Tag Archives: football

UWF football defeats Missouri S&T in first home game

Brooke Weber

Staff Writer

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Photo from Pensacola News Journal

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Photo by Brooke Weber

The University of West Florida football team remain undefeated after winning the inaugural home game, 45-28, against Missouri University of Science and Technology, Saturday, Sept. 10, at the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Stadium.

UWF’s offense started out with a gain of 33-yards after quarterback, Kaleb Nobles, connected with freshman wide receiver, Tate Lehtio. However, it was freshman kicker, Autsin Peffers, that first put the Argonauts on the scoreboard, following a 36-yard field goal.

Nobles completed a 14-yard pass to junior wide receiver, Ishmel Morrow, to give the Argos a 10-0 lead against Missouri S&T.

Following Morrow’s touchdown, Missouri S&T went four and out, giving UWF’s offense another chance to score with 1:10 left in the first quarter. Nobles completed a 28-yard touch down pass to senior wide receiver, Anas Hasic, giving the Argos a 17-0 lead against Missouri S&T.

Sophomore wide receiver, Antoine Griffin, put the Argos in a 24-0 lead when he completed a 40 yard pass from Nobles, 12:37 into the second quarter after Missouri S&T quarterback, Tyler Swart, was intercepted by sophomore defensive back, Blake Norwood.

“We know that we can never be content with being up 24 to nothing, so no matter the score, we could have 60 they could have 10, were going to keep pushing,” Griffin said. “Were going to go out there and dominate no matter what.”

Head Coach Pete Shinnick said the key to success was the guys kept believing, and kept playing hard the entire time.

Missouri S&T retaliated after Swart, rushed for one yard to get the Miners on the scoreboard. However, after the Argos went 23-yards in three plays, Andrew Bogaenko, punted the ball to the Missouri S&T seven-yard line, and Braxton Graham returned the ball for a 93-yard touchdown, making the score 24-13.

The Argos took a 31-13 lead 7:16 into the second quarter, when Nobles completed a 67-yard touchdown pass to Hasic.  At the end of the second half the score was 31-20. Nobles said it definitely was a close game.

“Coach Schinnick always tells us at half time that this is your chance to set a new identity for yourself, as far as coming out as a second half team, and dominating the third quarter,” Nobles said. “The third quarter is really when you can put the game away.”

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Photo by Brooke Weber

In the third quarter, Nobles completed two touchdown passes, the first to Griffin, a 35-yard pass, and the second to freshman wide receiver, Kevin Grant, a two-yard pass that made the Argos take a 25-point lead with a score of 45-20.

Missouri S&T put their final points on the scoreboard 10:48 into the fourth quarter, when Swart successfully completed a 2-point conversion to Graham, following a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver, Logan Armontrout.

The ball went back to the Argos during the second to last series for Missouri S&T, when Norwood had his second interception of the game.

“We have been practicing that route all week,” Norwood said after two interceptions in the inaugural game. “I just had to stick my hand out, and get it.”

UWF had 24 first downs, 17 penalties and six fumbles in the game, three of which were lost. Missouri S&T had 19 first downs, 11 penalties and four fumbles, only one that was lost.

“No disrespect to Missouri S&T, but they are in the game because of us,” Shinnick said. “We have to go out and play smart, but I’m extremely impressed and proud of our guys for continuing to fight, it worked out well.”

The offense ended with 503 total yards. Hasic ended the game with two touchdowns, for a total of 137 receiving yards. Morrow had one touchdown with a total of 162 receiving yards. Griffin, had two touchdowns, for a total of 126 receiving yards, and Nobles had 503 passing yards.

Nobles said he does not ever recall ending a game with over 500 total passing yards.

“I don’t think he has played perfect yet, but he’s put us in a really good situation to be where were at right now,” Shinnick said. “Which is 2-0 and very satisfying.”

The Argos remain undefeated following the 45-0 shut out at Ave Maria, and after beating the Miners with a final score of 45-28.

“We know that we can never be content with being up 24 to nothing, so no matter the score, we could have 60 they could have 10, were going to keep pushing,” Griffin said. “Were going to go out there and dominate no matter what.”

 

 

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Photo by Brooke Weber

Antoine Griffin after game interviews on Saturday

 

 

Head Coach Pete Shinnick said the key to success was the guys kept believing, and kept playing hard the entire time.

“No disrespect to Missouri S&T, but they are in the game because of us,” Shinnick said. “We have to go out and play smart, but I’m extremely impressed and proud of our guys for continuing to fight, it worked out well.”

“I don’t think he has played perfect yet, but he’s put us in a really good situation to be where were at right now,” Shinnick said. “Which is 2-0 and very satisfying.”

Pete Shinnick, after game interviews on Saturday

 

 

“Coach Schinnick always tells us at half time that this is your chance to set a new identity for yourself, as far as coming out as a second half team, and dominating the third quarter,” Nobles said. “The third quarter is really when you can put the game away.”

Nobles said he does not ever recall ending a game with over 500 total passing yards.

Kaleb Nobles- after game interviews on Saturday

 

“We have been practicing that route all week,” Norwood said after two interceptions in the inaugural game. “I just had to stick my hand out, and get it.”

Blake Norwood- after game interviews Saturday

Football practice field makes debut; permanent stadium a long-term vision

By Sara Agans

Staff Writer

 This artist’s rendering is the vision of what the UWF football stadium might eventually look like. Photo by Sara Agans.

This artist’s rendering is the vision of what the UWF football stadium might eventually look like.
Photo by Sara Agans.

All year we’ve seen it being built. Piles of dirt being pushed around, machinery in use, and finally, the new Argos practice field has been completed. On April 16, it had its first introduction to the UWF community when the blue-white game was played there.

For the next two years, the inaugural UWF football team will practice there, and play home games downtown at Wahoos Stadium. But what about a long-term home stadium on campus for the team?

The current football practice field will eventually become the game field, UWF Athletic Director David Scott said. “No different than what you see out there… you don’t want to spend money twice, so you are trying to put it in the spot where it is going to be,” Scott said.

Looking at the practice field now, Scott said on one end of the field, there could potentially be a building there.

“As we are able to add throughout the years, we will just continue to build out to what will eventually be a stadium, what will eventually be a facility that we will use. As far as the timeline and how quickly that will happen, that will determine on money and giving, and even on the next (UWF) president. It’ll be interesting how that plays out,” Scott said.

UWF has a contract with the Wahoos stadium to play there for the next two years, with an option of three one-year renewals after that. Scott said he expects the team to play there for three to five years, but it could be longer.

“There’s a lot of advantages to playing downtown, because we don’t have to spend a lot of money on building. So as we are starting to build other pieces, you can only do certain things as you can afford to do them,” Scott said.

He said more than 2,000 people came to the spring game and were enjoying hanging out. “A few guys brought a couch on top of the hill and were sitting there and they had their fraternity flag with them. People came and went, similar to the scrimmage we had downtown, so it was a neat environment,” Scott said.

“The part about bringing football to campus, some people look at it as a sport, but really it is about enhancing student life, hopefully making people aware of the University of West Florida, because we have a great academic institution. There were kids around the field from Enterprise, Alabama; Tate High School; kids from in town; so you are bringing in kids that maybe wouldn’t have looked at the University of West Florida before,” Scott said.

Scott said athletics are something that brings alumni back to campus, and give current students something to rally around. “It creates that glue that ties people back to the institution, like when you see the kind of people that showed up to the game last Saturday, and you get in conversations with people that are alums from 20 years ago that tell you that they thought they would never see the day.”

“Ever since the field has been built, on Twitter you will see sororities, fraternities and general students posting pictures with the Argo head and taking pictures on the field. It’s one of those places that is iconic and uniquely UWF,” Scott said.

“Hopefully what transpires is that it helps the university grow and bring a greater awareness for the University of West Florida. But as far as the field goes, it’s just the first step in a building process; the timeline is sort of to be determined.”

 

Donors to use priority point system to obtain football tickets for fall

By Sara Agans
Staff Writer

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Graphic courtesy of UWF Athletics

UWF’s inaugural football season will soon be here, and fans already are scoping out ways to get tickets.

The University of West Florida’s Argonaut Athletic Club (AAC), the fundraising division of the UWF Athletic Department, has developed a priority points system, designed to rank all athletics donors fairly and to involve them in the selection of their football season tickets, according to a football season ticket information brochure.

The intent of this policy is to reward those who have been loyal supporters of UWF Athletics while allowing new donors to secure seating options. All priority points are based on the donor’s previous and current support of West Florida Athletics, and each donation helps build up priority points. Argonaut Athletic Club members will have access to season tickets based on their priority points and contribution level.

April 16 is the deadline to earn priority points and the opportunity to buy football season tickets for the 2016 home games, which will be played at the Blue Wahoos stadium downtown. All donations must be turned in to the Argonaut Athletic Club, or made online, by this deadline. Season tickets must be paid for, in full, by July 1, 2016.

Luckily for students, they don’t have to be big spenders to get tickets to see the Argos play.

“All football tickets for this coming season will be free. Students don’t have to buy them,” said Brett Berg, UWF Athletics Development Director. However, “We do have a limited number of about 1,000 seats for students. Our process in place is through our Argo Armada, which is our student booster club where they can download an app on their phone. It is the way that we will distribute tickets for next season. We encourage all students to download the app now and start becoming familiar with it so they can have an idea of how they are going to get tickets,” Berg said.

If students attend any UWF home sporting events, and they check in on the Argo Armada app, they will earn points. The more points students earn, the more prizes they can win, such as Publix gift cards, free sandwiches, etc.

“The way it’s going to work for football tickets is the top 200 students who have the most points will get guaranteed tickets for football, and the other 800 will be put into a lottery system and students will be drawn as a lottery,” Berg said. “We’ve never done this before, so we aren’t sure how many students are going to apply, but we are trying to make it fair and to where students have access to tickets.”

“I plan to attend the football games for this upcoming season because it’ll be something different to do that’s high-energy,” said Keilani Hernandez, a UWF senior majoring in archaeology. “So you can assume I’m pretty excited for it. I haven’t begun plans for tailgating, but I’m sure there will be some on the horizon when the time gets closer.”

One thousand tickets will be exclusively for current students, Berg said. About 3,500 seats will remain to buy outside of the student tickets, and this is where the priority points system comes in to play. Not everyone is guaranteed to get season tickets, because there is more demand than supply of season tickets. A person will receive season tickets based on how many priority points he/she has accumulated. Someone with 10 priority points is going to get the chance to buy tickets before someone who has nine priority points, for instance.

Ben Stubbs, UWF associate director of Student Involvement, said he is excited that outside donors and the university community have an opportunity to be involved in this way and will get to attend football games. “I personally don’t have very many points accumulated myself, but I have some friends who do, and I think that they’re excited about seeing some benefit from being involved and contributing to the university, and I think that the football tickets are appropriate for that. It creates some excitement and an incentive for people to invest back into UWF. This is definitely something that I’m looking forward to and will take advantage of,” Stubbs said.

“We want the experience to be a great collegiate football experience for our current students, former students, alumni and all of our community,” Berg said.

For more information regarding season tickets, visit GoArgos.com/FootballTix, which has a 12-page football season ticket information brochure. You can also call 850-474-ARGO.

 

National Signing Day scores 16 new players for UWF

By Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer

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The Argos’ football uniform was on display at Signing Day on Wednesday.
Photo by Spenser Garber.

On National Signing Day, the University of West Florida football team grew by 16 players: Ten defensive players, five offensive players, and one special teams player were added. Of the 16 new players, 14 are from Florida.

The 16 signees were joined by the eight mid-year transfers who enrolled in January and are currently practicing with the team. Among these transfers are three wide receivers, consorting with the three wide receivers that signed on Feb. 3. Two quarterbacks were added to the team: a college transfer from Valdosta State, and the other from University Christian High School in Jacksonville. Chris Schwarz, a running back from New Port Richey, ran for more than 5,000 yards in his past two seasons for River Ridge High School.

On the defensive side, three linemen and two defensive backs were signed. Head Coach Pete Shinnick said he is confident in their athleticism.

Ke’shawn Showers, a local linebacker from Pine Forest High School, signed on to the team. He made 13 starts as a captain while on the team and led the Eagles to a District 1-6A title.

“We feel like we have added a great group of young men,” Shinnick said. He said he is enthusiastic and optimistic about how the team will play in the fall in what he describes as “the toughest football conference in the country.”

These additions to the team will boost the roster to a projected 115 players, including a few walk-ons the coach said he expects over the next few months. According to Shinnick, about 70 of these players will be red-shirt freshmen.

The UWF football team will commence its inaugural season Saturday, Sept. 3, at Ave Maria University. Their first home game will be hosted at Wahoos Bayfront Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, against Missouri S&T University.

Maritime Park will serve as UWF’s home field until the completion of its stadium on the UWF campus.

UWF Football holds last scrimmage before 2016 inaugural season

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Coach Shinnick hugs freshman linebacker Martes Wheeler after the post-game huddle.
Photo by Grier Wellborn.

Grier Wellborn

Contributing Writer

The University of West Florida football team played its final intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday at University Park Fields. Because there are so many injuries within the team, Head Coach Pete Shinnick switched up the roster so that Team Blue was entirely defense and Team White was entirely offense. Each turnover still resulted in a fresh lineup on the field.

The defense again dominated this game, only allowing each offensive team to score twice. The first touchdown was scored by freshman running back Joylon Hamer with only six seconds remaining in the first half. The second touchdown was scored on the final drive of the game. Of the five UWF intrasquad scrimmages, the defense controlled a majority of the game for four, while the offense has struggled to score.

Coaches recognize freshman linebacker Andre Decombe for exceptional play and sharp defense, particularly during the past two scrimmages.

“There is a big difference between high school and college,” Decombe said. “At the beginning of the fall at camp, I started thinking I could do certain things, but I learned to tighten up my technique, my aggressiveness, and with improvement in the weight room, it all came together.”

Both the offense and defense look forward to improving in the next 10 months to prepare for the 2016 inaugural season. Preparation for their first official season will take a lot of team-mandated training and individual training during the offseason.

“Like coach said, we have nine weeks of lifting to get stronger,” said freshman quarterback Gunnar Ballant. “So we’re all going to get better then for sure and come back ready next season.”

Staying strong is important to lock down a spot on the UWF football team seeing as they began the season with more than 120 players and are now down to less than 100.

Although Shinnick says he is extremely proud of the vast improvements the team has made throughout the season, he says he does not believe that the team is ready for Gulf South Conference play just yet.

“The guys who are here have been fantastic, and the guys who are here, they have grown, most of them at a level that we need them to,” Shinnick said. “We are going to add some major pieces to this puzzle, which will give us the depth that we need, the strength that we need.”

In the post-game huddle, Coach Shinnick reminded the players that everything they do, even in the offseason, is a representation of the football team, in hopes that the players will uphold an admirable reputation for UWF football in between seasons.

While UWF students, fans and especially the football team wait in anticipation for the new on-campus football field to come together, the team continues to play at University Park Fields, which could be a major contributor to the many injuries on the team.

“What that is doing is building ankle strength,” Shinnick joked about the indentations in the dirt field. “Now when our players run on a flat surface, they’re going to fly down the field.”

Until the football facilities are built, the team will continue to practice at the fields and will play at Blue Wahoos Stadium for the next few years. The Argos were able to play at Wahoos Stadium for one of their scrimmages this season and say they are excited to make the bayfront stadium their temporary home field until construction is finished.

UWF football “breaks ground” with Maritime Park deal

 

UWF head football coach Pete Shinnick speaks to a crowd of players at the first annual UWF 1-Day Football Camp.
Photo by John Blackie. Courtesy of UWF Athletics.

The University of West Florida football program was cleared to showcase themselves at downtown Pensacola’s Maritime Park Stadium, and the campus saw its first football action this summer as the program continued to take form.

The 5,100-seat Pensacola Bayfront Stadium’s managing body, the Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Trustees, approved the UWF Community Maritime Use Agreement Wednesday afternoon.

UWF President Judith Bense’s signature finalized the pact later that day.

“It is a historic day for UWF, for Pensacola, and for the CMPA board,” Bense said. “UWF football will take the field in the Community Maritime Park in the fall of 2016. We couldn’t be more pleased and appreciate the spirit of cooperation of everyone involved.”

UWF and CMPA had agreed, in concept, to an arrangement in September of 2013, but the pact’s consummation was delayed due to, “some minor adjustments made to the language [in the contract] as requested by CMPA’s attorney’s,” CMPA spokesperson Edward Spears said in an email.

The agreement states that home games “will generally be held on Saturdays,” and allows UWF the right to use the multi-use stadium, the Amphitheater, the festival grounds, the exhibition grounds and parking area between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.   Certain home games may be played on Thursday nights, according to the terms of the contract.

In return, UWF will pay a user fee of $5,000 for every home game, inclusive of post-season contests. In addition, a $1 surcharge will be included in most ticket prices, which will be paid to the CMPA. Concession rights within the stadium are retained by Northwest Florida Professional Baseball, owners of the Cincinnati Reds’ minor league baseball affiliate Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

UWF “retain(s) any and all other revenue streams that may be generated through its use of the UWF Use Area.” This includes media rights, parking fees and merchandise sold. The university may also “allow food vendors outside of the stadium,” by which they may profit.

The length of the contract is two years, and will be effective as of Aug. 15, 2016. UWF has the option of extending the contract for three additional one-year terms.

The contract also states that, “All parties agree to utilize the best efforts to schedule the 2016 Inaugural UWF Football Game at the Community Maritime Park.”

On campus, head coach Pete Shinnick and his staff “broke ground” this past July as they launched the program’s first “UWF 1-Day Football Camp.”

For Shinnick, assistant head coach Steve Saulnier and offensive coordinator Jammie Deese, it was their first opportunity to view potential recruits, introduce them to the campus and give them an idea of what the program will be about, according to a July 14 release on the UWF Athletics’ website.

The clinic, and the more than 200 players who attended, were the first fruits of the fledging program as it moves toward its September 2016 unveiling.

“One of the upcoming milestones will be signing day on Feb. 4 [2015.] That will be the team’s first opportunity to sign incoming players,” director of athletic communications Matt Rowley said, via email.

Jason Dustin
Staff Writer