Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Volleyball: District pairings

photo by Tim  Wolfrum
Lakewood  Ranch's volleyball team has reason to celebrate - the  Mustangs are the top seed in next week's Class 7A-District 10 tournament.
Here are the pairings for the tournaments involving area teams. The top two finishers in each district advance to the regional  playoffs, which begin Tuesday, Oct.  28 (Classes 2A,  4A,  6A and 8A) and   Wednesday, Oct.  29 (1A, 3A, 5A, 7A).
Each team's seeds are in parentheses.

(4)  St. Petersburg at (1) Manatee, 7 p.m.
(3) Riverview at (2) Palm Harbor University,  7 p.m.
7 highest remaining seed

(5) Palmetto at (4) North Port, 7 p.m.
Palmetto/North Port at (1) Lakewood Ranch, 7 p.m.
(3) Braden River at (2) Sarasota, 7 p.m.
7 p.m.  at highest remaining seed

(5)   St.  Petersburg Gibbs at (4) St. Petersburg Lakewood, 7 p.m.
Gibbs/Lakewood at (1) Gulfport Boca Ciega,  7  p.m.
(3) Southeast at (2) Bayshore, 7 p.m.
7 p.m. at highest remaining seed

(5) Imagine School of North Port vs. (4) Saint Stephen's, 7 p.m.
Imagine School/Saint Stephen's  vs.  (1) Cardinal Mooney, 5  p.m.
(3) Bradenton Christian vs. (2) Out-of-Door  Academy, 7 p.m.
7 p.m.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Golf: District tournaments

Philip Knowles and Bradenton Christian's boys golf team head to Bent Tree Country Club on Monday for the Class 1A-District 17 golf tournament
Proof the fall season is winding down: The playoffs are upon us beginning with the district golf meets, scheduled for next week at various sites.
The top three teams  in each district advance to regional play and the top three individuals not on regional-qualifying teams advance, as well.
Here is the information involving local  schools.

DISTRICT: Class  3A-District 14
LOCALS: Braden River,  Lakewood Ranch, Manatee
BOYS: 8 a.m.  Monday, Misti Creek Country Club, Sarasota
GIRLS: Noon, Tuesday, Mission Valley  Country Club, Nokomis

DISTRICT: Class  2A-District 19
LOCALS: Bayshore,  Palmetto, Southeast
BOYS and GIRLS: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Golf Hammock Golf and Country Club, Sebring

DISTRICT: Class 1A-District 17
LOCALS: Bradenton Christian, Cardinal  Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy,   Saint Stephen's
BOYS:  10 a.m. Monday, Bent Tree Country Club, Sarasota
GIRLS: 11 a.m.    Monday, Tatum Ridge Golf  Links,  Sarasota

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Football: Sloan Drummonds is Manatee's quarterback

A balanced Manatee attack will ease the workload of running back Johnnie Lang
As Manatee approaches the most critical stretch of its schedule, head coach John Booth has decided to put senior Sloan Drummonds under center.
A transfer from Sebastian River, Drummonds has had an eventful year at Manatee, leaving the team after the Kickoff  Classic before  deciding to return.  But his performance Saturday at Southeast, where he threw for 180 yards and three touchdowns while running for another in his Manatee debut, convinced Booth that Drummonds is the best option heading Thursday's Class 8A-Distrit 7 opener at Riverview.
"Sloan did a great job for us in creating some balance in what we were trying to do," Booth said following practice Wednesday.
Drummonds was slowed by an injury over the summer and was replaced by sophomore A.J.  Colagiovanni. But as the season progressed,  Manatee become  more  reliant on running back Johnnie Lang, who leads the area with 765 rushing yards while averaging close  to 30 carries per game lining up mostly in the wildcat.
"We looked at it and said, 'There's no  way we'll be able to run Johnnie like that for the course of the season,'" said Booth, whose brother,  James,  is Manatee's  offensive coordinator. "And we were going to get into some teams that were going to load the box, go cover zero and force Johnnie to throw. So  we're going to have to be able to find  some balance,  and  Sloan  did that for us against Southeast."
Lang will still be used out of the wildcat, however.
"That's  just been so successful for us," Booth said, "so it would be silly to not use that."
Colagiovanni completed 21 of 43 attempts for 307 yards, three interceptions and a touchdown. And Booth praised the sophomore for how he has handled the personnel   shift.
"A.J.'s been, I can't even stress, he's been fantastic," Booth said. "He's been very supportive,  he understands, and we tried to be very honest with him, as well. And he's responded well.  And he's been very supportive of Sloan and he's just a team guy, and he's  looking forward to being whatever role he could  do  for the team this year and improving and building to hopefully where he can get out there and play in the future."
The Hurricanes are 4-1 overall and host Palmetto next week before playing St. Petersburg on Oct.  17 in a key district game in Bradenton. Following a bye week Oct. 24, Manatee closes district play Oct. 31 at Palm Harbor University and wraps the regular season Nov. 7 at Venice.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Prep football: Manatee, IMG nationally ranked

photo by Grant Jefferies
Manatee is back in the national rankings.
Winners of four straight following Saturday's  39-26 win over rival Southeast, the Hurricanes are ranked 71st in the HSFB100 at
Ranked No.1 in three different national polls during the 2012 season, Manatee entered this season unranked. But Manatee began last week ninth in Class 8A by The Associated Press.
The Hurricanes open Class  8A-District 7 on Thursday at Riverview. Manatee has won 50 straight regular-season games against Florida opponents and has not lost a district game since Oct. 31,  2008 at Venice.
IMG Academy also cracked the HSFB100, entering the list at 89 after beating New Jersey's   St.Peter's  Prep.  St. Peter's entered the game ranked fifth and is now 27th.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Volleyball: Lakewood Ranch wins county title

photo by Tim Wolfum
Lakewood Ranch swept Manatee (25-22, 25-22) to win the Manatee County volleyball tournament Saturday at Braden River.
It was the Mustangs' first county championship since 2007.
The Hurricanes had won the last two titles.
For more on the Mustangs' win, check out Sunday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.
Here is the all-tournament team:
Bayshore - Kristen Fleury
Braden River - Siena Kelly
Bradenton Christian - Savannah Shontere
Lakewood Ranch - Nicole Grant, Courtney Rapp
Manatee - Haley Coulter, Jacqui Armer
Palmetto - Whitley Canezo
Saint Stephen's - Bryce Liebel
Southeast - Emma Bartges

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - Nicole Grant, Lakewood Ranch

Monday, September 22, 2014

Volleyball: County tournament information

Manatee will be looking for its third straight county title Friday and Saturday at Braden River.
Braden River will host this year's  Manatee County volleyball tournament, which gets underway 4:30  p.m. Friday and resumes 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Pirates reached the finals  last year for the first time and fell to Manatee, which won its second straight title and seventh overall.
The eight teams will be split into Pools A and B and the top two finishers from each pool advance to the Gold Bracket  to play off for the championship and third place.
The third- and fourth-place teams will play for fifth and seventh place in the Silver Bracket.
The championship and fifth-place games are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.
Listed below is the information for this year's  tournament with each team's seed in parentheses. Seeding is based on last year's  results.

POOL A - (1) Manatee, (4) Saint Stephen's, (5) Bradenton Christian, (8) Bayshore.
POOL B - (2) Braden River, (3)  Lakewood  Ranch, (6) Southeast, (7) Palmetto.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Volleyball: Manatee alum Butler doing well at Mars Hill

Former  Manatee volleyball  player Becca Butler has had little trouble finding success at the college level.
A freshman at Mars Hills University, a Division II school in North Carolina,  Butler earned All-Tournament Team honors for her play Saturday during the CSU Cougar Invitational at Columbus State.
Butler, an outside hitter, had 20 kills,  10 digs and eight blocks during the tournament. She is second on the team with 73 kills,  which is also good for 11th in the South Atlantic Conference.
Butler was named The Herald's All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year  in 2013 after helping the Hurricanes win the Class 8A-District 8 title.