Saturday, May 30, 2015

Strikers Tie Scorpions In Title Rematch

     It was a rematch of the 2014 NASL Soccer Bowl on Saturday night at Toyota Field as the Fort Lauderdale Strikers tied the San Antonio Scorpions 1-1. Both clubs last met each other on the same pitch back in November where the Strikers lost 2-1 in the championship game.
     San Antonio(2-5-2) got out to a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute when midfielder Joseph Nane scored on a 17-yard shot. Fort Lauderdale(2-5-2) evened it up before the end of the first half during the 43rd minute as forward Stefano Pinho put the ball into an open net from close range.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Jacoby Brissett On Magazine Cover

     Former Dwyer and current North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett is on the front cover of Athlon Sports ACC magazine. It will be distributed mainly in the North Carolina region.
     He played four seasons with the Dwyer Panthers and helped the school win their first FHSAA championship in 2009. He was part of the same team along with other future NFL players Matt Elam and Nick O'Leary.
     Brissett played two seasons as a backup quarterback at the University of Florida in 2011 and 2012. He left the Gators in 2013 and transferred to North Carolina State University. He got the starting quarterback spot as a redshirt junior with the Wolfpack in 2014 as he completed 221 passes for 2,606 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Joseph Yearby On Magazine Cover

     University of Miami Hurricanes running back Joseph Yearby appears on the national edition cover of Lindy's college football magazine. It will be mainly distributed throughout the state of Florida. He shares the front cover with former high school teammate and current Florida State running back Dalvin Cook.
     Yearby played high school football with the Miami Central Rockets where he helped them capture three FHSAA Class 6A state titles in 2010, 2012 and 2013 along with being a state finalist in 2011. He had 2,160 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns as a sophomore then had 1,448 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior and 1,700 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior.
     He was a backup running back to Duke Johnson in 2014 and is expected to get the bulk of the carries from the backfield for the 2015 season. Yearby had 86 carries for 509 rushing yards and one touchdown during his freshman year with the Hurricanes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Alex Collins On Magazine Covers

     University of Arkansas running back Alex Collins will get more national exposure for the upcoming 2015 season as he will show up on two different magazine covers. He will appear on the cover of Phil Steele's SEC magazine and the Arkansas regional SEC cover for Athlon Sports. Collins, who appeared on Lindy's regional SEC front cover in Arkansas last year, will be a true junior for the Razorbacks this season after having an impact as a freshman and sophomore starter from the backfield.
     He played high school football with the South Plantation Paladins and helped the team reach the FHSAA playoffs in 2011 and 2012. Collins rushed for 1,728 yards and 28 touchdowns during his junior season and had 1,400 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior.

William Likely On Magazine Cover

     Athlon Sports will have University of Maryland cornerback, kickoff returner and punt returner William Likely on the magazine cover of their Big Ten edition. He has made an impact as a member of the Terrapins for the last two seasons. Last year as a sophomore he was tied for most interceptions in the Big Ten Conference with six. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns which tied for most in all of the FBS during 2014.
     Likely played his high school football with the Glades Central Raiders for four years from 2009 until 2012. He led them to the FHSAA regional final every season and to several district titles. He played numerous positions with the team that included running back, wide receiver, cornerback, kickoff returner and punt returner.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Strikers Shut Out By Carolina

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers returned home to Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night and were blanked by the Carolina RailHawks 1-0. Fort Lauderdale(2-4-2) was held scoreless for the third straight game. The Strikers lost last week at Tampa Bay 1-0 and played to a 0-0 home tie three weeks ago against Atlanta. It was also the first win by Carolina(2-2-4) ever in Fort Lauderdale.
     Tiyi Shipalane scored the long goal for the RailHawks during the 44th minute as his shot went by former Carolina goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald. Former Strikers midfielder Mark Anderson made his return to Fort Lauderdale after playing with the Strikers from 2012 to 2014 where he compiled 19 goals in 65 games.

Marlins Outlast Orioles

     The Miami Marlins played in one of the longest combined scoreless games in franchise history as they edged the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 in 13 innings at Marlins Park on Saturday night. It was the first time in 267 games at their new stadium that Fish were in a scoreless nine-inning game.
     Marlins manager Dan Jennings got his first win as a major league skipper with the victory. Miami(17-27) won the contest after they lost their previous eight games on this homestand. 
     After Orioles relief pitcher Brian Matusz was thrown out of the game for using a foreign substance on his right arm during the 11th inning, Baltimore(19-21) surrendered the winning run in the bottom of the 13th.  Martin Prado knocked in Adeiny Hechavarria with a two-out single into right-center against T.J. McFarland.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Miami To Get NASL Franchise

     The North American Soccer League has announced that the city of Miami will receive an expansion franchise. It is expected that the club to be named Miami FC will play their first NASL season in 2016. The new team will have former AC Milan/Italy defender and 2006 World Cup champion Paolo Maldini as part of the ownership group. Antonio Barreto will be the chief executive officer of the new franchise.
     There will be a slew of South Florida soccer teams in competition with each other in the local area. The Fort Lauderdale Strikers have been in the NASL since 2011 and play their games at Lockhart Stadium. Their name was Miami FC from 2006 until 2010 and played their home games at different venues in Dade County. Former England and Manchester United midfielder David Beckham was rewarded a Major League Soccer franchise last year and is expected to begin their first season in 2016.

Dalvin Cook On Magazine Cover

     The annual college football magazines began to roll out this week. The first former local high school football player to appear on a magazine cover is Florida State University running back Dalvin Cook. He is on the magazine cover of Athlon Sports for ACC football, the Florida region of Lindy's national edition and the Florida region of The Sporting News national edition.
     He played high school football alongside current University of Miami Hurricanes running back Joseph Yearby with the Miami Central Rockets. They captured three FHSAA Class 6A state championships in 2010, 2012 and 2013. They also lost the state title game in 2011. During his senior year, Cook received the Florida Mr. Football Award as he had 177 carries for 1,940 yards and 24 touchdowns.
     Cook played his freshman year with the Seminoles in 2014 as he compiled 1,008 yards on 170 carries and eight touchdowns. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 ACC Championship Game when he had a career-high 177 yards on 31 carries and one touchdown against Georgia Tech.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Diamondbacks Dump Marlins

     Dan Jennings will have to wait another day for his first win as a major league manager with a Miami Marlins 4-2 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at Marlins Park. The Fish have lost the first five games of a ten-game homestand.
     Marlins starting pitcher Tom Koehler surrendered two runs to Arizona(17-21) in the top of the fourth. David Peralta scored on a throwing error by Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon with two outs. Yasmany Tomas would cross the plate on the ensuing play when Nick Ahmed reached base on a bunt toward the left side of the diamond.
     Miami(16-24) bounced back in the sixth inning with a two-run homer by Giancarlo Stanton to left field with one out. It was his 12th home run of the season. Gordon opened the frame with an infield hit against D-backs starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.
     Relief pitcher Mike Dunn came into the game in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks greeted him with two runs. Mark Trumbo led off with a single into center field. After Paul Goldschmidt struck out, A.J. Pollock came up as a pinch-hitter and drove the first pitch down the left-field line as it barely went over the wall for a two-run home run and an Arizona 4-2 lead.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jennings First Loss As Marlins Lose

     After getting only two hits during the ninth inning in a game on Sunday and a managerial change, the Miami Marlins were defeated by the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 in 13 innings on Monday night at Marlins Park. It was the first game for Marlins new manager Dan Jennings who replaced Mike Redmond earlier in the day.
     Arizona(16-21) moved ahead by two runs in the fourth inning off Marlins starting pitcher Dan Haren. Ender Inciarte started off with a single to center and A.J. Pollack flew out to left. Paul Goldschmidt was able to reach first base on an infield hit. Yasmany Tomas followed with a two-run double into deep center field to drive in Inciarte and Goldschmidt.
     In the seventh inning, J.T. Realmuto connected with his first major league home run against Diamondbacks starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa to help Miami(16-23) tie the contest at 2-2. Justin Bour led off with a base hit to center field then Realmuto smacked a 1-1 pitch over the left-field wall.
     The Diamondbacks untied it during the 13th inning when David Peralta doubled to right field with two outs and Chris Owings scored from third for the go-ahead run.

Dan Jennings New Marlins Manager

     The Miami Marlins have named their general manager Dan Jennings as the new manager for the franchise on Monday. He replaces Mike Redmond who was fired Sunday following a 6-0 shutout loss at home against the Atlanta Braves.
     Redmond had been the Marlins manager since November 2012 and compiled a 155-207 in more than two seasons on the job. His team finished fifth in 2013 with 62-100 record, fourth in 2014 at 77-85 and was in fourth place this year at 16-22 in the National League East.
     Jennings has held the post as the Marlins general manager since September 2013. He has been involved in professional baseball for 31 years. Jennings was the Marlins vice president of player personnel from 2002 until September 2007, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays scouting director from 1995 to 2002 and the Marlins assistant general manager from September 2007 to September 2013. He has no prior managerial experience in major league baseball and the minor leagues. He did once manage a high school team in Alabama over thirty years ago.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rowdies Blank Strikers

     It was the first game of the Florida Derby as the Tampa Bay Rowdies shut out the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 1-0 at Al Lang Stadium on Saturday night. Fort Lauderdale(2-3-1) remains tied for sixth place in the NASL while Tampa Bay(3-1-3) jumped up to second place with the victory.
     Both clubs will meet two more times this season to determine who wins the Coastal Cup. The Strikers captured it last year after the Rowdies won it in the previous four seasons.
     The only goal of the match was scored by Tampa Bay early in the second half of play. Robert Hernandez was able to put in the game-winning goal during the 56th minute.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Anita Marks At ESPN New York

     Former South Florida sports host Anita Marks has joined ESPN New York WEPN-FM in New York City as a Sunday midday host and weekday sports anchor. She will begin her new position on May 17. Marks is leaving NBC Sports Radio Network where she has been the weekend midday host since the network launched in January 2013.
     Marks, a Miami native, was a quarterback in the Women's Professional Football League from 2000 until 2004. She began her broadcasting career as an intern and sports producer at WFOR-TV Channel 4. She then joined 940 Fox Sports Radio WRFX-AM as a morning co-host with Carl Foster. Both of them went to 1400 The Fan WFLL-AM when it flipped to a sports talk format in April 2004. She moved to the afternoon shift in early 2006 and held it for several months. Marks left 1400 The Fan in May 2006 one month before the station changed its format again.
     She joined ESPN 1300 WJFK-AM in Baltimore as an afternoon host. She gained Scott Garceau as a co-host when the show was moved to sister-station 105.7 The Fan WJZ-FM. It was later picked up for a television simulcast on Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Her last show on that station was in January 2010.
     Marks returned to Miami in February 2010 when she and Curtis Stevenson replaced Jim Mandich as the afternoon co-hosts on Sports Radio 560 WQAM. The show just lasted for a couple of months and she was let go in June 2010. She got a national platform for the first time as a sideline reporter for United Football League broadcasts on Versus from 2009 to 2010.
     This led to a career jump to the New York City media market where she has held several positions. She was named a reporter for New York then added duties at Sirius XM Radio as a sports reporter, NFL channel sportscaster and a fantasy football afternoon show co-host. Marks also did television work for MSG Network as a studio co-host for the New York Giants weekly football show.
     She later became the studio co-host for pregame and post-game shows on the New York Giants Radio Network. Their flagship station, Sports Radio 66 WFAN-AM hired her to occasionally host weekend and late night shows in 2012. Marks was a studio host on CBS Sports Network for That Other Pregame Show in 2014.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Giancarlo Stanton Tape Measure Home Run

     Giancarlo Stanton hit a 475-foot home run over the left-field pavilion and out of Dodger Stadium in the first inning as the Miami Marlins were routed by the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-1 on Tuesday night. The Dodgers extended their win streak to five games and improved to 15-2 at home this year.
     Stanton became just the fourth player to hit a ball out of that ballpark in its 53-year history. Willie Stargell accomplished it with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1969 and 1973, then Mike Piazza did it for the Dodgers in 1997 and current Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire hit one out for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999.
     Stanton came to the plate for Miami (15-19) with two outs in the top of the first and blasted a 0-1 pitch from Mike Bolsinger for his eighth homer of the season. In spite of that highlight, Bolsinger would go on to compile his second major league career win in this contest.
     Los Angeles(22-10) jumped over the Fish with two solo home runs in consecutive innings against Dan Haren. Howie Kendrick got his fourth homer of the year on the first pitch of the bottom of the third as he took it to right field. Andre Ethier began the fourth inning with a solo shot to center field on a 1-1 pitch for his fifth round-tripper of the season.
     In the fifth inning, the Dodgers poured it on and expanded the gap to 6-1. Jimmy Rollins got a lead-off single to left-center, went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground out to second by Kendrick. After Adrian Gonzalez was hit by a pitch on his left foot, Alex Guerrero drove in Rollins with a double off the top of the left-field wall and Gonzalez advanced to third. Yasmani Grandal then ripped a two-run single up the middle of the diamond for Gonzalez and Guerrero to score and made it 5-1. Ethier followed with a single to right field and the Marlins decided to take out Haren and replace him with Brad Hand. Grandal would score on a double to left field by Scott Van Slyke.
     The Marlins fell further behind as Los Angeles added another five runs in the bottom of the sixth as they put together four straight hits to start the inning. Rollins singled to left and Kendrick reached base on an infield hit. Gonzalez doubled down the left-field line to score Rollins then Guerrero dumped a single into left to bring in Kendrick. After Grandal walked, Ethier had a broken-bat single into shallow center field which drove in Gonzalez and Guerrero on the play.
     The Fish made a double switch and brought in Nick Masset to pitch and Ichiro Suzuki to play in left field for Christian Yelich. Van Slyke capped the frame with a sacrifice fly to center as Grandal scored for a Dodgers 11-1 margin.

Miami Ratings April 2015

     104.3 The Ticket WAXY-FM ended up being the top sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region for the 20th consecutive month. Their nearest competitor did close the gap slightly.
     It has been a tough year for South Florida sports fans in which the Miami Heat and the Florida Panthers both missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. If you add the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Marlins not playing a postseason game during the past twelve months then it means that all four local professional franchises failed to be in a playoff game for the first time since 2002.
     104.3 The Ticket dropped down from a 1.7 to a 1.6 in April. It was the same rating they had back in January and February. The Miami Heat did battle it out until the final week for a postseason berth.
     Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM saw a bump up in their numbers as they moved from a 0.9 to a 1.1 during this month. The station returned to their benchmark that they held back in January. The performance by the University of Miami Hurricanes basketball team getting to the NIT Final did help.
     It was same story for 940 Miami Sports WINZ-AM as they remained flat for the third straight month with a 0.2 in April. Even with the influx of transactions made during the off-season by the Miami Marlins, the team began the regular season with a tough first two weeks.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dodgers Top Marlins

     The Miami Marlins continued their long trip on the west coast as they blew a lead in the ninth inning for second straight game and fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. It was the first of a three-game set between the clubs. It was also the first game for Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon against his former team. The Dodgers, who improved to 14-2 at home this year, now have a four-game winning streak.
     In the fourth inning, Los Angeles(21-10) got out to the lead against Tom Koehler. Howie Kendrick doubled to deep right field with one out and advanced to third on a shallow base hit into center by Adrian Gonzalez. Justin Turner then grounded into a fielder's choice for Kendrick to score for a 1-0 lead.
     Marcell Ozuna came to the plate for Miami(15-18) with one out in the top of the seventh and blasted the first pitch from Zack Greinke over the left-center field wall to tie the game. It was his third home run of the season and his third homer in the last five games.
     The Dodgers didn't take long to regain the lead in the bottom of the frame. Nick Masset came in to replace Koehler on the mound for the Fish. Scott Van Slyke singled into left field with one out and moved to second on a rare fielding error by 2014 Gold Glove winner Christian Yelich. Two batters later, Joc Pederson got a base hit up the middle for Van Slyke to cross the plate.
     Yimi Garcia was unable to hold the lead in the ninth inning for Los Angeles. After Giancarlo Stanton struck out, Ozuna got to first on a walk. Yelich redeemed himself with a two-run homer to left field on the first pitch for the Marlins to pull ahead 3-2.
     Los Angeles responded with three runs in the bottom of the ninth as Marlins closer Steve Cishek blew the save for the second consecutive game and the fourth time this season. Yasmani Grandal walked with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Kike Hernandez. Andre Ethier singled to right-center and Hernandez moved one base over. Van Slyke followed with a three-run homer to center field on a 1-0 pitch for the walk-off victory. It was his second walk-off home run in his career with his previous one on September 10, 2013 against Arizona.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Giants Come Back On Marlins

     The Miami Marlins blew a ninth-inning lead and were defeated by the San Francisco Giants 3-2 at AT&T Park on Sunday. Both teams split the four-game set over the weekend. The Marlins will stay on the west coast and play their next three games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
     Miami(15-17) began the scoring with a two-out rally against Ryan Vogelsong during the fourth inning. Christian Yelich singled to center field and later stole second. Michael Morse burned his former team with a ground-rule double into right-center field to give the Fish a 1-0 lead.
     In the sixth inning, San Francisco(16-16) evened it up with one run off Mat Latos. Nori Aoki led off with a single to left, stole second and advanced to third on a ground out to short by Matt Duffy. Two batters later, Brandon Belt knocked in Aoki with a base hit to left field.
     Sergio Romo entered the game for Vogelsong in the eighth inning and the Marlins regained the lead. Justin Bour got a base hit to left with one out then Dee Gordon doubled to right as Miami put two runners in scoring position. Donovan Solano pinch ran for Bour and scored on a wild pitch.
     Steve Cishek was asked to close the game for the Fish and he blew a save situation for the third time this season. Andrew Susac singled to right field with one out and was replaced by Joaquin Arias as a pinch-runner. Gregor Blanco then doubled to the right-field wall and Arias went to third. Buster Posey was called upon to pinch-hit for Casey McGehee and he was intentionally walked to load the bases. After another pinch-hitter Angel Pagan struck out, Aoki walked and Arias crossed the plate to tie it at 2-2. Duffy picked up the game-winning hit with a single into right field to score Blanco.

Marlins Take Giants

     In spite of striking out 15 times, the Miami Marlins were able to get by the San Francisco Giants 6-2 at AT&T Park on Saturday night. It was just the fourth time in franchise history that the Fish struck out at least 13 times in a nine inning game. Giants stating pitcher Madison Bumgarner took the loss as he had ten strikeouts and allowed three runs on five hits.
     Marcell Ozuna hit a home run for the second time in three games during the fourth inning for Miami(15-16). San Francisco(15-16) gave up two more runs in the frame. J.T. Realmuto followed with a walk then scored on a double to left field by Jeff Baker. After Michael Morse grounded out to short, Adeiny Hechavarria knocked in Baker with a double into deep right field.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Giants Slam Marlins

      The Miami Marlins ran into an avalanche as they fell to the San Francisco Giants 6-0 at AT&T Park on Friday night. Former Marlin third baseman Casey McGehee received the 2014 Comeback Player of the Year Award prior to the game. Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum pitched six shutout innings, struck out eight and allowed three hits. The Marlins were shut out for the third time this season.
     San Francisco(15-15) jumped on Jarred Cosart in the second inning. Buster Posey led off with a single into left-center field and advanced to third when Brandon Belt connected with double off the left field wall. After Justin Maxwell walked to load the bases, Brandon Crawford struck out. McGehee came up and blasted a grand slam home run to center field on a 3-1 pitch for his second homer this season. He had just four home runs when he played for the Fish last year.
     Brad Hand entered the game for Miami(14-16) in the bottom of the fifth and he surrendered one run. Posey started with a walk and Belt then singled to right. Maxwell knocked in Posey with an RBI-single into right field to make it 5-0.
     The Giants extended their lead during the seventh inning against Nick Masset. Posey walked and Belt singled off the glove of Michael Morse at first base. Maxwell placed a base hit through the hole on the left side and Posey scored.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Marlins Knock Off Champion Giants

     The Miami Marlins began the first game of a four-game series in San Francisco and defeated the defending world champion Giants 7-2 at AT&T Park on Thursday night. The Fish are now 12-3 in their last 15 games at that facility. Marlins first baseman Michael Morse was honored prior to the game as he received his World Series ring from the Giants.
     In the second inning, Miami(14-15) compiled together three runs against Tim Hudson. Adeiny Hechavarria singled to right field with two out which moved J.T. Realmuto to third. Dan Haren followed with a two-run double into the right-center field gap for Realmuto and Hechavarria to score. Dee Gordon then lined a double down the left-field line and Haren crossed the plate to make it 3-0.
     The Fish extended their margin to four runs during the top of the fifth. Haren led off with a base hit to left and advanced to second on a Gordon ground out to the pitcher. Martin Prado got a single into right-center field and Haren went to third. Giancarlo Stanton would hit a sacrifice fly to center and Haren scored on the play.
     The Marlins made it 6-0 in the top of the seventh as Marcell Ozuna smashed a two-run homer on a 1-1 count with two out for his first home run of the season. Prado had hit a single to left two batters earlier.
     San Francisco(14-15) finally got to Haren in the bottom of the frame. Buster Posey single to center field and advanced to third on double by Brandon Belt into right. Posey then scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Maxwell to deep right-center field. After Brandon Crawford flew out to right, Matt Duffy drove in Belt with an RBI-double to right field to cut the margin down to 6-2.
     Miami added another run in the ninth inning against Jeremy Affeldt. Gordon started with a lead-off single to left and moved to second on a Prado ground out to shortstop. Stanton then knocked in Gordon with a base hit into left field.

Bryce Harper Three Homers Down Marlins

     Washington outfielder Bryce Harper had a career day on Wednesday as he smashed three home runs for a 7-5 Nationals victory over the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Miami(13-15) heads out west to play four games against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants this weekend.
     Harper homered in his first three at-bats then flew out during the seventh inning. He was trying to be the first player in major league baseball to hit four home runs in a game since Josh Hamilton did it for the Texas Rangers against the Baltimore Orioles on May 8, 2012.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Latos First Win For Marlins

     Following a thirty-minute rain stoppage to delay the start of the game, Mat Latos collected his first win with the Marlins as Miami edged the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Tuesday night at Nationals Park. The Nats were held to only three hits while the Fish had six hits in the contest.
     Both teams scored during the second inning as Miami(13-14) put up two runs in the top of the frame. J.T. Realmuto led off with a triple to left field then scored on a base hit by Ichiro Suzuki into shallow left. After Adeiny Hechavarria walked, Latos laid down a sacrifice bunt in front of the mound. Stephen Strasburg picked it up and sent a bad throw to first and was charged with an error. Suzuki rounded third and scored on that play for a Marlins 2-0 lead.
     Washington(13-15) cut the margin down to 2-1 in the bottom of the second. Ryan Zimmerman started with a walk and advanced to third on a double to right field by Wilson Ramos. Two batters later, former Marlin Dan Uggla grounded out to third for Zimmerman to cross the plate.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NFL Draft Recap On Local Players

     The 2015 NFL Draft concluded over the weekend with several players with South Florida ties selected between the second round and seventh round. Prior to that, three local players who were picked in the first round of the draft included Amari Cooper of Miami Northwestern, Ereck Flowers of Norland and Phillip Dorsett of St. Thomas Aquinas.
     University of Miami running back Duke Johnson was selected by the Cleveland Browns during the third round. Prior to joining the Hurricanes, Johnson helped the Norland Vikings win the Class 5A state championship in 2011.
     Wide receiver Rashad Greene gets the opportunity of playing football on three different levels in the state of Florida. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round. Greene played for the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders as he won two national titles in 2008 and 2010 along with two FHSAA state titles in those same years. He moved on to the Florida State Seminoles where he captured the NCAA national championship in 2013.
     His high school and college teammate offensive lineman Bobby Hart was picked up by the New York Giants during the seventh round and he compiled the same honors as Greene in 2010 and 2013. He began high school at Cardinal Gibbons and later transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas.
     The Oakland Raiders added an offensive lineman from the Hurricanes as they got Joe Feliciano in the fourth round. He played his high school football with the Western Wildcats.
     The Canes had linebacker Denzel Perryman, who once played for Coral Gables, selected by the San Diego Chargers in the second round as the 48th overall pick while defensive lineman Anthony Chickillo was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round.
     Palm Beach County was represented by three players that played tight end who were drafted. The Glades Central Raiders and University of Miami Hurricanes tight end Clive Walford was taken by the Oakland Raiders during the third round.
     Two tight ends that once played for the Dwyer Panthers were chosen as Nick O'Leary and Gerald Christian moved on to the NFL. Both players brought that high school their first football state championship in 2009 as they captured the FHSAA Class 4A crown. O'Leary, who is the grandson of professional golfer Jack Nicklaus, went on to lead Florida State to a national championship in 2013. Christian joined the University of Florida and later transferred to the University of Louisville. The Buffalo Bills got O'Leary in the sixth round while the Arizona Cardinals landed Christian in the seventh round as he received the annual title of Mr. Irrelevant for being the final pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.
     Louisville offensive lineman John Miller was picked by the Buffalo Bills during the third round. He graduated from Miami Central where he won a Class 6A state title in 2010 for the Rockets. Another player with Dade County roots was defensive back D'Joun Smith who played for the American Patriots and Florida Atlantic University. He was the first pick in third round by the Indianapolis Colts.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hank Goldberg New WMEN Afternoon Host

     Hank Goldberg began his new role as the afternoon host for 640 Sports WMEN-AM on Monday. He has co-hosted a Saturday midday show during football season for the radio station first with Andy Slater and later with Tom Jicha since September 2011 from Gulfstream Park. Goldberg, a.k.a. The Hammer, began to broadcast the Saturday show outside of football season several months ago.
     The person he replaced in afternoon drive Joe Raineri had his show moved to middays as he takes over for Jim Rome in the noon to 3pm time slot. He was hired as an interim afternoon show replacement for Steve White in November 2014.
     Goldberg has been part of the sports talk landscape in South Florida for 37 years. He was part of a group of announcers which included longtime University of Miami radio voice Sonny Hirsch who hosted the daily evening sports show Sportstalk 610 on WIOD-AM when it began during the 1970s. 
     It was a major surprise when Goldberg lost his position at WIOD and as a radio game analyst for the Miami Dolphins in September 1992. He would be hired just weeks later by Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM as an afternoon host. Goldberg held that post until his contract expired in December 2007.
     Goldberg has also worked on local and national television. He recently finished a 21-year reign at ESPN as a pro football reporter, thoroughbred horse racing studio analyst and giving predictions on NFL football games from 1993 until 2014. He also was a sports anchor and Sports Final panelist for WTVJ-TV from 1983 to 1992.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Strikers Tie With Silverbacks

     The Fort Lauderdale Strikers played to a 0-0 draw with the Atlanta Silverbacks on Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium. Both teams remained tied for third place in the NASL with seven points. The Strikers stayed unbeaten in their last six games they have faced Atlanta.
     It was the first game for the Strikers at home following two consecutive games in Canada. They outshot their opponent eight to six in this contest. The Strikers next game will be on May 16 as they travel to Al Lang Stadium to take on their in-state rivals the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the first of three meetings of the annual Florida Derby.