Thursday, December 31, 2015

WMEN Drops Sid Rosenberg

     640 Sports WMEN-AM has let go Sid Rosenberg following a three-year tenure as their morning show host due to budget cuts. Station management allowed Rosenberg to expand his program beyond sports during his reign as he did a general talk show that included politics, social issues and pop culture. It has been an uncertain situation for him because three different corporations have operated the station over the past calendar year. He had been on-air at that radio station since August 2012.
     Rosenberg started his broadcasting career at CBS Sportsline in Fort Lauderdale first as a salesman and later as a co-host of an internet sports program with Scott Kaplan. They moved their show called The Drive to New York City and worked mornings at WNEW-FM.
     He then landed at WFAN-AM in 2001 where he was a morning sports anchor on the Imus In The Morning Show for four years. Rosenberg added midday co-host duties alongside Jody MacDonald and later with Joe Benigno. He lost both his positions when he did not appear to host the New York Giants pregame show in September 2005.
     Rosenberg returned to Florida and joined 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM as a fill-in host. He was promoted to co-host middays with O.J. McDuffie. Rosenberg later was elevated to morning host and held that position for several years before being released in May 2009.
     His next stop was at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM as a midday host in September 2009. Rosenberg moved on to host afternoons in June 2010 and held the spot for almost two years before he was dismissed in April 2012.
     Other posts that Rosenberg has held included working for one year at WINS-AM as a morning sports anchor earlier this decade. He fills in as a host at WFAN during the month of August for the last couple of years and also filled in to host a talk show for Geraldo Rivera on WABC-AM earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Erik Lengyel Out At WMEN

     Sid Rosenberg morning show executive producer Erik Lengyel has been let go by 640 Sports WMEN-AM due to budget cuts. Rosenberg was also eliminated as a cost-cutting move. The station has been operated by three different corporations in the past calendar year.
     Lengyel had the longest tenure of any employee at 640 Sports and was there when the station flipped to a sports talk format in March 2008. He started as a morning producer and a board operator on the Jeff DeForrest Show. He held the same position as others took over to host morning drive which included Armando Salguero, Larry Milian, Chris Perkins and Marc Eisenberg. Lengyel eventually added duties as morning sports anchor and then weekend co-host in January 2012.
     He shifted to midday sports anchor and contributed as a producer for shows hosted by Troy Stradford and Andy Slater when Rosenberg began at 640 Sports in August 2012. Lengyel returned back to mornings one month later and had a three-year reign in that spot. He one time worked as a game analyst alongside Adam Baron on Broward County high school football games at WWNN-AM for several years earlier this decade.

FHSAA Football Title Recap

     South Florida high schools captured four FHSAA football state championships at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando during the 2015 season. It matched the same amount that they won in the previous year, however it fell short of the six state titles won in 2013.
     It was the same exact results in the small schools category for the second straight year. The American Heritage Stallions lost to the Trinity Christian Conquerors 30-3 in the Class 3A title game. The Stallions have fallen to the Conquerors in four of five state title games.
     The Booker T. Washington Tornadoes won their fourth consecutive FHSAA Class 4A state title as they knocked off the Raines Vikings 43-23. The Tornadoes became the first Dade County school to win four consecutive state championships as they landed their fifth overall title.
     As for the following weekend in the large schools category, the Miami Central Rockets captured the Class 6A state title with a 48-13 victory over the Armwood Hawks. They matched the dynasty of Booker T. Washington as they won their fourth straight state championship as a Dade County school. The Rockets beat Armwood for the third consecutive year in the title game.
     St. Thomas Aquinas remained the dominant force in Class 7A as they won their second straight state title. STA pounded on the Viera Hawks 45-10 in the title game. The Raiders added to their trophy case with their fourth title in the last in six seasons and their sixth state championship since 2007. The last six championships won by the Raiders has occurred on the same field of the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
     Another high school represented Broward County as the Flanagan Falcons won their first state championship. They defeated the Osceola Kowboys 26-7 in the Class 8A title game. It was the first state title appearance by the Falcons. Osceola lost in the Class 7A championship game last year to St. Thomas Aquinas.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Panthers Drop Habs

     First place in the Atlantic Division was on the line on Tuesday night as the Florida Panthers got by the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 at BB&T Center. The Panthers tied a franchise record and extended their winning streak to seven games. They last accomplished that feat back in March 2008.
     Montreal(21-15-3) scored during their first power play at 12:39 of the first period to go up 1-0. P.K. Subban attempted a shot from the top left circle which was partially blocked. Max Pacioretty ripped a snap shot from the slot area by Roberto Luongo for his 15th goal of the campaign.
     A quick response by Florida(21-12-4) on their own power play tied the contest 1-1 with 3:32 left in the period. Dmitry Kulikov carried the puck to the low left circle and dropped it to Aleksander Barkov at the left-circle dot and he released a wrist shot past Ben Scrivens for his 10th goal this season.  
     In the second period, Jaromir Jagr compiled his 11th goal of the year and his 733rd NHL goal at 1:16 as the Panthers regained the lead. Barkov was at the top of the Canadiens zone and passed to his left to Jonathan Huberdeau. He sent a cross-ice pass to Jagr who dashed through the right circle to the crease area and scored from close range.
     The Cats converted on a 4-on-4 situation at 8:53 of the third period and got a two-goal cushion. Huberdeau moved the puck from the neutral zone to Erik Gudbranson on the right wing. He sent a diagonal pass to the slot where Barkov switched to his backhand and scored his second goal of the game.

Nets Defeat Heat

     The Miami Heat fell to the Brooklyn Nets 111-105 on Monday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat had their two-game winning streak snapped. It was only the third road victory by the Nets this season.
     Chris Bosh had a team-high 24 points and 11 rebounds as he went 5-for-5 from three-point range. Dwyane Wade added 24 points while Hassan Whiteside compiled 18 points with 11 rebounds. Miami(18-12) had a 16-point lead early in the third quarter until Brooklyn(9-22) pulled off a 32-14 run.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Panthers In First Place Top Blue Jackets

     The Florida Panthers moved into first place in the Atlantic Division and stretched their winning streak to six games as they stopped the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Sunday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers, who have won seven of their last eight and 12 of their last 15 games, last had a six-game winning streak in March 2008. The last time the Cats were in first place this late in the regular season was in 2011-12 when they eventually captured the Southeast Division.
     Florida(20-12-4) jumped up in front at 4:34 of the first period. Reilly Smith hit the left post on a snap shot from the left-circle dot. It sailed back to Aaron Eklad on the right point and he fired a high slap shot which went over the left shoulder of Curtis McElhinney.
     The Panthers their margin to 2-0 with 17.7 seconds remaining. Aleksander Barkov won a face-off in the right circle and drew it back to Jonathan huberdeau. He skated the puck around the right circle then backhanded a pass to the low slot and Barkov scored on a one-timer.
     Columbus(13-22-3) did not get their first shot on net until 10:05 on the first. It would be their only shot in the frame as they were outshot 19-1. It was a season-low that the Cats gave up in a period this season. They allowed two shot by the New York Islanders in Brooklyn on December 15.
     In the second period, the Blue Jackets compiled the first six shots of the stanza. It paid off as Brandon Saad scored from an acute angle from the left corner to close the gap to 2-1. His initial shot from the slot area went wide and off the end glass. He followed the puck into the corner and placed a shot on goal that slipped behind Roberto Luongo.
     Florida regained a two-goal gap on a turnover at center ice at 7:23 of the third period to make it 3-1. Barkov picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone, carried it into the Blue Jackets zone and passed off to Huberdeau at the high slot. He returned the puck to Barkov in the right circle and he shot it into a wide open net for his second goal of the contest.
     The Blue Jackets would score on their fourth power-play attempt with 8:34 left in the third. Ryan Murray guided a shot from the top right circle which glazed off the stick of Alexander Wennberg at the top of the crease. Cam Atkinson followed up and scored from close range.

Heat Get By Magic

     The Miami Heat completed a two-game weekend sweep as they defeated the Orlando Magic 108-101 at Amway Center on Saturday night. The Heat were victorious on Christmas Day the previous day in Miami.
     Chris Bosh led the way for the Heat as he compiled 24 points and 10 rebounds. Dwyane Wade also added 24 points and went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Goran Dragic also contributed 22 points in the victory.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Heat Knock Off Pelicans

     The Miami Heat defeated the Nevv Orleans Pelicans 94-88 on Friday at American Airlines Arena. The Heat stopped a three-game skid to the Pelicans.
     Miami improved their all-time record on Christmas Day to 10-2. They have been victorious on the holiday for the seventh consecutive time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Emerson Lotzia Moves To Boston

     Emerson Lotzia has left his position as a sports anchor at VVPTV-TV and VVFLX-TV in VVest Palm Beach and joined NESN in Boston as a sportscaster.  He had been based in the Palm Beach County market for almost three years.
     Lotzia, a University of Central Florida grad, began his professional broadcasting career as a sportscaster at VVETM-TV in Elmira, Nevv York. He later shifted to KTVX-TV in Salt Lake City before moving to South Florida.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Panthers Edge Senators

     The Florida Panthers played an important four-point swing game and defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in a shootout on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers have won five straight games, six of their last seven and 11 of their last 14. The Cats lead the Senators by two points for third place in the Atlantic Division. 
     There was no scoring until the second period of the contest when Corban Knight scored his first goal of the season at 9:14 to give Florida(19-12-4) a 1-0 lead. Jaromir Jagr handed the puck to Quinton Howden on the left point. He put a pass ahead to Knight who skated through the slot and got the goal on a snap shot.
     In the third period, the Panthers were given a too many men on the ice penalty and Ottawa(17-12-6) connected with a goal on the power play at 1:31. Erik Karlsson fired a slapshot from the top of the zone which was deflected in by Mark Stone in the low slot area past Roberto Luongo for his eighth goal of the season.
     The game went to a shootout and Florida converted on two of their three attempts. Brandon Pirri shot the puck between the legs of Craig Anderson on the Panthers first attempt. Aleksander Barkov wrapped up another victory with a goal on the forehand shot during the third attempt. The Sens missed on their two attempts of the shootout. The Panthers have the most shootout victories in the NHL this season and improved their record to 5-l.  

Miami Ratings December 2015

     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM was the highest rated sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region for the fourth consecutive month. The ratings period showed some surprises that were not expected.
     WQAM has not been on top of the competition alone in the ratings for this long in over five years. The four-hour blocks of shows with Joe Rose, Orlando Alzugaray, Marc Hochman, Zach Krantz, Channing Crowder and Alex Donno has worked. They did drop slightly from a 1.2 to a 1.1 in the month of December. The organization fell even with the great start of the season by the University of Miami Hurricanes basketball team.
     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM went down from a 0.9 to a 0.8 this month. The loss of Israel Gutierrez leaving the afternoon show after two months had an impact as they tried to find a permanent partner alongside Ethan J. Skolnick. The Miami Heat continued their winning ways in a weak Eastern Conference.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM saw an improvement as they went up from a 0.4 to a 0.5 during the month of December. The station has not picked up ratings like this in over two years when they accomplished the feat back in October 2013. Their numbers did improve with different shows hosted by Jeff DeForrest, Andy Slater and Greg Likens in spite of the mediocre season by the Miami Dolphins.

Guy Rawlings In Birmingham

     Former South Florida television sportscaster Guy Rawlings has joined WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Alabama as a news anchor. He had been at KTVA-TV and KTXA-TV in Dallas from November 2013 to November 2015 in a sportscaster capacity.
     Rawlings had a long tenure at WTVJ-TV Channel 6 in Miami from 1997 until 2007 as a sports anchor and sports reporter. He moved on to Orlando and joined WESH-TV as a sportscaster from 2007 to November 2011. Rawlings, a University of Florida grad, left for Atlanta to become a news anchor at WGCL-TV from January 2012 until November 2012. He had previous stops earlier in his broadcasting career at television stations in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Charleston and Baltimore.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Panthers Beat Canucks In Shootout

     Jaromir Jagr passed Marcel Dionne for 4th on the NHL all-time list with his 732nd goal as the Florida Panthers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 in a shootout at BB&T Center. The Panthers followed a four-game road swing with their first game of a six-game homestand. The Panthers have now won four straight and ten of their last 13 games.
     Vancouver(12-14-9) got out to a 1-0 lead at 6:32 of the first period Jared McCann bumped Erik Gudbranson off the puck on the end wall and passed it to Alex Biega at the top of the zone. His slapshot went through traffic and was deflected in by Jannik Hansen in the crease area.
     Florida(18-12-4) answered back at 12:26 as Canucks killer Shawn Thornton tied the game for Florida on his first tally of the season. Conner Brickley slipped the puck from the right circle to Thornton in the low slot and he ripped a wrist shot past Ryan Miller.
     The Canucks regained the lead with 4:31 left in the first. Bo Horvat skated down the right wing and sent a cross-ice pass to the low slot where Sven Baertschi roofed in a shot by Roberto Luongo for his second straight game with a goal.
     Jagr would get his milestone goal during the Panthers second power play of the game with 11.5 seconds remaining in the period to tie it at 2-2. Aleksander Barkov passed the puck from the left circle to Jagr at the right of the crease and he put in a snap shot for 10th goal this season. Jagr also passed Nicklas Lidstrom for 10th all-time in power-play points with his 591st point on that play.
     In the second period, the Panthers got out to their first lead of the contest at 5:38. Vincent Trocheck raced up the middle, split through the defense and rocketed a shot from the slot for his 10th goal.
     It just took 31 seconds for Vancouver to even the game at 3-3. Derek Dorsett scored from the top of the crease area on a feed by Adam Cracknell.
     The Cats added another power-play goal at 8:31 of the second. Jagr received the puck on the right side of the crease from Huberdeau. He backhanded it to Aaron Ekblad on the other side of the crease and he placed a wrist shot into the half-empty Vancouver cage.
     The Canucks matched it at 4-4 with 5:20 to go in the frame as Daniel Sedin collected his 15th goal of the campaign. He entered into the Panthers zone on a two-on-one and moved the puck to Hansen on the right side. He returned it to Sedin at the left of the crease for an easy score.
     Both teams scored on their first attempts of the shootout. Brandon Pirri connected with a backhand shot for Florida while McCann delayed before he put in a forehand shot. Miller left the game following the first round due to a cramp in his right leg and former Panther Jacob Markstrom replaced him. Barkov got the game-winner during the Panthers third attempt as he went to the backhand.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Panthers Blank Hurricanes

     Roberto Luongo compiled his 70th career shutout as the Florida Panthers held off the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 on Friday night at PNC Arena. The Cats have defeated the Canes five consecutive times. The Panthers finished a four-game road trip and will host the next six games which includes the final four games of the calendar year.
     Neither club scored in the first two periods of the contest. Florida broke out to the lead four minutes into the third period. Panthers captain Willie Mitchell scored his first goal of the season on a snap shot from the right of the crease. Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov were credited for the assists on the play.
     Reilly Smith added a tally into an empty net from center ice during the final minute of regulation after the Canes pulled their goalie. Smith increased his goal-scoring streak to four games.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Panthers Crush Devils

     The Florida Panthers stopped the New Jersey Devils 5-1 on Thursday night at Prudential Center. The Panthers, who have won three of their last four games, played in Newark just ten days ago and lost. Florida has outscored their opponents by eight goals in the last two games.
     Jussi Jokinen connected with a power-play goal midway through the first period. Brandon Pirri and Vincent Trocheck were credited on the assists. Dmitry Kulikov extended the Floirda lead as he added his first goal of the season with exactly eight minutes left in the frame.
     In the second period, the Panthers continued to role as Pirri made it a three-goal margin on the Panthers ninth shot of the contest. Logan Shaw collected his first NHL assist on the play. Pirri dropped a pass to Shaw for a one-time shot from the top right circle. It bounced off traffic in front of him and Pirri snapped a shot from the low right circle.
     Florida capitalized after the Devils iced the puck seven minutes into the third period as Reilly Smith scored from the top of the crease for his tenth goal of the season. He has four games in his last five games and four goals in his last nine road games. Jokinen passed from the right point to Trocheck to the right side of the crease. His backhand shot was saved by Cory Schneider, but Smith pounced on the rebound from close range.
     New Jersey broke the shutout by Al Montoya on a power-play goal with over six minutes remaining in the third. Kyle Palmieri blistered a one-time slapshot from the top left circle off the body of Sergey Kalinan after a feed on top by David Schlemko.
     Logan Shaw slapped in a goal from the New Jersey blue line into an empty net after the Devils pulled their goalie for an extra attacker at the five-minute mark.
    

Heat Slip By Nets

     The Miami Heat extended their winning streak to three games as they defeated the Brooklyn Nets 104-98 on Wednesday night at Barclays Center. The Heat have been victorious in their last five games against the Nets.
     It is unusual that the local South Florida sports teams are at the same location on the road. The Florida Panthers played the previous night at the same arena. The Panthers stayed up there and face the New Jersey Devils in Newark on Thursday night.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Panthers Stomp Islanders

     The Florida Panthers continued their four-game road trip and got a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night at Barclays Center. It is the first time the Panthers have visited Brooklyn for a game. The Islanders moved from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale this past summer after over four decades in that facility.
     The Islanders dominated the first period as they outshot the Panthers by nineteen shots. Neither club was able to score in the first stanza.
     In the second period, Florida jumped out to the lead on their fourth shot of the contest as Reilly Smith scored his ninth goal of the season. A clearing pass up the middle was stopped by Dylan Olsen at the top of the zone. He sent a pass down to Smith in the right circle for a one-time slapshot by Jaroslav Halak. Smith scored his third goal in the last four games and Olsen compiled his first point since January.
     The Panthers expanded their margin at the seven-minute mark. Frans Nielsen blindly backhanded the puck to in front of his own net. Aleksander Barkov moved into the slot and scored an unassisted goal on a backhand shot for his seventh tally of the campaign.
     The Islanders cut the lead down to a one-goal margin later in the frame. Brock Nelson crossed the blue line and outleted a pass to his right. Marek Zidlicky released a shot from the top right circle and was redirected into the Panthers cage by Nelson.
     The Cats responded quickly and scored 20 seconds later. Barkov had the puck on the right point and passed across to Brandon Pirri. His soft pass went to Aaron Ekblad in the top left circle and he snapped a shot in. Florida had three goals on their first eight shots on net.
     Florida got a three-goal cushion early in the third period. Jussi Jokinen passed from the right corner to Vincent Trocheck at the right-circle dot for a one-time slapshot. They extended their margin to four goals when Jonathan Huberdeau was credited a shorthanded empty-net goal after he was pulled down at the top of the Isles zone and had a clear path to the net. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Flanagan Defeats Osceola For State Title

     The Flanagan Falcons captured their first FHSAA Class 8A state championship in their first appearance in a title game as they defeated Osceola Kowboys 26-7 on Saturday night at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Flanagan(12-2) did make the state semifinal last year and fell to Columbus.
     Osceola(13-2) played in their second consecutive state championship game. They lost to the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders in the Class 7A title game last year. They had one state championship prior to this game. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bruins Stop Panthers

     The Florida Panthers began a four-game road trip and fell to the Boston Bruins 3-1 at TD Garden on Saturday. The Panthers have lost three of their last four games.
     Boston scored the only goal in the first period. The Panthers attempted to clear the puck out of their zone. Torey Krug stopped it at the left point and floated a high slapshot on goal. Ryan Spooner redirected the puck from inner left circle by Roberto Luongo for a 1-0 lead.
     In the second period, the B's got a power-play goal eight minute in on some good passing. David Krejci stood at the top of the zone and sent the puck into the slot area and Patrice Bergeron directed it to the right circle. Spooner then snapped a shot into the Florida cage for his second goal of the contest.
     Reilly Smith burned his former team around the six-minute mark in the third period as he blasted a slapshot from the right point past Tuukka Rask. Aaron Ekblad fed him the puck from the left point on the play. Brad Marchand scored into an empty net from the red line for the Bruins in the final minute of the game.

Miami Central Take Fourth Straight State Title

     The Miami Central Rockets captured their fourth consecutive FHSAA Class 6A state championship as they defeated the Armwood Hawks 48-13 on Saturday at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. It was the third straight season and the fourth time in the last five years that both Miami Central(13-2) and Armwood(14-1) have met in the championship game.
     The Rockets have dominated the Class 6A classification during this current decade. They have compiled their fifth state title in the last six seasons. No other high school football team in the state of Florida currently has a reign like that.

St. Thomas Aquinas Routs Viera For Title

     The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders captured their second straight FHSAA Class 7A state championship and their ninth overall as they pounded the Viera Hawks 45-10 on Friday night at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The Raiders compiled their third championship in the last four years and sixth state title in the last nine seasons. Aquinas improved to 6-0 playing on the same field in Orlando since 2007.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(14-1) dominated the first quarter as they pulled out to a three-touchdown lead. They started their second possession in Viera territory. Quarterback Jake Allen found wide receiver Sam Bruce for a 30-yard touchdown reception and got out to a seven-point lead. Running backs Jaxson Kincaide and James Charles both added three-yard runs for scores in consecutive drives to make it 21-0. 
     In the second quarter, the Raiders scored on their fourth straight possession as Kincaide rushed in from three yards out. Viera(10-5) broke the shutout with l:55 left in the first half on a field goal by Trey Schaneville.
     STA extended their margin as Charles rumbled into the end zone on a one-yard run four minutes into the third quarter. The Raiders added another seven points on an 11-yard interception by linebacker Adetutu Daranijo at 6:56 and then a running clock as used for the rest of the contest.
     James McCourt nailed a field goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter for St. Thomas Aquinas. The Hawks reached the end zone for the first time in the game during the final minute as running back Malek Fortson scored on a one-yard run.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jaromir Jagr Ties Marcel Dionne In Career Goals

     Jaromir Jagr added another milestone to his long illustrious playing career as the Florida Panthers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers, who have won six of their last eight games, now go on the road for four games. They've won three times in their last 15 meetings with Washington(19-6-2).
     The opening puck drop was delayed for 20 minutes due to the lack of paramedics in the arena. Soon after play resumed, Jagr scored his 731st NHL goal to tie Marcel Dionne for fourth place all-time. Dmitry Kulikov fired a high shot from the top of the zone which was deflected by Jagr in the low slot 51 seconds into the contest. Jagr had been held scoreless in his last eight games.
     In the second period, Florida(14-11-4) scored during their fourth attempt on the power play at 9:16 to make it 2-0. Brandon Pirri had the puck in the top right circle and sent it to Brian Campbell at the top of the zone. He returned it to Pirri for a one-time shot which turned out to be his sixth goal of the season.
     The Cats pulled out to a three-goal margin at 7:19 of the third period during a four-on-four situation. They got a two-on-one breakaway when Huberdeau carried the puck down the left wing and into the Capitals zone. He connected a cross-ice pass from the top left circle to Aaron Ekblad in the low right circle and he redirected a one-timer for his sixth tally of the year.
     The Caps broke the shutout when they had an extra attacker with 2:08 remaining as Alex Ovechkin blasted a slaspshot from the left circle by Al Montoya. It was the 14th goal this season for him and his 489th NHL goal.
     Logan Shaw finished things up for the Panthers with 1:04 left when he scored his second NHL goal into an empty goal from the right wing. Jussi Jokinen was credited with an assist.

Flanagan And Osceola Title Preview

     The Flanagan Falcons and the Osceola Kowboys will face each other on Saturday night for the FHSAA Class 8A state championship at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Both schools have taken different paths to this title game.
     Flanagan(11-2) will be playing for their first state football championship. They lost to Columbus on the road in the state semifinal last year, however the Falcons got revenge last week on the same field by the score of 30-17. They compiled three consecutive shutouts over Piper, Deerfield Beach and Atlantic earlier in the FHSAA playoffs. Flanagan lost two games this year by a combined six points to St. Thomas Aquinas and South Plantation.
     The Falcons use a spread offense with quarterback Kato Nelson calling the plays. He will have wide receivers Dredrick Snelson and Jahcour Pearson to get receptions down the field. Snelson has championship game experience as he helped the American Heritage Patriots win the past two Class 5A state championships. Running back Darius Alexander and fullback Tyler Goetz can be used for rushing and passing plays.
     Osceola(13-1) returns to the Citrus Bowl for the second straight season. They were shut out 31-0 by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Class 7A state championship last year before the Kowboys were elevated to a higher classification. In the playoffs this year, they were victorious at home against Treasure Coast and Vero Beach followed by a tough road win against Dr. Phillips. They held off West Orange at home last week in a state semifinal.
     The Kowboys set up in a wing-t offense, will constantly run the ball throughout the entire game and rarely pass the ball. Their main threat to get many rushing attempts from the backfield is running back Laderrrien Wilson. Wing back Marcus Edwards can also carry the ball on an inside rushing play. Quarterback Isaiah Wilson looks to dictate the offense.

St. Thomas Aquinas And Viera Title Preview

     The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders will look to capture their ninth state title as they face the Viera Hawks in the FHSAA Class 7A state championship game on Friday night at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The Raiders have been undefeated on this field since 2007 winning their last five state championships. They look to win their sixth state title in the last nine seasons.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(13-1) did not trail once in their first three playoff victories over Royal Palm Beach, Dwyer and Mater Academy. They struggle slightly during the first half in the state semifinal game on the road at Braden River last week. STA has won every game this year except for a three-point loss in the regular season at Deerfield Beach. They have been victorious in seven consecutive games since that defeat.
     The Raiders execute a well-rounded offense in which they can run or pass the ball on any occasion. They have Jake Allen at quarterback who is a University of Florida commit. Running backs James Charles and Jaxson Kincaide will get numerous carries from the backfield. Wide receivers Sam Bruce, Michael Irvin Jr., Trevon Grimes, Michael Harley and James Jenkins can all make receptions on passes from Allen.
     Viera(10-4) played their first three playoff games at home and defeated Harmony, Martin County and Lakeland. They went on the road last week and stopped Columbia in the state semifinal. They have won seven straight games after they began the regular season with a 3-4 record.
     Quarterback Hayden Kingston leads the way for the Hawks on offense and can run out of the option. His two favorite targets to throw the ball to are wide receivers Tre Nixon and Alex Cabrera. Running back Brennen DePlancke is expected to be the main rushing threat for the team.

Booker T. Washington Wins Another State Title

     The Booker T. Washington Tornadoes captured their fourth consecutive FHSAA Class 4A state championship with a 43-23 victory over the Raines at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday night. It was the fifth overall state title for the school.
     Booker T. Washington(9-5) became the first school from Dade County to win four straight football state championships. The Tornadoes have been the dominate force in the Class 4A classification in Florida during this decade. Raines finished their season with a record of 12-2.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

American Heritage Loses State Title Game

     It was deja vu as the American Heritage Stallions lost to the Trinity Christian Conquerors 30-3 in the FHSAA Class 3A state championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday. The Stallions lost the state title game to the Conquerors last year and have now fallen in four of five championship matchups to the same school.
     Trinity Christian(14-0) got the only score in the first half during the second quarter. The Stallions missed on a 24-yard field goal with 3:19 to go in the first half.
     Early in third quarter, the Conquerors capitalized on a turnover as safety Chamarri Conner returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown at 8:45 to make it 13-0.
     American Heritage(10-3) scored their only points in the contest as Billy Mitchell connected on a field goal with 5:40 remaining in the third.
     The Conquerors extended their lead as quarterback Billy Cobb found tight end DaVonte Porter for a 20-yard touchdown with 35 seconds left in the quarter.
     Frankie Onate added a 46-yard field goal at 9:15 of the fourth quarter. They capped the victory when running back Jalin Buie rushed in from 25 yards away with 4:09 remaining in the game.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Senators Defeat Panthers

     The Florida Panthers returned from a five-game road trip and lost to the Ottawa Senators 4-2 at BB&T Center on Tuesday night. The Panthers lost their second straight game and are winless in four of their last five home games. Roberto Luongo passed Tony Esposito for seventh all-time in NHL history among goalies as he played in his 887th game.
     It took nine minutes for Ottawa(15-8-5) to get their first shot on net in the first period. That did not phase the Panthers as Logan Shaw scored his first NHL goal at 7:49. He received a pass from Derek MacKenzie and went down the right side of the ice before he fired a slapshot from the right circle by the left glove of Craig Anderson.
     The Senators had a power play at the beginning of the second period and converted it 48 seconds into the frame on some fast passing. Mark Stone relayed a pass from the low left circle to Zack Smith in the slot area for a one-time shot.
     Florida(13-11-4) regained the lead with 6:02 left in the period. Brandon Pirri sent a long pass through the neutral zone to Vincent Trocheck at the Senators blue line. He centered it to Reilly Smith in the middle and he came in alone on a breakaway which resulted in his seventh goal of the year on a backhand shot.
     Ottawa was rewarded another power play early in the third period. They scored with the man advantage for the second time in the contest at 51 seconds. A hard pass by Bobby Ryan from the top right circle bounced off the skate of Stone and across the ice. Kyle Turris snapped in a shot from the left-circle dot for his 12th goal of the season.
     Mike Hoffman would score on an unassisted goal from the slot at 14:23 to give the Senators their first lead of the game. Jean-Sebastian Pageau added an NHL team-high seventh shorthanded goal with 2:31 remaining into an empty net.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Devils Light Up Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the final game of a five-game road trip and lost to the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Sunday night at Prudential Center. The loss snapped the Panthers current five-game winning streak and a five-game winning streak on the road. Their last loss away from Sunrise was four weeks ago in Los Angeles against the Kings.
     In the first period, Lee Stempniak scored 26 seconds into the game for New Jersey and Kyle Palmieri added another score in the frame.
     Florida struck quickly 45 seconds into the second period to cut the deficit. Aleksander Barkov won a right-circle faceoff and Jaromir Jagr drew the puck back to the right point. Aaron Ekblad smashed in a slapshot for his fifth tally of the season.
     Adam Henrique has a long history of burning the Panthers in the last four seasons and did it again at 3:43. He got a rebound in the slot area, circled around the Florida cage and scored on a wraparound shot past Roberto Luongo.
     Jonathan Huberdeau would connect with his third goal of the year with under 6:53 left in the period. Jagr tipped the puck from the right corner to Huberdeau in the low right circle and scored on a snap shot by Cory Schneider.
     The Devils pulled away with the only goal in the final period at 6:44. Damon Severson sent a cross-ice pass from the right-circle dot to Mike Cammalleri in the low left circle and he put in a wrist shot.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Panthers Slip By Blue Jackets

     The Florida Panthers continued their winning ways with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Panthers have won five consecutive games and been victorious in every game of the current road trip. The Cats look to sweep the five-game road swing and win a franchise record sixth straight away game on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils.
     Both teams scored in the second period. Florida took the lead over one minute into the frame when Vincent Trocheck sent a cross-ice pass from the left goal line off the right skate of Justin Falk which landed in the Columbus net for his eighth goal of the season.
     Michael Chaput tied the contest for the Blue Jackets ll minutes later when he redirected the puck in the low slot by Al Montoya following a pass from Andrew Bodnarchuk on the left wing. It was the second NHL goal for Chaput.
     Aleksander Barkov would score the game-deciding goal during the shootout. He went through the slot area then lifted a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Sergei Bobrovsky into the top half of the cage for the victory.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Panthers Nail Predators


     The Florida Panthers topped the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Panthers extended their winning streak to a season-high four games and are victorious in their last five road games.
     Quinton Howden gave Florida the lead with 5:01 left in the first period on a shot from the high slot. Connor Brickley and Willie Mitchell were credited with assists on the play.
     In the second period, the Cats increased their lead by two goals while on the power play. Aleksander Barkov picked up the puck on the left edge of the crease following a scramble for it in front. Jonathan Huberdeau beat Pekka Rinne scored on a snap shot from the slot for his second goal of the season.
     Nashville responded with a goal with over two minutes left in the frame. Roman Josi skated the puck into the Panthers zone and made a drop pass to Craig Smith. His slapshot deflected off Josi's body and by Roberto Luongo.

St. Thomas Aquinas At Braden River Preview

     The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders travel up to Bradenton to take on the Braden River Pirates on Friday night in a Class 7A state semifinal. The last time the Raiders lost a playoff game in Central Florida was in 2009 at Bradenton against the Manatee Hurricanes in the same round of the postseason.
     St. Thomas Aquinas only lost one game this season by just three points and has surrendered seven points in the first half of their three playoff games this year. They shut out the Royal Palm Beach Wildcats 29-0 in a regional quarterfinal, went on the road to defeat the Dwyer Panthers 24-7 in a regional semifinal and returned home to wipe out Mater Academy 60-7 in a regional final last week.
     The Raiders, the defending Class 7A state champions, have University of Florida commit and quarterback Jake Allen at the helm of the offense. The school has a well-balanced attack of running and passing. Running backs James Charles and Jaxson Kincaide can be used at anytime for a rushing attempt. Allen has a strong wide receiver core with Sam Bruce, Michael Irvin Jr., Trevon Grimes, James Jenkins and Michael Harley.
     Braden River enters this game undefeated and had a playoff run in which they were victorious over Gulf Coast, Venice and Plant City. They have given more than l5 points in only two games this year.
     The Pirates have starting quarterback and FIU commit Jacob Huesman to lead the team on offense. He can throw short passes to wide receivers Travis Williams, Jawaan Jenkins, Dexter Hodo and Ryan Neuzil. Huesman can set up screen plays with running backs Raymomd Thomas, Jaylin Austin and Deshaun Fenwick who will also get their rushing opportunities.

Booker T. Washington And Raines Title Preview

     The Booker T. Washington Tornadoes will attempt to capture their fourth consecutive FHSAA Class 4A state championship as they face the Raines Vikings at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday night. The Tornadoes became the first school in Dade County history to win three straight titles last year and look to get their fifth overall state championship this weekend.
     Booker T. Washington went up to Belle Glade to defeat the Glades Central Raiders 35-21 in a regional semifinal and then knocked off Cocoa 33-14 last week at Traz Powell Stadium in a state semifinal last week. The team did go undefeated in their previous two seasons to win state titles. They lost their opening game on the road against the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders to snap a 41-game winning streak and finished with a 5-5 record during the regular season.
     The Tornadoes look to execute a spread formation on offense. Quarterback Daniel Richardson can dictate the pace for the team. He has a slew of wide receivers to connect with which includes Raymond Flanders, Tyquan Thornton, Gustavious Dames and Darrius Scott. Running back Craig Nelson will get the bulk of the carries from the backfield along with Trawone Johnson.
     Raines compiled six shutouts during the regular season and became a district champion. They got by district runner-up The Bolles School Bulldogs, who lost to Booker T. Washington in the state title game for the last three years, in a regional final 34-8 at Jacksonville two weeks ago then eliminated Santa Fe on the road 35-14 in a state semifinal.
     Quarterback Augie Dibiase expects to lead the way for the Vikings on offense. Alex Rutledge is the primary running back to rush the ball for Raines while Dajuan Jackson and Bishop Bonnett can also see some carries. Their four wide receivers of Ronald Patterson, Rick Wells, Dalvin Storey and Willie Wright are similar and help the passing game of Dibiase.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

American Heritage And Trinity Christian Title Preview

     The American Heritage Stallions will challenge the Trinity Christian Conquerors in a FHSAA championship game rematch on Saturday at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The Conquerors defeated the Stallions by 20 points last year for the Class 3A crown. American Heritage has won once in four confrontations with Trinity Christian in a state title matchup.
     American Heritage, who finished as a district runner-up this season, hosted and beat Clearwater Central Catholic 31-24 last week in a state semifinal. The Stallions got revenge the previous week when they went on the road and stopped district champion Oxbridge Academy 16-11 in a regional final.
     The Stallions bring a similar rushing attack as they did last year. Running back Devin Singletary is expected to get most of the carries from the backfield. Cornelius Smith, a transfer from Dwyer, can pick up several rushing attempts along with D.J. Davis and Alec Sinkfield. Cameron Smith became the new starting quarterback this season and looks to connect with wide receivers Keenan Duggan, Micah Leon and Matt Pica.
     Trinity Christian, who have captured two consecutive state titles, are undefeated this season as they head into this title game. They played their last two playoff games on the road and shut out Taylor County 51-0 in a regional final and topped Tampa Catholic 47-14 in a state semifinal last week.
     The Conquerors run a well-balanced offensive attack of running and passing. Quarterback Billy Cobb can set things up on offense. They have several options at running back which includes Rasheed Martin, Jalin Buie and DaeQuante Showers. Wide receivers D.J. Matthews, Damien McGhee, Brandon Robinson and J.C. Flowers will try to make receptions from Cobb.

FHSAA Title Games Not On Local TV

     The FHSAA football state title games will not be broadcast on television in the South Florida region for the second consecutive year. The contests will be played over the next two weekends at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
     Bright House Sports Network which is based in Central Florida has the exclusive television rights to all eight state championship games. Comcast Sports South did carry the games two years ago, however they folded six months later.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Panthers Slow Down Blues

     The Florida Panthers edged the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Tuesday night at Scottrade Center. It was the second game of a five-game road trip for the Panthers who have won three consecutive games on the road. The Cats had been winless in their last six games against the Blues.
     The first period remained scoreless as both teams combined for seven shots in the frame. It took l5 minutes for St. Louis to get their first shot on net.
     In the second period, Florida pulled off two goals in less than l5 seconds. Brandon Pirri received a long lead pass at the St. Louis blue line from Derek MacKenzie, skated on net with a breakaway and buried home a backhand shot by Brian Elliott. Steve Ott would lose the puck in his own zone seconds later and MacKenzie blasted a slapshot for a score from the slot area.
     The Blues broke the shutout twenty seconds later as David Backes sent a turnaround shot from the edge of the left circle off the skate of Dylan Olsen and past Roberto Luongo.
     MacKenzie followed with an unassisted goal with over three minutes remaining as he rambled through the neutral zone after he intercepted a pass from Kevin Shattenkirk and fired a wrist shot from the high slot. It's the first multi-point game for MacKenzie this season.

Rachel Nichols Rejoins ESPN

     Rachel Nichols has rejoined ESPN following a three-year stint with Turner Sports as a sports reporter and a sideline reporter for NBA and NCAA basketball games. Nichols started at that organization in January 2013. She at one time did host a studio show on CNN called Ungraded With Rachel Nichols from September 2013 until October 2014 on CNN.
     Nichols was known as Rachel Alexander when she was employed as a sports writer for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel from 1995 to 1996. She then worked at the Washington Post as a sports writer until 2004. Nichols moved to ESPN and handled sports reporter duties on television for over eight years before she left for Atlanta.

Adam Kuperstein Joins The Ticket

     WTVJ-TV Channel 6 sportscaster Adam Kuperstein has joined 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM as a weekend host. He began his new position this past weekend. He will still continue to host a Sunday late morning show with NBC Sports Radio Network.
     He worked an early afternoon show at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM with different co-hosts from January 2012 until July 2015 which included Steve Goldstein, Channing Crowder twice and Curtis Stevenson. He did host a weekend program on WQAM until December 2011.
     Kuperstein has been a sportscaster at WTVJ-TV since July 2005. He was elevated to work as a news anchor at that station in December 2011 and held that position until 2015 when he returned to the sports department.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Israel Gutierrez Leaves The Ticket

     Israel Gutierrez has left 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM after over two months as an afternoon co-host with Ethan J. Skolnick. He was elevated to that position back in September from his role as guest morning co-host with Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor for several months.
     Gutierrez, who once worked at the Miami Herald as a Miami Heat beat writer, will continue on ESPN Radio with a weekend NBA show that he has hosted since January along with being a sideline reporter for NBA games on ESPN and an NBA columnist on ESPN.com. No decision has been made by 790 The Ticket management who will co-host the afternoon program with Skolnick. Several likely candidates include Chris Wittyngham, Josh Friedman, "The Beast" Brian London, Alex Marvez, Chris Perkins and Craig Mish.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Panthers Defeat Red Wings In Overtime

     Brian Campbell scores an overtime goal just over one minute into the extra session as the Florida Panthers beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday. It was his second goal of the season for the Cats. Jonathan Huberdeau and Jussi Jokinen were credited with assists on the play.
     In the second period, Dylan Larkin scored his tenth goal of the year for Detroit seven minutes in when he intercepted a pass from Aleksander Barkov in the high slot. He skated through the slot and put the puck by Roberto Luongo.
     Reilly Smith evened it up l-l with just under six minutes left in the third period when he redirected the puck from the top of the crease past Petr Mrazek following a slapshot from the right point by Aaron Ekblad. It was the sixth goal of the season for Smith with his new team.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Panthers Get By Islanders

     The Florida Panthers finished a five-game homestand with a 3-2 shootout victory over the New York Islanders at BB&T Center on Friday night. It completed a stretch where the Panthers played seven of eight games at home and did not leave the State of Florida for almost three weeks.
     Brandon Pirri put the Panthers on the scoreboard at 8:38 of the first period. He connected a give-and-go pass with Jaromir Jagr in the neutral zone, carried the puck to the right point and blasted a slapshot from top right circle for his fourth goal of the season. Jagr extended his point streak to five games.
     In the second period, Florida(8-9-4) increased their margin to 2-0 at 4:42. Jussi Jokinen was in the slot area and beat Jaroslav Halak from close range for his sixth tally this year. Vincent Trocheck was credited with an assist on the play.
     The third period was taken over by the Islanders as they scored twice in the first ten minutes of the frame. Ryan Strome put in a wrist shot from the low crease following a feed by Mikhail Grabovski from the right corner. New York(11-8-3) tied the contest when Josh Bailey scored from the top of the crease.
     It was a unusual circumstance in the shootout when both squads scored on their first four attempts. Aleksander Barkov converted on the Panthers fifth attempt to get the win.



Mater Academy At St. Thomas Aquinas Preview

     It is a return for Mater Academy Charter Lions head coach Rocco Casullo as his current team will go up to Fort Lauderdale and challenge his former team the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders at Brian Piccolo Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Friday night in a Class 7A regional final. It is his first season in charge of Mater Academy.
     Casullo was named the head coach for St. Thomas Aquinas and replaced the legendary George Smith who retired from that post. He was there for four seasons and helped the Raiders win two FHSAA state championships in 2012 and 2014..
     After losing their two previous playoff appearances in Palm Beach Gardens as the defending state champions against Dwyer, St. Thomas Aquinas finally defeated the Panthers 24-7 last week in a regional semifinal. STA have not lost a home playoff game since 2003 and will appear in their 12h consecutive regional final.
     University of Florida commit Jake Allen returned last week as their starting quarterback. The Raiders will mix their rushing attack with running backs James Charles and Jaxson Kincaide. Wide receivers Sam Bruce, Michael Irvin Jr. and Trevon Grimes are the primary targets for Allen to look for down the field.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Clearwater Central Catholic At American Heritage Preview

     The American Heritage Stallions will attempt to make the Class 3A championship game for the second consecutive year as they host the Clearwater Central Catholic Marauders in a state semifinal on Friday night at The Corral in Delray Beach. Both schools have been state finalists in the last two seasons for this classification.
     American Heritage was the district runner-up and had to go the hard way to reach this point with two playoff victories on the road. They got revenge from a regular season loss and topped their district champion the Oxbridge Academy Thunderwolves last week 16-11 in a regional final.
     The Stallions look to control the ball with their running attack on offense. Running back Devin Singletary will get the bulk of the carries from the backfield while Dwyer transfer Cornelius Smith along with D.J. Davis and Alec Sinkfield can get some rushing attempts. Quarterback Cameron Smith can throw an occasional pass to wide receivers Keenan Duggan, Matt Pica and Micah Leon.
     Clearwater Central Catholic enters the contest undefeated following home playoff wins over Holy Trinity in the regional semifinal and John Carroll in the regional final. They played in the state championship game against Trinity Christian two years ago and lost.

Atlantic At Flanagan Preview

     The Atlantic Eagles will travel to Pembroke Pines and face the Flanagan Falcons in Pembroke Pines on Friday night in a Class 8A regional final. It is the first time that both schools will meet each other in a football game.
     Atlantic comes into this game undefeated as they hosted and beat the Wellington Wolverines 34-0 in the regional quarterfinal and the Boca Raton Bobcats 29-14 in the regional semifinal. The Eagles have not been this deep in the FHSAA playoffs for over a decade.
     The Eagles have Shawndarrius Phillips who is their top running back and can execute plays as a quarterback in short yardage circumstances. Running backs Lamar Washington and Jerrod Ferguson are expected to run plays from the backfield to the outside. Quarterback Zavion Thompson usually stays in the pocket and intends to find wide receivers Corey Gammage, Maxel Wells, Samuel St. Surin, Cardarius Gadkin and tight end Ron Ulysse for receptions.
     Flanagan came close to finish undefeated but they lost two games this season by a combined six points to St. Thomas Aquinas and South Plantation. Last year they fell to Columbus in the state semifinal and look to make a return trip to that round.
     The Falcons execute a spread offense and have quarterback Kato Nelson to lead the way. They have previous playoff experience on the team with wide receiver Dredrick Snelson who won two FHSAA Class 5A titles with the American Heritage Patriots in the last two years. Nelson also has wide receiver Jachour Pearson and fullback Tyler Goetz to throw the ball to.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Miami Ratings November 2015

     Miami Sports Radio 56O WQAM-AM stood alone for the third consecutive month and was the highest rated sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region. It was a month that the margin between all three competitors shrunk.
     WQAM matched an accomplishment that they achieved in the same monthly periods from September 2012 until November 2012 when they finished in first place by themselves. The station however dropped from a 1.3 to a 1.2 in November with the disappointment of the University of Miami Hurricanes football season.
     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM did see a bump up in their ratings from a 0.8 to a 0.9 as they closed the gap on the market leader. The return of the NBA season with Miami Heat radio broadcasts has definitely helped along with another month of the audience adjustment to the new program lineup.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM remained flat for the month of November with a 0.4 rating. They still kept their highest numbers in a year for a second straight month due to their longtime stable programming and no broadcasts of Miami Marlins games.

Tommy Hutton Gone From Marlins Telecasts

     Fox Sports Florida and the Miami Marlins have let go television game analyst Tommy Hutton after a reign of 19 seasons. Hutton joined the Florida Marlins television broadcasts in 1997 on SportsChannel Florida and WBFS-TV as he replaced Gary Carter, who worked the first four seasons of the franchise and landed the Montreal Expos television game analyst position.
     The Marlins would go on and win their first World Series championship during Hutton's first season in his new post. He would be part of the television crew when the Marlins won another world championship six years later in 2003.
     Hutton has worked with several television play-by-play announcers in the broadcast booth during his long tenure here which included Joe Angel, Dave O'Brien, Len Kasper and Rich Waltz. He previously did television analyst work with the Montreal Expos, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays before arriving in South Florida.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kings Beat Panthers

     The Florida Panthers remained winless against California teams this season as they fell to the Los Angeles 3-1 at BB&T Center on Monday night. The Cats, who lost their third straight game, are now 1-2-1 in their five-game homestand. The Kings have defeated the Panthers nine of the last 11 times.
     Los Angeles(13-8-0)struck fast at 7:47 of the first period. Milan Lucic carried the puck around the Panthers cage and placed a pass to Tyler Toffoli in the right circle for a one-time slapshot by Al Montoya for a 1-0 lead. It was team-leading 11th goal of the season for Toffoli.
     In the second period, Florida(8-9-4) bounced back with a goal on their second power-play attempt at 5:07. Jaromir Jagr had the puck on the right-wing wall and fed it to Aleksander Barkov at the top of the right circle. He let go of a snap shot which trickled by Jonathan Quick for his third consecutive game with a tally to tie the contest. Jagr tied Nicklas Lidstrom for 11th all-time with 590th  power-play point.
     The Kings regained the lead with 2:44 left in the second. Kyle Clifford fired a shot from the right point which was blocked by Jordan Nolan in the right circle. It rolled to Alec Martinez and he scored against Roberto Luongo on a backhand from the slot area for his third goal this season.
     The third period belonged to Los Angeles as they extended their margin to 3-1 at 1:06. Anze Kopitar send a long lead pass ahead to Marion Garorik. He raced through the right circle to the slot and roofed home a shot for his third goal this season.
 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rangers Hold Off Panthers

     Rick Nash scored a hat trick for the New York Rangers as they outlasted the Florida Panthers 5-4 in overtime on Saturday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers are winless in their last seven games against the Blueshirts and have won twice in the last 13 games versus the Rangers.
     Chris Kreider was able to get a penalty shot for New York(15-3-2) following a breakaway at 7:15 of the first period. He let go a wrist shot in which Roberto Luongo made a stick save.
     The Rangers took a 1-0 lead at 9:08. The Panthers committed a turnover at the top of their zone, Ryan McDonagh passed it down to Rick Nash at the right side of the crease and he roofed a wrist shot. Mats Zuccarello was credited with an assist on the play.
     In the second period, Florida(8-9-3) evened up the contest at 6:46. Jussi Jokinen pushed the puck down the left-wing boards to Brandon Pirri. He sent a cross-ice pass into the high crease where Nick Bjugstad snapped in a shot for his seventh goal of the season.
     Nash picked up his second goal of the game at 15:22 of the second for the Rangers to regain the lead. Zuccarello poked the puck from his own end to Nash in the neutral zone. He skated into the Panthers zone, through the left circle and beat Luongo on the short side.
     The Panthers bounced back with 2:03 left as they scored a goal on their fourth power-play attempt. Reilly Smith was in the right corner and up to Pirri at the top right circle. He blasted a slapshot which was redirected by Jokinen in the slot area over the right shoulder of Henrik Lundqvist for his fifth tally this season.
     Zuccarello compiled his third point of the game when he scored on a one-on-one breakaway with a forehand shot at 10:16 of the third period. Derek Stepan forwarded a lead pass from his zone to Zuccarello at the Panthers blue line.
     The Rangers extended their lead to 4-2 less than two minutes later at 12:14. Oscar Lindberg moved the puck with a backhand pass from the end wall to Viktor Stalberg and he blasted a one-time shot from the slot.
     Florida pulled out an incredible comeback in the final three minutes of regulation to tie the game. They scored on the power play with 2:28 to go when Aleksander Barkov followed in from the left of the crease on a Aaron Ekblad shot from the left point for his fifth goal. Jaromir Jagr put in a wrist shot from the low right circle when the Panthers had an extra attacker with 1:49 left for his 730th career goal, one behind Marcel Dionne for fourth all-time in NHL history.
     Reilly Smith had a chance to win the game for Florida when he was rewarded a penalty shot with 1:42 remaining. He came in slowly and let go a forehand shot which was stopped by Lundqvist.
     In overtime, the Blueshirts were given the man advantage when the Panthers got caught with too many men on the ice at 1:12. Nash powered in a slapshot from the top right circle for his third goal of the game at 2:01.
    

Friday, November 20, 2015

St. Thomas Aquinas Stops Dwyer

     The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders finally walked out of Blum Stadium in Palm Beach Gardens with a 24-7 victory over the Dwyer Panthers on Friday night in a Class 7A regional semifinal. The Raiders had lost as defending state champions in the regional final during their previous two trips there in 2011 and 2013.
     Both schools had captured the last three FHSAA Class 7A state titles. The Raiders had not been eliminated prior to a regional final since 2003. The Panthers lost two of their last three games to end the season.
     After a scoreless first quarter, St. Thomas Aquinas got a 32-yard field goal by James McCourt at 9:00 of the second quarter and took a 3-0 lead.
     Dwyer backup quarterback Eli Mathews fumbled the ball at his 45-yard line  and it was recovered by linebacker Patrick Moody midway through the frame . Running back James Charles finished the drive with a three-yard run across the right side of the line at 5:16.
     The next drive for Aquinas was set up by defensive back Asante Samuel when he intercepted a pass by starting quarterback Toddy Centeio at the Dwyer 30-yard line. STA extended their margin to 17-0 as wide receiver Trevon Grimes caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Allen in the back right side of the end zone with 2:09 to go in the first half.
     Late in the third quarter, Allen lost the ball on a fumble in Panthers territory. Dwyer advanced the ball on that possession into the red zone for the first time in the game. Running back Zach Wilson capped the drive with a touchdown run up the middle from two yards out with 23 seconds left to break the shutout and closed the deficit to ten points.
     It did not take long for the Raiders to answer as running back Jaxson Kincaide broke several tackles and dashed through the middle for an 82-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive with no time remaining in the quarter.
     The Panthers had one more opportunity to put up points with seven minutes remaining in the contest. They were unable to score on a fourth-and-goal from the five-yard line when Centreio fumbled the ball and it was recovered by defensive lineman Colin Nace.

Booker T. Washington At Glades Central Preview

     The Glades Central Raiders will host the defending hree-time FHSAA Class 4A state champions the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes at Effie C. Grear Field on Friday night in a regional final. The Raiders fell to the Tornadoes in the previous two years in the FHSAA playoffs.
     Glades Central have won their last seven games following two straight weeks of road losses in Delray Beach to American Heritage and Atlantic. They finished the regular season with a Muck Bowl victory over Pahokee for the eighth consecutive year and defeated Gulliver Prep in a regional semifinal last week.
     Quarterback James Blackmon will manage the offense and throw the football to all spots on the field. Running back Ja'kevious Vickers is expected to get the abundance of carries for the team. Blackmon looks to connect with wide receivers Devonte Burden, Quantino Allen and Rodney Porter for receptions.
     Booker T. Washington attempts to capture their fourth consecutive state title and they have to do it the hard way. They finished as a district champion with just a .500 record in the regular season and did stop University School last week in a regional semifinal.
     The Tornadoes come out with a spread offense led by quarterback Daniel Richardson. Running back Craig Nelson will get most of the rushes from the backfield. Wide receivers Raymond Flanders, Tyquan Thornton, Gustavious Dames and Darrius Scott are who Richardson looks for to make catches.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ducks Strike Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the second game of a five-game homestand and were defeated by the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. The loss ended a two-game win streak for the Cats while the Ducks won for the second time in their last six games.
     Neither club scored in the first period of the game. Anaheim(7-9-4) outshot the Panthers 15-3 in the first 14 minutes of the contest and had a 16-7 edge after one period.
     In the second period, the Ducks were able to score on their third power-play attempt at 16:39. Ryan Getzlaf moved the puck from the left circle to Corey Perry in the right circle. He sent it to Cam Fowler in the left circle and he snapped a shot through the pads of Roberto Luongo for his third goal of the season. Anaheim had a 33-14 shot advantage over the Panthers after two periods.
     Florida(8-8-3)surrendered a shorthanded goal on their third power play at 14:41 of the third period. Shawn Horcoff laid a cross-ice pass from the right wing to the slot and Andrew Cogliano finished off the play with his second tally this campaign. It was the first shorthanded goal given up by Florida this season.
     The Panthers closed the gap to 2-1 with 3:52 to go when Aleksander Barkov blasted a slapshot from the left circle by Frederik Andersen for his fourth goal this season. Jaromir Jagr was credited with an assist on the feed. Jakob Silfverberg scored an empty-net goal with 1:08 left in regulation to clinch the victory for the Ducks.

American Heritage At Oxbridge Academy Preview

     It will be a rematch between two schools in West Palm Beach on Friday night as the Oxbridge Academy Thunderwolves host the American Heritage Stallions in a Class 3A regional final at William H. Pitt Stadium. The Thunderwolves defeated the Stallions 24-7 earlier this season at The Corral in Delray Beach.
     Following two seasons playing as an independent, Oxbridge Academy(9-2) entered the FHSAA this year and captured the District 7-3A championship. They won their first state playoff game with a 32-24 victory over Chaminade-Madonna in a regional semifinal last week.
     The focal point of their offense is running back Travis Homer, a University of Miami commit, who can break through for a touchdown at anytime. James Meeks and Antavious Lane are other options to hand the ball off to. The Thunderwolves have Angelo Navaroli at quarterback and he will look for wide receivers Trey Green, Traionn Jones, Cade Socha, Jonathan King along with tight end A.J. Garson down the field.
     American Heritage(8-2) lost the FHSAA Class 3A state title game last year to Trinity Christian and finished as a district runner-up this year. They topped Westminster Christian 27-19 on the road last week in a regional semifinal.
     The Stallions are a team this season that will emphasize the run. Running back Devin Singletary is expected get most of the carries from the backfield. Cornelius Smith, a transfer from Dwyer,  D.J. Davis and Alec Sinkfield will see some rushing opportunities. Quarterback Cameron Smith guides the team on offense and can throw short passes to wide receivers Keenan Duggan, Matt Pica and Micah Leon.

Boca Raton At Atlantic Preview

     The Boca Raton Bobcats travel seven miles north on Interstate-95 to Delray Beach for a rematch and take on the Atlantic Eagles in a Class 8A regional semifinal on Friday night. The Eagles held off the Bobcats 21-9 three weeks ago in Boca Raton.
     Atlantic(11-0) went undefeated during the regular season and blanked the Wellington Wolverines 34-0 last week in a regional quarterfinal. It is more impressive considering that they moved up to a higher classification this year and captured the District 10-8A title.
     The Eagles run an ever balance of running and passing plays on offense. They have three running backs that have different styles of play with Shawndarrius Phillips, Lamar Washington and Gerrod Ferguson. Wide receivers Corey Gammage, Samuel St. Surin. Maxel Wells and tight end Ron Ulysse are targets for quarterback Zavion Thompson to connect with.
     Boca Raton(9-2) began the regular season victorious in their first eight games until they fell to Atlantic and Wellington in consecutive weeks. They edged Palm Beach Gardens 27-26 in overtime while on the road in a regional quarterfinal. It was their first FHSAA playoff appearance in six seasons.
     The Bobcats have Phillip Santiago at quarterback and he can run along with throw on any occasion. Running back Bryce Miller, a transfer from American Heritage, will be get the bulk of carries from the backfield. Wide receiver Charles Barnes looks to get open down the field for receptions.

Hallandale At Ameican Heritage Preview

     The Hallandale Chargers will challenge the American Heritage Patriots in a Class 5A regional semifinal on Friday night at Heritage Field in Plantation. They faced each other three weeks ago for the District 15-5A championship and the Patriots were victorious 38-15.
     Hallandale(9-2) moved down in classification this year and finished as a district runner-up. They easily shut out Suncoast 42-0 in West Palm Beach during a regional quarterfinal last week. Their season ended last year with a close loss in a regional semifinal to the eventual FHSAA Class 6A state champions the Miami Central Rockets.
     The Chargers come out in a spread offense and have a well-balanced attack. Quarterback Tyler Huntley can throw the ball anywhere on the field to wide receivers Chris Cotto, Josh Hammond, Korell Evans and Juwan Hardy. Hallandale has two running backs to carry the ball with Zach Moss and Jordan Roberts.
     American Heritage(9-1) is the defending two-time FHSAA Class 5A state champions and have dominated their own district for several years. They blanked Fort Pierce Westwood 43-0 last week in a regional quarterfinal.
     The Patriots have three options to run the ball from the backfield which includes quarterback Jason Brown along with running backs Kyshaun Bryan and Khalil Herbert. Brown will try to connect with wide receivers Brandon Johnson, Nick Eubanks and Laress Nelson for receptions.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Joe Bell In Chattanooga

     Former Beasley Broadcasting Miami executive Joe Bell has joined Brewer Media Group in Chattanooga, Tennessee as market manager. He was recently released by CBS Radio Miami in late July as senior vice president and market manager.
     Bell first arrived in Miami in January of 'O6 as the general manager of Sports Radio 56O WQAM-AM and WKIS-FM. He was later elevated to market manager of Beasley Broadcasting in Miami. Bell was absorbed into CBS Radio when they acquired the three-station Miami cluster in December of last year.
     He was once the executive vice president and general manager of WPTF-AM in Raleigh, North Carolina prior to arriving in Florida. Bell then joined Beasley Broadcasting in Fort Myers as the general manager of WJBX-FM before he worked in Miami.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Panthers Top Lightning

     The Florida Panthers were able to complete the home-and-home sweep with a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night at BB&T Center. Roberto Luongo compiled his 407th career win which tied Glenn Hall for eighth all-time in wins by a goalie. He also collected his 69th career save which leads all active goalies.The Lightning are winless in four of their last five games.
     There was no scoring in the first two periods between both squads. Florida(8-7-3) dominated the first two minutes of the game as they kept the puck in the Lightning zone during that entire time and outshot them 3-0. The rest of the first period belonged to Tampa Bay(8-9-3) as they went on a 13-1 run with shots on goal in the last 18 minutes of play.
     It would come down to the last minute of the third period when Aaron Ekblad fluttered a shot from the top of the zone which deflected off Victor Hedman and into the top of the net with 20.2 seconds left. It was the latest tie-breaking goal by a Florida Panthers since Kristian Huselias on March 28, 2002. He also became the first NHL player to score a tying or go-ahead goal in the final minute of consecutive games since Dany Heatley did it for the Atlanta Thrashers in March 2003. Ekblad, who now has a four-game point streak, scored a tying game two nights ago against the Lightning with 43 seconds left in regulation.

St. Thomas Aquinas At Dwyer Preview

     It will be a battle between two schools that have won the last three FHSAA Class 7A state championships as the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders head to Palm Beach Gardens on Friday night and face the Dwyer Panthers in a regional semifinal at Blum Stadium. It will be the third time in the last five seasons that they will challenge each other on the same field in the postseason.
     The Panthers had previously knocked off the defending state champion Raiders on two different occasions during the Class 7A regional final. Dwyer held on to win 6-3 against Aquinas in 2011 and got by 35-28 in 2013.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(10-1) knocked off the Royal Palm Beach Wildcats for the second consecutive year. Last week they routed them with a 29-0 shutout victory in a regional quarterfinal. STA has impressed with wins over playoff teams such as the Booker T. Washington Tornadoes, Hallandale Chargers and Flanagan Falcons. Their only lost this season was on the road against the Deerfield Beach Bucks by the score of 6-3.
     The Raiders have been successful despite several injuries to some of their top players. Defensive lineman and Ohio State University commit Nick Bosa will not play due to an ACL injury while their original starting quarterback and University of Florida commit Jake Allen is also out.
     Beau Fillichio has stepped out at quarterback and played very well. His main targets are expected to be wide receivers Sam Bruce, Michael Irvin Jr. and James Jenkins. St, Thomas Aquinas are loaded in the backfield with James Charles and Jaxson Kincaide at running back.
     Dwyer(10-1) come into the contest with not that much momentum. They barely got by a two-win team in the Blanche Ely Tigers 16-14 last week in a regional quarterfinal. The team was undefeated for their first nine games until they lost their season finale at home to the Atlantic Eagles 32-21.
     The great news for the Panthers is that wide receiver and University of Florida commit Isaiah Johnson is returning to the lineup following a one-week suspension by the FHSAA. He will be the primary receiver that quarterback Toddy Centeio will throw to. Centeio led Royal Palm Beach to the regional final against the Raiders last year and lost.
     Jakari Moses leads the running attack and is expected to get most of the carries along with Torey Brown. The wide receiver core consists of Noah Mathews, Austin Gold, Wesley Oldham, Oyeh Lurry-Davis and Cameron Jonas.

Panthers Escape Tampa Bay

     Brandon Pirri was the only player to score during a shootout between both teams on Saturday night as the Florida Panthers edged the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 at Amalie Arena. Pirri became the first player in NHL history to score a penalty shot along with a winning shootout goal.
     Pirri gave Florida(7-7-3) a 3-2 lead on his successful penalty shot by Ben Bishop at 4:47 of the second period. The Panthers has an extra attacker along with a power play when Ryan Callahan was called for a delay of game penalty with 43 seconds left in the third period. Aaron Ekblad took a wrist shot which sailed into the Tampa Bay(8-8-3) cage five seconds into the power play to tie the game at 4-4.
     Steven Stamkos was given a penalty shot at 3:09 of overtime. His attempt was stopped by Roberto Luongo and overtime continued. Pirri scored on the first shootout opportunity for the Cast to get the victory.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dwyer Outlasts Blanche Ely

     The Dwyer Panthers were able to barely survive with a 16-14 victory over the Blanche Ely Tigers on Friday night at Blum Stadium in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal. The Tigers scored more points in this contest than they did in their previous two playoff trips to Dwyer which was seven. The Panthers will host the defending state champions the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders next week.
     Dwyer called all running plays down the field during their first possession in the first quarter. It was capped at 7:01 as running back Jakari Moses went through the middle and scored from three yards away for a 7-0 lead.
     Blanche Ely responded immediately following the kickoff from their own 20-yard line as they scored on the first play from scrimmage. Quarterback Zachery Purdue threw a long pass down the right side to wide receiver Thomas Geddis who pulled away from the defense for the touchdown. It would set up a bad omen for the Tigers as they missed the extra point and were down by one point.
     The Panthers extended their margin to 13-6 with 1:24 left in the quarter as Moses caught a l6-yard swing pass on the right side from quarterback Toddy Centeio. He dashed to the front pylon in the end zone and dived in for the score. Dwyer followed by missing their extra point attempt.
     The Tigers cut the deficit to one point with 1:06 remaining in the second quarter. Purdue connected with wide receiver Jeremy Taylor on a slant pattern up the middle for a touchdown from ten yards out.
     Midway through the third quarter, Blanche Ely got a great punt by Arthur Forrest to the Dwyer one-yard line. Centeio was sacked in the end zone for a safety on the next play and Tigers had their first lead of the game 14-13 at 5:26.
     The final quarter was decided by the kickers of both teams. The Tigers were stopped on a 4th-and-5 from the Panthers 20-yard line. Wide receiver Noah Mathews caught a 30-yard catch for Dwyer on the first play of the possession at the 50-yard line. It led to a long field goal by Patrick Trepcos with 8:26 to go in the fourth quarter for a 16-14 lead.
     Blanche Ely had two more opportunities to regain the lead. The first was a missed field goal attempt from 36 yards out with 4:10 remaining. Their final drive was ended when cornerback Kenih Lovely intercepted a pass at his onw 35-yard line with 1:34 left.




Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sabres Lance Panthers

     The Buffalo Sabres held on to defeat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. Buffalo have won five of their last six games as they snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cats. The Panthers are winless in six of their last seven games. Jaromir Jagr appearance in the contest tied Nicklas Lidstrom for tenth all-time in NHL history with 1,564 games played.
     Buffalo(8-8-0) waited until late in the first period to get on the scoreboard. Matt Moulson was able to connect a pass from the end wall to Brian Gionta inside the right circle. He snapped a shot by Roberto Luongo with 31.5 seconds left for his first tally of the year.
     In the second period, the Sabres had a goal disallowed at 6:33. Tyler Ennis went around Dave Bolland in the low right circle and stuffed in a shot from the side of the crease. The Panthers challenged the goal because Ennis was offside when Buffalo entered the offensive zone.
     Florida(6-7-3) continued the momentum as they scored on their third power-play attempt at 9:35. Jagr had the puck on the right-wing wall and centered it to Nick Bjugstad in the low left circle. He passed it to Jonathan Huberdeau at the top of the crease and he scored his first goal of the season by Linus Ullmark. Jagr passed Teemu Selanne for 12th place in NHL history with his 589th power-play point on the play.
     The Sabres scored a goal in the final 70 seconds for the second straight frame. Cody Franson buried a shot from the slot area with 1:07 remaining for his second goal with his new club to give them
     Buffalo got their first chance with the man advantage early in the third period and they made the most of it and extended their margin to 3-1. Ennis waited for a long time on the right wing before he fired a slapshot which was deflected into the Panthers cage by Sam Reinhart in the crease area at 3:38. It was the third career NHL goal by Reinhart.
     The Panthers cut the deficit down to 3-2 with four minutes left. Aaron Ekblad rocketed a slapshot from the top of the zone and it was redirected by Vincent Trocheck in the low slot for his seventh goal.

Blanche Ely At Dwyer Preview

     The Blanche Ely Tigers will travel up to Palm Beach Gardens and face the Dwyer Panthers on Friday night at Blum Stadium in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal. Both schools have met in the FHSAA playoffs on two other occasions in recent years. The Panthers had two home victories which included a 28-0 shutout win in 2011 during a regional quarterfinal and a 49-7 rout during a regional semifinal in 2013.
     After missing the postseason last year following their Class 7A state championship in 2013, Dwyer won the District 13-7A title this year. The Panthers were undefeated through nine games until they lost at home last week to the Atlantic Eagles 32-21.
     Quarterback Toddy Centeio will lead the way for the Panthers on offense. He was the starting quarterback for the Royal Palm Wildcats the previous two seasons and helped that school win the District 13-7A last year. They lost in the regional final on the road to the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders. He transferred to Dwyer during the off-season.
     Centeio has adjusted his style from a pass first, run second quarterback with the Wildcats to a pocket passer with the Panthers this season. The team has a capable backup quarterback in Eli Matthews who filled in as a starter for several games.
     Dwyer will have only one running back in the backfield as Jakari Moses will be on almost all rushing opportunities. The main target for Centeio to connect with is wide receiver Isaiah Johnson, who is a University of Florida commit. Wide receivers Noah Matthews, Austin Gold, Oyeh Lurry-Davis and Wesley Oldham can make an occasional reception. The Panthers play a five-man offensive line with no tight end involved.
     Blanche Ely had a underachieving regular season with just two wins and finished as District 14-7A runner-up. Their two victories came down to the wire. They intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the final minute against the Fort Lauderdale Flying L's for a district win. They captured the Soul Bowl last week at Lockhart Stadium against longtime rival Dillard 18-12 on the final play of the game when they stopped the Panthers on an incomplete pass in the end zone.
     The Tigers run a similar spread offense as Dwyer does without a tight end in formation. Quarterback Zachery Purdue will guide Blanche Ely with running back Arthur Forrest to get most of the carries from the backfield. Wide receiver Thomas Geddis will be hard for Dwyer to contain and will get his share of receptions. Demeterice Bellamy converted from running back to slot receiver this season and has helped on short plays while wide receiver Jeremy Taylor can make some catches.

Wellington At Atlantic Preview

     The Atlantic Eagles will host the Wellington Wolverines on Friday night at Delray Beach in a Class 8A regional quarterfinal. Both schools faced each other on the same field during opening week and the Eagles blasted to Wolverines 49-7.
     Atlantic remained undefeated last week as they went on the road and stopped Dwyer 32-21 in a battle of the only unbeaten teams in Palm Beach County. The Eagles moved up to a higher classification this year and captured the District 10-8A championship.
     The Eagles execute a well-balanced offensive attack of running and passing. Running back Shawndarrius Phillips is expected to get a larger amount of carries and can step in as quarterback in short-yardage situations. Lamar Washington, Jerrod Ferguson and  Dontavius Monroe are his cohorts in the backfield who all like to break runs to the outside. Quarterback Zavion Thompson will have a slew of wide receivers to throw to which includes Corey Gammage, Samuel St. Surin, Maxel Wells and Cardarius Gaskin along with tight end Ron Ulysse.
     Wellington finished as a runner-up to Palm Beach Gardens in District 9-8A and did edge Boca Raton 24-21 a week ago. Last year was the best season in school history as they advanced all the way to the regional final led by quarterback Shannon Fitzpatrick, who had transferred from Forest Hill.
     The Wolverines had a duplicate strategy this year on offense when quarterback Blake Dever transferred from St. Thomas Aquinas during the off-season. Wide receiver Ahmmon Richards can score from anywhere on the field should he make a reception. Other wide receivers for Dever to connect with includes Austin Gilman and Chris Atkinson. Running back Marc-Antony Richards looks to advance the ball from the backfield.    

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Heat Beat Kobe-Less Lakers

     The Miami Heat had no problems in their 101-88 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena. They were short a number of players on the roster due to the Mario Chalmers trade to the Memphis Grizzlies earlier in the day. The Heat have now gone 11-1 in the last 12 games between both clubs.
     The game will probably be more remembered for Kobe Bryant not being dressed for the contest. It is expected to be his final season in the NBA. He did not play in the last two games held in South Florida. Bryant last played in Miami back in February 2013.

Kevin Rogers Returns To WQAM

     Kevin Rogers has rejoined Miami Sports Radio 56O WQAM-AM as of this week. He will be assigned as a backup studio host for University of Miami basketball and Florida Panthers game broadcasts.
     The station needed an additional host for Alex Donno who has been the main studio host for both teams. There has been several conflicts over the two months because both University of Miami and the Florida Panthers games have shared the same broadcast time periods.
     Rogers had a long reign at WQAM from 2008 until August 2014. He was the evening host on the station and added duties as the studio host of the Florida Panthers Radio Network in September 2010.
     He still continues as a writer and handicapper for VegasInsider.com. Rogers did hold positions as a weekend news anchor on News Talk 6lO WIOD-AM and a fill-in sports host on Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM from October 2014 to January 2015 between his two stints with WQAM.  
     Rogers, a Florida State University grad, began his professional broadcasting career at KCSP-AM in Kansas City as a sports host before he moved to Miami. Rogers joined Sports Talk 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM in the mid-2000s. He worked as a late night host, evening host, late morning host and Florida Panthers studio host during his reign there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Panthers Fire On Flames

     The Florida Panthers began a stretch of seven of their next eight games at home with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames at BB&T Center on Tuesday night. The Cats snapped a five-game winless streak in the process. The loss ended a season-long two-game win streak for the Flames.
     Florida(6-6-3) scored on their second power play of the contest at 5:16 of the first period. Jussi Jokinen fired the puck on net from the left wing and Vincent Trocheck swept in and popped in the rebound over Karri Ramo for his sixth goal of the season.
     Calgary(5-10-1) answered quickly at 7:13 to tie the game l-l. Joe Colborne raced in on the right side and attempted a snap shot which was blocked by Aaron Ekblad. David Jones followed up on the bounce and scored on a slapshot from the high slot against Roberto Luongo.
     The Panthers regained the lead at l5:43 of the first. Jokinen won the faceoff in the left circle and it was passed back to Alex Petrovic at the left point. His shot was saved and Reilly Smith scored on a backhand shot in the low slot for his fifth tally this year.
     The Cats made it a two-goal margin at 3:53 of the second period. Jonathan Huberdeau cycled the puck from the end wall to Jaromir Jagr at the right-circle dot. He sent a cross-ice pass to Ekblad in the left circle and he finished it off with a one-time shot into a half-empty net.
     The Flames fought back to close the deficit at 6:35. Matt Stajan connected a lead pass to Jones for a one-on-one breakaway. He skated in and released a wrist shot from the slot area for his second goal of the game.
     Calgary would score on their first power-play attempt with 1:28 left in the second. T.J. Brodie lifted a slapshot from the right point which was stopped. Jiri Hudler tried to whack the puck in from the crease then Sean Monahan followed in with a goal.
     In the third period, Jagr got the game-winning goal at 8:11 for his seventh of the season and 729th of his NHL career. Nick Bjugstad passed the puck from high in the zone to Jagr who slipped it off the right post and into the Flames net. Jagr compiled his 130th career game-winning goal which is first all-time in NHL history.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Kings Roll Over Panthers

     The Florida Panthers ended a three-game west coast road trip with a 4-l loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday at Staples Center. The Panthers were winless on the road swing and have not won a game in their last five.
     Florida was able to get their only lead of the contest with less than one minute left in the first period. Jonathan Huberdeau beat Jake Muzzin to the puck at the top of the Panthers zone and sent a breakout pass to center ice. Nick Bjugstad skated into the Kings zone, went to the top right circle and snapped a shot by Jonathan Quick for his fifth goal of the season and made it l-O.
     The second period belonged to Los Angeles and they rallied with three goals in a four-minute time span. Jeff Carter got his seventh goal this year as his one-time slapshot from the left circle beat Roberto Luongo following a pass from the high slot by Tyler Toffoli.
     The Kings added a power-play goal as they cycled the puck around the Panthers zone. A Toffoli pass from the right circle went to Muzzin on top and relayed it to Drew Doughty in the top left circle for a one-timer and his first tally this season. LA made it a two-goal gap when Dustin Brown carried the puck through the slot area, pushed it ahead to Anze Kopitar and he scored from the top of the crease.
     In the third period, Milan Lucic picked up his third goal with his new club midway through the frame. Carter stopped the puck at the right-wing boards, quickly moved it to the Lucic in the slot and he redirected it into the Panthers cage.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Blanche Ely Holds Off Dillard In Soul Bowl

     It came down to the final play of the game for the Blanche Ely Tigers to survive the Dillard Panthers 18-12 in the annual Soul Bowl held at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night. The Tigers have won six of the last seven Soul Bowls against the Panthers.
     Blanche Ely had the only score in the first quarter when defensive end Trevor Goodwin intercepted a pass by Dillard quarterback Anthony "Mo" Hasam and returned it 5O yards for a touchdown and a 6-O lead.
     Early in the second quarter, the Panthers tied the contest at 6-6 when running back George Golden rolled up the middle with a two-yard touchdown run.
     Tigers linebacker David Blanchard recovered a fumble when Panthers punt returner Jordan Merrell lost the ball near midfield. Blanche Ely capitalized on the situation with just a couple of minutes left in the first half as running back Arthur Forrest busted through the right side of the line for a touchdown from one yard out.
     In the third quarter, Forrest extended their margin to a twelve-point gap with 5:55 to go as he rushed into the middle of the Tigers defense for a two-yard touchdown.
     Dillard dominated the final quarter and almost came back to win. Golden scored his second touchdown of the game on a three-yard run with under ten minutes remaining and closed the deficit to six points. The Panthers had one final shot on the last play of the game when Hasan threw an incomplete pass into the end zone from inside the eight-yard line.
     Both schools will be on the road for the first round of the FHSAA playoffs on Friday. Blanche Ely travels up to Palm Beach Gardens and face the Dwyer Panthers at Blum Stadium. Dillard heads for Traz Powell Stadium in Miami to challenge the Carol City Chiefs.