Jacksonville Sports Day

SUNDAY NOTEBOOK: Howland Stepping Away as Rugby’s Jacksonville Axemen Look for Investors

Longtime Jacksonville Axemen owner, coach and player Spinner Howland Is stepping away from rugby. He is looking for investors and part owners for the Jacksonville Axemen and the league he organized. The Axemen are seeking investor/partners for 25 percent ownership in the team.

In an e-mail he said his reasons for moving on are personal, and there is most certainly nothing negative about anything to do with the health of the game here.

“I have stepped down from both the USARL LLC. and INC. boards, but have total faith in everyone who remains involved. I was proud to see the USA Hawks advance to the World Cup with a team that included 15 domestic players, and know that the standard of domestic Rugby League is only going to improve each year with the USA Rugby League” said Howell in the e-mail.

Anyone interested can contact Howland at spinner@jaxaxe.com.

David Wicks finished two-under-par Sunday in the first round of the 2016 Atlantic Sun conference championship, leading the Jacksonville University men’s golf team to a fourth-place tie through the first day of the 54-hole tournament at Chateau Elan.

Wicks is tied with three other golfers for second place after carding 70 in the first round. Sam Uhland is three strokes behind Wicks after scoring 73 on Sunday, and is tied for 12th place. In 16th Raul Pereda finished two-over-par with a score of 74, Franck Medale is tied for 23rd with 77, and Ryan Jahn is in 35th after carding an 87.

USF was happy to have a superstar supporter on the sidelines for the spring game. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston headed to campus to support close friend LaDarrius Jackson, a sophomore defensive end who made two tackles for the White team.

“Coach Taggart is doing an amazing job out here, so I’m supporting him as well,” said Winston, who was rocking a green USF shirt. Winston has now been to USF for numerous sporting events and Taggart is happy to have a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in the Bulls’ corner.

Tyre McCants hauled in two touchdown passes and Bruce Hector racked up two sacks and three tackles for loss to lead the White team to a 32-19 victory over the Green team.

“It was great to have a Buccaneer here to support the Bulls. It’s all about the Bay, baby,” Taggart said.

North Florida recorded its third shutout of the baseball season, a 5-0 blanking of Stetson (17-18, 1-5 A-Sun) in the finale of the three-game Atlantic Sun Conference series. The Ospreys register their second weekend sweep of the year and now have won nine-straight games at Harmon Stadium.

Freshman starting pitcher Austin Drury bettered the two stellar starting pitching performances turned in by Bryan Baker and Tyler DuPont in the series. The first-year lefthander pitched a season-high 7.1 innings, and struck out four batters to record the shutout victory. It marked the third time in his last four starts that he pitched into the seventh inning and finished the day with 102 pitches.

The North Florida softball team dropped their final game of their A-Sun Conference series, falling 9-8 against crosstown rival Jacksonville Sunday.

The Ospreys (17-24, 5-7 A-Sun) now sit in a tie for seventh place in the A-Sun Standings with the Dolphins (23-24, 5-7 A-Sun), who hold the tiebreaker for the sixth and final spot in the postseason tournament. North Florida has six conference games remaining in their schedule.

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