Tag Archives: sports

The UWF Fencing Club offers a unique experience

By Spenser Garber

Contributing Writer

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UWF Fencing Club members: Kara Griffith, Cynthia Phipps McCord, Randi Marie, Tibenko Tibenko Tibenko, David Barker,Cassie Edens, Brad Cramer Jr. and Tommy C. Ramey. Photo Courtesy of UWF Fencing Club.

When it comes to unique sports, fencing may be at the top of the list. For this sport, fencers (participants) typically use one of three different types of swords – foil, saber, or épée – to spar against an opponent.

The UWF Fencing Club studies Renaissance era rapier fencing using schlager-type and reproduction rapier blades. But the sport is not just about strategically swinging a blade. Learning footwork and hand positions are foundational to fencing.

On Feb. 2, the club held a tournament at Miraflores Park located in Pensacola’s East Hill neighborhood. This annual competition is sponsored by the Pensacola Historical Society. The fencing club participated exclusively in the rapier division, resulting in club member UWF senior Nikita Tibenko placing first overall.

“Tournaments are a good outlet to test one’s skill, but the true art comes out in regular practice,” Instructor Brad Cramer said.  Cramer likes to emphasize the spirit of fencing. Camaraderie among the fencers, humility in the tournaments, and respect for the art of fencing are all important aspects of the sport to him.

Last semester, the club attended the South East Renaissance Fencing Open (SERFO) on Nov. 14-15 in Atlanta. The event housed about 80 people, according to Cramer. Tibenko, who has been with the fencing club for about 10 months, placed second at this event.

Three more events are planned for the spring semester. The Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) holds an event in February; and Gulf Wars, held in March, is a week-long event in Lumberton, Miss. The Pensacola Renaissance Faire is another planned event for the fencers on Mar. 5-6.

Club vice president Cynthia McCord, a member for three-and-a-half years, said some of her best friends are fencing club members. “We’ve progressively gone to more tournaments and events,” McCord said.

The UWF Fencing Club is open to all students, faculty and staff. Practices are held 6 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the Teaching Gym, on the lower level of the Health, Leisure, and Sports Building.

For all questions, email Cassie Edens, club president, at cle17@students.uwf.edu, or contact the officers through their Facebook page.

 

The Lady Argos hold off Lee to win in double overtime

By Grier Wellborn

Sports Editor

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Sophomore forward Courtney Meyer shoots free throws in double overtime win against Lee University.
Photo by Grier Wellborn.

What looked to be a dominating win for the University of West Florida women’s basketball team turned into a fight for possession up until the last three seconds of the double overtime brawl between the Lady Argonauts and the Lee University Flames.

Thursday’s game against the Flames followed UWF’s Annual Blizzard Bash, sparking attendance to more than 600 fans.

All five starters for the Lady Argos scored in the double digits, and four of the five starters scored double-doubles in their highest scoring game of the season.

Sophomore forward Courtney Meyer scored 13 points and had 12 rebounds in Thursday night’s game against Lee.

“It was really exciting,” Meyer said. “Coach has been emphasizing that we have to have several offensive threats step up every game because the more scorers, the harder it is to guard us. We know that’s [four of five players scoring double-doubles] really rare, so it was exciting, but we really just get hyped off of our teammates’ success.”

Three of the starters, including junior forward Katie Bobos, junior guard Alex Coyne and sophomore forward Toni Brewer, are all ranked in the top 20 in the Gulf South Conference for scoring. Coyne also scored a career high in steals and assists with eight steals and 12 assists.

Despite a record-setting game for the Lady Argos, Lee was not going down without a fight.

The first two quarters of the game were dominated by the Lady Argos. UWF possessed the ball first and was the first on the scoreboard. The first quarter ended with a Lady Argos lead of 10 points, while at halftime, the Lady Argos were winning by a 13-point margin.

The Lady Argos steady double-digit lead was challenged in the second half when the Flames made a striking comeback. The Flames would not go down easy, and they gradually extended their score in the second half. With eight minutes left in the game, the Lady Argos led by only one point.

“Lee fought back hard and in the second half,” Bobos said. “We had a hard time making the easy shots. Lee started to adjust offensively to our defensive game plan and we had to play personnel correctly. Both teams hustled and played hard. I’m happy we came out on top. That was a big win for our team.”

Bobos, one of the starting five players scored 19 points, and had 12 rebounds in her double-double game against the Flames.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the game was tied 69-69 and the teams were forced into overtime. Throughout the five minutes of overtime, both teams had alternated leads, and another five minutes was added to the clock for a second overtime with a score of 76-76.

With 23 seconds left in double overtime and a five-point lead by the Lady Argos, Lee continued to foul the Lady Argos in a desperate attempt for ball possession. UWF secured the win with fouls shots by Coyne that drove the Lady Argos to a four-point edge on Lee. UWF ultimately won the game with a score of 89-85.

“Games in the GSC, we say it every game, they are challenging and they go down to the wire. You’re going to see some really good women’s basketball in our conference,” Head Coach Stephanie Lawrence Yelton said. “Tonight was one of those cases of things going our way; we hit free throws when we needed to, we got big rebounds, held on to possessions when we needed to and we were able to come out with a win.”

Yelton is in her fourth season as the head coach of UWF’s women’s basketball team and has since led the Lady Argos to their first GSC Championship in the 2013-2014 season.

The UWF women’s basketball team is now tied with Lee for third place in the GSC. The Lady Argos last met with Lee in December when they lost 82-85 to the Flames.

The Lady Argos will return to their home court on Thursday, February 11 to face off against Christian Brothers at 5:30 p.m. in the UWF Field House.

The Argos sports teams look forward to the spring 2016 seasons

Grier Wellborn

Sports Editor

With the spring sports season just around the corner, the University of West Florida hosted a Spring Sports Media Day and Luncheon to spotlight men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, baseball and softball teams. UWF currently holds 83 championship titles, 53 of which were won by spring sports teams. Head coaches and two athletes from each sport attended to answer questions in the Argonaut Athletic Club on Wednesday afternoon.

MEN’S TENNIS

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From left to right: Senior Kenny Brasil, Head Coach Derrick Racine and senior Alex Peyrot address the media regarding their nationally ranked tennis team.

 

 

 

Men’s tennis took the podium first. Head Coach Derrick Racine brought senior Kenny Brasil and junior Alex Peyrot to share the spotlight. Racine has been coaching for UWF tennis for 18 years with a career record of 409-89 and three NCAA National Championship titles alongside the men’s tennis.

Both Brasil and Peyrot were on the National Championship Team in 2014 and are nationally ranked in the top 22 players in the singles rankings. UWF men’s tennis is ranked No.4 in NCAA DII preseason rankings. With such high standards set for the tennis team in the preseason, the players approach the season with confidence.

“We have the same team we had last year,” Brasil said. “Everybody is back, were confident, we’re practicing hard and we’re hoping for good things this year.”

The men’s tennis program lost only one player off last year’s roster and has not added any new players to this year’s roster. The men’s tennis team is extremely confident going into the spring season with the same roster as last year, but with more experience. The UWF men’s tennis will begin its season at Columbus State University on Saturday, Feb. 6. For the complete schedule, see the men’s tennis page.

 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

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From left to right: Senior Nina Bubelova, Coach Racine and senior Katarina Dikosavljevic were all smiles in anticipation for their spring tennis season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women’s tennis, also coached by Racine, followed the men. Senior Nina Bubelova and senior Katarina Dikosavljevic attended. Racine has also coached the women’s team for 18 seasons and has a record of 375-124.

While the men have made little changes from last year’s team, the women have made drastic changes to its roster after losing multiple top players. They have added six new players to the 2016 roster. Despite the personnel losses, UWF women’s tennis is ranked No.6 in NCAA Division II preseason rankings. Both Bubelova and Dikosavljevic are ranked in the top 42 players in national singles rankings.

Spirits are high as the UWF women’s tennis team heads into the regular season. They are confident that its 13-player roster has strengthened from challenging each other to be the best players they can be.

“I think that having a lot of girls at the same level creates a really competitive environment,” Dikosavljevic said. “We know what happens on the court, stays on the court, and we just all try to push each other every day and try to be the best that we can be.”

The women’s team said it believes that this year will be a battle for the top spot and it plans to treat every point as such. UWF women’s tennis will also open at Columbus State University on Saturday, Feb. 6. For the complete schedule, visit the women’s tennis page.

 

BASEBALL

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From left to right: Senior Kyle Hamner, Head Coach Mike Jeffcoat and senior Brandon Nagem address the media after news of their second place pre-season ranking in the Gulf South Conference.

 

 

Head Coach Mike Jeffcoat brought along senior catcher Kyle Hamner and senior pitcher Brandon Nagem. Coach Jeffcoat, a former UWF baseball player, has been coaching baseball for 15 years. In his 10 seasons at UWF, Jeffcoat’s 356-190 record includes the NCAA National Championship in 2011.

As for the players, Hamner was named to American Baseball Coaches Association’s South Region Gold Glove Team for his performance in 2015. Nagem was selected last year as the 2015 Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Year, and ABCA South Region Pitcher of the Year. UWF baseball was selected to finish second behind the University of West Alabama in the GSC this year in preseason polls. Nagem, senior Alex Greene, senior Chase Kiefer and junior Jarrod Petree were selected on the preseason All-GSC Team.

According to Jeffcoat, because the preseason polls are based on last season, they are insignificant to the performance of the players this upcoming season.

“The ranking are kind of subjective, opinionated and really based on what you’ve done in the past,” Jeffcoat said. “Where we start is definitely not indicative of where we finish.”

Jeffcoat will coach alongside other former Argonaut baseball players Kyle Brown and Justin Bennett. The UWF baseball team will start its 2016 spring season at Florida Southern College on Saturday, Feb. 6. See the baseball schedule.

 

MEN’S GOLF

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From left to right: Freshman Bryce Geraghty, Head Coach Steve Fell and senior Talin Rajendranath are optimistic about their spring season due to fall successes.

 

The UWF men’s golf team followed the baseball team. Head Coach Steve Fell was joined on stage by freshman Bryce Geraghty and senior Talin Rajendranath. Fell has coached the UWF men’s golf team for 22 seasons with two NCAA National Championship titles in 2001 and 2008 as head coach. The golf team came out of its fall season as the No.1-ranked team in the nation.

Both Geraghty and Rajendranath finished in the top three players at fall tournaments. Players said that on a team of 13 players, team chemistry is key to success as a team and for the players’ individual achievements. Geraghty, a freshman from Gulf Breeze, said he feels he is adjusting well to the transition from golf at the high school level to college level.

“I’ve known these guys for a semester and I feel like I’ve known them my whole life,” Geraghty said. “We help each other on and off the course, we hang out together all the time and it’s things like that which make the transition really easy.”

The UWF men’s golf team will begin its spring season at the Matlock College Classic hosted by the Slammer and Squire course at the World Golf Village on Monday, Feb. 8. Find the schedule here.

 

WOMEN’S GOLF

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From left to right: Senior Daisy-May Kenny, Head Coach Bryan Clarke and senior Fanny Starzmann address their fall season as well as their upcoming spring season.

Head coach Bryan Clarke addressed the media with seniors Daisy-May Kenny and Fanny Starzmann. Clarke, a UWF graduate, has coached the women’s team for four seasons. Both Kenny and Starzmann have been on the team since Clarke’s inaugural season as head coach.

Over the fall season, the women had the opportunity to go to the NCAA preview in Denver to practice on a high-altitude course. They hope to return in May for the NCAA Championship tournament. Because a team from the southern region has won the NCAA Tournament every year, except for last year, Clarke said she believes that if the women’s team can be successful in the southern region, they have a great chance at Nationals.

“We’ve got a lot of depth on our team, and we’ve got a couple new players,” Kenny said. “We’re fighting against each other but at the same time, we’re pushing each other, and I think that’s important to have a strong team.”

With nine women on the team, only five are selected to play in any particular tournament over the course of the season.

The women will start its spring season at the World Golf Invitational at the Slammer and Squire course at the World Golf Village on Feb. 7. Find the complete schedule here.

 

SOFTBALL

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From left to right: Senior outfielder Emily Pettigrew, Head Coach Melissa Paul and senior pitcher Kalyn Chapman hope their momentum from last season carries on into the spring.

 

Last to address the media was the softball team. Head Coach Melissa Paul brought along senior outfielder Emily Pettigrew and senior pitcher Kalyn Chapman to represent the team. This season is Paul’s second season with the team and fifth as a head coach.

After losing all but one starter, the Lady Argos did not start its season the way it wanted. The Lady Argos finished with a lot of momentum and hope it carries into its 2016 spring season. With experienced players such as Pettigrew and Chapman returning this season, the team hopes to improve its record.

“This year has changed because we’ve really focused on building our culture,” Pettigrew said. “I think that this year that is our focus; being good teammates and playing hard and holding each other accountable more.”

Paul said they are trying out a new, creative system this year in order to develop skills and improve play. The UWF softball season will commence on Feb. 5 at Tuskegee University. Find the complete schedule here.

UWF spring athletics, a look ahead

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

Spring 2016 will mark the University of West Florida’s last semester without football.

However, the Argonauts will boast a lineup of teams that features a three-time NCAA Division II national champion men’s tennis team, two-time national champion men’s golf team and one-time national championship baseball team.

An overview of this spring’s Argonaut athletic schedule.

Baseball

2016 is UWF Head Coach Mike Jeffcoat’s 11th season. During his tenure, the Argonauts have won the national title and compiled a .652 winning percentage.

Jeffcoat is hoping his team can snap a two-year NCAA Division II tournament drought, which has come following a four consecutive appearances (2010-2013).

Last year UWF finished 30-18 overall, and fourth in the Gulf South Conference with a 21-11 record, according to UWF Athletic Communications. This year’s schedule is 50 games in total, with the Jim Spooner Field home-opener scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m., when they will meet the University of Mobile.

Returning from last year’s squad is the entire infield, as well as the team’s top-performing pitcher, according the UWF Athletic Communications.

Jeffcoat’s lineup will feature five of the last year’s top seven batters, including versatile sophomore Nick Kerkmann, of Oviedo, Florida, who led UWF with a .338 average last year.

Pensacola’s Brandon Nagem returns for his final season. The Pine Forest High School product’s 2.00 ERA ranked third in the GSC in 2015.

The Argos home schedule is highlighted by a three-game series against defending national champion the University of Tampa, on Feb. 12-14.

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team closed out the fall portion of their 2015-2016 ranked first in the nation.

The Argos’ schedule resumes on Feb. 8, when they travel to Lakeland, Florida to take part in the Matlock Collegiate Classic, which is hosted by Florida Southern College.

The team’s lone home course appearance will be when UWF hosts the three-day Argonaut Invitational, beginning Monday, April 4. It will take place at the Tiger Point Golf Club, in Gulf Breeze. The tournament will take place assuming Head Coach Steve Fell’s team maintains something close to their current form, they will open GSC tournament play on Monday, April 19 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

The NCAA Division II National Championships will be in Denver, hosted by Metro State University, and begin on Monday, May 16 for all who qualify. Fell led the Argos to the national title during the 2007-08 season.

Women’s golf

The women’s golf team resumes play on Sunday, Feb. 7, at the World Golf Invitational in St.Augustine, Florida.

The first opportunity for UWF fans to watch the team will be at the Argonaut Invitational on Monday, April 4, which will take place at the Stonebrook Golf Club, in Pace.

The GSC tournament begins on Monday, May 2, in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. UWF will host the NCAA Division II Super Regionals in 2016. The three-day event, which will be in Pace, begins on Sunday, May 1.

The national tournament, for those who qualify, begins on May 19, in Aurora, Colorado.

Softball

Last year’s team finished with an overall record of 19-30.

The 2016 edition’s offense looks to be fueled by two sophomores. Meghan Toney’s .320 batting average was third best on last year’s team, when she was a freshman. The sophomore from Huntsville, Alabama will team with Pensacola native, and fellow sophomore Kaylen Rowell. Rowell led the Lady Argos with five homeruns in 2015, and was second with 25 RBI.

Becca Taylor, the team’s best-performing pitcher of 2015 returns. The Panama City product, now a junior, finished last year a record of 11-8 and a 2.62 ERA.

UWF Women’s Basketball clinches first conference victory

Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

The University of West Florida women’s basketball team defeated the University of North Alabama 70-57 on Saturday afternoon in a Gulf South Conference match-up.

The victory marked the Lady Argos’ first win in the GSC. “We’ve been waiting on this one to come. We hope we can add many more this season,” said Head Coach Stephanie Lawrence Yelton. The victory improved the team’s record to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the GSC.

“It feels great, we’ve worked really hard,” junior Katie Bobos said. “After losing to UAH, we feel so much better. We played as a team today. We had a lot of energy exchanges, like touching each other and clapping. That’s what we strive for.”

Bobos, along with players Toni Brewer and Courtney Meyer led the Argos’ scoring drive. Bobos led with 20 points on the board. Meyer followed with 16 points, and Brewer put up 15 points.

Meyers also managed to tie a UWF record for blocks in a single game, with nine total. The record was set back in 2005.

As a team, the Lady Argos managed to lead each quarter, and held a strong lead for most of the game. Their strong defense and incredible teamwork attributed to this hard-fought victory.

“I thought we came out with tremendous effort in the first half, and that’s something we hadn’t done in a few games,” Yelton said. “We’re doing some great things, but we’re not doing them every possession.”

The Lady Argos will be on the road for their next two games.  They will meet Lee University on Dec. 12, and Shorter University on Dec. 14.

“It’s early in the season, and we still have a lot of learning and growing to do,” Yelton said. “I’m hoping we’ll get even better as the season progresses.”

For detailed game statistics and a complete team schedule, visit GoArgos.com.

UWF athletics weekly roundup

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

An Argonaut placed in the top third of the NCAA Division II cross-country national championships, the women’s soccer team’s 2015 season ended on a high note, and the volleyball team’s post-season mission commenced at home.

Cross Country

Early in the fall, University of West Florida cross-country Head Coach Caleb Carmichael declared his short and long-term goals.

“I want to build the team back up to prominence,” Carmichael said. “I want to go to the nationals every year.”

Thanks to junior runner Tim Wenger, Carmichael can say the team made tangible progress in realizing their ambitions. Wenger finished 81st out of 246 runners in the Division II national championships, which were held in Joplin, Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 21, according to a UWF Athletic Communication’s press release.

Wenger’s time of 31:10.7 was his career-best, according to UWF Athletic Communications.

Women’s soccer

Not all losses warrant regret.

The UWF women’s soccer team lost 1-0 to host and national No. 4 Barry University on Sunday, Nov. 15, in the NCAA Division II national tournament. The Lady Argos defense, which has been strong all year, held Barry to nine total shots and only two official shots-on-goal.

UWF’s allowed only .703 goals per game this season.  Measured in those terms, the Lady Argos defense finished the season ranked No. 30 in the nation. The Lady Argos finished the season as the stingiest team in the Gulf South Conference.

The Lady Argos graduate only two players in Julianne Gaubron and Amber Pennybaker. Pennybaker capped her UWF career with 19 goals this season, which was good for 8th-best in the GSC.

The Lady Argos will return the conference’s No. 2 and No. 5 scorers in sophomore Daryl Bell and junior Kaley Ward.

Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team entered the GSC tournament, which they host, with momentum.

The Lady Argos defeated Shorter University 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-20) in the GSC semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the UWF Field House.  The win extended their winning streak to nine games as they readied for Sunday’s GSC final against the University of North Alabama. UWF is currently 28-5.

Earlier in the week UWF sophomore Emily Cosgrove was named GSC Defensive Player of the Week, according to a GSC press release. Cosgrove is the third Argonaut to be awarded that honor this season. She joined juniors Tori Martella and Kathryn Torre as 2015 recipients of the award. Martella has been recognized twice.

In other news, the men’s and women’s basketball teams’ make their home debuts this upcoming week. The men’s lone game is against Spring Hill College on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at the UWF Field House. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. The women have two games. They open on the road against Spring Hill, on Tuesday, and meet Young Harris College at 12 p.m. in the Field House, on Saturday, Nov. 28.

UWF athletics weekly roundup

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UWF’s Tim Wenger (right) leads the charge in a recent race. The junior from Inverness, Florida has qualified for the NCAA Division II national championship. It is the first time an Argonaut runner has qualified for the race since 2006.
Photo courtesy of UWF Athletic Communications.

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

The University of West Florida women’s volleyball team wrapped up the regular season in convincingly, the men’s cross country team took a step forward, and women’s soccer clamped down in the NCAA Division II South Region tournament.

Men’s basketball

Four points were the difference between the UWF men’s basketball team opening the season with two wins versus two losses.

The Argonauts lost on Friday to Benedict College, 72-69, as part of a conference challenge tournament involving the Gulf South Conference and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which was hosted by Valdosta State University. Junior guard Mario Stramaglia led the Argos with 23 points. The Birmingham, Alabama, native was 4-for-5 in three-point attempts.

The Argos almost recorded their first win of the season on Saturday, on the road against Fort Valley State University.  The 82-81 overtime loss was highlighted by a monster game from UWF’s Austin Somerfield. The junior forward from Greenville, Michigan, led the team with 35 points and 18 rebounds, while logging 45 minutes.

The men’s next game, and home-opener, is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 against Spring Hill College at the UWF Field House.

Women’s basketball

The women’s team opened the season 0-2, as well. The Lady Argos traveled to host University of Tampa to participate in the season-opening Spartan Challenge Tournament where they lost 77-52 and 72-65 to the No. 20 UT and Rollins College, respectively.

Belle Bistrow posted UWF’s single-game high for the tournament. The freshman guard from Jacksonville scored 15 points in the loss to RC.

The Lady Argos’ next game is away against Spring Hill College on Nov. 24. UWF’s 2015 Field House debut will be at noon on Nov. 28 when they meet Young Harris College.

Men’s cross country

UWF junior runner Tim Wenger has qualified for the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country Championships, according to a UWF Athletic Communications press release.

By virtue of Wenger’s fifth-place finish at the South Regional Championships, he became the first Argo to qualify for the national race since 2006, according to UWF Athletic Communications.

Women’s soccer

Daryl Bell scored the lone goal of UWF’s first-round 1-0 victory at the NCAA Division II South Regional tournament, which was hosted by Barry University, in Miami. The goal was all the Lady Argos defense needed as it held Nova Southeastern University to one second-half shot on goal, and only six for the game.

UWF’s Alissa Festagallo, a junior from Fort Pierce, assisted Bell.

UWF meets host BU on Sunday for the region’s championship. If victorious, it will advance to the NCAA Division II Super Regional Tournament, which will be hosted by the highest-seeded participant.

For more UWF athletics information visit goargos.com.

Argo volleyball closes out regular season with a bang

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Photo by Kenny Detwyler.

Kenny Detwyler

Contributing Writer

The No. 22-ranked University of West Florida volleyball team swept Gulf South Conference opponents this weekend: North Alabama and Alabama Huntsville 3-0 at home on both Friday evening and Saturday afternoon to wrap up the regular season.

Friday’s win over North Alabama clinched the team’s spot in the GSC and moved them to the top of the conference. The heavy hitters from that match were UWF seniors Autumn Duyn and Colleen Starrs. Duyn had eight kills and a team-high 16 digs on the night while Starrs added eight digs and three service aces. Both players were honored before the game for their contributions to the UWF volleyball program.

The Argos won each set (25-16, 25-19, and 25-17) with 41 kills, six aces, 10 blocks, and 37 assists.

The Argos’ successes led into Saturday, when the ladies dominated yet another opponent. UWF took on Alabama Huntsville at home for their regular season closer. The Lady Argos came out strong, with excellent blocking and strong assists. The players who came out on top in this game were junior Corisha Smith, who had an impressive 15 kills with only one attack error on 26 swings. Smith also was effective from the service line with four aces in the win. Junior Kathryn Torre had 11 kills with two attack errors on 25 swings with three blocks.

The Lady Argos swept these opponents as well (25-19, 25-19, and 25-15), with the team earning 48 kills, nine aces, nine blocks and 45 assists.

“Any time you can sweep opponents at this time of the year, you’ve got to perform really well,” Head Coach Melissa Wolters said. “I thought that last night and tonight we performed well in different ways, they played loose and had fun.”

Following a successful regular season, the Lady Argos are now turning their attention to the Gulf Southern tournament, which is being hosted here at UWF. The ladies fell short of a conference title last year, but Wolters and her team have high hopes for this year’s matchups. “We hope to win it. We fell short last year, and we’re hoping to get it back,” Wolters said. “We’ve made changes over the last 11 months. It’s a mindset and a hunger, and they have different drive after letting it slip away last year. We’ll train hard this week. We have to make sure they’re mentally prepared as well as physically prepared.”

It appears the players share a similar sentiment. “We going to go all in, we’re feeling pretty confident,” junior Holly Mattmuller said.

The Lady Argos’ next opponents will be determined pending other conference results. The Lady Argos finish out their season ranked 22 in the nation, with a record of 27-5 and 19-1 in the GSC.

For the conference schedule and other information, visit the volleyball team website.

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