New Flomaton Head Baseball Coach Coy Campbell Indicted On Forged Instrument, Theft, Ethics Charges

August 5, 2020

New Flomaton High School head baseball coach Coy Campbell, Jr. has been arrested after being indicted on multiple counts.

An Escambia County (AL) grand jury indicted Campbell, 50, on seven counts of possession of a forged instrument, one count of theft of property third degree and one count of an ethics violation/using position for personal gain. He surrendered to the Escambia County (AL) Sheriff’s Office and was released on a $25,000 bond.

“The charges stem from a criminal investigation into the handling of money that was collected during sporting events that took place for the school year of 2019-2020,” Escambia County Sheriff Heath Jackson said.

In April, the Escambia County (AL) School Board approved Campbell’s transfer from W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton to Flomaton High School as a physical education and driver’s education instructor. He was also named head baseball coach.

At W.S. Neal, Campbell served as head baseball coach since 2001. He was also assistant principal at the time of his transfer.

SEC Establishes New Conference-Only Football Start Date

July 30, 2020

The Southeastern Conference has established September 26 as the new kickoff for its 2020 football season to allow its universities to focus on the healthy return of their campus communities and the gradual re-introduction of athletics, as the 14 members of the SEC continue to monitor developments related to COVID-19, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Thursday.

The 2020 SEC football season will be comprised of a 10-game Conference-only schedule and the SEC Football Championship Game will be played December 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, rescheduled from the original date of December 5. The schedule will include one mid-season open date for each school and an open date on December 12 for all schools.

“This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus,” Sankey said. “This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities.”

This action was taken following extensive discussions and thorough deliberation among the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors, Athletics Directors, Conference Office staff, and medical advisors, led by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force.

“After careful consideration of the public health indicators in our region and following advice of our medical advisors, we have determined that this is the best course of action to prepare for a safe and healthy return to competition for SEC student-athletes, coaches and others associated with our sports programs,” said Sankey.

The decision to limit competition to Conference-only opponents and rescheduling the SEC Championship Game is based on the need for maximum flexibility in making any necessary scheduling adjustments while reacting to developments around the pandemic and continued advice from medical professionals.

“We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the ability to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the flexibility to adjust schedules as necessary if disruptions occur,” Sankey said. “It is regrettable that some of our traditional non-conference rivalries cannot take place in 2020 under this plan, but these are unique, and hopefully temporary, circumstances that call for unconventional measures.”

The rescheduled start to the season will allow the SEC to continue to monitor health trends across its 11-state footprint, as well as monitor developments in technology around mitigation and treatment of the virus, including:

  • Trends in public health indicators throughout the SEC’s 11-state footprint, including positive cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and recovery statistics
  • State, local and campus heath directives, including restrictions on gatherings, isolation requirements for travelers, and other health and travel restrictions
  • Continued development of risk mitigation strategies
  • Continued advancement in COVID-19 testing reliability and availability
  • Continued evolution of time-based strategies for resuming activities after positive test results, including contact tracing, isolation and quarantine requirements
  • Observation of successes and challenges presented by return to competition in other sports

A revised schedule for the 2020 SEC football season will be announced at a later date following approval by the Conference’s athletics directors.

Further decisions regarding safety standards related to athletics events, tailgating and other game day activities, including social distancing, face covering and other health measures consistent with CDC, state and local guidelines, will be announced at a later date.

Other notes related to the resumption of competition:

  • The SEC announced in July that the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, soccer and volleyball would be postponed through at least August 31. Start dates and schedules for those sports, as well as sports in their non-traditional seasons during the fall, will be announced at a later date.
  • The SEC announced in July that student-athletes in all sports who elect to not participate in intercollegiate athletics during the fall 2020 academic semester because of health and/or safety concerns related to COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.
  • The SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force continues to meet on policies and procedures for the safe return of student-athletes to competition, including the development of comprehensive testing and reporting policies, building on the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines.
  • Each athletics program has been engaged in evaluating best practices for game operations to prepare a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, staff, officials and other individuals necessary to conduct games.

Blue Wahoos To Hold Summer Spectacular On Saturday, August 8

July 25, 2020

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos will host a family-friendly Summer Spectacular at Blue Wahoos Stadium on Saturday, August 8 featuring a showing of the classic baseball film The Sandlot on the videoboard at the ballpark and an extended post-movie fireworks show. Admission to the event is $10 and tickets are available now at the stadium box office and at BlueWahoos.com and include both the movie and fireworks show.

“We’re excited to bring our massive Fourth of July fireworks show to our fans, even if it’s a few weeks late,” team president Jonathan Griffith said. “A big thanks goes out to Hancock-Whitney Bank, Covenant Care, and Cat Country 98.7 for helping us re-schedule and transform our Independence Day event into a family-fun Summer Spectacular. We can’t wait to safely welcome the community to the ballpark for a great baseball film and our longest fireworks show of the year.”

Gates at Blue Wahoos Stadium will open at 5:30 p.m. with the film beginning at 6:30 p.m. The fireworks show will follow the conclusion of the movie.

Guests will be welcome to sit in the stands at the ballpark to enjoy the movie and fireworks or on the field itself. Fans may bring blankets and pillows for their comfort, but chairs, strollers, and wagons are not permitted inside the ballpark. Concessions will be available throughout the stadium.

Guest safety remains a top priority. Face masks are required inside of Blue Wahoos Stadium and should be worn whenever guests are moving throughout the ballpark. Masks may be removed when eating or drinking or when seated to enjoy the show with proper physical distancing.

High School Fall Sports Delayed; First Day Of Practices Moved To August 17 In Escambia County

July 23, 2020

The Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas has delayed the start date for practices for fall high school sports.

The first day of practices has been moved to Monday, August 17 as a result of the first day of school being delayed two week to August 24.

Fall sports played at the high school level which will be impacted include football, volleyball, golf, cross-country, track, swimming and diving.  Contest schedules for all fall sports are being adjusted accordingly and information will be released at a later date.

Athletic conditioning may continue following the Escambia County School District guidelines for Safe Return to Athletic Training, utilizing social distancing protocols and proper sanitation measures for training equipment.

“Social distancing protocols will be followed, as well as the proper sanitation steps by district personnel,” Thomas said. “This will be a team effort by all participants.”

Pictured: The first day of 2019 spring practice for the Northview Chiefs on April 22, 2019.. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Tate High Grad Ethan George Signs To Play Baseball At Coastal Alabama

July 22, 2020

Tate High School graduate Ethan George signed Tuesday afternoon to continue his baseball and academic career at Coastal Alabama Community College. George was a four-year member of the Aggies baseball team as a pitcher, third baseman and outfielder. He was also the varsity football quarterback. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Eagles In The Outfield: Blue Wahoos Stadium To Be Transformed Into Golf Course

July 20, 2020

Blue Wahoos Stadium will be transformed into a golf course and fans will be able to book tee times to compete for the top score in the new Eagles In The Outfield stadium golf experience from July 30-August 2.

The course will feature one dozen targets set up at varying distances across the outfield. Golfers, teeing off from beyond the outfield fence, will compete to earn points by hitting the targets with their tee shots. Each tee time will give golfers an hour of unlimited shots from their tee box. In addition to the on-field golf course, all golfers will also receive a free round of mini golf on a brand new concourse putt-putt course.

Both right-handed and left-handed clubs will be available for participants to use, but golfers may bring their own clubs. Clubs that hit farther than 100 yards are not permitted for safety reasons.

A full schedule of available tee times can be found at MiLB.com/Pensacola/Events/Golf.

Five from every booking will be donated to the First Tee of Northwest Florida to help youth across the Panhandle learn life lessons and develop their character while gaining access to the game of golf.

Blue Wahoos Stadium Named America’s Best Double-A Ballpark

July 10, 2020

Pensacola’s Blue Wahoos Stadium has been named the 2020 Ballpark Digest “Best of the Ballparks” champion at the Double-A level, earning the title through a national fan vote that attracted over 80,000 votes. The five-round competition featured all 30 Double-A Minor League Stadiums in a single-elimination bracket decided by fans. Pensacola won the title of Best Ballpark by besting “Hodgetown”, the ballpark of the Amarillo Sod Poodles, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres and the 2019 Best of the Ballparks champion, in the championship round.

“We’re very excited to bring the title of Best Ballpark back to Pensacola,” team president Jonathan Griffith said. “Our mission as an organization is to improve the quality of life in our community, so it’s an honor for us to bring this recognition to our city. While we’re proud to have a great ballpark, we’re even more proud to have such incredible fans who voted us to the title.”

Pensacola’s road to the title included a win over Bowie’s Prince George Stadium in the opening round, victories against Biloxi’s MGM Park and Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium, both Southern League opponents, in the second and third rounds, a tightly contest win against Corpus Christi’s Whataburger Field in the semi-finals, and a resounding 54%-46% win in the championship against Hodgetown.

“Despite all the bad news, the Blue Wahoos ownership and management have responded with verve and imagination, refusing to let down their fans,” Ballpark Digest publisher Kevin Reichard said in a release by the publication. “The win in the fan vote against such a tough foe really shows how loved the Blue Wahoos are in the community.

Built in 2012, Blue Wahoos Stadium has established itself as one of the nation’s premier facilities over the past decade, winning three Southern League Ballpark of the Year Awards and previously winning the Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks contest in 2016. A multi-use community ballpark, the stadium hosts over 200 events each year including Blue Wahoos games and University of West Florida football games.

Blue Wahoos Stadium Reaches Finals For National Championship Of Best Of The Ballparks

July 7, 2020

Pensacola’s Blue Wahoos Stadium has reached the national championship round of the 2020 Ballpark Digest Best of the Ballparks contest.

In the final round, Blue Wahoos Stadium is competing against Amarillo’s “Hodgetown”, the defending Best of the Ballparks champion, for the title of Best Double-A Ballpark. The title will be decided by a national online fan vote, which is open until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8. Fans can vote once daily per device at this link (scroll down near the bottom of the page).

“The support we’ve received from our fans to reach the championship round has been incredible,” team president Jonathan Griffith said. “We’re excited for the chance to bring recognition to the beautiful city of Pensacola and hopefully win a title in a year when there’s no baseball.”

The annual contest run by Ballpark Digest is Minor League Baseball’s most popular ballpark ranking competition, with the 2019 contest receiving over 400,000 votes from fans including over 110,000 in the Double-A bracket. Blue Wahoos Stadium previously won the contest in 2016.

Opened in 2012, Blue Wahoos Stadium has established itself as one of the nation’s premier Minor League facilities. A three-time recipient of the Southern League’s Ballpark of the Year, the stadium has ranked first or second in the league in attendance five times in eight seasons. The multi-use facility is utilized year-round, hosting Blue Wahoos baseball, University of West Florida football, and over 200 total events throughout the calendar year.

NEP Ducks Win Coach Pitch Championship

July 6, 2020

The NEP Ducks won a recent coach pitch championship. Pictured are players and coaches. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

No Wahoos Ball This Year; Minor League Baseball Season Officially Canceled.

July 1, 2020

The Minor League Baseball season has been canceled for 2020.

“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”

“It’s unfortunate and saddening that there will not be Blue Wahoos baseball at Blue Wahoos Stadium this season. However, the health and safety of our community is our number one priority, and we fully support the efforts by Major and Minor League Baseball to keep fans, players, and staff safe in communities throughout America,” the Pensacola Blue Wahoos said in a statement. “We will continue to be creative and innovative to create affordable, family-friendly stadium events to allow our fans to continue to enjoy unforgettable ballpark moments safely at Blue Wahoos Stadium until Blue Wahoos baseball is able to return.”

The Blue Wahoos will respond to questions about tickets, sponsorships and group outings at the Blue Wahoos Stadium on a case-by-base basis. For more information, email tickets@BlueWahoos.com or call (850) 934-8444.

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