Teams play Friday in state semifinals in Fort Myers
The Jupiter and St. Thomas Aquinas baseball teams have a common thread this weekend besides vying for titles at the state championships at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.
St. Andrew’s top St. Thomas 12-2 in girls water polo tournament March 9th, 2013
St. Andrew’s School girls coach Adam Gaffey is hoping his team will speed through the districts this year and advance to state.
Five football players from the Dallas/Fort Worth area were selected to the Parade All-America Team, the magazine announced Wednesday.
Three athletes – Lake Highlands offensive lineman Kent Perkins, Jesuit wide receiver Jake Oliver and Plano Prestonwood linebacker Mike Mitchell – were named to the 26-player roster.
Committed to Texas, Perkins (6-5, 300) has already received national honors, named to USA Today’s first team. He didn’t allow a sack over his last three years as a … [visit site to read more]
St. Thomas Aquinas girls hope to end county’s cross country drought November 16th, 2012
St. Thomas Aquinas cross country coach Trish Butler has done her research.
There’s no hesitation in her voice as she volunteers the last time a girls team from Broward County won a state team championship.
It was 1989. Coral Springs did it.
“That’s a long time coming,” Butler said.
It’s crazy how many times Broward girls teams have come close since then.
Cardinal Gibbons finished 3A state runner-up in 1991, 1992 and 1993, 4A runner-up in 1998 and 2A runner-up in 1999 and 2000.
St. Thomas was state runner-up in four consecutive years — 1998 (5A), 1999 (3A), 2000 (3A) and 2001 (3A) – and Cooper City (4A, 2004) and Boyd Anderson (4A, 1999) also have finished second.
Will St. Thomas break through this year for its first state title?
It’ll have to knock off two-time defending champ Tampa Plant, which has won more team state titles (10) than any other girls team in FHSAA history.
The Raiders are favored, though. They’ve been ranked No. 1 in the state in 4A all season long by www.flrunners.com.
“We’ve kept our focus all season and we know where we stand and who we’re racing against,” Butler said. “We’ve been running every race this season as a stepping stone to get to the state championship.”
The Raiders are “coming on really strong” at the right time.
The most significant note about last week’s regional championship was that Alexa Cruz (18:09.24, 1st place), Christina Kalis (18:27.29, 2nd), Megan Schloss (18:47.23, 5th), Marina Braynon-Moore (18:54.82, 6th) and Brianna Rischar (18:57.23, 7th) all finished in a span of 48 seconds.
In October, the difference between the Raiders’ No. 1 and 5 runners was close to two minutes, Butler said.
“The key is to run tough and keep that spread minimal,” she said. “The girls have set individual goals for themselves, but we all have the same goal in mind, which is to be state champion.”
This Raiders team is special.
“Everyone’s getting faster every single year. So if you look at the times, this is by far the fastest team I’ve ever had,” Butler said, adding, “And by far the hardest-working team I’ve had.
“You get out of it what you put into it and they’ve been really focused,” she continued. “This is the most focused team that I’ve had.
“This year, they’ve buckled down and every workout had a purpose. They attacked each workout. They’re eager. It’s really exciting as a coach to see the kids are doing exactly what you say – to the tee. The whole team is doing that, not just one person.”
Butler, whose son Matthew finished fifth (16:16.63) overall in helping the Raiders boys win the regional title, is equally enthused by St. Thomas’ boys team, which she also coaches.
St. Thomas’ boys team lost eight of its top 10 runners from last year, but “The Replacements,” as she affectionately refers to this year’s bunch, has responded well to the challenge.
After Matthew Butler, Antony Cruz (16:28.10, 12th), Alexander Haugen (16:32.78, 15th), Gabriel Darosa (16:38.24, 17th) and Bryce Statham (16:52.86, 24th) scored for the Raiders at regionals.
“The boys have had pressure all season because they lost everybody and we didn’t know how it would play out this year,” she said. “To have five guys running in the 16s is tremendous.
“If they can continue to run like they did last weekend, I’m shooting for top-six [at the state meet]. It’s going to be really tough, but I think they can do that.”
Police: Texas A&M receiver, Skyline grad Thomas Johnson missing November 15th, 2012
Texas A&M police are requesting help in finding Aggie freshman receiver Thomas Johnson, who starred at Dallas’ Skyline High.
Johnson hasn’t been seen since leaving his College Station residence on Monday afternoon around 5 p.m. A&M, which had Sunday off following Saturday’s upset of then-No. 1 Alabama, typically practices at that time. He was wearing a black leather jacket, black shorts and gray shoes, according to a University Police Department news release. He was also in … [visit site to read more]
VIDEO: St. Thomas Aquinas’ Bridgette Villano on win over rival Cardinal Gibbons September 26th, 2012
One of the challenges facing the St. Thomas Aquinas volleyball team is their schedule.
Coach Lisa Zielinski worries the up-and-down schedule could keep her team from getting into a consistent rhythm. That’s why she’s taking her team to Chicago this weekend to play in the Asics Challenge, one of the nation’s top high school volleyball tournaments.
Before packing their bags, though, the Raiders faced a tough challenge right here in Broward County against rival Cardinal Gibbons.
Between them, St. Thomas and Gibbons have combined for 60 playoff appearances. And when they play each other, things usually get interesting.
While Gibbons is in rebuilding mode after graduating 11 seniors, the Chiefs played solidly against St. Thomas, winning a game and keeping pace with the Raiders. Eventually, though, St. Thomas earned the 25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20 win against their county rival.
Here, Raiders outside hitter Bridgette Villano talks about the win and what it means to earn a victory against the Chiefs.
When St. Thomas Aquinas announced earlier this year it planned on hosting defending national champion Don Bosco (N.J.), high school football fans, pollsters and experts around the country took note.
But that matchup–which pits the winners of the past four national titles against each other and is scheduled for Friday at St. Thomas–may have lost a little bit of its luster.
While the Raiders have been impressive in their two season-opening wins, Don Bosco travels to South Florida with an 0-1 record after a 13-6 loss to Gilman to open the season. The Ironmen’s loss snapped a 46-game win streak.
Last week I had the chance to speak with Darren Cooper, a reporter who regularly covers Bosco for the Record in New Jersey. One of the things we discussed was how Bosco seemed a team in transition after graduating a number of seniors and seeing one of its top players, Jabrill Peppers, transfer.
Early on, it seems the transition isn’t going well for Bosco. Earlier this month, the Ironmen lost a pre-season scrimmage and in their opener, Bosco struggled on both offense and special teams, missing both a PAT and a field goal. Bosco coach Greg Toal told the Record, “At this point, I don’t think we’re a very good football team.”
That said, don’t expect St. Thomas to take Bosco for granted on Friday. The Raiders (2-0) know they’ll be playing in front of a national audience and they know they’ll be facing an opponent desperately looking to get things on track.
It could still make for an interesting evening, records not withstanding.
Ticket sales brisk for St. Thomas Aquinas-Columbus showdown August 31st, 2012
I had a chance to check in with St. Thomas Aquinas today about ticket sales for Friday night’s game against Columbus at Sun Life Stadium, and as expected, things are going well.
If you don’t yet have your tickets, you have two options: buy them at the door Friday night (They’ll cost you there) or buy them during lunch at St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday. Lunch period at the school ends at 12:30.
To get you ready for the game, here’s Raiders linebacker Scott Northcutt talking about what the game means to South Florida high school football and the St. Thomas community.
After St. Thomas Aquinas notched a 30-7 win over Dillard in a preseason game Thursday night, some might say the Raiders looked pretty good.
The numbers seem to support that. Quarterback John O’Korn, who will take over as the starter after the graduation of Max Lescano, was 8 of 12 for 91 yards. Running back Fred Coppet had 4 carries for 40 yards with a pair of touchdown runs, fellow back Madre London also had 4 carries for 40 yards and Deltron Sands added 10 carries for 54 yards.
Defensively, St. Thomas held Dillard to just 170 yards of total offense despite the fact several starters were out battling a stomach bug.
Sounds good, right? Coppet would say that’s not enough. Before St. Thomas takes the field for its opener against Miami Columbus next week, he thinks the Raiders need to find a way to make more big plays. They can probably work on a couple of the penalties too. That was one negative for St. Thomas on Thursday. They were flagged 13 times for 121 yards. Ouch.
PrepVolleyball.com ranks St. Thomas Aquinas among nation’s best August 22nd, 2012
As volleyball teams across South Florida prepare for the upcoming season, one of them will enter the new year with a national ranking.
The website PrepVolleyball.com has ranked St. Thomas Aquinas as the No. 44 team in the nation and calls the Raiders “undisputed favorites” to win the Class 7A state title. St. Thomas returns a number of starters from last year’s state-tournament team including middle blocker Brooke Lyons, setter Mackenzie Zielinski and reigning Sun Sentinel Class 8A-7A-6A Player of the Year Allison Belanger.
St. Thomas is one of five Florida teams ranked in PrepVolleyball’s Century Club Pre-Season Rankings. Winter Park comes in at No. 41, Bishop Moore is No. 66, Tampa Berkeley Prep is No. 83 and Orlando First Academy is No. 96.