Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Glades Central At Dwyer Preview

     The Dwyer Panthers have their home opener in Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night as they begin their reign as FHSAA Class 7A champions and host arch-rival the Glades Central Raiders at Blum Stadium. The Panthers, who went undefeated last year at 15-0, have won the last two opening game meetings between both schools after they dropped the previous six games.
     Dwyer played their preseason kickoff classic on ESPN national television last Sunday and lost to the defending FHSAA Class 5A champions the American Heritage 49-23 in Plantation. Glades Central barely held on to a kickoff classic road victory over the Lake Worth Trojans 26-20 last week.
     The Panthers, with two-time FHSAA state champion head coach Jack Daniels at the helm, have several recognized players from their offense returning as quarterback Daniel Parr will lead them while Cornelius Smith comes back as their top rushing threat. The team lost wide receivers Johnnie Dixon, Clint Stephens, Ezra Saffold, Shawun Lurry and running back Alonso Smith on offense to graduation. They look at Tavares Martin, a transfer from John I. Leonard, and Nick Martinsen as wide receiver options for Parr while Erick Hartnett comes in from the District 7-3A champions Cardinal Newman where he can add extra punch to their running game.
     The Raiders finished at 5-6 in 2013 for their worst record in over 20 years and were eliminated in the FHSAA playoffs during the first round for the first time since 2002. They named Rick Casko as their new head coach to lead the club in another direction.
     Glades Central has Andre Tommie as their primary quarterback with James Blackman in a back-up capacity. They will not have a controversy over the starting quarterback role like they had last season. Jonathan Istatche has returned to a wide receiver spot with the squad while Giovanni Lugo transferred. Running back Jerry Jones graduated and the Raiders now have Keith Clemones along with Ja'kevious Vickers to get the bulk of the carries from the backfield. Wide receiver Javis Jefferson sat out last week against Lake Worth, however Jamarius Way and Devonte Burden can fill in that void for receptions.

Jon Linder Interim WMEN Host

     640 Sports WMEN-AM began using Jon Linder as an interim afternoon host this past Monday. They had piped in Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone from NBC Sports Radio on August 22 . The station has still not decided who will replace Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, as their new afternoon drive host. Alzugaray did his final show at 640 Sports on August 21 before beginning his new position as a midday host at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM on Monday.
     Linder had a previous stint at 640 Sports as an early afternoon host for three weeks earlier this year from January 20 until February 7. He lost that position due to cost cutting when James Crystal declared chapter 11 bankruptcy. Linder joined the station as a fill-in host in December 2013.
     He was a sports reporter and fill-in host at WQAM from 2007 to early 2013. Linder was elevated to football studio host of the University of Miami Hurricanes Radio Network from 2010 to 2012 and hosted a late night football show from August until late December 2011. He had a long stint during the 2000s as an afternoon host and later a Sunday morning host at 770 WWCN-AM in Fort Myers.

Monday, August 25, 2014

American Heritage Drops Dwyer

     It was a battle between two defending FHSAA state champions as the Class 5A champion American Heritage Patriots defeated the Class 7A champion Dwyer Panthers 49-23 in a preseason kickoff classic at Heritage Field on Sunday. Dwyer moved their record to 0-3 on ESPN nationally televised broadcasts.
     Both teams begin the regular season next Friday night as the Patriots face the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders at Sun Life Stadium. The Panthers host their Palm Beach County arch-rival the Glades Central Raiders at Blum Stadium.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Glades Central Holds Off Lake Worth

     The Glades Central Raiders almost blew a 20-point lead as they got by the Lake Worth Trojans 26-20 at Bill Harvey Stadium on Friday night in a preseason kickoff classic. Former Glades Central head coach Jessie Hester is now in charge of the Trojans while current Raiders head coach Rick Casko made his debut. Hester helped Glades Central reach the state championship game in 2008 and 2009.
     Glades Central commanded the first quarter to get up 14 points. On the third play of the game, Lake Worth running back Donte Fils-Aime fumbled the ball and it was recovered by linebacker Melvin Lawson at the Trojans seven-yard line. Running back Keith Clemones scored on the next play as he rushed up the middle at 10:30 to make it 7-0.
     On the Raiders next possession, Clemones set things up as he gained 33 yards on a run to the Lake Worth 15-yard line. Several plays later, quarterback Andre Tommie threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Devonte Burden on the right side of the end zone with 4:37 to go in the first for a 14-0 lead.
     The Raiders kept the momentum early in the second quarter as they got a drive started at the Trojans 15-yard line after Lake Worth was unable to release the ball on a punt. Glades Central scored on a 4th-and-goal from the six-yard line as Tommie connected with wide receiver Jamarius Way on a crossing pattern and extended their lead to 20-0 with 6:12 left in the first half.
     Lake Worth capitalized on a turnover when Johnathant Istache fumbled the ball on a punt return at his own 30-yard line. The Trojans broke the shutout on the following play when quarterback Craig Wells threw a rainbow pass into the back of the end zone to wide receiver James Jones and made it 20-6 with 4:42 left in the second quarter.
     On the first play of the second half, Glades Central struck again as fullback Jakevious Vickers went around the right end and rumbled 78 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders, 16 seconds into the third quarter, once again had a 20-point gap.
     Wells pulled off a quarterback scramble for Lake Worth down the left side on a 4th-and-1 and scored from 11 yards away with 3:27 left in the third to cut the deficit down to 26-13.
     The Trojans would got one more score at 8:14 of the fourth quarter as fullback Daniel Montero smashed through on a run up the middle from three yards out.

WMEN Adds Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone

     640 Sports WMEN-AM has piped in Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone from NBC Sports Radio as their new afternoon show on an interim basis. They replace Orlando Alzugaray who did his final show on the station on Thursday and will begin as the midday host at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM this Monday. Alzugaray was the afternoon host at 640 Sports since October 2010.
     McNabb and Malone, two former NFL quarterbacks, have co-hosted an afternoon show on NBC Sports Radio since the network launched in September 2012. 640 Sports picked up the South Florida syndicated rights of the organization and has aired their evening, overnight and weekend shows over the last 23 months.

St Thomas Aquinas Takes Dillard

     The number one nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders hosted a preseason kickoff classic at Brian Piccolo Stadium on Thursday night and handled the Dillard Panthers 31-7. Both teams, who made the playoffs as district champions in 2013, met each other last year in a preseason game with STA victorious 21-10.
     In the first quarter, James McCourt finished the Raiders first possession with a 31-yard line drive field goal that clang off the crossbar and over at 6:27 to make it 3-0.
     On their next possession, running back Jordan Scarlett went through the left side and down the left sideline for a 66-yard touchdown run with 1:46 left in the first quarter. Zachary Cicero kicked the extra point and extended their lead to 10-0.
     Aquinas had a touchdown negated at 10:08 of the second quarter when left inside linebacker Velvario Faulkner returned an interception 67 yards for a score.
     They would add on to their lead when quarterback Jake Rizzo found wide receiver Devante Peete on a crossing pattern from 16 yards away with 8:15 remaining in the first half. Christopher Kirtley converted the extra point for a 17-point margin.
     St. Thomas Aquinas made it 24-0 as fullback Khambrel St. Hubert rumbled up the middle from 18 yards out for a touchdown with 5:52 to go in the second quarter.
     Dillard got their only touchdown in the fourth quarter when the Raiders fumbled the ball in the own end zone to cut the deficit to 31-7.
     The Raiders face the defending FHSAA Class 5A state champion American Heritage Patriots at Sun Life Stadium in their opening game next Friday while the Panthers travel four miles west on Sunrise Boulevard and challenge the Plantation Colonels at PAL Field.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fox Sports Florida Broadcast Aquinas Games

     Fox Sports Florida will broadcast four St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders football games during the 2014 regular season. The Raiders, who have been named the preseason number one ranked team nationally by Athlon Sports, have won seven FHSAA state titles.
     Miami Heat television play-by-play announcer Eric Reid will announce the opening game for the Raiders against the American Heritage Patriots on August 29 at Sun Life Stadium. The Patriots won their first FHSAA state title last year as the Class 5A champions.
     St. Thomas Aquinas will travel up to West Point, New York and play at Army against Don Bosco Prep on September 13. It will be a rematch between both nationally ranked high school football teams. The Raiders lost to Don Bosco Prep back in 2012 at Brian Piccolo Stadium.
     The last two home games of Aquinas will be televised. They host their top district rival the Plantation Colonels on October 31. St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Plantation four times in the last two seasons. The Raiders will seek revenge in their final regular season game on November 7 against the Deerfield Beach Bucks. STA were upset by the Bucks 22-7 in the final regular season game in 2013.
     The Dwyer Panthers, who knocked off St. Thomas Aquinas in the 2013 Class 7A regional final 35-28, will appear once on Fox Sports Florida. Quarterback Daniel Parr will lead them as they host the Atlantic Eagles on October 24. The Panthers captured the 2013 FHSAA Class 7A state championship and previously won another state title in 2009.