Category: Tampa Bay

USF Lady Bulls Aim to Slay the Giant of Women’s College Basketball

The USF Lady Bulls are fresh off their 5th conference victory, besting the SMU Lady Mustangs, Wednesday in Dallas, Texas. Sunday Coach Jose Fernandez’s squad will play a nationally televised contest against the Temple Lady Owls, tip-off at high noon in Philadelphia. On the line is second place in the conference standings and potential #2 to tournament seed.

 

 

Avoid the Lady Huskies

 

The #1 seed come conference tournament time is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The University of Connecticut Lady Husky squad has set the benchmark for excellence across all college sports.

 

 

Geno Auriemma’s UConn team has won the NCAA title eleven times, a feat matched by no other school in collegiate basketball history. While UConn appears the overwhelming favorite in their quest for a twelfth crown, the USF Bulls have also established themselves as a perennial power.

 

 

Perennial National Prominence

 

Catching the class of women’s college basketball may not be realistic for the Lady Bulls. Finishing the season strong enough to earn another berth in the women’s national championship tournament is realistic. Last week the Sun Dome Arena was treated to Fernandez’s 300th career victory, spanning a stellar 17-years as the Bull’s boss.

 

 

During his tenure, Fernandez has led South Florida to a dozen post-season appearances, including seven with more than twenty wins. This year the Lady Bulls have responded with maybe their best year yet. USF already has 15 victories against two solitary losses, one of those to Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford.

 

 

The Giant Comes to the Sun Dome Arena

 

USF splits the last 10 conference games, half on the road and the other half at the Sun Dome in Tampa. South Florida will sandwich 3 straight Sun Dome games in the middle of a pair of back to road tilts as they head down the final 10 game stretch.

 

 

A victory over the University of Cincinnati on February 1st, plus a split in the two games against Temple, and USF could clinch the #2 tournament seed. Earning the second seed means they would be in the opposite bracket from the UConn powerhouse.

 

Before the tournament time, USF will have one more chance to slay the giant. On Monday, February 27th, South Florida will welcome the all-time winningest team in college basketball to the Sunshine State. If the Lady Bulls continue to play well, USF will have a shot at snapping the longest undefeated streak in basketball history.

 

Jack Sock Rises on the ATP Tour

Tampa Bay’s tennis star Jack Sock recently made it into the top twenty on the men’s professional tour, the ATP. He also advanced to the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open only to lose to the French star Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

Jack Sock played well and appeared resplendent in Melbourne with his trademark sock choice. On this occasion, he wore socks to match the season’s new color, fuschia. This hot color is found on Nike shoes and is being worn by a large number of male and female tennis players. This shoe color is also Sock’s choice to go along with his matching fuschia socks. But it was not just his shoes and socks that stood out, but his play as he had won three matches at this Grand Slam event and played a tight match against the higher ranked and highly regarded player Tsonga. For more about Jack Sock and his climb into the twentieth position on the ATP go to Yahoo.com: Your text to link…

Tampa has a long history as a sports town with baseball, football, and ice hockey to chose from. Tampa residents are blessed with multiple PGA level golf courses and countless tennis courts to hone their sports skills. The weather in the Tampa area is conducive to outdoor activities and the playing of sports year round. But the area pales in comparison to the other Florida Coast that boasts many more public facilities and training programs for tournament level Junior competition. Directly across the state from Tampa is the Space Coast and Florida District 15, an area that used to draw thousands of junior tennis players from the state to play in 6 or 7 sanctioned events taking place in a public tennis facility, Lawnwood, located in Ft. Pierce, Florida. This type of program specializing in promoting junior tennis works wonders for the sport of tennis itself.

All individual sports like tennis and golf rely on players who achieve star status like a Tiger Woods or a John McEnroe to induce others to play the sport. We can hope that Jack Sock will do his part in inspiring others to enjoy the sport of tennis. Visit the latest ATP standing on Reddit: Your text to link…

 

The formidable Pasco’s Jordyn Kadlub

The postseason of the high school girls’ soccer has commenced with the beginning of the region play. The cost of the admission is just $7 for a game based on the talent of the Tampa Bay of the players such as Pasco High’s Jordyn Kadlub. There are major reasons why fans should come out in large numbers to watch the sophomore and her counterparts play.

 

One of the most important reason is that she has scored more than 50 goals under her name. The 50 goals are the 18 games, the figure that put her among the top five in the state. According to the MaxPreps, she is averaging about hat trick per matchup and still, she hasn’t come close to the number of her freshman of 58 goals. Incase Pasco manages to extend the post season she might beat the record that was set by the Ridgewood’s Melissa Wells in the season of 1990-91. She says that she plays for fun. She noted that this season has been terrific for her and her teammates since they managed to play all their games without losing.

 

Whenever Kadlub is playing there is a high possibility of her scoring a hat trick, this is another reason to draw the fans out to come and watch her play. For example during the district semifinal where they were pitted against Weeki Waache, she scored a hat trick and this was during the first half. Though the striker had four goals during this particular match, this was not the best performance of the season so far. She scored 7 goals against Zephyrhills, the match ended 8-0 this was in November. The Pasco coach notes that the way she plays is unique, whenever she sees an opportunity she takes it, she does not let it slip away.

 

Unlike other players who focus on a single game, Kedlub has plays two different sport games. Soccer is not her best, she plays softball as a pitcher. Even sports expert wonder how would one manage to be successful in two games at once. She has had 88 strikeouts in 101 as a freshman she manages all this in 101 innings. She says that she will decide later what game is for her in the future, but right now she just want to have fun.

 

Queen + Adam Lambert Set To Rock The United States

The collaboration of Adam Lambert and the world famous Queen has been taking the world by storm. The project, which started out in 2009, during the eighth season of American Idol has captured the hearts of numerous rock fans all over the world. Adam Lambert has given Queen fans all over the world the opportunity to experience the magnificence of the band that once was one of the greatest in the entire world.

 

Just a few days ago, the group announced the release of their United States tour, which will take place in twenty-five cities across the country. The tour will be kicking off at the Phoenix Gila River Arena in Arizona on the 23rd of June and will go on all the way until August 5th. This will be the group’s first tour in the United States after a four-year long break from performing in the country.

 

Although Adam hasn’t had any in-studio recording time with Queen, he has been touring with them all over the world since the beginning of his American Idol days. His first performance with the group was when they performed together during the season finale of American Idol. It was there that Adam’s journey with Queen began.

 

Soon after, the group started headlining some of the biggest shows in the music industry including the MTV European Music Awards and the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Since then, Adam and the other members of the band have been traveling all over the world and giving people the Queen experience. Besides this, the group has made several television appearances in numerous shows including XFactor USA. Just last year, the group toured all over the world, with shows happening in numerous cities in Europe and Asia. The group performs many of Queen’s most loved hits along with a blend of some of Adam’s newer songs. The newly revamped group currently performs with Spike Edney on keyboards, Neil Fairclough on bass, Rufus Tiger Taylor on percussion and of course, Adam Lambert on vocals.

 

Tickets for their upcoming concert will be available on February 3rd. However, members of the band’s fan club and American Express card holders will get all exclusive access to the tickets much before the rest of the world, commencing on January 31st.

 

USF Women’s Softball – Ready for 2017 with 4 Recruits that Shine a Sunnyside for the Bull’s Future

At the University of South Florida in Tampa, the Lady Bulls softball squad is consistently a hot topic of sports conversation. As the Lady Brahmas prepare to swing into the 2017 season, the saying, “we don’t rebuild, we just retool” is fitting.

 

 

USF will start the season ranked as one of the top 25 best softball teams in the nation. An even brighter future lies ahead for Coach Ken Eriksen’s Bulls, as four highly rated student athletes will join the fold next fall. The world-renowned coach, who occupies the third base coach’s box for the Bulls, is also the leader of the United States Women’s National team.

 

 

The Lady Bull softball team has received letters of intent from a pair of powerful hurlers, adding depth to the pitching staff, plus a hard-hitting outfielder and a versatile utility player who has experience at eight different defensive positions.

 

 

Two More Aces in the Herd

 

Miriam (Mim) Schmoll and Georgina (George) Corrick will be eligible to toe the rubber for USF beginning in 2017. Eriksen justifiably conveys an enthusiastic level of optimism since signing these two power arms.

 

 

Both Mim and George have posted an earned run average, (ERA) below one run a game during their prep careers. Schmoll has led the Bayshore, Florida Lady Bruins since her freshman season, while Corrick is the ace of the Seminole High School staff. Each pitcher throws year-round on the travel ball circuit, with Corrick the lead pitcher for the European Champion Great Britain 19 & under squad.

 

 

Bulls Add Big Bats

 

Kyndall Williams and Jasmine Haynes are a pair of excellent fielders who also possess superb bat control. With a pitching staff that is going to be hard to score upon, team defense, getting runners on pace and scoring runs, are the next needs Eriksen hopes to fill.

 

 

Haynes and Williams will bring excellent fielding skills to Tampa next season, plus a pair of high batting averages. Kyndall also has a home run power, including a near perfect base stealing percentage.

 

Since pitching wins games in women’s fast pitch softball, but batters plate the necessary runs, the future looks bright for the USF Lady Bull softball squad. With one of the brightest and most creative minds in the world of fast pitch softball leading the herd, the future looks bright for the Lady Bulls.

 

Tampa Venues Will Host Group B of Gold Cup 2017

Despite the lack of a franchise MLS club, Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay region are often considered to be spiritual homes of American soccer, often referred to as fútbol. For this reason, local fans are delighted to learn that Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium has been selected as one of the venues for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. A second venue is expected to be announced in the next couple of months.

 

The Gold Cup is a FIFA-sanctioned tournament that selects the top national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The defending Gold Cup champion is Mexico, a country that will also host some matches in 2017. It so happens that the United States National Team has been drawn in the group that will play in Tampa after the initial matches in Nashville. The first U.S. match in Tampa is scheduled for July 12.

 

According to an official press release issued by CONCACAF, the 2015 Gold Cup and the 2015 Copa America were a resounding success for soccer in the U.S., and the American team was able to advance past the group stage. The last time Tampa hosted a Gold Cup match was 2011; subsequent tournaments have been partial to major markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and New York; however, CONCACAF wants to reach soccer-crazy communities such as Sarasota, Bradenton and Tampa.

 

Some of the national teams scheduled to play in the 2017 Gold Cup have a strong FIFA ranking. Costa Rica, for example, is currently ranked 17. Other major national teams include Mexico and the United States; however, Jamaica and Panama are hoping to shine this time around.

 

In previous matches played in Tampa, fans have packed the stadium in support of the national team. The United States is a five-time winner of the Gold Cup.

 

 

USF QB Wins National Award

The accolades for Quinton Flowers, the quarterback at the University of South Florida, keep coming in. He was recently named the National Performer of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards.

 

Th group based their decision on the season’s statistics and feel that Flowers was the most impact player in college football. Instead of voting on who most deserves recognition, the group bases their decision on scientific information. Data from each game is collected and analyzed as the group assesses whose performance was most exemplary.

 

Flowers set school season records for total offense, total touchdowns, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns. In nine of the thirteen games he played, he was responsible for over 300 yards, also a record. Thanks to his level of skill, the team finished the season with 11 wins and 2 losses. This year was the program’s most successful one.

 

Flowers was also named the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the year in 2016. Other awards include being a first team all-conference quarterback, a two-time College Football Performance Awards performer of the week, and a three-time College Sports Madness AAC offense player of the week. He was a candidate or finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Manning Award, and the Johnny Unitas Award.

 

He is currently a junior, measuring six feet tall and weighing in at 210 pounds. He hails from Miami Jackson High School in nearby Miami, FL. His passing and rushing abilities make him hard to defend, and fans are hopeful that he’ll continue his winning ways with the USF team next fall.

 

Clemson Tops Alabama in a Thrilling Game at Raymond James Stadium

Raymond James Stadium was the stage for the 2016 National Collegiate Football Championship. The Alabama Crimson Tide and The Clemson Tigers were primed for a big rematch. The Tide captured the national title last year when they held the Tigers off by five points (45-40).

 

Will Alabama’s talented defense be able to contain the Deshaun Watson? Will Bama’s freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts have a huge game and lead his team to their second consecutive national title? These were the two big questions circulating in everyone’s mind before the game.

 

It is imperative to point out that Nick Saban, Alabama’s Head Coach, dismissed his offensive coordinator several days before the game. Steve Sarkisian took over the offensive play calling responsibilities after Lane Kiffin was released. Some collegiate football insiders felt that move would have a huge impact on Bama’s offense.

 

It was vital for Alabama’s defense to hold Clemson to a low scoring game. Many felt that Hurts did not have enough experience to propel his team to a win if the game turned into a shootout. It is not unusual for inexperienced collegiate quarterbacks to succumb to pressure in big games.

 

Alabama took an early lead, but Clemson managed to get back into the game. The game resembled the classic boxing match that took place between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Both teams kept slugging it out until the end.

 

With only a few second left in the game, Deshaun Watson connected with Hunter Renfrow for the game winning touchdown. This completed pass put the exclamation point on one of the best national championship games in the history of the NCAA. Clemson was the underdog, but their poise and confidence helped them end Nick Saban’s winning streak in national championship games.

 

 

Clemson Bests Alabama to Take Home National Title

In the last second of the game, quarterback Deshaun Watson fired off a pass to wide receiver Hunter Renfrow leading to a win for the Tigers over the Crimson Tide with a final score of 35-31. Watch the crowd go wild after this down-to-the-wire pass here.

 

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was ecstatic after the win, exclaiming that he had told his team at halftime that they were going to win. He didn’t know how, but he knew they were going to win. The moment felt surreal for Coach Swinney and his team, and the last minute victory still hadn’t sunk in.

 

This victory is especially sweet for Clemson after last year’s 45-40 defeat to Crimson Tide just last year. The win is an upset for Alabama fans, crushing a 26 game winning streak and stealing away what would have been Alabama’s 5th National Title in just 8 seasons.

 

Alabama coach Nick Saban was gracious in defeat, commenting that he thought Clemson made some fantastic plays. He admitted that Alabama just didn’t make the plays when they needed to in order to ensure a win. They needed sacks and a takeaway, and at the end of the day Clemson played a better game.

 

The defeat hits hard for Coach Saban as he was one National Title away from tying with Alabama Coach Bear Bryant for most College Football titles in history. It looks like Saban will have to wait at least one more year for the prestige of that honor, as it’s Clemson’s time in the spotlight.

College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 6 through 8, 2017, will be the dates; and Tampa, Florida, will be the place for this exciting family-friendly multi-day fan festival. Thousands of fans will enjoy the many varied special activities, some of which are outlined below, as well as mini pep rallies for each participating team, appearances and performances from institutions’ bands and mascots, special celebrity appearances and exhibits, youth sports clinics, interactive activities, entertainment, and more.

 

AT&T Playoff Playlist Live!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 6 – 8, 2017

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

 

FREE outdoor concert series featuring a variety of national recording artists including Usher, Gavin DeGraw and Jamie N Commons on Sunday.

 

Extra Yard 5K and Family Fun Run

Sunday, January 8, 2017 in Downtown Tampa’s Championship Campus

 

This official Extra Yard 5K road race at 8:00 AM is 3.1 miles down a scenic route of a portion of Bayshore Boulevard. A One-Mile Family Fun Run at 9:00 AM will also be held along a portion of the course.

 

There will also be a post-race awards ceremony, live entertainment, activities with race sponsors, and many benefits along with the registration fees. Proceeds will benefit Extra Yard for Teachers that goes the “extra yard” by celebrating, honoring, empowering, and inspiring teachers.

 

Championship Tailgate

Monday, January 9, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium

 

FREE for all championship game ticket holders.

 

This ultimate game day tailgate will feature ESPN broadcast sets, interactive games, concessions, sponsor activities, and more. Dierks Bentley will headline the Capital One Quicksilver Music Stage.

 

Media Day

Saturday, January 7, 2017, at Amalie Arena – 9:00 AM

FREE event

 

Attendees will see their favorite players and coaching staffs and listen to interviews as over 1,000 media members preview the national championship game.

 

Taste of the Championship

Sunday, January 8, 2017 at the Florida Aquarium

7:00 to 10:00 PM

 

Attendees will get to sample gourmet food and beverages from different geographic regions throughout the country presented by a variety of Tampa-area restaurants. Proceeds from the $250 general admission support the College Football Playoff Foundation..