time as a head coach, Gauger said he learned every player is different.

“I learned that there’s not one way to do things, kids are different, kids are changing and not every kid is the same. I learned that you have to be who you are. You can’t fake it,” Gauger said.

As a coach, Gauger has been described as “crazy” and “intense”, as Lincoln’s athletic director, Joe Vallese said via a quote from the Tallahassee Democrat.

“He loves the game, knows the game, he’s intense about it. He even gets a little crazy about it,” Vallese said.

Josiah Miller and Dallen Leach, players under Gauger,  echoed those sentiments.

Miller said Gauger was “Very intense.”

Leach, a catcher and first baseman, said

“Everyday, even the smallest things, like pitcher fielding practices (PFPs), ground balls or pop-up priorities, he always is intense. If not, we’ll do 20 push ups and get back in the right minds,” Leach said.

In practice last season, Gauger would practice what was known as “The Play”, which consisted of a bases-loaded situation, with only one out.

“It was very intense. Just the way it was fast-paced because you had to be on your toes and know what was going on,” Miller said. “It was mentality preparing and physicality preparing us.”

Gauger describes himself as a somewhat old-fashioned coach, but still maintaining a newer version of teaching the game. He still does running and push-ups for punishments, as well as some unnoticeable aspects.

“I would like to think of myself as old-school, but I don’t think there’s any such thing. I don’t think that kids nowadays could play for the coaches I had, or the coaches my parents had,” Gauger said. “We run at times for punishment, we do push-ups for punishment. We’re going to take our hats off when we go inside to eat, we’re gonna match on the bus. Some of those things that some people probably don’t notice and doesn’t mean anything and maybe doesn’t matter. But they are things I like.”

 

Lincoln to Start 2018 Baseball Season with Regular Season Tournament

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (@JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FL,. 

 

Lincoln will start their 2018 baseball season in a tournament against Colquitt County High School and potentially Columbus High School on February 24th in Georgia.

Lincoln hopes to maintain their success from last year, as they went 26-6, and went on a 19-game winning streak to end the season and their first state championship, outscoring their opponents in the postseason tournament 21-2 in 5 games.

Overall, last season, Lincoln only lost 2 away games, 3 home games,  and 1 neutral site game, while allowing 77 runs and scoring 172 runs in 32 games.

Though, only 9 players from last year’s varsity team will be returning, including Josiah Miller, who led last year’s varsity team in batting average (.370), hits (34), RBIs (28), doubles (9), and Home runs (5), and Dallen Leach, who finished 2nd in batting average (.337), RBIs (21), and Home runs (4), all of which he finished behind Josiah Miller. The pitching staff, however, took a hit, as their two most successful starters in Zach Taylor and Austin Pollock, graduated last year. They combined for a 19-3 win-loss record, 27 appearances and both had below a 2.00 ERA in 2017.

This year’s roster will feature six seniors, nine juniors, and two sophomores, who came straight from the freshman team last year.

After the regular season tournament, Lincoln will play against Lowndes High School on February 27th.

Japonica James Named Women’s Basketball Player of the Week

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – TCC’s forward, Japonica James, was named NJCAA Region 8 Player of the Week. This is her second straight week being named Region 8 Player of the year.

For this week, James averaged 23 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and one block in two wins against Santa Fe College and Vincennes University.

James posted a double-double with both wins, as she had 16 points and 10 rebounds against Santa Fe College and 30 points and 16 rebounds against Vincennes University, which extends her streak to her fourth straight game with a double-double.

In total, James shot 68-percent from the floor, with her going 17-of-25, and 70.6 percent from the free throw line, going 12-of-17. James has also moved into second place, nationally, in scoring, averaging 24 ppg.

James and the TCC Eagles will end the month of November playing in the Budke/Serna Classic, facing off against McLennan Community College on November 24th and Cisco College on November 25th.