Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prep sports: Pick your top Manatee County prep sports moment in 2011

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)


As 2011 comes to a close, it's time to look back at that the year that was in Manatee County high school sports.


And what a year. From Manatee's football team climbing back on top to Lakewood Ranch's fabulous fall to Saint Stephen's boys soccer team making a return trip to the final four, there were plenty of thrills to go around during this calendar year.


So tell us your favorite. Glance at the poll on the right-hand side of the page and vote on the top high school sports moment in Manatee County for 2011.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Prep baseball: Lastings Milledge signs with Tokyo Swallows

(photo from ESPN)Lastings Milledge has found a new baseball team - albeit, one in a different league, country and continent.
The Palmetto native and Lakewood Ranch alum has signed with the Tokyo Swallows of Japan's Central League, according to the team's website.
It's another chapter in Milledge's strange and tumultuous life in professional baseball, which began when the New York Mets made him the 12th overall pick of the 2003 draft.
He was called up to the Mets in 2006 and again in '07, appearing in 115 games with the team before he was traded to Washington prior to the '08 season.
The move initially paid off for Milledge, who hit 14 home runs, swiped 24 bases and batted .261 for Washington in '08. But he was traded yet again to Pittsburgh in early '09, and he hit .281 in 171 games with the Pirates during in '09-'10.
Milledge latched on with Chicago White Sox in 2011 and made the team out of spring training. But the White Sox, in need of bullpen help, released Milledge after just two games in order to add another reliever to the 25-man roster.
The Swallows have been in existence since 1950 and went 70-59-15 last year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Prep basketball: Southeast, Lakewood Ranch win on first day of Clemons Classic

Southeast and Lakewood Ranch's girls basketball teams scored victories during the first day of the 8th Annual Wille Clemons Holiday Basketball Classic on Monday at Southeast.
Returning to Seminole Alley for the first time in over a decade, Southeast (10-3) throttled St. Petersburg Northeast 55-26 in the opening round of the Seminole Division.
The Noles return to the newer Narbut Gymnasium 1 p.m. Tuesday to meet St. Petersburg Gibbs in a semifinal.
The Mustangs (8-5) outlasted Mitchell 28-25 in the opening round of the Gators Division and face Gulfport Boca Ciega 4 p.m. Tuesday in a semifinal.
Championship games are scheduled for Wednesday, with the Seminole Division final tipping off at 4 p.m. and the Gators Division final going at 5:30.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Prep baseball: Bradenton's J.R. Murphy ranked Yankees' 9th-best prospect

(photo from riveraveblues.com)

Bradenton native and IMG graduate J.R. Murphy has been named the New York Yankees' ninth-best prospect in the latest issue of Baseball America.

"A solid athlete and average runner, Murphy has improved defensively," the magazine writes about Murphy, a catcher who was chosen by the Yankees during the second round of the 2009 draft. "He has gained average arm strength through better mechanics and a long-toss program and quicker release."

Murphy, 20, began last season with the Yankees low Single-A affiliate in Charleston and was a South Atlantic League before a mid-season promotion to the team's high Single-A club in Tampa.

Murphy batted .259 with a home run and 14 RBIs with the Tampa Yankees before a foul ball broke his left foot, according to Baseball America.

In 86 games in Charlestown and Tampa, Murphy batted .287 with seven home runs and 46 RBIs, and he threw out 24 percent of attempted basestealers. He also saw time at third base, too.

Baseball America expects Murphy to return to Tampa next season.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prep football: Manatee's 7A state final to be re-aired tonight on Sun Sports



In case you missed it - or if you just want to re-live it - Manatee's Class 7A state football final win over Jacksonville First Coast will be replayed 6:30 p.m. tonight on Sun Sports.

The Canes beat the Buccaneers 40-0 to claim their first state title since 1992 and fifth overall.

The game will be shown again 6:30 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Prep basketball: Willie Clemons Classic pairings



Here are the first-round brackets for the Willie Clemons Girls Holiday Basketball Classic, which runs from Dec. 26-28 at Southeast.


GATORS DIVISION (NEW GYM)

Lakeland Kathleen vs. Gulfport Boca Ciega, noon

Lakewood Ranch vs. Mitchell, 2:30 p.m.

Riverview vs. Coral Gables, 4 p.m.

Seminole vs. Parkway Academy, 5:30 p.m.


SEMINOLE DIVISION (FIRST-ROUND GAMES WILL BE IN OLD GYM)

Southeast vs. St. Petersburg Northeast, 1 p.m.

Cape Coral Mariner vs. St. Petersburg Gibbs, 2:30 p.m.

Punta Gorda Charlotte vs. Tampa Sickles, 4 p.m.

Tampa Catholic vs. Venice, 5:30 p.m.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Prep football; Joe Pinkos' rating declares Manatee tops in Florida; Palmetto sixth



Joe Kinnan considers his Manatee Hurricanes the best football team in Florida.

And he's not alone.

The Hurricanes were ranked first overall in the final Joe Pinkos' Power Rating, which are determined by a team's strength of schedule as well as its margin of victory.

Manatee, which went 13-2 and defeated Jacksonville First Coast 40-0 in the Class 7A state final, finished first with a rating of 210.6, beating 5A champ Miami Norland (206.8) and Class 6A champ Seffner Armwood (206).

Palmetto was sixth with a rating of 202.4 after going 12-2 and reaching the Class 5A state semifinal. The Tigers lost to Manatee by three points and Norland by eight.

The Hurricanes finished the year third in the Flavarsity.com top 25 behind top-ranked Armwood and runner-up Norland.

Palmetto placed 18th in that poll.

Prep football: Manatee finishes in the top 12 in three national polls

(photo by Tiffany-Tompkins Condie)


Manatee's domination of Jacksonville First Coast in the state title game didn't just earn the Hurricanes a state championship, it helped them shoot up in the final national prep football polls, which were released Monday.


Rivals.com ranked Manatee 11th in its final RivalsHigh100 poll, the highest Manatee was ranked all year. Seffner Armwood (No.3), which went 15-0 and won the Class 6A state title, is the only Florida team Rivals listed ahead of Manatee.


MaxPreps also slotted Manatee at No. 11 in its final Xcellent 25 Football rankings, calling the Hurricanes "the best two-loss team in the country."


And the Canes ended the year 12th in the ESPNRise PowerAde Fab 50, up three spots from No. 15.


New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep, which handed Manatee one of its two losses this season, was named mythical national champion by ESPN and MaxPreps.


Rivals' top spot went to Louisville Trinity in Kentucky, with Bosco finishing second.


Manatee went 13-2 and undefeated against the state of Florida en route to winning the Class 7A state title. It was the Hurricanes' fifth state title and first since 1992.




Saturday, December 17, 2011

Prep football: Odds and ends from Manatee's state final win

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)


- Manatee's 40-0 win over Jacksonville First Coast during Friday's Class 7A state final marked the program's fifth state title, tied for fourth-most all-time with Monticello Jefferson County. Jacksonville Bolles (11) is first.


- The Hurricanes held First Coast to minus-71 yards of rushing, a new state finals record. The previous mark of minus-10 was set by Naples in a Class 3A state final against St. Augustine.


- Manatee was a combined 12 for 18 on third- and fourth-down conversions, while First Coast converted just one of seven third downs. The Canes also scored on all five trips inside the red zone.


- Including this year, Manatee has made 25 playoff appearances, tying Southeast for most in the area, and has won an area-best 53 playoff games. The Canes are 53-20 all-time in the playoffs, and haven't lost a playoff game at home since 2005.


- Head coach Joe Kinnan has guided Manatee to all five of its state titles, and has now won championships in three different decades - the 1980s ('83, '85, '89), the 90s ('92) and the 2010s ('11). This year marked the first time Manatee recorded a shutout in a state final.


- Manatee has won state titles in Miami (Tamiami Stadium, 1983), Bradenton (Hawkins Stadium, '85), Daytona Beach (Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, '89), Gainesville (Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field, '92) and Orlando (Florida Citrus Bowl, 2011).


- Manatee went 13-0 this season against Florida schools, and has 20 straight regular-season wins against Florida schools. Its last four losses have come to state champions: Tampa Plant in the 2009 Class 5A state final, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas in last year's Class 5A state semifinals, and Maryland's Our Lady of Good Counsel and New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep this year. Manatee hasn't lost to a county team since 2006 (Southeast).


- Halfback/wide receiver Anthony Lauro has not received any scholarship offers yet, but said South Carolina and its head coach, Steve Spurrier, have showed him a lot interest.


- Kinnan on First Coast: "They're a lot better football than what the score indicated. We're not 40 points better - we were (Friday)."


- Manatee's rematch with Bosco next season will be Week 3 up in New Jersey. The Ironmen, who have won six straight state titles, beat the Canes 22-16 this season in Bradenton, but were trailing 10-9 midway through the fourth quarter.


"Don Bosco is the best team we've played. We made some mistakes that night," Kinnan said. "You've got to give them credit, they deserved that win. I'd like to play Bosco again right now, though."


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Prep football: 5 storylines for tonight's Manatee-First Coast 7A final

(photo by Paul Videla)

Here are five things to watch for during tonight's Class 7A state final between Manatee and Jacksonville First Coast.


1. How DeAndre Johnson will handle the pressure: First Coast's freshman quarterback sure hasn't played like a freshman, throwing for 2,706 yards and 24 touchdowns in leading the Buccaneers to their first title game. Chances are, however, he hasn't seen a defensive line like Manatee's, which is lead by Marquis Dawsey (above) and Blake Keller, who have teamed for 24 sacks. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts after those first few hits.

2. The trenches: First Coast coach Marty Lee said whomever wins the battle in the trenches wins this football game, and he's right. The battle between Manatee's defensive line and a First Coast offensive line anchored by Sheldon Gordon (315 pounds) and Nathan Waters (325) will decide whether Johnson has time to hook up with his deep pool of receivers, or whether he spends the night throwing on the run.

3. Manatee's offense: Manatee was a points machine during the regular season, scoring at least 21 in nine of 10 games. But after racking up 89 in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Canes were limited to 13 points against Fort Pierce Central and 19 against Palm Beach Dwyer. And 13 of those were scored by the defense. Is that a credit to those two defenses, or a sign that Manatee's O is in a bit of a slump? We'll find out tonight.

4. Special teams: Manatee kicker Nick Tankersley has missed three field goals over the last two games after missing none during the previous 11. When the senior is on, he's on (see his program record 53-yarder against Sarasota this season), and that means more points for Manatee's stellar defense to work with. Tankersley and the rest of Manatee's kickers spent Tuesday at Dad's Stadium at Tampa Plant, which has a similar artificial surface to the Citrus Bowl. Tonight's game should be close, which means things could come down to Tankersley and his foot.

5. The experience factor: Manatee got off to a slow start during the 2009 Class 5A state final because the Hurricanes were a little awe-struck by the enormity of the Florida Citrus Bowl. Their opponents that night, the Plant Panthers, had been there the year before and were used to the surroundings. Things are reversed this season - Manatee has been there, First Coast has not. That could play a role, especially in the early part of the game, before the jitters have wore off.

Prep football: Manatee QB Cord Sandberg voted 7A Player of the Year

(photo by Paul Videla)


Manatee quarterback Cord Sandberg has been named the Class 7A Football Player of the Year by the Florida Dairy Farmers. The voting was done by high school coaches and media across the state.


Sandberg earned 89 points to finish ahead of Jackonsville First Coast's Chris Black (71) and Plant City's Bennie Coney (47).


Sandberg and Black will meet Friday at the Florida Citrus Bowl when Manatee meets First Coast for the 7A state title.


By winning the 7A award, Sandberg is now in the running for Mr. Football.


First Coast's Marty Lee was voted the 7A coach of the year, and Miami Norland's Duke Johnson, who ran for 357 yards against Palmetto in a state semifinal, was voted the player of the year in 5A.

Prep football: Lakewood Ranch named academic team champions



Lakewood Ranch's football team boasted the highest grade-point average in Class 6A this season, according to the Florida High School Athletic Association, which announced its academic team champions Thursday.

The Mustangs had a cumulative GPA of 3.197, which was good enough to beat second-place Naples Palmetto Ridge (3.178).

They will receive a plaque from the FHSAA.

Lakewood Ranch and Palmetto Ridge are tied for eighth with 14 points in Class 6A's overall academic team standings heading into the winter.

On the field, the Mustangs went 5-6 and made the Class 6A-Region 3 playoffs, where they almost upset national power Seffner Armwood before falling 35-31.

Armwood plays for the 6A state crown Saturday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Prep football: Rivals reporting Palmetto's Randall has switched to WKU




It appears Western Kentucky University has plucked another one of Manatee County's star football players.


Rivals.com is reporting that Daqual Randall, Palmetto's middle linebacker, has committed to the Hilltoppers, choosing them over Lousiville, which earned a committment for Randall over the summer.


According to Rivals, Randall made an official visit to WKU on Sept. 9, for the Hilltoppers' game against Navy. He spent most of his time with head coach Willie Taggart and assistant Raymond Woodie, formerly the head coach at Bayshore and Palmetto.


"When I went up there, all the players and the team seemed cool," Randall told Rivals.


If Randall signs with WKU in February, he'll be joining a team that also includes locals such as Jonathan Dowling and Boe Brand. Leon Allen, a senior running back at Manatee, committed to the Hilltoppers last month.


Randall told Rivals his mind is made up.


"I'm set," he said, "and I'm locked in now."

Prep football: MaxPreps ranks Manatee (and its schedule) tops in Florida



Manatee is playing for the Class 7A state championship Friday. But according to MaxPreps' latest rankings, the Hurricanes are the best team in Florida.

MaxPreps has Manatee ranked No.1 overall, one spot ahead of Seffner Armwood, which plays for the Class 6A state title Saturday.

Jacksonville First Coast, which meets Manatee on Friday in the Florida Citrus Bowl, is ranked ninth.

The Canes are also ranked first in MaxPreps' 7A rankings, while the First Coast Buccaneers are second.

Stephen Spiewak, MaxPreps' national football editor, considers Manatee the favorite Friday.

"The most intriguing thing about this game for me is that First Coast has a freshman quarterback," Spiewak said of the Bucs' DeAndre Johnson. "He's looked really good this year, and we have a Freshman of the Year honor, and if First Coast beats Manatee, we'd have a hard time not giving it to him. But that's tough, for a ninth-grader to go against a defense like Manatee and get the job done."

MaxPreps also ranks Manatee 18th in its Xcellent Top 25 writers' poll and 15th in its Freeman computer rankings. Manatee's schedule is a state-best 44.3.

Weston Cypress Bay, a Class 8A team the Canes shut out during the regular season, played the state's third-toughest schedule (41.4), according to MaxPreps.

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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Prep soccer: New format and site for semifinals and finals



The state soccer final four will have a new look and a new home stadium this season.

The Florida High School Athletic Association announced Monday that the University of South Florida will host the state soccer championships - albeit with a wrinkle.

Rather than the semifinals and finals both being played at one site, as they have in the past, the semifinal game will be played at the school listed on the top line of the bracket.

Only the state final will be played at USF.

This is first time USF has hosted the state soccer finals, which were played at the University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium since 2008.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Prep football: Schedules and results for Manatee and First Coast

(photo from wikipedia)


Here is how Manatee and First Coast made it to the Florida Citrus Bowl, site of Friday's Class 7A state final.




MANATEE HURRICANES


9/2 Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) L, 17-24 (2 OT)


9/9 Riverview W, 48-6


9/16 Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) L, 16-22


9/30 Southeast W, 48-6


10/7 Braden River W, 63-0


10/14 Weston Cypress Bay W, 21-0


10/21 Venice W, 52-19


10/28 Palmetto W, 29-26


11/4 Sarasota W, 52-14


11/11 Lakewood Ranch W, 38-7


CLASS 7A-REGION 3 playoffs


11/18 Largo Pinellas Park W, 55-2


11/25 Venice W, 34-21


12/2 Fort Pierce Central W, 13-10


7A Semifinal


12/9 Palm Beach Gardens Dywer W, 19-14




JACKSONVILLE FIRST COAST BUCCANEERS


9/2 Jacksonville Parker W, 48-0


9/16 Jacksonville Jackson W, 32-0


9/23 Jacksonville Ribault W, 38-0


9/30 Callahan West Nassau W, 56-9


10/7 Orange Park Fleming Island W, 27-20


10/14 Yulee W, 36-16


10/27 Jacksonville Raines W, 36-7


11/4 Jacksonville White W, 35-34


11/10 Jacksonville Mandarin W, 21-3


CLASS 7A-REGION 1 playoffs


11/18 Ocala Forest W, 40-20


11/25 Orange Park Fleming Island W, 31-24 (OT)


12/2 East Ridge Clermont W, 28-21


Semifinal


12/9 Lakeland W, 24-14

Prep football: Getting to know Jacksonville First Coast

(duvalcountyschools)

Here's a primer on Jacksonville First Coast, which meets Manatee on Friday at the Florida Citrus Bowl for the Class 7A state championship.


JACKSONVILLE FIRST COAST

Head coach: Marty Lee

Mascot: Buccaneers

Record: 13-0

Road to Orlando: Region 2 champion. Regional playoffs: Defeated Ocala Forest (40-20), Orange Park Fleming Island (31-24 OT) and Clermont East Ridge (28-21); State semifinal: Defeated Lakeland (24-14)

Keep an eye on: QB DeAndre Johnson (2,703 passing yards, 24 TDs, 54.8 completion percentage); RB Derrell King (606 rushing yards); WR Chris Black (55 catches, 881 yards)

Of note: First coast finished the year ranked first in 7A in the Associated Press prep poll and entered Friday's state semifinal ranked 90th nationally by Rivals. This is the Buccaneers' first trip to a state final, and they have made the playoffs every year since 2005, all under Lee. First Coast was supposed to play at Byrnes, S.C. on Aug. 27 in a game that was going to be televised on ESPN. But the game was scrapped because Duval County, facing budgest constraints, was facing a possible elimination of prep sports, according to jacksonville.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Prep football: Manatee County's PAL Bowl roster





Manatee's trek to the Class 7A state final has moved the date of the Brad Price Memorial PAL Bowl. The game, pitting the senior all-star football players from Sarasota and Manatee counties, will be played 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6 at Booker.

The game was originally scheduled for this Friday, the day the Hurricanes head to the Florida Citrus Bowl to face Jacksonville First Coast for the state championship.

The Manatee County team will be coach by Palmetto's Dave Marino, who led the Tigers to the Class 5A state final four.

Here is the roster for Manatee County.






BAYSHORE - Tyderian Jenkins, DB/WR; Clayton Hanson, LB; Josh Maugherman, DB; Alex Mobley, DB; Dominic Everett, RB.



BRADENTON CHRISTIAN - Kenny Virgil, DL; Josh Clark, OL.



BRADEN RIVER - Josh Weirich, LB/DB; Deon Taylor, RB/DL; Nathan Kirkman, LB; Mike Pulawski, OL; Ryan Fisher, WR; Troy Gatling, WR.



LAKEWOOD RANCH - Brandon King, WR/DB; Jeren Kowalewski , QB; MacKenzie Hathaway, RB; Alec Jones, OL; Shane Blair, OL; Greg Funk, TE.



MANATEE - Ryan Taylor, WR; Jalen Holmes, DB; Leon Allen, RB; Roshaun Goff, DB; Clinton Heaven, DB; Antonio Agurs, RB; DeAngelo Dawes, DL; Darius White, LB; Hershel Caywood, LB; Shawn Wilkes, OL; Garrett Waiters, OL; Nick Tankersley, K.

PALMETTO - Da'Qual Randall, LB; De'Quan Reddick, DB; Trent Miller, QB; Robert Jackson, DB; Dallas Jackson, DB; Tyrone Johnson, DL; Trai Sanders, OL/DL; James Johnson, LB; Fitz Richards, OL/DL; Kevin O'Brien, OL; Jamal Kearney, DL.


SAINT STEPHEN'S - Adam Vining, WR.


SOUTHEAST - Brian Poole, DB; Michael Bowden, DL; James Bennett, OL; Trey Laws, WR; Kevin Williams, injured; Billy Roberts, injured; Earvin Bradshaw, injured.



Prep cross country: Lakewood Ranch's Ortiz named runner of the year

(photo provided)

Lakewood Ranch's Olivia Ortiz has been named the 2011 Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year by the Florida Dairy Farmers.

The award is voted on by a panel of cross country coaches around the state.

Ortiz won the Class 3A state championship with a time of 17:39 last month and tallied 80 points in the voting to beat out Class 2A winner Shelby Davidson of Cocoa Beach, who had 50 points.

Ortiz also won county, district and regional championships this fall, and helped the Mustangs to a third-place finish at state.

Ortiz is in San Diego today competing in the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Prep football: MaxPreps picks Manatee-Dwyer No. 2 game in country



Tonight's Class 7A state semifinal between Manatee and Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer is considered the second-best game in the nation by MaxPreps.

MaxPreps' writers are also picking Manatee, but by a slim margin:


Mitch Stephens: Manatee 21, Dwyer 14

Steve Montoya: Manatee 17, Dwyer 14

Stephen Spiewak: Manatee 17, Dwyer 14

Kevin Askeland: Dwyer 24, Manatee 21

Jamie DeMoney: Dwyer 21, Manatee 18

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Prep football: All four 7A teams ranked in state's top 10

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)Whomever wins the Class 7A state title could lay claim to being the best team in Florida.

The four remaining teams - Jacksonville First Coast, Lakeland, Manatee and Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer - are ranked in to the top 10 of Fla.varsity.com's top 25, the state's only single-class ranking.

First Coast (12-0), which hosts Lakeland (13-0) in a state semifinal, is ranked fifth overall, while the Dreadnaughts are 10th.

The Hurricanes (11-2) are ranked eighth, and host ninth-ranked Dwyer (12-1) in 7A's other semifinal.

The winners meet 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16 at the Florida Citrus Bowl for the 7A state championship.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Prep football: Bright House to televise Manatee's state semifinal



If you're heading to Hawkins Stadium on Friday, there is a chance you will be on television.

Bright House Sports Network is broadcasting Manatee's Class 7A state semifinal with Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer live at 7:30 p.m.

The winner meets either Lakeland or Jacksonville First Coast in the state championship game Friday, Dec. 16 at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Prep football: Three official visits scheduled for Manatee's Clinton Heaven

(photo by Grant Jefferies) Manatee defensive back Clinton Heaven is starting to narrow down his list of college sources.
He has scheduled official visits to Vanderbilt and West Virginia, and plans on taking another to North Carolina.
"The other two are still iffy," he said Monday. "I just know I'm taking those three."
Rivals ranks Heaven the nation's 25th-best safety for the class of 2012.
He and the Hurricanes host Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer in a Class 7A state semifinal Friday.

Prep basketball: Smoothie King Classic first-round matchups

(c2cschools.com)

The first-round pairings have been set for the Smoothie King Classic at Bradenton Christian. The boys and girls basketball tournament runs from Dec. 27-29 at BCS.


BOYS

Cardinal Mooney vs. Largo Pinellas Park, 10 a.m.

Tampa Prep vs. Bayshore, 1 p.m.

Lakewood Ranch vs. Out-of-Door Academy, 4 p.m.

Bradenton Christian vs. Stuart Community School, 7 p.m.


GIRLS

Cardinal Mooney vs. Braden River, 11 a.m.

Englewood Lemon Bay vs. Bayshore, 2:30 p.m.

Manatee vs. Tampa Alonso, 5:30 p.m.

Bradenton Christian vs. Arcadia DeSoto, 8:30 a.m.

Prep football: Manatee's out-of-state foes wrap perfect seasons

(photo by highschoolsports.nj.com)

While Manatee is two wins away from a state championship, both of their nationally-ranked foes recently put a bow on a pair of championship seasons.

New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep, above, defeated Bergen Catholic to claim the state's Non-Public Group IV championship for the sixth straight season. The Ironmen finished the year 11-0 and are currently ranked second in the nation by Rivals and first by ESPNRise.

Bosco defeated Manatee 22-16 during September's Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoaast Challenge at Hawkins Stadium. Bergen Catholic was there, too, and lost to Tampa Plant in the second game.

The Canes' Week 1 opponent, Maryland's Our Lady of Good Counsel, clinched its third straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title and first undefeated season with 42-0 win over Gonzaga.

Good Counsel is ranked fifth nationally by Rivals and ESPN, and opened the season with a 24-17 double-overtime win over the Canes in Maryland.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Prep football: Website picks Canes to win, Tigers to lose Friday



Floridahsfootball.com is predicting a Manatee County split for Friday's Region 3 championship games.

The site is picking Manatee to beat Fort Pierce Central by 10 points in the Class 7A-Region 3 final, but thinks Immokalee will beat Palmetto by three in the Class 5A-Region 3 title game.

The site correctly predicted the Hurricanes and Tigers would get here - both teams were picked to win their regional semifinals.

If Manatee does beat Fort Pierce Central, floridahsfootball.com is not expecting a rematch with Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas - the site is picking the Raiders to lose by 13 to Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer in the Region 4 final.

Prep sports: Carlos Boothby named Saint Stephen's athletic director




Saint Stephen's announced Thursday it has named Carlos Boothby as its new athletic director.


Boothby has been with the school 14 years and became the assistant athletic director in 1999. Boothby was named the interim athletic director earlier this season after Saint Stephen's parted ways with Charles Williamson.


Boothby also served as Saint Stephen's varsity girls basketball coach before stepping down this season to focus on the AD position. He was replaced by Scott Dell.