Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Perez has shaky debut

Holmes Beach resident Chris Perez had a rough first outing with the Cleveland Indians.
Perez was touched for four runs and two hits in 2/3 of an inning during a 6-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Perez also hit a pair of batters and walked one.
An IMG graduate, Perez was acquired by the Indians on Saturday in a trade that sent Mark DeRosa to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals selected Perez with the 42nd pick of the 2006 draft. He went 3-3 with seven saves last season with St. Louis, and was 1-1 with a 4.18 ERA in 29 games this season before the trade.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Panthers place fourth

Bradenton Christian finished fourth out of the Florida High School Athletic Association's Class 1A private schools in the final 2008-09 Dodge Sunshine Cup All-Sports Awards point standings. The Panthers had 231 points.
Points are awarded based on where schools finished in each of the FHSAA's recognized sports. The Panthers' boys basketball and volleyball teams reached the Class 1A final four, and the girls basketball and softball teams reached the regional tournament.
Robby Bennett was a state champion in the 110-meter hurdles at the Class 1A track and field finals.
According to athletic director Drew Mitchell, BCS hasn't finished this high in the Dodge Cup standings since winning the award the 1998.
Boynton Beach Lake Worth Christian was first out of Class 1A private schools with 307 points.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hearing set for FPAE

A day after the Florida High School Athletic Association scheduled an emergency board meeting, a gender equity group was given its day to be heard.
---- Florida Parents for Athletic Equity, which is seeking a temporary injunction that would prevent the association from enacting its decision to pare down the prep sports schedules, had its hearing scheduled for July 17 by a federal court in Jacksonville, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
---- The group alleges that the FHSAA’s board of directors violated Title IX and were biased against female student-athletes when they decided in April to reduce varsity schedules by 20 percent and subvarsity schedules by 40 percent and excluded football.
---- Cheerleading schedules also went untouched, but since more than 36,000 boys in the state play football and just 4,000 girls, the group felt that decision lacked equity.
---- Last week, the six parents of female-student athletes filed a lawsuit against the FHSAA, and lawyers representing the plaintiffs filed the injunction as well as a temporary restraining order Friday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

FHSAA schedules board meeting

The Florida High School Athletic Association’s board of directors have scheduled an emergency meeting.
---- Greg Zornes, the board’s president, called for the meeting, which will take place 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. The meeting’s agenda centers around reconsidering the reduction of prep sports schedules, a measure the board approved during a April meeting.
---- A gender equity group called Florida Parents for Athletic Equity filed a lawsuit last week against the FHSAA, alleging the cuts, which called for a 20 percent reduction of varsity sports and 40 percent of subvarsity sports for all sports excluding football and cheerleading, violated Title IX and were based against female student-athletes.
---- Monday, the group filed for a temporary injunction against the FHSAA. Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a representative for the group, said a conference call has been scheduled for Tuesday to set a date for the injunction.
---- “Although the overriding reason for the reduction was to ease the financial burdens on the schools in Florida,” FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing said in a statement, “it would not help to turn around and have them pay money in legal feels for actions in litigation.”

Kitchie leaving St. Stephen's

Matt Kitchie is leaving Saint Stephen’s.
The only head coach in the Falcons’ three-year history, Kitchie has been hired as the head coach at Land O’Lakes.
“I didn’t really have any intention of leaving Saint Stephen’s,” said Kitchie, who also coached and played at Southeast. “But I got an offer I couldn’t pass up.”
The Falcons went 11-14 under Kitchie. After spending three years as an independent, the Falcons will compete in Class 1B-District 6 in the fall.
Land O’Lakes went 8-2 last season en route to winning the Class 4A-District 8 title.
Kitchie replaces John Benedetto, who coached the program for 32 years.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Equity group gaining steam on Facebook

Florida Parents for Athletic Equity, which was formed in response to the Florida High School Athletic Association's reducing its prep sports schedules, is drawing some interest to its Facebook pages.
A combined 99 Facebook members have signed on as fans to the FPAE, created after the FHSAA's board of directors voted to cut varsity schedules by 20 percent and subvarsity schedules by 40 percent in April. Football and cheerleading were excluded.
On Tuesday, six parents of female student-athletes attending FHSAA member schools filed a lawsuit against the FHSAA, alleging the cuts violated Title IX and discriminated against female student-athletes.
Since the suit was filed, one of the group's Facebook pages acquired 36 new members.
Visitors to the site can read the first letter FPAE sent to the FHSAA on June 3, as well as an email exchange between group representative Nancy Hogshead-Makar and FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing.
Also included is a link to the full 34-page complaint filed Tuesday in Jacksonville.
The pages can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Florida-Parents-for-Athletic-Equity/87463869811 or http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Florida-Parents-for-Athletic-Equity/87463869811?sid=2c1f12ac41003fe2e8903847ec5fa5aa&ref=search.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lawsuit filed today against FHSAA


A lawsuit filed by a gender equity group Tuesday in Jacksonville alleges the Florida High School Athletic Association violated Title IX and discriminated against female student-athletes when it decided to trim the high school sports schedules.
---- Florida Parents for Athletic Equity alleges the cuts, which were approved in April by the association’s board of directors and reduced varsity sports by 20 percent and subvarsity sports by 40 percent, were biased because they excluded football and cheerleading.
---- The exclusion of cheerleading doesn’t equal the playing field, the group contests, because according to the complaint, over 36,000 boys played football in 2007-08 while 4,310 girls and 210 boys were involved in varsity cheerleading.
---- And the group doesn’t view cheerleading as a sport because it doesn’t feature district and regional tournaments, and teams need just four sideline performances to compete for a state championship.
---- The FPAE wants to see the cuts rescinded or made more equitable, and cheerleading to be conducted in the same manner as other FHSAA sports. Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a Jacksonville attorney and representative for the group, said if an injunction was granted and the reductions were frozen, schools would be given enough time to adjust their schedules.
---- Waiting to file the suit wouldn’t give schools enough time to alter their schedules.
---- “You know that old saying — justice delayed is justice denied,” Hogshead-Makar said. “We said if (the board of directors) would have scheduled an emergency meeting on June 26th, we wouldn’t sue. But if they call a meeting on July 16th, then we’re out on our heels and flat on our feet.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

FHSAA taken to court

Deciding to reduce the high school sports schedules has the Florida High School Athletic Association facing litigation.
On Monday, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an attorney and a representative of the Florida Parents for Athletic Equity, said a lawsuit was to be filed this morning in Jacksonviile.
Hogshead-Makar, a professor of law at Florida Coastal School of Law and a three-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, said the suit will allege that the association, in making scheduling cuts for every varsity and sub-varsity sport with the exception of football and cheerleading, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendement of the United States Constitution, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Florida Educational Equity Act.
The suit will be made on behalf of about half a dozen student-athletes whom Hogshead-Makar declined to name.

Read the rest of the story Tuesday morning at Bradenton.com.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reduced schedules to get a second look

Perhaps reducing the state’s prep sports schedules will save athletic departments money.
Perhaps it won’t.
Jeff Malloy doesn’t know for sure.
Consequently, Malloy, athletic director at Gainesville Oak Hall who also sits on the Florida High School Athletic Association’s board of directors, wants to take another look at it. And he would like his fellow board members to follow suit during Friday morning’s meeting in Orlando.
In an attempt to cut costs, the board voted to reduce varsity sports schedules by 20 percent and sub-varsity schedules by 40 percent. Football was excluded.
Malloy voted against the measure, which in April passed by a count of 9-6.
“I don’t feel we had the information necessary to pass the game reductions — for both sides,” Malloy said Wednesday afternoon. “Maybe this is a viable change — I don’t know. I think we need more information.”
Malloy has proposed the board suspend the reductions for 2009-10 to allow members to gather more information from the FHSAA’s member schools. Malloy wants to find out how sports departments are funded, and if slashing the number of games, and therefore slashing the amount of money programs can generate from ticket sales and concessions, would do more harm than good.
“The outcry has been totally negative,” Malloy said, adding superintendents are the few who have voiced support for the reductions. “I feel we need more information, but more importantly, I don’t think we listened to our members."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some spring observations

Spring football is over.
Did we learn anything? Some stuff, such as:
1. Manatee will score points. Quarterback Brion Carnes has already committed to USF, while receiver Ace Sanders and feature back Mike Blakely are being wooed by myriad Division I schools. Coach Joe Kinnan also expects wide receiver Quenton Bundrage, who caught a pair of touchdowns during the Hurricanes' spring win over Largo, to head to a top-tier program. That's four Division I prospects on offense. The defense and offensive line need work, but the Hurricanes should be an offensive juggernaut. Again.
2. Donald Campbell can play quarterback. Coach Raymond Woodie would love to keep Campbell at wide receiver, where Campbell has played since his freshman year. And the coach isn't closing the book on either Rian Kelly or Melvin Burston, neither of whom have varsity experience, filling the void left under center when Ethan Gilbert graduated. But Campbell was dazzling during the Tigers' spring game at St. Petersburg Northeast. His arm is solid, and he is extremely mobile and seems to have a good head on his shoulders. He isn't reckless - but he isn't afraid to take a chance or two, either. Don't be surprised to see Soup taking some snaps once Palmetto begins its district play.
3. Braden River is resilient. The players and coaching staff have been going through the emotional ringer since the March car accident that took the life of assistant coach Doug Garrity. Head coach Josh Hunter, who has driving that night, resigned his post a day before spring practice. But offensive coordinator/interim head coach Ed Volz and his staff, along with players, persevered, and capped the spring with an impressive win at Riverview.
4. Bayshore will be better. The Bruins looked solid during their win over Sarasota. Of course, it was a spring game, and each team played all freshmen during the first quarter. But Bayshore looked more like a team than it had in the past, and may have a bona fide running back in Alex Jackson, who scored three touchdowns while finding space behind a massive offensive line. Bayshore has a tough schedule - Booker, Braden River and Southeast compete in its district, and the Bruins' non-district foes include Palmetto, Manatee and Arcadia DeSoto, so it may be too early so start camping out for playoff tickets. But if their spring game is any indication, the Bruins appear to be heading in the right direction.

Hurricanes excited to head to Plant

Joe Kinnan's scheduling of Tampa Plant for Manatee's kickoff classic is twofold.
One, Kinnan wanted to give his Hurricanes some good competition. Plant, which won the Class 4A state title last season, should provide plenty.
Second, the coach wants his team to experience a game in Plant's Dad's Stadium.
"That's a neat stadium," Kinnan said. "It's got a grandstand, it's got a roof on it, the track goes behind the stadium...
"I played there when I was in high school," he added. "It hasn't changed a whole lot."
After meeting in the preseason, the Canes and Panthers could meet in the postseason -Plant was bumped to Class 5A for the 2009-10 season.
To learn more about the Panthers, head to http://plantfootball.org/, the team's Web site featuring video highlights and stats from last year's state championship run, as well as a schedule for the 2009 season.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Who's the best team in Manatee County? We shall see.

All six Manatee County football teams will face each other this fall for the first time since Braden River, the county's newest program, began playing a full varsity schedule in 2007.
Now we'll truly get to see who's better. No more jabbering on about who had the tougher schedule or the tougher district. All six teams, at some point in the season, will settle their difference on the football field.
Economics is the cause for all this - what better way to save some cash than schedule a bunch of nearby opponents? And just think of how much money these games will generate at the gate. Financially, this is a no-brainer.
Nonetheless, it should be a whole lot of fun. Manatee and Palmetto, for example, haven't met in the regular season since Sept. 24, 2004. That will change when the Hurricanes roll into Harllee Stadium on Sept. 11.
Manatee will also play Braden River for the first time Oct. 16 at Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium.
Some of these all-county affairs will have district implications, such as Braden River's games with Southeast and Bayshore, and Palmetto's game against Lakewood Ranch. Let's face it - those are the games the coaches really want. Beating your backyard rival is nice, but it's not nearly as nice as a long and fruitful playoff run.
And the district games will be fun, too.
But for the first time, all six Manatee schools will meet om the football field. It will be interesting to see who will be left standing.