Are You Ready for Some Football … and a Lot More Sports?

Are You Ready for Some Football … and a Lot More Sports?

College Sports in Polk County from a Brand New Perspective

BY SCOTT GIROUARD

As the Dog Days of summer drag on throughout Polk County, something different is in the air. Always a hotbed for High School Sports, residents here had to travel to Gainesville, Tallahassee, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami or even further for their College sports fix. This is no longer true. Our local schools have expanded their offerings over the last few years and grown their athletic departments as well. The long traditions of Florida Southern Baseball and Polk State Basketball are joined by programs from Southeastern, Warner and Webber Universities. All five four year institutions in Polk County have strong athletic programs for both men and women.

Recognizing the evolving sports landscape in Polk County, the Ledger Media Group has launched PolkCollegeSports.com. Always known for its strong coverage of local High School sports, the Ledger Sports Department felt the need for greater focus on local college sports as the interest in them has increased. With the naming of Ray Beasock as the editor of the site, coverage of local colleges has greatly increased. Beasock is a local writer, graduating from Auburndale High School (1996), Polk State College (1998) and Florida Southern College (2001).

PolkCollegeSports.com is built on the same premise as the Ledger’s popular PolkPreps website. The website, sponsored by Hill Nissan, concentrates all college sports news in one place. With an emphasis on Polk County colleges, the site makes it easy for the reader to find the information they are seeking. Each local college with a sports program (Florida Southern, Polk State, Southeastern, Warner and Webber) has a dedicated section, with out-of-county college news combined on the NCAA sports section. On the college sections, there are links to schedules, websites, twitter links, and the latest news from the schools.

090112 sw warriors 13 sports.jpgKeep up to date on the latest recruiting news about Polk County players, or follow their collegiate exploits either in Polk County or elsewhere. Want to catch a local game? You can quickly check all local college calendars right from the site. Love Social Media? Polk College Sports has a Facebook Fan page facebook.com/PolkCollegeSports where you can follow the activity right in your newsfeed. If Twitter is your preference, follow the site @Ledger_Colleges.

The biggest change in local college sports, however, comes Saturday night, September 7, at 7:00PM as College Football comes to Polk County. At that time, at Legion Field in Lake Wales, the Lake Caloosa Clash will kick off between the Webber International Warriors and The Warner University Royals. The rivals’ meeting on Sept. 7 will be the first-ever meeting between Polk County schools on the gridiron.

The title of the game, Lake Caloosa Clash, is significant to both schools and represents the long history both have on the shore of Lake Caloosa. Commonly known today as Crooked Lake, one of the largest bodies of water in the state of Florida was once named after the Calusa Indian tribe which inhabited the area dating back to the 1700s.

The Warriors open their 12th season on Aug. 31 on the road versus Faulkner University at 7 p.m. The Royals begin their inaugural season Aug. 31 at Stetson University. The two schools will be joined in 2014 by Southeastern University as that school launches its inaugural season next fall.

As part of the celebration and to encourage school spirit, Polk College Sports and Hill Nissan will sponsor a College Sports Spirit Award of Polk County Contest. The contest launches on August 21st and runs through September 30th. Students and the public will be allowed to vote for their favorite college in Polk County to show their spirit. The winning school will receive a trophy and bragging rights for Polk County; in addition, a $500 Donation will be given to that school’s College Athletic Department. For information on the contest, see PolkCollegeSports.com.

Whatever the sport, whatever the news – if it happens in or is about Polk County, PolkCollegeSports.com will cover it. As the student athletes are coming back from summer break and getting ready for the school year, make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action. Check out www.PolkCollegeSports.com.

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