Sunday, March 30, 2014

Manatees Baseball Begins This Week With Free Fan Fest and Opening Night

VIERA, Florida – The Brevard County Manatees will begin their 2014 season at Space Coast Stadium with two free events.

On Tuesday April 1, fans can meet the team during “Manatees Fan Fest” beginning at 6:00 pm.  Players will be available for autographs and will also hold a practice session.

The Manatees will then kick-off the regular season on Thursday, April 3 when they host the defending Florida State League Champion Daytona Cubs at 6:35 pm.

Opening night is being sponsored by Parker Brothers Concepts.  According to a team press release, “In lieu of paying for admission, the Manatees are asking for fans to please make a monetary donation to the Manatees Community Foundation on Opening Night.”

The 2014 Manatees squad boasts eight of the Milwaukee Brewers top 30 prospects, including outfielders Tyrone Taylor and Victor Roache, according to Baseball America.

A second-round draft pick in 2012, Taylor led Class-A Wisconsin last season in hits, runs scored, and doubles.  Roache had 22 home runs, 74 RBIs, and 202 total bases last season with Wisconsin.

Returning Manatees include pitchers Jacob Barnes, Stephen Peterson, Chad Pierce, Tommy Toledo and catcher Cameron Garfield.  They helped the Manatees to a 66-68 record, the club's best mark since 2009. In the first half the 2013 season, the 'Tees finished one-half game out of first place.




Monday, March 17, 2014

NCAA Bracket Mania - Prediction of First Round Winners

NCAA Bracket Mania - First Round Winners






Ohio State


New Mexico






Michigan State

North Carolina

Iowa State





Oklahoma State


San Diego State






Wichita State


Saint Louis


Winner of Iowa and Tennessee will beat Massachusetts


Arizona State




Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 College Football Bowl Game Predictions


Dec. 30
Armed Forces
Middle Tenn. vs. Navy
Dec. 30
Music City
Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss
Georgia Tech
Dec. 30
Texas vs. Oregon
Dec. 30
Arizona State vs. Texas Tech
Texas Tech
Dec. 31
Advocare V100
Arizona vs. Boston College
Boston College
Dec. 31
Virginia Tech vs. UCLA
Virginia Tech
Dec. 31
Rice vs. Miss. State
Dec. 31
Duke vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M
Jan. 1
Nebraska vs. Georgia
Jan. 1
Heart of Dallas
UNLV vs. North Texas
North Texas
Jan. 1
Capital One
Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
South Carolina
Jan. 1
Iowa vs. LSU
Jan. 1
Michigan State vs. Stanford
Jan. 1
Baylor vs. UCF
Jan. 2
Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Jan. 3
Okla. State vs. Missouri
Jan. 3
Clemson vs. Ohio State
Jan. 6
BCS Title Game
Florida State vs. Auburn
Florida State


Sunday, October 6, 2013

FIT Football Loses to No. 1 Valdosta State

VALDOSTA, Ga. – Florida Tech limited No. 1 Valdosta State to just 71 yards of total offense in the first half, but Valdosta State pulled away in the second half to win 52-14 Saturday afternoon at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. The Panthers are now 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the Gulf South Conference, while the Blazers remain unbeaten at 4-0, 2-0 GSC.
FIT’s defense played superbly in the first two quarters, holding its counterpart to eight rushing yards on 13 carries and 63 passing yards. It also had one interception, recovered one fumble, notched three sacks and had five tackles for a loss of 44 yards. On third down plays, the Blazers were 0-for-7.
The two big plays Valdosta State had were a 62-yard punt return by Willie Downs with 13:49 left in the first quarter and a 56-yard fumble recovery by Tevin Davis with 10:40 to play in the second quarter. Despite those two plays, FIT held the upper-hand in total offense, 94-71, time of possession, 18:26 to 11:34, and it committed four fewer penalties for 50 fewer yards.
“Valdosta State did the things we needed to do in order to win the game,” head coachSteve Englehart said. “They had a punt return and a defensive score in the first half. We still went into the locker room 17-0. Those plays just can’t happen. We were right there against the No. 1 team in the country and were feeling good about the way our defense played. Our defense played really well against their quarterback and got hits against him. They really took away a lot of their passing game.”
In the second half, the Blazers found success on the ground where they scored four of their five touchdowns. Two were on big runs as Cedric O’Neal worked loose for a 63-yard touchdown run and then Austin Scott found the end zone from 72 yards out.
“Other than a couple real long runs, I thought our defense played really well,” Englehart said. “Unfortunately, the score doesn’t show that because we gave them 21 points in the offense and special teams phases of the game. Offensively, we probably played against the best defense in the country. We just couldn’t get in any type of rhythm. We had three and out, three and out. It’s hard to call plays when you have three and outs. You need to get into some rhythm, get first downs on second down and move the chains.”
Aaron George hauled in a 13-yard pass fromDan Masteller for FIT’s first touchdown at the 3:01 mark of the third quarter. The touchdown was the first Valdosta State allowed in 169 minutes and 37 seconds. Fort Valley State was the last team to score a touchdown against the Blazers on Sept. 7.
Masteller delivered one more touchdown pass, this time toDaniel Fernandez with 31 seconds remaining. He finished 8-for-11 for 110 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. StarterBobby Vega was 12-for-26 for 72 yards and had one interception.
Gabe Hughes led the Panthers with six catches for 43 yards.Trevor Sand rushed 17 times for 68 yards.
J.J. Sanders had a team-high nine tackles. He also had one tackle for a loss and forced one fumble. The Panthers finished the game with three sacks after totaling two sacks in their first four games.
The Panthers will step out of Gulf South Conference play for their last of three straight road games next Saturday, Oct. 12 at Ave Maria. Kickoff against the Gyrenes is set for 1 p.m. ET.
“We need to keep plugging away and keep getting better,” Englehart said. “We just faced three really good football teams over the last three weeks. We need to keep our head up and understand there is a process we need to go through. We’re close and I’m tired of saying we’re close all the time and saying ‘if this,’ ‘if that.’ If we can get both sides of the ball clicking together, I think we can be really good.”
THis story was provided by:
Ryan Jones
Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Communications
Florida Tech Athletics
150 W. University Blvd.
Melbourne, Fla. 32901

Friday, September 20, 2013

Panthers Overcome by No. 16 West Alabama

MELBOURNE, Florida –The Florida Tech Panthers got an up-close view of the type of football program they are aspiring to become when No. 16 West Alabama rolled into town Thursday night for the NCAA Division II Game of Week, shown live nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Though the Panthers would fall to the defending Gulf South Conference champions 45-3, FIT head coachSteve Englehart saw plenty of positives for his first-year team to build upon in the GSC opener for both teams.
“I’m still proud of our guys,” Englehart said. “The score doesn’t look real good, but I know that we’re not far off. We’re really not that far off.”
West Alabama, which was coming off a two-point loss to McNeese State (which opened the season with a 32-point win against South Florida) showed plenty of offensive firepower in this one. Running back Javae Swindell ran for a 76-yard touchdown on the game’s second play and finished with 170 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries.
The Tigers had 637 yards of total offense, including 389 yards on the ground.
However, FIT had its share of moments in front of a national television audience as well.
* KickerBrion Ashley nailed a 29-yard field goal on the final play of the first half for his fifth field goal of the season. The freshman has now scored in all three games Florida Tech has played. Ashley also punted well Thursday night, pinning the Tigers down inside their 20 three times.
*Jake Holsinger blocked a West Alabama punt.
*Tyler Rosenblatt intercepted a pass by West Alabama’s Gary Johnston in the end zone and returned it 32 yards. The pass was tipped by FIT’sManny Abad.
* Return manDavis Fluker had a 32-yard kickoff return.
* Wide receiverXavier Milton had four catches for 79 yards, including a 47-yard reception near the end of the first half to help set up the Panthers’ only score.
*Chris Stapleton had 11 tackles while Trai Cadore had eight and Justin Arcune had eight.
“There were a lot of positives,” Englehart said. “I don’t think the scoreboard shows, really, how good our football team can be.”
To get there, the Panthers are going to have to solve a few problems, particularly on offense where they were able to move the ball well all the way up to their opponent’s 30-yard line when the drive would stall.
That was the case on FIT’s opening drive when the Panthers moved the ball into West Alabama territory before the drive stalled out and Ashley was forced to punt.
Later, FIT would drive to the Tigers’ 25-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass and failed quarterback run on fourth-and-1.
“We’ve got so much talent on this team, it’s just (a matter of) putting it all together,” said junior co-captainRamsey Sellers. “We’ve just got to figure out a way to gel. We’ve got to. There’s just too much talent for us not to put up any points.”
The Panthers (1-2), who will travel to play Delta State next Saturday, got a scare at the end of the first half when quarterbackSean Ashley was hit while delivering what would be a 47-yard pass to Milton and landed on his shoulder.
Bobby Vega played the second half at quarterback for the Panthers, withDan Masteller getting in for a few plays as well.
West Alabama led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 28-3 at halftime. But as Englehart pointed out, the Panthers certainly had their chances to generate some offense in the first half, but came up short.
Though the Panthers have quite a young team, neither Englehart or Sellers were worried about what Thursday’s loss would do to the team’s psyche.
“I think we can bounce back for sure,” Sellers said.
Englehart said he thinks the Panthers are a resilient bunch.
“They know they’ve got to get better, but they also know they played one of the best teams in the country tonight,” Englehart said. “… We caught a team that’s a dang juggernaut right now on a bad night. We just didn’t tackle them very well. That was the biggest thing. (But) there were a lot of positives. We’ll get better.”
FIT and Delta State will kick off at 7 p.m. ET next Saturday in Cleveland, Miss.
By Carl Kotala of FIT Sports

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Florida Tech Drops First Road Game

NEWBERRY, South Carolina – Florida Tech drove down the field late and had a chance to score the go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes remaining, but Newberry’s Latavious Williams sacked Bobby Vega on 4th-and-5 to preserve a 23-19 win Saturday afternoon at Setzler Field.
The loss, FIT’s first of its inaugural season, drops the Panthers to 1-1. Newberry remains unbeaten at 2-0.
The Panther defense forced two fumbles and two interceptions. The first interception, hauled in by Trai Cadore inside FIT’s goal line, was returned for a 100-yard touchdown. The score gave FIT a 13-7 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
FIT’s offense, although it didn’t commit a turnover, was held to 231 yards. Its run game, which totaled 206 yards in its first-ever game exactly one week ago, accumulated 75 yards.
“I don’t think there’s been very many times that I’ve been part of a game where we don’t turn the ball over, our defense gets four takeaways and scores a touchdown, and we lose,” head coach Steve Englehart said. “Percentages and odds say that you don’t lose that game. It’s disappointing. We deserved to win the game. Our kids played extremely, extremely hard. Their coaches were very complementary in how we played.”
Newberry scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to go up 21-13. Trevor Sand helped break a string of three-straight three and outs with a 16-yard touchdown run with 9:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Newberry looked to be going for a first down on 4th-and-10 from FIT’s 30 until a false start sent out the punting unit. Kyle Clark pinned the Panthers at their seven following a 28-yard punt.
Vega was then sacked for a safety on the third play of the following drive to make the score 23-19.
The defense stood tall one final time to give the offense an opportunity for a late score. The Panthers methodically moved the ball and appeared to be in a good position with a 3rd-and-5 on Newberry’s 16-yard line. However, Vega’s pass intended for Aaron George was incomplete and Williams ended the Panthers’ hopes with a sack on fourth down.
“It hurts when you’re that close and know that you had that many chances,” Englehart said. “Our field position hurt us. (Davis) Fluker caught the kickoff and stepped out of bounds. He’s young, he made a mistake and he’ll learn from it. We were just backed up a lot and the defense had to play in their territory a lot. If you look at it, I would guess their average starting field position was around midfield. Our average starting field position was probably inside the 15-yard line.”
Chris Stapleton led the defense with 13 tackles. Justin Arcune forced one of the fumbles and Steven Thomas came up with the game’s second interception. Stapleton and Tyler Grow both had two tackles for a loss.
“We played hard-nosed football,” Cadore said about the defense. “Everyone did their assignments, stayed humbled and hungry throughout the game. We had four defensive turnovers. You can’t get any better than that. We need to stay hungry and continue to have the passion to win.”
“I knew the quarterback was going to throw that pass,” he said about his touchdown interception return. “I bit on it and it was right in front of me. All I then saw was the end zone.”
Vega finished 9-of-19 with 99 passing yards. Sand carried the ball 14 times for 64 yards. Jarvis Giles averaged eight yards per carry on four touches. Newberry’s defensive line held the Panthers to an average 2.1 yards per rushing attempt.
“They were good upfront in their defensive line like we thought they would be,” Englehart said. “We learned a lot about our team and what kind of team we have. They’re tough, they’re resilient. We need to simplify some things on offense and get back to basics. We had our chances. I know we were one play away from winning that football game. When you’re that close it stings.”
The Panthers have a short week ahead as they will host defending Gulf South Conference Champion West Alabama in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network Thursday at 8 p.m. ET at Palm Bay High School’s Pirate Stadium. As of Friday, over 1,000 single-game general admission tickets were available for the GSC opener for both teams.
Tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for FIT faculty and staff with school ID, seniors ages 65 and above, children ages 5-16 and active duty military with ID. Children under five years of age are free. Tickets can be purchased online at, by dialing 321-674-6228 and at the Clemente Center Ticket Office Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
This story was supplied to Brevard Times by Ryan Jones, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Communications at FIT.