Thursday, October 1, 2009

Non-district game means plenty to Canes

There's no comparison between district and non-district football games. District games mean everything - win them and you're in the playoffs.
Win your non-league games and, makes for a nice overall record.
Consequently, Manatee coach Joe Kinnan has had his players focused on winning the county championship, which the Hurricanes can take a step toward clinching Friday at Lakewood Ranch.
Manatee is 3-0, having scored wins over Bayshore, Palmetto and Southeast.
"That's something we set our sights on," he said. "It gives us some extra incentive for those five (non-district) game."
Following Friday's game with the 2-2 Mustangs, Manatee heads to Sarasota for its Class 5A-District 10 opener. The Canes missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2004.
"We had a very good week of practice last week. We made progress, which is good," Kinnan said, referring to Manatee's bye week. "Now, we're ready to start grinding again."
Lakewood Ranch has already doubled last year's win total and has an improved quarterback in Reggie Lindsey, who has thrown for 519 yards and hasn't been intercepted in 67 attempts.
Kinnan saw Lindsey play twice last season - in a junior-varsity game, and in Manatee and Lakewood Ranch's varsity meeting in Week 10.
"I even made a comment, 'He's better than what they have on the varsity level,'" Kinnan said, who was also quick to refer to the Mustangs' Week 2 win over Southeast.
"It got our players' attention," he said. "We're not overconfident or anything like that. But we're ready to play a game."

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