Tate High Soccer Continues Perfect Season With Win Over Crestview

December 6, 2019

Tate High Boys Soccer continued their perfect season Thursday night with a 3-2 district win over Crestview in Crestview.

Gustavo Pineda had two goals for the Aggies, while Nathan Bailey had one  goal. Owen Jacobs and Calen Arnevik each had one assist.

The Tate Aggies are now 7-0 on the season. They will be in action next Tuesday night as they host Washington High School at Ashton Brosnaham Park.

Pictured top: Junior goalkeeper Caleb Thompson elevating to knock away a Crestview corner kick. Pictured below: Celebrating a  goal from Tate junior Nathan Bailey (#10), and a goal and celebration from senior Gustavo Pineda (#7). NorthEscambia.com photos by Mitch Arnevik, click to enlarge.

From Tate High To Alabama And Clemson: Woody McCorvey Of Atmore Named To Alabama Sports Hall Of Fame

December 5, 2019

Woody McCorvey of Atmore, a longtime college football coach that began his career at Tate High School, is one of eight people to be inducted into the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

McCorvey is currently the Clemson Associate Athletic Director of Football Administration.

“It’s very humbling,” McCorvey said. “For me, it’s very special for having grown up in that state. To be a part of a special recognition like being the in Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, it took a lot of people with me going back to my mom and my my dad, the support of my family — my wife, my son, Marlon, my daughter-in-law, Brooke, my grandson, Beau — but on top of that, the players. That’s why I got into this business. This recognition is really for them because I’m standing on those guys.

“The other thing that’s important to me is the staffs that I’ve worked with all down through the years, all the way going back to the kids I coached in high school and every stop that I’ve made and everybody here at Clemson. Clemson has been a big part of what I’ve been able to do, and it’s really special to be part of a great group of other honorees I’m going into the Hall with.”

Among those McCorvey will join in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, who was inducted as part of the Class of 2018.

“I’m just so excited for Coach McCorvey,” Swinney said. “He’s so deserving of this honor. He’s in the Atmore Hall of Fame, and now to know that he’s going into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, I just think it’s something that’s so deserving.

“And for he and Sylvester Croom to be going in together I think is just beautiful. Obviously, Sylvester was the head coach at Mississippi State and Woody was the offensive coordinator. I think Sylvester was the first African-American head coach in the SEC and Woody was the first African-American offensive coordinator at Alabama, and I just think about their journeys and the lives that they’ve impacted. I can just tell you, I’m not where I am today if it’s not for Woody McCorvey. I know this, there’s nobody more deserving than Coach McCorvey. I’m super proud, super happy, and I can’t wait to be a part of the celebration.”

Born September 30, 1950 in Grove Hill, Alabama, McCorvey played quarterback at Alabama State from 1968-1971. After starting his coaching career in the high school ranks, he began his collegiate coaching career in 1978 with NC Central. He has held positions at the University of Alabama, Alabama A&M, Clemson, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Tennessee. During his 26 plus years in college football, McCorvey has been a part of five national championship teams and 31 bowl games.

A 42-year veteran of college football as a coach or administration, McCorvey returned to Clemson for the 2009 season, Head Coach Dabo Swinney’s first full year. He has worked with four national championship head coaches and three coaches who earned induction in the College Football Hall of Fame.

McCorvey serves as the primary liaison between Swinney and the athletic and IPTAY administrations. He also oversees the management of the football administrative offices. He supervises the football budget and works with the academic staff that has helped Clemson earn NCAA Academic Performance Public Recognition Awards in eight out of the last nine years.

McCorvey coached at the Division I level for 26 years and went to a bowl game in 17 of those seasons. He coached or signed 36 players who went on to a professional football career as well. From 1990-2008, he coached in the SEC every year, including each of the last five at Mississippi State, where he served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in addition to coaching the quarterbacks.

McCorvey coached at Tennessee for five years from 1999-03. With him heading the running game, the Volunteers had a 46-14 record. He helped guide Tennessee to the 2000 Fiesta Bowl, 2001 Cotton Bowl, 2002 Citrus Bowl, and 2002 and 2003 Peach Bowls. Tennessee won three consecutive New Year’s Day Bowl games from 2000-02 as well.

Prior to joining the staff at Tennessee, McCorvey worked one season at South Carolina, where he served as the wide receivers coach in 1998 under former Tiger assistant coach Brad Scott. McCorvey took the South Carolina job following an eight-year stay at Alabama from 1990-97. He served seven seasons as its wide receivers coach and the 1996 campaign as offensive coordinator. He was the assistant head coach in 1997 as well.

Alabama had five top-25 final rankings in his tenure, including three seasons in the top five. The Crimson Tide won the 1992 national title with McCorvey serving as wide receivers coach and Swinney as one of his student-athletes. That season culminated with a 34-13 win over heavily-favored Miami (Fla.) in the Sugar Bowl. During the 1990-96 era, Alabama posted a 70-16-1 record and played in six bowl games. With McCorvey at the controls of the offense in 1996, Alabama finished 10-3, including a win over Michigan in the Outback Bowl.

From 1979-82, he served as an assistant coach at Alabama A&M and helped that program to the No. 6 rushing offense in Division II in 1981 after finishing 11th in the nation in scoring offense in 1980. McCorvey began his college coaching career at North Carolina Central in 1978.

McCorvey began his coaching career with a six-year stint (1972-77) at Tate High School. A quarterback at Alabama State from 1968-71, McCorvey earned his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State in 1972 and a master’s degree from West Florida in 1977.

He was the recipient of the 2015 AFCA Outstanding Achievement Award for his contributions to college football. In 2010, the native of Atmore, Ala. was inducted into the Atmore Hall of Fame.

Other inductees in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 are Ronnie Brown, Sylvester Croom, Doug Kennedy, Q.V. Lowe, Jorge Posada, Duane Reboul and Steve Shaw.Starting with the first class in 1969, this will be the 52nd Class inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The eight newly elected inductees will bring the total number of inductees to 369.

The 52nd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in Birmingham on May 2, 2020.

Courtesy photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

UWF Knocks Off No. 1 Valdosta State 38-35 In Last Six Seconds

December 1, 2019

Anthony Johnson, Jr. scored from a yard out with 6.9 seconds remaining to lift 20th-ranked UWF to a 38-35 win over.No. 1 ranked Valdosta State in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division II Playoffs at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium Saturday.

Johnson’s score came following VSU scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 35-31 lead with 2:12 to play.

Quarterback Austin Reed and the school’s all-time leading receiver Tate Lehtio connected on four-consecutive plays, including a 15-yarder on fourth-and-eight near the start of the drive. A pass interference call put the ball at the nine before two incompletions made it third down. A pass to Lehtio, who had 140 receiving yards on a school-record 14 receptions, put the ball at the 1-foot line after his dive for the endzone was stopped inches shy of the goal. Both teams called timeout with 10 seconds left, setting up the final fourth down play.

UWF (10-2) improved to 6-0 all-time in road playoff games and snapped VSU’s Gulf South Conference record 25-game winning streak. The Blazers also had their 13-game home streak ended.

“Our guys believed and fought and to get our guys to go that last drive,” UWF head coach Pete Shinnick said. “Tate (Lehtio) was unbelievable and just said ‘I’m not going home; I’m not losing’ and to go and be able to make that happen was just phenomenal.

“I’m so happy for our guys, happy for our senior class to find a way to beat number one in the country. Just a great game.”

On Saturday, UWF scored first when Austin Williams made a 27-yard field goal 5:28 into the contest. The Blazers answered four plays later on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Rogan Wells to Lio’undre Gallimore.

UWF put together two scoring drives of 5-plus minutes in the second quarter, scoring on a Johnson 1-yard run early in the period and a 33-yard Austin Reed to Ka’Ron Ashley 12 seconds before halftime for a 17-7 lead.

Coming out of the intermission, the Argonauts extended their lead to 24-7 in the third quarter when they capitalized on a Blazer fumble that Andre Duncombe, Jr. returned 44 yards to the VSU 22. Jervon Newton carried the ball three times and scored from a yards out.

Each team scored on their next possessions – Seth McGill on a 12-yard run and Johnson on 4-yard rush – to set up the Blazers’ 21-unanwered points that led up to UWF’s final drive.

Reed was 25-for-37 for 298 yards and completed passes to six different receivers. In addition to Lehtio’s effort, Quentin Randolph had 72 yards receiving and Ashley had 52 to lead UWF.

UWF ran for 136 yards and was spearheaded by Johnson’s 73 yards on 18 carries with three touchdowns.

VSU (10-1) outgained UWF 501-to-434 and had 335 passing yards.

The Argos defeated the Blazers for the first time in five meetings by controlling the time of possession, using a strong ground game for 35:13 of the clock, including 20:15 in the first half alone.

The Argonauts advance to next week’s Super Region 2 title game against No. 6 ranked Lenoir-Rhyne (13-0) at Moretz Stadium in Hickory, N.C. Kickoff time will be announced in the coming days.

NWE Wins National Turkey Bowl Championship

December 1, 2019

The NWE 6U Chiefs defeated Team Pensacola Saturday to win the Battle of the South Youth National Turkey Bowl Championship. The NWE 6U Chiefs have been invited to play for the National  Youth Football Championship later this month in Atlanta. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

NWE Freshmen Playing For Turkey Bowl Championship

November 30, 2019

The NWE Freshmen defeated the Northwest Florida League champions Wedgewood 6-0 Friday. NWE will play in the Battle of the South Youth National Turkey Bowl Championship on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Magee Field, 2422 Davis Highway in Pensacola. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Playoffs: Escambia Wins; Baker, T.R. Miller Lose

November 30, 2019

Here are Friday night’s high school football playoff scores from around the North Escambia vicinity:

FLORIDA

6A State Semifinal

Escambia 45, Gaither 21

1A State Semifinal

Blountstown 21, Baker 13

ALABAMA

3A State Semifinal

Mobile Christian 41, T.R. Miller 21

NorthEscambia.com photo.

Defense Building On UWF Foundation For Saturday’s Playoff Game

November 29, 2019

Maybe the most defining moment in the University of West Florida football season occurred in the fourth game, just when an emotional edge had switched to the opposite sideline.

Mississippi College had used a 13-play, 89-yard drive in the final 3:39 to forge a 21-21 tie on a running play as time expired. UWF was now facing its first overtime game in team history.

Head coach Pete Shinnick never hesitated. He sent the Argos defense back on the field.

“I looked at them and said, ‘Hey we’re going to stick our defense back out there.’ That’s how much I believed in them,” Shinnick said.

Faith was rewarded. The Argos got a quarterback sack and stop. No points. The Argos took their possession and won the game 27-21.

Since then? Six wins in seven games, leading into Saturday’s NCAA Division II Super Region Two semifinal game at 1 p.m. (EST) in a road rematch at No. 1 ranked, unbeaten Valdosta State.

“I think that was a signature stop for us,” said UWF defensive coordinator Darian Dulin, the architect behind a defense which has progressed with the infancy of the program. “That last drive our guys were really upset about giving up that score.

“From that moment on, they kinda took the attitude that, hey, we can control our destiny from here on what this going to look like. And we’re going to play with a different mindset. From that point on they have really been playing good football.”

Just as the Argos improbable and magical 2017 run to the D-2 national title game was buoyed by defensive prowess, this season includes similarities.

Even with the lone aberration in the 48-37 shootout win against West Alabama – a game two weeks ago when the teams’ offenses combined for 1,091 yards – UWF’s defensive numbers stand among national leaders in several categories.

UWF is eighth nationally in scoring defense, yielding 15.3 points per-game. The Argos are tied for 10thin red-zone defense, giving up just 11 touchdowns in opponents’ 31 trips inside the 20. They are 16thin passing efficiency defense, which includes 10 interceptions.

“You gotta have a great defense to compete,” Shinnick said. “And I have felt great about our defense. It’s been that way all season.”

The Argos (9-2), fresh off a 38-17 playoff win at Wingate where they led 31-3 in the fourth quarter, face a repeat challenge against Valdosta State (10-0), which ranks No. 4 nationally in total offense, averaging 523.2 yards-per game.

In the first meeting Nov. 9, the Blazers amassed 526 yards against UWF, but were held to just two touchdowns through three quarters in their eventual 26-21 victory. After scoring touchdowns in two of their first three possessions, UWF later forced field goals with stops at their own 2 and 3, which changed the entire game for the second half.

“It kept us in the game,” Shinnick said. “So that was huge. But we also kept (UWF defense) on the field a long time. We’ve got to get them off on some third downs, we’ve got to get them off, earlier.”

Led by junior quarterback Rogan Wells, who has passed for 2,315 yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 680 yards and six scores, the Blazers have one of the most dynamic, dual-threat, quarterbacks in Division II.

He has triggered a offense which carried the Blazers to a 14-0 record in 2018 and the D-2 national title.

“It’s probably going to go down as one of the better offenses in the history of Division II, two years in a row averaging over 500 yards a game,” Shinnick said. “That’s tough to do at any level, at any place. (Wells) is going to go down as an All-American, a Harlon Hill finalist (the D-2 version of Heisman Trophy).

“I think this is a unique collection of players that Valdosta has. What they have done offensively to average the yardage they have over the last 25 games… not many people can do that.”
UWF, however, rallied from a 20-0 deficit at halftime of the previous game to have a chance to take a lead in the fourth quarter.

The Argos’ defense has been a reflection of its coach, third-year defensive coordinator Darian Dulin, whose impact has helped UWF make rapid progression with a roster that has gone through natural.

Defensive back Trent Archie, one of the charter members from UWF’s inaugural season, has joined with linebacker Andre Duncombe to help bridge the transition. Archie has embraced Dulin’s defensive philosophy and his constant intensity on the sideline.

“If you have a defensive coordinator that is not fired up, are you really going to get fired up on the field?” said Archie, who was the team’s third leading tackler in 2017 and now second-leading tackler in 2019. “I think coach Dulin really adds to that. Once we see him get hyped, we get hyped and we feed off that. I think that leads to success.

“He’s been a very aggressive coach. He likes to bring pressure. Likes to get in your face as a defense. We like that.”

Archie can remember how all of this started, back when UWF was just trying to have introductory practices on converted intramural fields with a post-practice therapy area at the Skeeter Carson Tennis Center.

From that basic start, the program four years later is back in the playoff field in Division II.

“We were just some young’uns out there, just trying to play, having a dream,” Archie said. “Now the dream has come true.

“Coach Shinnick had a big impact on it. When he came in, he made us believe in his culture and everything with it, along with having integrity.”

Both Shinnick and Dulin had a sense in the summer this team’s defensive group could be special, provided injuries were at a minimum and newcomers could make smooth transitions.

“I think you always hope, and you pray, that’s what you’re going to have when you put it together,” Dulin said. “We felt like we did a good job recruiting. We got some guys we felt fit our needs and some guys we had coming back who we knew could be great.

“But you always worry about how this is all going to jell together. Are these guys going to pick up our system and all that stuff? I think our guys have done a great job of getting better every day and playing hard.”

Shinnick, who had not coached with Dulin prior to hiring him, has seen Dulin’s influence for three seasons.

“He’s been a great ambassador for UWF and what we believe in and what we are trying to do,” Shinnick said. “Great energy. Great excitement. He takes every rep serious and our guys know that and they want to go out and play well for him.

It’s led to UWF preparing for another playoff game on Thanksgiving week.

“Nothing better than that. In D-2 football, to be practicing on Thanksgiving is a great thing,” Shinnick said.

Last Teams Standing: Friday Night’s Football Playoffs

November 26, 2019

Here are Friday night’s high school football playoff games in the North Escambia vicinity:

FLORIDA

6A State Semifinal

Gaither (Tampa) (12-1) at Escambia (13-0) , 7:30 p.m.

1A State Semifinal

Baker (11-1) at Blountstown (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

ALABAMA

3A State Semifinal

T.R. Miller  (10-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4), 7 p.m.

Pictured:  T.R. Miller’s Darius Webb with a touchdown catch last Friday night as the Tigers defeated Flomaton. NorthEscambia.com photo.

Tate High’s Avery Beauchaine Signs With Pensacola State College

November 25, 2019

Tate High School senior Avery Beauchaine has signed to continued to education and softball career with Pensacola State College. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Tate Varsity And JV Cheerleading Teams Earn Bid To Nationals

November 24, 2019

The Tate High School varsity and junior varsity cheerleading teams have both earned a bid to the 2020 UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Next Page »