Sports
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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
Football action [Photo gallery]
Fleming Island youth football action was hard driving on a Sunday afternoon conditioning session with, top left, Cyril Hudson sprinting; cheerleaders with semi-simultaneous jumps; bottom left, Hunter … more
MIDDLEBURG - Area cross country runners continue to run and train in anticipation of a fall season after many missed possible track season medals because of the COVID-19 situation. "The virus has not … more
GAINESVILLE - With an intention to not change dates for the upcoming fall sports season, but, more importantly, keeping in line with state and federal regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 … more
OAKLEAF - Oakleaf High football coach Frank Garis noted a small dilemma in his summer approach to fall football. "We have had up to 130 guys coming out to the conditioning practices and that … more
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – In one of the very few 5K road running races in the state, St. Johns Country Day School’s Matthew Stratton figured on cruising to the win until Clay High’s Carlton Waiguru … more
GAINESVILLE – Right now, it is “muddy waters.”That comment made by Florida High School Athletic Association Executive Director George Tomyn regarding a potential plan involving a … more
LAKE ASBURY - Clay County Commissioner Chairman Gayward Hendry was contrite when naming Ronnie Van Zant Park in Lake Asbury as one of his favorite parks in the county and added a bit more to add to … more
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Former Clay High volleyball and basketball standout Brianna Borsheim, if she was inclined to, had the perfect role model to take up cross country or track when she was a Blue … more
MIDDLEBURG - Former Clay High football head coach and athletic director John Stilianou now is wearing red as opposed to his 16 years of Blue Devil blue after accepting a new position at Middleburg … more
MIDDLEBURG - Middleburg High volleyball coach Carrie Prewitt has been a strong advocate for maintaining her own fitness during the Coronavirus Pandemic and all indications are that her Lady Broncos … more
GREEN COVE SPRINGS - With the departure of long-time coach and athletic director John Stilianou, the Clay High football program suffered its second major blow in just two years with assistant coach … more
MIDDLEBURG – With a storied history of football in the family, Luke and Logan Padgett seem destined to be the next two football leaders at Middleburg High School football, according to Middleburg … more
Fish Tales 070220 [Photo gallery]
reen Cove Springs – The Clay County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce the opening of the new Eli Warren Fitness Course at Ronnie Van Zant Park in Lake Asbury. Clay County … more
ORANGE PARK - Ridgeview High football coach Matt Knauss, who struggled through a one win first season last year, sees a little light at the end of the tunnel for the potential of 2020 and it is all … more
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