Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 FHSAA Football Title Recap

     High schools from South Florida captured five different FHSAA football titles in 2016. The region dominated as they won all the large school classifications from Class 8A to 5A.
     St. Thomas Aquinas walloped Plant 45-6 in the Class 7A state championship game. The Raiders won their third consecutive state title and 10th overall. They improved to 7-0 on the same field in Orlando where they now have captured seven state titles in the last ten seasons.
     Another Broward County school returned to the top of Class 5A as American Heritage edged Ponte Vedra 35-33. The Patriots won their third state title in the last four years.
     Two traditional powers from Dade County waited quite a while to win a state championship. Carol City got by Lake Gibson 14-6 in the Class 6A title game and the Chiefs got their first state title since 2003 and fifth overall.
     Southridge overcame a ten-point deficit to beat Dr. Phillips 14-10 in the Class 8A state championship game. It was the first state title for the Spartans since 1993.
     Pahokee captured their first state title for the first time since 2007 as they stopped Baker 34-21 for the Class 1A crown. It was the seventh overall state championship for the Blue Devils.
     Chaminade-Madonna got to the Class 3A state title game and lost to Trinity Christian Academy 24-13. The Lions were looking to win their first state title since 2005.

Panthers Outshine Stars

     The Florida Panthers played a New Year's Eve game in Dallas on Saturday night and beat the Stars 3-1 at American Airlines Center. It was the only road game of a nine-game stretch for the club.
     Florida(16-14-8) blitzed the Stars with three goal during the first period. Vincent Trocheck put in a tally at 3:06 with an assist by Jaromir Jagr. It helped Jagr tie former teammate Paul Coffey for fifth all-time with his 1,135th assist.
     The Panthers added two power-play goals in the opening frame. Jussi Jokinen scored at 15:33 and Jagr added a goal at 16:40 for his 756st NHL goal.
     Dallas(16-15-7) poured in a power-play goal with 3:28 left in the second period. Patrick Eaves was credited for the goal with assists from Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Canadiens Top Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the final game of a five-game homestand as they lost to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime at BB&T Center on Thursday night. The Cats went 1-1-3 during their stay in Sunrise against five different Atlantic Division opponents. The Panthers will play their only road game during a nine-game stretch in Dallas on Saturday.
     Florida(15-14-8) got on the scoreboard with 6:02 left in the first period. Jussi Jokinen came out with the puck from a scrum on the end wall. He passed from the right corner to the top right circle where Jason Demers blasted a slapshot by Al Montoya for a Panthers 1-0 lead.
     The Habs(22-9-5) tied the contest on their second power play of the second period at 5:45. Alexander Radulov had the puck on the right-wing wall and fed Max Pacioretty. He sent a wrist shot from the edge of the right circle past James Reimer for his 16th goal of the season.
     The Panthers regained the lead at 9:03 on their first power play of the game. Keith Yandle passed from the top of the zone to Vincent Trocheck above the left circle. He nailed in a slapshot for his 10th goal of the year.
     Montreal(21-9-5) waited until 2:37 remaining in the third period to tie the game. Zach Gallagher received a cross-ice pass in the slot area from Phillip Danault and snapped a shot into the Panthers cage.
     It would take a short amount of time for the Canadiens to get the victory in the extra session. Pacioretty send a lead pass in the neutral zone to Danault at the Panthers blue line. He skated in through the slot and put in a wrist shot 39 seconds into overtime.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Maple Leafs Edge Panthers

     The Florida Panthers returned from the Christmas weekend break with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night at BB&T Center. It was the fourth game of a five-game homestand for the Cats.
     After the Panthers failed to score on their first two power plays, Toronto(15-12-7) responded as they got a 1-0 lead at 10:38 of the first period. Connor Brown took a spinning snap shot from the high slot which was stopped by Austin Matthews in the low slot. He went placed a one-handed backhand shot into the Panthers cage for his 17th goal of the season.
     In the second period, the Maple Leafs scored during a 4-on-3 situation with 2:06 remaining. Matthews sent a cross-ice pass from the right circle to the left circle. William Nylander fired a slapshot past Roberto Luongo to make it a two-goal cushion.
     Florida(15-14-7) answered back 29 seconds into the third period to close the gap 2-1. Toronto tried to clear the puck out of their zone and it was stopped by Keith Yandle at the left point. He blasted a slapshot which bounced off Jonathan Marchessault and he put in his 11th goal of the year from the crease area.
     The Panthers tied the contest at 2:43 of the frame. Marchessault backhanded a pass from the end wall to Jakub Kindl at the top of the zone. Frederik Andersen made the initial save, however Vincent Trocheck lifted the puck into the top half of the Leafs net for his 100th NHL point.
     The game lasted all the way to the shootout. The Maple Leafs converted on their third attempt as Mitchell Marner scored on a forehand shot for the victory.

Dio Garcia Leaving WINZ

     Dio Garcia is leaving his position at Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM at the end of the week. He has been the producer and board operator on the Andy Slater Show at two different radio stations for five years.
     Garcia first worked with Slater at 640 Sports WMEN-AM for two years on a midday show until December 2013. He joined Slater and moved to WINZ in January 2014 as he continued with the program for three years in the mid-afternoon shift.

Miami Dolphins Make Playoffs

     The Miami Dolphins clinched an AFC wild card playoff spot on Sunday. They defeated the Buffalo Bills 34-31 in overtime while the Denver Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 33-10.
     It is the first time that the Dolphins have made the postseason since they captured the AFC East Division title in 2008. Miami has not won a playoff game since December 30, 2000 when they stopped the Indianapolis Colts.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Dan Le Batard And Stugotz On Magazine Cover

     Dan Le Batard and Stugotz will appear on the front cover of Radio Ink magazine this week. It is a tremendous accomplishment considering that local broadcasting talent do not appear on the cover of national broadcasting publications.
     Le Batard and Stugotz, whose real name is Jon Weiner, have hosted a sports program on 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM since it launched in August 2004. Both of them co-hosted the afternoon show at that station and then were syndicated nationally on ESPN Radio in September 2013. They were moved to the midday shift on The Ticket and ESPN Radio in September 2015.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Red Wings Come Back On Panthers

     Roberto Luongo failed to pass Terry Sawchuk for fifth all-time with his 448th career win as the Florida Panthers were edged by the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout on Friday night at BB&T Center. It was the third game of a five-game homestand for the Cats.
     It was not until 2:20 left in the first period when Florida(16-14-5) scored. Jason Demers sent a cross-ice pass from the right point to the left point where Reilly Smith was. He fired a slapshot which went by Jared Coreau.
    Detroit(14-16-4) tied the contest just 12 seconds into the second period. Henrik Zetterberg got to a loose puck on the right wing and fed Anthony Mantha ahead of him. Mantha did a spin move in the slot area and then snapped a shot past Roberto Luongo.
    The Panthers quickly regained the lead 2-1 at 1:29 of the second. Jason Demers sailed a wrist shot from the right point for his sixth goal of the year. Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr were credited assists on the play.
     Florida made it a two-goal cushion at the 10:27 mark. Michael Matheson sent a cross-ice pass from the left wing to the low right circle and Derek MacKenzie connected on a one-time slapshot.
     In the third period, the Red Wings gained the momentum to cut the margin down to 3-2. Andreas Athanasiou was in the right corner when he found Drew Miller. He went through the left circle and scored his third goal of the campaign.
     Detroit was able to tie the game with 6:09 left in the third period. Tomas Vanek made a pass to the middle and Gustav Nyqvist blasted a shot from the low slot which Luongo saved. Frans Nielsen followed up and put the puck in the net from close range.
     The Red Wings completed the comeback during the shootout. Vanek put in a backhand shot on the second attempt by Detroit while Barkov matched it for Florida with a snap shot. Nielsen got the winning goal on the third attempt as he poked in a shot when trying a forehand shot.

West Palm Beach Ratings December 2016

     The monthly ratings were published and only one radio station appeared in West Palm Beach region. 640 Fox Sports South Florida WMEN-AM showed up while ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM and ESPN Deportes 760 WEFL-AM did not.
     After two straight months with a 0.8, 640 Fox Sports South Florida dropped to a 0.6 in the month of December. The stations pipes in 21 hours every weekday of the syndicated Fox Sports Radio and has a local morning show with Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach. It was the return of Nova Southeastern University basketball games which has problems trying to find an audience.

Heat Top Lakers

     The Miami Heat retired Shaquille O'Neal's number 32 jersey in a halftime ceremony and they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 115-107 at American Airlines Arena on Thursday night. The Heat had previously retired number 33 for Alonzo Mourning and number 10 for Tim Hardaway.
     It was the first time that both clubs faced each other since the retirement of Kobe Bryant and the departure of Dwyane Wade. Miami(10-20) had beaten the Lakers 13 of the last 15 times. Los Angeles(11-21) has not won a game in Miami since the 2008-09 season.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jagr Passes Messier In Points As Panthers Lose

     Jaromir Jagr passed Mark Messier for second place all-time with his 1,888th point as the Florida Panthers lost to the Boston Bruins 3-1 at BB&T Center on Thursday night. It was the second game of the five-game homestand for Florida(15-14-5) who had a chance to tie the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division.
     There was no scoring until early in the second period by Boston(18-14-3) as Frank Vatrano put in his first tally of the year. Torey Krug had the puck on the left point and placed a lead pass to Vatrano in the high slot. He snapped a shot from the slot area by James Reimer at 2:09.
     The Bruins, who improved to 12-2-1 in their last 15 games in Sunrise, increased their margin to 2-0 at the 5:13 mark. Krug made a pass from the right wing to the middle and Patrice Bergeron blasted a one-timer from the high slot. The B's outshot the Panthers 16-5 during the second period.
      Jagr would get the milestone point with 6:40 left in the third period. Michael Matheson fired a slapshot from the left point which bounced off Jagr at the top of the crease. Aleksander Barkov skated through the low right circle and put in a shot past Tuukka Rask.
     Boston put the contest away with 1;23 remaining in the third to make it 3-1. Brad Marchand made a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone to David Backes and he put in a tally into an empty net.

Heat Retire Shaquille O'Neal Number 32

     The Miami Heat retired the number 32 jersey of former center Shaquille O'Neal on Thursday night during a halftime ceremony as the Miami Heat hosted the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Arena. It was the third uniform the Heat franchise had retired following number 33 Alonzo Mourning and number 10 Tim Hardaway. O'Neal played at one time for both clubs in his 19-year NBA career and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year.
     He was acquired by the Heat from the Lakers after the 2003-04 season. O'Neal showed up at a ceremony outside the arena on his arrival to South Florida and he promised the crowd that he would bring an NBA championship to Miami. O'Neal teamed up with guard Dwyane Wade and helped the Heat win their first NBA title in 2005-06 as they defeated the Dallas Mavericks in six games. He played just four seasons with Miami before he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in February 2008.
     He did win three NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000 until 2002 as he collaborated with guard Kobe Bryant. O'Neal did get an Eastern Conference title with the Orlando Magic in 1995 and a Western Conference title with the Lakers in 2004. He has worked as a studio analyst on Inside The NBA at Turner Broadcasting for the past six years.

Todd Hollandsworth New Marlins Television Analyst

     Todd Hollandsworth has been named the new Miami Marlins television analyst on Fox Sports Florida for the upcoming 2017 season. He replaces Eduardo Perez, Al Leiter, Jeff Conine, Preston Wilson and Carl Pavano who all split the job as Marlins television analyst during the 2016 season. Leiter worked between Marlins, New York Yankees and MLB Network broadcasts this past year while Perez announced games on ESPN in 2016.
     Hollandsworth has previous work with Comcast Sportsnet Chicago as a baseball studio analyst for Chicago Cubs games since 2009. He worked with former Florida Marlins television play-by-play announcer Len Kasper on Cubs broadcasts for eight seasons.
     He was a member of the Florida Marlins for only one season and he helped the franchise win a World Series championship in 2003. Hollandworth had a 12-year Major League Baseball career in which he played for eight different teams.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jagr Ties Messier In Career Points

     Jaromir Jagr compiled three assists and tied Mark Messier for second all-time in NHL history with 1,887 points as the Florida Panthers returned home on Tuesday night and beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout at BB&T Center. Roberto Luongo tied Terry Sawchuk for fifth all-time with 447 wins as a goalie. The Panthers began a stretch in which they play eight of their next nine games at home.
     In the first period, Aleksander Barkov scored a goal with 3:51 left for Florida(14-14-5). Jason Demers sent a lead pass to Jagr on the right wing of the Sabres zone. Jagr made a cross-ice pass to Barkov in the high slot and he scored his eight goal of the year on a snap shot. The Cats outshot Buffalo 16-4 during the first period.
     Jagr pulled to one point behind Messier on a power-play goal by Keith Yandle at 12:14 of the second period. Jagr had the puck on the left wing and passed it to Yandle on the left point. He exchanged passes with Barkov at the blue line and then blasted a slap shot into the Sabres cage. 
     Buffalo(13-11-7) got two goals late in the second period to tie the contest. Rasmus Ristolainen fired a slap shot from the left point and Sam Reinhart redirected it by Roberto Luongo for a power-play goal at 15:48. The Sabres pounded the crease area as Brian Gionta slid a pass across the ice to Evander Kane in the blue paint for his sixth goal of the season with 3:05 remaining in the second.
     The Sabres took their first lead of the game with 7:41 left in the third period. Following a rebound, Reinhart carried the puck around the Panthers cage. He connected a pass to Ristolainen at the top of the zone and he nailed in a slap shot.
     Jagr tied Messier in career points with 3:51 left in the third period as he was credited with an assist. He fed a pass to Barkov in the low right circle. Barkov put the puck on net and Nick Bjugstad followed with his first tally of the season from the blue paint.
     Both teams went into the shootout and the Panthers scored on both their attempts. Vincent Trocheck slipped the puck in the five-hole and Barkov later lifted in a shot for the victory.

Miami Ratings December 2016

     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM had the highest ratings of any sports talk radio format in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market for the fifth consecutive month. They were able to pull away from their two competitors in the region.
     WQAM moved from a 1.1 to a 1.4 in the month of December. It is the longest the station has been in the first place spot since from August 2012 until December 2012. They have increased their audience through the long winning streak of the Miami Dolphins.
     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM could not escape from the holding pattern in their previous three months as they got a 0.7 in December. The mediocre start of the Miami Heat in the regular season did not help matters.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM stayed the same for the third straight month with a 0.2 in this period. They are still focused on Fox Sports Radio for most of their weekdays and University of Florida sporting events.

WQBA-AM Flips To Sports

     1140 WQBA-AM will flip from a Spanish language talk format to a Spanish language sports format early next year. Their parent company will launch Univision Deportes Radio.
     They will compete directly with 1210 WNMA-AM ESPN Deportes in the Miami market which has the same format. 1210 AM has the radio broadcast rights of the Miami Dolphins and had the rights of the Florida Panthers until last month.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Vincent Viola Nominated

     Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola has been nominated to become the next United States Secretary of the Army. The nomination will have to be confirmed by the United States Senate in several weeks.
     The ownership of the Florida Panthers franchise will be placed in a trust with the approval of the National Hockey League Board of Governors. Viola would give up his title of Chairman and Governor with Sunrise Sports and Entertainment to fellow co-owner Doug Cifu. Viola and Cifu purchased the Florida Panthers on September 27, 2013.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jason Pugh Leaves WRC-TV

     Former local sportscaster Jason Pugh has left his position as a sports anchor and sports reporter at WRC-TV in Washington D.C. after four years in that organization. He had previously worked in the Palm Beach County media market both in radio and television.
     Pugh, a Florida Atlantic University grad, once played college football as a linebacker for the school and eventually went into broadcasting. He joined ESPN 760 WEFL-AM as an intern when they flipped to a sports talk format in 2003. Pugh added duties as a producer in 2006 and became an on-air contributor in 2007.
     He was promoted to evening show co-host with Jeremy Marks-Peltz in 2010 and also announced high school football games as a game analyst with Ken LaVicka and Marks-Peltz through 2011. Pugh also was elevated to game analyst for Florida Atlantic University football games and held that spot until the end of the 2012 season.
     Pugh added television work as a sports anchor at WPTV-TV Channel 5 and WFLX-TV Channel 29 in West Palm Beach for several years. He left South Florida in December 2012 for a television sportscaster position in Washington D.C. where he joined former West Palm Beach television sports anchor Dan Hellie.

Panthers Roll Over Avalanche

     The Florida Panthers ended a three-game road trip with a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Friday night. The Panthers finished a stretch in which they played 13 of their last 17 games on the road. The Cats will play eight of their next nine games at home.
     There was no scoring by either team until the second period. Colorado(11-17-1) moved out to a 1-0 lead at 10:11. Nathan MacKinnon was on the right wing and placed a cross-ice pass to Fedor Tyutin in the left circle for a one-time slapshot past James Reimer.
     Florida(14-13-5) battled back to tie the game with 3:50 left in the second. Aleksander Barkov dropped a pass to Seth Griffith at the left point. He put a lead pass to Jason Demers in the slot and he backhanded it by Calvin Pickard.
     In the third period, the Panthers compiled a shorthanded goal at the 6:37 mark. Derek MacKenzie sent a clearing pass out of his zone to center ice. Reilly Smith raced down, carried the puck into the Avs zone on a breakaway and slipped in a backhand shot.
     The Cats were able to get a two-goal cushion with 9:11 remaining in the third. Colton Sceviour passed the puck from the left corner to Michael Matheson on the left point and sailed a shot into the cage.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jets Go By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers lost to the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in a shootout at MTS Centre on Thursday night. It was the second game of a third-game road trip for the Panthers who scored three times on the power play for the first time this season.
     Florida(13-13-5) compiled 19 shots during the first period and they were still down 1-0. Mathieu Perreault stopped at the left point and steered a pass to Patrik Laine. His cross-ice pass went to Dustin Byfuglein in the right circle and he scored on a wrist shot past Roberto Luongo with 11 seconds left.
      The Panthers would score on a power play at 4:51 of the second period to tie it at 1-1. Nick Bjugstad tried to stuff the puck in from the left side of the crease and Aleksander Barkov followed on the rebound for his seventh goal this year. Jaromir Jagr collected his 100th point with Florida on the play with an assist.
     The Cats moved to a 2-1 lead on another power-play goal at 8:36. Reilly Smith waited and snapped a shot by Connor Hellebucyk following a fed by Seth Griffith.
    Winnipeg(14-16-3) evened it up midway through the period at 10:11. Paul Postma fired a slapshot from the right point which was stopped, but Adam Lowry poked in the second rebound in the blue paint.
     Florida improved to 3-for-3 on the power play at 11:58 as Vincent Trocheck scored. Ekblad got a backhand cross-ice pass from Smith in the low left circle. His shot was saved and Trocheck slid the puck in from close range.
     The Jets scored on a 4-on-4 circumstance at 2:36 of the third period to pull even 3-3. Blake Wheeler was in the top right circle when he angled a pass to Bryan Little in the low left circle and he lifted in a shot.
     The contest moved past overtime and into a shootout. Trocheck scored only for Florida on their first shooting attempt. Little matched it with a backhand shot on the Jets third attempt. Perreault would close the game for Winnipeg during their sixth shooting attempt.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Joe Bell In Philadelphia

     Joe Bell has rejoined Beasley Media Group as their market manager in Philadelphia. He leaves his position as market manager at Brewer Media Group in Chattanooga which he held since November 2015.
     Bell is most recognized for being employed at Beasley Broadcasting in Miami. He joined as the general manager of Kiss Country WKIS-FM in 1999 and added the same title at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM in January 2006. Bell was later elevated to market manager of the entire three-station Miami cluster in August 2006.
     CBS Radio acquired the radio stations from Beasley in December 2014 and Bell was promoted to senior vice president/market manager. He was released from his position with that company in July 2015.
     Prior to his arrival in South Florida, he had a tenure as the executive vice president and general manager at WPTF-AM in Raleigh. Bell moved to South Florida in 1998 and worked for Beasley Broadcasting in Fort Myers as the general manager at WJBX-FM.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wild Breeze By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers fell to the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center. The Panthers were playing the first game of a three-game road swing for the club.
     It was midway through the first period when Minnesota(16-8-4) got up 1-0. Jason Pominville entered the Panthers zone on the left side and centered the puck to Zach Parise. He snapped a shot from the left circle by Roberto Luongo at 11:19.
     The Wild extended their lead at 4:11 of the second period. Erik Haula was able to score from the slot area for a two-goal margin.
     Florida(13-13-4) gave up another tally midway into the frame at 9:46. Pominville sent a long lead pass to Eric Staal at center ice. He skated on a breakaway, lifted a shot which was saved and batted the puck in mid-air on the rebound for his seventh goal this season.
     In the third period, the Panthers were down 4-0 at 6:04. Mikael Granlund passed the puck from the right point to Jason Zucker in the low right circle. He fed a cross-ice pass to Mikko Koivu who put in a one-time shot from the left side of the crease.
     The Wild attack continued as they scored again at 8:26 to make it 5-0. Zucker raced into the Panthers zone, through the left circle and placed in a backhand shot. Luongo was replaced in net by James Reimer after the goal.
     The Panthers finally broke the shutout with 4:24 left in the third. Dylan McIlrath scored his first goal with Florida from the right point on a wrist shot. Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith were credited with assists on the play.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Rich Herrera Leaving The Ticket

     Rich Herrera will be soon leaving 790 The Ticket WAXY-AM to become the senior executive producer and pregame studio host for San Diego Padres game broadcasts on KBZT-FM. He has been a weekend host on The Ticket for the past year.
     Herrera was the director of radio operations and studio host for the Tampa Bay Rays. He once hosted a sports show on 98.7 The Fan WHFS-FM in Tampa. Herrera is currently a baseball host on MLB Network Radio channel at SiriusXM Radio.
     He joins former local sportscaster Jesse Agler who is the radio play-by-play announcer for the San Diego Padres. Agler left the afternoon host spot on The Finsiders at 940 WINZ-AM in January 2014 for a position with the Padres organization.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

West Palm Beach Ratings November 2016

     Monthly radio ratings were recently published for the Palm Beach County market. At least one of the three sports format radio stations in the region appeared as 640 Fox Sports South Florida WMEN-AM were shown while numbers for ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM and ESPN Deportes 760 WEFL-AM were not listed.
     640 Fox Sports South Florida remained flat with a 0.8 for the month of November. It still is the highest ratings the organization has compiled this year.
     They did it without New York Yankees game broadcasts and kept the entire Fox Sports Radio schedule in place during weekdays and weekends. Their morning show co-hosted by Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach continues to find an audience.

Panthers Hold Off Canucks

     The Florida Panthers finished off a short two-game homestand with a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at BB&T Center on Saturday night. It was the return of Erik Gudbranson who played his first game in Sunrise since being traded by the Panthers during the summer.
     Florida(13-12-4) has won every final game of a homestand they played. They made it 5-for-5 in that situation this season.
     The Panthers got out to a 2-0 lead in the first two periods of the contest. Aaron Ekblad added another tally 65 seconds into the third period for a three-goal cushion.
     Vancouver(12-14-2) bounced back and closed the gap to 3-2 during the third period with goals by former Panther Jack Skille and Daniel Sedin. Florida capped the game with an empty-net goal by Vincent Trocheck with 48 seconds remaining.

Lamar Jackson Wins Heisman Trophy

     Former Boynton Beach Tigers quarterback Lamar Jackson was awarded the 2016 Heisman Trophy in New York City on Saturday night. Jackson has played quarterback for the University of Louisville Cardinals since 2015. He threw for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns while he rushed for 1,538 and 21 touchdowns during his sophomore year in 2016.
     Jackson was the starting quarterback for Boynton Beach through the 2014 season. He helped the school get into the FHSAA playoffs as the District 15-6A runner-up in 2013 and 2014. They were eliminated by the Miami Central Rockets in the regional quarterfinal both years.  
     It was the second consecutive year that a former Florida high school player won the Heisman Trophy. Derrick Henry from the University of Alabama won the trophy in 2015. He played for Yulee while in high school.  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Southridge Overcomes Dr. Phillips For Class 8A Title

     The Southridge Spartans overcame a 10-point deficit and defeated the Dr. Phillips Panthers 14-10 in the FHSAA Class 8A state championship on Saturday night at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Spartans captured their first state title since 1993.
     Dr. Phillips(12-3) compiled all of their points during the second quarter. Sterling Stockwell kicked a 44-yard field goal at the 10:49 mark for a 3-0 lead. Running back Emare Hogan later scored a on a five-yard touchdown with 48 seconds left in the second and the Panthers had a 10-point margin at the end of the first half.
     Southridge(12-2) pulled off an incredible comeback in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Michael Cox threw a eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Dillard with 8:26 to go. Their attempted extra point was blocked and they were down 10-6.
     The Spartans would take their first lead of the game with 4:20 remaining when Cox connected a 72-yard throw to wide receiver Mark Pope for a touchdown. They made the two-point conversion as Antwan Collier passed to Dillard for a 14-10 lead.

Carol City Beats Lake Gibson For Class 6A Title

     The Carol City Chiefs got by the Lake Gibson Braves 14-6 in the Class 6A state championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Saturday. The Chiefs won their first state title since 2003 and fifth overall.
     Defense dominated early as neither team was able to score in the first half. Carol City(11-3) got out in front at 5:37 of the third quarter when running back Nay'quan Wright scored on a one-yard touchdown run for a 6-0 lead.
     The Chiefs scored early in the fourth quarter as Wright again ran the ball in from one yard away at 11:24. Wide receiver Kevaughn Dingle converted on the two-point conversion on a running play to give them a 14-point margin.
     Lake Gibson(13-1) moved back into the contest as wide receiver Mytrevious Link caught a 20-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Kevaris Thomas. The extra point was blocked and the Braves were down 14-6 with 6:00 remaining.

Chaminade-Madonna Loses Class 3A Title To Trinity Christian Academy

     The Chaminade-Madonna Lions fell to the Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors 24-13 in the FHSAA Class 3A state championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Saturday. The Conquerors captured their fourth consecutive Class 3A title in the process.
     It just took the first play from scrimmage for Chaminade-Madonna(10-4) to get on the scoreboard. Running back Shaun Shivers powered through with an 80-yard touchdown run 15 seconds into the game to take a 7-0 lead.
     Trinity Christian Academy(11-3) answered back on their first possession to tie the game at 8:26. Quarterback D.J. Matthews threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Isaiah Washington.
     In the second quarter, the Lions were able to regain the lead. Daniel Longman kicked a 23-yard field goal at the 9:57 mark.
     The Conquerors responded on their next possession to go up 14-10 at 7:49. Running back Rasheed Martin rushed in from 13 yard away for a score.
     Chaminade-Madonna turned the ball over on their next drive as Shaun Wade intercepted a pass thrown by quarterback Henry Columbi at the Lions 30-yard line. It led to a touchdown run by Matthews from 21 yards out with 4:41 left in the second.
     The Lions had a 68-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown called back with 3:35 left in the third quarter when game officials declared that Wade had his knee down on a fake field goal when carrying the ball on fourth down. Chaminade-Madonna took over and scored on their ensuing possession as Longman nailed a 30-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter at 11:55 to close the gap 21-13.
     Tyreke Johnson returned the kickoff for Trinity Christian Academy 53 yards to the Lions 37-yard line. After the Lions roughed the punter, Frankie Onate blasted a 52-yard field goal on the next play to give the Conquerors a 24-13 with 8:50 left in the fourth.

Friday, December 9, 2016

St. Thomas Aquinas Dumps Plant For Class 7A Title

     The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders pounded the Plant Panthers 45-6 in the FHSAA Class 7A state championship on Friday night at Camping World Stadium. The Raiders became the first Broward County school to win three consecutive state championships. St. Thomas Aquinas(12-2) also compiled their 10th state title in school history and joins Bolles as the only Florida high schools with double-digit football titles. They now have a 7-0 record when they play on that field in Orlando.
     In the first quarter, Plant(13-1) was stopped on their first possession when a pass by Dane Frantzen was intercepted by defensive back Adetutu Daranijo at the Raiders 13-yard line. STA rolled down the field on their second drive of the game and scored on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Jake Allen to wide receiver Michael Harley at 5:14.
     The Panthers then had a bad snap on a punt attempt and St. Thomas Aquinas took over with great field position. The Raiders scored on their first play of the drive as Allen found wide receiver Joshua Palmer for a 28-yard touchdown reception at 2:21.
     St. Thomas Aquinas extended their lead on their next offensive possession to 21-0 at 6:41 of the second quarter. Running back Michael Epstein blasted through with a one-yard run up the middle.
     Plant responded as Frantzen threw a 50-yard pass to wide receiver Whop Philyor and they got into Raiders territory. The Panthers broke the shutout when Frantzen rushed in from one yard out to make it 21-6 with 4:17 left in the second.
     STA drove deep again into Plant territory on their next drive, but they had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Marco Salani with 1:55 remaining in the second.
     The Raiders made another takeaway as defensive back Jaden Davis intercepted a pass at the 1:07 mark. St. Thomas Aquinas continued their scoring spree with a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jordan Merrell from Allen with 38 seconds to go in the first half for a 31-6 lead.
     In the third quarter, Allen fired a 10-yard touchdown pass to Harley at the 2:39 mark. Both players would connect again on a long 62-yard pass play for a score with 37 seconds left in the third and St. Thomas Aquinas expanded their margin to 45-6. A running clock was implemented for the rest of the game.

American Heritage Gets Class 5A Title Over Ponte Vedra

     The American Heritage Patriots defeated the Ponte Vedra Sharks 35-33 and captured the FHSAA Class 5A state championship on Friday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. It was the third state title for the Patriots in the last four years.
     Both schools combined for 27 points in the opening quarter. Ponte Vedra(13-1) stormed out with 13 points in the first three minutes of the contest. Nick Tronti threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marshall Few just 45 seconds into the game for a 6-0 lead. They failed on the two-point rushing attempt.
     The Sharks recovered the ensuing on-side kick and took advantage of it. They completed the drive as running back Hal Swan caught a 15-yard touchdown reception from Tronti at the 9:23 mark.
     American Heritage(14-0) began to climb out of the 13-point deficit when quarterback Jason Brown ran out of the option and scored from 12 yards out at 7:21.
     The Patriots added another touchdown on their next possession to take their first lead 14-13 with 4:34 left in the first. Running back Miles Jones was able to race in from three yards away.
     In the second quarter, American Heritage continued with their run of 21 unanswered points. Brown connected a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dontavius Butler with 6:25 to go.
     Ponte Vedra got a late touchdown with 3:12 left in the first half. Tronti completed his third touchdown pass of the game with a throw to Few from 15 yards out.
     The Pats extended their lead 28-20 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Brown scored on a five-yard touchdown run at 11:55. 
     The Sharks came back on their next possession to close the gap again 28-26. Tronti ran the ball in from five yards away at 7:57. They tried for a two-point conversion and failed on a pass attempt.
     Anthony Schwartz returned the kickoff 59 yards to the Ponte Vedra 25-yard line. Four plays later, Brown sneaked into the end zone on a one-yard run with 5:39 left in the fourth. It was his third touchdown run in the contest.
     Ponte Vedra went with a quick attack on their next drive. It was capped by a Tronti two-yard touchdown run with 3:06 remaining and cut the lead down to 35-33.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Penguins Bash Panthers

     The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins made their only visit to Sunrise this season and pounded the Florida Panthers 5-1 on Thursday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers were coming off a six-game road trip. It was the home debut of interim head coach Tom Rowe.
     Pittsburgh(17-7-3) was able to bash through the Panthers in the first five minutes of the contest with a two-goal lead. Sidney Crosby snapped in a shot from the slot area at 3:06 for his 18th goal of the season.
     The Pens came back during a 4-on-4 situation on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Crosby made a cross-ice pass to Conor Sheary to the left side of the crease and his shot went wide left. It bounced off the back boards and toward the goal crease where Roberto Luongo backed the puck into his own cage at 4:51.
     Florida(12-12-4) surrendered another goal and fell behind by three goals at 7:34. Scott Wilson fired a slapshot which went off traffic in the low slot. Tom Kuhnhackl got to the loose puck and scored his second goal of the campaign.
     In the second period, the Panthers scored on their second power-play opportunity at 6:17. Aleksander Barkov raced into the Penguins zone into the right circle and faked a forehand shot. He dropped a backhand pass into the slot and Jaromir Jagr followed with a one-time slot past Matthew Murray. It was the sixth goal of the season and the 755th NHL goal for Jagr.
     Matt Cullen burned his former team with a tally at 5:48 of the third period for a 4-1 margin. Justin Schultz fired a slapshot from the right point which Lunogo saved. Wilson retrieved it in the left corner and found Matt Cullen alone in the low slot for a snap shot. Carl Hagelin added an empty-net goal with 32.9 seconds remaining.

Pahokee Wins Class 1A Title Over Baker

     The Pahokee Blue Devils defeated the Baker Gators 34-21 for the FHSAA Class 1A state championship on Thursday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Blue Devils captured their first state title since 2008.
     It was the seventh overall state championship for Pahokee. They won two straight titles in 2003 and 2004 then captured three consecutive championships from 2006 until 2008. The Blue Devils did reach the state title game in 2005. They dropped in classification from 3A to 1A in 2015.
     Pahokee(14-0) scored on their second possession when running back Rodney McKay ran the ball in from six yards away at 2:38 of the first quarter. McKay added another touchdown on their next drive as he rambled in from 10 yards out with 8:55 to go in the second quarter.
     In the second half, Baker(13-1) closed the deficit on an unusual play. Quarterback Kalee Ciurleo fumbled the ball, offensive lineman Gabe Vicari recovered it and scored a three-yard touchdown at 6:10 of the third quarter.
     The Blue Devils responded on their next possession and increased their margin to 21-7 with 3:20 left in the third. Quarterback Tyrone Smith threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyron Arnett.
     The final quarter was a scoring fest as both schools combined for 27 points. The Gators got a one-yard touchdown run by Ciurleo at 10:30 of the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils answered back as running back Jim-travis Gray busted in on a one-yard score with 7:13 left. They missed on the two-point conversion and had a 27-14 lead.
     Baker was unable to keep up with the pace when Pahokee linebacker Roy Walker intercepted a Ciurleo pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown with 4:27 remaining.

No Local Television For FHSAA Title Games

     The FHSAA football state title games will not be broadcast on local television in the South Florida region for the third consecutive year. The eight state championship games will be played from Thursday to Saturday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
     Spectrum Sports is the carrier of the events and based in Central Florida. They were known as Bright House Sports Network until the name was changed in November. They have had the exclusive television rights to the FHSAA football finals since 2013. The last time South Florida residents saw the games on local television was on Comcast Sports South in 2012.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Carol City And Lake Gibson Title Preview

     The Carol City Chiefs head on the road for the fifth consecutive week and challenge the Lake Gibson Braves for the FHSAA Class 6A state title at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Saturday. The Miami Central Rockets had won the 6A crown for the last four years.
     Carol City(10-3) was a runner-up in their district and had to play four road games to get to this point. The Chiefs slammed Dillard 47-8 in a regional quarterfinal, upset Northwestern 34-27 in a regional semifinal, surprised Mainland 34-7 in the regional final and blanked Charlotte 39-0 in the state semifinal. They have outscored their last five opponents 199-42. Carol City is looking for their first state title since 2003 and fifth overall.
     The Chiefs can execute numerous plays with Marlon Smith as quarterback. Running back Camron Davis will get most of the carries from the backfield. Smith intends to find wide receivers Kevaughn Dingle and Terrence Horne for receptions.
     Lake Gibson(13-0) is undefeated and has played several close games in the playoffs. They edged Hillsborough 21-14 in a regional quarterfinal, got by recent three-time state finalist Armwood 18-15 in a regional semifinal, squeezed by Vanguard 14-13 in a regional final and took Navarre 35-14 last week in the state semifinal.
      The Braves will rush the ball with many carries by running back Travell Jones. Quarterback Kevaris Thomas looks to connect passes with wide receivers M.J. Link, Antonio Denson and Chris Howard.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Flyers Outlast Panthers In Overtime

     The Florida Panthers were edged by the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night. The Panthers lost in the overtime period for the second straight night. It was the final game of a six-game road trip for the Cats.
     Florida(12-11-4) waited until 4:20 left in the first period to take the lead 1-0. Aleksander Barkov performed a give-and-go pass with Mark Pysyk in the high slot. He backhanded the puck from the high slot to Pysyk above the top right circle and he returned a cross-ice pass. Barkov then released a wrist shot from the left circle by Steve Mason for his fifth goal of the season.
     The lead did not last that long as Philadelphia(15-10-3) tied the contest in a 4-on-4 situation with 2:53 to go in the first. Andrew MacDonald brought the puck up the ice from behind his own cage and sent a lead pass to Wayne Simmonds in the neutral zone. He skated by the Panthers blue line and snapped a shot from within the blue line past James Reimer.
     In the second period, the Flyers pulled ahead on the power play at 10:08. Simmonds collected his second goal of the game when he redirected a slap shot by Claude Giroux from the top left circle. South Florida native Shayne Gostisbehere was credited with an assist on the play.
     The Panthers answered back with 4:46 remaining in the third period to tie it at 2-2 as Jussi Jokinen converted his second goal of the year. Colton Sceviour placed the puck to Michael Matheson on the right wing and he advanced it toward the net. He backhanded it to Jokinen who lifted a shot in from the crease area.
     The Flyers wrapped the contest up with 8.6 seconds left in overtime. Giroux poke-checked the puck away from Matheson in the slot area and Jakub Voracek scored on a snap shot from inside the right circle.

St. Thomas Aquinas And Plant Title Preview

     The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders look to make history when they face the Plant Panthers on Friday night in the Class 7A state championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Both schools have fielded top-notch football programs for over a decade.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(11-2) looks to become the second Florida high school to win double-digit championships and the first Broward County to win three straight state titles. STA has captured six state championships on the same field in the last nine seasons which includes the last two FHSAA Class 7A titles in 2014 and 2015. The Raiders, who have not lost a state title game since 2006 versus Lakeland, had blowout victories at home against Palm Beach Lakes 35-0 in a regional quarterfinal and Dwyer 37-0 in a regional semifinal. They went to Miami and pounded Mater Academy 50-10 in the regional final then returned home last week and blasted Venice 46-8 in the state semifinal. 
     Raiders quarterback Jake Allen calls the signals and will guide the team on offense. He has a slew of wide receivers to pass the ball to which includes Michael Harley, Jordan Merrell, Joshua Palmer and Jonathan Moore. Running backs Michael Epstein and Kyshaun Bryan will split the carries between them from the backfield.
     Plant(13-0) enters the game undefeated and moved down in classification from 8A to 7A in 2015. The Panthers have not won a state title since they captured the Class 8A crown in 2011. They have been the home game in every round of the playoffs this year. Plant routed Winter Haven 59-6 in a regional quarterfinal, edged Lakeland 25-21 in a regional semifinal, topped 2015 state finalist Viera 35-7 in a regional final and defeated Robert E. Lee 27-19 in the state semifinal last week.
      Quarterback Dane Frantzen looks to implement the offense for the Panthers. Their rushing attempts will be done by running backs Ty Thompson, Kyle Trina and Tobin Snead. Wide receivers Whop Philyor, Christian Watson, Juwan Burgess, David Scroggins and Trina can make receptions from Frantzen.

American Heritage And Ponte Vedra Title Preview

     The American Heritage Patriots challenge the Ponte Vedra Sharks for the FHSAA Class 5A state championship on Friday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Both schools come into this contest with undefeated records.
     American Heritage(13-0) are seeking their third Class 5A state title in the last four years. They did capture the state championship in 2013 and 2014. This will be the second time in three weeks that the Patriots will travel from Plantation to Orlando so travelling a long distance won't be a factor. They dethroned the defending state champions Bishop Moore on the road 20-7 in the regional final and returned home to beat Jesuit 21-14 in the state semifinal last week. They had home wins over Fort Pierce Westwood 55-12 in a regional quarterfinal and Cardinal Gibbons 10-7 in a regional semifinal.
     The Patriots can run out of the option with quarterback Jason Brown along with running backs Abraham Alce, Jordan Johnson and Miles Jones. Brown intends to find wide receivers Laress Nelson, Dontavius Butler, Jones, Josh Alexander and Darnell Fleury as passing targets.
     Ponte Vedra(13-0) hosted their first three playoff games with victories over Yulee 51-19 in a regional quarterfinal, Ribault 35-32 in a regional semifinal and  Rickards 31-20 in a regional final. They went on the road and stopped Clay 52-42 last week in the state semifinal.
     The Sharks also execute out of the option with quarterback Nick Tronti and running backs Hal Swan and Zach Walton. Tronti will look for wide receivers Marshall Few, J.D. Pirris and Jake McGuire along with Swan on passing plays.

Pahokee And Baker Title Preview

     The Pahokee Blue Devils take on the Baker Gators in the FHSAA Class 1A state title game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Thursday. Both schools are undefeated as they enter this contest.
     Pahokee(13-0) won five state championships in a six-year stretch including capturing three consecutive titles from 2006 until 2008. They dropped in classification from Class 3A to Class 1A in 2015. The Blue Devils gained more confidence heading into the playoffs as they won the Muck Bowl for the first time since 2007 with a 27-14 victory over local rival Glades Central. All three of their playoff games have been played at home. They barely got by Newberry 35-34 in overtime during the regional semifinal, knocked off the defending Class 1A state champions Trenton 47-28 in the regional final and edged Madison County 21-19 in the state semifinal. 
     The Blue Devils are led on offense by quarterback Tyrone Smith. Running backs Rodney McKay, Jim Travis Gray and Jarvis Blackman will get their share of carries from the backfield. Smith looks to connect passes with wide receivers Tyron Arnett and Adarius Dent along with tight end Zatavian Morgan.
     Baker(13-0) had a tough path to get to the title game with their first playoff game at home and their last two games on the road. They blasted Cottondale 56-6 in a regional semifinal, defeated Graceville 21-14 in a regional final and slipped by Blountstown 20-19 in a state semifinal.
     The Gators will put more emphasis on the run than the pass. Running backs Junior McLaughlin, Jalen Ciurleo, Jayson Moore and quarterback Kalee Ciurleo can rush the ball at anytime. Wide receivers Derek Peoples Jr. and Logan Rickmon look to make receptions from Ciurleo.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bruins Get By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were stopped by the Boston Bruins 4-3 in overtime at TD Garden on Monday night. It was the fifth game of a six-game road swing for the Panthers who lost their first game this season during the overtime period.
      It was not until late in the first period when Boston(15-10-1) took the lead. Tim Schaller dropped the puck from the left corner to David Krejci behind the Panthers cage. He connected a pass to Schaller in the low slot for a one-time shot by Roberto Luongo with 1:28 left in the first.
     Jaromir Jagr evened the contest 1-1 midway through the second period for Florida(12-11-3) at 9:44. Mark Pysyk slid the puck from the top of the zone to Aaron Ekblad in the low left circle. He softly pushed a backhand pass to the slot area where Jagr snapped a shot past Tuukka Rask for his fifth goal of the season and 754th NHL goal.
     The Bruins regained the lead with 3:23 remaining in the frame. Patrice Bergeron put a slapshot on goal which was saved by Luongo. Brad Marchand did a spin move to the right side of the net and fed David Pastrnak for a quick shot from the low slot.
     The Panthers answered back again at 7:54 of the third period to tie it 2-2. Reilly Smith poke-checked Bergeron off the puck in his own left defensive circle. Aleksander Barkov got to it and blasted a slapshot from the high slot for his fourth goal of the year.
     The B's moved out ahead for the third time in the game with 6:52 left in the third period. David Backes put in a tally with an assist from Ryan Spooner.
     The Cats erased the deficit on a third occasion with 1:29 to go when they pulled the goalie for an extra attacker. Michael Matheson fired a slapshot from the left point that bounced off the back wall and Jason Demers skated in from the right circle and put in the puck from the low right circle.
     Boston picked up the game-winning goal at 1:23 of overtime. Krejci backhanded a pass from the blue line ahead to Pastrnak. He raced around Matherson in the left circle, delayed his shot at the top of the crease and then lifted a shot in for his second goal of the contest.

Chaminade-Madonna And Trinity Christian Title Preview

     The Chaminade-Madonna Lions face the Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors in the FHSAA Class 3A state championship on Saturday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. One school has been a constant in the state title game for the last couple of years while the other school has not reached the top of the mountain in a while.
     Chaminade-Madonna(10-3) are looking to win their first state title since 2005 in Miami when they received the Class 2A crown. The Lions bounced back this season following two consecutive years of being a district runner-up and losing their opening playoff game. They blanked Cardinal Newman 42-0 in a regional semifinal, got by Oxbridge Academy 30-13 in a regional final and then went on the road to beat Melbourne Central Catholic 42-17 in the state semifinal.
     The focus on the Lions offense is running back and Auburn University commit Shaun Shivers. He can score at anytime from any distance of the field and has shown it in their playoff push with three long touchdown runs against Cardinal Newman plus five touchdown runs versus Melbourne Central Catholic. Quarterback Henry Columbi looks to run the ball with the option and pitch the ball out to Shivers or their other running back Kyondre White. Columbi has several targets to throw the ball to which includes wide receivers Xavier Williams, Joshua Ali, Brandon Lee, Marlin Mayo and tight end C.J. Williams. 
     Trinity Christian Academy(10-3) are the defending three-time FHSAA Class 3A state champions and attempt to capture their fourth consecutive title in this classification. The Conquerors had dominant victories of more than 19 points over American Heritage in their last two state title games. Their playoff path has included three blowout home wins as they routed Taylor County 64-16 in a regional semifinal, pounded Florida State University 38-7 in a regional final and blasted Berkeley Prep 41-9 in the state semifinal.
     Quarterback duties for the Conquerors will be split between D.J. Matthews and Legend Brumbaugh. Running back Rasheed Martin is expected to get most of the carries on offense while Marcus Crowley and Kyjuan Herndon can see some rushing occasions. Their wide receivers core has Matthews, Shaun Wade, Farell Turner, Isaiah Washington and Dylan Pate.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dave LaMont New ESPN Bowling Voice

     Local sportscaster Dave LaMont will begin as the new television play-by-play announcer for the Pro Bowlers Tour on ESPN as of December 11. He has broadcast college football games at ESPN and ABC on a full-time basis since 2011 and will continue to be a sports contributor to the Paul and Young Ron Show on Big 105.9 WBGG-FM.
     LaMont has over 35 years of broadcasting experience in the Miami market. He was the radio play-by-play voice of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers during the early 1980s and held a sportscaster position at 790 WNWS-AM.
     After a stint at News Radio 610 WIOD-AM and 940 WINZ-AM. he became a morning co-host on The First Team with Jimmy Cefalo on Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM in 1993. He later co-hosted the show with Joe Rose before he returned to WIOD in 1994.
     LaMont did his share of television work as the sideline reporter of Miami Heat games on Sunshine Network alongside Eric Reid and Jack Ramsey from October 1992 until April 2000. He was promoted to morning host on WIOD in the mid 2000s following over a decade as the morning sports anchor.
     He was named the first radio play-by-play announcer of Florida Atlantic University football when the program formed in 2001 and he also handled announcing men's basketball. LaMont left both positions in the middle of 2011 and was replaced by Ken LaVicka.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Senators Shut Down Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were blanked by the Ottawa Senators 2-0 on Saturday night at Canadian Tire Centre. Keith Yandle tied Billy Harris for 10th all-time in NHL history as he participated in his 576th consecutive game.
     Ottawa(15-8-2) only needed two goals in the first period to get the victory. Erik Kalsson scored his fifth goal of the season at 6:46. Florida(12-11-2) surrendered another goal just 19 seconds later when Derick Brassard made it 2-0.

Friday, December 2, 2016

St. Thomas Aquinas Stomps Venice

     The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders advanced to the state title game for the third straight year as they blasted the Venice Indians 46-8 at Brian Piccolo Stadium on Friday night in a Class 7A state semifinal. The Raiders will look to become the first school from Broward County to win three consecutive FHSAA state championships next Friday against Plant at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
     STA kept their streak alive of not losing a playoff game at home since 2003. They are now 10-2 in state semifinal games since 2004.
     St. Thomas Aquinas(11-2) scored on their first drive at 8:31 of the first quarter. Running back Michael Epstein rushed off-right guard from three yards away to make it 7-0. Two possessions later, Epstein did it again with a touchdown run around the right end from three yard out at 2:02.
     They put up another score with 10 seconds left in the first quarter. Wide receiver Jordan Merrell caught the ball on the right sideline from quarterback Jake Allen, stepped through several tacklers and finished off a 64-yard pass play to extend their margin to 21-0.
      Asante Samuel blocked a punt on the ensuing Indians possession minutes into the second quarter. Epstein compiled his third touchdown run of the contest as he scored on a two-yard run up the middle at 9:08.
     Venice(12-1) cut into the deficit when quarterback Bryce Carpenter found wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh on a crossing pattern up the middle for a 34-yard touchdown pass at the 7:28 mark. Running back Matthew Laroche raced through the right side of the line for a two-point conversion and brought it to 28-8.
     The Raiders expanded their lead as Allen connected with Merrell again on an eight-yard pass to the right side of the end zone with 5:27 to go in the second.
     They added another touchdown when Allen underhanded a pass to Epstein at the line of scrimmage and he rambled the last nine yards up the middle with 1:33 remaining in the first half. Wide receiver Joshua Palmer got a two-point conversion as he made a reception from Allen and increased their lead to 43-8.
     A running clock was implemented for the entire second half of the game. St. Thomas Aquinas got the only score of the second half on a 28-yard field goal by Marco Salani at 2:47 of the third quarter.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Panthers Slip By Red Wings

     The Florida Panthers made their final regular season appearance ever at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday night as they edged the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. The Panthers played their third game of a six-game road swing and Tom Rowe collected his first win as an NHL head coach. Jaromir Jagr moved to 4th on the NHL all-time list with 1,653 games played as he passed Mark Recchi.
     It took a short time for Detroit(11-10-3) to take the lead as they scored at 1:23 of the first period. The Panthers committed a turnover as they trying to bring the puck up the ice. Henrik Zetterberg picked it up in the left circle, went to the slot area and ripped a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Roberto Luongo.
     The game was tied by Florida(12-10-2) on a 4-on-4 situation with 1:45 left in the first period. Vincent Trocheck won a face-off in the left circle and Reilly Smith drew the puck back to the left point to Keith Yandle.  He placed a cross-ice pass to Jason Demers on the right point and his slapshot went by Petr Mrazek for his third goal of the year.
     The contest went into overtime and the Panthers prevailed at 2:04. Jonathan Marchessault sent a lead pass from his own end line to Aleksander Barkov at the red line. He skated in alone on a breakaway into the Red Wings zone, went to the backhand and placed a shot between the pads of Mrazak for the winning goal.