By PATRICK CASEY
South Walton lineman JuWayne Tanner has inked a deal to play football at the Air Force Academy this fall. Tanner will likely play guard on offense at Air Force after playing on both sides of the football for South Walton High School over his career. Tanner had two sacks last season while recording nine tackles for a loss against opposing teams’ running backs. Tanner also recovered a pair of fumbles last season as the Seahawks finished the year at 3-7. Tanner recorded two sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries over the last three seasons while also competing in wrestling at the school.
Pensacola Tate has hired a new girls basketball coach. Eileen Wolfe, who coached the Ernest Ward Middle School basketball team last season, has taken over for Johnathon Blackburn, who left after two seasons at the school.
Two Wakulla High athletes are going to continue their football careers at junior colleges. Tim Dawson, a first-team All-Big Bend defensive end, signed last week with Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas. Dawson, who was also a first-team All-Big Bend selection in weightlifting, led the region last year with 25 sacks. Butler was the national junior college co-champion last year. One of its standout defensive players, Markus White, joined the Florida State football team last week. Dawson’s teammate, Tyrell Gavin, is headed to Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California. Gavin was named honorable mention All-Big Bend last year despite playing in only three games because of a knee injury.
Former Blountstown coach and athletic director Bobby Johns has been named the 2008 Boys’ Weightlifting Coach of the Year by the Florida Dairy Farmers. In 2006, Jones left Blountstown, where he had been the athletic director, a physical education teacher, head football coach and head weightlifting coach. Before moving to his alma mater, Jones guided Blountstown to the Class A state football championship game in 2004. Not only did he start the Tigers’ weightlifting program, but he also led Blountstown to a weightlifting state championship in 2004. In five years at Blountstown, Jones went 40-20 in football and led the Tigers to perfect regular seasons in 2004 and 2005.
XM Satellite Radio, the official satellite radio provider of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), has added the University of Alabama, Auburn University, University of Florida and Vanderbilt University to the XM line-up of SEC sports starting fall 2008. With the addition of these four schools, XM is the exclusive satellite radio provider of all 12 SEC institutions. Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee joined XM in 2007. At the time, XM announced that South Carolina would come aboard in fall 2008. Florida was originally scheduled to join XM in fall 2009, but the Gators will come to XM one year earlier than announced. As the official satellite radio provider of the SEC, XM plans to carry every football game for all 12 SEC teams, as well as the majority of men’s regular season basketball games. XM will also carry key women’s basketball and baseball games during the regular season. XM is also the exclusive satellite radio home of SEC championship football, men’s basketball, baseball and women’s basketball games.
The Air Force Academy has added a couple of area recruits to the women’s swimming team. Elvira Chicarelli and Lauren Delaney are part of the Class of 2012 at the Academy that will participate this next school year. Chicarelli is from Destin and will compete in the butterfly and freestyle while Delaney is from Panama City and will compete in the backstroke and freestyle.
University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was named the recipient of the Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, as voted on by the league’s athletic directors. Tebow became the third Gator to win the honor, joining Danny Wuerffel (1996 and 1997) and Ryan Lochte (2005).
Contact Patrick Casey at the DeFuniak Herald with local sports notes at: firstname.lastname@example.org.