Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Prep football: Two Manatee Hurricanes make Sentinel's Florida 100

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
Cord Sandberg is a quarterback. Derrick Calloway terrorizes quarterback.
Both Manatee Hurricanes are among the top football players in the state according to Chris Hays, who listed Sandberg and Calloway in the Orlando Sentinel's Florida 100 football rankings.
Sandberg, who recently verbally committed to Mississippi State, is ranked 38th.
Calloway, a defensive lineman who has a host of Division I offers, is listed 21st.
Vernon Hargreaves III, a cornerback out of Tampa Wharton, is ranked first.

Prep baseball: Manatee's Prime gets first two hits as a pro

photo by John Lembo
Correlle Prime made his professional debut count Tuesday night in Grand Junction, Colo.
Prime had two hits and scored a run to help the Grand Junction Rockies, the Rookie League affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, defeat the Orem Owlz 12-7.
Prime batted seventh and played first base for Grand Junction, which takes a 5-4 record into tonight's game against the Owlz.
Prime graduated from Manatee in May and was a 12th-round pick by the Rockies.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Prep sports: Football, soccer are state's most popular sports

Boys prefer football while girls favor basketball, according to the latest sports participation survey results released Monday by the Florida High School Athletic Association.
Of the 393,585 boys in grades 9-12 who participated in sports last season, 41,127 of them played football. Baseball was second (15,827), followed by basketball (15,761).
Soccer was the most popular sport among girls, as 14,842 played, while 14,435 played volleyball.
A total of 386,092 girls in grades through 9-12 played sports last year.
Results of the survery could be found here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Prep baseball: Goetzman off to a fast start with Princeton Rays

photo by Grant Jefferies
Granden Goetzman's second season in pro baseball has started off well.
It's been a small sample size, but the Palmetto High grad has four hits in his first 10 at-bats with the Tampa Bay Rays' Rookie League affiliate in Princeton, W. Va., with six total bases and an RBI.
Goetzman has doubled twice for the Princeton Rays while drawing two walks, stealing a base and scoring three runs. Princeton is 3-0 and opens a three-game series tonight at home against the Pulaski Mariners.
Goetzman signed with the Rays last year after they took him during the second round of the first-year player draft.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prep baseball: Palmetto's Goetzman begins season with Princeton Rays

photo by Grant Jefferies
Palmetto alum Granden Goetzman will begin his second year of professional baseball with the Tampa Bay Rays advanced Rookie League team in Princeton, West Virginia.
The Princeton Rays' season began tonight at home against the Kingsport Mets.
Goetzman was a second-round pick of the Rays last season and played with the organization's Gulf Coast League team after he signed with the Rays in June.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Prep baseball: Correlle Prime signs with Colorado Rockies

photo by Paul Videla
Manatee alum Correlle Prime is a professional baseball player.
The lanky first baseman/pitcher signed with the Colorado Rockies today for a $190,000 bonus that included four years of school and living expenses. The Rockies selected Prime during the 11th round of this year's draft.
Prime was slated to play at State College of Florida prior to the getting drafted.
He reports Thursday to the Rockies' new Rookie League affiliate in Grand Junction. The team plays its first game Monday.
For more on this story, check Thursday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Prep football: Cord Sandberg commits to Mississippi State

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
One of the nation's most coveted prep football players has made his decision.
Manatee quarterback Cord Sandberg has committed to Mississippi State. This was confirmed by Chris Conboy, Sandberg's position coach at Manatee.
The Class 7A Player of the Year in 2011, Sandberg threw for 2,187 yards, rushed for 813 and totaled 29 touchdowns in leading the Canes to the 7A state title.
For more on this story, check Tuesday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Prep baseball: Sandberg, Hanewich among showcase invitees

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
Manatee's Cord Sandberg and five players from IMG's baseball academy earned invitations to The Perfect Game National Showcase, scheduled for June 14-18 in Minneapolis.
Among the IMG players are Brett Hanewich, formerly of Lakewood Ranch. Manny Ramirez Jr., Cameron Varga, Sam Proctor and Andrew DiLacqua round out the IMG contingent.
According to its website, 17 players who participated in the 2010 Showcase were taken during the first round of  the2011 baseball draft.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Prep football: Manatee's defensive line tops Rivals' power position rankings

Rivals has dished out more kudos for Derrick Calloway and the rest of the guys on Manatee's defensive line.
photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
"Just try to find a more star-studded defensive line on any high school campus across the nation."
This according to Steve Megargee, a national recruiting columnist at who considers Manatee's defensive line the most talented in the county. Megargee's story is part of Rivals' Power Positions series, which looks at the units with most college prospects.
Derrick Calloway, DeMarcus Christmas and Blake Keller have a bevy of Division I offers - Keller recently committed to UCF - and Marquis Dawsey, who doesn't have any D-I offers yet, is set to enter his fourth year as a starter.
"The biggest thing with Manatee is they have an excellent coaching staff from Joe Kinnan down," Florida recruiting analyst Chris Nee told Megargee. "They really do a great job of developing kids. I'm not just talking about the D-line. I'm talking in general."
Laden with talent and experience, Manatee's defensive line is one of the reasons MaxPreps lists the Hurricanes' No. 1 in its preseason rankings.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Prep football: Six Tigers invited to football camps

Six Palmetto Tigers won schloarships from Athlein and have been invited to a pair of football camps in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
Receivers Corey Crawford, E.J. Burston and Shaquille Harris, running back Josh Hicks, lineman Joe Bundrage, and defensive back Stevon Saunders are recipients of the scholarships and are headed to a camp at Rutgers University and the Steve Addizio Football Camp.
The Rutgers camp runs from June 24 through 26th and the Addizio camp, which takes place at Temple University, is slated for June 16.
The Tigers head to Venice for a Kickoff Classic and open the regular season at Riverview.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Prep football: Fred Gilmore out at Booker

Palmetto, and coach Dave Marino, was the last team to face Booker before the school fired coach Fred Gilmore
photo by Grant Jefferies
The Booker Tornadoes have cut ties with Fred Gilmore.
Principal Rachel Shelley announced the parting of the ways today via a press release through the Sarasota County School District, adding it was effective immediately and the entire football staff had been relieved of its duties.
Gilmore coached Booker for 10 years and led the Tornadoes to the Class 3A state championship game. His final game on the sideline came earlier this month during Booker's spring game against Palmetto. The game was cancelled shortly after half time because of inclement weather with Palmetto leading 34-0.
The Tornadoes play head to Bradenton on Sept. 14 to play Southeast.
The district also announced that baseball coach Chris Hutchinson and his staff will not be returning, either.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prep sports: FHSAA chooses new sites for baseball, cross country and soccer finals

The state baseball championships are moving a little closer to Bradenton.
The state cross country and soccer finals are moving much further away.
The Florida High School Athletic Association named new finals sites for the three sports Tuesday, with baseball moving from Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie to JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers.
The spring home of the Boston Red Sox, JetBlue Park opened this year and includes a Green Monster in left field and a manual scoreboard. It also seats 11,000.
The cross country championships are leaving Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City and are heading north to Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.
The state soccer championships had been played at the University of Tampa and USF. Their new home will be the Melbourne Central Catholic Sports Complex in Melbourne.

Prep baseball: Catching up with some former draft picks

Bradenton's J.R. Murphy is on his way to his second professional All-Star Game.
photo by Grant Jefferies
As the 2012 MLB draft winds down, here is a look at how some of our local draft picks are doing:

J.R. MURPHY: A Bradenton native and IMG alum, Murphy has been picked for the Florida State League All-Star Game. He was a second-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2009 and is currently playing with the team's high-A affiliate in Tampa, where Murphy is hitting .237 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. Murphy's work behind the plate has improved - he has thrown out 21 of 61 runners trying to steal (34 percent) after he threw out 18 percent last year. Murphy was picked for last year's South Atlantic League All-Star game while playing for the Yankees' low-A team in Charleston.
RYAN POPE: After struggling last year with the Yankees' Triple-A team in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pope, a reliever, has posted a 4.66 ERA in 19 appearances with the franchise's Double-A squad in Trenton. Pope is 3-5 and has struck out 30 and walked nine in 29 innings. Pope is a Bayshore graduate who the Yankees picked during the third round of the 2007 draft. He is the first player ever picked from the Savannah College of Arts and Design.
JONATHAN GRIFFIN: A three-time draft pick, Griffin, a product of Lakewood Ranch and State College of Florida, is continuing his power surge with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Griffin has 10 home runs and is slugging .495 with the Diamondbacks' high-A team in Visalia, Ca. He has 36 RBIs in 57 games and has committed two errors in 52 games at first base. Griffin, who is batting .300, slugged 18 home runs in 71 games last year with Arizona's Rookie League team in Missoula.
GRANDEN GOETZMAN: The Palmetto native was a second-round pick last year with the Tampa Bay Rays and hit .173 in 25 games with the Gulf Coast League Rays after suffering a groin injury. Goetzman took part in the Rays' winter development program, which included a workout at Tropicana Field, and he will probably return to the GCL team this year.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Prep baseball: Two familar names picked in MLB Draft

photo by
A pair of players picked during the first day of the MLB draft Monday should be familiar to area baseball fans.
Tampa Jesuit's Lance McCullers Jr., pictured above, was taken in the compensatory round by the Houston Astros with the 41st pick. The Astros were awarded the pick when they lost free agent shortstop Clint Barmes to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who of course, spend their springs in Bradenton.
McCullers pitched a complete game to help the Tigers beat Bayshore during the Class 5A-Region 3 quarterfinals.
Earlier in the draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected pitcher Nick Travieso with the 14th overall pick. A senior at Archbishop McCarthy, Travieso tossed 6 1/3 innings to help the Mavericks defeat Lakewood Ranch in the Class 6A state semifinals.
McCarthy defeated Pace the following day to claim the program's third straight state title.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Prep football: Manatee's Blake Keller commits to UCF

Manatee defensive end Blake Keller verbally committed to the University of Central Florida today after an unofficial visit.
"I'm set in my decision," he said.
Keller had 14 sacks and 75 tackles last year for the Class 7A state champion Hurricanes.
For more on this story, check out Sunday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Prep football: Canes still looking for state championship

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
MaxPreps may consider Manatee the No.1 team in the nation heading into 2012, but the Hurricanes' primary goal this season is defending their Class 7A state championship.
Winning a state title is the one thing teams control. Winning a national title is entirely in the hands of the voters.
"You've just got to win each week," said coach Joe Kinnan. "The pollsters, that will take care of itself."
Manatee finished no lower than 12th last seasons in final polls crafted by MaxPreps, ESPNRise and Rivals thanks in part to the Canes' season-ending 12-game winning streak and their 40-point pasting of Jacksonville First Coast in the state final.
They also played a tough schedule that included a pair of nationally-ranked out-of-state opponents in New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep, named the prep national champion by some classifications, and Maryland's Our Lady of Good Counsel.
There will be no out-of-state games this year - scheduled matchups with Seattle's Skyline High and Maryland's Friendship Collegiate Academy fell through - but the Canes face Class 8A Miramar in Week 1 and Class 6A Miami Central in Week 3.
Both were state runner-ups last season, and Miami Central also plays Grayson High out of Loganville, Ga., which is ranked second in the country by MaxPreps.
"Miami Central is not ranked, but they very well could be or should be," said Stephen Spiewak, MaxPreps' national football editor. "They're an outstanding team and it should be a very interesting barometer that they're playing the top team in Florida and top team in Georgia."
Kinnan will be happy as long as the Hurricanes are back inside the Florida Citrus Bowl come December with the chance to do something Manatee has never done - win back-to-win state titles.
Sitting atop the preseason rankings is nice. But winning it all is still the No.1 goal.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Prep football: MaxPreps ranks Manatee No. 1 in the nation

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie

Anthony Lauro and the Manatee Hurricanes are considered the nation's No.1 team by MaxPreps, which unveiled its preaseason rankings at midnight.
Manatee went 13-2 last season and won the Class 7A state championship.
“There are teams that have a little bit more talent and had a better last year than Manatee," said Stephen Spiewak, MaxPreps' national football editor. "But no one, in my opinion, has the mix of accomplishment and experience, with so many kids coming back.”
For more on this story, check out Friday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.