By PATRICK CASEY
Paxton’s Erin Walker finished second at the AAU national championships that were held on the campus of Eastern Michigan University in early August. Walker threw the discus 127-feet, eight inches to capture second place in the Intermediate division. Walker will be a junior this year at Paxton High School and is also a standout athlete on the Paxton Bobcats basketball team.
Shamar Harris, who was Player of the Year in the Panhandle Conference last year in women’s basketball, has transferred to Northwest Florida State College from Tallahassee Community College. That should definitely add a little pizzazz to the three conference games between those two schools this winter.
Marianna High School Principal Randy Ward has announced Charlie Lockey as the head coach for the Lady Bulldogs soccer team this season. Lockey is no stranger to soccer, having played his junior and senior year at Marianna. Lockey graduated from Marianna High School in 2000 and Chipola Junior College in 2002. He completed his degree at Florida State in 2004 and spent last year at Golson Elementary and will return there this year. The Bulldogs also have a new boys soccer coach in Garyn Waller, who takes over for Rex Suggs at the school.
Freddie York has been hired as the new baseball coach at Panama City Bay High School. York was the 2004 American Legion coach of the year in Florida after leading Bay County Post 375 to a state title. York wasn’t the only new coach the Tornadoes needed. Also introduced were Sarah Guillot, who spent the past five years in Tallahassee, as the swimming and diving coach and Kyle Peck, a Panama City Mosley graduate, who takes over a volleyball program that should be on the rise.
Outfielder Chris Berroa, an 11th round draft pick from Chipola Junior College by the Oakland A’s in this year’s draft, signed with the A’s last week. The A’s have now signed or agreed to terms with 26 of their draft picks, including 10 of the top 11.
Andrew Carter, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive lineman at Leon High has committed to play football at the University of Illinois. Carter is the third player from Tallahassee Leon to commit to a Division I school during the summer. Perhaps this will lead to a strong performance by the Lions this football season, as the program has struggled to roll up wins the last few years.
University of Florida tight end Cornelius Ingram, a Hawthorne graduate who played quarterback against Walton earlier this decade, will miss the 2008 season because of a torn knee ligament suffered in practice last week. Ingram tore the ACL in his left knee and will have to decide whether to enter the NFL Draft or petition the NCAA for a medical hardship to return to the Gators next season. The fifth-year senior has caught 64 passes for 888 yards and eight touchdowns in the past two years, including 34 catches for 508 yards and seven touchdowns in 2007. Ingram was one of the top returning tight ends in the country with exceptional speed for that position, another blow to a Gator squad that had already suffered injuries in the secondary during the off-season.
Atlanta Braves announcer Skip Caray, 68, died in Atlanta on Sunday, August 3. If you were a fan of the Atlanta Braves over the last 30 years, Caray was “The Voice of the Braves”. He was a nationally-renowned sportscaster and former color commentator for Missouri football and was the son of Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray. Skip’s son, Chip, is also an announcer for the Atlanta Braves. Caray and his family were honored with a ceremony before the Atlanta-Chicago game on Tuesday, August 12, with highlights of some of his sportscasting calls. He will be greatly missed by long-time Braves fans.
More bad news for the Atlanta Braves in the pitching department. Tim Hudson allegedly had ligament transplant surgery at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze last week and will likely miss most of the 2009 baseball season. The Braves, who seem to collect injured pitchers, have lost Hudson, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Rafael Soriano to stints on the disabled list this year. Keep in mind that Mike Hampton and Mike Gonzalez are trying to pitch for Atlanta this year after being shelved due to injuries in previous seasons.
Friday, August 29, has been designated as National College Colors Day, encouraging football fans nationwide to wear their college’s colors all day.
Former Florida State University Athletic Director Dave Hart was hired by the University of Alabama as its executive director of athletics.
Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma ranked as the top three nationally in football traditions based on a national survey by Collegiate Licensing Company and Learfield Sports.
Contact Patrick Casey at the DeFuniak Herald with your local sports notes at: firstname.lastname@example.org.