USF Football Plays Annual Spring Scrimmage

USF Football held its annual spring game on Saturday, playing in front of more than 4,000 fans at Corbett Stadium. It’s the third-straight year the team have hosted the game on campus after previously holding it at Raymond James Stadium.

The players were split into two teams; the green team and the white team. Starting quarterback Quinton Flowers headed the white team. The green team featured Marlon Mack and Rodney Adams, among the notables. Asiantii Woulard, a transfer from UCLA, started at quarterback for the green team.

The white team had an early first quarter lead, with the surprising help of fourth string running back, Trevon Sands. Sands, a freshman from Miami, scored the first touchdown of the game from inside the 5-yard line. Sands could challenge for a starting spot in an already loaded backfield consisting of Mack, Darius Tice, and D’Ernest Johnson. Head coach Willie Taggart says he’s happy with the depth of talent in the running back position.

“You just let them go,” Taggart said. “Make sure Marlon Mack gets his carries and let the rest of them do what they’re going to do.”

The game was also the first chance for Bulls fans to watch Marquez Valdes-Scantling in action. The transfer from NC State got a reaction from the crowd when he made a leaping catch over a defender in the third quarter.

“We’ve been building chemistry in practice,” Valdez-Scantling said. “I’m excited to play in front of these fans, I feel real good about what we have going on.”

The white team won the game 32-19. USF Football now enter the summer months, preparing for their season opener against Towson University on September 3.

Water sports fun and competition for the family

The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team hosts weekly shows on Saturday nights from April to October at its home location in Oldsmar in Tower Lake.

The team has been around since the 1960’s. It focuses on both the entertainment and competitive side of water skiing.

“Most of the families that join us, join us because they want to get their kids involved in something,” said Steve Sacone, the team president. “They’re not looking to get involved in typical youth sports, they’re looking for something a little bit different.”

Veteran skier and University of South Florida professor Dr. Larry Dunleavy is focusing on the upcoming Southern Regional Championship in Sarasota June 18-19.

“We’ve won a bunch of times, but the competition is getting better all the time,” Dr. Dunleavy said. “We’re always looking for fresh faces to help improve the team.”

The team is always looking for new members and there is never a limit on how many people can participate. Anyone looking to join can find more information on the the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team website or go to one of its many practices during the week.

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival is a step back in time

For the 38th straight year, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival is taking place. The festival, which moved to Tampa in 2004, is coordinated by the Museum of Science and Industry, across the street from USF.

The festival is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., until March 20. No matter a person’s age or interests, anyone who has been will tell you there is something for everyone.

For people looking for a taste of medieval athletics, the event goes above and beyond what would be expected at most renaissance festivals. Archery is available, but there is also an all-day Highland Games event, where visitors can try their hand at a number of activities such as stone throws and hay tosses.

If you’re looking for some new accessories, Kristiyan Bangov has you covered. Bangov is a vendor at a stand specializing in custom leather work, “I do mostly masks and crowns, but I also do armor pieces and anything in between really”, said Bangov. Bangov only got interested in working at fairs last year, he said “I love the whole feeling of the event, it’s a completely different world from the outside once you enter here.”

You can’t talk about a renaissance festival without mentioning the food. Head Chef Ruben Beltran has been working at the event for 15 years. Beltran is in charge of four separate kitchens, “We have the health department always checking on our four kitchens,” said Beltran.

While most would assume Shepherd’s Pie would be the most popular item on the menu, Beltran has a different answer.

“The most popular item is the pot roast sandwich,” said Beltran. When asked if that was his favorite dish, he didn’t hesitate, “Oh yeah, I love it.”

Tennis threatens to make a splash at USF

While football and basketball may be the most prominent sports at most college campuses, tennis threatens to make a splash at the University of South Florida. The men’s tennis team has won back-to-back American Athletic Conference championships, and they’re led by a player who can walk around USF campus almost unnoticed. 

Roberto Cid, a tall, lanky senior who moved to Florida from the Dominican Republic when he was 13, received the honor of All-American following his sophomore campaign two years ago. 

“Since I came here, I had big goals with the coach (Matt Hill),” said Cid. “Hopefully I can continue to make history.” 

What gives Cid his edge over his rivals? His notorious competitive streak would be a good place to start. A favorite story among the tennis team is that Cid was playing the third ranked player in the country at a tournament this past season. The player did something that Cid was not happy with, and it showed in the results. Cid won, and his opponent walked off the court saying “I just can’t beat him.” 

Cid is the fifth ranked player in the country for men’s singles and 982nd in the entire world. He is trying to focus on the present, which includes winning a national championship as a Bull. 

“This year we have a really good team. We can definitely do something special at the end of the year,” Cid said.