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(St. Petersburg, FL) The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl has announced that the University of Central Florida (UCF) from the American Athletic Conference and NC State from the Atlantic Coast Conference has each accepted an invitation to play in this year’s game. The seventh edition of the bowl game will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL., on Friday, Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.
“We’re excited about this matchup in the first year of our new conference agreements with The American and Atlantic Coast Conference,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl. “UCF fans have provided great support for their team in their past trips to our game and we look forward to showcasing St. Petersburg as a premier bowl destination to the NC State fans. “
UCF (9-3, 7-1), which won its second consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship this season, is riding a four-game winning streak and has won eight of its last nine games. This will be the Knights third appearance at the bowl game. UCF’s last trip to St. Petersburg was in 2012 when future NFL first round pick Blake Bortles led them to a 38-17 win over Ball State.
“We had a wonderful experience in St. Petersburg in 2012, so we’re certainly excited to head back to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” said UCF Director of Athletics Todd Stansbury. “Our team really enjoyed the activities surrounding the bowl and all the hospitality from everyone involved with the game and we appreciate the efforts of all involved to make it a first-class bowl game.”
“After a 9-3 season we are very happy to go to the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” added UCF Head Coach George O’Leary. “Obviously a bowl game is a great reward for the players, the program and the fanbase. We are very anxious to get to St. Petersburg and enjoy the bowl and its festivities.”
NC State (7-5, 3-5) will be playing in its 28th bowl game and 10th since 2000. This year’s game will be the Wolfpack’s first bowl played in the state of Florida since 2010 when they defeated West Virginia at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando.
“St. Petersburg is a beautiful, warm weather destination to play our bowl. Congratulations to our players and coaches,” said Wolfpack Director of Athletics Deborah A. Yow.
“We are both excited and thankful for the opportunity to play in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl,” said NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren, who has now coached bowl eligible teams 10 of the 13 years he’s been a full-time D1 coach. “We know that the NC State fan base will enjoy the opportunity to support their Wolfpack in a great city and I look forward to seeing a sea of red on game day! This is a great reward for our young team that has continued to improve over the course of the season, especially for the 12 current players from Florida who will be able to be home for the holidays.”
NC State and UCF have met twice, with each team claiming a victory on the road. UCF won the initial matchup at NC State 25-22 in 2007. The Wolfpack evened the all-time series with a 28-21 win at UCF in 2010.
The Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl is owned-and-operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, which manages 11 postseason bowl games.
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(St. Petersburg, FL) The Tampa Bay Rays have named Kevin Cash the fifth manager in franchise history.
“We are proud to introduce Kevin as our manager,” said Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg. “His energy and dynamic personality will fit seamlessly with our clubhouse. We are fortunate to have such a talented individual, and Tampa Bay native, to lead our club as we strive to achieve new heights as a team and organization.”
“Kevin is passionate, genuine and dedicated, and those attributes will resonate throughout our clubhouse,” said President, Baseball Operations Matt Silverman. “As a catcher, a scout and a coach, he has always been a student of the game, and his communication and tireless work will put our club in a position to win, night in and night out.”
Cash, who turns 37 tomorrow, becomes the youngest active manager in the majors, and the youngest manager hired since A.J. Hinch (Arizona Diamondbacks) in 2009, according to Stats LLC. He spent the past two seasons (2013-14) as the bullpen coach for the Cleveland Indians, working with a pitching staff that set the major league strikeout record (1,450) in 2014. Prior to joining the Indians, he spent the 2012 season as a major league advance scout for the Toronto Blue Jays.
A veteran catcher of eight major league seasons, Cash becomes the first former Rays player to be named Rays manager and joins former Chicago White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen as the only former Rays to manage at the major league level. He appeared in 13 games with the Devil Rays in 2005, and all but 20 games in his career were spent in the American League East. In addition to the Rays, he played for the Toronto Blue Jays (2002-04), Boston Red Sox (2007-08, 2010), New York Yankees (2009) and Houston Astros (2010). Cash was part of two World Champion teams (2007 Red Sox, 2009 Yankees) and appeared in the 2008 ALCS against the Rays.
Cash becomes the sixth Tampa-born manager in major league history, and the second for the Rays, joining Lou Piniella (who Cash played for in 2005), Hall of Famers Al Lopez and Tony La Russa, Dave Miley and John Hart. A Tampa native, Kevin played in the 1989 Little League World Series for Tampa Northside, graduated from Gaither High School in 1997 and played three seasons as an infielder for Florida State University including a trip to the 1999 College World Series.
After going undrafted in 1999, he played for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League. When both the team’s primary catchers suffered injuries that summer, he volunteered to convert to catcher and went on to earn team MVP honors. In August, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent.
Kevin and his wife, Emily, have three children: daughters Camden (8) and Ella (6) and son J.D. (1).
Rays Managerial History
Larry Rothschild 1998-2001 205-294 (.411)
Hal McRae 2001-02 113-196 (.369)
Lou Piniella 2003-05 200-285 (.412)
Joe Maddon 2006-14 754-705 (.517)
Kevin Cash 2015- x
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(Sarasota, FL) The Manatee Hurricanes continue their quest for another state title tonight as they travel once again up to the Orlando area to face the Apopka Blue Darters in the Class 8A State Semifinal. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.
Last week the ‘Canes (12-1) defeated previously undefeated Orlando Dr. Phillips on the road 24-21 on a 39 yard field goal by Nick Null with less than three minutes remaining in the game to advance to tonight’s semifinal.
Apopka (9-4) outscored Jacksonville First Coast 64-48 in a shootout for the right to host Manatee in the final four contest.
The winner will play for the 8A state title next Friday night (December 13) at 7:07 PM in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando against the winner of the Pembroke Pines Flanagan/Miami Columbus game.
WLSS 930 AM will broadcast the game beginning at 7:30 PM. Dave Bristow will call the play-by-play.
Doug Miles Media will provide a video recap of the game posted here at the conclusion of tonight’s game.
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