Alan Dell

DELL COMMENTARY: Ray Bellamy gets long overdue nomination

In a long overdue act, Ray Bellamy's nomination for the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame has been accepted.

The former Lincoln High great who broke the color barrier for major college football players in the South in the 1960s hopefully will get the tribute he richly deserves.

Bellamy became the Jackie Robinson of college football in the Southeast when he signed with Miami in 1966 and made it possible for African-American players to play college football South of the Mason-Dixon line.

Like Robinson, Bellamy had to be more than a just a great athlete. He was a good student, president of the student body at Lincoln and tough enough to endure the harassment he received at Miami, especially during his early years.

Ed Dick, who recruited Bellamy out of Lincoln, put his name up for nomination. Bellamy will be on the list for three years. The first vote for this year was last Monday.

Mike Knowles, former Manatee High coach and Hall of Famer, is voting member of the FHSAA Hall of Fame. He said Bellamy deserves it and believes he has great chance to get in.

Bellamy was a three- sport star at Lincoln, but football was his strength.

The 6-foot-6 receiver with soft hands and blazing speed was destined for a great career at Miami until he was injured in a near fatal auto accident. It robbed him of his extraordinary skills, but he adapted and in 1971 he was voted the University of Miami's first African-American student body president.

Hopefully the wheels of justice will turn right for Bellamy.

Lakewood Ranch head

baseball coach Ryan Kennedy, who led the Mustangs to a state title as a player and played second base in college and the pros, doesn't believe high schools need to change the slide rule into second base, which says runners must slide into the base.

"It didn't affect me as a player. If you have proper footwork around the bag at second base, players create a throwing lane to where players slide into the bag and you are protected," Kennedy said. "A second baseman is a little more vulnerable because you don't have eyes on the runner when receiving the ball. But you get a feel of when you need to get rid of the ball and protect yourself by understanding the speed of the runners."

Southeast basketball standout Ronald Taylor, a first-team All-Area selection last year as a junior when he averaged 18.5 points and 6.3 rebounds, said he has been invited to work out at Florida State in hopes of making the team as a walk-on.

His teammate, Tre Alexandrea, also a first-team selection last year, plans to sign with State College of Florida on Friday. The guard recently revealed he played a good part of his senior season with a dislocated thumb on his shooting hand.

The recent senior All-Star basketball game between Manatee and Sarasota County proved successful on the floor and at the gate, which raises hopes it will continue annually. The game used to be run by PAL, but was discontinued several years ago due to lack of interest.

With one week left in the regular season, Tyler Dyson has still not allowed an earned run in a string of innings that has reached 42 2/3.

During that stretch, the right-hander has struck out 48 and allowed only two extra base hits. In his most recent game, a 2-1 victory against Brandon, he was charged with an unearned run in 8 innings. He allowed only four hits and struck out 11.

Southeast softball pitcher Rebecca Boesen might be flying under the radar, but the senior right-hander has been impressive. She ended the regular season with a 1.84 ERA that included 186 strikeouts in 106 innings, which has her ninth in the MaxPreps rankings.

On the flip side, Bayshore's Miriam Schmoll is flying above the clouds and a reason the Bruins (12-3) could make a deep run into the postseason that begins next week.

Coming off her injury-shortened season in 2015, the junior right-hander ranks fourth in the state with a 0.19 ERA. She has 132 strikeouts in 74 innings, has allowed 11 hits all season and has thrown three no-hitters.

Alan Dell, Herald sports columnist/writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports

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