Category Archives: High School

Six Turnovers Gets Leon Past Rickards

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

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.

“Leon we’re back on the map!” Easley said.

Lincoln Trojans Nearly Shut Out Bainbridge

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The Lincoln High School football team went up against the Bainbridge Bearcats on a rainy Thursday night at Gene Cox Stadium. The Trojans almost posted a shutout, but a touchdown by Bainbridge in the final two minutes of the game brought the final score to 28-6.

 

Both team’s offenses started off slow as Bainbridge went three and out on nearly every possession in the first quarter. With 1:14 left in the first period, the Trojans scored the first touchdown of the game on a blocked punt as junior wide receiver Sage Ennis scoped it up and scored to put Lincoln up 7-0.

Ennis said it was more important for the teams to be prepared mentally for the dealing with the elements. 

“On offense, we had some mental mistakes and some physical. Nothing that we can’t fix up,” Ennis said. “It was really just a mental thing. Everybody was ready to come out and the weather will get to you. The weather can affect you but it’s all about what you can do.”

In the second quarter, Bainbridge sophomore running back Rashad Broadnax took a carry up the middle for a 25-yard run, but the Bearcat offense could not do anything more and had to punt on that possession. 

At the 5:15 mark in the second quarter, the Trojans were on the three-yard line in Bearcat territory before junior quarterback Christopher Beard ran 96 yards into the endzone to give the  Trojans a 14-0 lead. The score would remain the same heading into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Trojans scored two more touchdowns, giving them a  28-0 lead. Bainbridge scored late in the fourth quarter but missed the extra point attempt. But, the damage was already done.

Lincoln’s stingy defense against the Bearcats earned the praises of the Trojan’s head coach, Quinn Gray. Gray said the defense has been clicking all season.

“The last two weeks, they’ve been lights out. I am really proud of them,” Gray said. “They are swarming to the ball and they are celebrating with each other when they make plays. They just got to keep it up.”

The Trojans offense posted 28 points but they also had some minor mistakes. Gray said despite the production, cutting out the mistakes will be key moving forward in the season.

“We have a pretty explosive offense and we got some pretty explosive guys on offense,” Quinn said. “Too many holding penalties, people coming free in the run game and we have to fix it. I am sure we will get it corrected.”

Lincoln’s next game will be against the Hudson Cobras on Sept. 7 at Gene Cox Stadium at 7 p.m. Bainbridge will face the Brooks County Trojans in Quitman, Ga.

North Florida Christian Quarterback Transfers

Alec Chessari, Correspondent (@AlecChessariFS on Twitter) 

Max Fay | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

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

Trey Fisher is taking his talents to Tharpe Street.

The sophomore Quarterback from North Florida Christian has transferred over to Amos P. Godby High School.

During his sophomore season with the Eagles Fisher completed 112/231 passes, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  He averaged 149 yards a game, 14.6 yards a completion and totaled up over 1600 passing yards.

Last season with Fisher under the helm of the offense the Eagles managed an 8-3 record with Fisher playing in all 11 games.

Last season with first year head coach Corey Fuller the Godby Cougars managed an 11-2 season going undefeated in district play and just came up short losing in the Regional Semifinals to Trinity Christian Academy.

Cougars offense with upcoming senior Tony Street returning to the backfield will be special.  Street played in nine games for the Cougars last season rushing for over 800 yards on 114 carries.  Street averaged 7.1 yards a carry, 90.2 yards a game and scored nine touchdowns.

With the way the roster is set now it won’t be surprising to see Coach Fullers Cougars back in regional’s next season, except this time coming out victorious.

 

 

Chiles Extends Win Streak Against Leon

Devin Craig, Correspondent (@DevinCraigFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net– The 11-7 Chiles Timberwolves took a seven-game win streak into a game against the 13-6 Leon Lions. The Timberwolves were able to pull out a 5-3 win.

“It’s not about the streak, it’s about making enough plays to win the game and that’s what we did,” Chiles head coach Dick Steed said.

Runs for Chiles were scored by Zach Holcomb, Garrette Greene, Ben Anderson, Tyler Gerteisen and Sam Rudd. Runs for Leon were scored by Josh Rozental, True Fontenot and Victor Castillo.

The first two innings were deadlocked, with both teams testing the other out. It wasn’t until the top of the third that someone struck. Rosental stole home after a single by Tyler Borges and an error by Chiles’s Mason Sanford. Chiles answered right back in the bottom of the third with a run of their own by Holcom.

“It was a well-fought game, not a particularly well-played game, but hard fought,” Steed said.

Chiles proceeded to score two unanswered runs in the bottom of the fourth by Anderson and Greene.

No runs were scored until the top of the sixth when Leon’s  Fontenot stole home off of a Tyler Sims single. Soon after, Castillo stole home to tie the score at three.

In the bottom of the sixth Chiles took off and never looked back.  Gertesisen hit a single which was followed up by a double by Rudd that led to another single, this time by Jozef Rohbacher. Gertesisen and Rudd waltzed home.

In a last-ditch effort, Leon attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh that was quickly extinguished by the Timberwolves defense.

“We wanted to win to get first place in our district. If you win the district, you’re automatically in the playoffs and that’s what we got tonight,” Steed said.

Godby-FSU Alumn Looks To Hear Name Called At NFL Draft

Brandon Halas, Correspondent (@BrandonHalasFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Jacob Pugh is one of many athletes hoping to hear his name called during the NFL Draft. Pugh began his path to the draft in Tallahassee, where he attended Amos P. Godby High School.

Pugh made his talents known there as a defensive end in his junior season in 2012. That year, he collected a total of 98 tackles along with 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions.

During Pugh’s senior season, he saw much of the same as he ranked in the top-100 players in the country and led the Cougars to a playoff appearance.  He had 64 total tackles along with nine sacks and three fumble recoveries. Pugh ended his high school career with a trip to the Under Armour All-American game.
The following spring, Pugh signed his letter of intent with the Florida State Seminoles. His freshman season he transitioned from defensive end to linebacker. Pugh recorded twelve tackles and two interceptions on the season.

His sophomore campaign saw an increase in his playing time. He played in 10 games that year with 32 tackles and three sacks.
Pugh had a breakout season in his junior year. He made 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Instead of entering the draft, he stayed for his senior season.  

Pugh called last season a “nightmare”, as FSU only won two of its first seven games. Pugh also had injury problems that kept him out for an extended time his senior season; only playing in eight games with 21 tackles.
Pugh now looks forward to entering the draft and pursuing a career in the NFL. At the combine, he ran a 4.65 40-yard dash, recorded a 38.5 inch vertical jump and  122 inch broad jump. Pugh is projected as day-three selection. 

SPORTS BRIEF: LEON HIGH TAKES ONE WALNUT GROVE

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –  The Leon Lions boy’s baseball team will face off against Walnut Grove Warriors on April 6 at Leon High at 6 p.m. The Lions (12-4-1, 1-1) are playing the Warriors (11-10, 5-3) for the first time this season. Leon High just came off a 3-0 win against Bainbridge Bearcats (9-11, 3-7).  

Junior True Footenot led the Lions with one run, two RBI and went two for three. Junior Zack Treadway threw six innings and allowed only four hits. He also walked five and struck out six without giving up a run.

Junior Josh Rozental recorded his fourth save of the season. Bryce Palmer contributed with a double and went one for two. Matt Williams went one for three. The Lions defense also contributed by not letting the Bearcats score.   

The Bearcats senior Connor Strickland finished the game four for three with a double and one walk. Senior Dalton Harrell went three for two and finished the game with one walk. Caleb Boutwell went three for four and had two walks. Senior Quayde Hawkins went three for three. Senior Will Kelley went four for four.

The Warriors are coming off a 5-0 loss to the Satellite Scorpions (17-2, 9-1). Walnut Grove is on atwo-gamee losing streak. 

Leon average 6.9 runs and the warriors average 4.0 runs. The Lions usually provide 7.7 runs and 2.3 errors. 

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.

Feature Story: Godby High Boys Basketball coach Andrew Colville

Dimetry Dixon, Correspondent (@DimetryDixonFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – In order to understand the Godby Cougars boy’s head basketball coach Andrew Colville, you have to first know who has helped shape and impact his coaching career.

Throughout his journey as a coach, Colville looked up to former UCLA men’s basketball coach, John Wooden. In his career as a head coach, Wooden was named national coach of the year six times, he also won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year span while he was coaching at UCLA. Wooden’s record with the Bruins was 620-147 and he currently holds an NCAA men’s basketball record of 88 consecutive games won.

“The main role model I had growing up was John Wooden, the legendary coach from UCLA

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Similar to Wooden, Colville has helped put countless basketball players in college each year with full scholarships and, continues to maintain a successful program each year. He is also beloved by not only formers players, but also the community of Tallahassee for his work as a coach.

In 2015, Colville not only led Godby to an undefeated season with a record of 31-0 but also brought the 2015 4A-state championship title to Tallahassee.

Last year, the Cougars went 25-2 and made it to the playoffs, but came up short in the semi-finals with a 56-52 loss to the Ribault Trojans. The Cougars made it back to the playoffs this year but were eliminated after losing to the Rickards Raiders in the regional semi-finals, 67-56.

“A lot of people have a good team, not as many have good programs. You need to have a good program, not just a good team,” Colville said. “You just work with the young guys and keep your work ethic going. Our goal is to get to Lakeland. Some years it is easy with the talent we have. We’re young this year and on any given night I feel we can beat anybody.”

Colville talked about how and why you should treat every player on the team different.  He also spoke about how he has changed over the years dealing with different players.

“I’m a little old school but I adjusted over the years, I worked for a guy name Monte Taw, that coached at the University of New Orleans, where I coached at the time,” Colville said. “And one day he said I treat everybody different. So, it is true you have to treat each individual differently because you got to get the most out of all of them because they are all not the same person.”

Colville also took his entire team to Las Vegas last year in December to experience other things outside of basketball. He talked about what it was like to take the team on a journey.

“To take them out west to see a different part of the country was the best because a lot of them may not have gotten this opportunity in their life,” Colville said. “I just wanted to get them out there to show them there is a different world out there.”

With his success at Godby High School, Colville continues to impact high school players just like his role model John Wooden.

 

Franchise Sports Spotlight: Trey Fisher

Devin Craig, Correspondent (@DevinCraigFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –  Naturally, you would assume that someone like North Florida Christian quarterback Trey Fisher, who’s father is one of the best coaches in all of college football, would leave his fate up to nepotism. If you didn’t know him, you’d figure he would coast throughout life while lazily siphoning clout, accolades and success from his last name.

NFC assistant coach Eddy Arza doesn’t agree. He  said Fisher is as hardworking and dedicated as they come.

“Trey leads by example he never wants to take a break, always runs sprints full speed and never misses a practice. Even when he was sick he was at practice getting mental reps and helping teammates,” Eddy said.

Fisher spends the majority of his time involved in football-related activities. He studies film every day and when he’s not doing that he’s lifting weights, working on his agility or throwing to his receivers.

“I appreciate the daily grind of the game. I love the workouts, I love the morning film sessions, I love everything about the game,” Fisher said.

One of Fisher’s best friends, standout receiver and go-to target, Macho Arza, also spoke about his starting signal caller’s hard work and their relationship. He talked about how they make each other better.

“I believe we have a really tight connection off the field and that helps on the field a lot. We motivate each other. We want to be the best players in the country,” Macho said.

Hard work isn’t the only thing that makes him special according to Devin Rispress, head coach of Fisher’s 7 on 7 team, the Tallahassee RecordBreakerz. Rispress said Fisher’s football acumen separates him on the field.

“I’ve coached some great players in my career, but what separates Trey is his knowledge of the game. I have to be very sharp when coaching a player with [a football IQ] as great as Trey’s. He reminds me of Drew Brees in the way he delivers the ball and the way that he’s a field general. The similarities are consistent all the way down to the height,” Rispress said.

Brees is one of Fisher’s many idols in a list that includes great players his father has coached as well as players he’s coached against. He also learns from established professionals as well as up and coming collegiate stars.

“I pattern my game after pro guys like Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Jameis [Winston] but I try to learn from the younger guys like [Deondre] Francois too,” Fisher said.

People around him said his competitive streak reaches more than just football. Macho Arza said he turns everything into a competition and that he loves winning.

“Oh no, he never stops! Trey wants to get every answer right, make the paper ball in the basket before anybody, all of that. He is the real definition of a competitor,” Macho said.

Fisher has also shown his coaches and teammates that he can be trusted in crunch-time situations. He’s led numerous comebacks for NFC and the RecordBreakerz.

“This past weekend (Feb. 21) in Myrtle Beach we were in an elimination game with six seconds to go on 3rd down. I looked at him to confirm the play and felt confident because I didn’t see any panic in him. He dropped back looked off the defense and threw a strike to Gadsden Country star receiver Sammy Carter to win the game with no time left,” Rispress said.

Workouts in the morning, afternoon and evening, a 7-on-7 practice and then an hour-long film session is a normal day for Fisher. Football is in his blood.

“The apple does not fall far from the tree. He’s a fierce competitor like his dad and he demands more of himself than me or coach Fisher,” Eddy said.

 

 

 

 

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.”