Manatee's football team has been labeled by MaxPreps as one of 25 national contenders for the 2010 prep football season.
The Hurricanes were ranked 15th on the list, and MaxPreps.com writer Stephen Spiewak said Manatee re-established itself as a football powerhouse last season despite falling to Tampa Plant in the Class 5A state championship game.
"The Hurricanes have a foundation in place that could position them to be better in 2010," Spiewak writes.
He notes that the team's two top players from last season, quarterback Brion Carnes and wide receiver Ace Sanders, are being replaced by the talented tandem of Cord Sandberg and Quenton Bundrage, which teamed for four touchdowns during Manatee's spring victory over Palm Bay Bayside last Friday.
Electric playmaker Mike Blakely returns, along with most of the defense - most notably the front four of Drakkar Wilson, brothers Chris and Quinton Pompey, and Marquis Dawsey.
Dawsey saw time at linebacker against Bayside, an idea that was tossed around last season.
Click here to see the rest of the top 25 football teams throughout the country, according to maxpreps.com.