Category Archives: City

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

Treasured Leon Coach Jimmy Sauls Passes Away at 71

Kaitlin McMillan, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Sports fans and athletes from Tallahassee and beyond are feeling the loss of esteemed former Leon County high school football coach, Jimmy Sauls. He was admitted to the hospital where he died of cardiac arrest on April 13th at the age of 71.

Continue reading Treasured Leon Coach Jimmy Sauls Passes Away at 71

Cobras snap 2-game skid with 41-0 blowout win

 

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

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After losing their last two games, the Capital City Cobras made a statement to the rest of the APDFL — we’re not dead yet. The Cobras put up 33 points in the first half en route to a 41-0 massacre over the Emerald Coast Scorpions Saturday at Godby High School. 

3/25/17Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
Cobras quarterback Dion Graham scrambles away from pressure during the Cobras 41-0 win over the Emerald City Scorpions.

After losing quarterback Brandon Parks to injury, the Cobras turned to a familiar face to guide the offense. 36-year old veteran Dion Graham again was called to action and returned to the tune of five touchdown passes. The former Thomasville Bulldog QB, who still holds several records at the school including career passing touchdowns (60) and career completion percentage (58.6%), provided just the spark the team had been looking for. 

“Like I told them, it’s not that I’m back — I was just late,” Graham said. “They’ve been waiting on me and I just came to give my teammates what they have been waiting on.”

The team responded with its most dominant performance of the season. Their 41 points mark the team’s highest scoring total of the year and the defense posted its second home game shutout in as many games. 

Graham said the win came at the right time for the club. For a team that is not accustomed to losing streaks, dropping two games in a row puts a lot of older players in unfamiliar territory.

“This win just taught us that the train is still rolling and that we’re not out of it,” Graham said. “Two losses can take a little bit out of a team, but a win like this can pump the air right back in us.”

Head coach Antonio Ivey was visibly excited to get his team back on the winning track. His enthusiasm throughout the game was echoed by his players, who once again played with the moxie and confidence that has become their identity. 

“It was everything I needed. They did everything I asked them to,” Ivey said. “I asked for them to give me maximum effort, leave it all on on the field, and the scoreboard speaks for itself.”

He said the team has a point to prove and will spend the rest of the season putting the league on notice.

“It lets them know that our missing piece is back,” Ivey said. “A lot of teams have missing links too, but tonight shows that we are back to where we are supposed to be and a force to be reckoned with.”

The have a bye week and will use the time to recover from nagging injuries. They return to action April 8 in Orlando against the UMOJA Dragons. 

VIDEO UPDATE: Capital City Cobras open season with blowout win

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

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

The Capital City Cobras opened their season with a 34-0 opening day massacre of the Alabama Spartans. Head coach Antonio Ivey, offensive coordinator Brandon Robinson, quarterback Brandon Parks and defensive back Jarrod Marable give their thoughts after the game.

 

Sports Brief: Capital City Cobras to play first home game of the season

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

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –Tallahassee’s own semi-pro football team is set to take the field for the first time of the 2017 season. Head coach Antonio Ivey and the Capital City Cobras will face the Alabama Spartans at Godby High School on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Their Feb. 18 game against the First Coast Fire of Jacksonville was canceled, making this the first time Ivey will see his new team in action against another squad.

Royal A. Shepherd | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
Capital City Cobras quarterback Dion Graham looks over the defense in the first half. The Cobras defeated the Pensacola Bay Spartans 22-8 in the first round of the Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League playoffs in 2015.

The Cobras are in their fourth year as members of the  Amateur to Professional Developmental League. The league is for players ranging in age from 18 to 30 looking for a second chance at either the collegiate or professional level, according to the APDFL website. The inaugural season was in 2013 and started with 18 teams. Today, it has 27 teams across five states, including Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. 

In 2016, the team went 11-2, advancing all the way to second round of the playoffs before being defeated by the Opelika Chiefs 48-20. They will start the season ranked fourth in the league’s power rankings.

The Cobras roster features several notable names from the area. Former Louisville and Lincoln standout Travis Norton plays cornerback for the team. Godby’s own Jarvis “Boogaloo” Davis, Lavon Downs and Keith McCaskill all dawn Cobra jerseys. Tay Bennet from Monticello and William Sweets of East Gadsden round out the area players on this roster. 

Both Tallahassee universities are also represented on the team. Freddie Pompey and JuaQuinn Timmons are former Florida A&M players. Leon High School and Florida State quarterback Brandon Parks is also on the team along with former FSU linebacker Dorian Earley.

South Georgia names like Fred Holton and Jarrod Marble can also be found on a stacked Cobras team. More information can be found on the Capital City Cobras Facebook page.

Tickets are $3 for children ages 3-11 and $7 for patrons 12 and older.  They may also be purchased at the gate.

FAMU Baseball to Open Season With a Series of Home Games

Stanley Brooks, Correspondent (@StanleyBrooksFS on Twitter)

The Rattlers of Florida A&M University’s baseball team are excited to start their season against the Wofford College Terriers of the Southern Conference on Friday. The Rattlers have been making major improvements to their program for the last three years under head coach Jamey Shouppe.

Shouppe won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference coach of the year award in 2016 for the second time in his first three years of coaching. He was able to guide the Rattlers their first 30+ win season since 1980.

The Rattlers are looking to improve off of being back-to-back MEAC Southern Champions without their starting catcher and team captain Jackie Myles Jr. Myles Jr. was ruled out for the season Monday after he tore his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Shouppe was confident that his pitchers will still be able to pitch well even without Myles Jr. behind the plate to catch for them.

“We feel like we’re better pitching. We got a few more power arms that we have not had since I’ve been in this program,” Shouppe said. “We’re excited about our pitchers this year. We feel like we’re going to be a little better on the hill.”

The Rattlers are still hopeful about the upcoming season with the new change in the batting lineup since Myles Jr. is out for the season.

“John Capra will lead off for us and play shortstop this year. We feel he’s going to be our on base percentage type guy for us, only struck out either none or one time for us this past fall,” Shouppe said.

The Rattlers will start the season by playing 13 of their first 14 games at home to help their players miss fewer classes. The stretch of home games gives the fans more chances to witness FAMU build on to the rising program that they have.

“With us playing a lot of home games it keeps our kids in the classroom,” Shouppe said. “If we go on one road trip, it’s going to cost us about $1,300-$1,400. So it’s cost productive to bring teams to play early in the season. It’s great for the home fan base and it’s great for our kids to stay in the classroom and get caught up their classroom stuff so that when we do start to travel a little bit they aren’t behind.”

 

Sports Brief: FAMU’s Starting Catcher/Captain Out With a Torn PCL

Stanley Brooks, Correspondent ( @StanleyBrooksFS on Twitter)

Junior catcher Jacky Miles Jr. has officially been ruled out for the 2017 season. Miles Jr., who is a captain of Florida A&M’s baseball team, found out that the tear of his posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee will keep him out for the season.

“He had some back issues too so hopefully he’ll get healthy and be back with us next year, but it’s quite a blow to our pitching staff having our starting catcher out,” head coach Jamey Shouppe said.

Miles Jr. was on the All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Third Team in 2016. He finished top-five in 10 out of 14 hitting categories with one of them being for his batting average of .328. Against teams in the MEAC, Miles Jr. finished the 2016 season with a batting average of .411 with only 73 at-bats.

“Brian Davis, who was our backup catcher, caught the second game of doubleheaders last year will go to our starting catcher position,” Shouppe said. “That will open up some opportunities at first base where Brian was scheduled to start and then also open up an opportunity for either Javon Byrd or Russell Rauh to win that backup catching job.” 

Davis was an All-MEAC first-team first baseman in 2016 and finished the season third in batting with an average of .370. Davis also finished second on the team in hits with 70 and tied for seventh in the MEAC in home runs with 7.

The Rattlers will open up their season against Wofford at home on Friday at 4 p.m.

FAMU DRS Caps Off Another Perfect Season in District Play

Nick Pierce, Correspondent (@NickPierceFS on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – FAMU DRS held off a fourth quarter rally, holding on to beat NFC 85-81 in overtime. The win marked the second year in a row that the Baby Rattlers went undefeated in district play.

After building a 65-51 lead with just five minutes remaining in the game, FAMU DRS (13-9, 10-2) fell victim to a vicious Eagle rally. Andre Combs and Major Posey led NFC on a 15-4 scoring run. At one point during the run, the Eagles (6-14, 4-6) went to the free-throw line three times in just 37 seconds. Deandre McCray then made a layup with eight seconds remaining, tying the game at 74 and sending it to overtime.

“I thought that they came back on the free-throw line. We allowed them to get there too much, and that rattled our kids,” Baby Rattler coach Sean Crowe said. “It’s all part of the maturation process, though. We’re still a pretty young team and have some growing up to do.”

FAMU DRS took the lead for good after Chris Brown hit a three-pointer with 1:14 left in the overtime period. Brown then sealed the game by making a free-throw with seven seconds remaining, putting the Baby Rattlers up by two possessions.

“I think a big part of our success is that our players are just learning to play with each other,” Crowe said. “They’re getting comfortable with what I’m asking them to do. I know what they like and they know what I like, so it works.”

FAMU DRS trailed for almost the entirety of the first half. That changed when Posey was charged with a technical foul with 1:01 left in the second quarter. Baby Rattler guard Mekhi Yant was then sent to the line. Yant made all four of his free-throws and Brown drained a jumper on the ensuing possession. The six-point swing gave FAMU DRS a 37-36 halftime lead.

“Mekhi’s growing into the leadership role,” Crowe said. “He played great for us tonight. One of the things I’ve asked him to do is to teach the new guys how we do things. He’s done a really good job with that.”

The Baby Rattlers host Lincoln tomorrow night. The Eagles will take on Aucilla Christian Monday night.

Leading Scorers

FAMU DRS:

Mekhi Yant – 21

Marquis Davis – 19

Javion Johnson – 10

Chris Brown – 8

 

NFC:

Andre Combs – 16

Deandre McCray – 14

Trent Phillips – 13

Major Posey – 13

Victor Clark – 8

 

Lincoln Flexes Depth in Win over Wakulla

 

Nick Pierce, Correspondent

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Lincoln showed their depth in an 81-45 win over Wakulla on Wednesday night. In a game where the Trojans were without starting power forward Derrion Flukka, all of coach Dimitric Salters’ available players saw the court, and 12 of them scored for the Trojans.

“Games like this are always a good chance to develop younger players,” said Salters. “I’m really proud of my Senior Jabari Richardson and those guys who came off the bench. They got some rhythm going and were able to put up good shots.”

Salters’ squad got off to a fast start. Dwight Wilson led Lincoln on a 14-2 scoring run in the first 3:55 of the game. The James Madison signee had four points during that span, including an alley-oop dunk from Richardson.

The Trojans never looked back. Lincoln (14-1) forced Wakulla (10-9) to 19 of their 28 turnovers in the first half, sending them to a 33-21 halftime lead.

“Our goal was to force turnovers tonight,” said Salters. “We played some small ball for the first time. We tried to mix some things up because as we go down the road, we’ve got to find a way to generate some points.”

The Trojans lead got even larger in the second half. Behind a press defense that continued to force turnovers, Lincoln scored 33 points in the third quarter,

Evan Samuels then came off the bench in the fourth quarter. The Senior scored 11 points, including three three-pointers.

“We got some rhythm going in the second half,” said Salters. “We’re going to try some different things going forward. We’re working on some new things offensively. We want to pick up some more points. We want to be putting up 70 or 80 points a game. That fits us best.”

The Trojans travel to play Chiles on Friday night before facing Godby on Saturday in a highly anticipated matchup.

Top Scorers:

Lincoln:

Dwight Wilson – 15

Tionne Rollins – 15

Evan Samuels – 11

 

Wakulla:

Elexpe Johnson – 14

Richie McMullen – 9

 

 

 

 

 

Zim Nwokeji Leads Maclay to MLK Invitational Win

Nick Pierce, Correspondent (@NickPierceFS on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net.) – Zim Nwokeji scored 22 points and the Maclay Marauders held East Gadsden to just 15 second half points, winning a 41-39 thriller on the final game of the MLK Invitational.

Down 40-39 with 22.6 seconds remaining, two East Gadsden players forced a jump ball. The Jaguars won the possession arrow, giving them one last chance to take the lead. Maclay’s defense held strong, and Pace Wilson came down with the game clinching rebound. Wilson then made one of two free-throws with three seconds left, icing the game.

“We want to be prepared for every situation,” said Maurader coach Eugene Granger. “At the end of the season, if we make a run, any situation can come up, so close games like this are good for us.”

Maclay had a slow start to Monday night’s game and were held scoreless through the first 3:30 of the first quarter.

Things changed when Nwokeji came off the bench. Highlighted by a dunk assisted from Robert Parker-Crawford, the 6-foot-8 forward carried his team on a 16-5 scoring run over the next three minutes, putting the Marauders up 16-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Maclay struggled shooting the ball in quarter number two. East Gadsden’s aggressive defense held the Maruaders to just 2-10 from the field. The Jaguars went on an 11-1 run in the first six minutes, surging to a 24-23 halftime lead.

“Sometimes our shots go in, and sometimes they don’t,” said Granger. “But we’re not going to get discouraged. We’re still going to continue to put up shots.”

Nwokeji turned the tide once more in the third quarter. The Sophomore scored 11 of Maclay’s 13 points, giving the Mauraders a 36-30 lead.

“Nwokeji is a tall player,” said Granger. “He can do everything. Rebounding, finishing at the rim, you name it.”

The lead would not change for the rest of the game. East Gadsden was able to tie it at 39 with 1:15 remaining, but Nwokeji forced a foul on Maclay’s ensuing possession. He made one of two free-throws, putting the Marauders up for good.

Maclay travels to face Port St. Joe tomorrow night. The Marauders won the pair’s last meeting 61-40.