April 5th Vanguard Poll Question

March 28, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · 5 Comments 

[poll id=”10″]

Let your vote be heard by posting below.  The best comment will be appearing in the April 5th issue of The Vanguard.

If you wish to be published in the paper, please leave your first name and which class year you represent.

As always, thanks for visiting and also for voting. Please continue reading the Vanguard and Thunderjags.com.

Jags Finish Out Series with ULL And Visit #21 SLU

March 25, 2010 · By · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

The Jags won the final game of their series against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday to win the series 2-1 but it took extra innings to do so. In the bottom of the 13th inning the Jags plated a run win 12-11.

Jag second baseman Zach Grichor led off the inning with a double through the left side of the diamond. He then scored the game winning run when Chase Traffica’s pitch passed the catcher and allowed Zach to score.

Then on Wednesday the Jags traveled to Hammond, LA to take on #21 Southeastern Louisiana. SLU took the lead in their half of the 1st inning with two runs. In the 3rd inning, the Jags cut the lead in half but their inning saw the Jags score four runs to take a 5-2 lead. Then in the bottom half of the inning, SLU scored one to cut the lead to two runs.

After a scoreless inning for both teams, SLU tied the game up with two runs in the bottom half of the 6th inning.
The game would stay tied until the bottom of the 9th inning when SLU pinch-hitter Chris Ernest hits a bases loaded single to center field for the walk-off win.

The Jags are now 15-9 on the season and 5-1 in the Sun Belt. The Jags will play a three game, weekend series in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to take on the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State.

Jaguars Baseball Early Season Review

March 21, 2010 · By · Filed Under Baseball · Comment 

The Jags Baseball team started the season with with some big games against teams like Alabama, Tulane and Siena before they opened up their conference schedule.

They had chances against Alabama to win both games before the first one in Tuscaloosa got out of hand, but the next day in Mobile, they kept it much closer yet still fell in the end.

Their match-up against Mississippi State had to be rescheduled due to weather. The Jags then defeated Tulane at Stanky field and took two of three against Siena also at Stanky field.

These early season games put the Jags record at 8-5 as they started Sun Belt play. Their first opponent came on the road in Little Rock, Arkansas against UALR. The Jags swept the three game weekend series.

They then stepped back out of Sun Belt play to face Memphis in Tennessee where they split the two game series.

This weekend the Jags opened up their Sun Belt home schedule against Louisiana-Lafayette and have split the first two games with ULL winning on Friday night and the Jags winning last nights showdown. The final game of this weekends series will begin at 1pm today with the Jags hoping to run their record to 14-8 on the season.

The remainder of the Jags season will continue to have out of conference foes sprinkled between three game weekend series. They have some good schools on the list too such as Southern Miss, Auburn and Nicholls State.

But one of the big stories of the season so far happened during the UALR series when long time coach Steve Kittrell recorded his 1,000th win at South Alabama.

South Alabama is sitting in a good spot early in the Sun Belt season. They have a 4-1 record and seem to be growing more consistent. The major factor the rest of the season will be the pitching from the bullpen. If the starters can stay out of trouble early and go deep into the games, the Jags have a much better chance at the Sun Belt title this season.

Jaguars Process Continues: Red White Game 2010

March 11, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Head Coach Joey Jones watches as Myles Gibbon leads the White team offense as they try to score in the second Red-White Game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The University of South Alabama Spring Football Game showcased alot of talent on both sides of the ball, but it also showed that there is improvement still yet to be had. The defense on both sides really stepped up when needed and the offenses showed flashes of brilliance, however neither side showed any all-around dominance.

On the first drive of the game, the white offense lead by Myles Gibbon, drove 70 yards in 13 plays to put the first points on the board. With the drive facing a fourth-and-one near midfield, it was actually gut-check time. Do they play it safe and punt or do they roll the dice?

Well, the white team rolled the dice and and it payed off. Gibbon completed a pass to Paul Bennett for 13 yards for the first down and to cross the midfield stripe. This play got the offense in gear. Myles carred the ball for six yards, then Santuan McGee rushed twice for 13 more yards. Then Brandon Ross followed with a 17 yard gain to the one yard line on a sweep to the left. Gibbon would cap off the drive with a one yard dive into the end zone to give the White team an early 7-0 lead.

On the second drive of the game, the Red team would drive 55 yards down to the White team’s 25 yard line before getting stopped on a fourth-and-five play.

The White team would take the ball and drive 69 yards in just six plays. The majority of the yards were picked up on a 52 yard strike from Myles Gibbon to Courtney Smith on a post route. However an incomplete pass into the end zone on fourth down from the one yard line would end their drive.

Brennan Sim would lead the Red teams drive from the one yard line and go 99 yards to even the game with less than three minutes until halftime. After trying to run for a few yards of breathing room in the shadow of their endzone, Sim would find Donte Rome for a 14 yard completion on third down to keep the drive alive. Sim would go back to Rome for a 16 yard completion.

On the next play, Brandon Norton would record a sack on Sim costing the Red team eight yards. But he came back with a fake option run which the defensive back bit on and found Kelly Vail on a post pattern which he turned into a 73 yard touchdown.

The second half was a defensive showing with only one score in the second half to show for it.

The drive began when Zach Brownell intercepted a pass and returned it eight yards to the 38 yard line. Gibbon then found Courtney Smith for a first down play to get the ball to midfield. McGee, two plays later, would find a seam and go for 12 yards and another White first down at the Red teams 34 yard line.

Then on third-and-ten, Paul Bennett caught another Gibbon pass in the right flat for 22 yards just as time expired in the third quarter. But the Red team defense would not give up. They would cause three consecutive plays for a loss, including back to back sacks by Clifton Crews and Josh Chestang. This placed the ball on the 36 yard line. With fourth-and-24, the coaches options were limited.

Gambling for a win and some game pressure experience, the White team ran on Jordan Means to attempt a 53 yard field goal. The snap and hold were good and when Means put foot to ball and sent it sailing, everyone watched holding their breath. As the ball barely cleared the cross bar, everyone was wondering if it made it. Then when the referees hands went up in the air, the onlookers gave their loudest cheer of the night as the White team celebrated as well.

The drive and kick covered 13:52 and left about 11:30 for the Red team to try to match them and the White defense did not let the Red team get a drive going of any substance and held on for the victory.

Myles Gibbon went 8-for-9 passing for 131 yards with four of them to Courtney Smith for 83 yards. Paul Bennett had two receptions for 35 yards while Lamontis Gardner also added two receptions. Santuan McGee lead the team rushing with 10 carries for 43 yards and Brandon Ross carried the ball five times for 33 more yards.

The White defense was lead by Romelle Jones with five tackles, 1.5 of them for a loss. Richard Courtney and Logan Bennett each added four tackles while Bryson James had three. In total, the White defense only allowed 207 yards.

Brennan Sim went 13-for-22 with 184 yards. Kelly Vail caught four passes for a game high of 94 yards. Ralph Turner also had four receptions for 39 yards. The Red team offense could only muster 13 yards on 14 attempts, but Eli Smith lead the way with six rushes for 18 yards.

Ken Barefield lead all players with nine tackles, two of them for a loss. Michael Wilson added seven. Clifton Crews and Enrique Williams added four each as well. The Red defense only allowed 12 more yards than the White defense for 219 yards.

Head Coach Joey Jones was on the field observing the play the entire evening. Coach Jones had this to say about the game, “I think the kids had some fun out there. It was a good-spirited night, they’ve been at each other the last couple of days and had a good time. It was a good way to end a long spring training.”

“That was great,” added Coach Jones when asked about the Jordan Means’ field goal attempt. “I was over there and they were ready to run a fourth-down play to try and at least gain some yardage. I reminded them the wind was behind them, though I wasn’t trying to be a head coach. Jordan has a good leg, I knew if he got it going straight he had it. It was a great kick.”

All in all, the players had a great time. There were good spirited ribbing and text messages going back and forth all week according to Romelle Jones. Myles Gibbon added that it was like playing with a completely new team since both teams only had one practice in order to prepare for the game.

At halftime, Mobile businessman David Gwin who is a strong supporter of South Alabama Athletics along with his wife Lynn were recognized for their $100,000 donation for a football sculpture. The sculpture, as stated by President Gordon Moulton, will stand about 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide in the front circle of the entranceway to the Jaguar Football Field House and will be made entirely out of stainless steel.

Coach Jones and his staff honored several players for their efforts in spring practice. Each position received a Most Improved award with the winners being: Quarterback Brennan Sim, Running Back Eli Smith, Wide Receivers Bryant Lavender, Tight End Robby Stoner, Offensive Lineman Levi Slaydon, Defensive Lineman Kendell Bagnerise, Inside Linebacker Brett Hancock, Outside Linebacker Josh Chestang and Defensive Back Michael Wilson.  Other special honors went to Corey Walden on Offense and Ken Barefield on Defense. Charlie Higgenbotham received the “I Like To Practice” award and Brennan Sim earned the High Academic Honors award.

The process to join Division-I football continues on Saturday, September 4 when Pikeville (Kentucky) travels to Ladd-Peebles Stadium to open the 2010 Football season.

Jaguars Defense Held Strong In Second Scrimmage Of The Spring

March 7, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Coach Jones and his staff oversee the second scrimmage of the spring at the Jaguar Practice Facility on the South Alabama Campus on Saturday.

The Jaguar defense had another impressive outing in Saturday’s scrimmage at the Jaguar Practice Facility on campus. The first and second teams both combined to only allow a single touchdown prior to red zone drills.

Ken Barefield lead the defense with 12 tackles and an interception with Justin Dunn and Tim Harvey adding six more tackles each. Romelle Jones added five tackles and a group of six others added four tackles each.

The defensive unit had 18 tackles for loss, six of those being sacks and three of them being credited to Tony Threatt.

Brennan Sim lead the first team offense and went 7-for-17 for 80 yards and lead them to their first points on the third drive my their team. Four of the first five plays were rushes by Eli Smith, who gained 31 yards. A Sim pass to Kelly Vail put them on the 16 yard line before Vail was caught for a loss of 12 yards on a reverse. Michel Chapuseaux capped off the drive with a 42 yard field goal.

The first team offense finally found the end-zone on its last drive after Sim completed three straight passes. The final of the three consecutive passes came on fourth-and-two when he found Kevin Helms for a 28 yard touchdown.

The third team offense was the only other team to put the ball into the end zone for the day. It was the third teams’ first drive and Gabe Graham was facing a third-and-six from their own 39 yard line. Graham would find Bryant Lavender near the left hashmark and he would break a tackle for the 61 yard touchdown.

During the red zone drill, the offense would score on all three possessions. Smith would score on a rush up the middle for five yards. Myles Gibbon would connect with Andrew Martin for an eight yard touchdown. Then Ellis Hill would pound it into the end zone on a fourth-and-one play.

Bryant Lavendar would lead the Jags with 74 yards receiving on two receptions. Jereme Jones had a team high of four catches for 39 yards. While Courtney Smith would add three catches for 20 yards and Ralph Turner would catch two for 37 yards.

Eli Smith would lead the ground game with 13 rushes for 39 yards, while Ryan Scott would add 36 and Santuan McGee would add 31.

As mentioned before, Brennan Sim would complete 7-of-17 passes for 80 yards while Myles Gibbon would go 6-of-9 for 89 yards and the only interception of the day. Gabe Graham completed 4-of-5 passes for 97 yards.

The totals was 266 yards passing, 169 yards rushing for a total oof 435 total yards.

Coach Jones commented on the performance by the defense after the scrimmage. “That’s pretty much what we’ve seen all spring,” he said. “The defense did a good job of stopping the run, they really played well early in the scrimmage. I’m proud of those guys.”

Coach Jones then continued to speak about the offenses performance. “Offensively I thought we got a little better as the scrimmage went on. I told the team afterwards that we’ve just gotten better. When you watch film, I’m not so much worried about the results or how many touchdowns there were. We’re looking at individual plays and the fundamentals, we’ll worry about the scoreboard in the fall. The bottom line is that I’m real proud of the team, we’ve had a great spring thus far. We have achieved our goals.”

The Jags will practice on Monday and Tuesday morning at the Jaguar Practice Facilities on campus. Then Spring Practice will conclude with an intrasquad game on Wednesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium at 6pm. Which Coach Jones had this to say about it. “The players are really excited [about Wednesday’s game]. They have already went through a player draft and formed two teams. I look at it that those guys will go out and have fun, because the bottom line is that evaluations are pretty much done. The teams will be split, which usually leads to things being a little out of synch. I’m not going to worry about that.”.

This will definitely make for an interesting end to the spring session.

Jags Advance To Face #1 Troy In The Sun Belt Tournament

March 7, 2010 · By · Filed Under Basketball, Men's · Comment 

The ninth seeded South Alabama Jaguars opened up the Sun Belt Tournament against the eighth seeded Florida Atlantic with a win on Saturday. While the Owls are sent home, the Jags advance in the SBC Tournament and get one step closer to the SBC title game.

The beginning to the game was quite rough for the Jags, committing seven turnovers and only scoring two points in the opening three minutes of the match up. However after the first five minutes passed and the Owls lead was stretched to six points, the Jags woke up and began playing basketball again.

The Jags, lead by Tim Williams scoring, would rally the Jags and take the lead. FAU would be held to shooting only 20% from the floor for the half and would miss its last 10 three point attempts. They also went over five minutes without a single point. But Sherrer would end the half a four point play when FAU fouled him while making his three point attempt.

The second half was a bit like cruise control for the Jags for the most part. They would extend their lead out to 14 at one point in the second half. However, this would not hold. The Owls would get back into the game with a 15-4 run to close the Jaguar lead to a mere three points, 46-43.

The Jags would score on back to back possessions to regain a seven point lead, However the Owls would not give up scoring eight consecutive points to regain the lead by one with 27.4 seconds left.

The Owls would foul twice trying to force a turnover, however their number of team fouls did not send the Jags to the line. Bryan Sherrer would nail a jumper with five seconds left to give the Jags the final score of the game, 52-51.

The Owls tried a desperation shot to try to win the game, however it was off its mark and time expired.

Bryan Sherrer lead the Jags with 21 points on 8-11 shooting and 2-3 from outside the arc. Close behind though was Tim Williams who scored 12. No other Jags were in double digits.

After the game Coach Arrow said, “It was a very close game. We survived and get to go on and there are a lot of schools that wish that they were still playing. Our guys played hard. I was proud of our guys – they played hard and hit the big bucket at the end.”

With the win the Jags improve to 17-14 on the season and will face the #1 seed Troy Trojans on Sunday with tip-off scheduled for 6:45pm.

Go Jags!

Jag Video: Strength And Conditioning

March 6, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

This video was posted yesterday and it goes inside the South Alabama locker room and show the Jags commitment in getting stronger, faster and better players. If this doesn’t get you excited for this Fall, there’s not much that will.

Jags Spring Practice Is Winding Down

March 5, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags started the week with a lively practice on Monday morning after playing hard and getting beat up in last Saturday’s scrimmage. But much to Coach Jones’ delight, they came out and worked hard.

The players know they have a limited amount of time to impress the coaches with the end of Spring practice closing in. With practices on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday this week before tomorrow’s scrimmage, time is quickly running out.

Monday’s play was highlighted by improved play from the offensive line, which is something Coach Jones wants to see on a regular basis. While Wednesday’s practice was highlighted by some situational drills pitting offense against defense on full 11-on-11 play.

One of the drills was red zone play with a couple of big plays from Kelly Vail with a 21-yard reverse for a touchdown and a 19 yard catch on 3rd-and-10 to set up another touchdown.

The other full team drill was running third down plays with varying distances for the first down.

On Thursday the team had a light workout in preparation for the scrimmage on Saturday.

Coach Jones spoke about Wednesday’s practice by saying, “It was a real good day today. The offense came out and got better, and the defense played real hard. The defense has been knocking the offense around a little bit, but offensively we came out and competed, which is good. We’re creating competition out here every day, and have really gotten better not only from last fall to now but from the beginning of the spring to this point. We haven’t wasted a day.”

The offense did well throwing the ball in last Saturday’s scrimmage. However they were pounded by the defense whenever they tried to run the ball. But this week they have responded well as Coach Jones observes, “They got knocked around a little bit, but when your back is up against the wall you tend to react one way or another. Thank God they reacted in a positive way. They came out and worked and took it to heart. It’s not that the offense has come out and dominated, but they have gotten better. That’s what you’re looking for.”

But Jones is also pleased with the defense’s ability to stop the run as well as the offense’s attack developing more balance. The team has improved from last season as Coach Jones also comments about, “If you look where we were at the end of last season and where we are now, we’re a much better football team. We have a long way to go, but the bottom line is that we have improved, and a lot of that is an offseason in the weight room, maturity and experience. When you have a bunch of freshmen, the learning curve is going to be steep.”

Saturday’s scrimmage should be about 120 plays covering a variety of game situations beginning at 11am. Coach Jones said, “We’re interested in reps. We want to get them out there and put them in situations that we know we need to cover.”

He further said, “This is going to be what I call the last day of spring. We’re going to get everyone on the field so that we will be able to go back and look at the film to evaluate how they did ‘under the lights,’ so to speak. It’s going to be an important day for some of these guys. Some players know their positions are on the line and that they will need to come through on Saturday.”

This scrimmage will be the 12th of their 15 for the spring. With only two more practices scheduled before Wednesday’s spring game, or what Thunderjags refers to as the JagDay game. The JagDay Game will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium beginning at 6pm with the parking lot opening at 3pm for tailgating.

March 1st Vanguard Poll Question

March 3, 2010 · By · Filed Under Baseball, Polls · 1 Comment 

[poll id=”8″]

Your vote can now be heard by posting below with the best comment appearing in the March 8th issue of The Vanguard.

If you wish to be published in the paper, please leave your first name and which class year you represent.

Thanks for voting and please continue reading the Vanguard and Thunderjags.com.