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JUly 2012

Volume 5

Issue 9

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k c a b e m o C The k c a B & k c & Ba Kid nes III entrepreneur Raymond Hi g story in finally shares his inspir

Swamp Spotlight

Superintendent hopeful George Tomyn

DESTINATIONS South Florida

Gators in the Olympics


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what’s inside CEO www.gatorcountry.com Raymond Hines III

COO Bernadette King

CFO Raymond Hines, Jr

MANAGING EDITOR Mike Capshaw

STAFF WRITERS Thomas Goldkamp Andrew Spivey Phillip Heilman

REPORTERS Sean Crawford Drew Laing Chris Kirschner Max Mattern Thomas Morrell Elizabeth Rhodes

PHOTOGRAPHERS Saj Guevara Jack Lewis Wesley Rodriguez

CONTENTS

CEO Marc Douglass

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Lauren Douglass

COPY EDITOR Daniel Sulphin

ART DIRECTOR Daniel Tidbury

GRAPHIC DESIGN Daniel Tidbury Lisa Torres Jane Dominguez

PROMOTIONS Amanda Liles Karen Jones Hilah Driggers Kristen Cokas

ACCOUNTING

swamp spotlight

14 Gators in the Olympics 26 A ‘Super’ Man 30 The Comeback and Back and Back Kid 45 Best of Gator Country’s Forums

On and off The Field FOR THE FAMILY 8 Happy Birthday Title IX 16 Gators Track Wins National Outdoor Championship 18 Recruiting Notebook 19 Football Notebook 40 Twice is Nice 44 Friday Night Lights Preview

24 UF Trivia: 2011 Football Season 25 The Play Book: July Events 29 Mom Blog: Keeping Kids Cool in the Hot Summer Sun 34 Sun ‘n’ Fun Destinations 36 Fishing Report 38 Gear for the Summer

Lynsey Parrish

CIRCULATION Eddy Falla

SPECIAL PROJECTS Lauren Kolansky Daniel Sulphin

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Shane Howell (shane@whpinc.com)

ADVERTISING & SALES Shane Howell Bryan Porter

Gator Country Magazine is brought to you by Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. and What’s Happening Publications, Inc. For advertising opportunities, please contact us at 352-371-5881 or sales@whpinc.com. Magazine subscriptions are available at www.gatorcountry.com For subsciption related questions or concerns, please call (800) 601-4623 or email folks@gatorcountry.com Connect with us: TheGatorCountry @GatorCountry

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Fact: Since 1938, a total of 312 Gators have been drafted in the NFL.


Expect to Win

Editor’s letter

What a great time to be a Florida Gators fan! The look of surprise and excitement on Jeremy Foley’s face was priceless. It said it all. The UF athletics director, the best in the nation in my humble opinion, was in the McKethan Stadium press box shortly after it was announced the Gators had won the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championship. He wasn’t expecting it. With the team handcuffed because of a depleted roster, no one expected it. I should have snapped a picture of Foley’s face just to illustrate how amazed and happy he was after hearing the news and high-fiving other UF personnel before the Gators’ super regional against North Carolina State, which they won in two games to advance to the College World Series, by the way. Foley is reaping the rewards of everything he has assembled as far as hiring elite coaches and raising the funds needed to build first-class facilities. Every team on campus competes at the highest level. No other athletic program even comes close. Foley’s vision and tireless work is why. The men’s track national championship comes on the heels of the women’s tennis team winning its second-consecutive national championship in dominating fashion.

Men’s basketball has reached the Elite 8 two straight years and has won a couple of national championships not too long ago. The football team, of course, won a pair of national titles recently as well and appears to be headed in the right direction under second-year coach Will Muschamp. Just this spring, the UF lacrosse team, in only the program’s third season, repeated as regular season ALC champions, won the ALC Tournament and reached the Final Four. The gymnastics team finished as the national runner-up. The men’s track team also won the indoor national title. I could go on and on. Foley has built an atmosphere of winning. An atmosphere where teams and fans are disappointed with Top 25 finishes. Many colleges are ecstatic if just one of its teams reaches such heights. At Florida, it’s expected, but sometimes the success even surprises the man who has built it all. So, if you run into Foley at a game or around town, give him a hug or even a high-five because he has helped make it a great time to be a Florida Gators fan.

Mike Capshaw Managing editor, Gator Country

Fact: Since 1953, the UF Football team has won 16 out of 19 bowl games.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

5


Tell us what you really think

CHEERS & JEERS Past Issues

A friend at work said my sons picture is in the april issue but i missed picking one up and want to know if I can still buy some copies. Thanks Michael S. Hawthorne

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These are REAL emails from REAL Gator Country readers that come through our inbox each month. Readers can send questions, comments and suggestions to mike@gatorcountry.com. Put “Cheers & Jeers” in the subject line and your email could end up in this feature that we share with the rest of our readers in each issue. 6

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Having issues with gc app getting permission denied and cannot get on the board. Logged out and in and still no go. I have access on the website, is there a known issue? Anonymous

EDITOR’S NOTE: Absolutely, we keep several dozen of each issue for just such, well, issues. However, the magazine is free, so there will be no charge required. I’ll connect you with our customer service department and they will help you out.

Baseball Forum?

What happened to the Gator Baseball forum? Can’t find it. HELP Anonymous

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please try uninstalling the app and then reinstalling it. That EDITOR’S NOTE: They’re still there. usually fixes 99 percent of any issues. Look for “Diamond Gators” for premium members and “Around the Horn” in the free forums. Password Problems I can’t access the photo gallery from the super regionals. It says I need a password, Mag Love but I don’t know the password? Please My bride and I continue to enjoy each issue help! Shannon G. Gainesville of the magazine. The writing is good and the topics are very interesting. Everyone’s EDITOR’S NOTE: It was one of the efforts are much appreciated! Anonymous galleries we made “members-only,” so it needs a password that can only be EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you very much! found if you have premium service to We strive to continue improving every GatorCountry.com. Each time you see a issue, so please let us know if you have gallery that is “locked,” the password any questions, comments or ideas for will be included in the actual story that content you would like to see by emailing links to the gallery. mike@gatorcountry.com. Fact: UF is one of three universities to be the first in the country to offer an Organic Agriculture undergraduate degree program (2006).


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a well-rounded program

Happy Birthday Title IX By Phillip Heilman

Controversial legislation changes the landscape of college athletics at UF and beyond

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GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

The University of Florida has won 29 national championships since 1968. Of those championships, men’s programs have won 15 and women’s programs have won 14. Much of this success has been recent. Florida has won a league-high 11 national championships since 2006. The program has become one of the nation’s most successful both in men’s and women’s sports. It has done so because of continued compliance. Compliance with Title IX, that is. Title IX, arguably the most controversial piece of legislation to ever hit athletics, turns 40 this year. In those 40 years, Title IX has had its share of critics and supporters. However, the numbers don’t lie. Since its inception on June 23, 1972, the number of women participating in collegiate sports has risen tremendously. According to the NCAA website, the NCAA began administering women’s sports in 1981. At that time, there were 74,239 female NCAA student-athletes. As of the 2010–11 season, there were 191,131 female student-athletes.

Fact: UF is a national leader in alternative energy research, with strong programs in ethanol production, and nuclear and solar energy.


a well-rounded program Florida’s lacrosse team does the ‘Gator Chomp’ after winning the ALC Tournament in Gainesville, Fla. Photo by Mike Capshaw Certainly that is to be expected, but what might not be expected is the number of men participating in NCAA sports also increased during this time. In 1981, 169,800 male student-athletes competed in athletics. In 2010–11, there were 252,946 male student-athletes. Opportunities have increased for both genders through Title IX. Now, female student-athletes such as Florida tennis phenom Lauren Embree or Gators softball star Michelle Moultrie can team with the likes of male student-athletes such as hoopster Kenny Boynton or baseball slugger Preston Tucker to help give UF one of the most well-rounded athletic departments in the nation. So what exactly is Title IX? Passed as part of the Education Amendments Acts of 1972, Title IX is a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial service.” Birch Bayh, a former United States Senator from Indiana once famously said, “Title IX is rather simple: don’t discriminate on the basis of sex.”

Number of NCAA Student-Athletes

*1981–82 First year NCAA administered women’s athletics.

Year Women’s Men’s Total 1981–82* 74,239 169,800 244,039 1984–85 91,679 201,063 292,742 1989–90 89,212 177,166 266,378 1994–95 110,524 189,084 299,608 1999–2000 150,585 210,989 361,574 2004–05 166,728 222,838 389,566 2009–10 186,460 249,307 435,767 2010–11 191,131 252,946 444,077 Source: NCAA.org While that may be the gist of it, understanding the ramifications of Title IX is a bit more involved. To meet the requirement of Title IX, schools have one of three options. The first is the percentages of male nd female athletes are substantially proportionate to the percentages of male and females enrolled. The second is the school having a

Florida’s women’s tennis team defeated UCLA 4–0 in Duluth, Ga., to win the program’s second straight and sixth overall NCAA Championship. Photo by Jack Lewis history and continuing practice of expanding athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex. The third option is a school’s athletic program fully and effectively accommodates the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex. For all intents and purposes, larger universities such as the University of Florida usually accommodate Title IX through the first option – by having the student-athlete population be representative of the academic population. For UF, what this has often meant is adding more women’s programs. When Title IX increased opportunities for women’s athletics on the collegiate level in 1972, the result was UF sponsoring its first intercollegiate varsity women’s tennis team during the 1972–73 season. Florida quickly found success in the newborn program, as the Gators were perennially successful in tournaments sponsored by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. “Title IX is an excellent idea. It is benefitting youth all over America,” said UF women’s tennis coach Roland Thornqvist. “But we don’t really think about it now. We see ourselves as existing on our own merit.” Winners of six national championships, including back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, the women’s tennis program certainly has established its place on the UF landscape. Other programs have since followed suit. In 2002, Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said he believed that UF would add another women’s sport somewhere down the road to continue its compliance with Title IX. Eight years later, his belief became a reality when the Florida women’s lacrosse team began playing in the spring semester

Fact: John Kaplan, an associate professor in the College of Journalism and Communications, won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 1992.

of 2010. Adding a women’s lacrosse team put Florida in a unique place. Among the Southeastern Conference, Vanderbilt is the only other school to feature a women’s lacrosse program. Still, it has become one of the most popular women’s sports at UF. Playing in the American Lacrosse Conference, Florida has found a great deal of success since starting the program. The Gators were regular season conference champions in 2011 and 2012. Also in 2012, Florida reached the Final Four before losing a heartbreaker to Syracuse. With such a humble beginning just a few years ago, Florida women’s lacrosse has already turned into one of the country’s premiere, powerhouse programs. The success of these two programs is representative of Florida athletics as a whole. Like most pieces of legislation, Title IX has had its share of detractors. It is not a perfect system. The increasing number of athletes participating, both male and female, is a positive result of Title IX. Still, some have lost out because of it. Florida has had to discontinue men’s programs such as wrestling and volleyball to comply with the law. The loss of these programs is an unfortunate consequence of Title IX. However, from former athletic director Ray Graves to Foley, UF has maintained that complying with Title IX will be the priority of the university. Because of that, Florida has one of the most decorated athletics departments, both men’s and women’s, in the nation. Title IX will never have full support from all involved, but Florida has continued to show that a tradition of winning can be established through compliance with the rule. GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

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Fact: In 2010, UF ranked seventh in Princeton Review’s top party schools; UGA took first.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

11


there’s always next year

By Mike Capshaw

Two & BBQ

Gators disappointed after much-hyped season ends with early CWS exit

Players high-five Nolan Fontana after he homered during the first of the Gators’ two wins against North Carolina State in the Gainesville Super Regional. Photo by Mike Capshaw

want it to end. “It’s going to take a while to hit me.” Zunino was selected as the third overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, the highest any UF player has been drafted. He headlined a talented group that saw nine in the first 20 rounds of last month’s draft (see Draft story on the next page). Preston Tucker, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Houston Astros, returned for his senior season in hopes of winning the College World Series. He has shattered several Florida batting records during a memorable four-year career, but never won a CWS title. “It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Tucker said after the Kent State loss. “We’ve played so many games day‑in and day‑out. In the end, it’s just another ball game. But it’s my last, and obviously I’m not going to get another chance.” Florida, which boasted one of the nation’s best defenses, coughed up three errors in the opening 7–3 loss against the Gamecocks. The Gators jumped out to a 2–0 lead behind a two-run double by Tucker in the third inning. South Carolina answered with a five runs in the fifth and Florida could never recover. Against Kent State, Florida ace pitcher Hudson Randall left after one inning due to heat-related issues as temperatures climbed into the triple digits at TD Ameritrade Park. The Gators had to rally from a four-run deficit to make it interesting in the ninth inning. O’Sullivan opted to pinch hit for slugger Brian Johnson, who grounded into a double play earlier in the game, with two runners on base and no outs. Tucker and Zunino had walked on eight straight

pitches, but O’Sullivan inserted pinch hitter Cody Dent, who bunted to move the runners into scoring position. Daniel Pigott then was hit by a pitch to load the bases before freshman Casey Turgeon was struck out on a checkswing appeal. “My first gut instinct was hoping it was going to be Ball 4,” Zunino said. “They appealed, and it wasn’t. I thought the umpire did a great job the whole game. So, I thought they were good calls.” With two outs, it all came down to Justin Shafer, who flew out to right field with the winning run 180 feet from home plate. It wasn’t supposed to end like this. Despite sporting so much talent, things just never went the Gators’ way – like Turgeon’s check-swing strikeout – during their three consecutive CWS appearances. They posted a 3–6 record in the CWS over that span. The Gators won the Gainesville Regional and Super Regional in dominating fashion. Along the way, Zunino homered three times and sophomore pitcher Jonathon Crawford tossed a no-hitter to open the regional against Bethune-Cookman. It was the first no-hitter in NCAA postseason play since Florida’s John Burke no-hit Furman on May 23, 1991. While the consecutive losses in the CWS will overshadow everything else accomplished, O’Sullivan said he’s still pleased with this group of players. “I’ve been awfully proud of the way they’ve played and the way they’ve represented our program,” O’Sullivan said. “They’ve set a standard that following teams will have to live up to.”

It wasn’t supposed to end like this. After Florida’s baseball team lost in the finals of the 2011 College World Series, 2012 was supposed to be the Gators’ year. They returned most of last year’s team and most everything went according to script other than a few bumps along the way – until the College World Series. Florida (47–20), the consensus No. 1 team in the preseason and the top overall seed for the NCAA Baseball Tournament, went “two-and-out” in Omaha, Neb. They lost to defending national champion South Carolina in the opener before being eliminated by an upstart Kent State squad, which entered its regional as a No. 3 seed. It wasn’t supposed to end like this. This group of juniors and seniors, mixed in with a few underclassmen, was supposed to be the toast of the 2012 college baseball season. “They’ve been very successful,” said UF coach Kevin O’Sullivan at the press conference following a 5–4 loss against Kent State. “They’ve been great players, but more importantly, they’ve been a great representation of what we want in this program. I think they’ve done the right thing, both on and off the field.” It may be the best team Florida has ever fielded talent-wise, but the squad – fair or not – will forever be judged by its inability to get it done in Omaha. A season that ends with a loss is a lost season. “I’ve been able to make it (to Omaha) three times and all three times I’ve been just as disappointed,” junior catcher Mike Zunino said. “You put in so much hard work and get so close to the guys … you don’t 12 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: Shands is affiliated with more than 80 UF physician outpatient practices located throughout north central and northeast Florida.


looking ahead Freshman second baseman Casey Turgeon, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the Gainesville Regional, will be one of three returning starters on next year’s team. Photo by Saj Guevara

Bittersweet Draft By Mike Capshaw

The 2013 Gators will feature many fresh faces thanks to the 2012 MLB Draft

Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan followed the 2012 MLB Draft with delight and horror. Any coach who has helped players reach their full potential is happy to see them reach a pinnacle of their dreams. However, the 2013 team took a major hit by the 2012 draft and making a fourth consecutive trip to the College World Series will be a challenge. Nine current Gators were drafted in the top 20 rounds, including eight in the first nine rounds and seven in the first seven. None of those players are likely to return, although anything can happen when a player sits down at a negotiating table with a major league club. O’Sullivan called the number of Gators selected so early “a testament” to the program’s strength. “The draft is something that is going to be there every year – It is what it is,” O’Sullivan said. “If you have good players in your program, they’re going to get drafted. If you recruit good players, there’s a chance you could lose them. It’s as simple as that. It’s an inexact science.” Florida signed what many considered the nation’s No. 1 signing class, but six of those prospects were drafted in the first three rounds, meaning they likely will never suit up in the orange and blue. That includes three outfielders, two right-handed pitchers and a shortstop. “We’re never going to change our recruiting philosophy,” O’Sullivan said. “We’re going to recruit the best players, and I feel like we’re at a place where we can do that. “Sometimes you roll the dice on players, but at this place, we’re trying to win a national championship, so we’re going to recruit the best players and sometimes you’re going to lose them.” With so many drafted so highly, the make-up of next year’s team will include mostly fresh faces.

Freshman infielders Casey Turgeon and Josh Tobias and outfielder Justin Shafer will be the lone returning starters. Freshman Taylor Gushue likely will take over Mike Zunino’s duties at catcher while junior Cody Dent, who started a few games at third when Tobias was out with a broken hamate bone, is another who returns experience. The Gators’ ace-in-the-hole could be Tyler Thompson, a rangy centerfield who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Southeastern Conference season-opening series at Vanderbilt. He was granted a medical redshirt and will return for a fifth year in 2013. As far as pitchers, a few will be back, led by sophomore Jonathon Crawford, who was a regular weekend starter and tossed a no-hitter against Bethune-Cookman to open the Gainesville Regional. Another with weekend starting experience is Karsten

Whitson, who was the No. 9 overall pick in 2010. Keenan Kish and Bobby Poyner also return postseason experience. The heart of the team the past three years will be gone. Change-the-game-inone-swing hitters like Zunino and Preston Tucker and dominating pitchers like Hudson Randall, Brian Johnson, Austin Maddox and Steven Rodriguez will not be back. The Gators also likely will lose defensive juggernauts in shortstop Nolan Fontana and centerfielder Daniel Pigott. “Even though it’s painful at time to lose players, I think in the long run, it can only help your program,” O’Sullivan said. “You’ve just got to be careful you don’t get beat up too bad and be short the following year. “But we’ve got a very good team coming back next year, so were excited about that team as well.”

Florida Players Drafted Round (Overall). POS Player Team

1 (3). C Mike Zunino Seattle Mariners 1 (31). LHP Brian Johnson Boston Red Sox 2 (61). SS Nolan Fontana Houston Astros 2 (82). LHP Steven Rodriguez Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (118). RHP Austin Maddox Boston Red Sox 7 (219). OF Preston Tucker Houston Astros 7 (244). RHP Hudson Randall Detroit Tigers 9 (292). OF Daniel Pigott Cincinnati Reds 20 (631). RHP Greg Larson Boston Red Sox

Preston Tucker

Florida Signees Drafted Round (Overall). POS Player High School Team

1 (29). OF Lewis Brinson Coral Springs HS (Florida) Texas Rangers 1 (41). RHP Lance McCullers Jesuit HS (Florida) Houston Astros 1 (49). RF Jessie Winker Olympia HS (Florida) Cincinnati Reds 2 (73). OF Max White Williston HS (Florida) Colorado Rockies 3 (103). RHP Jonathan Sandfort Winter Springs HS (Florida) Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (104). SS Avery Romero St. Augustine Pedro Miami Marlins Menendez HS (Florida) 40 (1,238). RHP Eric Hanhold East Lake HS (Florida) Philadelphia Phillies

Fact: UF admitted 1,049 International Baccalaureate students for the 2004–2005 academic year – more than any other university in the world.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 13


Going for the gold Omar Cradduck

By Thomas Goldkamp Photos by Tim Casey, Rob Foldy and Saj Guevara

Gators in the Olympics The Olympic Torch has made its rounds across the United Kingdom for the past month and a half, with only weeks left before the London 2012 Opening Ceremony begins and the torch comes to rest inside Olympic Stadium on July 27. 14 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Several current, former and future Gators are hoping to qualify for the 2012 Summer Games

Always competing near the top of college athletics in just about every sport, the University of Florida expects a number of its current, former and future players to compete in the Olympic Games. Many of the athletes have yet to qualify for their respective events, but several of the stars are sure to be representing their respective countries. Take former Florida swimmer, Ryan Lochte, for example. The six-time Olympic champion has helped spearhead some of the marketing efforts in the U.S. as one of the nation’s most recognizable Olympians. The New York Times wrote that Lochte is “poised to be the breakout star of the 2012 Summer Games.” Or Abby Wambach, who nearly led the U.S. to the top of the soccer world in the 2011 World Cup in Germany. Wambach has gotten nearly as much pre-Olympics air time as Lochte, starring in a handful of Gatorade commercials leading up to the Games. A pair of former Florida national champion basketball stars could also star for their respective countries in London. Joakim Noah could play for France, which has already qualified for the Olympics, if he can recover from an ankle injury in time. Former teammate Al Horford could also

Genevieve LaCaze

Joakim Noah

Al Horford play in the Olympics if his Dominican Republic team can qualify in the first week of July. Former point guard Nick Calathes is in the same boat as Horford, with Greece looking to qualify from in the same earlyJuly tournament. Current combo guard Mike Rosario is also in the mix to make the Puerto Rico team that will compete in the qualifier, as well. Football and track star Jeff Demps was set to compete in U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore., at the end of June, along with a handful of other star Florida athletes. This year’s NCAA 400-meter champion Tony McQuay will also compete, along with NCAA triple-jump champion Omar Craddock. Four-time SEC champion Gray Horn will also compete in the Olympic Trials in the decathlon. Star distance runner Genevieve LaCaze, who became the first person in SEC history to sweep the conference titles in the 3000-meter steeplechase, the 1500-meters and the 5000-meters in May, will represent Australia in London. To the right is a list of the dozens of athletes with ties to the University of Florida who could appear in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Fact: UF is the only university to appear in the NACDA National All-Sports top-10 ranking for each of the past 28 years.


Going for the gold

Gators in the 2012 Olympic Games Ryan Lochte Swimming U.S.A.* Lochte is the most high-profile former Florida athlete competing in the Olympic Games. A six-time Olympic medalist, Lochte will be looking to take the title of the best swimmer in the country from Michael Phelps at the Games. Abby Wambach Soccer U.S.A. After narrowly missing out on a World Cup trophy in 2011, Wambach returns to the Olympics in what will likely be her last major outing for the U.S. national team. The second-best goal scorer in U.S. history will be looking for her second gold medal after missing the 2008 games with a broken leg. Al Horford Basketball Dominican Republic* Joakim Noah Basketball France Nick Calathes Basketball Greece* Mike Rosario Basketball Puerto Rico* Azania Stewart Basketball U.K. Marissa King Gymnastics U.K.* Bridgette Caquatto Gymnastics U.S.A.* Mackenzie Caquatto Gymnastics U.S.A.* Bridget Sloan Gymnastics U.S.A.** Brett Fraser Swimming Cayman Islands* Shaune Fraser Swimming Cayman Islands* Melani Costa-Schmid Swimming Spain* Marco Loughran Swimming U.K.* Jemma Lowe Swimming U.K. Gemma Spoforth Swimming U.K. Dan Wallace Swimming U.K.* Elizabeth Biesel Swimming U.S.A.* Caroline Burckle Swimming U.S.A.* Teresa Crippen Swimming U.S.A.* Conor Dwyer Swimming U.S.A.* Carlos Omana Swimming U.S.A.* Dara Torres Swimming U.S.A.* Melanie Booth Soccer Canada Heather Mitts Soccer U.S.A. Genevieve LaCaze Track and Field Australia Kemal Mesic Track and Field Bosnia* Keely Medeiros Track and Field Brazil* Stipe Zunic Track and Field Croatia* Mariam Kevkhishvili Track and Field Georgia* Moise Joseph Track and Field Haiti* Novlene Williams-Mills Track and Field Jamaica* Agata Strausa Track and Field Latvia* Ugonna Ndu Track and Field Nigeria* Will Claye Track and Field U.S.A.* Kerron Clement Track and Field U.S.A.* Jeff Demps Track and Field U.S.A.* Kristin Heaston Track and Field U.S.A.* Gray Horn Track and Field U.S.A.* Tony McQuay Track and Field U.S.A.* Calvin Smith Track and Field U.S.A.* Wes Stockbarger Track and Field U.S.A.* Christian Taylor Track and Field U.S.A.* Terrell Wilks Track and Field U.S.A.* Jane Collymore Volleyball U.S.A.* Kevin Collington Triathlon U.S.A.* *Not yet qualified at time of publication. **Not yet qualified current Florida commitment. All others current or former UF athletes. Fact: UF is home to one of the world’s largest butterfly and moth collections, with more than 9 million specimens.

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SPRING SPORTS REVIEW Jeremy Postin put together a national runner-up finish in the hammer throw.

By Max Mattern Photos by Saj Guevara

Gators Track Wins National Outdoor Championship Becomes first program to win indoor and outdoor titles in same season since 2003

Despite winning the 2012 Indoor title, winning the Outdoor title was almost an afterthought for the Florida Gators men’s track & field team. 16 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

The improbable become probable as the points just kept adding up over the three-day NCAA Men’s Outdoor National Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. The Gators did it behind national titles by Omar Cradduck and Tony McQuay and several other individuals coming for career-best performances. “We lost our best sprinter, we lost our best decathlete and our 4x100 didn’t qualify,” UF coach Mike Holloway said in a release from the school. “A lot of people would have given up hope, but our group of guys didn’t. I sat them down after Regionals and I said ‘We are still the best team in the country, as long as you believe it,’ and our guys believed it. “I actually figured out on the plane that we had no seniors (competing on the men’s side). Obviously, if we stay healthy, there is a bright future for the University of Florida, on both the men’s and the women’s sides.” The program’s first outdoor championship coupled with winning the indoor makes the Gators the first team since the Arkansas Razorbacks (2003) to win both NCAA titles in the same year. “This is unbelievable,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said in a press release. “It’s an absolute blessing. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this group of young men. We had a lot of adversity, not just this week, but throughout the year. You think about things, the people that weren’t here, the people that didn’t want to give you a chance but our guys never bought into it. I’m extremely proud of them.” Florida head coach Mike Holloway was announced as the 2012 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Men’s Outdoor Coach of the Year. The women’s track and field team made strong strides in the

NCAA Championships this year. The team finished 23rd in the NCAA Outdoor Championships after coming in ninth at the NCAA Indoors.

LACROSSE

In only its third season, Florida’s women’s lacrosse team made historic steps as a program. The Gators finished the season 19–3 while winning their second straight American Lacrosse Conference Title and their first ALC Tournament. The Gators were able to beat the No. 1 team in the nation (Northwestern) twice to win both the regular season and tourney championships. The Gators were seeded No.1 in the NCAA Tournament. In their first appearance in the Final Four, the Gators lost to Syracuse 13–12 in double overtime in a game that only can be described as a loss that will sting for a while. After giving up a 12–5 leading in the second half, the Gators were in a position to win the game in overtime. Junior Gabi Wiegand was taking a free-position shot with 12 seconds remaining, similar to a penalty shot. She put the ball right into the top of the net, but the referee called for an illegal stick to take the goal away. The play took all the momentum the Gators had going. A minute into double overtime, Syracuse found the back of the net to win the game. “I’m proud of my team and proud of our season as this is just the third year of the program,” said UF coach Amanda O’Leary. O’Leary was named the National Coach of the Year by WomensLax.com, which also named Mikey Meagher as Goalie of the Year. Meagher was joined by Kitty Cullen, Brittany Dashiell and Shannon Gilroy on the website’s AllAmerican team.

Fact: In 2006, UF became the first university in collegiate history to earn both the national men’s basketball and football titles in the same year.


SPRING SPORTS REVIEW

Omar Cradduck won a national title in the men’s triple jump.

GOLF

The UF men’s golf team finished in a tie for 12th overall in the NCAA Championship from May 29–31 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The Gators were led by junior Tyler McCumber tying for second overall after firing a two-under-par 211 for the three-day tournament. Florida women’s golf coach Jan Dowling announced her resignation on May 26 following her team’s second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championships, where the Gators finished 10th in 2011 and 12th this season. Dowling said she was making what she believed was the right choice for her “personal life” when she left the program after three seasons. Emily Bastel, who was just hired as an assistant at UF 10 months earlier, was promoted to head coach.

TENNIS

While the women’s tennis team repeated as national champs, Florida’s men’s tennis team could not get past the round of sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. No. 5 Ohio State beat the No. 12 Florida Gators (16–10) in dominating fashion. Florida lost all but one singles

game in the match. For the NCAA Men’s Singles and Doubles Championships, no Gator made it further than the round of 32. After the end of the season, Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley hired Bryan Shelton as the new coach of the men’s team after Andy Jackson announced his resignation.

SOFTBALL

The Florida Gators softball team had an abrupt ending to its season. After earning the No. 5 overall national seed, the Gators hosted an NCAA regional against in-state foes Florida Gulf Coast, Central Florida and South Florida. Florida lost its first game to FGCU on the same day it was announced that UF coach Tim Walton dismissed three starters from the team in Cheyenne Coyle, Kasey Fagan and Sami Fagan. The reason behind the suspension remains unclear, but the Gators had to continue on through the tournament without the help of the trio’s consistent offense and defense. Florida was able to come together to beat FGCU and UCF in a doubleheader before suffering a season-ending 1–0 loss against USF in the Gainesville Regional finals.

Fact: Since 1968, 145 Gators and 13 Florida coaches have earned 91 medals (45 gold) while representing 34 countries in 12 Olympiads.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

17


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Recruiting Notebook By Andrew Spivey

Few Spots Remain

A couple more pledges mean Florida’s Class of 2013 is almost completed The Florida Gators already have 18 football prospects verbally committed for the Class of 2013, which leaves little room remaining. With the recent commitments of Pasco City, Fla., defensive tackle Joey Ivie and Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy quarterback Max Staver, here is a projection on how the rest of the positions will break down: In my opinion, the staff is looking to add one tight end, one more receiver and one more offensive lineman to complete the offensive side of the ball. And to complete the defensive side of the ball they would like to add one defensive tackle, two defensive ends/buck linebackers, one more linebacker and two defensive backs, preferably one safety and one cornerback. These projections are off of things I have been told with the possibility of a commitment or two withdrawing their verbal pledges. With the Class of 2013 almost finished you will see the coaching staff start to focus more on the 2014 prospects. The Gators have already accepted their first commitment for the 2014 class when Fort Myers, Fla., receiver Ryeshene Bronson pledged during the Will Muschamp Gators Football Camp. Several other top 2014 prospects were on campus and earned scholarship offers. Here are a few:

Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake receiver Artavis Scott Baton Rouge, La., offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County cornerback Duke Dawson Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University cornerback Quincy Wilson 20 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

The next big event for the Gators is Friday Night Lights in July, which will have several top prospects from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes in attendance.

Hoops Recruiting

With the recent signings of transfers Damontre Harris and Dorian FinneySmith, the Gators are now turning their attention to the Class of 2013 in which they expect to sign four prospects, including already committed point guard Kasey Hill. The headliner of that group is Bonifay (Fla.) Holmes County forward Chris Walker, who has been rumored to be making a decision this summer. Most believe it’ll be between Florida and Kansas, with the Gators holding a slight lead for his services. One of the biggest factors working in Florida’s favor is the fact that Walker and Hill are AAU teammates and Walker has went on record as to saying he loves playing the game of basketball with Hill. In a perfect world, Florida would like to sign two big men and another shooter to go along with Hill.

Football Commitments (Class of 2013)*

1. RB Adam Lane (5–8, 215, Winter Haven, Fla.) 2. DT Caleb Brantley (6–3, 305, Crescent City, Fla.) 3. LB James Hearns (6–3, 235, Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) 4. LB Daniel McMillian (6–3, 220, Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) 5. RB Kelvin Taylor (5–10, 205, Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day) 6. WR Rodney Adams (6–1, 175, St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood) 7. LB Quinton Powell (6–2, 195, Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) 8. DB Nick Washington (6–0, 180, Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) 9. LB Dillan Lawson (6–3, 215, Crestview, Fla.) 10. DB Keanu Neal (6–1, 200, Bushnell, Fla./South Sumter) 11. OL Rod Johnson (6–5, 315, Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage) 12. WR Ahmad Fulwood (6–4, 200, Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) 13. DB Tre’ Bell (5–11, 170, Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep) 14. OL Joshua Outlaw (6–4, 280, Lithonia, Ga./King) 15. OL Cameron Dillard (6–3, 285, Canton, Mich./Plymouth) 16. WR Marqui Hawkins (6–2, 205, Columbus, Ga./Carver) 17. DL Joey Ivie (6–4, 269, Dade City, Fla./Pasco) 18. QB Max Staver (6–5, 235, Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy)

Football Commitments (Class of 2014)*

1. WR Ryeshene Bronson (6–3, 195, Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar)

Basketball Signees (Class of 2012)

1.Michael Frazier (6–4, 190, Clermont, Fla./Monteverde Academy) 2. Braxton Ogbueze (6–1, 185, Charlotte, N.C./ United Faith Christian Academy) 3. Dillon Graham (6–4, 175, Orlando, Fla./First Academy) 4. DeVon Walker (6–6, 190, Winter Haven, Fla.)

Basketball Commitments (Class of 2013)*

1. Kasey Hill (6–0, 175, Clermont, Fla./Monteverde Academy) *Verbal commitments are non-binding.

Some other prospects to watch for next year are:

Paterson (N.J.) Hudson Catholic forward Reggie Cameron Memphis (Tenn.) Melrose guard Markel Crawford Memphis (Tenn.) East center Nick King Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII forward Jermaine Lawrence Charlotte (N.C.) West Charlotte center Kennedy Meeks Billy Donovan landed two of the biggest transfer prizes during the offseason. Photo by Saj Guevara Fact: More than 330,000 UF alumni are located throughout the world


SEC Expansion Will Muschamp traded verbal jabs with Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Photo by Saj Guevara

By Thomas Goldkamp

Football Notebook

An early look at Missouri and Texas A&M, the newest additions to the SEC Missouri and Texas A&M will get their first taste of Southeastern Conference football this fall, but one of the SEC’s two new additions has already gotten a taste of SEC smack talk from Florida coach Will Muschamp. Florida will travel to College Station, Tex., to take on Texas A&M in the second game of the season. Joking with fans at a Gator Club speech in Lakeland in late May, Muschamp cracked to a fan, “You ever been to College Station? It’ll be the only time you go.” Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin got wind of his comments and quickly told reporters in College Station that Muschamp “needs to worry about his own team.” With the two teams set to square off so early in the season, though, Muschamp would be best off learning as much as he can about the two additions to the conference that fans may not be quite as familiar with. Florida will take on Texas A&M on Sept. 8, before playing host to Missouri later in the season on Nov. 3. Here’s everything Gators fans need to know about their two newest conference foes.

TEXAS A&M 2012 PREVIEW 2011 Record: (7–6, 4–5 Big 12) Record vs. Top 25: 1–5 Pass Offense: 291 YPG (18th) Rush Offense: 199 YPG (24th) Pass Defense: 276 YPG (109th) Rush Defense: 102 YPG (12th)

Texas A&M flirted with the Top 25 all season long after entering the season ranked in the Top 10 in all the major polls. The Aggies were a terrific team that couldn’t seem to close games, suffering four losses after blowing big second-half leads. The Aggies lost two of their top playmakers on offense. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill went No. 8 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, and leading rusher Cyrus Gray was also taken later in the draft. Outside of the quarterback position, Texas A&M returns a lot of talent on offense. Running back Christine Michael

rushed for 100 yards per game last season (899 yards total) before tearing his ACL late in the year. He returns healthy along with backup running back Ben Malena, who rushed for 306 yards in 2011. Two of the top three receivers are back after Ryan Swope opted to return for his senior season. Swope caught 89 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns and is one of the best returning receivers in the country. Uzoma Nwachukwu also caught 50 passes for 639 yards last year. Perhaps most importantly, Texas A&M should be able to protect its new quarterback. All five starters are back on the offensive line from a unit that ranked fourth nationally in sacks allowed last year. Defensively, almost the entire front seven returns intact for the Aggies. The 3–4 defense Texas A&M plays puts a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and the Aggies lead the country in sacks last season. All four starting linebackers are back, and all four ranked in the top five on the team in tackles in 2011. Those returning starters include Sean Porter and Damontre Moore, who combined for 18 sacks last season. The secondary will need a bit of retooling after losing three cornerbacks from the two-deep and a starting safety. A couple players have made starts here and there in the defensive backfield, but it will be a very inexperienced unit overall.

MISSOURI 2012 PREVIEW 2011 Record: (8–5, 5–4 Big 12) Record vs. Top 25: 2–3 Pass Offense: 232 YPG (64th) Rush Offense: 244 YPG (9th) Pass Defense: 253 YPG (94th) Rush Defense: 127 YPG (28th)

Missouri is almost the opposite of Texas A&M on offense. The Tigers return their top quarterback and running back. Dual-threat quarterback James Franklin threw for 2,865 yards and 21 touchdowns while also rushing for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Fact: Former coach Steve Spurrier coined the phrase, “The ‘Mighty’ Gators” after struggling to beat a team we were expected to crush.

He’s joined in the backfield by running back Henry Josey, who rushed for 1,168 yards and nine touchdowns, while racking up an eye-popping 8.1 yards-per-carry average. Three of the top five receivers are also back for the Tigers, including leading receiver T.J. Moe. Though there are plenty of skill players back on offense, there will be some gaps to fill up front on the line. Missouri lost three starters on the offensive line and a starting tight end, but the Tigers do return three linemen with some starting experience. Defensively, Missouri will have to replace three of four starters up front. That will be tough to do, but having two of the top three tacklers back from the 2011 team at linebacker should help. Linebackers Andrew Wilson and Zaviar Gooden should be the heart and soul of the defense up the middle after combining for 178 tackles a year ago. The secondary will have two starters back and a third defensive back with starting experience. However, the Tigers will also have to replace star safety Kenji Jackson, who racked up 76 tackles and three interceptions a year ago. GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 21


Women’s Tennis

22 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: In 2008, UF was ranked as the nation’s top party school, according to the Princeton Review.


Scenes from the diamond

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the Play Book

JULY July 2nd 1pm Anna Moo performs for the Summer Reading Program at the Library @ The Library Partnership

July 3rd 7pm FANFARES & FIREWORKS @ UF Bandshell at Flavet Field

july 4th Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway @ Florida Museum of Natural History

1pm Verdant Earth and Teeming Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

july 6th 7pm Creative B Movie Series | July 6 – The Lost World (1925) @ Florida Museum of Natural History 10pm Project Bass Featuring Dillon Francis @ The Vault

july 7th 4pm National Dragster Challenge/Jr. Dragster Challenge/Summit E.T. Series @ Gainesville Raceway

july 8th 1pm Book Talk on Boneshaker by Cherie Priest @ Alachua County Headquarters Library – Downtown 7pm Tyler Hilton @ Double Down Live

jul 9th 1pm Volleyball Youth Day Camp @ Stephen C. O’Connell Center

july 10th 8pm Candy Lee @ The Bull Downtown july 11th 1pm

6pm Gainesville Street Rods – Car Show/Cruise-In! @ Springhill Commons

july 16. 1pm Volleyball Individual Skills Camp (Session III) @ Stephen C. O’Connell Center 10pm Heather Luttrell @ The Bull Downtown

july 18. 11am Miracle of Science @ Alachua County Headquarters Library – Downtown 1pm Verdant Earth and Teeming Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art 6.15pm Authors@UF: Leela Corman @ Architecture & Fine Arts Library – UF campus

It’s always Gameday in Gainesville,

july 19. 8.30pm Nappy Roots @ Double Down Live

july 20. 2pm Volleyball Team Camp (Session IV) @ Stephen C. O’Connell Center 7pm Creative B Movie Series | July 20 – Jurassic Park (1993) @ Florida Museum of Natural History

july 21. 4pm Citizens Co-op Summer Survival Festival @ Citizens CO-op

7pm Tallahasse Capital Punishment vs Gainesville Roller Rebels @ Skate Station Funworks

only the venues change.

july 22. 4.30pm The Sun-kirtan Experience

Verdant Earth and Teeming Seas: The @ Unity of Gainesville Natural World in Ancient American july 24. Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art The Mystery and History of Chocolate, july 12th Library Summer Reading Program @ Millhopper Branch Library 6pm Red, White & More Red @ Gainesville’s Women Club

july 13. 2pm Volleyball Team Camp (Session II) @ Stephen C. O’Connell Center 7pm Creative B Movie Series | July 13 – Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) @ Florida Museum of Natural History 8pm “Hairspray” – A Musical Comedy @ Vam York Theater

july 14. 2pm Bats Alive! at the Library’s Summer Reading Program @ Millhopper Branch Library

july 25. 1pm Verdant Earth and Teeming

Seas: The Natural World in Ancient American Art @ Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art 8.30pm Fortunate Youth @ Double Down Live

27. 7pm Creative B Movie Series | July 27 – Anaconda (1997) @ Florida Museum of Natural History

Photos courtesy of UF Communications

Fact: “The Swamp” ranks as the largest stadium in the state of Florida.

VisitGainesville.com GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 25


on the rise

A ‘super’ man By Bernadette Carter-King

George Tomyn, who’s running for superintendent of Marion County schools, inspires others to become better people

Have you ever known a person who, when in their presence, made you want to stand just a little straighter? Who, when you thought about the countless good deeds they do for their community, made you all too aware most of us could be doing better by our little world? Around Marion County, that person is principal, Superintendent of Schools hopeful and University of Florida alumni George Tomyn. Born and raised in Ocala, Fla., Tomyn graduated from Forest High, where he was principal from 1996–2005. He has spent the past seven years as the executive director for school development and evaluation for Marion County Public Schools. Tomyn and his wife of 34 years, Barbara, have raised two beautiful and successful daughters, Claire and Carrie, who are also UF alum. “Marion County is my home,” Tomyn said. “I had opportunity to go to other places but it just didn’t feel right. My wife loves it here. We think it’s a great place to raise kids.” A few other do-gooder type entries on Tomyn’s resume are that he’s a former board member of the United Way of Marion County, an elder in his church, a 45-gallon blood donor and a Take Stock in Children Mentor. He chairs The Milling Foundation – a charitable organization that grants lowand no-interest loans to Marion County graduates who attend University of Florida. Finally, George is a – yup, you guessed it – boy scout (Eagle no less). Now, his story reads somewhat like an “aww, isn’t that nice, but how is it newsworthy?” Well, for the same reason TV Guide ranked the Andy Griffith show ninth on its list of the 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. Truly fine people fascinate us – especially those who have no sense of their own nobility. 26 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

“I’m far from perfect but I believe that if you have a strong moral compass, you work hard and surround yourself with good people you’ll be OK,” he said. And so it goes when you speak with Tomyn. No matter the question asked and no matter the angle taken, his response always circles back to one thing: the greater good. “I want everybody to work together for the common good,” Tomyn said. “My wife laughs at me because in my senior yearbook I wrote that I wanted to spread warmth and cheer all over this cold cruel world.” So, how then does the desire to be Superintendent of Schools fit in with the whole we’re-all-in-this-together thing George has goin’ on? Let’s be honest here, a 6-foot-5, athletic man running for office who comes complete with a Master’s Degree in educational leadership and Sean Conneryesque good looks must have at least a bit of megalomaniacal tendencies lurking around the ol’ id, right? Not so quick. “The decision to run for Superintendent of Schools was not a religious experience but I do feel that I have a calling,” Tomyn said. “It hurts me when we (public education) get negative publicity. It’s easy to be negative. “I’m not looking for a job. I’m returning a favor. The community has been good to me and it’s time to go and be the server.” Tomyn’s got quite a following of supporters around that community, too. “When George and I saw each other the first day of school (Dunnellon High School, 1980) we were surprised,” said Tom Williams, UF’s assistant athletic director for student services. “We’d been friends at UF – we were both education majors – but I didn’t know he had been hired as vice principal and he didn’t know I’d been hired as a physical ed. teacher and coach.”

FAN FEATURE George D. Tomyn

Born: March 19, 1954 Hometown: Ocala, Marion County High School: Forest High, Class of 1972 College: Central Florida Community College (A.A., 1974), Valdosta State College (B.A., 1976) and the University of Florida (Masters, 1980) Notable: Began career as a teacher at Osceola Middle School in 1977 and also taught at Lake Weir High from 1977–80. Was assistant principal of Dunnellon High from 1980–86 and Vanguard High from 1986–95. Was principal of Sunrise Elementary from 1995–96 and Forest High from 1996–2005.

Williams said he was always impressed by Tomyn’s character and called him a “friend.” “He always had a bright attitude and always very professional,” Williams said. “Many people don’t know this but George has a wonderful sense of humor. Another strength I can tell you is he truly is a family man. Been married forever, his daughters are crazy about him. “He is honest. What you see is what you get. His word is true.” Oh, c’mon now George. Isn’t there some little part of you that secretly wants to be the star of the school play? “You don’t have to be a star to be important,” Tomyn said. “There are an awful lot of nice, normal people who make the world go ‘round.” Yes, there are. And one of the most authentic examples of that is George Tomyn. You’ve made believers of us. Now go out there, get elected and spread some warmth and cheer throughout the schools of Marion County.

Fact: UF’s Health Science Center provides health and dental services in Gainesville and 11 other cities throughout the state.


show us what you got

Gator Trivia: 2011 UF Football Season 1) With the victory over Ohio State, Florida established a school record with its…straight bowl win.

9) Who is the only player in school history to lead the team in rushing yards, receptions, all-purpose yards and punt return yards?

A) Fifth C) Sixth

A) Jeff Demps B) Chris Rainey C) Fred Taylor D) Emmitt Smith

B) Fourth D) Eighth

2) The Gators made their 21st-straight bowl appearance, which ranks…in the SEC and second nationally. A) Second C) First

B) Third D) Sixth

3) This was also Florida’s 18th January Bowl game since…?

10) Florida had…different players with a rush or reception of 60-or-more yards on the season. A) Three C) Five

B) Two D) Four

11) Andre Debose’s 99-yard KO return was the longest play in Gator Bowl history, as well as Florida’s longest KO return for a 4) Since 2005, Florida is one of three teams TD in its…bowl appearances. to post six bowl wins. The other two are: A) 39 B) 40 A) 1993 C) 1984

B) 1990 D) 1991

A) Alabama B) Arkansas C) TCU D) Utah

C) 37

D) 41

12) Who did UF play in its 5) Overall, the Gators had…players earn 2011 opening game? playing time in 2011. A) UAB A) 77 C) 76

B) 68 D) 72

B) Tennessee C) Kentucky D) Florida Atlantic

6) UF finished the season with… scholarship players who were awarded scholarships after August training camp.

What was the attendance at UF’s 2011 opening game?

A) 81 C) 75

A) 88,709 C) 88,708

B) 72 D) 79

7) With the win over Ohio State win, Will Muschamp became the…of UF’s 22 head coaches to finish with a winning record in his first full season leading the Gators.

A) 5t C) 3rd

B) 8th D) 7th

B) 16th D) 18th

B) 17, 22 D) 18, 22

Fact: There are University of Florida graduates in all 50 states and in more than 135 countries.

Answer Key:

8) UF played 15 true freshmen and 25 freshmen overall this season. A) 16, 21 C) 15, 25

Jeff Demps finished the 2011 season with 2,474 yards and ranked…all-time.

1–B, 2–C, 3–A, 4–C&D, 5–A, 6–B, 7–C, 8–C, 9–B, 10–D, 11–A, 12–D, 13–c, 14–B

A) 17th C) 15th

B) 89,000 F) 87,743

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 27


mother knows best By Renee Gork

Keeping kids cool in the hot summer sun

Summer is a time when we all kick back and have some fun. Our kids are out of school, and many of us will be taking time off for a family vacation in the next couple of months. Luckily for us Floridians, we don’t have to travel too far to find sandy beaches, cool waves and family parks. That also means we don’t have to travel anywhere to experience extremely hot and humid weather all summer long, which means parents have to take extra precautions in protecting their little ones.

Heat exhaustion is a concern for everyone in the summer, but young children have an increased risk of heat illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Babies and young children are especially at risk when it comes to heat-related illness, because the surface of their body is high relative to their body mass index. That means they absorb more heat from the environment, produce more heat when they exercise and sweat less than older kids and adults. They are also less apt to stop playing to ask for a drink when they need one or take a break when they are getting too hot. Even if they’re thirsty, they don’t want to miss any of the fun. The first and best step to avoid the heat is stay inside. But as parents we certainly know we can’t spend the entire summer indoors, so try to get out early to play and get back inside before the heat of the day. Obviously, the heat of the day is at different times for different areas of the country. In Florida, it is best to avoid playing outdoors between the hours of 11a.m. and 4p.m. When you are outside, make sure your children take mandatory breaks. Provide your children with cool drinks, preferably water, as sugar and caffeine can increase dehydration. If your little ones don’t seem to think they need a break, make it fun for them. Perhaps, throw out a blanket under a tree, let them get a water bottle and a snack out of the cooler, and tell stories while everyone relaxes in the shade for a bit. 28 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: UF’s athletic victories include 26 national team championships, 201 SEC titles, and more than 230 individual national titles.


mother knows best

If you think your child is experiencing heat exhaustion, movie them to a cool area right away and lie them down, remove any extra clothing and apply cool water to their skin. Get them to drink chilled water if they’re not nauseated. If he/she does not improve in an hour, or if they seem confused or disoriented or is acting strangely, take them to a hospital immediately. Heat exhaustion sounds scary, but being prepared and thinking ahead are parents’ best tools to keep a trip to the emergency room out of their family summer schedule. In addition to playing outdoors at the right time, taking breaks, and playing water games, there are a few other precautions parents can take into consideration when getting their child ready for sweltering summer days. Choose clothing that will keep the body cooler, minimizing the risk of heat exhaustion. Children should wear loose, lightweight clothes on hot days. Light colors are better than dark colors for keeping your child cool. Consider putting a hat on your child. According to the CDC, a wide-brimmed hat helps to keep the body cooler and reduces sun exposure. Make sure your kiddos have sunblock of in the empty bowl, pass on the cup and Break up outdoor activities. It’s best not repeat and continue until the bowls which at least SPF 30 on, and apply every 3 to 4 had water in them are empty and vice versa. to plan long stretches of outdoor time on hours even if it’s water proof, because; Sound too complicated? OK, how about hot summer days. Try breaking up your your kiddos likely will be wiping their brow, child’s outdoor playtime into smaller upper lip, and maybe even their cheeks with empty spray bottles? Everyone has a few empty spray bottles lying around the house. segments to help prevent heat exhaustion. their shirt. Reapplying sunblock is much And finally, if it is just too, too hot and Fill up these bottles and let the kids run better than not having enough on. And too, too sticky, just stay inside! Watch a around the back yard spraying away. Each again, if you are in Florida, don’t forget the bug spray. We use a “family” version, which kid gets a bottle full of water. They can play movie, build a town with blocks, color and draw and write your own super hero books, water tag, water hide-and-go seek, water is a bug repellant with less DEET than the go bowling, take a trip to the museum, kickball; really any game can include the normal strength or Deep Woods OFF!. sculpt with clay, paint watercolors, paint water bottle as the spray can be part of the If breaks aren’t a big success with your toys and trinkets, make noodle necklaces, game or be a reward. The point is, they children, then play a game that might not bake cookies, make puppets and put on a are having fun while staying cool. cause them to get so hot. Any game with puppet show, hide treasures for your kids If you aren’t able to keep your little water will help keep your hot heads cool and have them go on a treasure hunt, and if one cool or you notice another child might and be a big hit with friends as well. Of all else fails, give them a broom or a duster be getting too warm, be on the lookout course, pools, water guns, sprinklers, and and put them to work cleaning the house! for some tell-tell signs of heat exhaustion. water balloons are pretty obvious There are many great things you can Heat exhaustion is caused by dehydration suggestions. However, if you don’t have do inside when it’s too hot to play outside. and loss of salt in the body due to those, just take some household items and The same goes for folks who may live a excessive sweating. turn them into a water wonderland. little further north, as I’ve used a lot of Signs of heat exhaustion are: How about filling up two big plastic these indoor tricks to keep our little guys •Slightly increased temperature mixing bowls with water and place them occupied on snow days before we moved each on a lawn chair. Then, place two empty (not above 104 degrees) to the Sunshine State. •Profuse sweating plastic mixing bowls on two other chairs •Pale skin that’s cool and damp opposite of the first set. Line up the kids to the touch behind each chair that has an empty bowl Renee Gork is a mother of two boys and a 2001 graduate and give the kid in front of the line a plastic •Rapid and shallow breathing of the University of Florida. She is the Student •Headache cup. The object of the game is to take the Experiences Coordinator for The Division of Multimedia •Dizziness, weakness or fainting cup down to the full bowl, fill up the cup, Properties College of Journalism and Communications •Muscle cramps take it back down without spilling, dump it at UF. Feel free to email Renee at rgork@wruf.com. Fact: Famous alum, John Atanasoff, invented the digital computer.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 29


Coming out on top By Bernadette Carter-King

The Comeback & Back & Back Kid Under great protest and for the first Raymond Hines III, owner/ founder of GatorCountry.com, time in sixteen years, Raymond Hines III, finally opens up to share founder and owner of GatorCountry.com his inspiring story (GC), has given permission to tell his story. “A lot of people do want to know Ray. They feel like they owe him. They feel gratitude. It (GC) would not have existed if not for Ray,” said David Parker, aka “PD” on the GC forums. The first thing one notices about Raymond Hines III is that he’s nowhere to be seen. Ever. He doesn’t attend schmoozy business events around Gainesville, never once sat in the press box and his social circle is smaller than the fan base at a Seminoles’ game. At the occasional GC event, Ray slips in and out virtually unnoticed – a difficult feat to pull off considering he’s 6-foot-2 with Howdy Doody red hair. So, he’s become somewhat of an enigma within the very community he’s created. And we’re not talking about a small community here. GC is one of the top 10 independently owned collegiate sports 30 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

websites in the country. Just to give you an idea of what that means, in 2011 readers viewed GC’s pages more than 60 million times and stayed on the site an average of 15 to 18 minutes per visit. And the Gator Country Magazine dominates the local Gainesville market with a distribution of 20,000 copies per month and a digital download rate in the tens of thousands. In fact, the might of the GC community is not anything that should ever be overlooked or underestimated, When UF football player Greg See was diagnosed with brain cancer, Ray put out a call on the GC forums for donations to help the See family. In short order, GC members contributed $50,000. Those funds became the Greg See Courage Endowment at the university and have been providing help for students for more than a decade.

Fact: In 2009, South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier admitted he did not vote Tim Tebow to first-team All-SEC.


coming out on top

aggressive as a child,” said Jill Green, Ray’s and GC, but it let my wife see that GC was Yet during a time when flagrant selfmom. “His personality helped him learn to promotion has reached epic proportion, Ray’s a good place for me to hang out while speak the way he does – with intonation, she was gone all day. made a conscious decision to stay out of the timing. I’m a teacher and worked with him ‘til “I think I may be the only one who public eye. There’s purpose and strategy in he was eight(-years old) on speech, then his behind-the-scenes orchestration. OK. Not has posted on GC from CCU.” he rebelled. He did everything on his own. Known as Solari on the GC message really. Truth be told, Mr. I Make My Living Via He fought back when kids picked on him. Mass Communication is uber shy. That, and if boards, Ray refers to himself as the GC He simply never gave up. Ray went to he’s said it once he’s said it a jillion times, “It’s janitor. It’s a description not far off the mainstream school and never learned to sign. mark. Whether cleaning up code on the all about the Gators and the fans who love He didn’t want to. He wanted to function as website or lugging office trash down the them.” For those few who are close to Ray, a mainstream person. His headstrongness we know that’s not a marketing catch phrase. stairs at GC Universal HQ, Ray is the made him a challenge at home, though.” It’s as heartfelt a sentiment as there ever was. consummate caretaker of the company. Upon reading that his mom stated he The barely concealed looks of, “Huh?” are Yes, Raymond Hines III loves him some is unable to sign Ray countered with, a never-ending source of amusement when Florida Gators. But it’s the fans – the Gator a salesperson, potential employee or intern “That’s not true. I know how to sign all Nation family – who drive Ray. For as shy is introduced to him. Always sporting baggy the important words. Which way to as he is, he simply loves people. All of ‘em. the bathroom and all the bad ones!” button downs, even baggier khaki shorts Without judgement, without prejudice and The rebellion Ray exhibited at the and Nikes with shoelaces eternally untied, to such an extent that, conundrum though eight-year-old mark was both a blessing and he is, the literally thousands of GC members threatening to trip him at every step, a curse. Relieved for his sake and proud Ray just doesn’t read, “I own the joint.” with whom Ray has interacted with via that their profoundly deaf son was already If Ray were telling his story, it would message boards and emails, seem to have hell bent to stand on his own two feet, the be pretty basic, he’s got a wife (Nicki), a the same opinions. curse part is that Ray never seemed to sassy teenage daughter (Alyssa) and a dog “He’s funny and he cares. He really actually want to be on his feet. A daredevil (Callie); he’s a regular schmo living the cares.” Parker said. from the get go he wanted – who are we proverbial American dream. Thank Here’s another take: kidding here, still wants to – be on or in “Ten years ago I had to have emergency goodness he owns GC but doesn’t actually anything that heart surgery,” said goes fast! David Shepherd, aka No amount of GatorGrowl. “My “I felt so helpless, and really confused. These attacks made me feel like I scolding or the time friendship with Ray was on the abyss of nothing – I was so disoriented that even when I closed he almost died after was young but I was my eyes, the spinning wouldn’t stop. It seemed like the spinning would go on being hit by a van a forum moderator. forever and ever. That was when I got scared and couldn’t wait for my wife seemed to curb The morning of my to get home from work (I work at home). It was just awful and really hit me Ray’s appetite for surgery, I told my emotionally and mentally … I’m a ‘very’ laid-back fellow and the adrenaline rush. wife Donna that no wasn’t used to these feelings – I even cried a few tears during my Yes, you read that one at GC would predicament and was ashamed of that.” – Raymond Hines III, correctly; hit by a even know where who was born deaf and later diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. van and almost died. I disappeared to. When asked about “Five minutes write for it. Ray would leave out little details the situation, he shrugs and says, “The before they wheeled me out to work on my whole neighborhood was in a panic. My like the fact he’s profoundly deaf and has heart, the room phone rang. ‘Growl?’ asked mom and dad were in shock and when the voice on the other end of the phone. Well, been since birth. By definition, a person with profound hearing loss cannot hear any I finally came to, I remember a feeling it was Oxgator, another member of the site. of peace like I’ve never experienced since. sounds without the help of amplification Ray had asked him to call around to see if I I was only 9, but somehow I just knew and even then the ability to hear anything was in the hospital. It really lifted my spirits. everything was going to be OK. The night after surgery they almost lost me, I can be minute. It was no biggie.” Misdiagnosed for the first year and a could remember crying thinking I was gonna Really? ‘Cause you almost died. half of his life, a crucial time in child die and Donna was not there (it was 3a.m.). In typical Ray fashion he retorted, development, Ray has managed to master “The next evening as Donna and I were “Yeah. But I didn’t so … what?” sitting in my CCU room, the nurse who held a couple of skills most profoundly deaf The next big thing that crashed into my hand for an hour walked in the room and persons never do. He lip reads with freakish accuracy and speaks with clarity, intonation Ray or was it he into it, was computers. started weeping. Said she never thought I “When Ray hit middle school, he found and uncanny timing. would be there when she got back to work. computers,” said his mom, Jill. “There, he Ray’s parents decided early on they So, I was feeling down, as was Donna. didn’t have a handicap. Quickly Ray became a would do whatever it took to integrate him “Anyway, a friend bought me a laptop and I logged on to GC to see dozens of posts into mainstream society. As luck would have self-taught guru on the computer and it wasn’t too long before the office folks at school it, Ray’s innate personality lent itself of people praying for me and wishing me would call his classroom, so he would come perfectly to this goal. the best. Folks I had never met or laid eyes “Ray has always been independent, fairly to different offices to fix their computers.” on. It not only melted my heart toward Ray Fact: The Gators’ average home attendance last season of 90,511 ranked ninth in the country.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 31


coming out on top

As the computer and Internet industry grew, so did Ray’s love for both. For some years he lived your average life; was a hubby, a dad, owned a computer repair and website-building business and founded GC. “Ray has always been an innovator. Ray’s had the ability to stay ahead of the trends and actually to the point of starting trends. That’s always been the secret in the strength of Gator country, Ray can see things that aren’t even there yet.” Franz Beardm former GC employee. He had some ups, he had some downs. It’s when those ups and downs started to become physical and spin out of Ray’s control that the problems started. The first half-dozen episodes – the projectile vomiting accompanied by dry heaving that went on for hours, the dizziness and fatigue that only a day spent in bed would get rid of – Ray chalked up to extreme food poisoning (remember, he’s red and hard headed). There came a day however, when after a “food poisoning” episode took over a week and a half to subside, Ray had to face the very real possibility that something was drastically wrong. “This was the first time I got really scared about all this in the middle of the attack,” Raymond Hines III said. “I felt so helpless, and really confused. These attacks made me feel like I was on the abyss of nothing – I was so disoriented that even when I closed my eyes, the spinning wouldn’t stop. It seemed like the spinning would go on forever and ever. That was when I got scared and couldn’t wait for my wife to get home from work (I work at home). It was just awful and really hit me emotionally and mentally. “I’m a very laid-back fellow and wasn’t used to these feelings – I even cried a few tears during my predicament and was ashamed of that.” His quest to find answers was arduous at best. Some physicians told him it was an emotional issue, others garden-variety vertigo. Because Ray is so independent and has always been the king of research, he found he was able to allay the attacks a tad by cutting his salt intake by 90 percent and 32 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

consuming whole and organic foods rather than the highly processed diet computer geeks are infamous for. Eventually, Ray received the final diagnosis: Meniere’s Disease. Before he and his family could breathe a sigh of relief (because a diagnosis means moving forward with a cure, right?), the doctor’s next sentence was, “We don’t know what causes it and we don’t know how to cure it but there are several experimental … and blah, blah, blah,” was all that Ray lip-read after that. “No reason why it’s happening to me and no cure?” he thought. “I don’t like that. I’ll figure it out.” And try he did. For the next few years Ray desperately sought for solutions, all while trying to helm the GC ship and be a good husband and father. True to Ray’s style, his heart and mind instantly went to everyone else’s needs first and he founded another website – Menieres.org. “Our website, Menieres.org was founded to provide a ‘home’ of support for those of you who are suffering from Meniere’s Disease, which can be quite dreadful at times. Our primary goal is to provide a warm home on the web for you to lean a shoulder on, share your tips, experiences and tears with other sufferers. Like we say, you’re not alone, especially not here,” said Raymond Hines III on Meneires.org. Ray’s fight to heal went about as badly as things can go. Because he’s deaf, he couldn’t just pick up the phone and call for answers, his wife had to do it for him. No matter where he turned, no option to stop the attacks seemed viable and all were experimental. Further, Ray swore his wife and daughter to secrecy. He didn’t want the rest of family to worry, plus he was terrified that if word of his illness got out to the public it could compromise GC in some way and the company supported not only his family, but staff and their families. The more the stress piled up the more the attacks came on. For

almost three years it went on. One evening, with the effects from yet another attack lingering, Ray broke down and wept in front of his wife and daughter, telling them he “couldn’t take it anymore.” At that point, he felt there were really only two choices left: One, a rather radical form of brain surgery where they cut the nerves to the ear permanently, or two, end his own life. This is where the story takes a fairly unbelievable turn. When asked if he wanted the real events to be written Ray said, “It’s the truth, so why not?” Hookay, here goes … At this point, Ray was simply too ill to run GC. An employee at the time, saw this as a prime opportunity and moved in for the kill. Other employees begged Ray to stop the takeover, but he was barely able to cling to the small knot he’d managed to tie at the end of his completely frayed rope. Now, a family’s rope has multiple ends and Ray’s wife was frantically grasping at hers. That’s when she looked for some comfort and guidance from a local spiritual mentor. During their session, the woman gave her some specific information regarding Ray that she couldn’t have possibly known as none of the parties had ever met before. Two weeks later, Ray went to see her. That mentor opened the door to a world Ray had only heard of but never considered. She spoke of energy centers in the body and the illnesses that can develop when they’re blocked. She explained how meditation and connecting to the energy of the Universe on a deeply spiritual level can heal many things. Basically, she hipped him to the kinds of things that cause mainstream folk to conjure up images of tie-dye clad, pot-smoking hippie types who bathe only when the buzzards start to circle and chant everything they say. Funny thing is, from that day forward, almost three years ago, Ray hasn’t had one more attack of Menieres. Not one. Now, let’s not forget how independent – ahem, control freakish – Raymond Hines III truly is. He’s always been the kind who asks for and takes in many different opinions ... then does what he wants anyway. He took the cute little crystal

Fact: On December 16, 1949, plans were drawn to add 11,200 seats to west stands with expansion completed for the 1950 season.


coming out on top

The Ultimate Driving Machine® wearing, Nag Champa burning lady’s mentoring for what he thought it was – well-meaning words of encouragement and nothing more ... especially the part where she told him that, intuitively, she was picking up that something was critically wrong with the finances of his company and that he should look into it immediately. Nonetheless, something about that interaction compelled Ray, and in the ensuing weeks he read day and night about energy healing and meditation, spirituality and world religion and was sent to his knees, weeping when the forensic bookkeeper he’d hired found money missing from GC. Lots of money. At least Ray wasn’t alone when he was knocked to the floor that day. Two angels were on their knees right beside him, absorbing as much of the grief as they could and in more shock than he. You see, Ray really had somehow managed to keep his failing health and business secret, even from his parents. “This was the one time I ever saw Ray break down,” said Jill Green, Ray’s mother. “When all this mess was going on nobody knew. Nobody.” said Raymond Hines Sr., Ray’s father. At this point GC was in pretty bad shape all around. Ray, Sr., a superb financial analyst for more than 35 years, took a long, hard look at the viability of his son’s life’s work. Though optimistically cautious, his opinion was that with some elbow grease the muck of poor business decisions could be cleaned off and GC could get its luster back. During the next year Ray alternately worked on reviving GC and visiting the boho gal who was a catalyst in setting him on his spiritual path. They talked, she served him organic french press coffee from the

little cafe in the back of the store that she owned and he became a regular there. Over the months Ray shed 100 pounds and started to regain his strength, health and pride. He replaced his guilt and feelings of failure as a husband, father, son and businessman with the faith that everything happens for a reason; that all involved in the story have had the opportunity to experience spiritual growth based on their individual choices made. Ray looked only at what actions and non-actions he choose that brought chaos, heartache, fear and loss into his family, his business and his soul. Never did he point fingers, his reflections were for him alone. One day he noticed that his spiritual mentor wasn’t just all chakras and sage smudgings. He observed that when she spoke, she had an understanding of and creative bent for big business that mirrored his own and that her comprehension belied the kitschy persona of the environment she’d cocooned herself in so she could do some energetic healing of her own. Ray inquired about her personal story. He lip-read it. Then he hired her as his COO. So where are Ray and Gator Country today? “Subscribers that haven’t been around for a lot of years don’t know that every time GC takes a hit, it always comes back stronger,” said David Parker, aka PD. Truer words have never been spoken. The little red-headed deaf boy who almost lost his life at 9, almost took his life at 40 and who almost had to endure the loss of a child, his beloved GC, is ... well ... as the GC Janitor himself said, “Yeah, those things almost happened. But they didn’t and we’re kickin’ ass. So...what?”

Fact: On September 23, 1950, the first night game was played at Florida Field versus The Citadel.

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SOUTH FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

Sun N’ Fun By Daniel Sutphin

With summer creeping to a close, the time to ditch the daily routine wanes as well. Despite the looming reality of fall, the sun is still high and the water is cool. Take advantage of it while it lasts. Pack up the kids, hit the road and celebrate this summer right until the bitter end. In doing so, GC is returning to the mainland in this issue to explore the best family vacation stops in the south and southwest Florida regions.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens $$

1590 Goodlette Rd, Naples Florida 34102 (239) 262-5409 www.napleszoo.com

Combining the thrill of the animal kingdom with the allure of a botanical garden, Naples Zoo tames the wilderness right before your eyes. Animals from alligators to zebras live within the historic tropical garden, which was founded in 1919. The zoo features a full day of presentations and programs equipped to fit any family adventure. Naples Zoo is one of the top 10 percent of the nationís zoos according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The 43-acre zoo welcomes over a quarter million guests a year and is the only zoo in Florida where visitors can glimpse such oddities as the fosas of Madagascarl, the African honey badger and Malayan tigers!

Little Toot Dolphin Adventures $$ Everglades National Park $

Marine Entertainment 25 Causeway Blvd. Slip #16 Clearwater FL, 33767 (727) 446-5503 www.littletoot.us

40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, Florida 33034-6733 (305)-242-7700 www.nps.gov/ever

Unlike other dolphin tours, the Little Toot can enter the shallow waters as well as the Gulf, promising more dolphin sightings and closer contact. The vessel’s ‘tug boat’ shape and power causes huge wake creating an aquatic playground for the dolphins. The 40-foot authentic tugboat is a hit with the kids too! Climb aboard and experience dolphin sightings with a narrated tour of the Gulf of Mexico and Clearwater Harbor. Passengers can enjoy Florida is known, almost synonymously for the breeze under the boat’s canopy or catch a tan in the warm Florida sun. Soft drinks, its swamps. As a Floridian, or as a tourist, water, beer and restrooms are available onboard. More importantly the little toot you haven’t really experienced the state until you have spent a day in the Everglades. guarantees guests will see dolphins or their next trip is FREE! Everglades National Park, the third largest in the lower 48 states, covers 1.5 million acres and hosts a number of locations for visitors to begin their adventure. Boating plays a major role in outdoor activities of the park. Florida Bay represents one-half million acres of the park. Visitors looking to enjoy watersports such as fishing, kayaking, or canoeing will find they’ve come to the right place! For a lighter endeavor, guests can spend a morning photographing the birds, an afternoon hiking and seeing alligators or take a ranger-guided tour. 34 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: The university libraries form the largest information resource system in the state of Florida.


SOUTH FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

Coral Gables Venetian Pool $

2701 de Soto Boulevard, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (305) 460-5306 www.coralgables.com Listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, the Venetian Pool is a unique aquatic facility enjoyed by people from all over the world. The pool was formed from a coral rock quarry in 1923, where much of the original coral rock was used to border and further highlight the pool. The 820,000 gallon pool is filled with spring water from an underground aquifer. In the spring and summer seasons, the pool is filled and drained daily. The pool boasts two historic lookout towers and two waterfalls that provide a scenic backdrop as well as the cave-like grottos. The Venetian Pool’s extravagance is furthered with its loggias, porticos, palm trees and bridge. The Cafe at Venetian Pool offers a range of food and drink.

San Carlos Bay/Bunche Beach Preserve $ Glazer’s Children’s Museum $ 18201 John Morris Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908 (239) 765-6794 www.leeparks.org

110 W Gasparilla Plaza , Tampa, FL 33602 (813) 443-3861 www.glazermuseum.org

If the shore is more your calling, this 719-acre facility is a natural tidal wetlands area located on San Carlos Bay. This completely natural area is the epitome of the phrase, ‘Old Florida’. The living ecosystem ranges from a sandy beach to Mangrove forests and salt flats, containing of variety of wildlife. Be sure to bring you cameras, from the flora and fauna to the sunsets, pristine sights are at every turn. The new Outdoor Activity Center has two paddlecraft launches, two wildlife piers, a 310-foot boardwalk and restrooms!

It can be difficult to get the kids excited about going to a museum, however, at Glazer’s Children’s Museum, that is not the case. With a variety of fun and challenging ‘interactivities’ in 12 themed areas, there is excitement at every turn. Guests can pilot a cruise ship, build a noodle sculpture, design a city, fly an airplane, paint with light or even slide down a fireman’s pole, just to name a few. The children’s museum includes 14 galleries and more than 175 interactive exhibits for children up to 10 years old.

The Coral Castle Museum $$

28655 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33033 (305) 248-6345 www.coralcastle.com Single-handedly and secretly carved from over 1,100 tons of coral rock, Edward Leedskalnin spent 28 years crafting the Coral Castle Museum to create one of the

world’s most mysterious accomplishments. The museum welcomes visitors from around the world to tour the Coral Castle using audio stands, with narration available in English, Spanish, French or German, as well as guides to conduct tours. Features of the Coral Castle Museum include a 9-ton gate that moves

Fact: UF’s radio and television stations reach audiences from Jacksonville to Tampa and throughout north central Florida.

Island Boat Adventures

6800 Sunshine Skyway Ln., St. Petersburg, FL 33711 (727) 871-2628 www.islandboatadventures.com A family-oriented tour boat business, Island Boat Adventures sets sail to explore Florida’s West Coast with a brand new 45-foot catamaran. They provide daily dolphin watching and snorkeling trips to Egmont Key Island with the goal to offer a fun, affordable and memorable vacation for the whole family. Egmont Key is an island just off shore at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Accessible only by boat, Island Boat Adventures takes guests on a five-hour jaunt to discover a lighthouse, an old soldier cemetery and the sunken ruins of old Fort Dade. The ruins provide an artificial habitat for many fish and sea life – perfect for an afternoon of snorkeling!

with just a touch of the finger, a Polaris telescope and functioning rocking chairs – all of which were made entirely of stone. Still today, no one knows how Leedskalnin created the castle. Built during the night, at a time devoid of modern construction conveniences, Ed would comment that he knew “the secret of the pyramids.” GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 35


Angling FOR A NIBBLE SUWANNEE LAKE

Very low water levels currently restrict all but the shallowest-drafting vessels to the north section of the lake. Plenty of young-of-the-year bluegill schools were observed, but this does not constitute resurgence in the forage base, especially for this period. Therefore, black crappie and bass should be easily enticed with live bait or close look-alikes.

LAKE WAUBERG

Water levels continue to remain down 2–3 feet in this lake, but the State Park boat ramp is still usable. Water color is a productive, fish-growing green. This points to an increase of available nutrients that can be beneficial to the shad component of the forage base. Fishable maidencane edge has been reduced to about three feet or less and the submerged logs of the southwestern shoreline are high and dry. The abundant panfish population of this lake will start their bedding rituals this quarter. Black crappie will take to the maidencane edge for their spawning activities. They can be targeted with small minnows or jigs fished in close proximity to this cover. As the largemouth bass behavior transitions from bedding and nest-guarding this quarter to a more dispersed post-spawn habit, traditional summer baits and approaches will apply.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

LAKE NEWNANS

The prolonged drought in north central Florida has greatly influenced access to the fisheries at Newnans Lake. Access is currently only possible with small vessels that can be hand-launched or pushed off of their trailers. For those anglers that manage to reach the lake, most are fishing the relatively deeper water near Palm Point from bream, catfish, and black crappie. Anglers should be aware of tagged black crappies with rewards. If you catch a tagged crappie, call FWC fisheries biologist Travis Tuten (352-955-3220) to receive information on how to claim your reward.

As of June 2012. Courtesy of Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

LAKE SANTA FE

A recently conducted Largemouth bass population survey (March of 2012) indicated that it is an excellent year for fishing Lake Santa Fe. Several large bass (over 6 pounds) were found under docks in deeper water, primarily along the Northwestern shoreline of Little Lake Santa Fe, as well as around the Cypress trees in the Southwestern shoreline of the big lake. Large bass were also found under the two fish attractors in the big lake

in deeper water. Large crappie were found close to the shoreline in Melrose Bay along the maidencane grass, and large bluegill and redear sunfish were found among the cypress stands. The boat ramp at Little Lake Santa Fe is complete with a new floating dock, and plenty of water to get a large bass boat onto the lake. The boat ramp at Santa Fe Lake Park also has plenty of water, but may prove difficult for larger boats.

SUWANNEE AND SANTA FE RIVERS Boaters should be extremely cautious on both rivers, as low water has made clearance over sand bars and other underwater hazards less certain.

An annual largemouth bass electrofishing survey was conducted by FWC biologists in the section of the Suwannee River downstream from the Suwannee River State Park. This section revealed a robust population of legal and above-average sized bass, both Suwannee and largemouth. Good numbers of harvestable-sized panfish

For the latest updates, visit myfwc.com. 36 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: Head Coach Steve Spurrier tagged Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field “The Swamp”.


Angling FOR A NIBBLE (redear and redbreasted sunfish) were also observed. Farther downstream near the Gopher River tributary, bass were surveyed holding in deeper water along outside bends of the river and areas that support spatterdock and eelgrass. Redbreast sunfish fishing will pick up this period with ultra-small crankbaits fished by drifting being the preferred lure and method. Water color in the Suwannee is currently tanninstained, most likely influenced form Okefenokee Swamp waters. In the Santa Fe River mullet numbers are high between Rt. 129 and Rum Island. Water clarity is very clear high throughout the Santa Fe, so you might consider using a fluorocarbon line or leader which is more difficult for fish to detect.

ORANGE LAKE The prolonged drought in north central Florida has eliminated access to the fisheries at Orange Lake. Orange Lake is completely inaccessible at all boat ramps surrounding the lake.

RODMAN’S RESERVOIR Look out for floating logs. To prevent boating accidents during the drawdown, boaters are asked to watch their wake and be courteous to anglers fishing along the Barge Canal and river channel.

By the beginning of April, the three-month reservoir drawdown will be over, and reservoir water will be back to normal levels. Largemouth bass catches during the drawdown were hit-and-miss according to reports, but many testimonies of trophy fish were reported. At normal water levels, Rodman Reservoir still offers some of the best bass fishing in the area due to the drought in north central Florida that is affecting many of the surrounding lakes. As water temperatures increase, largemouth bass will move to deep water in the stump fields. Anglers may also try drifting or trolling live shiners in the stump fields on both sides of the barge canal in the pool area. Artificial lures such as spinner baits and soft jerkbaits retrieved along the

stumps should also provide some action. In the Orange Springs area, live shiners floated under overhanging vegetation in the river channel should produce some good catches of largemouth bass. Bluegills are caught throughout the reservoir; however, the Kenwood to Orange Springs area generally seems to be the best. For redbreast sunfish, fish the riverine section of the reservoir (Orange Springs to Eureka). Small Beetle Spins and worms work well. Finally, look for stocky warmouth between Orange Springs and Cypress Bayou using worms and grass shrimp to get the best results.

UPPER ST. JOHNS RIVER & LAKES

Water levels in the upper St. Johns River basin are generally their lowest this time of the year, but levels are presently much higher than last year at this time. Expect good fishing success in the river sections between Lakes Winder and Poinsett (Middle River), Washington to Helen Blazes, and from SR 520 to SR 50. Shallow draft or smaller boats typically have an easier time navigating sand bars and secondary channels in the river than their larger counterparts this time of the year. Largemouth bass and panfish (bluegill, redear sunfish, spotted sunfish, redbreast sunfish, and warmouth) should be concentrated throughout the deeper portions of the river. Anglers should target the edges of floating vegetation along banks, sharp bends, and drop-offs near shallow bars. Traditional methods for taking all species will work. Lake Washington will be the best choice for those anglers with larger boats because the lake is impounded for the city of Melbourne’s water supply and typically has the deepest water. Anglers should focus their efforts around the offshore bulrush patches and emergent grasses for bass and panfish.

For the latest updates, visit myfwc.com. Fact: Prior to 2003 Season construction was completed on a two-year, $50 million stadium expansion/renovation

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 37


Summer gadgets!

By Daniel Sutphin

Gear for the

Little Giant Alta One Type 1 Model 13

Although summer is often the time for play, it can also stand as time to work, especially if the house needs fixing up. The reliable Little Giant Alta-One is light, strong, safe and flexible. The hinge locks and sides allow for safe use as an adjustable extension ladder, A-frame ladder and staircase ladder, as well as a trestle-and-plank scaffolding system. Wide-flared legs, rubberized feet, and high-quality construction provide stability in any of its forms! www.littlegiantladder.com $199.99

Dynazap Extendable insect zapper

Putting all other fly swatters to shame, the Dynazap Extendable insect zapper stretches up to 3 feet and has a head that bends in multiple directions for hard-to-reach areas like walls and ceilings. If that weren’t enough to destroy the insects, it also zaps them upon contact. The Dynazap is safe for indoor and outdoor use and has a safety switch that electrifies the zapping grid only when pushed “on”. www.dynatrap.com $25.95

38 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: On June 30, 1990, natural grass replaced artificial turf at Florida Field.


gadgets!

DryCase

It’s always fun to pump out some jams when you’re hitting the water, however the risk of device damage is ever-present. DryCase is an adaptable, crystal clear waterproof case that allows complete use of your phone or camera while keeping it dry and clean. The crystal clear case provides uninhibited use of the device. All you have to do is place your device in the case and pump out the air! www.drycase.com $39.99

DynaTrap XL Insect Eliminator

The bugs grow thick these summer days. Rescue your barbecues and outdoor lounging from this nuisance with the DynaTrap DT2000XL Insect Eliminator. This jacked up bug zapper eliminates insects without chemicals being added to the environment or surrounding areas. The DT2000XL offers a three-way protection plan for insect elimination. Two UV fluorescent bulbs produce warm light to attract insects to the DynaTrap. The Ti02 funnel produces C02, which attracts insects to the whisper quiet vacuum fan!

Dry Buds

www.dynatrap.com $229.99

With dry buds you can maximize your DryCase’s capabilities and listen to music even underwater. Completely submersible, the stereo DryBuds waterproof headphones are for use with the DryCase waterproof cell phone, camera and MP3 player case. These can be used up to nearly 10 feet underwater. These are in-the-ear buds, with super soft rubber ends. This way you can enjoy the water and your music simultaneously! www.drycase.com $39.99

Fact: The September ’91 north end zone addition cost $17 million, but involved no state funding.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 39


Repeat defenders

By Phillip Heilman Photos by Jack Lewis

Twice is Nice Gators repeat as women’s national tennis champions As Lauren Embree smashed a forehand winner down the line against UCLA’s McCall Jones, Florida became backto-back national champions. 40 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Unlike in 2011, there was no late flair for the dramatic. There was no 184-match home winning streak on the line. There was no pulsating comeback to clinch the national championship.

There was just Florida making quick work of a talented, yet overmatched, UCLA team. There was the Florida Gators becoming champions, again. This NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship was

particularly impressive because of that final word – again. Winning a national championship is demanding enough on its own but doing it in consecutive years is exceedingly difficult.

Fact: UF’s McKnight Brain Institute is home to more than 300 faculty using some of the world’s most powerful MRI imaging systems and other state-of-the-art tools.


Repeat defenders

SWEET REPEAT The Florida Gators women’s tennis team won back-to-back national championships. Here’s a list of the players and coaches that made it happen:

Player Class Hometown/School Claire Bartlett Senior Chattanooga, Tenn./Girls Preparatory School Alexandra Cercone Sophomore Seminole, Fla./Allendale Academy Lauren Embree Junior Marco Island, Fla./Lely Caroline Hitimana Junior Waterloo, Belgium/Cardinal Mercier Olivia Janowicz Sophomore Palm Bay, Fla./American School Joanna Mather Senior Duluth, Ga./Keystone National Sofie Oyen Sophomore Leopoldsburg, Belgium/Leonardo Lyceum Topspot Allie Will Junior Boca Raton, Fla./Keystone National Head coach: Roland Thornqvist Associate head coach: Dave Balogh Graduate assistant trainer: Christina Schmidgall Manager: Anthony Cagnina Program coordinator: Kate Harte Volunteer assistant coach: Anastasia Revzina UAA associate director for women’s tennis: Kathy Cafazzo Since the NCAA began sponsoring national championships in women’s tennis in 1982, back-to-back champions have been crowned a total of four times. Of the four occurrences, Stanford accomplished each of the previous three. The first repeat came in a dominating stretch of championships for Stanford in each year from 1986–91. The Cardinal also accomplished the feat in 2001–02 and threepeated from 2004–06. For a Florida team returning all seven players from a national championship team in 2011, there was certainly a repeator-bust mindset. “Because we did it last year, we obviously set our goals this year just as high,” Alexandra Cercone said. “We knew what it took last year, so we pushed ourselves even harder.” Still, there is a reason Stanford was the only program to previously conquer the country in back-to-back seasons. As the defending champion, there is always extra motivation

from opponents to beat the best. Given that, what Florida accomplished was even more remarkable. Playing one of the most difficult schedules in the country, the Gators ripped off a 27–1 mark on the season. Florida was unbeatable at home, winning all 12 of its matches. Of those 12 wins, seven came against teams ranked in the top 50 in the nation. The lone blemish for the team came at Stanford on Feb. 12. Stanford swept the doubles point and made quick work of the Gators in a 5–2 victory. Looking back, UF coach Roland Thornqvist said the loss at Stanford may have been the best possible result for his team. While the loss stung at first, Thornqvist related the loss to a “pressure valve” in which all the pressure that comes with having a perfect season was then released. With the pressure released, his team was free to play the type of tennis it was capable of with fewer distractions. That meant it was time to get back to winning matches.

Florida ended the season on a 22-match winning streak after the loss to Stanford. More than winning, Florida dominated in all aspects of the game. From top to bottom, there was not a more complete team in the country. Entering the first round of NCAA singles play, Florida’s seven players were a combined 184–34 on the season. “All seven of these young women were absolutely exemplary,” Thornqvist said. “They were always working to be the best they could be. They put their heart and soul into the process.” The process continued from the regular season into the 2012 NCAA Women’s Championship.

Despite being defending champions, Florida came in as the No. 2 seed behind UCLA. The Gators cruised through the first four rounds of the tournament. Florida beat South Carolina State, Washington State, Michigan and Miami in succession, without dropping a point, before beating Duke in a tight 4–3 contest in the semifinals. That set up the championship match to decide who was truly the top seed in the nation. Again, for the second year in a row, it proved to be Florida. “Every step of the road we have had to battle and grind hard,” said Allie Will. “To come out on top again is incredible.”

Coach Roland Thornqvist

Fact: The University of Florida traces its beginnings to 1853 when the state-funded East Florida Seminary acquired the private Kingsbury Academy in Ocala.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 41


Let them play

42 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: Famous alumni include actress Faye Dunaway and actor Buddy Ebsen


Let them play

Fact: Famous alumnus is a Forrest Sawyer national broadcast journalist.

GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 43


Tales from Camp

Friday Night Lights preview By Andrew Spivey Photos by Tim Casey

Annual summer camp has become almost as big as national signing day for Flroida

Florida’s Friday Night Lights is one of the most talked about summer camps across the country. It’s one of the biggest days on UF’s recruiting calendar, perhaps second only to national signing day. One of the many reasons is because of the atmosphere that is created on that Friday night in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Prospects work out under the lights at the Swamp with the music blaring and there are highlight videos going on as well. Former UF coach Urban Meyer created the camp in 2005 with the hopes of bringing in the top recruits across the country and he was successful in doing that. When Will Muschamp was hired at Florida, he vowed to continue doing the camp on Friday’s in late July to lure top prospects to campus. Most years the Gators pick up a few verbal commitments at the event with the exception of last summer’s camp when attendance was down in Muschamp’s first year as head coach. Picking up commitments or not, this event is key for the Gators coaches and prospects. It provides a time to showcase the atmosphere and facilities to the prospects while also giving coaches a chance to evaluate top prospects going against other top prospects. This year’s event will be on July 27 and with the class of 2013 almost finished, the Gators can expect to see a number of top 2014 and 2015 prospects participating. This will be a big event to once again show some of Florida’s top targets what Gainesville has to offer and who they will be playing with potentially. A number of Florida’s 18 current commitments have already said they will be in attendance to help recruit for the Gators.

44 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Here are the commitments who have confirmed they will be in attendance:

Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep cornerback Tre Bell Canton, MI., offensive lineman Cameron Dillard Jacksonville (Fla.) Bishop Kenny receiver Ahmad Fulwood Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln linebacker James Hearns Winter Haven, Fla., running back Adam Lane Bushnell (Fla.) South Sumter safety Keanu Neal Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central running back Kelvin Taylor Jacksonville (Fla.), Trinity Christian safety Nick Washington That is just a short list of confirmed visitors, but expect most of the commitments to be in the house. Along with the commitments, current Gators players also will be in The Swamp watching the workouts and helping recruit prospects. Some of the prospects that will attend the event will be under-the-radar prospects that most fans have not heard of much. Coaches will invite these prospects to camp to see them work out and to get first hand view of what that prospect can do a nd could potentially offer that prospect a scholarship A good example of this was last year when Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. came to camp with no offers. He impressed the coaching staff enough that he was put on the recruiting board, later earned a scholarship and ended up signing with the Gators in February. Another big key for this year’s event will be the chance to evaluate several 2014 prospects to get ahead of other schools. Friday Night Lights is a huge recruiting tool for the Gators’ coaching staff. It’s became the second biggest day on the UF recruiting calendar. Fact: The original stadium consisted of the first 32 rows on the west, east and north sides of the current stadium.


the gator nation speaks By Drew Laing

Best of Gator Country’s forums GatorCountry.com offers 30 different forums to express opinions and discuss everything from Gators football to religion to politics to pretty much everything. If it happens in life, people rap about it on Gator Country. In this new feature,

we take a look at a few of the more insightful and/or most talked about threads from various forums throughout the Gator Country community. Many of the Swamp Gas forums can be accessed for free, but the premium message boards are where fans can find the hottest debates and juiciest insider information. To access the forums, go to www.gatorcountry.com/swampgas

MARVELous Indoor Ideas

From the Bullgator Den … An indoor practice facility is always an entertaining topic between Florida fans. After UF approved indoor courts for the tennis team, the conversation between GC members shifted to indoor practice facilities for other sports and some interesting ideas followed, particularly this one from the poster known simply as “PD.” PD writes …“Outstanding. Then we can tear down the O’Dome and build a basketball stadium-hovercraft and play all our hoops games circling Gainesville 300 feet in the air. It’s all coming together … yes …” BradDad replies … “Stealing from “The Avengers” are we?” Fact: In April, 1971, artificial surface was installed.

Rivalry Revisited?

From Around the Horn … In the free baseball forum on GC, members discuss the possibility of a UF-FSU rematch in the College World Series, which was set to begin June 15, after this page went to press. JaggaGator writes …“I feel it coming. The perfect distraction to keep us all from longing for football season to finally return. Florida vs. Florida State – for the College World Series national championship. Certainly such an outcome in the NCAA Tournament wouldn’t be unexpected. The Gators are the top overall national seed, and the Seminoles are No. 3.”

Arrested Development?

From The GatorTail Pub … Of course, in The GatorTail Pub forum, conversation spans not only to sports but also to pop culture and anything about the world in general. Here, GC’s members discuss TV shows that were unfortunately cancelled. ArtVandelay writes … “TV shows you were upset about being canceled?” GatoRella writes …“Bored to Death Arrested Development” MdlGator writes …“Previously Firefly Arrested Development”

The Walking Dead

From The GatorTail Pub … In a country struggling through hard economic times, high gas prices and energy concerns, the USA now can apparently add something new to the list: zombies. Thankfully, some GC members have thought ahead on how to survive. LeafUF writes … “If any of you had read the zombie survival guide you would know that these things have been happening forever. Small zombie outbreaks that flash up and are quickly put down before they get out of hand which are then reported as something else. Only once the warning signs are ignored or not caught early enough will there be trouble. Until then, prepare yourself and aim for the head.” deep_threat replies … “The University of Florida is something like the only school in the United States that has a guideline for a zombie attack. Us Gators come prepared lol”

You’re Not Special

From Too Hot for Swamp Gas … If you haven’t seen one of the more impressive 2012 commencement speeches in “You’re Not Special,” we highly recommend it. At GC, some of our members shared their own thoughts on the viral sensation. jdrgator writes …“Very true. One of the things that struck me when I taught at UF as a grad lecturer was the sense of entitlement of students and how special many of them thought they were, as if they deserved A’s and success just for showing up. Now, many of these students were nice and very intelligent, but they weren’t special.”

QGator2414 replies … romeg8r replies …“If I run out “I have heard the same of bullets, I have a broadsword. sentiments you express from And a cane knife.” others that teach at UF.” GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012 45


scenes from the stands

46 GATOR COUNTRY | FEB/2012

Fact: Famous alum Bob Graham is a former US Senator and Florida Governor.


Gator Country Magazine - July 2012  

Gator Country Magazine, July 2012 issue covering University of Florida Gator athletics!

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