Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prep football: Heaven headed for a busy summer

(photo by grant jefferies)

Manatee defensive back Clinton Heaven will be on the move this summer.

A senior in the fall, Heaven is a hotly-recruited prospect with roughly a dozen offers from Division I schools. And he will spend the next few weeks narrowing down his choices.

He plans on visiting the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and Vanderbilt, said Manatee assistant Chris Conboy. Heaven may also possibly visit West Virginia.

All of those schools, as well as Michigan State, have made Heaven an offer.

All of those visits will be unofficial, Conboy said.

Despite missing four games with a broken jaw, Heaven had 53 tackles and six pass deflections last season for Manatee.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Prep baseball: Plenty of locals on FACA all-state team

(photo from Paul Videla)

Manatee catcher Bryan Voelkl was one of a number of area baseball players named to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association's all-state teams.

Voelkl made the Class 5A team.

Lakewood Ranch's Andrew McNett, Shane Davidson, Phil Dilandro, Zach Larson and Seth McGarry made the Class 4A team. Palmetto's Granden Goetzman also made the 4A team.

Southeast's Joseph Muldoon, Michael Suchy, Cameron Cox and Andy Ramirez made the team for Class 3A.

And The Pendleton School's Brandon Bonilla and Matt Martin made the Class 2A team.

Prep softball: Area players dot FACA all-state teams

(photo by Paul Videla)
Bradenton Christian's Rachel Brown, pictured above, was one of many area softball players named to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association's all-state teams.
Brown made the Class 1A team.
Others area picks were Manatee's Casey Craft (Class 5A) and Lakewood Ranch's Taylor Newton, Sarah Burnett, Jennifer Trotter, Dana Hutchins and Brittany Kilduff (Class 4A).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Prep baseball: Murphy shines in Tampa debut

(photo from minorleaguebaseball.com)

Pendleton School grad J.R. Murphy wasted little time making an impact with the Tampa Yankees.
The Bradenton native went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored Thursday during Tampa's 8-1 win over the Dunedin Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Murphy was bumped to the high Single-A team Thursday from the Yankees' low Single-A affiliate in Charleston.
Murphy batted third and played catcher Thursday for the Tampa Yankees, who are the two-time defending champions of the Florida State League and are 1-0 in the second half.
They finished fourth in the FSL's North Division during the first half, going 37-32.
The Yankees selected Murphy during the second round of the 2009 draft. Prior to his promotion, he was batting .297 with six home runs and 32 RBIs with Charleston, which earned him an invitation to the South Atlantic League's All-Star Game.
Murphy and the Tampa Yankees head to Bradenton on July 21 for the first of a four-game series with the Marauders.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prep baseball: J.R. Murphy promoted to Tampa

(photo from riveraveblues) J.R. Murphy is coming to Tampa.
And maybe McKechnie Field, too.
A Bradenton native and a graduate of The Pendleton School, Murphy was promoted Thursday from the New York Yankees' low Single-A affiliate in Charleston to its high Single-A team in Tampa.
The Tampa Yankees compete in the Florida State League and head to Bradenton to face the Marauders for a four-game series from July 21 through July 24.
The Yankees drafted Murphy in the second round of the 2009 draft and played nine games that summer with the organization's Gulf Coast League team. He spent all of last season with Charleston, batting .255 in 83 games.
Murphy began this season in Charleston, too, hitting .297 in 63 games with six home runs, 32 RBIs and 23 doubles. He was selected for the SAL All-Star team.
Drafted and listed as a catcher, Murphy has also split time at third base and DH this season.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Prep football: Cord Sandberg sixth in Miami Herald's 2013 rankings


Manatee quarterback Cord Sandberg is ranked sixth overall and tops among quarterbacks on the Miami Herald's list of the top 100 prospects for the Class of 2013.

"This list is a starting point as we head into summer," the blog reads. "With camps, combines, practices, 7-on-7 tournaments and games, many of these players will either play their way up - or down - the list."

Sandberg threw for 2,879 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushed for 586 yards and 10 toucdowns last year for Manatee, leading the Hurricanes to a 13-1 record and the Class 5A final four. He performed well in the Canes' 31-7 loss to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas in a state semifinal, throwing for 200 yards and a touchdown.

He, along with the rest of the Canes, will be challenged early in 2011. Manatee's first four games will be against two national powers (Maryland's Our Lady of Good Counsel and New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep) and two traditional rivals (Riverview and Southeast).

Prep baseball: Goetzman makes grand debut

(photo by Paul Videla)

Granden Goetzman's professional baseball career is alive and well.
Sidelined earlier in the week with a tweaked groin, the Palmetto grad went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a double and two stolen bases Wednesday to lead the Gulf Coast League Rays to a 5-1 win over the Twins.

Goetzman was the Rays' 75th pick during the second day of this month's baseball draft. He signed the following week at Tropicana Field.

Goetzman and the GCL Rays come close to home Friday when they play the GCL Orioles at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota.

Prep baseball: Murphy, Ohlman meet in SAL All-Star Game


J.R. Murphy and Michael Ohlman already have a lot in common.

They are baseball players from Manatee County. They catch. They were chosen during the 2009 baseball draft and passed up on the University of Miami to sign pro contracts.

Their paths met again Tuesday night during the South Atlantic League's All-Star Game in Delmarva, where Murphy's South Division stars beat Ohlman's North squad 6-3.

Murphy, playing with the New York Yankees' Single-A SAL affiliate in Charleston, pinch hit in the seventh and went for 0-2. He was listed as a designated hitter.

Ohlman, whose Delmarva Shorebirds are an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, was one of three catchers used by the North team. He went 0-for-1.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Prep baseball: Catching up with some area draft picks


Now that Palmetto grad Granden Goetman has begun his professional baseball career with the Gulf Coast Rays, we check in to see how other area draft picks are faring on their road to the big leagues.

If you know of any we may have missed, please email me at jlembo@bradenton.com.

MICHAEL OHLMAN - Ohlman, pictured above, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 11th round of the 2009 draft, and is currently with the franchise's Single-A affiliate in Delmarva. In 51 games this season, the Lakewood Ranch grad is hitting .247 with three home runs and 23 RBIs and a .367 slugging percentage. Ohlman, 20, has been behind the plate for 41 games and has thrown out 26 percent of runners trying to steal.

J.R. MURPHY - The New York Yankees selected this Pendleton School alum during the second round of the '09 draft, and like Ohlman, Murphy is playing with his team's Single-A club based out of the South Atlantic League. Murphy, 20, is hitting .297 with the Charleston RiverDogs and is sixth in the league in hits (76) and tied for first in doubles (23). He has driven in 23 runs and slugged six home runs while slugging a .476 clip, and has split time between third base, catcher and DH. Both Ohlman and Murphy have been picked for tonight's SAL All-Star Game.

TYLER PASTORNICKY - Another Pendleton grad, Pastornicky was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008 and dealt to the Atlanta Braves last summer. A shortstop, the 21-year-old Pastornicky is hitting .301 with the Braves' Double-A team in Mississippi, with 14 stolen bases (good for fifth in the Southern League) and 33 RBIs in 66 games.

RYAN POPE - The Bayshore grad made history in 2007 when the New York Yankees made him the first baseball player drafted out of the Savannah College of Art and Design. A third-round pick, the 25-year-old Pope is with the Yankees' Triple-A team in Scranton/Wikes-Barre, but has struggled. He is 2-1 with a 8.14 ERA in 14 games, allowing 19 earned runs and 29 hits in 21 innings. Pope showed promise last year, when he saved 17 games and posted 4.20 ERA with the Yanks' Double-A club in Trenton.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Prep baseball: Goetzman not in lineup for GCL Rays

(photo by Paul Videla)
PORT CHARLOTTE - Palmetto grad Granden Goetzman is not in the lineup this afternoon for the Gulf Coast League Tampa Bay Rays, who are playing their season-opener against the GCL Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park.
The game is being played on field No.5, located just behind the stadium. The Rays trail the Red Sox 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
An outfielder wearing No. 6, Goetzman on the bench and listed as active on the team's roster. It appears as if he is taking video of from the Rays' bench along the the third-base line.
Goetzman was taken by the Rays during the second round of this month's amateur draft. He was the 75th overall pick and signed with Tampa Bay last Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
Stay tuned to Prep Rally to track Goetzman's progress today and throughout the rest of the summer.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Prep football: Manatee hosting football camp this week

Manatee's coaches and players will host a football camp for players ages 7 to 14 beginning 9 a.m. Monday at Hawkins Stadium.

The camp, which is open to players of all positions and skill levels, runs through Wednesday and goes from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Guest speakers will be featured each day, as well.

Registration is from 8-9 a.m. Monday and the cost is $55.

For more information, contact Manatee assistant Steve Gulash at gulashs@manateeschools.net.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Prep football: Bayshore's Washington keeping in shape through NFL lockout


PALMETTO - Fabian Washington is a football player without a football team.
But that doesn't mean he's staying dormant. Washington, a Bayshore graduate and a first-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2005, is currently a free agent.

Because of the NFL lockout, however, he can't be in contact with any teams.

So as the battle between the owners and the players rages on, Washington, who spent the past three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, is doing his best to keep in shape, whether he is working with a personal trainer in Orlando or working out at IMG whenever he comes back to Bradenton.

"That's the biggest thing - you've got to be prepared for when they do open up the doors," Washington said Friday in Palmetto, where he handed out two of his Annual Fabian Washington Scholar-Athlete Scholarships. "You can't go into camp out of shape."

A cornerback, Washington has totaled six interceptions and 203 tackles in 81 games spread over six seasons with Oakland and Baltimore. He appeared in 14 games, including eight starts, last season with the Ravens.

"I'm in limbo," Washington said. "But I'm pretty confident that as soon as the lockout is over, I'll find a new job."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Prep baseball: Goetzman's bonus higher than slot

(photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays)

Granden Goetzman received a $490,000 bonus from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Baseball America, adding he is the first draft pick this season to sign higher than MLB's recommended slot.

The Palmetto outfielder was taken in the second round by the Rays with the 75th overall pick, a pick that usually nets a player $485, 100.

Goetzman signed Tuesday with Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field, choosing the Rays over Florida Gulf Coast University, which gave the outfielder a scholarship.

He will report to the Rays' Gulf Coast League team in Port Charlotte.

The GCL seasons opens next week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Prep baseball: Why Goetzman is off to the GCL

(photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays) ST. PETERSBURG - Granden Goetzman's path to the major leagues will begin where so many others have started: the Gulf Coast League.
Goetzman, a Palmetto graduate, signed with the Rays on Tuesday after they made him the 75th overall pick of last week's draft. He will report to the Rays' GCL team in Port Charlotte.
The Gulf Coast League is the furthest thing from the glamorous life of a big-league baseball player. Games are played in the middle of the day in front of a handful of fans brave enough to bear the broiling heat.
There is no public-address announcer or seventh-inning stretch, nor is there a whole lot of shade.
According to Evan Brannon, who scouted Goetzman and is seated to Goetzman's right in the above photo, it is the perfect place for a high school player to begin his pro career.
"It's a good introduction to professional baseball," said Brannon, who referred to the GCL as the Gulf Roast League. "It's hot, it's hard, (players use) wood bats, they're playing every day...it will be one of the most important things (Goetzman) does."
The 14-team GCL is sliced into North, East and South divisions, and the season runs from the end of June through the end of August. The GCL Rays play in the South along with the Orioles, Red Sox and Twins, and do not play the GCL Pirates, who are based out of Pirate City and play in the North Division.
The Rays open their season noon Monday against the visiting Red Sox. Goetzman will be close to home June 24, when he and the Rays head to Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota to face the Orioles.

Prep baseball: Goetzman signs with Rays

(photo by Paul Videla)

ST. PETERSBURG - Granden Goetzman has signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Palmetto outfielder passed his physical today and just got done addressing the media on the field at Tropicana Field. Joined by his mother, sister and former Palmetto coach Joe Collis, Goetzman will stay for the Rays' game against the Boston Red Sox.

The Rays made Goetzman the 75th overall pick of last week's draft, taking him in the second round. He had signed with Florida Gulf Coast University in November but quickly decided to go pro.

"Professional baseball was always what I wanted to do," Goetzman said moments ago, "and I'm just happy it turned out this way."

Goetzman is the Rays' highest pick to sign from this year's draft. He will report to the organization's Gulf Coast League affiliate in Port Charlotte, which opens its season next week.

For more on this story, including quotes from Evan Brannon, who scouted Goetzman, check out Wednesday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prep baseball: Goetzman expects to sign with Rays on Tuesday

Palmetto's Granden Goetzman said he expects to sign Tuesday with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Goetzman, who didn't dislcose the terms of the deal, will undergo a physical during the day and expects to sign in the evening.

The Rays host the Boston Red Sox for the first of a three-game series Tuesday.

The Rays made Goetzman the 75th overall pick of last week's amateur draft, plucking the shortstop/outfielder in the second round during the draft's second day.
The Herald's All-Area Player of the Year, Goetzman, who had signed with Florida Gulf Coast University, batted .413 with eight home runs with 26 RBIs in 25 games.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Prep baseball: Rays take Goetzman

The Tampa Bay Rays chose Palmetto High's Granden Goetzman in the second round with the 75th overall selection during Major League Baseball's 2011 First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday.

Goetzman played shortstop primarily this season, but is projected as an outfield prospect. He previously signed to play college baseball at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Goetzman was recently selected as the Herald's All-Area Player of the Year for a season that included a .413 batting average, .526 on-base percentage and .950 slugging percentage in 25 games.

For more on this story, check out Wednesday's edition of the Bradenton Herald.

- Jason Dill, Bradenton Herald sports reporter.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Prep baseball: MLB Draft to tap local talent


The 2001 amateur baseball draft will be broadcast live beginning 6 p.m. Monday on the MLB Network.
It's a safe bet to say some locals will be watching.
Palmetto's Granden Goetzman had a workout with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday at Tropicana Field, spending roughly two hours taking batting practice, shagging flies, showing off his arm and running the 60-yard dash.
An outfielder turned shortstop, Goetzman was ranked 52nd overall in Baseball American's draft rankings. He hit .413 this season with eight home runs, 26 RBIs, 14 steals and a .950 slugging percentage.
"I'm excited," said Goetzman.
Goetzman signed with Florida Gulf Coast University in November, but he could get selected pretty high next week. During an online chat in May, Baseball America's Conor Glassey said Goetzman could be a supplemental pick, which would be between the first two rounds, or a second-round pick. R.J. Harrison blogged on theprocessreport.com that Baseball American's reports praised Goetzman's "prodigious power" and drew comparisons of Goetzman to sluggers Jayson Werth - Goetzman's favorite player - and Jay Buhner.
Aside from the Rays, Goetzman has also worked out for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres.
Also drawing interest is Southeast outfielder Michael Suchy, who, like Goetzman, is signed to Florida Gulf Coast next. Suchy worked out for the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates this past week.
He batted .338 with five home runs, 18 RBIs, 11 steals and a .613 slugging percentage. A contact hitter, Suchy struck out eight times in 108 plate appearances.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Prep sports: FHSAA releases final district alignments

The Florida High School Athletic Association announced the final district alignments Thursday for boys weightlifting, tennis, track and field and wrestling.

The alignments are listed below with local teams in bold.


CLASS 2A-DISTRICT 7 - Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee, Palmetto, Charlotte, North Port, Port Charlotte, Riverview, Sarasota, Venice.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 8 - Bayshore, Cardinal Mooney, Southeast, Arcadia DeSoto, Auburndale, Avon Park, Booker, Englewood Lemon Bay, Frostproof, Kissimmee Poinciana, Lake Placid, Lake Wales, Lake Wales Vanguard, Lakeland Tenoroc, Mulberry.


CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 8 - Manatee, North Port, Riverview, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Seminole.

CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 12 - Bayshore, Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, Charlotte, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Venice.

CLASS 2A-DISTRICT 11 - Southeast, Arcadia DeSoto, Booker, Cape Coral Mariner, Englewood Lemon Bay, Fort Myers Dunbar, Lehigh Acres.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 9 - Bradenton Christian, Cardinal Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen's, Clearwater Central Catholic, Largo Indian Rocks Christian, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep, St. Petersburg Canterbury, St. Petersburg Catholic.


CLASS 4A-DISTRICT 7 - Manatee, Lithia Newsome, North Port, Riverview, Tampa Riverview, Valrico Bloomingdale.

CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 11 - Palmetto, Cape Coral Island Coast, Charlotte, Estero, Fort Myers Cypress Lake, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, South Fort Myers, Venice.

CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 9 - Bayshore, Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Brandon, Dover Strawberry Crest, Gibsontown East Bay, Ruskin Lennard, Seffner Armwood.

CLASS 2A-DISTRICT 10 - Southeast, Arcadia DeSoto, Booker, Lehigh, Riverview Spoto, St. Petersburg Lakewood, Wauchula Hardee.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 11 - Bradenton Christian, Cape Coral Oasis (boys only), Fort Myers Canterbury, Fort Myers Evangelical Christian, Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian, Moore Haven, Naples Community School, Naples First Baptist, Naples Seacrest Country Day, Naples St. John Neumann.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 10 - Cardinal Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen's, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut, St. Petersburg Catholic, St. Petersburg Keswick Christian, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep, Sarasota Christian.


CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 8 -Manatee, Largo Pinellas Park, Naples Gulf Coast, North Port, Riverview, St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Northeast, Sarasota.

CLASS 2A-DISTRICT 11 -Bayshore, Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, Cape Coral, Cape Coral Ida Baker, Cape Coral Island Coast, Cape Coral Mariner, Charlotte, Port Charlotte, Venice.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 11 - Saint Stephen's, Southeast, Booker, Cape Coral Oasis, Englewood Lemon Bay, Fort Myers Dunbar, Fort Myers Gateway Charter.

Prep sports: Southeast starting a rowing team

Southeast is the newest area school to make the foray into rowing.
The school is starting a rowing team and will conduct a meeting 7 p.m. tonight at the school's media center. The meeting will offer people a chance to learn more about crew and meet Trish Jackson, who coaches Palmetto's rowing team.
Palmetto was the first school in Manatee County to field a rowing team. The Tigers competed in April's state championship regatta at Benderson Park and drew approximately 50 students to its first meeting.
The team also got a boost from Jane Lynch, star of the hit TV show, "Glee."