Monday, September 14, 2009

Southeast-Manatee not sullied

Southeast's loss against Lakewood Ranch shouldn't diminish the latest Southeast-Manatee game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium.
Would it be better if both teams were 2-0? Sure. But despite the loss, the Seminoles (1-1) are still ranked 10th in the state in Class 3A.
Manatee, which breezed past Bayshore and Palmetto during the first two weeks of the season, is third in Class 5A.
These teams are good. Both should make the playoffs and make spirited runs at a district championship. And try telling the players this game has lost its zest.
Southeast's Jonathan Dowling, for one, has never beaten Manatee. And Manatee's Ace Sanders wants to end his prep career with three straight wins over the Noles after Southeast beat the Canes in 2006, as does Brion Carnes, who made his varsity debut against Southeast that night.
And this is the last time Sanders, Carnes and Dowling, some of the top prep players in the country, will get their chance to leave a mark on the rivalry, which Southeast leads by a 14-13 margin.
Yes, Southeast-Manatee still means something, regardless of what happened last week. It will ALWAYS mean something.
And it will mean plenty come Friday.

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