LARGO — Dunedin had a lot of positives this summer with reinforcements arriving in the form of players who were previously ineligible or lukewarm about the program.
But to really signal a turnaround from last year's 1-9 record, the Falcons needed a win against a bona fide playoff contender.
It almost happened Thursday night.
In two halves of a jamboree, Dunedin lost to host Largo 14-7 and tied Pinellas Park 6-6....
PALM HARBOR — The Reggie Crume era at Palm Harbor University got off to a good start, while Jesuit could use some more work prior to the Aug. 29 season opener. The Tigers had seven turnovers, six of which were interceptions, in Thursday's preseason game. PHU wasn't perfect (three turnovers), but the Hurricanes overcame a seven-point halftime deficit and outscored the Tigers 26-0 in the second half....
08/21/14 The Heater
Rays vs. Blue Jays
When/where: 7:07 tonight; Rogers Centre, Toronto
TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM
Rays: LH Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.66)
Blue Jays: RH Marcus Stroman (7-4, 3.83)
On Smyly: Making his fourth start as a Ray; hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of them. Has thrown at least seven innings in back-to-back starts. Hasn't allowed a run in three relief appearances against Toronto....
08/21/14 Human Interest
SAM OWENS | Times
USF football player Vincent Jackson and Eliana Bello, a Bull Hall move-in volunteer, lead a family Thursday toward the Epsilon residence hall in the Andros Complex on USF's campus. It's the first year that the whole USF football team volunteered to help move students into residence halls. Nearly 5,500 students moved into campus residence halls from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday in preparation for the start of classes Monday....
GAINESVILLE — Junior DL Dante Fowler (Lakewood High) and sophomore CB Vernon Hargreaves (Wharton) were each first-team selections to the coaches preseason All-SEC team, voted on by the league Thursday. Fowler and Hargreaves were also named to the ESPN preseason All-SEC team.
Florida was one of only three schools to have multiple defensive players selected to the first team. Senior OL Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) was a second-team selection on offense, and junior OL D.J. Humphries and junior RB Matt Jones (Armwood) were third-team selections. Junior LB Antonio Morrison was a third-team selection, and senior Andre Debose was a third-team return specialist selection. Hargreaves, a first-team All-SEC selection as a freshman last season, is among the players to watch on five postseason award lists, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List....
08/21/14 TV and Radio
Autos F1: Belgian Grand Prix practice 8 a.m. NBCSN Sprint Cup: Irwin Tools Night Race practice 11 a.m. FS1 Nationwide: Food City 300 qualifying 3:30 p.m. FS1 Sprint Cup: Irwin Tools Night Race qualifying 5:30 p.m. ESPN2 Nationwide: Food City 300 7:30 p.m. ESPN Baseball Orioles at Cubs 2:20 p.m. WGN Rays at Blue Jays 7 p.m. Sun Sports; 620-AM Giants at Nationals 7 p.m. MLB Marlins at Rockies 8:30 p.m. FSF Basketball Exhibition: Puerto Rico at United States 7 p.m. ESPN2 Boxing Light middleweights: Trout vs. Dawson 9 p.m. ESPN2 Bantamweights: Avila vs. Frias 10 p.m. FS1 College soccer Women: Georgia at Mississippi 7 p.m. SEC Cycling U.S. Pro Challenge, Stage 5 3:30 p.m. NBCSN Golf PGA Europe: Czech Masters 9 a.m. Golf LPGA: Canadian Open noon Golf PGA: The Barclays 2 p.m. Golf Web.com: Portland Open 6:30 p.m. Golf Champions: Boeing Classic (taped) 8:30 p.m. Golf High school football Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern vs. Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes 6 p.m. ESPNU Preseason: Armwood at Plant 7:30 p.m. BHSN Leeds (Ala.) vs. Huntsville (Ala.) Madison Academy 9 p.m. ESPNU NFL preseason Raiders at Packers 8 p.m. Ch. 10; 98.7-FM Bears at Seahawks 10 p.m. NFL Soccer Super Copa: Atletico Madrid at Real Madrid 4:20 p.m. ESPND Mexican: Tigres at Morelia 8:30 p.m. ESPND MLS: Real Salt Lake at Dallas 9 p.m. NBCSN Softball National Pro Fastpitch championship: Teams TBD 8 p.m. CBSSN Tennis U.S. Open qualifying 11 a.m. CBSSN WTA: Connecticut Open 1 p.m. ESPN2 ATP: Winston-Salem Open 3 p.m. ESPN2 U.S. Open qualifying 5 p.m. CBSSN WTA: Connecticut Open 7 p.m. ESPNEWS WNBA, playoffs East semifinal, Game 1: Chicago at Atlanta 7:30 p.m. NBA West semifinal, Game 1: Los Angeles at Phoenix 10 p.m. NBA
WESLEY CHAPEL — Though he had been head coach for only a few weeks, Artie Meza was quick to praise the potential of Wiregrass Ranch's offense during preseason practice.
People would be pleasantly surprised, he said. The Bulls would be quicker and more efficient than last season.
But after losing a fumble on the fourth play of Thursday's home preseason game against Mitchell, that seemed like an empty promise....
A man hired to remove the body of an elderly woman from her Dunedin home was arrested Thursday after deputies said they caught him stealing her jewelry.
Deputies responded to a death investigation just before 1 p.m. Thursday. Inside the home at 1701 Pinehurst Road they found the body of Maryellen Woods, 88, who had died of natural causes.
A man employed by Alternate Transport Service arrived to take her body to a funeral home. ...
08/21/14 The Heater
Every year when the time for scheduling a preseason game approaches, Plant High football coach Robert Weiner calls around the state looking for the best opponent for his four-time state champion Panthers.
Last year, it was Godby, the Tallahassee tank of a team that handed Plant a 19-point loss. In 2011, the Panthers took on Miami Columbus, an eventual Class 8A state semifinalist.
But while at a February event for high school coaches at USF with Armwood coach Sean Callahan, Weiner suddenly realized he didn't have to search far and wide this time for the best matchup in Florida. ...
State agency seeks anglers to catch tarpon
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's tarpon genetic recapture program needs anglers who fish Florida's northern counties. The information gathered by fishermen helps scientists learn more about the fish's history.
Anglers supply the FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute with DNA "fingerprint" data from tarpon then release them so they can be caught another day. Much work has been done in Southwest Florida, but researchers need DNA samples from fish larger than 30 inches hooked in northeast and northwest Florida....
ST. PETERSBURG — It's not Cannes or Sundance, or even the Bollywood awards.
But city and business leaders are gearing up for a little-known film festival that is expected to draw 20,000 people to St. Petersburg in November, highlighting the city's tourism and marine science industries.
That's almost as many as the 24,000 visitors drawn to Tampa in April for the much-ballyhooed International Indian Film Academy Awards show....
08/21/14 Human Interest
MELISSA LYTTLE | Times
Alma Herrera Edwards King, 7, and her sister Jamila Herrera Edwards King, 10, paused their bicycle ride to ask if they could pet St. Petersburg police horses Thursday evening on the Pinellas Trail. They were riding with their father, Curtis King of St. Pete Beach. Officers Ron Try, left, atop Brooklyn, and Julie Bryan, with Jacob, said yes, and chatted with the girls while telling them how to pet the 1,400-pound horses. The St. Petersburg Police Department has started patrolling problematic portions of the Pinellas Trail on horseback....
Jury can't agree on first-degree murder
A judge declared a mistrial in a first-degree murder case Wednesday evening after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on whether a 41-year-old Pinellas man killed his girlfriend in 2010 by lighting her on fire.
Jeffrey Robert Grant was facing life in prison in connection with the death of Jennifer Guthrie, who was doused with gasoline and set ablaze behind what was formerly Wachovia Bank, 14147 Walsingham Road, where she and Grant had been sleeping. Both were homeless. ...
JIM DAMASKE | Times
Yuma, a Florida panther cub, explores his new enclosure at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park on Thursday. The young panther will live out his days at the park after being rescued in January near Naples when he was about 1 week old. He had been abandoned. The park held a ceremony Thursday morning with speeches explaining Yuma's circumstances, which were followed by a brief countdown for the opening of a gate allowing Yuma to enter his new enclosure. The Florida panther is an endangered subspecies of cougar that lives in forests and swamps of South Florida. For a video report, go to tampabay.com/video....