Monday, September 29, 2014

Marlins Get No Hits Against Nationals

     The Miami Marlins had no hits in their final game of the 2014 season as they fell to the Washington Nationals 1-0 at Nationals Park on Sunday. Jordan Zimmermann pitched the no-hitter for the Nats which is their first one since the franchise moved from Montreal ten years ago.
     Last season finished the same way for Miami(77-85) on the winning end of a no-hitter. Henderson Alvarez pitched it for them at Marlins Park against the playoff-bound Detroit Tigers. Giancarlo Stanton scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
     Zimmerman improved his record to 14-5 this season as he had ten strikeouts and walked one batter. Alvarez pitched seven innings and allowed one run on 11 hits. He struck out three and fell to 12-7 in 2014.
     Washington(96-66), who earlier this month won their second National League Eastern Division title in the last three years, scored the only run of the game during the second inning. Ian Desmond smacked an 0-2 pitch over the left-center field wall with one out for his 24th home run of the season.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Strikers And Rowdies Game Postponed

     The deciding game for the Florida Derby between the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg on Saturday night was postponed due to bad field conditions and concerns over the weather. According to the North American Soccer League and both clubs, the game will be made up on October 8.
     Both teams met each other twice earlier this season. The Rowdies won the first game at home 3-2 on May 24. The Strikers returned the favor on August 2 with a 1-0 home victory at Lockhart Stadium. The aggregate in both games is 3-3, however Fort Lauderdale has the edge in away goals.
     Tampa Bay has won the last four Coastal Cups since the rivalry was renewed at the start of the 2010 NASL season. The cross-state rivals also faced each other from 1977 until 1983 during the first incarnation of the North American Soccer League.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stars Edge Panthers In Preseason Opener

     The Florida Panthers opened up their preseason schedule as they fell to the Dallas Stars 4-3 in a shootout at BB&T Center on Wednesday night. The Cats held out the 2014 top draft pick Aaron Ekblad from this game along with Roberto Luongo and Brian Campbell.
     The Stars crunched in a full day prior to this game. They held a practice outside of Dallas from 9 until 10:30 a.m., got on an airplane, flew several hours into a different time zone and bused through rush-hour traffic to arrive in Sunrise.
     It did not seem to affect the team in the first period as Dallas jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Patrick Eaves, who was acquired as a free agent, scored on a power play at 9:12. He made a turnaround move in the low crease and fired a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Dan Ellis. Kevin Connauton scored on a shot in the crease area at 14:56 to make it 2-0.
     Stars starting goalie Jack Campbell was pulled after 31 minutes of play and stopped all 11 Cats shots. The last half of the second period belonged to the Panthers as they evened the contest at 2-2. They scored in their first shooting attempt against backup goalie Jussi Rynnas at 11:59 when Shane O'Brien snapped a shot from the top left circle after a feed by Scottie Upshall. New Florida free agent acquisition Dave Bolland tied it at 2-2 on the power play when he pounded a shot from the top right circle on an assist from Dmitry Kulikov with 1:50 left in the period.
     Brandon Pirri gave the Cats their first lead of the game early in the third period and he scored on a wrist shot from the top left circle following a Nick Bjugstad face-off win. Dallas evened it 3-3 with 8:53 left in regulation when Tyler Sequin faked a shot, slid the puck to his left and Alex Goligoski put it into an open net.
     Neither team scored in overtime and missed on their first three attempts of the shootout. Ales Hemsky, who played for the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators last season, scored the winning goal on the Stars fourth attempt as he faked a forehand shot, went to the backhand and put the puck between the pads of Michael Houser.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stranahan At Boynton Beach Preview

     Two schools will met in a District 15-6A game on Friday night as the Stranahan Dragons travel up I-95 to Boynton Beach and face the Tigers. The Dragons fell at home last year to the Tigers 47-12 as they surrendered the last 34 points of that contest.
     Quarterback Lamar Jackson will implement the Boynton Beach(4-0, 0-0) offense with his passes and running ability out of the pocket. Donte Sylencieux and Dieuly Aristilde are the main wide receivers who can get receptions. They have a number of options at running back with Zaire Ivory, Zander Bernard and Chauncey Mason. The Tigers have outscored their opponents 209-59 in their four games this season.
     Stranahan(2-1, 1-0) defeated Suncoast 43-7 last week in a district game. The offense is led by quarterback Javonne Heastie who can rush from the backfield as an option for the team. Look for him to connect with wide receivers Marvin Robinson, Deshawn Waite and Daewood Davis on completions. Anthony Hunt will be used as the top running back on the squad.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Florida Panthers Open Training Camp

     The Florida Panthers opened up their training camp for the upcoming 2014-15 NHL season in Coral Springs this past weekend. The club will look to improve from their 29th place finish from last season.
     It was the first NHL training camp for defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who was selected first overall by the Cats during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in late June. He was teamed up with recent free agent acquisition Willie Mitchell on the blue line. Mitchell played with the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings last year and also collected another title with that organization in 2012.
     Roberto Luongo was slated as the top goalie on the depth chart followed by newcomer Al Montoya and Dan Ellis. New head coach Gerard Gallant and the coaching staff paired Brian Campbell and Erik Gudbranson on the top defensive line.
     The team will try out many different combinations on their forward lines for the next several days. They play their first preseason game at BB&T Center in Sunrise on Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars.

Dave Wannstedt Adds Fox Television Duties

     Former Miami Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt added additional duties at Fox Sports 1 this past weekend as a studio analyst on Fox NFL Kickoff. Wannstedt has been a college football studio analyst on the network since the start of the season. He replaced former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher on the pro football show.
     Wannstedt was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2000 to 2004 and the Chicago Bears from 1993 to 1998. He had a combined record of 85-89 for both teams. He was also the University of Pittsburgh Panthers head coach from 2005 until 2010 where he compiled a 43-32 record.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Calvin Ridley To Play Final Game

     Monarch Knights wide receiver Calvin Ridley will play in his final high school football game on Friday night at Piper against the Bengals. He is ineligible to participate with the school based on a FHSAA rule that a student athlete can not compete once they become 19 years and nine months of age.
     Ridley, who appeared on the annual cover of Friday Night Football Florida magazine earlier this year, has already made an early commitment to play college football with the University of Alabama. He is highly rated and considered one of the top high school players in the nation.
     His school is undefeated after two games this season with two shutouts on the road. Monarch routed Nova opening week 56-0 and blanked Western 40-0 last weekend. Expect Ridley to have a deep impact in his final game.
     There have been other players in South Florida who have appeared in their final high school game during the regular season. Current University of Florida running back Kelvin Taylor did it in 2012 with Glades Day before going to the Gators.
     Kelvin Benjamin, current wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, also left Glades Central during the 2010 season and would later attend Florida State University. His final play as a high school player happened in a road game at Boynton Beach. He jumped up and caught a 35-yard touchdown pass in the left side of the end zone surrounded by double coverage.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Joe Rose To Leave WTVJ

     Longtime WTVJ-TV sports anchor Joe Rose will retire from the station in December. He has been with that organization for over 20 years. He once played for the Miami Dolphins as a tight end from 1980 until 1986.
     Rose will continue as the morning host on Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM and as a game analyst on the Miami Dolphins Radio Network. He begin his second stint as the morning host at WQAM in 2007 when the Dolphins radio rights moved to that station. Rose has continuously been on local radio for ten consecutive years and was the first morning host at 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM when they launched into a sports format in August 2004.
     He was a co-host of The First Team morning show on WQAM with various partners from 1994 until December 2001. Rose currently holds the radio analyst post on the Miami Dolphins Radio Network alongside play-by-play announcer Jimmy Cefalo since the 2005 season.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

St Thomas Aquinas And Don Bosco Prep Preview

     Two of the top high school football programs in the country will face each other on Saturday as the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders travel up to the Army campus in West Point, New York and play the Don Bosco Prep Ironmen of Ramsey, New Jersey in a neutral site game. Both schools last met back in 2012 at Brian Piccolo Stadium in Fort Lauderdale where Aquinas fell 20-10.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(1-0) has not played a game in the last two weeks. They pounded the defending FHSAA Class 5A champion American Heritage Patriots 35-7 at Sun Life Stadium.
     Running back Jordan Scarlett will get most of the carries from the backfield while Deltron Sands and Khambrel St. Hubert look to get occasional rushes. Quarterback Jake Rizzo has numerous targets to throw to which include wide receivers Davante Peete, Sam Bruce and Jawuan Harris.
     Don Bosco Prep(1-0) played in Philadelphia last week and defeated St. Joseph's Prep 35-7. They will be led on offense by quarterback Wes McKay who can run out of the pocket and throw the ball downfield. Defensive linemen Kevin Feder, Brandon Simon and Zack Chakonis look to stop the Raiders running game.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Boynton Beach Drops Village Academy

     The Boynton Beach Tigers remained undefeated with a 48-20 victory over the Village Academy Tigers on Thursday night. The game was to be played at Village Academy in Delray Beach, but due to an expected large crowd and limited parking availability the venue was changed to Boynton Beach.
     It seemed like deja vu in this contest from their previous spring game in May when both schools met as Boynton Beach stepped out to a big lead when they scored on all their five possessions of the first half.
     Boynton Beach(3-0) scored on their first drive as running back Zaire Ivory finished off with a two-yard touchdown run up the middle at 9:14 of the first quarter. Their second possession was capped as wing back Chauncey Mason took an inside handoff through the right side from 20 yards out to make it 14-0 at 3:44.
     In the second quarter, Ivory plunged through the tackles and scored from one yard away at 10:38 to give Boynton Beach a 21-point gap. Village Academy got on the scoreboard as quarterback Andre Adderly found wide receiver Jean Constant wide open on the right sideline and he sprinted 60 yards to cut the margin to 21-6 at 7:54. Quarterback Lamar Jackson and Boynton Beach responded quickly at 6:26 when he went around the left end and scored a five-yard touchdown for a 28-6 lead.
     Village Academy(1-2) got great field position as Da'Vante Frazier returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to the Tigers 23. Several plays later, Constant caught a five-yard pass on a slant pattern for a touchdown with 5:42 left in the first half as they trailed 28-12. Running back Zander Bernard scored on a 13-yard delayed draw play at 1:37 of the second to give Boynton Beach a 35-12 cushion.
     In the third quarter, Adderly threw a high arching pass to the right side of the end zone where wide receiver Malik Ballard made a 32-yard touchdown reception at 8:26 as Village Academy was down 35-20. Jackson returned the favor for Boynton Beach at 4:05 when he fired a 15-yard pass to wide receiver Dieuly Aristilde in the deep left side of the end zone to make it 41-20.
     Jackson finished the victory with 9:38 remaining in the fourth quarter as he broke through the line, ran down the left sideline and scored a 40-yard touchdown for a 48-20 gap.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Palm Beach Gardens At Dwyer Preview

     It will be a crosstown battle on Friday night as the Palm Beach Gardens Gators travel four miles north on Military Trail and face the Dwyer Panthers at Blum Stadium. Both schools had success last season as Dwyer won the FHSAA Class 7A state title while Palm Beach Gardens made it to the Class 8A state semifinal where they lost to eventual state champion South Dade.
     Palm Beach Gardens(2-0) won their first two games this season. They blanked John I. Leonard 21-0 in their opening game and barely got by with a road win over the Park Vista Cobras 10-7 last week.
     Running back Tommy Monday is expected to be the focal point on their offense. Quarterback Hunter Aranda suffered a knee injury last week and may not play in the game. Devin Stedstill will step in that position like he did in the second half against Park Vista. Look for wide receivers Andrew Prince and Anthony Price to get some receptions.
     Dwyer(1-1) bounced back with a 41-7 victory over Jupiter last week following a 12-7 opening game defeat to the Glades Central Raiders. Coach Jack Daniels has opened up to the challenge in this campaign with two returning starters from last season.
     Daniel Parr will lead the Panthers offense as quarterback with his passing effort as he threw for four touchdown last Friday night against Jupiter. His main deep threats downfield are wide receivers Tavares Martin and Dante Cousart. Slot receivers Nick Martinsen and Isiah Johnson will also help out on short passes. Running backs Erick Hardnett and Cornelius Smith are expected to get their share of carries.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Boynton Beach And Village Academy Preview

     The Boynton Beach Tigers will play a road game against the Village Academy Tigers on Thursday night, however the venue has been changed from Delray Beach where Village Academy plays to the field in Boynton Beach due to the anticipated large crowd and limited parking availability.
     Both schools met each other in a spring football game on the same gridiron back in late May as Boynton Beach was victorious 50-8. It is unusual that two squads would face each other in the spring and later during the regular season.
     Boynton Beach(2-0) has been on the winning side in two routs to begin the regular season with a road victory over Olympic Heights 69-0 during opening week and defeated Lake Worth at home 64-29 last week.
     Quarterback Lamar Jackson had almost had 200 yards rushing against Lake Worth last Friday night. He will continue to lead the charge on offense with his running and passing. Running backs Chauncey Mason, Jordan Galvan and Zander Bernard are expected to get their share of carries. Look for Jackson to connect with wide receivers Donte Sylencieux and Dieuly Aristilde on passes.
     Village Academy fell last week on the road to Glades Day 27-20. Running back Da'Vante Frazier can be elusive out of the backfield along with kickoff returns. Andre Adderly can control things as quarterback while wide receiver and backup quarterback Torrell Jones will contribute in several areas on offense. Wide receivers Jean Constant and Willie Louis are the main targets for Adderly to pass to.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Greg Likens Miami Dolphins Radio Studio Host

     Greg Likens worked his first regular season game as the studio host for the Miami Dolphins Radio Network on Sunday alongside Troy Stradford. He has been the studio host for The Finsiders Show on Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM since early April. He replaced Jesse Agler in both positions. Agler is currently a studio host and backup play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres.
     Likens, a Syracuse University grad, was employed at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM from 2007 until March 2014. He worked in several capacities which included morning show sidekick, morning producer, morning sports anchor and weekend host.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lake Worth At Boynton Beach Preview

     The Boynton Beach Tigers will host the Lake Worth Trojans on Friday night in a non-district game. Both schools were victorious in their first game of the 2014 regular season.
     Boynton Beach(1-0) finished as the District 15-6A runner-up last year and fell to defending FHSAA Class 6A champion Miami Central Rockets on the road in the regional quarterfinal. The Tigers cruised to a 69-0 road victory in their opening game over the Olympic Heights Lions last week.
     Quarterback Lamar Jackson will dictate the offense for the team. He can run out of the pocket at anytime and throw the ball deep downfield. Look for wide receiver Donte Sylencieux to be the main target for Jackson and Dieuly Aristilde as a secondary option. Running back Chauncey Mason, who played for the Park Vista Cobras last year, is expected to make the majority of rushes for the club.
     Lake Worth(1-0) were in a tough district last year stacked with playoff contenders that included eventual FHSAA Class 7A champion Dwyer, Royal Palm Beach and West Boca Raton. The Trojans visited the Jensen Beach Falcons in their opening game and won 33-21.
     They have one of the top running backs in Palm Beach County as Donte Fils-Aime will lead their squad on offense. Craig Wells returns as quarterback and wide receiver James Jones can make receptions anywhere on the field.

Miami Ratings August 2014

     104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM stayed on top for the 12th consecutive month to make it one year ahead of all other sports format radio stations in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. None of the three competitors in the local region saw an overall increase in ratings.
     The Ticket dropped for the third straight month, however they fell from a 2.2 to a 1.6 in August. It's based on being without the Miami Heat game broadcasts over the past several months along with some talent taking time off during the summer.
     Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM remained flat at a 0.9 in the month of August and it was the third time in four months that they stayed at that mark. The midday show with Alex Donno and Brandon Guzio did not give them any traction over the last several months and the station replaced them at the end of the ratings period with Orlando Alzugaray.
     The surprise of the ratings period was that Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM remained the same for the seventh straight month at a 0.2 during August. It was expected that there would be a bump up in the ratings with the return of the Miami Dolphins and their preseason.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Braves Shut Out Marlins

     The Miami Marlins were blanked for the first time in 60 games as they fell to the Atlanta Braves 1-0 at Turner Field on Sunday. The Fish had the longest active streak of not being shut out in the majors.
     Alex Wood pitched eight innings for the Bravos to get the victory and improved to 10-10. He allowed five hits and struck out 12 Marlins. Craig Kimbrel picked up his 41st save this season which in the most in the major leagues. Miami(66-69) starter Nathan Eovaldi dropped to 6-10 as he surrendered one run on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.
     The only score in the game was in the second inning by Atlanta(72-65). Evan Gattis led off with a solo home run to left-center field on the first pitch for his 21st homer this year.