Sports
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JACKSONVILLE - With a exodus of key players to transfer and a new head coach Clay High football is looking to return to the forefront of Clay County football. At Thursday's Baker Sports Media Day, … more
ORANGE PARK - Former Fleming Island High soccer goalie standout Katie Nimitz has returned to Florida sunshine after getaways to the bristly midwest end of college soccer in Illinois and … more
Ridgeview High senior wrestlers Matthew Rodriguez earned an All-American plaque after a fourth place finish at the Reno Worlds in Tulsa July 30-Aug. 2 in Tulsa. Rodriguez, a Class 1A runnerup last … more
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - Keystone Heights High volleyball coach Miranda Knox had a stacked lineup last year with powerhitter Madison Heskett and Emily Loose manning the front lines, but 2020 will be … more
OAKLEAF - With a name like Hope, it seems that destiny is on your side. Oakleaf will look to bank on a late season surge that saw the Lady Knights win five of their last seven games with four … more
GAINESVILLE - Amidst nearly a month of indecision, the FHSAA has reversed its stance on a non-public meeting concerning fall sports in anticipation of a August 14 Gainesville meeting of the FHSAA … more
OAKLEAF - Oakleaf High senior quarterback Walter Simmons had one thing in mind when choosing his college for his next phase of football playing; actually two. One, choose a program that would offer … more
FLEMING ISLAND - Though losing one of the top jumpers and hitters in all of Florida to graduation; Reyna Durden, Fleming Island High volleyball coach Amy Walker has a lot to look forward to with a … more
Say it isn’t so! Note: With COVID-19 altering all athletics, the historic Fleming Island vs. Clay football game may be nixed in 2020.FLEMING ISLAND - Clay High field goal kicker Lane Delapp got … more
ATLANTA - Area baseball players; from most of Clay County’s high school programs, completed a successful summer of baseball at the club level with three teams chocked full of local talent battling … more
JACKSONVILLE - Middleburg High and University of North Florida golf ace Cody Carroll added yet another lofty outing on the the golf course with a masterful birdie on the final hole of the 59th … more
GAINESVILLE - An impassioned plea from a former local football coach preempted an FHSAA vote to push the start of 2020 high school sports seasons to August 24. The vote, an 11-4 count to start on … more
MELBOURNE – Florida Tech men’s basketball and head coach Billy Mims are excited to announce that Fleming Island High basketball star Elias Martin as the program’s fourth signee for the 2020 … more
JACKSONVILLE – The 59th edition of the Jacksonville Amateur Championship, sponsored and conducted by the Jacksonville Area Golf Association, got underway Thursday, July 23, at Jax Beach Golf Club … more
FLEMING ISLAND - In a five hour marathon meeting that looked much like a fourth grade discussion on college algebra, the Florida High School Athletics Association and the COVID-19 Task Force had a … more
FLEMING ISLAND - The Whiddon family is noted for their athletics in the area with football and wrestling the top draw for the likes of Wes, Heath and Walker, but the next great Whiddon may just be a … more
OAKLEAF - Oakleaf High graduate and baseball pitcher Chris Mauloni, known to Knights fans for his blistering fastball and also his adept hitting, will get a second shot at Major League Baseball with a recent signing with the Detroit Tigers. “I was drafted last year by the Boston Red Sox, but not signed,” said Mauloni, who just finished up his sophomore season at Jacksonville University after a sterling freshman year that saw him earn First Team All American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association as well as a Third Team All-American by Rawlings/Perfect Game and Collegiate Baseball, a First-Team Freshman All-American by Baseball America, a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year award, as well as All-ASUN Second Team and Freshman Team honors. “Right now, I have been told that they might set up a small minor league after seeing the results (COVID-19) on the upcoming 60-game season. Nothing is for sure though.” Though still earning a signing bonus, Mauloni is kind of on hold until August with playing time. “I can’t play travel ball or summer ball because of now being a professional,” said Mauloni. “It’s a bit anti-climactic because you don’t get that instant gratification of getting to play pro ball. I just stay in shape with weightlifting and throwing and catching at home.” Mauloni, who had finished a 2.5 hour weightlifting session prior to our conversation, stormed to the top of the NCAA relief pitching stats with 20 saves leading the Dolphins to a 40-win season and an NCAA regional appearance. In his sophomore season, Mauloni was a preseason All-ASun Conference selection, but just played in 12 games. The Boston Red Sox drafted him 35th in the 2019 MLB draft First Year Player Draft. In 2020, Mauloni added two saves to his total; 24, to become the top closer at Jacksonville. “When I came in I had a mindset based on my ability from high school,” said Mauloni. “I just wanted to not get beaten at any circumstance on the field. I still learned a whole much more that year.” Mauloni, 22, has seen the strength training provide some muscular durability in the rugged schedule of NCAA seasons. “I never weightlifted much in high school, but the level of commitment of the entire team at JU is much higher. If you want to play, you have to put in the extra work,” said Mauloni. At the Detroit Tigers signing, Mauloni asked what they wanted from their pitchers because his draft, but no signing last year left him thinking about why not. “They were always looking for power guys; upper 90 mphs, but they noted that I had developed a slider that noone could hit,” said Mauloni. “Every hitter at the NCAA level can hit a fastball, but now I can throw most of my secondary pitches in the strike zone. Those pitches make the fastball that much more effective.” Mauloni, who was pursuing a degree in aviation management at Jacksonville, will now have to find gaps in his baseball time to continue classes. “Detroit has paid for the rest of my schooling and I would like to finish that,” said Mauloni. “ Mauloni joked about his days as a strong hitter at Oakleaf that has been curtailed for his pitching arm. “At this level, they pay guys big money to hit and they pay guys to pitch,” said Mauloni. “I was a pretty good bat in high school.” Mauloni noted former Oakleaf teammates Skylar Arias and J.C. Flowers are still pursing their Major League aspirations; Arias with the Cleveland Indians (pitcher for ) and Flowers with the Pittsburg Pirates (outfielder). more
MIDDLEBURG - Former Middleburg High baseball standout A.J. Gill got a very rare Major League Baseball contract last week when the hefty bat from Clay County signed an undrafted free agent contract … more
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