The AAF is made up of eight teams across the United States, with a few rule changes compared to its NFL counterpart. One rule that drew myself in the most is the allocation of players to regions they gained their fame from. Tallahassee can find some familiar faces on the sideline of the two closest teams in the Atlanta Legends and Orlando Apollos.
Through the first two weeks, Orlando is tied at the top of the standings with the Birmingham Iron and Arizona Hotshots with a 2-0 record. Northup has been in the starting defensive lineup for the Apollos both games with eight total tackles. Bracy-Williams has returned punts for Orlando, but had a disappointing outing in week one with a dropped punt. While not in the starting lineup, Newberry is in the rotation on defense with a single tackle in the first two games. The Apollos look to continue their winning ways Saturday against the Memphis Express at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.
Atlanta has struggled, losing its first two games by a combined 46 points. Haskins has yet to get in but looks to hear his number called next Sunday as the Legends host the Birmingham Iron at 4 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.
Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter) TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)– Since the departure of the Tallahassee Community College Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Mark White, Rob Chaney has announced that Assistant Coach Zach Settembre would be promoted to Interim Head Coach.
We met up with Coach Settembre to learn and find out more about his past.
Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Settembre, 28, was born into coaching.
“My Dad introduced me to coaching with his seventh and eighth grade teams. When I was in kindergarten, first grade, second grade, I was sitting on the middle school bench where my Dad was coaching.”
Settembre would go on to coach that same middle school team throughout all his years at St. Xavier High School.
After graduating from high school, Settembre would attend Syracuse University. While taking classes, he became a student manager for the men’s basketball team.
“ The experience was unbelievable, I learned a lot about the business side of college basketball and the makes of a high major operation. Most of all, I built relationships.”
Settembre went on to meet future head coaches there in Mike Hopkins (University of Washington) and Rob Murphy (University of Eastern Michigan). Another big mentor to Settembre was assistant Jerry McNamara who still works as an assistant on Syracuse today.
“Those three taught me how to win. They knew how to recruit that the highest level and it gave me a great taste of college basketball performed at the highest level.”
After his time at Syracuse, Settembre returned to the Louisville area. He coached at several schools before becoming the assistant at Collegiate for Shannon Weaver. Shannon Weaver was an assistant for nine years at Auburn University as an assistant for nearly a decade with Cliff Ellis.
“Coach Weaver that guy has been so incredibly influential in in my development as a coach. He’s taught me so much in terms of how to think like a like a head coach, how to be organized.”
After his first season, he was promoted to Head Coach. Settembre led Collegiate to the All “A” state tournament in his first season as head coach, receiving Regional Coach of the Year honors.
“Having the opportunity to be a head coach at the high school level, winning 23 games and being able to take my team to a Tournament game for the second time in school history, we did things. That the school gave me a great opportunity to be a head coach.”
Settembre announced his resignation for a new job as an assistant at Tallahassee Community College.
In his first season with the team, the Eagles started off started the season 17-2. Bad news came with the new year, Mark White stepped down for personal reasons after a loss to Chipola. Settembre was announced to finish the season as the Interim Head Coach as of result.
“ Coach White did unbelievable job here. I learned a lot from him. He was really good at instilling a culture of togetherness. That’s something I learned from him and still use with the guys today.”
Since then, the Eagles are 2-2. In midst of a tight conference race, Coach Settembre has great trust in his players abilities.
“ We want the guys to have confidence, that’s been their message. The light is green until you prove otherwise, that you can’t be trusted to make the right decision. I want the guys to play with tremendous confidence. I have, you know, nothing but faith in them.”
The Eagles look to an important part of their schedule in Panhandle Conference play.
“The panhandle is one of the toughest conferences in America, every single panhandle game is huge for us.”
Coach Settembre and the TCC Eagles (19-4) (3-3) continue their season against Pensacola State College (13-10) (1-5) on February 2nd at 5:30 at the Bill Hebrock Eagledome on TCC Campus.
Rickards was on the attack early, jumping to a 28-9 lead. The impressive start was led by sophomore forward, Roddrick Henry (13 points, 3 steals, 2 assists, and a rebound).
“Coach just told me to show him what I had been working on and attack out the gate so that’s what I did,” Henry said on his performance through one quarter.
As the second quarter began, senior guard, Phillip Russell started to come into his own and takeover where Henry had left off. Russel put up 12 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist throughout the second quarter alone.
“Phillip played well tonight, he has a great IQ for the game and an edge to him that the rest of the guys see and follow,” said Assistant Coach Avery Curry on Russell’s play.
Through two quarters, the score was 42-16. The Raiders had done a great job of limiting 2021 Five Star, Wesley Cardet (9 points, a steal, and a block). For the majority of the game, Cardet matched up with fellow 2021 prospect, Roddrick Henry.
“We’re both in the same class, he’s ranked higher than me but you can only go in and do your job. Coach told me to be dominant and play with a kill or be killed mentality tonight,” Henry stated on playing against Cardet.
The second half was much of the same as Rickards went on to defeat the Hurricanes with ease 74-39.
The Raiders finished with two top tier performances from Henry(18 points, 3 steals, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds) and Russell ( 20 points, 4 rebounds, and an assist). Cardet would go on to finish with 19 points, a steal, block, and assist.
Northeast (4-16,0-3) battles Florida State University School today at 4 p.m. before they return to South Florida for the remainder of their season.
Rickards (14-1,2-0) plays two more games in this classic before they return to their regular season schedule.
“We just continue to focus on improving every game because we know other teams are getting better too. Last time we played Godby, we missed over 19 free throws. We still won but that’s something we need to clean up before we meet them again.” Coach Avery told us on the teams focus and preparation for their rival, Godby.
Rickards travels to “The Den” January 25th at 7:30 p.m. to take on their cross town rival, the Godby Cougars.
Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter) TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net)– The No.13 Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball team (13-2, 1-1) host the No.1 Duke Blue Devils (13-1, 1-0) today at 2 pm. The Seminoles look to add another accolade to their already impressive start to the season.
In their last outing, Florida State beat the Miami Hurricanes 68-62. The Seminoles were led by senior guard David Nichols as he put up 13 points, 3 assists, and a rebound off the bench. The bench was the story of the game, outscoring Miami’s 41-10. The win was Florida State’s first ACC win of the season and a nice bounce back off of the Virginia loss last Saturday.
Duke comes into this game off of a blowout performance against Wake Forrest 87-65. The Blue Devils were led by their star freshmen Zion Williamson (30 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists) and RJ Barrett (21 points, 7 assists, and a rebound). It was their eighth straight victory and first inside of the ACC conference.
Keys to a Seminole victory includes the deposition of stopping Zion Williamson. On the season the future star averages 20.2 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. Zion also ranks twenty-second on double doubles this season with seven. Limiting bad shot attempts is a must for Florida State’s offense as Duke ranks fifth in defensive field goal percentage (37.1%).
Florida State have found themselves on the losing end in this series with Duke (9-37). However, the Seminoles have won their last three against when Duke is ranked as the AP No. 1 team dating back to the 01-02 season. It is eight years to the day of the last occurrence of this when the Seminoles beat the Blue Devils 66-61.
Coach Chelsea Johnson and her Godby squad were riding high off of their three game win streak to start the new year. ” The girls really came together over the break after our 2-6 start. They really embraced the new year, new us mentality and are putting it to work,” Coach Johnson stated.
From the start, Godby lead against the Lions in a close first quarter that ended 11-9. Senior shooting guard, Kiara Byrd was the “fireball” of the quarter. She put up five points, an assist, and a steal.
“The first quarter is where we feel out the other team, second quarter we’re attacking,” Byrd said on the game plan. She spoke the truth as the Cougars went on a 13-2 run led by two three pointers from senior guard, Lashaydra Crumity. The Lions would go to half time with a 28-16 lead.
The second half saw more dominance from Byrd who was only in her third game back from an ACL scare. “It’s nerve racking still, but you have to get past that and get back to playing at a high level,” Byrd told us.
Her and the rest of the Godby team went on to put on an offensive show, ending with a 51-38 victory. Byrd’s stat line finished at 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal; Finishing as our MVP of the game.
Godby finished with three other impressive performances from Lashaydra Crumity (11 points, 75% from three point range), Armarni Williams ( 8 points), and Rondejah Johnson (9 points).
Leon (5-11) looks to rebound this season starting the 15th against Lincoln at home. They have the spark to lead them in senior forward, Jeda Morris, with her 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 blocks performance last night.
The Lady Cougars (6-6) hope to continue their winning ways this new year as they put the four game win streak on the line tonight against Wakulla at home tonight.
In their first game, Godby beat Chiles in a close 14-11 game. The Cougars were led by Trey Fisher, who threw the only touchdowns of the game to Jahiem Knight and Trevor Solomon-Wilson. The defense was led by Javon Solomon who had 3.5 sacks and Kyler Laine who had 1.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.
The next week, they beat Mandarin in a close 47-44 game. Fisher had a 305-yard, five touchdown performance. The week after, Godby had another close call with Lake Mary but pulled out a 14-11 win.
Refocused, the Cougars ran away against Leon 57-0. Fisher dominated, going 16-21 for 355 yards and four touchdowns. He was helped out by teammates Tyriq Parramore, Jaquez Yant, Kamron Martin and Knight who split five rushing touchdowns. Defensively, the team was led by Christion Williams who had 2 tackles and 2 interceptions in the game.
In their first home game, Godby dominated Titusville 56-0. Through the five-game run, Fisher has had a terrific junior season with his 1209 passing yards and 15 touchdown passes. The Cougars have found a way to share the ball as nine different players have scored a rushing touchdown this season and six receivers have one or more receiving touchdowns. On defense, the team is led by Cortez Andrews with 27 tackles and Christion Williams with 3 interceptions on the year.
Godby looks to continue the five-game winning stragainstaint the Wakulla Eagles on Friday in Wakulla.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Godby Cougars celebrated more than just homecoming as they move on to 5-0 with their 59-0 win over Titusville.
From the start, Godby was in control. On the first play of the game, Trey Fisher found Macho Arza for a 53-yard reception. After a three and out by Titusville, Fisher started right where he left off connecting for three straight passes, including a 45-yard screen to Jaquez Yant.
The following drive saw great execution from the Godby defense as Quentin Miller snagged his first of two sacks in the game, forcing another punt. On his final pass of the night, Fisher connected with Alvin Jones III for a 26-yard touchdown. For the night, Fisher threw 5-5 on passes for 137-yards and three touchdowns.
On the final drive of the first Kamron Martin would get Godby on the scoreboard again to make the score 33-0. While the first quarter had a larger focus on the passing game, the second was made up of punt returns and rushes. On the second play of the second quarter, Alvin Jones III got his second touchdown of the game on a 45-yard punt return. After failed fourth down conversion from Titusville, Godby pounded the ball 40-yards in six plays between Travion Evans and Tyriq Parramore who punched it in to make it 46-0 before the halftime whistle blew.
A quick second half, due to a running clock, saw little change in game. Godby began to substitute players on both sides of the ball. Leland would find the endzone on a rush, along with Macho Arza on the following possession.
The Cougars look to get a district win next week when they travel to Wakulla.
“The clock starts now. We’re gonna celebrate, but we have a district game against Wakulla next week and we have to get our minds right for that one” head coach Corey Fuller said.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Kelvin Dean Jr. has been tearing it up this season. In the first month, the senior running back put up a 5A District 2 high of 613 yards on 67 carries and eight touchdowns. That is an average of 153 yards per game along with two touchdowns in each.
In every game he’s played, the Temple commit has shown why defenses game plan around him. In his first game of the season, Dean Jr. only put up 40 rushing yards on 11 carries and averaged 3.6 yards per carry. Against Leon, he was an immovable object; he put up 173 yards on 13 carries and also had a touchdown. This was only through two and a half quarters due to an injury that kept him out for the rest of the game.
The next week he was back on the field against Chiles where he put up 115-yards on 17 carries and another touchdown. Dean Jr. hit it out of the park against Gadsen County. He rushed for 285 yards on 26 carries. On those carries, six of them were touchdowns. With numbers like these, Dean Jr. will be close to his career high from last season of 1,836 rushing yards.
The season is still young. Dean Jr. hopes that his numbers lead to more as Rickards this season is 1-4. The Temple commit looks to take the momentum of last week’s phenomenal performance to Gene Cox this Friday night as Rickards takes on Lincoln.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Godby Cougars overpowered Leon on both sides of the ball leading to a decisive win 57-0.
From the start of the first quarter, the Cougars were on fire. After forcing a quick three and out from Leon, Godby pounded the ball with Tyriq Parramore leading to their first touchdown of the game.
The Lions fought back on the next drive as Paxton Tomaini connected with DJ Campbell for a 48-yard play, but ultimately the drive was unsuccessful as Leon would miss a 26-yard field goal. Godby followed up with an 11-play drive, culminating in Trey Fisher touchdown to Jahiem Knight from 34 yards out.
After a Christion Williams interception, Fisher connected with junior Alvin Jones III for a 48-yard touchdown. The score was 18-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw much of the same. After three consecutive drives ending with punts, Godby was back on the board as senior running back Kamron Martin punched it in to make it 24-0. On the Lions’ next possession, Williams would get his second interception of the game. The Cougar offense would follow with a 64-yard sprint by junior running back Jaquez Yant for another score.
After another three and out from Leon, Fisher would get in the end zone one more time as he found Macho Arza from four yards out. At the half, the score was 37-0.
The third quarter started with a 60-yard bomb from Fisher to Jones III to make it 43-0. On their next drive, Parramore would get his second touchdown of the game to make it 50-0. Jahiem Knight would also score again late in the fourth, making the final score 57-0.
Fisher had a total of 316 passing yards and four passing touchdowns.
“Our receivers made all the plays, did most of the work, I was just the guy to throw them the ball,” Fisher said.
The Cougars rushing game was also crucial as they picked up nearly 200 rushing yards and another five touchdowns split between Knight, Yant, Martin, and Parramore.
Leon looks to bounce back from their two-game losing streak and get above .500 next week against Gateway in Kissimmee. Godby will be happy to play their first home game next week against Titusville.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Lincoln Trojans made history in a 75-0 win against the Hudson Cobras, including 41 in the first half.
Lincoln set the tone early against Hudson. Junior quarterback, Christopher Beard threw for 160 yards on 8-10 passing attempts and had four passing touchdowns. On the receptions were Sage Ennis, Marko Skarica, and Kamari Morales twice. Skarica also had a 55-yard punt return in the quarter and Caleb Matthews ran for 75-yards with a touchdown.
In a reverse of positions, the second quarter saw Morales throw a 38-yard bomb to Beard in the end zone. The Trojans held the Cobras to 15 yards in the half with interceptions by Markus Knight and Jalen Glaze.
After a short weather delay, Lincoln found themselves in the endzone again as Jaylond Pendleton got his first of two rushing touchdowns to put the team up at half 54-0.
The second half saw much of the same as Pendleton would rush for a 35-yard touchdown, making it 61-0. Lincoln also got a chance to see Anthony Rowe at quarterback. He would throw for 51 yards and score on a running play to conclude the third quarter 68-0.
In a quick fourth quarter, Raymond Ashley would score the final touchdown of the game, making it the most points in Lincoln history, 75-0.
“Honestly, I wasn’t aware of the records, but it’s good to know that this team will go down in history as the team to put down 75,” Beard said on the accomplishment.
The Trojans look to carry on their winning ways next week against at Lowndes.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Leon Lions football team forced the Rickards Raiders into six turnovers to extend their record to 2-0 on the year with a close 22-21 win Friday night at Gene Cox Stadium.
The game was dominated early by Rickards as they went up early 7-0 behind a 40-yard touchdown by Kelvin Dean Jr. Leon would capture its first turnover on a Khamari Brown interception that was returned for 33 yards. That led to a 19-yard touchdown by junior quarterback Paxton Tomaini on the first play of the second quarter.
The second quarter was defined by turnovers as Rickards gave away another interception to junior Marvin Easley.
“Getting turnovers is something we practiced all week,” Easley said.
Again the turnover would lead to points. The Lions would kick a field goal making it 9-7 going into the half.
Rickards came out rejuvenated in the second half behind senior quarterback, Blake Goins as he led Rickards downfield culminating in a nine-yard rush to put the Raiders back on top 14-9. Tomanini and the Lions responded quickly with a nine-yard quarterback rush of their own, regaining the lead 15-14.
Rickards’ rushing game was hurt by the injury of leading rusher, Kelvin Dean Jr., on an awkward landing on a rush in the third quarter. Dean Jr. put up a staggering 145 rushing yards along with a touchdown through three quarters.
Rickards would take back the lead again with a quick strike from Goins making it 21-15 heading into the fourth quarter. However, on their next possession, Leon would get another takeaway when sophomore Jarvis Williams picked off Goins. On the following Leon punt, Rickards fumbled the return and the Lions recovered the ball on the five-yard line. Parker Williams would punch it in on the goal line making it 22-21.
Although Dean Jr. left earlier with an undisclosed injury, sophomore De’andre Francis picked up the load for the rest of the game for the Rickards running attack as he totaled 53 yards in the fourth. Once again, a fumble led to another turnover for the Raiders. Leon would run out the clock, gaining their second win of the season.
“Overall, it was just a great team win,” Tomaini said. He finished the game with 120 total yards. “Any time your defense gets six turnovers, your more than likely going to win.”
Rickards looks to bounce back from their 0-2 start next week against Chiles. As for Leon, they look to ride their 2-0 start into the rest of the season. The Lions take on Sandalwood September 7th at home.