Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Joey Knight, Times staff writer

Joey Knight, Times staff writer

A fourth-generation Floridian, Joey Knight was born in Tampa and raised in Zephyrhills, where he still resides. He moved to the Times in July 2006 after 15 years at the Tampa Tribune, which included a seven-year stint (1997-2004) as University of Florida beat writer. He began covering the University of South Florida athletic department for the Times in 2013. A married father of three, he enjoys running, classic television and classic heavy-metal music.

CHRIS URSO   |   TimesUSF outfielder Chris Chatfield (24) and the Bulls begin play in the American Athletic Conference tournament Wednesday at 11 a.m.

A 6-day baseball tourney in this weather? Good luck, AAC

Weather permitting, the American Athletic Conference baseball tournament begins this morning at Clearwater's Spectrum Field.When it ends — or if it ends — depends on the extent of Mother Nature's...
Updated: 2 hours ago
CHARLIE KAIJO   |   TimesUSF defensive back Craig Watts played in all 12 games last season, recording five tackles.

Former Admiral Farragut star Craig Watts leaves USF

Bulls redshirt sophomore DB Craig Watts Jr., who practiced behind starting nickel back Ronnie Hoggins this past spring, has transferred to Division II Valdosta State, his father confirmed Monday.Watts, deemed a four-star prospect by at...
Published: 05/21/18
CHRIS URSO   |   TimesUSF outfielder Duke Stunkel Jr. (34), trying to slide under a tag against Tulane last season, enters this year's American Athletic Conference tournament on a nine-game hit streak.

Stunkel, Bulls enter AAC tourney on offensive surge

While pitching depth remains the ultimate prerequisite for winning a baseball tournament at any level, steady bats also are handy.And few are on a hitting tear like USF veteran Duke Stunkel Jr.A senior outfielder, Stunkel (.347,...
Published: 05/21/18
USF softball coach Ken Eriksen's team dropped two games in as many days to Ohio State in the Gainesville Regional. (JOEY KNIGHT | Times)

USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

The USF softball team's season ended late Saturday in the Gainesville Regional with a 3-2 loss to Ohio State, its second NCAA Tournament loss to the Buckeyes in as many days.OSU (36-15) must defeat No. 2 overall national seed Florida...
Published: 05/19/18
USF coach Charlie Strong remains mostly mum on Bulls graduate-transfer quarterback Blake Barnett. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Charlie Strong has little to say about his newest QB

On the same day USF formally announced the addition of QB Blake Barnett, the prominent graduate transfer's new coach had little to say about him.Reached Friday afternoon at TPC Tampa Bay, where he was hosting a fundraising golf...
Published: 05/18/18
USF men's basketball coach Brian Gregory has added Oklahoma State transfer Zack Dawson to his roster. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)

Oklahoma State point guard Zack Dawson transferring to USF

USF has taken a modest gamble it hopes will result in a major payoff, landing former Oklahoma State PG Zack Dawson.A consensus four-star recruit in the Class of 2017, Dawson  (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) must sit out the 2018-19 season,...
Published: 05/18/18
Carrollwood Day junior N'Jhari Jackson was a special guest at last week's Dick Vitale Gala for pediatric cancer research. (JOEY KNIGHT | Times)

Autoimmune disorder won’t sideline CDS’ N’Jhari Jackson

SARASOTA — At the behest of their host, the cancer conquerors — about a dozen of them — stood to be recognized.Their diversity reinforced how indiscriminately this scourge attacks. Receiving this round of...
Published: 05/18/18
USF softball coach Ken Eriksen's team is seeded third in the four-team Gainesville Regional (JOEY KNIGHT | Times)

USF softball hoping to create a little May madness in Gainesville

Call it March Madness with a mulligan.A top seed can survive a flat pitching performance — or flat-out dazzling one by an underdog — in the 64-team NCAA softball tournament, which begins Friday nationwide.
Published: 05/17/18
Former Ridgewood baseball coach Larry Beets is introduced to a fan during the last baseball game on the Rams' home field. (Alice Herden | Special to the Times)

One last blast from the past for Ridgewood High athletics

NEW PORT RICHEY — The final go-round for Ridgewood High School sports, from the emotional boys basketball playoff finale to the
Published: 05/17/18
USF's Meredith Bissette will be honored with four other Wilma Rudolph Award winners next month in Washington, D.C. (JOEY KNIGHT | Times)

USF’s Meredith Bissette named Wilma Rudolph Award winner

Former USF softball player Meredith Bissette, who graduated this past spring while conquering cancer, has been named a 2018 Wilma Rudolph Award winner by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development...
Published: 05/15/18