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James FrancoCourtesy photo / James Franco, shown here at , is the grand marshal for the Daytona 500.  Last year's grand marshal was swimsuit model Kate Upton. The 2012 Daytona 500 was won by Matt Kenseth. The video highlights the first two laps.

DAYTONA BEACH -- The Daytona 500 is going Hollywood. James Franco, star of the Disney adventure "Oz The Great and Powerful," which is scheduled for release on March 8, will serve as grand marshal for the 55th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

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Newspaper Section: 
By Dan Forcella
For Headline Surfer
 

FORT MYERS – The Stetson men’s basketball team (9-11, 6-3) fell behind early and lost to Florida Gulf Coast (14-8, 6-3) by a score of 96-65 on the road Friday night. Junior Chris Perez scored 21 points and senior Adam Pegg recorded his third double-double of the season to lead the Hatters in the defeat.

“They came out on a mission,” Stetson head coach Casey Alexander said of the Eagles. “We were prepared for it, but we didn’t respond to it, and that’s the disappointing thing. There are going to be runs in every game, and sometimes when it’s after the opening tip, it’s a real challenge to settle yourself down. We never did.”

FGCU opened the scoring with a three-pointer by Chase Fieler, and the Eagles were off to the races from there. Stetson fell behind by eight points, at 12-4, through three minutes, before making what ended up as its only true run to get into the game.

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NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- New Smyrna Beach High Principal Jim Tager is beaming with pride over the football team's undefeated regular season, despite the playoff loss to Winter Haven. Headline Surfer interviewed him after the game for "The Sunday Conversation."

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Headline Surfer videos by Multimedia Editor Serafina King Frederick / The NSB High Cudas defeat Spuce Creek 41-14, to go 9-0 on the regular season a week ago Friday at home.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- It's the final countdown now fo the New Smyrna Beach High School Cudas football team with an undefeated regular season making way tonight against No. 10 ranked Winter Haven in the playoffs.

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NSB High School homecoming court / Headline Surfer

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Are you ready for some football?

It's Homecoming tonight for the undefeated New Smyrna Beach High School Cudas against Deltona. The game starts at 7 p.m. at the NSB Stadium.

Editor's Note: Homecoming court names on the inside plus complete video highlights of the Cudas' last home-game thriller over Mainland High, 24-21.

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Cudas logoCudas QB Marcus JohnsonHeadline Surfer photo by Henry Frederick / Cudas QB Marcus Johnson, shown here from the victory over Mainland last week at home,  was 9 for 13 for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the 40-0 win Thursday at Titusville.

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Orlando Magic player Chris Johnson / Headline SurferThe Orlando Magic signed free agent small forward Chris Johnson, 22, waivbed by the LA Clippers. Orlando's roster now stands at 20, but must be reduced by Nov. 1, the day before the Magic open the regular season at home gainst the Denver Nuggets.

ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward Chris Johnson, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Per team policy, terms of the deal with Johnson, 22, were not disclosed. He was cut last week by the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

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Cudas football / Headline SurferDELAND -- A defensive play in overtime resulted in a 92-yard touchdown that led the New Smyrna Beach 'Cudas over the DeLand Bulldogs, 41-35, Friday night at Spec Mark Stadium.

DeLand led 21-0, in what looked to be a blowout, but New Smyrna Beach came back strong in the second half to tie the game at the end of regulation.

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Headline Surfer/NSBNews.net videos by Sera Frederick / The 2011-'12 New Smyrna Beach High School Cudas were led by QB John Brisbois.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The Cudas football squad showed a lot of heart during the 2011-'12 season led by quarterback Josh Brisbois -- a young team with as many as 20 starters coming back next season.

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DAYTONA BEACH -- It was only the second day of pre-season practice for Bethune-Cookman volleyball, but coach Isaac Raphael was nonetheless pleased with his team's progress.

"We're way ahead of where we were last year," Raphael said after Friday's second session. "We may be ahead of where we were at the middle of last season. The newcomers may not be physically accustomed to two-a-days, but volleyball-wise, they have the fundamentals."

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