All posts by Jacob Wicinski

Rickards Celebrates Homecoming With Win Over East Lake

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Rickards Raiders football team defeated the East Lake Eagles 32-27 in the team’s homecoming game.

The Raiders would start the game with a one-yard touchdown from running back Kelvin Dean Jr. on their first drive.  It would consist of 11 plays, 75 yards and a 4th and goal conversion, and would give Rickards the early 6-0 lead, with a failed two-point conversion attempt.

After a three-and-out for East Lake and Rickards, Eagles defensive back Darien Pitman intercepted Greg Winter’s pass and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Eagles a 7-6 lead with 3:52 left to go in the first quarter.

The Eagles would get another interception before the end of the first quarter. This would lead to a 35-yard, 14 play drive for East Lake which would end up resulting in a one-yard touchdown run by fullback Hunter Swetokos, giving the Eagles a 14-6 advantage early in the second quarter.

The Raiders would answer with a touchdown of their own, with a 16-yard pass from quarterback Greg Winters to wide receiver Sammy Carter. Rickards would still trail 14-12 after another failed two-point conversion with 5:13 left to go in the first half.

On the ensuing kickoff, East Lake would fumble and give the Raiders the ball at the East Lake 33-yard line. It would only take six plays for the Raiders to reach the end-zone, with Dean Jr. rushing for another touchdown. This would give the lead back to Rickards, making it a 19-14 game with 3:11 left to go in the second quarter.

After a Raiders interception by defensive back Kameron Bell, the Eagles would intercept Greg Winters with a little under a minute left to go in the first half.

This would lead to a 21-yard touchdown run by Eagles senior running back Isaac Gibbs, giving East Lake a 21-19 lead going into halftime.

Rickards would get the ball back after a fumble by Gibbs early in the third quarter. This would lead to another one-yard touchdown run, this time from Dean Jr., his third touchdown of the game.

The Eagles would get the ball back and after four plays, Rickards defensive back Kameron Bell would intercept his second pass of the game, this time running it back for a touchdown. This would extend their lead even further, 32-21 with 5:43 left to go in the third quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter though, East Lake quarterback would connect with wide receiver Rayshuan Williams for a one-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Raider’s lead to 32-27.

After Winters would throw another interception, East Lake would not be able to score on two more drives within the last two minutes of the game.

Winters would end up finishing off going 11-21, with 140 yards and a touchdown. He would also end up having three interceptions.

Running back Kelvin Dean Jr. would have 120 yards on 23 carries and three rushing touchdowns on the game.

On the Raider’s four turnovers, Head Coach Quincy Lewis said there still has a lot of cleaning up to do.

“We’ve been trying our best to clean it up since game 1,” Lewis said. “It’s not an easy fix. It’s going to come with playing time and we have to keep on playing.”

On coming off a loss to tough loss to Lincoln, Lewis said his team found a way to win tonight.

“We fought tonight, even when the emotions got bad. We just kept on fighting,” Lewis said. “Its a testament to the team growing.”

Rickards will face Godby High School Friday at 7 p.m. at Gene Cox Stadium.

FSU To Hold Garnet and Gold Scrimmage on Oct. 14

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Florida State University men’s basketball team will participate in a Garnet and Gold scrimmage on Oct. 14 at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center at 4 p.m.

The Seminoles will look to carry over their success from last season, which saw them going 23-12 with an Elite 8 appearance, losing to Michigan.

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FSU will have 13 players from last season returning to the team, with seven of these players with 20 or more game appearances.

A reason for their success last year was redshirt junior forward Phil Cofer, who will be one of the five seniors on this year’s team. He would lead the Seminoles last season in points per game (12.8), minutes played per game (29.3) and total points (449). He would also rank second in total rebounds (178) and total field goals made (168).

Terance Mann, a 6’7″ senior guard, looks to be another contributing factor, as another returning as a starter. He would lead last year’s squad in total field goals made (171) and in total rebounds (185), while also coming behind Cofer in points per game (12.6) and place third on the team in field goal percentage.

University of Albany transfer David Nichols will look to play a role in this year’s team. During his three-year career at Albany, he would average 13.8 points per game, 2.8 assists and a field goal percentage of 42.5 percent.

After the Garnet and Gold scrimmage, FSU will partake in two exhibition games, with the first being against the University of West Florida on Oct. 26 and the other being against Valdosta State University on Nov. 1. Their first regular season game will be against the University of Florida on Nov. 6 at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.

Lincoln Ends Their Losing Streak Against Rickards

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Lincoln Trojans football team defeated the Rickards Raiders 49-0. The win would end a long losing streak against Rickards for the Trojans.

After only two plays of scrimmage, Rickards quarterback Greg Winters threw a pick-six to Lincoln cornerback Jalen Glaze for 40 yards, giving the Trojans the 7-0 lead.

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Lincoln would add to this lead with a one-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Sage Ennis, which would make the Trojan’s lead 14-0. This would also be the score at the end of the first quarter.

Lincoln quarterback Christopher Beard would connect with wide receiver Marko Skarcia for a 37-yard touchdown pass, ending a 73-yard, 11 play drive with 10:30 left to go in the 2nd quarter.

Lincoln would take over at the Rickards 23-yard line after a failed fourth down conversion by Rickards. This would lead to 23-yard touchdown throw by Beard, extending their lead to 28-0.

Beard would add two more touchdowns in the first half. He would have another passing touchdown, making their lead 28-0.

After Lincoln running back Chris Pendleton’s one-yard touchdown run, Beard would rush for a five-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left in the second quarter. At the end of the first half, the Trojans would lead Rickards 42-0.

In the second half, both head coaches would agree to have a running clock.

The Trojans would score on their first drive of the second half, with Beard passing for his third touchdown, this time to tight end Kamari Morales for 13 yards.

Beard would go 10-18 on the night, with 179 passing yards and 4 total touchdowns. Pendleton would also contribute with 96 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Lincoln head coach Quinn Grey said both Beard and Pendleton are playing well going into a crucial stretch of games.

“They’re hitting their stride at the right point in the season,” Grey said. “To have those guys come out in this type of game and to have a big game, it was big.”

Grey said he and his team were motivated to finally beat the Raiders.

“The seniors on our team had yet to beat this team since they have been in high school. There was motivation there for them,” Grey said. “But at the end of the day, we were more concerned about coming out here to play a good football game and not making mistakes that we’ve made in the past.”

Lincoln will end their Touchdown Against Cancer series at Gene Cox Stadium next Friday night against Chiles High School. Rickards will be hosting East Lake High School from Tarpon Springs, Florida on Oct. 5 at Gene Cox Stadium.

 

Rickards Gets First Win Of The Season Against Gadsden County

Jacob Wicinski, Correspondent (JacobWicinskiFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Rickards Raiders High School football team defeated the Gadsden County High School Jaguars Thursday night. Despite the teams having a combined eight turnovers, the final score wound up 55-32.

Rickards fumbled on the first play from scrimmage.  Quarterback Blake Goins fumbled a jet sweep to wide receiver Sammy Carter. Gadsden County recovered the ball deep in Rickards territory,  which led to a three-yard rushing touchdown by Jaguar’s running back Koleion Rich, giving them a 6-0 lead.

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Rickards would bounce back with running back Kelvin Dean Jr. would score three consecutive touchdowns.

Gadsden would get back into the game with a pick six, narrowing the Rickards lead to 21-12. Rich added a 61-yard touchdown to make the score 21-18 with 7:34 left in the first half.

Rickards would get the ball back inside their own 10 yard line with about a little more than a minute left to go in the half. This would lead to another touchdown run by Dean Jr., this time from 84 yards out. Dean Jr. would also accumulate 203 yards and 4 touchdowns in the first half on only 14 carries.

In the second quarter, Goins would go down with an injury and did not return to the game. Junior quarterback Greg Winters would step in for the remainder of the game.

Gadsden County would start the second half with an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. After Gadsden intercepted Winter’s pass, the Jaguars would take the lead with a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Da’nillo McCloud, making it a 32-28 game.

This would be the last touchdown Gadsden would get. Dean Jr. and Carter would both add two touchdowns, with Carter having a running and a receiving touchdown.

Dean Jr. would end up having 253 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns on 26 carries. The rest of Rickards’ struggled with turnovers, with five total in the game. 

Rickards head coach Quintin Lewis said the turnover problem for the Raiders has been present all season.

“We’ve been struggling with turnovers all year,” Lewis said. “We’ve got to keep working. We have to keep on practicing and work on it more and more. We have tough games coming up and we can’t turn the ball over against some of these teams.”

Dean Jr. shinned, averaging 9.7 yards per carry. He said the team’s first victory should help get things rolling for the Raiders

“It’s a great team win. It’s a great bounce back from 0-3 and we have to keep rolling. We can’t go back from here, only up. Next game, I want to go for 260, and after that, maybe 300,” Dean Jr. said. “We got a lot of fight in us. I love these boys with all my heart and I told them I’m going to go hard for them every day.”

Rickards will play at Lincoln, at Gene Cox Stadium next Friday night to end the Touchdowns for Cancer series.

 

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.

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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.