Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Prep football: Big crowd expected for Manatee-Good Counsel game

(photo by Dan Whelan at olgchs.org)

A crowd of possibly 6,000 is expected for Manatee's season-opener Friday at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Md.

"We're excited," said Good Counsel athletic director Mark Jankovitz.

Both teams are ranked nationally - the rankings vary depending on what poll you study - and the game has caught the attention of USA Today, which plans on sending a writer, Jankovitz said.

"We've had college coaches and scouts calling us about coming out," Jankovitz said, "from as far out as the West Coast."

Good Counsel has won back-to-back Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championships and begins the season ranked first in the Washington Post's top 20.

Friday's game kicks off at 7 p.m.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Prep football: Canes take a tumble in RivalsHigh 100




The Hurricanes didn't impress the folks at Rivals during Wednesday's Kickoff Classic.


Manatee dropped from No. 36 to No. 75 in the lastest rankings of the RivalsHigh 100 after its 20-14 win over Delray Beach American Heritage, a victory which Rivals described as "incredibly sloppy."


(Canes coach Joe Kinnan also wasn't too pleased with his team's performance.)
Manatee has a chance to make up some ground Friday when the Hurricanes open the season in Maryland against Our Lady of Good Counsel, currently ranked 27th by Rivals.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prep football: Palmetto being cautious with Kevin O'Brien

(photo by Grant Jefferies)

As much as Kevin O'Brien wants to get back into Palmetto's lineup, the Tigers' coaching staff is taking its time with the senior offensive lineman.

O'Brien, who needed season-ending surgery after breaking his leg last October against Charlotte and tweaked a knee during fall practice, won't play Friday when Palmetto opens the regular season against Riverview.

In fact, he may not play until the Tigers begin their Class 5A-District 10 schedule Sept. 23 at Arcadia DeSoto.

"We rushed him back in preseason, and he took a step backwards," Palmetto coach Dave Marino said following Friday's 33-10 win over Venice in a Kickoff Classic, which O'Brien, wearing a jersey and a pair of shorts, watched from the sideline. "We want to win the district. We're going to focus on making sure he's 100 percent and ready to go when we begin our district schedule."

O'Brien is a Division I-caliber talent and a two-year starter and when he returns, he'll be in charge of protecting quarterback Trent Miller's blindside.

"He's working real hard at his rehab. He's getting better, he's getting stronger," Marino said. "We want to make sure there's no doubt he's 100 percent ready for the long haul.

"We're going to take our time with him...No doubt, (O'Brien will be back for) that first district game. But if he progresses the way we feel he can and keeps working as hard as has been in his rehab, maybe sooner."

Dante Logan, who spent all of last year playing JV, started in O'Brien's place Friday against Venice and during the spring game against Booker.

"He's done a good job," Marino said. "He's really improved."

The line looked good Friday, when it gave Miller ample time to complete 11 of 14 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

"They were giving me three, four, five seconds back there," Miller said. "If they do that, and with the receivers we have, somebody's going to be open."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Prep football: MaxPreps says Hurricanes have fifth-toughest schedule



Manatee's difficult schedule has not gone unnoticed by MaxPreps, which ranked the Canes' fifth in its list of the top 10 most difficult schedules for 2011.

MaxPreps considered Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.), Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) and Weston Cypress Bay as Manatee's most difficult opponents this year, and with good reason. Good Counsel and Don Bosco are national powerhouses, with Don Bosco ranked first in the nation by USA Today, ESPN and MaxPreps.

Cypress Bay reached the Class 6A state semifinals last year and is now in Class 8A.

Not mentioned was Manatee's list of tough local opponents, which includes Palmetto, Riverview and Southeast. And the Hurricanes also compete in Class 7A-District 10 with Venice, a postseason qualifier the last four years.

Manatee, which defeated Delray Beach American Heritage on Wednesday in a Kickoff Classic, opens the regular season Friday at Good Counsel, which is located in Olney, Md.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prep football: Chase Sandberg's status uncertain

(photo by Grant Jefferies)

As the Manatee Hurricanes went through their pre-game warm-ups Wednesday night in preparation for the first game of the 2011 season, Chase Sandberg just sat and watched.

Decked out in a pair of shorts and his red No. 9 jersey, Sandberg sat solemnly on the bench, his left arm in a sling and his senior season of football in doubt.

Sandberg re-injured his surgically-repaired labrum last week during practice, taking him out of Wednesday's Kickoff Classic against Delray Beach American Heritage.

He will go for an MRI this week and said he doesn't expect to play next Friday, when the Hurricanes open the regular season in Olney, Md., against Our Lady of Good Counsel.

"We'll just have to wait and see," said Manatee coach Joe Kinnan.

Manatee was hoping to guard against this and put Sandberg, a defensive back last year, back at wide receiver, where he would do less hitting and catch passes thrown by his younger brother, Cord.

Sandberg also a has a baseball career to consider, and he has received offers from Florida Southern and State College of Florida. He batted .375 with 29 RBIs, five home runs and a team-high 36 runs scores last spring in helping the Hurricanes reach the state semifinals for the first time in 48 years.

In Sandberg's absence, receivers Ryan Taylor and Austin Gordon, both of whom played well in Manatee's 20-14 win Wednesday, could get more touches.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Prep football: Palmetto looking to make a statement

(photo by John Lembo)

Circumstances may have forced Palmetto to change the day of its Kickoff Classic.
To the delight of coach Dave Marino, pictured above addressing his team following Tuesday's practice, the threat of Hurricane Irene did nothing to change the Tigers' opponent.

Rather than play Friday, as originally intended, Palmetto hosts Venice in a Kickoff Classic 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Harllee Stadium. That's fine with Marino, who said there was a purpose in scheduling the Indians.

"That's all we've been preaching to the kids - we're transitioning to a big school," said Marino, a second-year head coach who guided the Tigers into the playoffs last fall. "Population wise, we're a big school. But mentally, psychologically, as a football program, we're not. We're not there yet. We've made strides, to go from 5-5 to 6-4 is progress. We're just looking to improve upon that and move in that direction."

Palmetto successfully appealed a move to Class 5A-District 10 after it was initially placed in a Class 6A district with Lakewood Ranch and a number of Polk County schools. Yet the Tigers are still smaller than Venice, a Class 7A school fresh off making four straight trips to the Class 5A playoffs.

The Indians have become one of the more solid programs in Manatee and Sarasota counties, which is why Marino put them on Palmetto's schedule. It's also why you'll find the likes of Riverview, Sarasota and Manatee among the Tigers' list of opponents as well, Marino said.

"There's no bigger schools in this area that we're not playing," Marino said. "We tried, and that was the best we can do, and it worked out pretty darn good. We're getting a lot of big schools - bigger than we are."

So while Wednesday's Classic may not mean anything in the standings, it will mean plenty to a Palmetto team looking to vault the school back into the area's upper echelon.

"I think it means a lot," said senior quarterback Trenton Miller, "because it's going to propel us into the season. We've got to go out and win."






Prep football: Manatee's Kickoff Classic moved to Wednesday



Another Kickoff Classic football game has been rescheduled.

Because of the potential ramifications of Hurricane Irene, Manatee's game with Delray Beach American Heritage has been moved to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Stadium.

It was originally scheduled for Friday.

Palmetto's Kickoff Classic with Venice was also moved to Wednesday. The Tigers and Indians will kick off 6:30 p.m. at Harllee Stadium.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Prep football: Palmetto's Kickoff Classic moved to Wednesday



Palmetto's Kickoff Classic against Venice has been moved to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Palmetto athletic director Kenny Ansbro.

The game was orginally scheduled for Friday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Prep football: Noles third, Canes fourth in FloridaHSFootball.com rankings



Southeast and Manatee made the preseason top 10 in their classifications in the FloridaHSfootball.com's preseason rankings, which were unveiled today.

And the website considers the Seminoles and Hurricanes final four teams, as well.

The Noles are ranked third in Class 5A, behind Miami Norland and Belle Glades Belle Central. Southeast is ranked No. 1 in Region 3. Palmetto, which joins the Noles in District 10, is ranked fourth in Region 3.

Manatee is ranked fourth in Class 7A, looking up at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (No. 1), Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer (2) and Tallahassee Lincoln (3).

The Canes are picked to win Region 3, while Braden River is picked to finish ninth in the region.

Manatee's District 10 rival, Venice, is ranked eighth in the state and third in the region.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Prep football: No plans yet to televise Bosco-Manatee game



It doesn't appear that Manatee's game against New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco Prep, scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16 as part of the Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge at Hawkins Stadium, will be shown on television.

"We had ESPN for both games, but the problem was they wanted to televise it at 5 and 8:30 (p.m.)," said Ken Halloy, president of Halloy Boy Sports Marketing, which is running the event. "Five was too early, and it was non-negotiable."

Halloy said there is a possibility of switching the Manatee-Bosco game to 8:30 p.m., and televising it.

But as of now, the times appear to be static, with Tampa Plant and Bergen Catholic, another Jersey team, set to follow Manatee-Bosco at 8:30 p.m.

"We're just so tight on crunch time right now," Halloy said following Thursday morning's press conference at Manatee Memorial Hospital. "We've got all these people traveling from New Jersey, and you don't want to disrupt their schedule. I think we're going to hold pat right now."

Halloy said Bright House Sports Network has expressed interest in broadcasting the games locally.

"We'll sit down and go over all the options. Manatee was going to be on ESPN, the second game was going to be on ESPN 2," Halloy said. "We just thought 5 o'clock, for people to get to the stadium, was just too early."


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prep football: Canes, Tigers, Noles crack Freeman's top 10

(photo by Grant Jefferies)

Another day, another ranking.

This ones comes courtesy of MaxPreps, which unveiled its Freeman football rankings earlier this week.

Three area teams made the top 10 of their respective classifications: Manatee is third in Class 7A, while Southeast is fourth and Palmetto, coached by Dave Marino, above, is ninth in Class 5A.

MaxPreps also ranked Manatee 16th overall the state, the highest of the 10 area teams.

Southeast is 31st, while Palmetto is 60th.

Listed below are the rankings for the area's other schools.

BAYSHORE - 36th in Class 5A, 209th overall.

BRADEN RIVER - 30th in Class 7A, 159th overall.

BRADENTON CHRISTIAN - 26th in Class 2A, 424th overall.

CARDINAL MOONEY - 32nd in Class 3A, 419th overall.

LAKEWOOD RANCH - 40th in Class 6A, 146th overall.

OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY - 15th in Class 2A, 331st overall.

SAINT STEPHEN'S - 48th in Class 2A, 526th overall.

Want to know how MaxPreps came up with these rankings?

Click here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Prep football: Manatee games to be broadcast on 930 WLSS

(manateesheriff.com)

Manatee football games this fall can now be heard on WLSS News Talk 930 AM Sarasota instead of 1490-WWPR.

Despite the station change, the games will follow the same format, with the pregame show beginning 30 minutes before kickoff. The station will also feature the Hurricane Hotline radio show featuring coach Joe Kinnan, which will broadcast live every Tuesday night from Lee Roy Selmon's in west Bradenton.

Dave Bristow, above, and Danny Carter will handle the commentary.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prep football: Falcons to play four night games at Palma Sola Park




Saint Stephen's football team is getting a taste of Friday night football this fall, having scheduled four games at Palma Sola Park.


The Falcons will face Naples First Baptist Academy (Sept. 9), Southwest Florida Christian (Sept. 16), Out-of-Door Academy (Nov. 4) and St. Petersburg Northside Christian (Nov. 11) at the park, which is located at 7915 40th Ave. W. in Bradenton.


The games at Palma Sola begin at 7 p.m.


Saint Stephen's will play one game on campus at Turner Fields on 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 against St. Petersburg Shorecrest. That will serve as the Falcons' Homecoming game.


The Falcons played one night game in Bradenton last season when they faced Cardinal Mooney at G.T. Bray in November.

Prep football: Sept. 16 doubleheader at Hawkins has a name

(nj.com)

The doubeleader scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16 at Hawkins Stadium has a name - The Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge.

Manatee faces Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) and its coach, Greg Toal (above), at 6 p.m.

Another Jersey team, Bergen Catholic, faces Tampa Plant at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the game, and discount opportunities will be announced soon.

All four coaches will be together for a press conference 11 a.m. Thursday in the Tower Lobby of Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. East in Bradenton.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Prep football: Noles' season-opener moved to Thursday, broadcast live on BHSN



Southeast's regular-season opener against visiting Largo has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 1 and will be featured as the Bright House Sports Network Game of the Week.

The network released its first five Games of the Week on its website Thursday night.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday, Sept. 2.

The Seminoles went 10-3 last season and advanced to the Class 3A-Region 3 final. They will compete in Class 5A-District 10 this season.

Largo won the Class 4A-District 10 title last fall and will be in Class 6A-District 7 this season.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Prep football: Manatee sixth on Powerade Fab 50



Is Manatee the sixth-best football team in the country?

ESPNRISE thinks so. The Hurricanes are ranked No.6 in the Powerade Fab 50 ESPNHS Team Rankings, which were unveiled today.

"Thirteen starters return for head coach Joe Kinnan," Manatee's capsule reads, noting the Canes' lone loss last season came to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, which ESPNRISE annointed last year's prep national champion.

ESPN lists quarterback Cord Sandberg, linebacker Darius White and defensive back Clinton Heaven as the team's top returning starters, claiming that White and Heaven are a "formidable defensive foe."

The top-ranked team on ESPN's list? Don Bosco Prep, which heads to Bradenton on Sept. 16 to face Manatee.

The Canes were listed at No. 36 in the RivalsHigh 100 earlier this summer.

Other Florida teams making the list are Aquinas (No. 4), Seffner Armwood (No.9), Tallahassee Lincoln (No. 17), Cocoa (No. 24) and Miami Norland (No. 39).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Prep baseball: Griffin showing power in Pioneer League

(minorleaguebaseball.com)

Jon Griffin, a graduate of Lakewood Ranch and State College of Florida, has adapted well to professional baseball.

Playing with the Missoula Osprey, a Rookie League affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Griffin leads the team in home runs (10) and RBIs (41) in 43 games with the team.

He is tied for first in the league in RBIs and is third in home runs.

Not bad for a 22-year-old who didn't play a lick of pro ball until the Diamondbacks took him in the 21st round of the June draft.

Griffin was also chosen by the Minnesota Twins in 2007 and the Boston Red Sox in '08 before signing with the Diamondbacks out of the University of Central Florida. Griffin went to UCF after two seasons at SCF.

Of course, Griffin is no stranger to power. He hit 19 home run during his senior season with the Knights, which is the second-highest single-season total in team history. He also drove in 58 runs and slugged .661.

He also hit 37 home runs in two seasons at SCF.

Griffin helped the Osprey win the Pioneer League's North Division during the first half. They are 5-4 in the second half.


Prep baseball: Post 24 falls in regional final



Kirby Stewart American Legion Post 24's baseball team's run through the Southeast regional tournament is over.

Post 24 lost 14-6 on Monday to Gaffney, S.C., during the tournament's final day. Post 24, which had lost to Gaffney on Sunday, needed to win twice Monday in order to win the title.

Gaffney now moves on to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C., which gets underway Friday.

Post 24 (32-7) led 2-1 after the first inning, but Gaffney scored four runs in the second inning and five more in the third to blow things open.

The locals got a big day from Stephen Dezzi, who went 4-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Daniel Lee, Correlle Prime and Bryan Voelk also knocked in a run for Post 24, which had nine hits but also committed four errors.

Jordan Garrett knocked in three runs for Gaffney, which finished with 15 hits.

Kirby Stewart advanced to the reigional tournament after winning the state championship in Boynton Beach late last month. It was the Legion team's fourth state title under coach Dwayne Strong, who also led Manatee High's baseball team to the Class 5A state final four in the spring.



Prep football: Kickoff Classic pairings

(fhsaa.org)

Today marks the first time football teams around the state can officially start practicing, signaling the beginning of another season.

Kickoff Classics are slated for Friday, Aug. 26.

The pairings are listed below


Bayshore at Pinellas Park, 7:30 p.m.

Braden River at Booker, 7 p.m.

Bradenton Christian at Cardinal Mooney, 7:30 p.m.

Lakewood Ranch at Sarasota, 7:30 p.m.

Delray Beach American Heritage at Manatee, 7:30 p.m.

Tampa Berkeley Prep at Out-of-Door Academy, 7 p.m.

Venice at Palmetto, 7:30 p.m.

Saint Stephen's at Haines City Landmark Christian, 7 p.m.

Fort Myers at Southeast, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Prep baseball: Post 24 one of two left standing at regional tournament

(legion.com)

Kirby Stewart's Post 24 American Legion baseball team is one of two remaining in the hunt for the Southeast regional tournament championship.

Post 24 needs to win twice today against Gaffney, S.C. in order to win the title. The first game is scheduled for noon, with the second game, if necessary, to follow.

Gaffney, which has not lost a regional game, defeated Post 24 8-5 on Sunday. But the locals roared back to defeat host Sumter, S.C. in the nightcap, winning by a score of 12-2.

Andrew McNett knocked in three runs in the win for Post 24 (32-6). Trevor Beeman drove in two runs and his twin brother, Tyler, went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Pitcher Chad Sobotka allowed seven hits and one earned run in six innings to earn the win.

The regional champion advances to the American Legion World Series, which gets underway Friday in Shelby, N.C.

Prep football: Manatee's Sandberg a junior to watch

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Manatee quarterback Cord Sandberg has caught the eye of MaxPreps' Stephen Spiewak, who listed Sandberg as one of the top 100 players to watch for the Class of 2013.

The players were listed alphabetically.

The lefty-slinging Sandberg has already received five offers, according to rivals.com, with Auburn, Cincinatti, Clemson, Iowa State and Western Kentucky vying for his services thus far.

Manatee opens the regular season against nationally-ranked Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Md., and then hosts powerhouse Don Bosco Prep out of New Jersey on Sept. 16, a pair of games that are already meriting national attention. If Sandberg performs well, his stock will even rise.

Sandberg, the Hurricanes and the rest of the area football teams officially begin practice Monday.




Thursday, August 4, 2011

Post 24 scores six in 9th, wins regional opener

The Post 24 Kirby Stewart baseball team scored six runs in the ninth inning Thursday afternoon to shock Puerto Rico in the first round of the American Legion Southeast Regional Tournament in Sumter, S.C.
Post 24, the Florida state champion, advances to play either Douglasville, Ga., or the host Sumter, S.C., team at about 7 p.m. Friday in the winner's bracket of the double-elimination tournament.
Post 24 led 4-2 after 1 1/2 innings but allowed Puerto Rico to score seven unanswered runs before rallying in its final at-bat.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Prep volleyball: A primer

(fhsaa.org)

Football isn't the only sport that starts practicing Monday: golf, swimming and diving volleyball also begins working out next week, signaling the start of the 2011-12 prep sports season.

Here is a brief, nuts-and-bolts look at area volleyball, with golf and swimming and diving coming soon.


BAYSHORE

District: Class 5A-District 12

First regular season match: Aug. 30 at Bradenton Christian


BRADEN RIVER

District: Class 7A-District 11

First regular season match: Sept. 7 at Manatee


BRADENTON CHRISTIAN

District: Class 3A-District 10

First regular season match: Aug. 30 vs. Bradenton Christian


CARDINAL MOONEY

District: Class 3A-District 10

First regular season match: Aug. 29 vs. Lakewood Ranch


LAKEWOOD RANCH

District: Class 6A-District 12


MANATEE

District: Class 7A-District 11

First regular season match: Aug. 30 at Riverview


OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY

District: Class 3A-District 10

First regular season match: Sept. 6 vs. Bradenton Christian


PALMETTO

District: Class 6A-District 12

First regular season match: Aug. 31 at Saint Stephen's


SAINT STEPHEN'S

District: Class 3A-District 10

First regular season match: Aug. 30 vs. Southeast


SOUTHEAST

District: Class 5A-District 12

First regular season match: Aug. 29 vs. Wauchula Hardee

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Prep football: Manatee ranked No 36 in RivalsHigh 100



The Hurricanes have cracked the RivalsHigh 100, landing at No. 36.

Dallas Jackson, a senior analyst at RivalsHigh, writes that experience will be Manatee's greatest strength, especially since injuries last season to guys like Mike Blakely, Drakkar Wilson and Quinton Pompey pushed a lot of players into action quicker than expected.

"With a demanding schedule this season," Jackson writes in Manatee's capsule, "...that experience should be prove to be invaluable."

Experienced starters such as defensive back Clinton Heaven and linebacker Darius White anchor a defense that lost three starters off the line, while running back Leon Allen, who was ineligible last year but rushed for 94 yards in the spring game, should help offset the loss of Blakely.

Wide receiver Anthony Lauro was effective when healthy last year, and defensive lineman Derrick Calloway, who appeared in just six games last year, has already earned a scholarship offer from USF.

And of course there is quarterback Cord Sandberg, who burst on to the scene as a sophomore last year and propelled himself right on to the national radar.

"The talent is there," Jackson writes, "and coach Joe Kinnan has done just about everything a coach can do in a career."

Jackson does point to Manatee's schedule, however, which includes games against national powers such as Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) and Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), as well as local rivals such as Riverview, Southeast, Palmetto and Venice.

"A team that can make a dramatic move up (or down) with its schedule," he wrote on RivalsHigh's Twitter page.

Manatee opens its regular season Sept. 2 at Good Counsel, which Jackson listed at No. 54.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Prep sports: BHSN unveils list of top 20 greatest coaches

(bhsn.com)Brandon wrestling coach Russ Cozart took the top spot in Bright House Sports Network's countdown of the 20 greatest coaches in the its seven-county viewing area. Cozart has led Brandon to 21 state titles in 31 years as a head coach, including a current run of 11 straight, and watched more than 80 of his wrestlers win state championships. The Eagles also won a record 459 straight dual meets under Cozart, a streak that merited a special produced by ESPN.
Here is the complete list, including a couple of names you may know.

1 - Russ Cozart, Brandon wrestling
2- Paul Maechtle, Southeast football
3 - Bill Castle, Lakeland football
4 - Randy Dagostino, Tampa Berkeley Prep volleyball
5 - Robert Weiner, Tampa Plant football
6 - Glenn Rutenbar, Bartow softball
7 - Lanny Faedo, Tampa Alonso baseball
8 - Nancy Kroll, Tampa Catholic girls basketball
9 - Rick Rodriguez, Largo football
10 - Joe Kinnan, Manatee football
11 - Sean Callahan, Seffner Armwood football
12 - Pop Cuesta, Tampa Jefferson baseball
13 - Terrence McGriff, Bartow boys basketball
14 - Allen Carden, Clearwater boys basketball
15 - Joe Fenlon, Tampa Prep boys basketball
16 - Bobby Diez, Chamberlain softball
17 - Tom McHugh, Pasco football
18 - John Crumbley, Tampa Jesuit/Steinbrenner baseball
19 - Eileen Givens, Countryside track and field
20 - David Mitchell, Tampa Wharton football, wrestling and track and field

Prep baseball: Kirby Stewart Legion team ready for regional tournament

(www.legion.com) Kirby Stewart Post 24's American Legion baseball team, fresh off winning its fourth state tournament this weekend under coach Dwayne Strong, continues its summer Thursday at the southeast regional tournament in Sumter, S.C.
Kirby Stewart (29-5) faces Puerto Rico on Thursday in the first round of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The locals defeated host Boynton Beach on Sunday to win the state championship.
Rounding out the regional field is Dalton, Ala., Cherryville, N.C., Gaffney, S.C., Greenbrier, Va., Douglasville, Ga., and host Sumter. The championship game is slated for Monday.
Post 24's roster. broken up by high school, is listed below. And head to bradenton.com Wednesday for a feature on the team.

MANATEE - Trevor Beeman, Tyler Beeman, Scott Kelly, Daniel Lee, Correlle Prime, Mitchell Shreves, Tyler Souris, Bryan Voelkl.
LAKEWOOD RANCH - Shane Davidson, Reggie Lindsey, Andrew McNett.
SARASOTA RIVERVIEW - Stephen Dezzi, Chad Sobotka, Sam Wareham.

Prep football: Manatee's Week 1 opponent ranked 54th in nation

(photo from washingtonpost.com)Our Lady of Good Counsel, which plays host to Manatee on Sept. 2 in Olney, Md., is ranked 54th on the RivalsHigh 100 countdown.
Led by receiver Stefon Diggs, No. 7 in the picture above, the Falcons jumped 29 spots after finishing last year ranked No. 83 by Rivals.
According to the Rivals' write-up, Good Counsel features 15 players with Division I offers, including Diggs, who is being courted by over 30 schools. The 6-foot-1 senior earned a five-star ranking from Rivals, which also lists him second in the nation among receivers graduating in 2012.
The Falcons went 10-2 last season.
Rivals began unveiling its rankings 10 per day July 25, and will list 50-46 and 45-41 today.
No area schools have cracked the list yet.