Life continues to be consumed by local sports writing for me. And I absolutely love that I’m able to make a living doing something I’m passionate about.
But during those moments not spent in a sports state of mind, I’m usually running around with my family, digging through my music collection or attending some sort of live event.
That’s where a new podcast collaboration with Joel Martinez comes into play. We’ll be talking about those sorts of things on a weekly basis beginning in January.
Until then, enjoy the debut episode of Mass Chatter. You’ll be introduced to us through the highs and lows we’ve experienced over the years during the holiday season. The episode features stories about a home-made haunted house, backyard football, and a Christmas tree left in the front lawn.
“I think it’s very possible that we’ll see players that are out West coming to the Eastern Conference, or free agents that are in the Eastern Conference staying out East, because players understand that the Western Conference is brutal right now. It’s hard to make a Finals run. You can be on a loaded team in the West and still miss the playoffs,” Kennedy said.
Oviedo coach Harold Hitt joined me on Carnahan Chronicles on AM 740 The Game Saturday morning to talk about the championship run by the Lions, the standouts on the team that helped make it happen, and the amount of quality baseball Central Florida has produced over the years.
Kennedy got Mourning’s take on the state of the big man in the National Basketball Association and talked about how his own issues with blood clots and Crohn’s disease played a part in stories he wrote on both Bosh and Nance Jr.
Adam Markowitz of ArenaFan joined me Saturday to talk about the resurgence of the Orlando Predators and Arena Football League, which recently opened its 28th season of operation with teams in 12 different cities.
Markowitz talked about the AFL record the Preds set on Friday on the road at Jacksonville and how former starting quarterback Bernard Morris played a key part. He also talked about how owner David Siegel has helped to revive the franchise in Orlando and how the AFL has plans in place to help the league continue to grow in the coming years.
Buddy Collings of the Orlando Sentinel joined me Saturday to talk about the emergence of Montverde Academy as a national high school basketball powerhouse and the odds of Orlando’s Olympia High School, the No. 1 baseball team in the nation, at winning the state title this year.
Montverde Academy, led by LSU commit Ben Simmons, won its third national title in a row on Saturday. Collings also talked about how Simmons, named national player of the year by numerous organizations, lost out on the Mr. Basketball award in Florida to fellow LSU commit Antonio Blakeney of Orlando’s Oak Ridge High School.
Brandon Helwig of UCF Sports joined me Saturday to talk about the rising draft stock of former UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman, the holes UCF is looking to fill this spring in the secondary and at wide receiver, and the current state of the No. 6 UCF baseball program.
Helwig rounded up the segment by talking about the upcoming UCF Athletics Hall of Fame induction of former football player Asante Samuel, football and baseball player Dee Brown, softball player Stephanie Best and the 1978 UCF volleyball team.
The University of North Florida basketball team is likely to be one of the only programs in the state taking part in the NCAA Tournament when the games tip off this week.
Among the players that helped the Ospreys earn an automatic bid by way of claiming the Atlantic Sun title is 6-foot-11 sophomore Romelo Banks, who played at both Liberty and Celebration high schools while growing up in Kissimmee, Florida.
I found myself caught up in a couple of crazy circumstances a week ago and decided to share those stories on the show this past Saturday.
For starters, my carelessness while running late to a Super Bowl party resulted in banging up the car of Mike Bianchi, columnist at the Orlando Sentinel and host of AM 740 The Game’s “Open Mike,” while in the parking lot at Ker’s WingHouse. We capped the opening segment by also talking about a new football league forming in 2016 that’s looking to bring yet another minor league team to Orlando next spring.
Then on Friday, while on assignment to cover a prep soccer game at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, I was nearly attacked by an angry Warriors dad in the press box. We finished the show talking about that wild encounter while giving props to the local high school state tournament teams and touching on the disturbing hype that surrounds National Signing Day on a yearly basis.
Lyon provided a preview of what to expect from BHSN’s coverage while also touching on what the future may hold for National Signing Day as more and more student-athletes opt to become early enrollees at their colleges of choice.
He broke down the schools being considered by offensive lineman Martez Ivey of Apopka High School, the top college football prospect in Central Florida, and what schools running back Dexter Williams and athlete Jalen Julius are each considering. Both Williams and Julius finished their prep careers at West Orange High School in Winter Garden.
Lyon wrapped up the segment by talking about the recruiting classes of college programs throughout the state of Florida and gave a short preview of BHSN’s upcoming coverage of the boys and girls basketball postseason.