Local Sports

  • Like looking into a mirror

    TALLAHASSEE — As Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher prepares for Saturday’s game against No. 12 Florida, he sees a mirror image of his own squad.

    “It’s funny how that evolves. That wasn’t planned, I promise you, by either one of us,” Fisher said on Monday. “One of the key roles as a coach is identifying who you are and what each team is. And (Florida coach Jim McElwain has) done a great job of that.

  • Several Lecanto, Dunnellon players honored

    Several football players from a couple of local playoff schools were honored by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association this season.

    Lecanto saw four of its offensive players chosen for the All-District Team for FACA District 8, including receiver and return specialist Jeremiah Lucas (utility position selection), tight end Layton Copeland and offensive linemen Eric Neptune and Jacob Sullivan. 

  • Pirates shoot Hornets out of the gym 59-35

    C.J. Risak


    CRYSTAL RIVER — There are lessons to be learned in any game a team plays, and Crystal River learned a few Tuesday when it hosted District 5A-7 rival Weeki Wachee in girls basketball.

    As important as any is what the Pirates first-year coach Charlie Bryant has been preaching from the start — you can’t score if you don’t shoot. Against the Hornets, they followed that instruction to the letter.

  • Bucs on the rise

    TAMPA — A rare winning streak, a .500 record this deep into a season for the first time since 2012, and legitimate aspirations of creeping back into the NFC playoff race.

    There are plenty signs of improvement when it comes to the Jameis Winston-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have won four of six following a 1-3 start to — in the words of coach Lovie Smith — become “relevant again.”

  • Former Seven Rivers football player excels

    Ted True

    Special to the Chronicle

    John Iwaniec, who excelled as a running back at Seven Rivers Christian School in Lecanto, has continued to lead his team at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Iwaniec led his team with 122 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns, as they defeated Hendrix College from Conway, Arkansas, Nov. 21, by a score of 37-28, in an NCAA Division III playoff game. 

  • Key for the ’Canes

    C.J. Risak


    Every season brings a different set of challenges, and this one promises to be no different. However, whatever those challenges may be, the goal is always the same: To win games, particularly when it counts most, at season’s end.

  • No. 21 Boilermakers take down Gators

    UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Rapheal Davis scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures and No. 21 Purdue beat Florida 85-70 on Sunday night to win the Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament.

    The Boilermakers (5-0) led most of the way and used a 15-2 second-half run to separate themselves, sending the Gators (3-1) their first loss under new coach Mike White.

    P.J. Thompson had 15 points, Vince Edwards added 14, Caleb Swanigan had 12 and 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas chipped in 11.

  • Winston tosses 5 touchdown passes, Buccaneers beat Eagles 45-17

    PHILADELPHIA — Jameis Winston made all the right plays against the team he grew up rooting for.

    Winston tied a rookie record with five touchdown passes, Doug Martin ran for 235 yards and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 45-17 on Sunday.

  • Winston excited to face his favorite childhood team

    Jameis Winston grew up rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles and singing their fight song.

    “I’ve been saying, ‘Fly Eagles Fly,’ my whole life,” Winston said. “Now I have to go up there and face them.”

    The rookie No. 1 overall pick leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5) against the Eagles (4-5) today in a game with important playoff ramifications for both teams.

  • In-state scare

    GAINESVILLE — Just enough offense and another strong defensive effort was enough to help to help No. 8 Florida earn its 10th win of the year. Barely.

    It was yet another example of two glaring weaknesses — in the offensive line and kicking game.

    Florida was able to overcome both. The Gators (10-1) needed a touchdown pass from Treon Harris to Jake McGee in overtime to turn back upset-minded Florida Atlantic 20-14 on Saturday.