Escambia Academy Cougars Win State Championship

November 22, 2014

The Escambia Academy Cougars from Canoe, AL, won the AISA Class AAA state championship Friday night with a 35-28 defeat of Bessemer Academy at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, AL.  It was the first football state championship ever for the school just outside Atmore — in fact, it was the first final game appearance ever for the Cougars.

The Cougars earned the win a on a one-yard touchdown run from Brett Gorum with just 49 seconds to play in the game, capping a 59-yard, seven play drive for the Cougars (11-1). On Bessemer’s final drive, an interception by the Cougar’s Kris Brown finalized the win.

Gorum was 5 of 7 passing Friday night for three touchdowns, including a 19-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Tim Finklea, a six-yard pass to Maleek Salter, and a 59-yarder to Scott Brantley. The Cougar’s other score came on a six-yard run from Brown.

Finklea had a total of 125 rushing yards on 23 carries for Escambia Academy.

Three weeks ago, Escambia Academy lost to Bessemer 32-14 at home in Canoe – their only loss of the season.

The state championship was the first in 30 years for an Alabama school from the Atmore area. The Escambia High School Blue Devils win a state championship back in 1974. The Northview High School Chiefs, just across the line in Florida, won a state championship in  2012. expects additional high quality images to post later Saturday or on Sunday.

Pictured above and below: The Escambia Academy Cougars celebrate the AISA Class AAA state championship Friday night at Troy State’s Memorial Stadium. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge


High School Playoff Finals

November 22, 2014

Here are Friday night’s high school football finals from around the area:


  • 7A — Niceville 34 Tate 0 [Read more...]
  • 6A –Choctaw 35, Navarre 14
  • 5A — Tallahassee Godby 41, West Florida 6
  • 1A — Vernon 30, Baker 14 – FINAL


  • 2A — Washington County 60, Flomaton 0
  • AAA-AISA STATE CHAMPIONS Escambia Academy 35, Bessemer 0 [Read more...]

7A: Niceville Tops Tate

November 22, 2014

The Tate High School’s  playoff run came to an end Friday night as the Aggies lost to Niceville 35-0 in the Region 1-7A semifinal. The Aggies finished the year at 9-3.

Niceville will be Oakleaf next Friday night in the regional finals.

For more photos, click here.

Photos by Jennifer Repine for, click to enlarge.


Basketball: Tate Beats Pace In OT

November 22, 2014

The Tate High School Aggiest beat Pace in overtime Friday night 74-72.

With the win Friday night and a season-opening win last Tuesday over Milton, the Aggies are now 2-0.

The Aggies will host Gulf Breeze Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Grand Send-Off For Escambia Academy Cougars

November 21, 2014

The Escambia Academy Cougars won the AISA Class AAA state championship  tonight in Troy, AL, being Bessemer Academy 35-28.

Earlier Story:

A grand send-off was held Friday afternoon for the Escambia Academy Cougar football team as they left Canoe, AL, and headed through Atmore on their way to the AISA Class AAA state championship game tonight in Troy, AL.

Fans lined the highways to wave and wish good luck to the Cougars. Escambia Academy will play Bessemer Academy at 7 p.m. at Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, home of the Troy State Trojans.

Pictured: A celebratory send-off for the Escambia Academy Cougars Friday afternoon in Canoe, AL, as they head to the AISA state championship game in Troy, AL. photos by Ditto Gorme, click to enlarge.

West All-Stars Beat The East In All-Star Volleyball

November 21, 2014

The West All-Stars defeated the East in the Subway High School All-Star Volleyball game Thursday night at the University of West Florida Field House.

Under the leadership of Heach Coach Erika Burkett of Tate High School, the West took the series in seven games 25-16, 23-25, 23-25, 23-25, 25-16, 25-17 and 15-9.

The West All-Star included the top seniors from Escambia County, while the East was comprised of the top senior players from Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

Team members were (with North Escambia area players in bold):

Head Coach: Erika Burkett, Tate
Assistant Coach: Kelly Comerford, Washington

  • Sina Faulk — Catholic
  • Emily Emmons — Catholic
  • Tru Viray — Escambia
  • Emily Enriquez — Escambia
  • Kyndall Hall — Northview
  • Elisabeth Larson — PCA
  • Yenny Wu — Pensacola
  • Anna Legassey — Pine Forest
  • Olivia Veith — Pine Forest
  • Regine Simmons — Tate
  • Jordan White — Tate
  • Carissa Carroll — Tate
  • Mallory Lurate — Washington
  • Morgan Pearson — Washington
  • Lauren Childers — Washington
  • Sydney Barrow — Washington
  • Melisa Izonritei — West Florida
  • Isabelle Strohl — West Florida

Head Coach: Waynn Sellers, Gulf Breeze
Assistant Coach: Amy Walls, Navarre

  • Hartley Moate — Baker
  • Brittney Amey — Central
  • Maya Smith — FWB
  • Emily Radcliffe — Gulf Breeze
  • Kathrin Hess — Gulf Breeze
  • Kassie Oldham — Gulf Breeze
  • Emily Russell — Jay
  • Bridget Zessin — Laurel Hill
  • Monica Foster — Navarre
  • Sheila Faris — Navarre
  • Abbey McLelland — Navarre
  • Sami Mims — Niceville
  • Michaela Dunn — Pace
  • Emili McClure — Pace
  • Laini Vermillion — Pace
  • Caroline Mayne — Pace

Pictured top: Tate Aggie players Regine Simmons, Carissa Carroll and Jordan White, and Coach Erika Burkett of Tate High School on the West All-Star volleyball team. Photo for, click to enlarge.

Volleyball: Tate’s Jordan White Signs With Mississippi College

November 19, 2014

Jordan White, a senior at Tate High School, recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball for Mississippi College in Clinton, MS. Mississippi College is a NCAA Division 2 school that competes in the Gulf South Conference. White played varsity volleyball for three years for the Aggies and was team captain her senior year. She also plays club volleyball for the West Florida Waves. Submitted photo for, click to enlarge.

Tate’s Casey McCrackin Signs With Auburn University

November 18, 2014

Tate High School senior Casey McCrackin signed a letter of intent Monday to play softball at Auburn University.

McCrackin played softball for three years for the Aggies, after having played on the school’s baseball team her freshman year. She was member of Tate’s 2014 state final four team with a .351 average, 34 hits and 40 runs. She also played for the West Florida Elite Travel team.

Pictured: Tate senior Casey McCrackin (in the Auburn cap) signed a softball letter of intent with Auburn University Monday. Photos for, click to enlarge.

Tate High Varsity Cheerleaders Tops At Battle At The Beach

November 16, 2014

The Tate High School Aggie Varsity Cheerleaders won first place and overall champions Saturday during the Battle at the Beach competition in Fort Walton Beach. Courtesy photo for, click to enlarge.

Out Of The Woods: What You Need To Know About Hunting Season

November 16, 2014

November means the 2014-15 huntin’ season is in full swing. In this month’s column, I cover almost everything you need to know about general gun, fall turkey, quail, snipe and the second phase of mourning and white-winged dove season.

The first thing you need to do is pick up a $17 Florida resident hunting license. Nonresidents pay $46.50 for a 10-day license or $151.50 for 12 months.

If you plan to hunt one of Florida’s many wildlife management areas (WMAs), you’ll also need a $26.50 management area permit, but don’t forget to study the brochure for the specific area you plan to hunt, because dates, bag limits and rules can differ greatly from area to area.

You can get these brochures at the tax collector’s offices in close proximity to the WMA, or you can download them from

You can buy your license and permits by calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA or going online at But have your credit card ready. You also can purchase them from a tax collector’s office and most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies.

The general gun season in Zone D (including Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties) always starts Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27) and lasts four days until Nov. 30. Two weeks later, the season reopens Dec. 13 and runs through Feb. 22.

Regarding deer, hunters may take only legal bucks, and they must have the $5 deer permit. On private lands, the daily bag limit for deer is two, but during some quota hunts on WMAs, the bag limit is only one deer, so read the particular WMA brochure before you hunt.

On private lands, hunters can take wild hogs year-round with no bag or size limits. On most – but not all – WMAs, there’s also no bag or size limit on wild hogs, and hunters can take them during any hunting season except spring turkey. Again, check the WMA brochure to be certain.

On private lands only there’s the highly anticipated antlerless deer season. In Zone D, there’s been a change. The antlerless deer season used to run seven consecutive days, but now it’s been changed to a Saturday-Sunday (weekend) format. North of Interstate 10 in what is now called Deer Management Unit (DMU) D2, these new antlerless deer weekends are Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 6-7, 20-21 and 27-28. In DMU-D1, which is south of I-10, the doe weekends are Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 27-28.

During antlerless deer season, the daily bag limit is one legal buck and one antlerless deer, or two legal bucks. You may not take two antlerless deer in one day like you can during archery season, and spotted fawns are never legal game. By the way, WMAs do not have an antlerless deer season, so this opportunity applies to private property only.

Fall turkey season in Zone D is Nov. 27-30 and Dec. 13 – Jan. 18, except for Holmes County, where there is no fall turkey season.

Only bearded turkeys and gobblers are legal game; you must have a turkey permit ($10 for residents; $125 for nonresidents) to hunt them. You may now take up to two turkeys in one day on private lands, but there’s still the two-bird fall-season (archery, crossbow, muzzleloading gun and fall turkey seasons combined) limit. And on WMAs, you may still shoot only one turkey per day.

Quail season runs statewide Nov. 8 – March 1, and the daily bag limit is 12.

Shooting hours for deer, turkey and quail are a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. All legal rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, bows, crossbows and pistols are legal for taking these resident game animals during the general gun, antlerless deer, fall turkey and quail seasons.

Snipe hunting in Florida ranks second in the nation in number of birds harvested each year, and the season always runs Nov. 1 – Feb. 15 statewide. The second phase of the mourning and white-winged dove season also comes in this month and runs Nov. 8 – Dec. 1. Shooting hours for migratory game birds are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The bag limit for snipe is eight; for doves, the bag limit is 15.

You must get a no-cost migratory bird permit if you plan to hunt snipe, doves or any other migratory game birds.

The FWC even provides an online “Dove Hunters’ Hotline,” which gives up-to-date information on Florida’s public dove fields. The address is, and it is updated every Thursday throughout dove season. Information includes dove densities, previous week’s harvests and field conditions.

Whether small-game hunting with friends and family or hunting solo, going after that monster buck, boar hog or big tom, November brings loads of great hunting opportunities.

Here’s wishing you a happy Thanksgiving and a successful hunting season

Next Page »