Sports

Pickleball Proves Great Minds Dink Alike

This article was previously published in Folio in February 2021 and has been updated to include additional resources. To the uninitiated, “pickleball” might sound like some weird appetizer your grandmother brings to family picnics. Or a gala for gherkin lovers. What it actually is, however, is a sport. And not just any sport but one of the fastest growing recreational sports in the U.S. with almost 4.8 million regular players, a 40% increase since 2019. So how is it that a game made up in the ‘60s by a couple of dads to entertain their bored kids become the biggest …

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CSI Companies Swoop in for UNF Partnership

Words by Clayton Tinkle In June the University of North Florida announced extensive upgrades for the UNF Arena, including replacement of the original hardwood floor laid in 1993. The $2.1 million partnership with the Jacksonville-based CSI Companies is planned to cover seven years and will happen in conjunction with other athletic facility upgrades expected to break ground this summer. The most noticeable project will be the new UNF Arena floor, which will be known as CSI Companies Court upon completion. The floor will feature the CSI Companies logo and Atlantic Sun Conference logo, as well as new “SWOOP” graphics under …

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Another Golden Era in Gainesville?

Clayton Tinkle In March of 2022, the University of Florida hired the analytics-driven Todd Golden to fill their head coaching vacancy on the hardwood. The move was widely regarded as an upgrade by fans and alumni alike who had grown tired of Mike White and his lack of ability to get over the proverbial hump. White, who left the Gators in March for a job at the University of Georgia, was just “OK” in Gainesville … and sometimes that’s OK. Expectations are high in Gainesville, as they should be, right? The Gators, after all, have won two NCAA National Championships. …

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New Kid on the Block

Tiffany Nieves joins the River City Wrestling Con Tiffany Nieves drove four hours for this. Nieves is only about a dozen matches into her career in professional wrestling, a career that began less than a year ago, and she has already gotten used to the frantic pace at which the business operates. On this day, she had driven up from Orlando to shoot photos with Jacksonville’s own Toni Smailagic, the results of which you are looking at right now. She would then drive right back to Orlando for her final training session, but first we drove around for a half-hour …

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Jazz Bond makes history, becomes first ever UNF basketball player drafted

Clayton Tinkle NFL Draft talk dominated the Bold City’s sports landscape for most of the spring with the Jacksonville Jaguars holding the much anticipated first overall pick. On April 11, that all changed as University of North Florida senior forward Jazz Bond swooped in to take over the headlines on the First Coast. Bond became the first player in the university’s history to be selected in the WNBA Draft when she was picked in the third round, 31st overall, by the Dallas Wings. Bond is no stranger to being first. After transferring from the University of South Florida, the redshirt …

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Poe Pinson Profile

How long have you been skating for? About 13 years. That’s like you learn to walk and push at the same time. Have you been competing the whole time, too? Oh, not really the whole time. My first bigger contest was in 2014/2015 at Exposure in Encinitas, California. That was pretty sick. I was nine or 10. And I got first place in the under 14. It was an all girls contest so it had a super cool vibe. How did you get involved with X-Games stuff? The first Olympic qualifier was a Dew Tour event in 2019. And that …

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Cornhole: More Than a Tailgate Activity- By Quinn Gray

If you ask the average person what they know about cornhole, most will say that it’s an activity that they enjoy playing before another sporting event. What if I told you cornhole has its own sporting events? Meet the ACL, or American Cornhole League, which had its ACL Pro Shootout Championship at Daily’s Place last month. Professional cornhole is a sport I never realized could be so entertaining to watch, not to mention the great community of people who participate in it and manage it. I had the pleasure of getting to talk with ACL Commissioner Stacey Moore, who is …

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The Wonderful World of Water Polo

Jacksonville Water Polo brings the Olympic sport to the First Coast.  The water glitters neon blue. Numbered spheres move back and forth, treading water, chasing the ball unnumbered and moving toward the goal posts on either end of the pool.  All of the spheres but one are heads attached to bodies. The one without the number is the ball. Moving underwater, they’re camouflaged under the illusion of refraction. Referees can only make calls on what’s visible in the air between splashes. A game of grabbing, kicking, dunking and pulling lives freely beneath the surface, where fouls are made even with …

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