King 28, Strawberry Crest 16

TAMPA — Once it established the run, King dominated, beating Strawberry Crest 28-16 on Friday night.

Senior quarterback Kenyatta Young took advantage of a flooded line of scrimmage by simply throwing over it.

“He wants to be a college quarterback. He’s big enough to be a college quarterback,” said King coach Alvin Davis. “He did real good tonight.”

Young started off cold though, completing just four of his first 11 passes. But he finished by completing seven of his final eight, including three touchdowns.

After being shut out in the first quarter, King scored in each of the final three, accented by 14 in the fourth. The defense forced four turnovers and accounted for eight sacks in the game.

This article can be found here, as originally published in print in The Tampa Bay Times.

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Best of the Bays

Best Demolition:

The walls of Baywalk

Sorry, Bill Edwards, but you missed a spot. Yeah, I admit, those couple walls were a good start, but hear me out. Sell some tickets, buy a couple barrels of gun powder and a fresh beginning; just blow it up, man. Baywalk is the only place in the world where protesters, 16-year-old “undesirables” with their caps on funny, and St. Pete ladies browsing White House Black Market could collide. This isn’t a good thing. I repeat: This is not a good thing. Sure it’s a lot prettier now, and it’s getting a new name, but it’ll never be a place I want to hang out.

 

This article can be found here as originally published in Creative Loafing.

Best Local Tech Start-up:

BetterBoo.com

Socks are no longer the worst gift you can get. If I open a card from a friend and there’s a gift certificate in there, I’m going to be pissed. Not like, “This is irritating” pissed. More like, “Have we known each other for six years? Don’t you know I hate Home Depot?” pissed. That’s where Betterboo.com comes in. Founded by University of Tampa graduate Nick Chmura in 2011, the site went live with its updated version on August 15. Think Pinterest meets practical and creative gift shopping. Really interesting concept for those of us not satisfied with shitty effort.

 

This article can be found here as originally published in Creative Loafing.

Best Feel-Good Sports Story:

Eric LeGrand signing

At this point, everything Greg Schiano touches turns to gold. Players can’t stop raving about the new Bucs coach’s hard-ass attitude. His best moment, though, came in July when he helped orchestrate the signing of Eric LeGrand, one of his former players at Rutgers who was paralyzed in a 2010 game. Though he only officially remained on the roster for a few months, the signing gave the Tampa Bay franchise some kudos across the nation and fulfilled LeGrand’s dream of making the NFL. I got goosebumps from the press conference and found a great reason to became a Bucs fan again.

 

This article can be found here as originally published in Creative Loafing.

Middleton 17, Lennard 12

TAMPA — Middleton won for the first time in more than a year as the Tigers beat Lennard 17-12 on Friday night.

The game marked Alonzo Ashwood’s first win as head coach.

“This was my first victory but that’s just our breakthrough,” Ashwood said. “I kept telling them, ‘Let’s win one game and then let’s keep moving on.’ ”

Down for most of the night, Middleton bided its time as Lennard was plagued with penalties and long third downs for most of the second half. The Tigers finally broke through with just under six minutes left in the game, when senior Amp Carswell rushed for a 53-yard touchdown, emphasized by a ferocious stiff arm at the 30-yard-line.

Before Friday night, Middleton last won Nov. 12, 2010, at Blake.

This article can be found here, as originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.

Bloomingdale 28, Strawberry Crest 27

VALRICO — In his first career varsity game, Isaiah McIntyre was efficient and explosive. More than that though, he was perfect.

McIntyre finished 11-for-11 in the game for 140 yards and two touchdowns as Bloomingdale edged Strawberry Crest 28-27. The young quarterback added 22 yards on the ground as well, including a key first down with less than two minutes left in the game.

“You’ve got a 14-year-old under the lights. How is he going to perform? I didn’t know,” said Bloomingdale Coach John Booth. “He completely blew away any expectations that I had.”

Strawberry Crest was held scoreless in the second half by a ferocious Bulls defense, and a special teams squad that blocked two field goals and an extra point.

This article can be found here, as originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.

New Baseball Format Sparks Debate

Tampa Bay players Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce celebrate as B.J. Upton and George Hendrick look on. The Rays made the postseason last year with a wild-card spot not a one-game playoff. | Photo courtesy Keith Allen/Flickr.com

For the first time in the history of Major League Baseball, there will be 10 playoff teams come this October. Only, not really.

We’ve been shammed! Can’t you see right through it? You can’t? You mean you’re actually excited by this two wild card business? Alright. I understand your initial reaction, but I’m going to talk you through this. Please don’t do anything rash, like buying an Angels’ playoff ticket. Not a good idea.

Tampa Bay players Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce celebrate as B.J. Upton and George Hendrick look on. The Rays made the postseason last year with a wild-card spot not a one-game playoff. | Photo courtesy Keith Allen/Flickr.com

The first thing I want you to know and understand before we move on is that everyone involved in owning or running a major sports organization has money. Lots of it. Only they’re not satisfied with this amount of money and they want more of it. And no matter how much you or I want to believe that winning is the main goal of any franchise, realize that mostly, winning is the main goal because it brings people to the stadium and it sells shirts and it makes money. Winning makes money. Ok, now that we’ve established that, we can move on to this whole playoff thing.

Back in March, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the league had expanded its playoffs for the first time since 1994. Both the American and National League will send their two best non-division winning teams to a one game playoff to determine which team will make it into their respective Division Series.

“This change increases the rewards of a division championship,” Selig said, to MLB.com, “and allows two additional markets to experience playoff baseball each year, all while maintaining the most exclusive postseason in professional sports.”

I will admit, the first part of what he said is great. Winning your division should carry more weight than it did. It’s the whole next bit that doesn’t sit so well.

The rest of this article can be found here where it was originally published in The Minaret.

Landmark Christian 39, Keswick Christian 7

ST. PETERSBURG — Keland White nabbed the would-be touchdown near his own 5-yard line Friday night. He cut to the middle, then to the outside as Keswick tacklers fell to his feet. Ninety-five yards later and he was strolling into the end zone. Again.

White accounted for six touchdowns in Landmark Christian’s 39-7 victory over Keswick Christian, five of them on rushes and then the fourth-quarter interception that sealed the victory.

Just as impressive as their running game, the Patriots’ defense proved strong. The Crusaders’ only score came on a kickoff return in the first quarter as senior quarterback Taylor Angell couldn’t get their offense moving. He was under pressure often as the Patriots’ D-line dominated.

“I think we made a statement,” White said. “Watch out, Landmark is coming back.”

This article can be found here, as originally published in The Tampa Bay Times.