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 NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
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 NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
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 NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
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.
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 MyFWC.com/Hunting.
You can buy your license and permits by calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA or going online at License.MyFWC.com. 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 MyFWC.com/Dove, 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
November 15, 2014
The Tate Aggies beat the Lincoln Trojans 34-24 Friday night in Tallahassee in a regional quarterfinal playoff game.
The Aggies took the lead 7-0 with 6:06 to go in the first quarter before Alondo Thompkins ran for 78 yards to make it 14-0 with :32 second in the first. Thompkins added another 73-yard touchdown in the second half to finish to 166 yards rushing and 125 receiving.
Overall, the Aggies rushed for 265 yards and had almost 500 yards total offense against Lincoln.
The Aggies advance on the road to Orlando next Friday night as they take on Niceville in the 7A regional semifinal round. During the regular season, Niceville’s Eagles beat Tate 35-7.
Pictured: The Tate Aggies beat Lincoln 34-24 Friday night in Tallahassee. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
November 15, 2014
The Northview Chiefs’ dreams of a second state championship were stopped cold in round one of the playoffs Friday night in Vernon. The Yellow Jackets beat the Chiefs 36-19 in the Region 1-1A football semifinal.
Vernon was first on the board with a six yard touchdown on their first possession of the game from four and four. The Chiefs answered with a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Gavin Grant to Cameron Newsome with 1:54 to go in the first. With a good kick, the Chiefs were out to a 7-6 lead.
The Yellow Jackets regained the lead 14-7 with a short touchdown run and two point conversion with 10:58 to go in the half. With 11.6 seconds to go in the half, the Chiefs were in for a game tying touchdown that was called back on a penalty.
Northview felt the sting of the Yellow Jackets in the second half with three unanswered Vernon TD’s.
Grant threw thee touchdowns, two of them to Newsome, to go 22 of 45 for 191 yards.
The loss ended the 1A playoff run for the Chiefs (7-3). Vernon (10-1) will advance next week to take on Baker, who knocked off Graceville 21-7 Friday night.
Pictured: The Northview cheerleaders console one another as the football team gathers in the background following playoff run ending loss Friday night in Vernon. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
November 13, 2014
A retired U.S. Air Force pilot and National Rifle Association member wants the state to stop hunters from using dogs to track down deer around his Panhandle property.
Claiming they have been threatened by hunters and that dogs chasing deer can scare rescued horses, William Daws, Jr., and his wife, Ouida Gershon, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Leon County circuit court against the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The lawsuit seeks to stop deer-dog hunting in the portion of the Blackwater Wildlife Management Area where they have lived since 2005.
Susan Smith, a spokeswoman for the agency, said Wednesday she couldn’t comment on pending litigation.
Daws, a hunter who spent 23 years in the Air Force, including combat service in Vietnam, isn’t seeking to outlaw the deer-dog practice in Florida, just around his section of the management area where he and a number of other people live. Such hunts are allowed 44 days a year.
“If they close it to deer-dog hunting, hunting is still allowed,” said David Theriaque, the attorney for the couple. “It’s not as if you’re closing the wildlife management area to hunting. It’s just that this particular form of hunting would be banned.”
Deer-dog hunters use canines to trail deer through the woods. The dogs are unleashed when deer tracks are found or when hunters are within areas deer are known to frequent. The hunters typically follow in pickup trucks to where the dogs are expected to round up the deer for shooting.
The state commission was advised by staff at the Sept. 10 meeting in Kissimmee that closing more areas to hunting with dogs is possible, “however, interest in hunting with dogs remains extremely high.”
A total of 155 permits were approved for the 2014-2015 season.
In seeking both a temporary and permanent injunction to halt the state agency from allowing the hunts to occur in their section of Blackwater, which runs up to the Florida-Alabama border, Daws and his wife are asking for at least $15,000 in damages, claiming the state agency’s issuance of permits to deer-dog hunters has deprived them of their constitutional rights as property owners.
“They are hunters, they support hunters,” Theriaque said. “It really boils down to they have bought land and the state is allowing people to run their dogs through. The state can stop this in a heartbeat by saying we can close deer-dog hunting in that portion of Blackwater.”
The 191,651-acre Blackwater area in Okaloosa County and Santa Rosa counties consists of public land that is interspersed with a number of privately owned properties.
In 2005, the commission reduced the allowed space within Blackwater for deer-dog hunting from 78,172 acres to 19,589 acres, while also closing a number of roads to the hunters.
According to the lawsuit, the couple has sought changes to deer-dog hunting for four years as efforts to protect rescue animals they care for on the property has resulted in being “harassed, bullied, and threatened by deer-dog hunters, including deer-dog hunters firing their guns over the heads of the Daws.”
“They don’t leave their property during daylight hours,” when it’s deer-dog season, Theriaque said. “What happens is the deer jump over the fence, or they’re already on the property, and dogs and houses don’t mix well, especially dogs that are in hot pursuit of deer.”
In an affidavit last week, William Daws said the ongoing conflict with deer-dog hunters has resulted in verbal threats, the couple’s mailbox being shot, threats to tear down fencing, and derogatory graffiti written in the road in front of the their home.
The commission has acknowledged complaints from area homeowners, and the agency has sought to reduce conflicts between homeowners and hunters.
In September the commission approved a change that would require dogs used for pursuing or hunting deer, fox or coyote within permissible areas of Blackwater to be equipped with devices that include Global Positioning Systems and behavior correctional capabilities, in other words shock collars, to keep them within allowed hunting grounds. However, because costs for the receivers and collars can run $650 to $1,100, the rule doesn’t go into effect for two years.
Daws and Gershon argue in the lawsuit that control devices aren’t completely reliable for dogs that are running leash free as “it is well established that dogs cannot read ‘No Trespassing’ signs.”
by Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida
November 13, 2014
Three Tate High School Lady Aggies softball players signed their National Letter of Intent to play at the next level Wednesday.
Rachel Wright will be attending University of West Florida, Lauren Brennan will be attending Lewis University (in a suburb of Chicago, IL), and Tori Perkins will be playing at the University of Alabama Birmingham. The trio has played softball together since their T-ball days at NEP, and they were also starters on Tate’s Final Four team last year.
Pictured top: Tate’s softball signees and their parents. (front, L-R) Diana Wright, Rachel Wright, Tori Perkins, Lauren Brennan, Dorice Brennan, (back, L-R) Marty Wright, Greg Mason, Chris Mason and Mike Brennan. Pictured below: The Tate softball seniors. Pictured bottom. The individual signees and their parents. Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.
November 12, 2014
Former Century resident Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles manager, was named the American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday night, putting Baltimore’s skipper in a special category following a spectacular 2014 season.
Showalter, who beat out finalists Mike Scioscia and Ned Yost, is the sixth manager to win the award three or more times and just the second — joining Tony La Russa — to do it with three different organizations. Showalter won with the Yankees in 1994 and the Rangers in 2004 and quipped he would definitely not be around in 2024 to see if the trend continues.
“I’m pretty speechless,” said Showalter on MLB Network, which unveiled the award live. “It’s such a great reflection on our organization, our ownership that has been so rock solid.”
Showalter, who took over in Baltimore in August 2010, has posted winning seasons in each of the past three years and finished runner-up to Bob Melvin for the AL Manager of the Year Award in 2012.
Showalter has 1,259 career victories in 16 seasons as a Major League manager, the third-most wins among active managers. He is 377-328 in Baltimore and the third O’s manager to be named Manager of the Year, joining Davey Johnson (1997) and Frank Robinson (1989).
Showalter’s family moved to Century in the late 1950’s. His father served as a teacher, coach and principal at Century High School for 23 year. Buck Showalter played Little League ball in a thriving program in Century, and he graduated from Century High School. Century’s modern day Showalter Park is named after him.
Courtesy Baltimore Orioles.
Pictured: A congratulatory message image tweeted Tuesday night by the Baltimore Orioles for AL Manager of the Year Buck Showalter, a former resident of Century.
November 12, 2014
The 7th Annual In Hot Pursuit 5K run and walk is coming up at 8:00 Saturday morning on Pensacola Beach.
Register now at active.com http://bit.ly/1qufntU or download a printable form at escambiaso.com. Registration and packet pick up will take place Thursday and Friday 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at Running Wild, 312 East Cervantes Street in Pensacola.
The top finishers in each age division will win a specially designed souvenir mug. The top male and female runners overall will win one-of-a-kind trophies handmade by artist Ben Boggan.
All proceeds from the race will go to support the Florida Sheriff’s Association Youth Ranches. The In Hot Pursuit 5K is sponsored in part by NorthEscambia.com.