Category Archives: Lincoln

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.

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.”

 

Waltman’s Uses Experiences From Being a Player as Lincoln’s Coach

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – At five years old, when Terese Waltman’s parents first asked if she wanted to sign up to play softball, she responded telling her parents “No. All I want to do is go to the concessions stand by myself.”

The Lincoln High School softball coach began playing when she was six years old, just a year after she told her parents she did not want to play. Waltman was inspired by her sister, who is two years older than her, to begin the sport. Along with softball, she was very active, playing basketball, tennis and golf. She mostly spent her time focused on softball and basketball.

“I think it was actually when I got into ninth grade I had to make the decision. Am I really going to focus on softball or basketball?” Waltman said. “After I finished basketball season, I realized I was wanting to leave basketball practice and go pitch in the yard with my dad or leave a basketball game and go hit with him.” 

Her sophomore year of high school, Waltman began receiving letters of interest and by her junior year was going on official visits. She narrowed down her top three schools to Georgia Tech, University of Alabama and Florida State.

“I had my older sister so I kind of followed the ropes she took and saw how the recruiting process worked,” Waltman said.

After watching her sister play in college at the University of West Georgia, she decided what she wanted. She wanted the opportunity to prove herself as a player at a top university.

“I wanted the big university aspect of it. At that point, I did everything in my power and worked really hard and was able to earn a scholarship,” Waltman said.

Waltman committed to Florida State University at the end of her junior year and officially signed as a senior. Through her experiences as a player, Waltman learned a lot about herself. 

“I’ve learned how strong of a person I am. You can face adversities and see how you react to them and overcome them,” Waltman said.

Less than a week after finishing four seasons at Florida State, Waltman headed to Germany for a summer to play softball internationally. She competed for the European cup and her team took fourth place. She was named Most Valuable Pitcher at the global tournament.

Waltman returned to Tallahassee and first began her coaching career at Lincoln High School in fall 2011, with her first official season in spring 2012. Waltman has used her experiences as a player to help develop the way she coaches her athletes. 

“I’ve been in their shoes. I know what it feels like to be in those pressure situations,” Waltman said. “I think it has helped me relate to them instead of demanding to do this and that.”

Off the field, Waltman has become a comforting voice to her players. Senior catcher Taylor Thorpe said it’s like having another parent.

“Basically, [she] is like our second mom or sister. I can talk to her about anything. I’ll text her that I need help with something and ask for her advice,” senior catcher Taylor Thorpe said.

 

Preview: Lincoln High Takes On Leon In 8-A District Championship

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (www.FranchiseSportsOnline.Net) – The Lincoln High Trojans (16-8, 4-0 district) boys varsity basketball team will face the Leon High Lions (15-10, 2-1 district) for the 8–A district final championship on Friday at 7 p.m. at Leon High School.

Both teams are coming off of wins, with the Lions 60-53 win against Chiles Timberwolves (8-16, 0-3 district) to advance to play in the district final. The Lions eliminated chiles from the semifinals three seasons in a row. Leon high senior point guard T.J. Woolfolk led all scorers with a game-high of 16 points and seven turnovers. The senior small forward Jakari Gallon contributed 11 points, including one with 10 seconds left giving the Lions a six-point lead. He also ended the game with 15  rebounds and four blocked shots.

Leading the Timberwolves in points was Drew Burch with 11, followed by LaCorey Lavens, who finished the game with nine, all in the second half.

Leon High is also on an eight-game win streak.

During their own four-game win streak, the Trojans got a huge victory versus the Wakulla War Eagles (6-17, 1-4 District), with a score of 90-53. Coming into the conference game, Lincoln is 4-0 in district games and is in first place in their conference. The Trojans are also rank 15 in the 8-A class rankings.

Earlier this season, the two teams met on Jan.19 and Lincoln came out victorious with the final score of 75-53.  In that game, the leading scorer was Leon high small forward Gallon, ending the game with 14 points, 12 rebounds and two assists. They meet once again and this time it’s for the district championship.

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.

Lincoln Gives Godby first loss of the season 

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The undefeated Godby Cougars football team took on the Lincoln Trojans hoping to get their tenth-straight and final win of the regular season.

The first quarter started off with a forced fumble from Lincoln, that gave the Cougars good field position. Godby scored a touchdown on a five-yard touchdown pass from Rasean Mckay to Clevland Blackshear with 8:52 left on the clock.

Lincoln answers back with a touchdown pass from Christopher Beard to Marko Skarica with 3:56 remaining in the first quarter that tied the ball game, 7-7.

The Cougars started off the second quarter with a forty-yard pass from Rasean Mckay to Clevland Blackshear which made the way for a two-yard touchdown run by Tony Street. The Cougars fumbled the snap on the extra-point which made the score 13-7. Later in the quarter Lincoln responded with a touchdown pass from Christopher Beard to Marko Skarica  giving Lincoln the lead, 13-14.

In the third quarter, the Cougars turned the ball over on two occasions with a fumble and an interception.

Late in the fourth quarter the Cougars stopped the Trojans on the one-yard line. The Cougars were able to take over at the one-yard line and scored with :46 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a deep touchdown pass from Rasean Mckay to Alvin Jones. That put the Cougars on top with a score of 19-13. The Trojans got the ball back with :11 seconds left on the clock and scored with a H ail Mary pass to end the game. Leaving the Cougars stunned, 20 -19.

Lincoln defense post shutout against Leon

Devin Craig, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Lincoln Trojans’ defense limited the Leon Lions football team to zero points and forced three fumbles, all while keeping Leon under 250 yards of total offense. 

“We wanted to limit big plays, and that’s what we did,” Lincoln linebacker Neryan Forston said.

Lincoln head coach Quinn Gray said the this was his team’s best defensive effort of the season.

“Absolutely, our defense did a hell of a job,” Gray said.

Lincoln posted 47 points on offense, exploding for 33 points in the third quarter.

Quarterback Chris Beard ran for one touchdown and threw for three more. Starting running back Caleb Matthews picked up over 125 yards rushing and two scores along the way.

Gray said before the half they were not playing up to par. 

Late in the third quarte, Matthews scored off of a 68-yard touchdown run that sent many hopeful Leon fans home and sucked the life out opposing side of the stadium.

Lincoln now sits at 3-4 on the season and is in the driver’s seat of the district.

“This win means that we’re district champs, and it gives us a chance to go to the dance. Our kids know that our job isn’t done yet,” Gray said.

Leon loss their seventh game of the season, this being their homecoming. The Lions are still winless on the season.

Leon outside linebacker Jeffrey Perry was a bright spot with 7 tackles on the night.

Lincoln Falls Short to Trinity Christian, 35-21

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Lincoln high school football team threw an interception on the opening drive of the game, setting the tone for their loss to Trinity Christian, 35-21, Friday night at Gene Cox Stadium.

On the second drive of the game, Conquerors’ (5-2, District 2-0) quarterback Winston Sweeting ran 15 yards into the end zone, giving them a 7-0 lead. The Trojans (4-3, District 2-0) responded with a quick drive into their end zone through a 34-yard pass from quarterback Chris Beard to wide receiver Derek Curry,  tying the game with 8:36 remaining in the first quarter.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

The rest of the first quarter brought a muffed punt and long drives for each team that resulted in no points. The first quarter ended with the game still a tied 7-7.

The second quarter opened with a 24-yard touchdown run by Trinity Christian’s Marcus Crowley, giving them a 14-7 lead. Beard responded with a two-yard touchdown pass to Kamari Morales with 4:16 remaining in the half to tie the score 14-14.

The Trojans forced a fumble on Trinity Christian’s next possession but came away with no points. Lincoln head coach Quinn Gray said the team needs to capitalize on those opportunities.

“We have to work harder in practice. Everything that has happened to us thus far this season has been somewhat a mistake we’ve seen in practice,” Gray said. “Until we understand that practice translates to the field were going continue to make the mistakes that were making out here on the game field. So we’re going to go back to the drawing board on Monday and we’re going to correct those mistakes.”

The first half ended a tie game, 14-14.

Trinity Christian opened the second half with a touchdown, again giving them the lead 21-14. Lincoln’s first drive of the second half began with a 15-yard pass to Caleb Matthews. Then, two penalties against Trinity Christian; face mask and encroachment. The Trojans were unable to complete the drive for a touchdown when a poor snap on third down forced them to turn the ball over.

Lincoln completed a 42-yard touchdown pass to Stanton Johnson to tie the game 21-21 after a stalled Conquerors’ drive.

Trinity Christian responded with a touchdown, bringing the score to 28-21. The Conquerors blocked the Trojan’s punt on their next drive 10.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

With 5:38 remaining in the fourth, Crowley scored a touchdown from one yard out, increasing Trinity Christian’s lead 35-21.

The game ended when the Lincoln Trojan’s threw for an interception, giving Trinity Christian the opportunity to run the clock out.

“Everything that we get, we’re going to earn. That’s from winning to playing time and everything,” Gray said. “If you’re going to play here at Lincoln, it’s going to be earned on the practice field and in the classroom. Bottom line.”

Trojans Offense Overpowers Chiles

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent

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

On their first drive of the game, the Lincoln high school football team drove the ball down the field to score a touchdown for a fast start to their win over Chiles, 47-21.

With 3:14 left in the first quarter, Lincoln made another quick drive down the field to further their lead 14-0. The Trojan’s very next drive led to another touchdown, as the seemingly untouchable Trojans now dominated Chiles 21-0. 

Things finally began to look up for Chiles when their quarterback, Garrett Greene, threw a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Dillon Haire, who caught the pass with one hand. The drive ended in Chiles’ first touchdown of the game. Lincoln, however, fought back with a touchdown on their next drive just before halftime. Both teams ran into the locker rooms with Lincoln up 28-7.

The third quarter began with Trojans quarterback, Christopher Beard, throwing an interception to Chiles safety Nicholas Clayton. The Timberwolves carried that momentum over to the offense. Greene recovered a Dillon Giesecke fumble and ran it in for a score, cutting Lincoln’s lead to 14.

With 8:25 left in the third quarter, tensions began to rise between coaches, players and the refs, which lead to a flag on the Lincoln Trojans and unnecessary roughness calls on Chiles.

“It got a little out of control, but at the end of the day it’s football, you don’t take anything personal,” Lincoln head coach Quinn Gray said on the third quarter rumble.

The third quarter continued with an intentional grounding penalty on Chiles forcing them to punt from their own 3-yard line. The punt ended after a poor snap hit the goal post, resulting in a safety. On Lincoln’s next drive, Beard ran the ball in for another Trojan touchdown to end the third quarter.

“The young quarterback is doing a great job,” Gray said.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Lincoln recovered the ensuing on-side kick and drove down the field to score another touchdown, bringing the score to 44-14.

Lincoln added a 43-yard field goal and the Timberwolves managed another score before the end of the game. 

Lincoln head coach said the key to the team’s success was that “we were able to keep our composure at the right times and

“We were able to keep our composure at the right times and that just serves as a testament to our guys,” Gray said.  “Overall, I’m proud of my kids and how they composed themselves.”

 

 

Sports Brief: Rickards 50, Lincoln 63 Final

Brianna Biancardi, Correspondent (@BriBiancardiFS on Twitter) 

It was senior night last Wednesday at Rickards High School, as the Raiders played host to the  Lincoln Trojans.

Rickards (17-5) entered the game as the 25th ranked team in the state, but they would have a tough test in this matchup, as the sixth ranked Trojans (18-2) came into this game having lost only twice in their 20 games this season.

Lincoln came out strong offensively, led by senior big-man Dwight Wilson, who recorded 20-points and helped lead his team to a 63-50 victory.

While they did come up short in this one, Rickards was able to put up 50 points, as junior guard Vincent McCray was hot from beyond the arc, knocking down five three-pointers.

“We played hard,” said Lincoln Head Coach Dimitric Salters after the game as e summed up his team’s performance on the court. “We played smart.”

The Trojans’ schedule won’t get any easier for them, as they get set for the District Semifinal this Tuesday. Coach Salters stressed the importance of preparation, citing practice and taking advantage of other teams’ weaknesses as the keys to his team’s success moving forward.

Meanwhile, the Raiders will look to bounce back from their 13-point defeat and close out the season strong.

Seven lincoln players sign on national signing day

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

Lincoln ended the 2016 season 5-4, but had six signees commit to collegiate programs on National Signing Day. One player even chose to stay really close to home.

Long snapper Grant Glennon signed to play with Florida State, choosing to stay near home. He is 6-foot-3-inches 220 pounds and ended the 2016 season as one of the top players in the city at his position. He held offers from the University of South Florida and University of Central Florida before committing to the Noles.

Chris Brimm, the Trojans’ 6-foot 200-pound quarterback, signed to Norte Dame, where they could use his throwing & running skills. He is a diverse quarterback that can sit in the pocket and use his feet to scramble. He ended the 2016 season with 1486 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 71 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. The next signee Is Malik

Malik Garye, a 6-foot-5-inch wide receiver ended the 2016 season with 27 receptions, 392 yards and 4 touchdowns. He held offers from Akron, Missouri, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a few other programs before choosing to sign with Albany State.

Tom Moss, the offensive lineman that stands 6-foot-1-inch 300 pound signed to Jacksonville University. Wide Receiver Shakel Brown, who stands 6-foot-inches, will play his collegiate ball at Highlands Junior College.

Stephan Pierre plays both linebacker positions, middle and outside. He is 6-foot-2-inches and 190 pounds. He ended the 2016 season with 84 total tackles (55 solo), 29 assisted tackles, 1.5 sacks and two interceptions. He is now signed to Albany State University.

Outside linebacer Jakobe Roberts (6-foot-3-inches 180 pounds) ended the 2016 season with nine total tackles (5 solo), 4 assisted tackles and 1.5 sacks. He is now signed with Southeastern University.

RECAP: Lincoln Suffer Another Tough Loss to Godby on Senior Night

Brittany Defran, Correspondent (@BrittDefranFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – You could tell all eyes were on the Lincoln High School basketball last night as the controversy concerning the Trojans head coach still remained in the air on senior night.

The Trojans faced the Godby Cougars (22-1) at home in their last non-conference game of the season. Lincoln would put up a great fight early, but ultimately came up short, losing 38-48.

The night began with the honoring of eight senior players for the Trojans and highlighted their next steps as they move onto the next journey of their careers.

It was a quick start to the game for Lincoln as they are known for starting off games fast and strong. The Trojans would take the lead with junior Trinton Bryant opening the game with a shot from behind the three-point line. The Cougars with a shooting average of 65% fought to catch up to Lincoln.

Lincoln went on a 7-0 run with only 3:40 left in the first period.

The Trojans struggled to control the ball in the beginning of the second period, causing multiple turnovers and allowing the Cougars to gain the lead going into the halftime, 22-25.

As the third period of the game commenced, it seemed as if Lincoln had lost their momentum. And,  was then now trailing behind Godby.

The Trojan senior Dwight Wilson, who averages 16.1 points per game at center, shot back-to-back layups putting the Trojans right behind the Cougars, 28-29 with 5:30 left in the third period.

The Cougars would control the lead at the start of the final period.

Brittany Defran
Photo By: Brittany Defran

Senior Derrion Fluka for the Trojans seemed to help get his teams momentum back-up in the fourth period. The 6-9 power forward Derrion Fluka was not only a key player in the game, but was also honored Wednesday as he signed his commitment letter for a full-ride scholarship to Madison University.

Both seniors Fluka and Wilson stepped up in the fourth period of the game helping the Trojans battle back to bring the Trojans within 10-points during the final stretch. But, it wouldn’t be enough.

They both would combine for a total of 20-points of the Trojans’ 38-points. 

The No. 6 ranked team in the state now moves onto next weeks district tournaments with a fresh start in the postseason.

After the game, Lincoln interim coach Clemon Johnson reminded his team that the Cougars, who are ranked No. 5 in the state, are not Lincoln’s district opponents.