Most Recent Entries
- Manuel signs deal with Panini Authentic
- Panini previews Gold Standard basketball
- Golf: All-Western Conference Teams
- Baseball: Jesuit OF Taylor selects Duke
- Land O’ Lakes defensive standout Shaheed Salmon picks up first offer
- Football: All-Western Conference Teams
- Rays non-tender Fuld
- Chargers WR Allen top rookie in Week 12 voting
- Collect call: 2014 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls
- Panini’s Totally Certified hockey to debut in February
- Leaf releases some corny inserts
- Volleyball: Berkeley Prep’s Brown a finalist for Miss Volleyball
- Rays 2014 spring training schedule
- Proposal would ease FHSAA penalty for violating “follow the coach” law
- Maddon’s Thanksmas returns for 8th year
Land O’ Lakes defensive standout Shaheed Salmon picks up first offer
Posted Dec 4, 2013 by Mike Camunas
Updated Dec 4, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Though it came after a stellar senior season, Land O’ Lakes defensive stalwart Shaheed Salmon tweeted Tuesday evening that he received his first verbal offer: South Dakota State.
“Just recieved my first verbal offer from South Dakota State University! I never thought this day would come! #Blessed” the 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker tweeted.
Salmon led the Gators defense with 117 tackles, 8.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown during Land O’ Lakes’ 8-2 season that, unfortunately, ended with missing the playoffs.
The Jackrabbits are a Division I program located in Brookings, South Dakota and went 9-4 and are playing in the second round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday.
Proposal would ease FHSAA penalty for violating “follow the coach” law
Posted Nov 26, 2013 by Nick Williams
Updated Nov 26, 2013 at 05:00 PM
During the November Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors meeting, the board approved a proposal to Bylaw 9.2.4, referred to as the “follow the coach” rule.
The proposal will be voted on during the January meeting of the Representative Assembly, which has the authority to adopt and implement with an effective date of July 1, 2014
Under the proposal, “if a student attends (or transfers) a school within a calendar year following direct contact with a member school’s coach during the previous year in a non-school (club or AAU)activity, the student would have the opportunity to participate at the sub-varsity (junior varsity) level for the impacted sport(s) and at the varsity level in all other sports.”
Per FHSAA rules, student-athletes can’t play on club or AAU teams affiliated with a FHSAA-member school or coached by a representative of a school other than the one the student attends, or has attended. The bylaws also state “recruitment or attempted recruitment of students for athletic purposes is an act of unsportsmanlike conduct and is expressly forbidden.”
Violations of illegal contact and recruitment have resulted in forfeits, payable fines and probationary periods.
“Our goal has always been to provide the best possible environment for our student-athletes and maintain a level field where everyone plays by the same rules,” stated FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing in a release. “These proposals would help make sure enforcement actions are consistent and would affect only those student-athletes or schools whose actions require sanctions to ensure fairness all around.”
The proposal also states a student-athlete could compete without interruption if the last grade he or she attended was the final grade offered at the previous school. Forty-six percent of all sectional appeals over the past two years involve ninth-graders, according to the release. It it assumed a provision would eliminate the need these appeals by allowing eighth-graders to select their high school without having to investigate whether an athletic coach at the high school had previous contact with the student through a club team or other non-school activity.
“This set of proposals will go a long way to make sure student-athletes get to keep playing the sports they love, while also making sure blatant recruiting is discouraged and punished,” Dearing said. “This approach will be fair to everyone – the schools, the coaches and, most importantly, the student-athletes themselves.”
FHSAA makes changes to track and field; drug policy to include HGH, steroids
Posted Nov 22, 2013 by Nick Williams
Updated Nov 22, 2013 at 04:44 PM
During the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors meeting on Monday in Gainesville, the board endorsed a proposal from the FHSAA’s Track and Field and Athletic Director advisory committees to provide consistency across all four classifications in track and field in the 400-meter dash. All four classifications would run preliminary heats in the 400-meter dash during FHSAA Track and Field State Series competition. Previously, Classes 1A and Class 2A ran timed finals, while Classes 3A and Class 4A ran prelims and finals.
Another proposal to place Florida in line with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) was approved regarding athlete and event participation. Under current FHSAA policy, an athlete can compete in a maximum of four events but only three are allowed to be running events. This proposal allows the opportunity to compete in four events without limitation.
To add, the board added language to the existing alcohol and tobacco policy to prohibit the use of human growth hormone, steroids, performance-enhancing drugs and Schedule III narcotics. Additionally, coaches or representatives of a school’s athletic interest involved with the acquisition or condoning the use of these prohibited substances will be unable to coach or attend any interscholastic contest for a minimum of one year.
Mitchell football coach Scott Schmitz retiring after 36-year coaching career
Posted Nov 22, 2013 by Mike Camunas
Updated Nov 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM
A Pasco County coaching legend is stepping down, but not leaving entirely.
Mitchell football coach Scott Schmitz told the Tampa Tribune on Friday morning that, after a 36-year coaching career, he is retiring from the football program he started in 2000.
“It was just time,” said Schmitz, who was the longest-tenured football coach in Pasco County. “I’m still going to be their biggest fan, I’m still going to be at games because this program has a special place in my heart. ... I still want the best for them, but this idea had been floating around in my head for a few weeks now and this is about devoting more time to myself, my family — I have granddaughters and I want to spend more time with them.
“But its been a great ride.”
Schmitz, 58, will continue to teach at Mitchell, he says, for two to three more years before he and his wife of 38 years “retire to the golf course.” Schmitz is not in the school district’s DROP program, however, but feels now is time better spent “taking care of myself and not putting myself on the back burner.”
“There’s be a lot of kids over the years and I always put them first,” Schmitz added. “And I still want every chance for them and the new kids to be successful at football and school, but I’m going to miss that locker room and Friday nights. If you’ve ever been in a locker room or on the sideline on Friday, then you know what I’m talking about.”
This isn’t the first time Schmitz has left Mitchell’s football program. In 2008, Schmitz “resigned” from the position because of issues at the school at the time. Brian Wachtel, now Land O’ Lakes’ football coach, was brought in for two seasons, but was asked to step down in December 2010. Schmitz would return to the position thanks to longtime friend and Mitchell principal Jim Michaels.
“I"ve enjoyed the past three seasons,” said Schmitz, who went 18-12 in his second stint. “Everyone has been very supportive of this decision and I’m thankful for that because I’m always going to be a Mustang.”
Prior to coming to Mitchell, Schmitz was hired at River Ridge in 1990 by Michaels, who was athletic director at the time, to also start the football program, only to go 43-51 and reach the postseason three times in nine seasons. Schmitz was also a high school football head coach in Illinois for seven years before moving to Pasco and taking an assistant coaching position at Ridgewood for six seasons (1985-90).
Schmitz was 57-63 in 12 seasons coaching Mitchell that includes reaching the playoffs three-straight years from 2002-04 and has a 100-114 career record in Pasco County.
Even when Schmitz was away from coaching football for those two seasons, he was never far away. Schmitz, who not only attended every game Friday night, was also the girls golf coach, which included taking the team to the state tournament in 2009.
Schmitz said he told players, Michaels and athletic director Ian Mooney of his decision Friday morning and that it was emotional, but the announcement was supported by those in attendance. Schmitz added he wanted to make administration aware of his decision as soon as possible so “they can hire someone before Christmas, if that’s what they want.”
However, there’s the possibility a Schmitz will coach Mitchell next year, as Scott’s son, Andy, is a football assistant with the team and will likely apply for the job.
“I’m sure it will draw many good candidates, but it would be great to see him get it,” Scott added.
As Schmitz reflects on his long career that includes starting two football programs, he fondly remembers the friendships forged over the years, including the one with the late, longtime Land O’ Lakes coach John Benedetto.
“I miss my friend John,” Schmitz said. “I’m going to miss the friendships and the memories because I tell kids all the time that that’s the best part of playing and the job. There will be parts of the job I don’t miss — at all. But I will miss the players. I will miss Friday nights on the sidelines. I will miss the memories, but I will miss the locker room most of all.”
Gulf chooses longtime girls soccer coach Shari McFarlane as new AD
Posted Nov 21, 2013 by Andy Villamarzo
Updated Nov 21, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Gulf has selected a new athletic director from one of its longest-tenured coaches.
According to assistant principal Doug Elias, the Buccaneers have chosen longtime girls soccer coach Shari McFarlane as the school’s new athletic director. McFarlane steps in for previous athletic director Russ Schenk, who resigned from the position last month, though still teaches at the school.
McFarlane is in her 14th season as the girls soccer coach, compiling a 139-101-40 career record and has taught at the school since 1988. The Buccaneers are 3-3 this season.
McFarlane will be Gulf’s third athletic director of 2013. Travis DeWalt started off as AD, but stepped down during the summer to take an assistant principal position with the school, while Schenk came over from Sunlake in early August to accept the position.