Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Prep football: Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge drew four state finalists

(photo by Grant Jefferies)

The Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenege should have been called The Tournament of Finalists.

The four-team, two-game event, which was played Sept. 16 at Hawkins Stadium, featured Manatee and Tampa Plant, and New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep and Bergen Catholic.

All took their seasons to the limit.

Bosco, which defeated Manatee 22-16 that night, won its sixth straight Non-Public Group IV state title this year by beating none other than Bergen Catholic in the state final.

The Hurricanes, of course, play for the 7A state championship Friday against Jacksonville First Coast.

And Plant, a 12-7 winner over Bergen that night in Bradenton, meets Miramar on Saturday for the Class 8A state championship.

Bosco finished the year ranked second in the country by Rivals and first by ESPNRise, while Bergen's three losses came to Bosco (twice) and Plant.

The four teams are slated meet to again next year up north.

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