Local Sports

  • Rest or rust?

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Gordon took a big rip at a batting-practice fastball, fouled it off badly into the cage, and ducked when the carom nearly hit him in the head.

    Gordon let out a huge laugh, and so did a bunch of his Kansas City Royals teammates watching Monday’s workout.

    “I can’t believe that just happened, dude,” pitcher James Shields razzed.

  • Phins look to break trend of mediocrity

    DAVIE — For three seasons under coach Joe Philbin, the Miami Dolphins have been models of mediocrity, consistently inconsistent and usually around .500.

    Now they’re 3-3, coming off an impressive win at Chicago and preparing to face last-place Jacksonville. Philbin senses progress — and a chance for the first two-game winning streak this year.

  • Jags credit defense for first win

    JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Jaguars call it the “Sweet Six.”

    It’s a list of goals coach Gus Bradley has established for his defense: stop the run, affect the quarterback, limit third-down conversions, force field goals in the red zone, avoid explosive plays and create turnovers.

    The Jaguars accomplished each one in Sunday’s 24-6 win against Cleveland.

  • Embarrassing loss could cost Muschamp

    GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Will Muschamp trudged across the field and into the locker room amid a scattering of boos Saturday night.

    There were still a couple “Fire Muschamp” chants in the distance, too.

    Those could become reality soon, maybe in the next few days.

    Marcus Murphy scored three touchdowns, including two on special teams, and Missouri embarrassed Florida 42-13.

  • ’Canes welcome return of King

    C.J. Risak


    It didn’t take long to realize this would be a transitional season for the Citrus volleyball team. A year ago, they were 5A-6 champions and host to a first-round regional match.

  • It's showtime

    C.J. Risak


    It’s time to sort things out.

    The 2014 volleyball season will end for at least one Citrus County team, and there is a chance only one will survive this week as the state district tournaments unfold.

    The three-team 2A-3 tourney starts at 7 p.m. tonight when Seven Rivers Christian battles First Academy of Leesburg at Ocala St. John Lutheran.

  • ’Noles escape

    TALLAHASSEE — For a few seconds, it looked as if Everett Golson and Notre Dame had another streak-busting victory, this time against the defending national champions from Florida State.

    As the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish celebrated an apparent go-ahead touchdown with 13 seconds left, flags flew.

    The call: offensive pass interference. The touchdown was gone.

  • Chargers won’t go easy on Chiefs

    The old trap game.

    ‘Forget it,’ the San Diego Chargers say.

    They won’t be paying more attention to next Thursday night’s matchup with the Broncos than they will be to Sunday’s game against Kansas City.

    Should the Chargers (5-1) get by the Chiefs (2-3), they’ll bring the AFC West lead into Denver, not to mention the conference’s best record.

  • Jones: Remaining games ‘like taking candy from a baby’

    GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Will Muschamp gathered his seniors together Monday for a brief tutorial.

    It had nothing to do with the gut-wrenching loss to LSU, the upcoming game against Missouri or anything the Gators have done right or wrong this season.

    It was all about the Southeastern Conference’s muddled Eastern Division — and Florida’s position in it.

  • Pirates end drought in pool

    James Blevins


    CRYSTAL RIVER — On a chilly Thursday evening at Bicentennial Pool, the swim meet scores between Crystal River and Lecanto were in the midst of being announced over the PA system by Lecanto head coach and meet host Matt Bouthillier, when a great howl of joy erupted from the Crystal River side of the pool deck. The Pirate shouts were full of zeal and a sense of accomplished relief, stopping Bouthillier midsentence before he had finished reading off the results.