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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Graceville Tigers are District Champs in nail-biter

  • Published in Sports

The Graceville Tigers gave the crowd at Grand Ridge Middle School their money’s worth Saturday night. The Tigers were hungry not only for a district championship but to avenge an earlier season 47-44 loss to Holmes County, the very team they had to beat for the championship.  Ironically, the three-point loss just one month ago, was the same margin of victory the Tigers recorded in their 44-41 win to claim the district championship.  The championship was won under the leadership of first year head coach Justin Miles.  The Tigers finished the regular season 19-5 and 8-1 in district and swept through the district championship.

The first quarter set the tone for the game with the two teams knotting it up at six points each.  The Blue Devils pulled away briefly but the determined Tigers battled back.  At the end of one it was a slight Holmes County advantage 13-11.  Coach Miles had just the right words at the quarter break and it reflected on the scoreboard with the Tigers posting nine points while their defense held the Blue Devils to five points.  At the halfway mark, the game was proving to equal its billing of a nail-biter.  Graceville had the slight advantage 20-18.  

Graceville came out with momentum on their side in the third quarter and outscored Holmes County 14-11 with a pair of threes off the hands of Sam Wesley helping their cause.  C.J. Smith had a bucket and a pair of free throws to add in the third quarter.  The fourth quarter had the crowd on their feet.  Holmes County rallied with 12 points but it was the Tigers countering with 10 to keep the lead and preserve the win for the championship. 

Leading the Tigers on the night was Derrick White who was consistent all night with two in the first, second, and third quarters, before turning it up a notch in the fourth with seven points.  On board with 10 points was C.J. Smith, followed by Eric Peterson with seven points.  Sam Wesley and Xavian Sorey both had six points each.  

Following the game, an elated coach Miles said, “I couldn’t be more proud of the guys.  They have played their butts off all year, not different tonight.  They never get too high or too low.  It was a great team win.  That was one of our goals this year, but not our biggest one.  I’m glad they were able to accomplish that one.”

Graceville will return to the friendly confines of their home court Thursday night when they take on Paxton in their quest to get to the state playoffs.

The staff at the TIMES congratulates the Graceville Tigers, their school, administration, and fans on their district championship.

Bulldogs are District 5A Champions

  • Published in Sports

The Marianna High School Bulldogs basketball team are district champs after soundly defeating Taylor County on the opposing Bulldogs’ court 72-58.  

The Marianna Bulldogs won every quarter starting with outscoring Taylor County 15-13 in the first quarter.  The Bulldogs taste for success kicked in at the start of the second quarter with 22 points appearing on the scoreboard.  Their defense held the opposition to 16 points, giving Marianna a 37-29 lead midway through the game.

Taylor County came out of the locker room ready to challenge the visitors for the championship.  They posted 15 points in the third period but Marianna was quick to answer with 17 points to take a 54-44 lead into the final quarter.  Marianna did not let up, outscoring Taylor County 18-14 to secure the win and the district championship.

Marianna was led in scoring by Jaeden Harley with 19 points, with Deontre Rhynes right on his heels with 18 points.  Anton Williams was also in double digits with 11 points.  Bringing in seven points each were Marquis Kelly and Nick Pollocks.

Marianna will now host West Florida High School next Thursday night at 7 p.m.  Coach Matt Anderson and Principal Hunter Nolen invite everyone to pack the Dawg House in support of MHS basketball.

Commissioners vote on county administrator

At the end of a very long agenda Tuesday morning, the Jackson County Commissioners heard from Lennetta Greene about the commissioner’s decision on the hiring of a county administrator.  The field was narrowed to five for the commissioners to interview with Earnie Padgett and Interim Administrator Pam Pichard being the only two candidates to show for their interview.  The commissioners were asked to rank their choices, with number one going to their stronger candidate and number two for their second choice.  Padgett received a 3-2 margin from the commissioners.  

Commissioner Willie Spires made a motion to offer Padgett the job at a salary of $110,000.  This would have his salary at $2,013 higher than county engineer Larry Alvarez whose salary is $107,987.  The motion died for lack of a second.  

In a special meeting already scheduled for 1 p.m. today, Padgett’s salary was again discussed and the commissioners voted to offer Padgett the job for $107,000 which he accepted.  He had turned down their first offer of $95,000.  The motion passed 4-1 with Commission Willie Spires voting against.  Spires voiced his concern over paying less to a supervisor than someone he was supervising was making.  

Padgett was contacted by phone and was pleased to be chosen, “I feel good about it.  I am satisfied with the way it came out.  There’s a lot of work to be done, and I think with all of us working together it will be good.  My job and staff’s job is to make sure that you stay informed and that options are laid out for you that you have to consider.  I’ll make sure to the best of my ability that you don’t get surprised.  I look forward to working with the county again, it’s my home county.  I think in the next few years we can do some things that are very progressive.  Padgett said he would not be asking for a severance package.”

Padgett will begin his job as county administrator on February 27.  The commissions opted not to vote on a request by Padgett to make the decision on the future status of Pam Pichard. 

Rotary welcomes Dr. John Fogarty

Dr. John Fogarty has served as Dean of the FSU College of Medicine since August, 2008.  Prior to that, he was Senior Associate Dean for Operations and Associate Dean for Primary Care at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.  Dr. Fogarty is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.  

He began at Rotary, “I really appreciate the invitation to come and just to tell you a little bit about where the College of Medicine is and to thank you for all the things that this community has done to help us establish this College of Medicine and do some very, very unique things.”

“It may be hard for some people to believe but we are actually 16 years old already. We were the first new medical school in about 20 years in this country, when we were conceived by the legislature back in 2000. We have now graduated 12 classes from the Medical School, our first class was in 2005 and we graduated 27 students and now we are graduating 120 per year at full enrollment. We have now graduated over a thousand graduates. We are very proud of what our students are doing in terms of 55 percent are in primary care, and many, many of our students who have trained out of state our now coming back and are working in Florida. Only 13 percent of our students are actually practicing in rural areas, so keep that in mind.” 

“I’m going to give you a little bit of history of the College of Medicine. As I said, we were founded in 2000 by the legislature, and this is a story I tell all the time. In the 1999-2000-time frame, there were actually some studies that suggested that we had too many doctors in this country. We really didn’t need any new medical schools. The last generation of medical schools was actually in the 70s and 80s. We did our own analysis at that time and we said even if you believe we have too many doctors you can’t possibly believe they were in the right places. The places we were training doctors in the academic medical centers, they just go there and they stay there, and they never go home again. So, we thought the only way for us to develop and produce the kind of doctors Florida needs was actually to train them in a very different model. We started out from the very beginning with a very focused mission of this Medical School to train doctors for rural and underserved areas.”

“We are very proud of the fact that out of the 15 or 16 classes that we have recruited so far, 25 percent are from Lake City and west. Now if you look at the demographics of that area, 25 percent of our students are coming from an area of Florida that makes up about eight percent of the total population.” 

“What we have found in this community, which is also exciting for me, is that having a regional campus here, a rural track here I think that has really helped Jackson to be able to hire the doctors to be your faculty. You are trying to recruit a doctor to a rural area, and that’s sometimes challenging. We tell them that we would like them to be a part of this teaching program, that we have a teaching program at the College of Medicine.”

“I know that the medical staff at Jackson and all of the community physicians just love working with our students and love the opportunities to bring them into their offices, share their patients with them, and do very, very well.” 

“Anthony Speights and Dr. Steve Spence, they really are responsible for the care and feeding of these students and making sure they are getting a one of a kind experience. They are demonstrating that our students are seeing lots of patients and are seeing many more patients that they are required to see in terms of the expectations of each one of our curriculum objectives, and things to do well on for their boards and standardized tests.”

“Twenty-four College of Medicine graduates grew up in Jackson and surrounding counties. We are getting a lot of your students and we hope they are having a great experience at the main campus and when they come out here that they come back here.” 

“We were recently informed last year that the College of Medicine is the second most competitive medical school in the country right now. It’s due to the number of applications that particular year that the data came out we had over 6,400 applications. We only do about 350 interviews to indentify who we want for our classes. Out of that 350 that year that the data came out we only had to make 158 offers to fill a class of 120. What I’m describing is that the Florida State University College of Medicine is becoming a school of choice. We are the fourth highest in African-American enrollment.” 

“Many of the programs we have started have really bore fruit for us in terms of bringing the kind of students to Florida State that we are really looking for. A majority of our class are Florida State undergrads. That’s impressive in the last 10 years, because when I got to Florida State we had many, many more students from the University of Florida than we did FSU. It has nothing to do with football; they just have good students over there.”  

“The latest and greatest thing we are doing is developing a Physician’s Assistant program, basically it’s a Masters level program and we have had it approved up to the Board of Trustees. We are hoping to get full accreditation in March and start class in August with 40 students. We plan on increasing that rapidly over the years from 40 to 50 to 60.”

“My belief of the future of medical care is a team based care in an office setting P. A.’s, Nurse Practioners, and doctors working together to take care of patients in that ambulatory setting. Team based care in my opinion is the future.”

Rotary thanked Dr. Fogarty for his informative talk.

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