Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain shakes up Sarasota Baseball Classic

Inclement weather has postponed the locals involvement in the Sarasota Baseball Classic.
Palmetto, Lakewood Ranch and Manatee had their games pushed back to Tuesday because of heavy rain that pelted the area over the weekend.
Braden River and Cardinal Mooney had their games delayed Monday.
Check back to Prep Rally, as well as, for additional information on the tournament, which runs through Thursday.

Ansbro's son serving as bat boy

Kenny Ansbro's son, Kenny, is serving as the Pittsburgh Pirates' bat boy during today's game at McKechnie Field.
Kenny Ansbro is the athletic director and former boys basketball coach at Palmetto High.
His son is 12 and got the assignment through Little League.
"He's excited," the elder Ansbro said Monday while standing outside the Pirates clubhouse. "He was a little nervous with this weather."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Perez excited about his chance

I just spoke with Chris Perez, the Holmes Beach native and former Manatee Hurricane, about inheriting the role as the Cleveland Indians' closer. Though he's not happy that it came at the expense of Kerry Wood, who could miss as much as two months with a back injury, he's excited to prove that he can close games, which he did very effectively during his collegiate career at Miami.
"It (stinks) the way it came about, but I'm excited," Perez said Saturday morning from the Indians' spring-training complex in Goodyear, Ariz. "I can't wait."
To read more about Perez's big opportunity, check out Sunday's edition of The Herald.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's official: Manatee heading to Pittsburgh

Manatee's football team has signed a contract to play at Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Sept. 4, coach Joe Kinnan said Thursday.
It will serve as the Hurricanes' season opener.
Woodland Hills plays at Wolvarena, which USA Today ranked as one of the top 10 spots in the country to watch a high school football game in 2001.
Manatee was originally planned to play New Jersey power Don Bosco Prep, the No. 1 ranked team in the country, but that fell through.
For more on this story, check out Friday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lakewood Ranch's girls soccer team win academic team championship

Lakewood Ranch's girls soccer team has been declared an academic team champion by the Florida High School Athletic Association.
The Mustangs' cumulative grade-point average of 3.635 was the highest among the state's Class 4A girls soccer teams, earning the school a championship plaque at the end of the school year.
Lakewood Ranch succeeded on the field too, reaching the state final four for the first time in program history.
Lakewood Ranch's name appeared frequently in the final academic standings, which were released Tuesday by the FHSAA. The boys placed seventh in basketball (3.178 GPA), second in soccer (3.37) and fourth in wrestling (3.122).
Aside from the soccer team placing first, the girls were fourth in basketball (3.459), second in weightlifting (3.542) and sixth in competitive cheerleading (3.361).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Campbell out at Manatee

Shawn Campbell, Manatee's boys basketball coach the past two years, has been relieved of his duities, according to an email Campbell sent out Monday afternoon.
"Our staff was stunned," the email read, "as we had had two successful seasons including a second place (finish) in district and a solid performance in the regional."
Manatee athletic director Joe Kinnan said he and principal Robert Gagnon came to this decision.
"We want to try and take this to the next level," Kinnan said Monday. "It was very difficult with (Campbell) not being on staff here."
Campbell teaches at the Manatee School for the Arts.
Asked to apraise Campbell's performance, Kinnan said, "We've made progress."
Manatee went 31-21 under Campbell, reaching the regional playoffs this year for the first time since 2002.
For more on this story, check out Tuesday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Perez to get a shot at closing

Chris Perez, a graduate of The Pendleton School and a native of Holmes Beach, has become the Cleveland Indians' interim closer now that Kerry Wood will miss up to two weeks with an upper back strain.
"I think Chris can handle the job," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro told The Associated Press. "It's on an interim basis. The situation with Kerry is not one we think is going to be long term. It's disappointing, but you don't usually go through a spring without some challenging news."
Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006, Perez, who went to Manatee before transferring to Pendleton for his senior year, was dealt to Cleveland last June.
"It stinks for our team because we were hoping he would bounce back big this year," Perez told the AP. "At the same time, other people have to step up, and I guess that starts with me. I'll try to not miss a beat and keep doing what I've been doing."
Perez broke into the big leagues in '08, and has posted a 3.92 ERA with nine saves in 102 games.
The oft-injured Wood had 20 saves last season for the Indians.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bayshore fills schedule with Jacksonville Bolles

Bayshore's football team has filled the vacancy on its schedule with Jacksonville Bolles, which will head to Balvanz Stadium during Week 1 of the regular season.
The Bruins had been looking for an opponent after Manatee, Bayshore's original Week 1opponent, decided to play New Jesery powerhouse Don Bosco Prep.
That game was cancelled when Don Bosco decided to pull out of the game in March.
Bolles won the Class 2B state championship last season.
"We got a lot of offers from a lot of good schools," said Bayshore coach Jean P. Gordon. "Might as well take the best from the good. Bolles, obviously, is a very good footall program. They do it year after year."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gilbert to walk on at Miami

Former Palmetto quarterback Ethan Gilbert will try to walk on to the football team at the University of Miami this summer.
Gilbert was hoping to walk on sooner, but was told the Hurricanes don't allow walk ons during the spring. They play their spring game March 27.
"I'll be talking to the coaches the following Monday," Gilbert said while watching Tuesday night's Manatee County weightlifting meet at Lakewood Ranch.
Gilbert transferred to Miami from Methodist University in Fayetville, N.C., though not solely for sports. He wants to major in civil engineering, and only pre-engineering was offered at Methodist.
Now that he is at Miami, he wants to play football.
"I have four years to get on the field," said Gilbert, who led Palmetto to a district title in 2008.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pirates to honor Hurricanes on Wednesday

Manatee High's football team will be honored prior to Wednesday night's game at McKechnie Field between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles.
The game begins at 7:05.
Manatee coach Joe Kinnan, who led the Hurricanes to the Class 5A state title game in December, is slated to throw out the first pitch.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bosco backs out of big game

Don Bosco Prep, the New Jersey football powerhouse, has back out of its scheduled game with Manatee, according to a press release issued by Manatee principal Robert Gagnon and football coach and athletic director Joe Kinnan.
The game was supposed to be played Sept. 24, 2010 at Don Bosco Prep.
For more information, see Saturday's edition of The Herald.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Five area teams to play in Sarasota Baseball Classic

Braden River, Cardinal Mooney, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee and Palmetto will compete in the 2010 Sarasota Baseball Classic. The annual tournament runs from March 29 through April 1 at various sites around Sarasota.

Listed below are the March 29 first-round pairings for the area schools:

Premier Bracket
Palmetto vs. Naples Barron Collier, 4:30 p.m. at Baltimore Orioles Baseball Complex
Estero vs. Lakewood Ranch, 4:30 p.m. at Batimore Orioles Baseball Complex
Manatee vs. Fort Myers Bishop Verot, 7:30 p.m. at Baltimore Orioles Baseball Complex

Elite Bracket
Cardinal Mooney vs. Naples, 4 p.m., Venice High School
Braden River vs. West Orange, 10 a.m., Sarasota High School

Monday, March 1, 2010

Prep baseball: Hurricanes, Falcons worth checking out

Though the prep baseball seasons is still in its infancy, Tuesday night's non-district game between Saint Stephen's and Manatee is worth a look.
First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. under the lights at G.T. Bray.
The Falcons are 4-2 one year after winning their sixth district title - and first since 2003 - under head coach Rob Viera, a Manatee alum now in his second season at Saint Stephen's.
Manatee (3-0) made strides in head coach Dwayne Strong's second season last spring, reaching the regional playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Tuesday's game is the lone meeting this year for the two teams, who did not play each other in 2009.

Softball back at Saint Stephen's

After a one-year hiatus, softball has returned to Saint Stephen's.
Coached by Stephanie Travis, the Falcons are 0-2 and head to St. Petersburg Shorecrest 4 p.m. Tuesday.
More importantly, however, is Saint Stephen's is playing. That wasn't the case last spring, when the Falcons didn't garner enough interest to field a team. It was a blow to a program that had won five district titles since 2001, with the latest coming in '08.
Now, however, the Falcons, who are also fielding a junior-varsity team, are back. They play their first home game 4 p.m. Friday against Southeast.