All posts by Royal A. Shepherd

Royal is the Production Director for Franchise Sports and the Content Writer for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He grew up in Pompano Beach, Fla and is a lifelong Miami Heat, Kansas City Royals (for obvious reasons), Miami Marlins, University of Miami football and Green Bay Packers fan. He is a former staff writer for the Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga. and the Tallahassee Democrat daily newspapers. He encourages interaction with his readers via twitter (@RoyalShepherdFS) and Instagram (same handle). Father of one.

Godby takes down Florida High on homecoming

Tyson Campbell, Correspondent (@TysonCampbellFS) On Twitter

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –The Godby Cougars headed into their homecoming game against Florida High with an undefended record of 8-0. The Seminoles were 4-4.

In the first quarter, The Seminol #4 the senior, Kevin Sawyer Jr. is brought down at the 23-yard line. By 9:00 into the first quarter the Seminoles turn over the ball at the 32rd yard-line. Within 8:00 the Cougars retain the ball. By 6:36, #36 Que Smith runs from the 31 to the 12-yard line. On the next position, #19 Beto Aguirre scores for the Cougars in the first- quarter. As the Seminoles retain the ball again, the quarterback Bryson Hill has trouble try to get a first down.
Florida High punts the ball with 1:21 left in the first quarter. By the end of the first quarter, #2 Tony Street runs on first- down runs from the 30 to the 51-yard line to end the quarter.

By the second quarter Cougars are up 10 to 0. #15 Resean Mckay throws a large pass to #10 Cleveland
Blackshear that inches to the cougars to the 10 yard line, inside the Seminoles territory. Cougars get to
third down and are not able to get the first down. The Seminoles with 0 unanswered points, try to bring
back the offense and still couldn’t maintain a first-down. Within 10: 26 into the second quarter,
Nicholas Dixon scores for the Cougars. By the end of the second half Cougars and Seminoles had two
turnovers, but the cougars stayed strong lead 17to 0.

By the third and fourth quarter, The Cougars score 37 points with the help of #2 Tony Street, #35
Kamron Martin and Resean Mckay. #15 Will Haigler for the Seminoles scroes a touchdown for Florida
High. In the fourth quarter, The Seminoles have the ball, and on second down Keldrick Pompey makes
an interception for the Cougars in the end of the fourth. Cougars take the lead against Florida High 37-7.

Coach Jarrod Hickman said, of Florida State Seminoles. “ Tough lost tonight, I am proud of my guys, we battled really hard. “

FSU No. 8 in preseason poll

Alex Krutchik, Correspondent (@AlexKrutchikFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State men’s basketball is projected to finish eighth in the Atlantic Coastal Conference for the 2017-18 season, based on a preseason media poll conducted as part of ACC Media Day
this week in Charlotte.

This projection is coming on the heels of their winningest regular season in program history at 26-9. Last year, the same poll also had FSU finishing eighth. They wound up finishing second in the ACC, behind a 12-6 conference record.

The Noles return only one starter from last year’s team, junior Terrance Mann. FSU lost five total players from last year, including three key contributors to the draft. They look to bolster their lineup with fresh faces, including five-star freshman guard M.J. Walker. Walker finished fourth in ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year voting, earning two first-place votes.
Here is the complete poll:
1. Duke
2. North Carolina
3. Notre Dame
4. Miami
5. Louisville
6. Virginia
7. Virginia Tech
8. Florida State
9. Georgia Tech
10. Syracuse
11. Wake Forest
12. NC State
13. Clemson
14. Boston College
15. Pittsburgh

Godby goes from dismal to district champs

Devin Craig, Correspondent (@DevinCraigFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The only time a high school football team goes from having a record of 2-7 to being undefeated and district champions in consecutive seasons is on Netflix. Until Godby hired coach Corey Fuller.

Godby decided to hire Fuller in December of 2016 after coach Todd Lanter’s resignation. This isn’t Fuller’s first rodeo as a head coach. From 2010 to 2012 he served as the maestro who led East Gadsden to back-to-back playoff appearances.

For the past two years, Fuller was an assistant coach at FAMU, gaining experience that would further his career. And if his coaching resume wasn’t impressive enough, he’s also a ten-year NFL veteran.

Fuller is a player’s coach with an eye for talent. Just ask starting quarterback Rasean McKay, who went from playing sparingly last season to leading one District 5A’s most prolific passing offenses.

Through nine games Godby is outscoring opponents 263 to 66. Along with coach Fuller there are a few new faces in the locker room. Starting running back Toney Street, who was the 2016 2A player of the year at East Gadsden, and defensive ends Kyler and Trey Laing, who’s father is the current defensive coordinator for the
Cougars.

Their mission hasn’t been completed yet. Coach Fuller expects this team to go all the way and with this talent and chemistry, they just might.

Eagles beat Rattlers in Preseason Tune-Up

Chrystal Fernandes, Correspondent (@CFernadesFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University baseball team (FAMU) took on the Tallahassee Community College Eagles (TCC) in their annual exhibition game to start off the season.  

With very few mistakes from the players, the Rattlers took a 4-0 lead.

“We had to keep going, and not think about it,”  TCC’s Kyle Bensen said.

 

In the next two innings, both teams had difficulty scoring due to all the mistakes being made. At the top of the third inning, the Eagles scored five runs to take the lead. 

At the top of the fifth inning, Bensen hit a two-run homerun, giving the Eagles a lead of 7-4.

“It was a great feeling,” Bensen said.

The Rattlers struggled to get a good hit off the bat or to catch any balls hit from the Eagles the rest of the way. The Eagles added another run to seal the game.

With a final score of 8-4, the Eagles took home a win giving them motivation for what this new season has in store.

Rattlers take on Eagles in preseason warmup

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –Softball is back in season and what a better way to welcome it back than with a healthy preseason game between the Lady Rattlers of FAMU and the Eagles of Tallahassee Community College.  It was a game of back and fourths, as these two very talented teams battled it out.

TCC struck early in the top of the first with two runs scored by Alyssa Rosenbaum and Elisa Cecchetti. FAMU answered quickly with run of their own to tightened up the score at 2-1 to finish the first.

 

The second inning was purely defensive as neither team scored which kept things close until an explosive third inning which saw FAMU score two runs to take the lead at 3-2.

 

It looked as if FAMU finally had control of the game until TCC scored early in the fourth to tie up the score, setting it back to an even 3-3. FAMU had an answer and scored off of a double that gave them a 4-3 lead until the sixth inning.

 

In the sixth inning, TCC scored off of a single. A player was pegged in the face with a wild pass to first that allowed two of her teammates to steal home.

TCC rode that lead home as FAMU had an opportunity to win the game at the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t capitalize.

 

“This game shows us where we’re at. I’m really pleased with how we performed,” TCC head coach Patti Townsend said.

 

 

Godby set to take on Florida High

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

The Florida High Seminoles will take on the undefeated Godby Cougars. The Seminoles (4-4) will host the Cougars (8-0) Oct. 26 at Gene Cox stadium at 7 p.m.

The Cougars are coming off a close win against Pine Forest (3-4) by a score of 19-12. The Seminoles are coming off a 28-22 loss to
Marinna (4-3), their second loss in a row. 

Leading the Cougar’s offense is senior quarterback Rasean Mckay. He finished last week’s game with five completions
on 13 attempts for 52 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Travious Barkley added eight carries for 98 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Jerry Ray had 15 carries for 65 yards.

Leading the Seminoles offense is sophomore quarterback Bryson Hill, who had 17 completions and 30 attempts for
204 yards last week. Senior running back Kevin Sawyer Jr. had 11 carries for 57 yards and senior wide receiver Will Haigler had four catches for 65 yards.

Rickards drops second game of the season

Jason Merry, Correspondent (@JasonMerryFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Rickards Raiders came into Friday’s contest with a record of 5-1 and the Raines Vikings had a record of 6-1.

The Raiders were without Purdue commit Destin Coates due to an injury. That meant they would have to rely heavily on Louisville commit, quarterback Marcus Riley.

Riley ended the game 18-34 for 177 passing yards. He added 64 yards on the ground on 22 carries.

Early on in the contest, the offenses were slow and by halftime, only one touchdown had been scored and that was by the Vikings.

The Raiders did miss a field goal, which costs them three points. Rickards returned a kickoff for a touchdown that was called back for holding. The Raiders tallied up nine penalties. 

“I don’t know what the penalty count was but it took back a lot of key plays from us, even defensively,” Rickards head coach Quinton Lewis said.

In the second half, more penalties kept costing the Raiders as the Vikings went on to score four more touchdowns which put the final score to 35-0.

“We have to make plays in the second half. We had opportunities to make plays and when they put the ball on the ground, we missed tackles,” Lewis said. “We have to continue to play. That team elevated their play and we have to elevate ours.”

This loss puts the Raiders at 5-2 and they head next week to Crawfordville to play against the Wakulla War Eagles who have a record of 6-2.

“I thought we did a good job, we just lost the second half and throughout the game, we have to continue to make plays,” Lewis said.

 

Florida High falls to Marianna

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (@JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida High School football team fell to the Marianna Bulldogs in a close game, 28-22 Friday night at Florida High.

Marianna got on the board first with a touchdown by running back Werlean Pollock. However, Florida High stormed back, scoring 19 unanswered points. Marianna scored with a Pollack run, right before the half to only trail by five at the half.

In the second half, Marianna and Florida High both turned the ball over the ball over twice, with Marianna’s quarterback Kelly, fumbling twice. Pollack scored twice to give Marianna a 28-22 lead, with a Florida High field goal made in between of those touchdowns.

After a failed fourth-down conversion attempt for the Seminoles, Marianna took over at their own 39-yard line, with 4:51 left to go in the game. However, after moving the ball down to the Florida High 20-yard line, they could not convert a fourth-down attempt, as Florida High got the ball back with 1:31 left to go in the game.

After a 16-yard pass by Seminoles quarterback Bryson Hill, who had a total of 195 passing yards, Florida High could not complete a long pass, dropping 3 potential touchdowns.

Florida High head coach Jarrod Hickman said one play won’t define his running backs’ season.

“Kevin [Sawyer] has made so many plays for us over the entire year, but it’s one play. One play doesn’t win or lose the game. Learn from it, how can you be better, focus more in that situation and move on,” Hickman said.

Hickman said one word to describe his team’s play would be “Inconsistent”.

“We put 19 points on the board in the first half and 3 on the board in the second half. We looked really good at times on defense and at other times we didn’t tackle very well,” Hickmann said. “We just have to be a lot more consistent throughout the game. There were plays to be made. We were inside the red zone a couple of times and didn’t score. This is the result that you get sometimes.”

Florida High moves to 4-4 on the season, and plays at Godby on Oct. 26, while Marianna moves to 4-3 on the season, and plays Holmes County next Friday, at home.

               

FSU Soccer Notebook

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida State Seminoles women’s soccer team head into game number 15 this season against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at The Seminole Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. on Oct. 19 for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

 

The Seminoles (10-4, 4-3) and the Fighting Irish (7-5-3, 3-3-1) last faced each other in 2016 at Alumni Stadium where Florida State defeated the Irish 1-0. This season, the game will be a close matchup with Notre Dame scoring a total of 29 goals this season and the Seminoles totaling 28 goals.

 

However, Florida State has dominated their previous opponents this season, averaging 16 first-half goals, compared to opponents total of five first-half goals. Notre Dame has gone into halftime tied nine times this season, forcing them to fight for their wins in the second half.

The Seminoles and Fighting Irish both have similar average shots per game. FSU averages 15.6 shots per game while Notre Dame attempts 15.9 shots per game. The Florida State defense doesn’t allow as many shots on goal as the Irish. Seminole opponents average 7.4 shots per game, Notre Dame opponents average 10.5 shots per game.

Seminoles forward, Deyna Castellanos, has had an outstanding season, more than doubling the goals scored by the Florida State’s next highest scoring player, with 12 goals this season.

 

Florida State goalie Cassie Miller will be another key factor in the upcoming matchup. This season Miller has made 35 saves and only allowed 11 goals total by Seminole opponents.

All-time the Seminoles have gone 5-3 against Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish, but this season the Fighting Irish have gone 2-0-1 on the road.

Florida State will face the Pittsburgh Panthers on Oct. 22  in the Seminole Soccer Complex.

 

Sports Brief: FAMU vs. Hampton

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Today, FAMU (2-5) will travel to Hampton, Va. to play conference rival Hampton University (4-2). 4 p.m.

FAMU is coming off a heart-wrenching homecoming lost to North Carolina A&T and Hampton is riding high on top of a two-game win streak over Norfolk State and Savannah State.

FAMU’s passing attack will be tested early and often against Hampton’s suffocating secondary. The Pirates defense boasts a staggering 170 yards allowed through the air per game. This may trouble FAMU who averages, the majority of their yards through the air, with 190 per game.

Through six games, Hampton’s defense has given up 3,162 yards on the ground, which may serve as something FAMU can exploit in the game.

On the flip side, FAMU’s Achilles heel is their lackluster rush defense who has given up 1,230 yards. Opponents average155 yards per game on the ground against the Rattlers.

 

Sports Brief: FSU Soccer

Sean Bin, Correspondent (@SeanBinFS on Twitter)

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

The Florida State women’s soccer team is  10-3-0 two months into their 2017-18 season. The team started the season strong with three straight wins before losing to Alabama by a goal. With the other two losses coming from Duke and North Carolina, the team is looking to have another solid season.

The spotlight is on sophomore forward Deyna Castellanos. Through 13 games, she has11 goals and two assists. Castellanos is also a candidate for FIFA goal of the year. She played for the Venezuelan national U-17 women’s soccer team in Jordan, scored seven goals last season (team-high), and scoring a game-winning goal against Miami.

The team’s next game is against Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Thursday, Oct.19 in Tallahassee. You can watch the game live at the Seminole Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. The team has two more games to conclude this month against Pittsburgh Panthers and Clemson Tigers. The game against Pittsburgh is on Sunday at 1 p.m. at home while the Clemson game is away on Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.