Tampa Bay Archives - SaintPetersBlog

Tampa Bay area to host 2019 Medal of Honor convention

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) Thursday selected the Tampa Bay area as the host community for its 2019 Convention, honoring Medal of Honor recipients and their families.

This is the first time the weeklong event, taking place in October 2019, will be held in Tampa.

“Tampa Bay’s strong military tradition coupled with our outstanding vacation venues, cemented Tampa’s position as the host of this prestigious event,” said Ed Miyagishima, president and CEO of the 2019 Tampa Bay Medal of Honor Convention. “We’re humbled to be able to roll out the red carpet and the white sands of Tampa Bay to honor these outstanding individuals and their families as only this region can.”

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest and rarest military honor, bestowed by the president in the name of Congress on deserving members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against the enemy of the United States.”

“We’re thrilled to select Tampa Bay as the host of the 2019 Convention,” said Medal of Honor Recipient and President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Thomas Kelley. “Tampa’s unique military footprint, coupled with its spectacular beaches and activities will serve as the ideal backdrop to honor and celebrate Medal of Honor recipients and their families.”

The Medal of Honor Convention, the annual gathering of Medal of Honor recipients, was created to honor the awardees and their families. Highlights of the week will include an official public welcome, reunion events, book signings, school events and autograph sessions, and the black-tie Gala.

“We recognize members of the military, veterans and their families as valued members of our community,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “We could not be more proud that Ronald Ray, a graduate of the University of Tampa, and Baldomero Lopez, Tampa native, are both recipients of the Medal of Honor and would be honored to celebrate their accomplishments as well as those of all of the other Medal of Honor recipient’s right here in Tampa.”

The Medal of Honor families will be special honorees during the convention. According to Miyagishima, “We will make sure that there are numerous family-friendly events. These are the individuals who have sacrificed and supported the Medal of Honor recipients over the years, so it is important that we express our gratitude and make it special for them, as well.”

In Tampa, an educational outreach campaign will be implemented in area schools to promote patriotism and character, special assets personified by the Medal of Honor. A special curriculum will be created for teachers to utilize throughout the area and guest speakers will be available to visit local schools.

“We are especially excited by the prospect of a lasting legacy for Tampa Bay in the form of a curriculum that can be used year after year to educate our students about the character attributes of Medal of Honor recipients,” said retired United States Army Command Sergeant Major Gary Littrell, who serves as an adviser to the Convention and has served as the president of CMOHS. “As a culmination to the convention, we will select a local student to receive the newly-created Medal of Honor Scholarship and look forward to partnering with local schools for other exciting learning opportunities.”

Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base is expected to play a significant role during the convention. MacDill is currently home to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE), the 6th Air Mobility Wing and nearly 30 other tenant units.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was formed in 1958 under President Dwight Eisenhower to protect, uphold and preserve the dignity and honor of the medal at all times and on all occasions. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Convention and general meeting, held annually at different host communities across the country, serves:

– To further the bond of brotherhood and camaraderie among all living recipients of the Medal of Honor.

– To remember in reverence and respect those who received the Medal of Honor posthumously, and those who are now deceased.

– To foster patriotism and to inspire and stimulate our youth to become better citizens of our country.

– To recognize and award patriotic Americans who promote and perpetuate the principles upon which our nation was founded through their life’s work.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Lightning embarrassed by Arizona with defeat in playoff drive

Quick question: If a team is going to be embarrassed by the second-worst team in the NHL, what does it say?

Other than, for a night, that the Tampa Bay Lightning was among the worst.

The Lightning blew every advantage Tuesday night. They were playing the second-worst team in the league, the Arizona Coyotes. They were at home. They held a lead in the third period. They were playing with playoffs in mind.

And still, they lost a 5-3 game to Arizona, an embarrassing game that might help keep them from the post-season.

The Bolts gave up five goals for the third straight game, and they lost again.

“You have to keep the puck out of your net if you’re going to win,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “In our last two games, we’ve scored three. In the past, when we’ve made a commitment to play defense, we’ve won those games. If you’re not going to defend, you’re not going to win.”

Cooper offered up an interesting statistic. Arizona blocked 25 shots on Tuesday night; the Bolts blocked only six.

Still, the Bolts had a chance to win. Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Vlad Namestnikov scored to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead. Still, Arizona came back to win.

The Lightning, impossibly, is still only four points out of a playoff spot. But as Cooper said, “We’re running out of real estate.”

Tampa Bay now goes on the road, facing Boston and Detroit.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Tampa Bay Rays extend center fielder Kevin Kiermaier’s contract

Kevin Kiermaier was always one of the most popular Tampa Bay Rays.

Now, he’ll be popular with his banker, too.

Kiermaker, the Rays’ center fielder, signed a six-year, $53.5 million extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay through 2023.

The agreement with Kiermaier marks the fourth time that Stuart Sternberg’s ownership group has guaranteed at least six years in a contract with a Rays player. Right-handed pitcher Chris Archer signed for a guaranteed six years (plus two club options) on April 2, 2014. Third baseman Evan Longoria signed for six years guaranteed (plus three club options) on April 18, 2008, then on November 26, 2012, extended that deal an additional six years with a club option for 2023.

“Kevin has established himself as one of the most dynamic and exciting players in baseball, and he also sets a tremendous example off the field with his work ethic, dedication and leadership,” said Rays President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman. “We’re thrilled that he’ll be patrolling center field for the Rays for years to come.”

Kiermaier, 26, won the AL Gold Glove Award for center field in 2016 for the second consecutive season, joining Longoria (2009, 2010) as the only players to win multiple Gold Glove Awards in franchise history. He also became the second AL outfielder since the awards were first presented in 1957 to claim the Gold Glove in each of his first two full seasons in the majors, joining Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki in 2001-02.

Last season, Kiermaier led major league center fielders with 25 Defensive Runs Saved despite missing 48 games due to injury. Defensive Runs Saved attempts to calculate how many runs a player saved or cost his team in the field compared to the average player at his position. His 25 DRS ranked second overall in the majors (regardless of position), behind Boston’s Mookie Betts (32), despite playing 509.1 fewer innings.

Kiermaier beat the odds. He simply outworked his teammates. He made the front office notice him.

The Rays were hunting for outfielders in the 2010 draft. They picked Josh Sale first. Bust. They picked Drew Vettleson third. Bust. They picked Michael Lorenzen 10th. Bust. They picked Deshun Dixon 13th. Bust. They picked Chris Winder 27th. Bust.

Finally, they picked Kiermaier. But not until they picked a third baseman named Nicholas Schwaner and a catcher named Matt Koch and a first baseman named Phillip Wunderlich. In all, it was the greatest collection of nobodies ever picked in front of a somebody.

And that’s a key thing with Kiermaier. Think of all the bonus babies who went in front of him. Think of all the high-priced free agents who disappointed. Kiermaier simply wouldn’t settle for being less than an impact player. He kicked down the doors to this franchise. He made himself a bargain.

For Kiermaier, it turns out that more things are gold than just his baseball glove.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Lightning lose second straight as Capital’s T.J. Oshie gets a hat trick

And suddenly, the Tampa Bay Lightning is going in the wrong direction.

The Lightning, which entered the week on a hot streak, lost its second straight key matchup Saturday night in a 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals. The Caps clinched the playoffs with the victory.

Tampa Bay, which has 11 games to play, is certain to finish with its worst record in four years.

Saturday night, the Bolts gave up the game’s first two goals and its last three. Along the way, T.J. Oshie had a hat trick. Oshie has played 14 games aginst Tampa Bay and has 10 goals and 19 points.

Nikita Kucherov scored twice for the Bolts. Alex Killorn scored the other goal.

“They’re a really good team,” said Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper. “You sit here and say, tie game going into the third. We were going to take our chances. That was tough. We take the penalty and we get through it and then we just stopped playing. Our defensive awareness, it was, we can’t let that happen. They’re changing, coming off the bench. To give up that chance, that’s a tough one. It’s a one goal game, but you can’t give up that fourth one. Killer.”

 Cooper thought the Lightning scored enough to at least get a point.

“We got three,” Cooper said. “When you get three, you’ve got to get points. Yes, you want guys to come out of their goal droughts and stuff like that, which they did. We scored three. You can’t give up five. You can’t give up four. It’s too tough to win in this league. I’m not as concerned about the amount of goals we’re scoring. It’s what we’ve given up. They’re battling. You’ve got to feel for them because they’re laying everything on the line. As I said, if you had told me we were going to score three against Washington, I was hoping we could get some points out of it.”

Tampa Bay is home Tuesday night against Arizona.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Rowdies lose final exhibition game to Miami; season opener next week

It was hardly the way that Tampa Bay Rowdies’ head coach Stuart Campbell wanted his team’s final tuneup to go.

The Rowdies lost a 3-0 decision to Miami FC in an exhibition game Saturday, when “two crazy minutes” led to their downfall.

Tampa Bay gave up two goals in two minutes, then another seven minutes later, in losing their final game before next week’s season open against Orlando B.

“It’s a very flattering score for Miami,” Campbell said. “For 88 minutes, it was a good performance by us. We dominated a really good team and created more than enough chances, but then there were two crazy minutes.”

In the 67th minute, Miami’s Stefano Pinho pounced on a loose touch in the Rowdies’ defensive ranks to bear down one-on-one against goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald. A minute later, Kwadwo Poku picked off another soft pass in the Rowdies’ end and fed Pinho for his second goal in two minutes.

Enzo Rennella scored Miami’s third goal.

“The first goal was a big deflection that ended up with one of our players basically assisting their goal, which can happen from time to time,” Campbell said. “But the biggest disappointment is to go on and concede a second right away. That’s a sucker punch. We fell behind against the run of play when we were the team in the ascendency. We have to be more disciplined in that situation.”

“It was a very good performance, yet we lost 3-0,” Campbell said. “It’s preseason and I got more than what I wanted from the team because they really played a good game apart from those two minutes. But preseason or not, you still want to win and we didn’t do that so it wasn’t enough. It may not be such a bad thing in the end because there will be no complacency from the team going into the season opener.”

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Lightning clobbered by Toronto in its race toward the NHL playoffs

Think of the ice at Amalie Arena as a giant windshield.

Now think of the Tampa Bay Lightning as a bug.

Splat.

Got it?

The Lightning, playing so well as of late, were clobbered at home in Thursday night’s game, losing 5-0 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bolts, who had just passed the Leafs in the standings, now are playing chance once again.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said it was his team’s defense, which had been good lately, that led to the defeat.

“The thing that was missing was the defending of shots,” said Cooper. “That’s the thing we weren’t doing. There is a spot 10 feet out, this little 10×10 area in front of our net. That was the only area of the ice we didn’t play. Clearly, that’s the most important part (on the ice.) We’ve been so good defending as of late. That’s why we’ve had success, and tonight, we didn’t (defend.) It looks bad on (goalie Andrei) Vasilevskiy, but there’s not much you can do when guys are tapping them in and winning battles.”

Vasilevskiy, who was 6-0-1 in his previous seven games, was pulled after giving up his fourth goal on 15 shots in the second period. Cooper said, however, the problem was the defense. “It was a rest pull more than anything,” he said.

It was only the third time all season the Bolts had lost by five goals and it’s first since a Jan. 5 loss to Columbus.

Twelve games remain for Tampa Bay. If the team is going to salvage this season, it needs to take advantage of Saturday night’s home game against Washington.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Victor Hedman scores in overtime as Lightning wins another

Just like that, they’re back in it.

The torrid Tampa Bay Lightning won again Monday night, beating the Ottawa Senators 2-1 in overtime to tie – momentarily, at least – the New York Islanders for the last wild-card slot with 77 points.

Victor Hedman scored the winning goal for the Bolts, taking a perfect pass from Ondrej Palat and scoring with 55 seconds left in the overtime. Brayden Point had scored the first goal for Tampa Bay.

Andrei Vasilevski continued his solid play in net, stopping 32 of 33 shots. Vasilveskiy is 5-0-1 in his last six games.

The Bolts have now picked up at least a point in 15 of its last 17 games.

“To be perfectly honest, we haven’t been looking ahead, it’s just, ‘Who are we playing tonight?’” coach Jon Cooper said. “Now we can sit here and say clearly the Toronto game’s a big game for us. Last night was the Rangers, tonight it was Ottawa. Those boys, man are they battling hard. It’s been a lot of fun to be behind the bench with these guys. It was a lot of fun. That was a heck of a hockey game by the way. I don’t know if you guys saw the same thing, but oh man was it fast.”

The Bolts come home Thursday night for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“The last time we played them – we haven’t played them in a while — I think we took the penalty in overtime and they scored,” Cooper said. “Does it add a little bit because it’s the Leafs and the position we’re in? It should be a fun time Thursday night. But there’s still a lot of hockey left to play. Just because it’s the Leafs and we’re battling them, we’ve just got to keep getting points, regardless who it’s against. These two are going to be just as big as the two against Toronto and the two we’ve got to play Washington on Saturday. We’ve just got to keep playing the way we are.”

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Rookie Brayden Point leads the Lightning as its hot streak continues

So how did you spend your 21st birthday?

Odds are, Brayden Point has you beat. On Monday night, the rookie Point took over Madison Square Garden, scoring two goals to lead the Lightning to a 3-2 victory and brought the team to within one point of the final wild-card spot.

Point scored in the first and third periods, bringing his season total to 11 goals.

“I know this is cliché, it’s been used a million times, but he’s a hockey player,” coach Jon Cooper said. “It’s what he is. You saw it in the first development camp he came to us, he was more undersized than he is now, but I truly believe when you have commitment and the work ethic, that’s your first thing that you notice on a player, everything else will fall into place. And that’s what that kid has. He goes into a corner, and it doesn’t matter the size of the guy he’s going in against, I’m always sitting there thinking, ‘He’s going to come out with this.’ And you’ve got to have a will, and he does.”

Goaltender Peter Budaj notched his first win for the Bolts, stopping 26 of 28 shots. Rookie Gabriel Dumont also scored a goal, his second of the year.

“Just exceptional effort on a night where I actually thought both teams were off,” Cooper said. “And so that game was up for the taking. You’ve got to tip your hat to (Budaj) for making a big save on (Chris) Kreider in the opening minute. If he doesn’t stop that, who knows where our momentum goes. We weather the storm in the first, pretty fortunate to come out 1-1. The power play’s kind of chipping away for us, and then after that, it was anybody’s game. Our goalie just happened to make one more save than there’s and then the little engine that could, Point. He came through big for us.”

The Lightning has now pointed in 14 of its last 16 games (11-2-3). Tampa Bay plays at Ottawa tonight.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Lightning overcomes two-goal deficit to take big win over Florida

The Tampa Bay Lightning is treating this playoff race like something real.

The Lightning won a memorable game against the Florida Panthers Saturday night, coming from a two-goal deficit to take a 3-2 victory. The Bolts are now 10-2-3 in their last 15 games.

After falling behind 2-0, the Bolts came back on a power-play by Nikita Kucherov, a short-handed goal by Yanni Gourde (his first in the NHL) and a tiebreaking goal off a deflection by Ondrej Palat. It was Kucherov’s 31st goal, and it tied him for the league lead in power-play goals.

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper didn’t seem concerned that his team was down two goals in a hurry.

“To be honest, we were in the room thinking that there’s no way we should be down 2-0 in that game,” Cooper said. “I think the scoring chances were pretty even, shots were pretty even. Coby’s untimely break of his stick keeps the puck in the zone, and that was a tough break. The first one, I guess you realize why Jagr’s got 700-plus goals, to score a goal like that from that angle.

“So we thought, OK, maybe a couple of these weren’t getting the breaks, but we thought we were earning ours. We could’ve easily been up 2-0 in that period going into the break, but there was a lot of fight in the boys we had left. We felt we were playing well enough. It was keep working the way we were, and things will pay off, and they eventually did.”

For the Bolts, it was one of the team’s more impressive home stands of the season.

“Sometimes a little youthful exuberance injected in there, and guys don’t really care,” Cooper said. “They just want to go and try their hardest and try and win. Everybody knows where we are right now and it is desperation mode. The guys are playing with it.

“I don’t know how many kids we had that started the year in the minors that were in the lineup tonight. We talked earlier in the year. It’s not the 22 guys or the 23 guys at the start of the year that make this team. It’s 30-plus that are a part of our team. You need everybody to win.”

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevski is 5-0-1 in his last six games.

The Bolts travel to New York to face the Rangers on Monday and then on  to Ottawa on Tuesday.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Bucs add former Dallas safety J.J. Wilcox to free agent signings

The Tampa Bay Bucs added safety J.J. Wilcox to their free agent signings Saturday.

Wilcox, 26, is a former third-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys who should compete for former safety Bradley McDougald’s old job.

He has started 38-of-58 regular season games played for the Cowboys over the past four seasons (2013-16), totaling 196 tackles, 15 passes defensed, five interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

 A native of Cairo, Georgia, Wilcox played collegiately at Georgia Southern. He played only one year of college football.

 

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons