Monday, February 28, 2011

Prep soccer: Final classifications

(photo from Oronosports)

Manatee County will look to send a prep soccer team to the state final four for the fourth consecutive time next winter. Listed below are the final classifications unveiled by the Florida High School Athletic Association this week. These include the local teams only.

CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 11 - Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee, Charlotte, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Venice.
CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 10 - Bayshore, Palmetto, Southeast, Dunedin, Gulfport Boca Ciega, St. Petersburg Gibbs, St. Petersburg Lakewood, Seminole Osceola.
CLASS 2A-DISTRICT 11 - Cardinal Mooney, Booker, Clewiston, Fort Myers Bishop Verot, Fort Myers Dunbar, Fort Myers Gateway Charter, LaBelle.
CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 8 - Bradenton Christian, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen's, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut, St. Petersburg Canterbury, St. Petersburg Keswick Christian, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, Sarasota Christian.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prep soccer: The fate of the teams that beat the locals

Lakewood Ranch's boys and girls soccer teams fell short in their quest to win state championships.
What they can take some solace in, however, is they lost to the best.
On the boys side, the Mustangs lost to Cape Coral in overtime during their first trip to the Class 4A-Region 3 final. The Seahawks went on to defeat Chochtawhatche 3-2 in the state championship game.
The girls team, which was looking for a second straight trip to the final four, lost to Lutz Steinbrenner in a Region 3 semifinal. The Warriors, in just their second year of existence, beat Naples Barron Collier to win the Region 3 final and then knocked off Harmony in a state semifinal.
The Warriors then defeated Merritt Island in overtime to claim te state championship.
Saint Stepen's boys team, which advanced to their second state semifinal in three years, fell to eventual state runner-up Jacksonville Providence in a Class 2A state semifinal.
One day after beating the Falcons, Providence lost to Delray Beach American Heritage in the state final.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Prep baseball: Canes' alum Clemen on the hill for SCF

BRADENTON - Manatee High graduate Josh Clemen will toe the rubber for State College of Florida's charity baseball game today against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field.
Clemen is 1-1 with a 3.37 ERA in 5 1/3 innings and five appearances this season for the Manatees. He was 5-7 with a 2.95 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings last year for the Hurricanes en route to making the All-Area First Team.
The Pirates and the Manatees will play a seven-inning game today beginning at 12:05 p.m.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prep baseball: Canes hang with the Buccos

(photo by John Lembo)

BRADENTON - How did you spend your Wednesday?
Reed Carter, picture above in the red shirt, and the rest of Manatee's baseball team shagged flies while the Pittsburgh Pirates took batting practice at Pirate City.
Those two guys standing with Carter? Former Pirate Bill Virdon and Hall-of-Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski, the latter of whom told Carter all about his home run that won the 1960 World Series over the New York Yankees.
For more on the Canes' day at Pirate City, check out Thursday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Panthers and the regional final: A winter tradition

(photo by Paul Videla)

You can spell regional final without BCS.
You just can't have a regional final without BCS.
Bradenton Christian's boys basketball team defeated Seffner Christian 73-62 during Tuesday's Class 1A-Region 2 semifinal. The Panthers (19-11) are in the regional final for the eighth straight year, and will host Orlando Christian Prep 7 p.m. Saturday.
OCP is the three-time defending state champion.
BCS coach David Magley instructs fans to get their tickets early, for the cozy gym will no doubt be a sold-out cauldron of noise.
"It will be an unbelivable atmoshphere," he said.
One the Panthers - and their fans - have become quite accustomed to.
Here is how BCS has fared in its previous regional final appearances under coach Magley:
2004 - defeated Winter Haven All Saints 68-51
2005 - lost to Florida Prep 70-63
2006 - defeated Oldsmar Christian 62-54
2007 - lost to Clearwater Calvary Christian 80-70
2008 - defeated Seffner Christian 68-49
2009 - defeated Lakeland Victory Christian 77-60
2010 - lost to Orlando Christian Prep 83-59

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Live from Lakeland: Wrapping it all up


LAKELAND - The mats are all rolled up, the wrestlers have cleared out and the podiums have been taken down.
The Lakeland Center is an empty cavern in the aftermath of the state wrestling tournament, which came to a close Saturday night.
Here is a look at the locals who took home medals, awarded to the top six finishers in each weight class.


Name: Travis Fulk
Weight: 135
Finish: Sixth
Final record: 35-10
Of note: The senior and four-time state qualifier earned his first medal Saturday before re-injuring his ankle and injury defaulting his final two matches. Fulk finishes his career with 157 wins.

Name: Alex Doran
Weight: 140
Finish: Third
Final record: 53-6
Of note: Doran leaves Manatee with the program record for wins in a single season (53) and a career (168), as well as four state medals. Doran never finished lower than fourth in four state trips.

Name: Quinn Tibbetts
Weight: Heavyweight
Finish: Second
Final record: 50-10
Of note: The senior made the most of his first and last trip to The Lakeland Center by reaching the state final. Tibbetts, who lost to Ocala Forest's Ricky Carter, was the lone county wrestler to reach a state final this season and rebounded nicely after losing the district final two weeks ago.

Lakewood Ranch
Name: Kyle Riley-Hawkins
Finish: Third
Final record: 42-2
Of note: What a comeback. After dropping his first match Friday, Riley-Hawkins won five straight to become the first Mustangs wrestler to finish better than fourth at a state meet. Riley-Hawkins, who was also named the Mike Kelly Most Outstanding Wrestler earlier this year at the county meet, became the first Ranch wrestler to place since Cory Monteforte in 2006.

Live from Lakeland: Tibbetts takes second

LAKELAND - Manatee's Quinn Tibbetts fell short in his quest to win a Class 3A state title at The Lakeland Center.
The senior heavyweight was pinned in 5:56 by Ocala Forest's Ricky Carter in the finals.

Live From Lakeland: Tibbetts ready to roll

(photo by John Lembo)

LAKELAND - Manatee heavyweight Quinn Tibbetts, above, gets loose prior to the start of the state finals at The Lakeland Center.
Tibbetts, a senior, will wrestle Ocala Forest's Ricky Carter in Class 3A tonight.
The finals are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m, though Tibbetts and Carter will wrestle one of the last matches of the night.

Live from Lakeland: How the medalists fared

LAKELAND - The consolation round of the state wrestling tournament has wrapped at The Lakeland Center.
In Class 3A, Manatee's Alex Doran (140 pounds) rebounded from his semifinal loss to score an 11-2 major decision over Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas' Brandon Pellecer to claim third place.
Doran pinned Miami Varela's Justin Vazquez in the consolation semifinals.
The senior will leave Manatee with a program-record 168 wins and four state medals - he won a state title as a freshman, was a runner-up the following year and placed fourth last season.
Travis Fulk (135) injury defaulted in the consolation semifinals and finals but managed to finish sixth.
In Class 2A, Kyle Riley-Hawkins of Lakewood Ranch finished third at 189 pounds. After losing his first-round match Friday night, Riley-Hawkins won five straight matches, including a 5-1 win over Kissimmee Liberty's Aric Fernandez two clinch third place.
The senior finished the season with 42 wins.

Live from Lakeland: Riley-Hawkins a medalist

(photo by Grant Jefferies)

LAKELAND - Lakewood Ranch's Kyle-Riley Hawkins is a state medalist.
After dropping his first-round bout Friday at The Lakeland Center, the 189-pound senior won three straight consolation matches to become the Mustangs' first medalist since Cory Monteforte in 2006.
Riley-Hawkins can finish as high as third and no lower than sixth, assuring him of a trip to the medal podium.

Live from Lakeland: Fulk earns state medal

LAKELAND - Travis Fulk has won his first state medeal.
Manatee's senior at 135 pounds, Fulk defeated Miami Braddock's Jorge de la Pena 5-2 Saturday morning at The Lakeland Center, advancing into the fourth round of wrestlebacks.
If Fulk beats Lake Brantley's Matt Shropshire, he will wrestle for third place during the consolation finals later this afternoon.
If not, he will wrestle for fifth place.
Manatee's Brett Barber (145) and Ronny Whitt (103) each fell one match short of medaling.

Live from Lakeland: Tibbetts a state finalist

LAKELAND - Manatee heavyweight Quinn Tibbetts is in the state finals of the Class 3A bracket.
The senior defeated Winter Springs' Scott Accomando 5-3 in Saturday morning's semifinal at The Lakeland Center.
Tibbetts faces Ricky Carter of Ocala Forest in tonight's finals, which are slated to get underway at 5 p.m.
Manatee's other semifinalist, Alex Doran, lost at 140 pounds to Winter Springs' Eric O'Neill by a score of 5-2.
Doran returns to action today in the fourth round of wrestlebacks, and can finish as high as third.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Live From Lakeland: Day 1 is Done

LAKELAND - Manatee finished the first day of the state wrestling tournament with a flourish.
Ronny Whitt (103), Travis Fulk (135) and Brett Barber (145) all scored pins in the second round of the consolation bracket after Alex Doran (140) and Quinn Tibbetts (heavyweight) secured spots in Saturday's championship semifinals.
Doran and Tibbetts have already clinched medals - awarded to the top six finishers in each weight class - and Whitt, Fulk and Barber will be looking to do the same when the consolation round resumes today at 9 a.m. Each wrestler needs one more win to reach the podium.
The semifinals will immediately follow.
Lakewood Ranch's Kyle Riley-Hawkins rebounded from a first-round loss at 189 pounds to win both of his consolation matches and advance into Saturday's action.
Riley-Hawkins is looking to become Lakewood Ranch's first state medalist in five years.
I will be back at The Lakeland Center on Saturday, blogging all the day's action as it happens.

Live from Lakeland: Tibbetts a semifinalist

LAKELAND - Quinn Tibbetts became the second Hurricanes wrestler to clinch a berth in Saturday morning's semifinals.
The senior heavyweight beat Orange Park's Richard Brown by disqualification in the quarterfinals. Brown was called for too many penalty points with 36 seconds left in the third period and Tibbetts leading 5-1.
By advancing into today's semifinals, Tibbetts has assured himself a state medal, awarded to the top six in each class.
He will be joined somewhere on the podium by teammate Alex Doran, a semifinalist at 140 pounds.
The championship semifinals begin 10 a.m. Saturday at The Lakeland Center.
Manatee has three wrestlers left in the consolation round - Ronny Whitt (103), Travis Fulk (135) and Brett Barber (145).
The second round of wrestlebacks begins after the quarterfinals are finished.

Live from Lakeland: Doran wins, Fulk in wrestlebacks

LAKELAND - Alex Doran is two wins away from a state title.
Doran, Manatee's senior 140-pounder, defeated Wellington's Jake Ferrara 17-9 in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
He returns to action 10 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals. Doran won a state title three years ago as a freshman.
Travis Fulk, the Hurricanes' 135-pounder, lost to J.Z. Williams of Flagler Palm Coast in the quarterfinals.
A senior, Fulk can still finish in the top six and earn a medal, beginning tonight with the second round of wrestlebacks.
Manatee's Quinn Tibbetts, a heavyweight, is awaiting his quarterfinal match.

Live from Lakeland: Whitt comes up just short in quarterfinals

LAKELAND - Manatee's Ronny Whitt fell 12-9 to Homestead South Dade's Carlos Diego in the quarterfinals of the 103-pound division in Class 3A.
Down 7-0, Whitt trimmed his deficit to 10-7, and scored a takedown late in the third period. But before he could garner any back points, Diego spun and scored two points for a reversal.
Despite the loss, Whitt, a senior, will wrestle in the second round of wrestlebacks tonight and still has a chance to finish in the top six to earn a medal.

Football: Finals to stay in Citrus Bowl

The road to a state football championship still runs to Orlando.
Or, it will for the next three years.
The Florida High School Athletic Association announced Friday the state football finals will remain at the Citrus Bowl for the next three years.
St. Petersburg (Tropicana Field) and Miami (Sun Life Stadium) also bid to host the finals, but the FHSAA decided to stay in central Florida.
The Citrus Bowl has hosted the finals for the last four years.

Live from Lakeland: Quarterfinal pairings

LAKELAND - The championship quarterfinals at The Lakeland Center are slated to begin shortly.
The pairings are listed below, and winners advance into Saturday's semifinals.

103 pounds - Ronny Whitt vs. Carlos Diego (Homestead South Dade)
135 - Travis Fulk vs. J.Z. Williams (Flagler Palm Coast)
140 - Alex Doran vs. Jake Ferrara (Wellington)
Heavyweight - Quinn Tibbetts vs. Richard Brown (Orange Park)

Live from Lakeland: Barber, Kyle Riley-Hawkins make it through

LAKELAND - Manatee's Brett Barber and Lakewood Ranch's Kyle Riley-Hawkins won their consolation matches Friday during the state wrestling tournament.
Barber (145 pounds in Class 3A) defeated Coral Springs Taravella's Scott D'Attilo 9-5 and Riley-Hawkins (189 in 2A) beat Palm Bay's Aaron Berynadott 4-2 to keep their medal hopes alive.
Bost wrestlers lost in the first round of the championship bracket Friday. They will wrestle again tonight during the second round of wrestlebacks.
Lakewood Ranch's Evan Dipsiner (103) and Blake Riley-Hawkins (119), Braden River's Frank Bianco (135) and Manatee's Donnie Jankowski (112) were eliminated after losing twice Friday.
The championship quarterfinals are slated to begin shortly. Manatee's Ronny Whitt(103), Travis Fulk (135), Alex Doran (140) and Quinn Tibbetts (heavyweight) are all looking to clinch a spot in Saturday morning's semifinals.

Live from Lakeland: Two Mustangs, one Hurricane out

LAKELAND - Three area wrestlers have been eliminated during the consolation round of the state tournament at The Lakeland Center.
Lakewood Ranch's Evan Dipsiner (103 pounds) and Blake Riley-Hawkins (119) went 0-2 in Class 2A, as did Manatee's Donnie Jankowski (112) in Class 3A.
Manatee's Brett Barber (145) won his consolation match, and will wrestle again later this evening in the second round of wrestlebacks.
Braden River's Frank Bianco (135) and Lakewood Ranch's Kyle Riley-Hawkins (189) are also in consolation action, and Prep Rally will keep you updated throughout the day on how they are doing.
The championship quarterfinals, featuring Manatee's Ronny Whitt (103), Travis Fulk (135), Alex Doran (140) and Quinn Tibbetts (heavyweight), begin after the first round of consolation action is completed.

State wrestling: After Session One

LAKELAND - Manatee has four wrestlers in the quarterfinals of the state wrestling tournament at The Lakeland Center.
Ronny Whitt (103 pounds), Travis Fulk (135), Alex Doran (140) and Quinn Tibbetts (heavyweight) all won their first-round matches and are in the quarterfinals, which will begin following the first round of the consolation bracket this afternoon.
Hurricanes Donnie Jankowski (112) and Brett Barber (145) lost their opening-round matches, and will try and get to the medal round via the consolation bracket.
Manatee is fifth in the Class 3A team standings with 13 points.
In Class 2A, Braden River's Frank Bianco (135), as well as Lakewood Ranch's Evan Dipsiner(103), Blake Riley-Hawkins (119) and Kyle Riley-Hawkins (189) also lost in the first round and are in the consolation rounds.

Live from Lakeland: State wrestling updates

(photo by Grant Jefferies)

LAKELAND - The state wrestling meet is underway at The Lakeland Center, and Manatee's Travis Fulk (above) won his first-round match at 135 pounds.
Fulk defeated Miami Palmetto's Nathan Segal 3-0, and will face Flagler Palm Coast's J.Z. Williams today in a quarterfinal.
His teammate, Alex Doran, needed just 42 seconds to pin Orlando East River's Anthony Gilbert for his 50th win of the year at 140 pounds. Doran meets Wellington's Jake Ferrara in the quarterfinals.
Also in Class 3A, Manatee's Ronny Whitt (103) scored a 15-6 major decision over Orlando Timber Creek's Steve Deborba. He will face Homestead South Dade's Carlos Diego in the quarterfinals today.
At 112 pounds, Manatee's Donnie Jankowski (112) was pinned by Coral Spring's Kyle Eggnatz in 3:25, and will wrestle in the consolation round.
At 145, the Hurricanes' Brett Barber fell 4-3 to Miami Palmetto's Kristopher Iglesiais.
In Class 2A, Lakewood Ranch's Blake Riley-Hawkins (119) lost a 15-0 technical fall to Celebration's Josh Douglas, and will compete in the consolation round. Blake's brother, Kyle, lost 8-6 to Jacksonville Ed White's Jaylen Lee at 189. And Braden River's Frank Bianco (135) lost a 17-4 major decision to Lakeland Lake Gibson's Jorge Gavillan.
Stay tuned to Prep Rally for more updates live from The Lakeland Center.

State wrestling: First Round pairings

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)
Lakewood Ranch's Kyle Riley-Hawkins, above, is one of 10 Manatee County wrestlers in action today at the state wrestling tournament, which gets underway 10 a.m. at The Lakeland Center.
Stay tuned to Prep Rally all day for updates on all the local wrestlers and who will be in contention for tomorrow's semifinals and finals competition.
Listed below are today's local first-round pairings.
103 pounds - Ronny Whitt (45-9), Manatee vs. Steve Deborba (33-10), Orlando Timber Creek
112 - Donnie Jankowski (34-17), Manatee vs. Kyle Eggnatz (39-14), Coral Springs
135 - Travis Fulk (32-7), Manatee vs. Nathan Segal (39-3), Miami Palmetto
140 - Alex Doran (49-5), Manatee vs. Anthony Gilbert (31-12), Orlando East River
145 - Brett Barber (41-9), Manatee vs. Kristopher Iglesiais (38-3), Miami Palmetto
Heavyweight - Quinn Tibbetts (47-9), Manatee vs. Kory Knight (24-8), South Plantation
103 - Evan Dipsiner (43-4), Lakewood Ranch vs. Joe Muccio (33-1), Melbourne
119 - Blake Riley-Hawkins (32-7), Lakewood Ranch vs. Josh Douglas (48-4), Celebration
135 - Frank Bianco (24-3), Braden River vs. Jorge Gavillan (55-3), Lakeland Lake Gibson
189 - Kyle Riley-Hawkins (37-1), Lakewood Ranch vs. Jaylen Lee (32-10), Jacksonville Ed White

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Boys hoops:...and then there was one

Bradenton Christian's boys basketball team is the lone area squad standing after Thursday's regional quarterfinals.
The Panthers opened Class 1A-Region 2 play with a 60-53 win over Kissimmee Life Christian Academy. BCS stays home Tuesday, when it hosts Seffner Christian Academy in a Region 2 semifinal starting at 7 p.m.
The Panthers defeated SCA last Saturday to win the District 8 title. Tuesday's winner plays for the regional title Saturday.
Braden River, Lakewood Ranch and Southeast lost Thursday.
The Pirates fell at home to Tampa Jesuit 38-27, while the Mustangs lost 60-57 at Tampa Blake. And Southeast fell 59-54 to homestanding Fort Myers Bishop Verot.
Check out Friday's edition of The Bradenton Herald for more on Thursday's games.

Boys hoops: Tonight's regional matchups

(photo by Herald photographer Paul Videla)

Tre Bryant and his Braden River Pirates have already made history. Tonight, they will look to make a little more.
District champions and regional qualifiers for the first time in program history, the Pirates host Tampa Jesuit at 7 p.m. in a Class 4A-Region 3 quarterfinal.
Braden River is one of four boys hoops teams in action tonight.
Listed below are the pairings. All games begin at 7 p.m. Winners advance to Tuesday's regional semifinals.

Class 4A-Region 3
Tampa Jesuit at Braden River
Lakewood Ranch at Tampa Blake
Class 3A-Region 3
Southeast at Fort Myers Bishop Verot
Class 1A-Region 2
Kissimmee Life Christian Academy at Bradenton Christian

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boys soccer: Falcons fall 2-0

Saint Stephen's lost 2-0 to Jacksonville Providence during Wednesday's Class 2A state semifinal at Pepin Stadium.
For more on this game, check out Thursday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Boys soccer: Falcons trail 2-0

Jacksonville Providence has taken a 2-0 lead over Saint Stephen's with approxmiately 20 minutes left in the Class 2A boys soccer state semifinal at Pepin Stadium.
Providence's Colin Brooks scored off an assist from Austin Swaim at the 20:58 mark. Swaim scored Providence's first goal during the first half.
The winner retuns to Pepin Stadium, located on the campus of the University of Tampa, at 7:35 p.m. to play Delray Beach American Heritage for the 2A state title.

Boys soccer: Falcons trail at halftime

Saint Stephen's trails Jacksonville Providence 1-0 with one half remaining in a Class 2A boys soccer state semifinal at University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium.
The Stallions took the lead at the 16:46 mark, when Austin Swaim scored off a pass from Tucker Schwartz.
The Falcons' best chance came early in the half on a shot from Sam Lynch. But Providence's Tanner Doudna made a diving save and slapped it away.
The second half is about to resume.
The winner plays Delray Beach American Heritage at 7:35 p.m. Thursday for the state title.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chris Pompey signs with Eastern Kentucky

(photo by bradenton herald photographer Grant Jefferies)

Days after his brother signed a letter-of-intent, Manatee defensive linemen Chris Pompey signed with Eastern Kentucky, according to Hurricanes coach Joe Kinnan.
Quinton Pompey signed with Iowa State over the weekend.
A defensive end, Chris had 81 tackles and a team-best 12 sacks for Manatee this year, and is expected to play a hybrid position as a linebacker that can rush off the end or drop back into coverage once he hits college.
Kinnan, who was an assistant for seven years at EKU and helped the school win the 1979 Division I-AA national title, told Dane Damron, EKU's special teams coach, that Chris Pompey was one of Manatee's best players on kick and punt coverages.
The Colonels compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Aquinas' George Smith resigns

(photo from

George Smith, the head football coach at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, resigned Monday, according to this story by the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
"That surprised me," said Manatee coach Joe Kinnan, whose Hurricanes met Smith's Raiders in four of the past six Class 5A state semifinals. "I've known George for 35 years. When I was coaching at Eastern Kentucky, I used to recruit his kids. He's done a marvelous job. They've had some great players, but he has done a marvelous job coaching them."
Smith, who arrived at Aquinas in 1975, and Kinnan were two of the 12 coaches named to the Florida High School Athletic Association's All-Century coaching staff in December 2007.
Under Smith, who will remain Aquinas' athletic director, the Raiders won 361 games and appeared in 13 state championship games, winning six. In December, they defeated Tampa Plant in the Class 5A state final for their third state crown since 2007, and were named prep national champions by ESPN Rise.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Rocco Casullo has been named the school's new head coach. Casullo has taught at Aquinas for 10 years and served as the team's defensive coordinator for the past four years, the report said.

Quinton Pompey signs with Iowa State

(photo from

Manatee is sending another Q to Iowa State.
Defensive lineman Quinton Pompey signed with the Cyclones after the visiting the school over the weekend, Manatee coach Joe Kinnan said Monday.
Wide receiver Quenton Bundrage signed with Iowa State during National Signing Day.
Pompey had 62 tackles and 11 sacks for the Hurricanes despite tearing his meniscus during the first quarter of Manatee's playoff opener against St. Petersburg Northeast.
He underwent surgery the following week and missed the Canes' remaining three playoff games.

Girls hoops: Tuesday's regional semis pairings

Southeast and Bradenton Christian are the area's lone girls basketball teams left standing in the regional playoffs. Both teams are in action and on the road Tuesday in regional semifinal games.
Class 3A-Region 3
Southeast at Fort Myers Bishop Verot
Up Next: Winner plays either Tampa Catholic or Fort Meade on Saturday in a Region 3 final
Class 1A-Region 2
Bradenton Christian at Seffner Christian
Up Next: Winner plays either Orlando Agape Christian or Orlando Christian Prep on Saturday in a Region 2 final.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wrestling: Manatee County's state qualifiers

(Paul Videla,
Manatee senior Alex Doran (above) is one of 10 Manatee County wrestlers who have qualified for the state tournament, which begins Friday and runs through Saturday at The Lakeland Center.
It's the fourth straight state trip for Doran, who became the first Hurricanes wrestler to win a state title as a freshman at the 2008 tournament.
Listed below are this year's qualifiers. Wrestling begins 10 a.m. Friday.
103 pounds - Ronny Whitt
112 - Donnie Jankowski
135 - Travis Fulk
140 - Alex Doran
145 - Brett Barber
Heavyweight - Quinn Tibbetts
Braden River
135 - Frank Bianco
Lakewood Ranch
103 - Evan Dipsiner
119 - Blake Riley-Hawkins
189 - Kyle Riley-Hawkins

Saturday, February 12, 2011

State lifting: Results through Group B

The first portion of the girls state weightlifting, featuring weight classes 154 and higher, has wrapped at the Kissimmee Civic Center. Group A, which includes the lighter weights, is set to begin, as the judges are addressing the lifters now.
Three area lifters took part in the morning competition, though none earned a medal, awarded to the top six in each eight class.
Bayshore's LaPorcha McCall (183-pound class) lifted a combined 255 pounds to finish 19th. In the unlimited class, Southeast's Carley Porter lifted a combined 310 to place 16th, and Palmetto's Naquita Charles totaled 290 to place 22nd.

Boys soccer: Final Four pairings

Saint Stephen's boys soccer team has an opponent for the Class 2A state soccer semifinals.
Lakewood Ranch does, too - as long as the Mustangs get past Cape Coral in tonight's Class 4A-Region 3 final.
University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium is the site for state soccer final four. Listed below are the area pairings:
Semifinals, Wednesday
Saint Stephen's (19-3-2) vs. Jacksonville Providence (17-4-1), 7:15 p.m.
Finals, Thursday
Gainesville St. Francis/Delray Beach American Heritage vs. Saint Stephen's/Jacksonville Providence, 7:35 p.m.
Semifinals, Thursday
Lakewood Ranch/Cape Coral vs. Celebration (22-3), 5:15 p.m.
Finals, Saturday
Lakewood Ranch/Cape Coral/Celebration vs. Miami Belen Jesuit/Chochtawatchee, 2:05 p.m.

Live from state lifting

(Logo from

The girls state weightlifing meet is underway at the Kissimme Civic Center. I will be blogging all day throughout the event live from Kissimmee.
Listed below are the area qualifiers:
Bayshore - Heather Lutz, 119 pounds; LaPorcha McCall, 183.
Braden River - Taylor Nordone, 139.
Lakewood Ranch - Shelby Anderson, 101; Monica Green, 110; Hannah Asay, 119; Theresa Simunovic, 139.
Palmetto - Naquita Charles, unlimited.
Southeast - Jessica Holt, 129; Carley Porter, unlimited.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Boys soccer: Falcons headed back to Tampa

Saint Stephen's boys soccer team won its seventh regional championship and second in three years Friday when the Falcons beat host Vero Beach St. Edward's 2-0 in the Class 2A-Region 3 final.
Jorge Zavala and Sam Lynch scored for Saint Stephen's, which did not allow a goal during the regional tournament.
The Falcons head to Pepin Stadium at the University of Tampa on Wednesday to face Jacksonville Providence in a state semifinal. That game will be played at either 5 p.m. or 7:15 p.m.

Ranch soccer game postponed

Lakewood Ranch's 4A-Region 3 soccer final against Cape Coral has been rescheduled.
The Mustangs will instead host the Seahawks 7 p.m. Saturday.
The game was supposed to be played 7 p.m. tonight at Cape Coral, but per Florida High School Athletic Association rules, Lakewood Ranch should have been the host all along.
Rules state when two district runner-ups or champions meet in a regional final, the team on the bottom of the bracket is the host - unless that team was home for a regional semifinal, and the team on the top was not.
Lakewood Ranch, listed on top of the bracket for the regional final, traveled to Lutz Steinbrenner for a semifinal, while the Seahawks hosted Naples Golden Gate.
Saturday's winner advances to the state final four at Pepin Stadium on the campus of the University of Tampa. The Class 4A semifinal is scheduled for Thursday, with the winner of the Lakewood Ranch-Cape Coral game playing either Celebration or Land O'Lakes Sunlake.
All four teams are district runner-ups.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tonight: Girls Regional hoops

(photo by Bradenton Herald's Paul Videla)

Regional basketball gets underway tonight with four area teams playing quarterfinal games.
Better gas up, though - with the exception of Lacey Houston (pictured above) and the Class 3A-District 11 champion Southeast Seminoles, everyone is hitting the road.
Listed below are the pairings. All games begin at 7.
Regional semifinals are slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday at sites to be determined.

Class 4A-Region 3
Lakewood Ranch at Tampa Jefferson
Up next: Winner faces either Riverview Spoto or St. Petersburg Lakewood.
Class 3A-Region 3
Fort Myers Dunbar at Southeast
Up next: Winner faces either Booker or Fort Myers Bishop Verot
Class 2A-Region 3
Out-of-Door Academy at Community School of Naples
Up next: Winner faces either St. Petersburg Northside Christian or Fort Myers Canterbury
Class 1A-Region 2
Bradenton Christian at Lakeland Victory Christian
Up next: Winner faces either Seffner Christian or Winter Haven All Saints Academy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FHSAA announces tentative soccer districts

The Florida High School Athletic Associatiom released tentative districts for boys and girls soccer this week.
Schools have until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18 to appeal their placement.
Bradenton Christian is not listed, but that could be an oversight on the part of the FHSAA, and should be fixed when the formal districts are released later this month.
Here are the districts for area teams.

Class 5A-District 8 - Manatee, Clearwater Countryside, Largo Pinellas Park, North Port, Palm Harbor University, Riverview, St. Petersburg.
Class 4A-District 11 - Braden River, Lakewood Ranch,Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda Charlotte, Sarasota, Venice.
Class 3A-District 9 - Bayshore, Palmetto, Southeast, Dunedin, Gulfport Boca Ciega, St. Petersburg Gibbs, St. Petersburg Lakewood, Seminole Osceola.
Class 2A-District 11 - Cardinal Mooney, Booker, Clewiston, Fort Myers Bishop Verot, Fort Myers Dunbar, Fort Myers Gateway Charter, LaBelle.
Class 1A-District 8 - Out-of-Door Academy,Saint Stephen's,Largo Indian Rocks Christian, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut, St. Petersburg Canterbury, St. Petersburg Kewswick Christian, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep, Sarasota Christian.

Class 5A-District 8 - Manatee, Clearwater Countryside, Largo Pinellas Park, North Port, Palm Harbor University, Riverview, St. Petersburg.
Class 4A-District 11 - Braden River, Lakewood Ranch,Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda Charlotte, Sarasota, Venice.
Class 3A-District 10 - Bayshore, Palmetto, Southeast, Dunedin, Gulfport Boca Ciega, Saint Petersburg Gibbs, St. Petersburg Lakewood, Seminole Osceola.
Class 2A-District 11 - Cardinal Mooney, Booker, Clewiston, Fort Myers Bishop Verot, Fort Myers Dunbar, Fort Myers Gateway Charter, LaBelle.
Class 1A-District 8 - Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen's, Largo Indian Rocks Christian, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut, St. Petersburg Canterbury, St. Petersburg Kewsick, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep, Sarasota Christian.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boys soccer: Falcons, Mustangs in regional finals

Lakewood Ranch and Saint Stephen's are playing for Region 3 championships Friday.
And both are hitting the road.
The Mustangs head to Cape Coral for the Class 4A-Region 3 title after beating Lutz Steinbrenner 1-0 Tuesday.
The Falcons knocked off the Class 2A defending state champion, Tampa Prep, 3-0, and will travel to Vero Beach to meet St. Edwards.
Both games begin at 7 p.m.
Southeast lost to Fort Myers Bishop Verot 3-1 in a Class 3A-Region 3 semifinal.
Check out Wednesday's edition of The Bradenton Herald for stories on each of Tuesday's semifinal games.

Boys soccer: Keeping the streak alive

...And then there were three.
Three teams and three chances for Manatee County to keep its streak alive at the state soccer final four.
Lakewood Ranch, Southeast and Saint Stephen's (captained by Chris Scott, seen above in a photo snapped by Herald photographer Paul Videla) will look to add to the chain today when they play in regional semifinals.
The Mustangs head to Lutz to face the Steinbrenner Warriors at 7 p.m. in a Class 4A-Region 3 semifinal, and the Falcons stay at Turner Fields to play host to Tampa Prep, the defending state champion, for a 2A-Region 3 semifinal scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.
The Seminoles travel to Fort Myers Bishop Verot for a 3A-Region 3 semifinal at 7 p.m.
It's up to them to keep the fledgling tradition going.
So who got this ball rolling? In 2009, Palmetto's boys team became the first Manatee County squad to reach a state semifinal, and repeated the feat the following year.
The Falcons, who had already won six regional crowns and a state title (2001), joined the Tigers that year.
Last year, Lakewood Ranch's girls team qualified for the final four for the first time in program history.
Will the Falcons, Seminoles or Mustangs keep it going? Here is a quick sampling of the matchups.

Class 4A-Region 3 semifinal
Who: Lakewood Ranch (19-4-3) at Lutz Steinbrenner (16-4-2)
When: 7 p.m.
Up next: Winner advances to the Region 3 final against either Naples Golden Gate or Cape Coral.
Of note After being stung by sixth-seeded Palmetto in the District 10 final, the Mustangs rebounded with a thrilling 3-2 victory over perenially powerful Tampa Jesuit. Similar to Lakewood Ranch, the Warriors made the regional tournament via the runner-up route. Led by two goals from Oliver Ortiz, two-year-old Steinbrenner knocked off the Tigers 3-0 during a regional quarterfinal last week.

Class 3A-Region 3 semifinal
Who: Southeast (13-1-4) at Fort Myers Bishop Verot (20-3)
When: 7 p.m.
Up next: Winner advances to the Region 3 final against Tampa Berkeley Prep or Clearwater Central Catholic.
Of note: The Noles kept their season alive in thrilling fashion Thursday by erasing a 1-0 deficit with under 20 minutes remaining before beating Gateway Charter on penalty kicks. Tonight they face the Vikings, who are looking to repeat as Class 3A state champions despite losing 13 seniors. Andrew Palumbo, who scored twice in a quarterfinal win over Cardinal Mooney, has 34 goals this season.

Class 2A-Region 3 semifinal
Who: Tampa Prep (17-4-1) at Saint Stephen's (17-3-2)
When 3:30 p.m.
Up next: Winner advances to the Region 3 final against either Fort Myers Evangelical Christian or Vero Beach St. Edwards.
Of note: This matchup has become a tradition, with the teams meeting in the playoffs every year since 2005. The edge belonged to the Terrapins until '09, when the Falcons beat them for the Region 3 title. Tampa Prep exacted revenge, however, in last year's regional quarterfinals, and won this year's regular-season meeting.
But the Falcons have exceeded the expectations of their head coach, Marc Jones, and overcame a series of injuries to win a district title and vanquish Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin during last year's quarterfinal.
Now they will try to topple the Terps, and try to keep a streak alive.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Who will be this year's Kelsey Vance?

(photo by Paul Videla)
Kelsey Vance, a Southeast grad pictured above, won the state lifting title at 169 pounds last season.
Saturday, 10 area qualifiers head to Kissimmee Civic Center for this year's meet, which begins at 10:30 a.m.
Listed below are each of the qualifiers and where they are seeded among the 27 girls in each class. Seedings are based on each lifter's combined lift at the qualifying meet.
101 pounds - Shelby Anderson, Lakewood Ranch, 26th, 165 lbs.
110 - Monica Green, Lakewood Ranch, 21st, 220.
119 - Hannah Asay, Lakewood Ranch, 18th, 240; Heather Lutz, Bayshore, 20th, 235.
129 - Jessica Holt, Southeast, 5th, 285.
139 - Taylor Nardone, Braden River, 23rd, 245; Theresa Simunovic, Lakewood Ranch, 26th, 235.
183 - Laporcha McCall, Bayshore, 25th, 240.
Unlimited - Naquita Charles, Palmetto, 19th, 305; Carley Porter, Southeast, 22nd, 300.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Signing Day: This time last year...

Remember National Signing Day, the 2010 version?
I do, mostly because it was fun to cover.
In the age of the verbal commitment, Signing Day is typically high on pageantry and low on drama. Student-athletes make their commitments months - sometimes years - in advance, and simply make it official during the first Wednesday in February.
It offers as many twists and turns as a Pauly Shore film festival.
Thanks to Manatee alum Brion Carnes - sitting to the right of Ace Sanders in the above photo snapped by Bradenton Herald photographer Paul Videla - last year was a different story.
Initially, Carnes committed to USF, and was ready to head to Tampa. Then the Bulls fired USF coach Jim Leavitt on Jan.8, leading to the hiring of Skip Holtz and the end of Carnes' career at USF before it began.
Back on the recruiting trail, Carnes took a trip to Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are coached by former Manatee great Willie Taggart, whose staff includes former Palmetto/Bayshore coach Raymond Woodie.
With an offer from Nebraksa on the table, Carnes committed to WKU in late January.
Confused yet?
So then comes Signing Day, and quite frankly, no one knew what Carnes was going to do.
His choice?
“I really thought about it — can I really achieve my dreams and my goals at Western Kentucky like I can at Nebraska?” Carnes said that day. “Nebraska is going to be (in) the top 10. ... If I work real hard, I can contend for a Hesiman Trophy, I could be able to go to a BCS National Championship (Game), and that’s what I want.”
It was a whirlwind. But it was also fun to cover. And Brion seems to be happy with his decision, and really, that is the most important thing.
Whether they decide to play football or baseball, or make a decision based strictly on academics, kids need to pick the best college for THEM. Not their friends or boosters or coaches.
It took some time, but Brion Carnes did that last February.
And it made for an eventful Signing Day, to boot - one that I will never forget.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dumas to sign with Marshall

(photo provided by Bradenton Christian)

Bradenton Christan kicker/punter Austin Dumas will sign with Marshall University on Wednesday, said coach Allan Gerber.
Dumas is the school's first football player to sign with a Division I team - running back Chris Young walked on at UCF following the 2006-07 school year.
Dumas converted 37 of 39 point-after attempts and averaged 44.14 yards per punt. He also booted seven field goals, with a long of 41 yards, and graduates as the program's all-time leading scorer.
An All-Area First Team pick, Dumas helped Manatee County with the Brad Price Memorial PAL Bowl by kicking a career-best 49-yard field goal with 4:37 remaining in the fourth quarter. Manatee County defeated Sarasota County 10-9.
Dumas will sign 1:15 p.m. Wednesday in Wichers Auditorium.