Thursday, May 31, 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.




Prep sports: Lakewood Ranch wins FHSAA Floyd E. Lay Sunshine Cup


photo by Paul Videla
The work of student-athletes such as Olivia Ortiz, above, helped Lakewood Ranch win the Class 6A Floyd E. Lay Sunshine All-Cup Award, presented by the Florida High School Athletic Association.
The Mustangs finished with 905 points to cruise past second-place Gainesville (724).
Points are awarded based on how each school finished in each sport, with 100 points awarded for a state championship. Schools were also given a five-point bonus for district and regional titles.
Ortiz won the state cross country title and helped the 3,200-meter relay team win a state track title in the spring. Lakewood Ranch's boys golf team won a state championship, and the school's baseball and softball teams reached the final four.
The volleyball team also clinched its first district championship.
Buoyed by the football team's state title and Derrick Calloway's championship in the shot, Manatee placed ninth in Class 7A with 309 points.
Saint Stephen's finished tied for ninth with 180 points in the Class 2A private classification.
Click here for complete standings.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prep football: 2012 regular-season schedules

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
Cord Sandberg and the Manatee Hurricanes are looking to get back to the Florida Citrus Bowl after winning the Class 7A state championship last season.
Their trek begins Aug. 31 when they open the regular season at home against Miramar.
Listed below are the regular-season schedules for all the area teams as listed at fhsaa.org.
Home games are in caps.
* - district game

BASYSHORE
8/31 TAMPA CATHOLIC
9/7 PORT CHARLOTTE
9/14 at Lakewood Ranch
9/21 at Wauchula Hardee*
9/28 at Cypress Lake
10/5 PALMETTO*
10/11 BRADEN RIVER
10/19 at Southeast*
10/26 ARCADIA DESOTO*
11/9 at Sarasota

BRADENTON CHRISTIAN
8/31 at Lakeland Christian
9/7 ST. PETERSBURG NORTHSIDE CHRISTIAN*
9/14 at Tampa Cambridge*
9/21 at Largo Indian Rocks Christian*
9/28 ST. PETERSBURG CANTERBURY*
10/5 IMAGINE SCHOOL OF NORTH PORT
10/12 TAMPA CARROLWOOD DAY*
10/19 ST. PETERSBURG ADMIRAL FARRAGUT*
10/26 at Clearwater Calvary Christian*
11/2 at St. Petersburg Keswick Christian*

BRADEN RIVER
8/31 at Lakewood Ranch
9/7 NORTH PORT
9/14 at Palmetto
9/21 RIVERVIEW
9/28 PORT CHARLOTTE
10/5 MANATEE*
10/11 at Bayshore
10/19 at Sarasota*
11/2 at Venice*
11/9 NAPLES PALMETTO RIDGE

CARDINAL MOONEY
8/31 at LaBellle
9/7 at Fort Myers Bishop Verot
9/14 LAKE PLACID
9/21 at Englewood Lemon Bay
9/28 CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
10/5 at Lakeland Christian*
10/12 ST. PETERSBURG CATHOLIC
10/19 FROSTPROOF*
11/2 FORT MEADE*

LAKEWOOD RANCH
8/31 BRADEN RIVER
9/7  at Southeast
9/14 BASYSHORE
9/21 GULFPORT BOCA CIEGA*
9/28 PALMETTO
10/5 at Tarpon Springs*
10/18 at St. Petersburg Dixie Hollins*
10/26 LARGO*
11/2 SEMINOLE OSCEOLA*
11/9 at Manatee

MANATEE
8/31 MIRAMAR
9/7 at Riverview
9/14 MIAMI CENTRAL
9/28 at Southeast
10/5 at Braden River*
10/12 WESTON CYPRESS BAY
10/19 at Venice*
10/26 PALMETTO
11/2 SARASOTA*
11/9 LAKEWOOD RANCH

OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY
8/31 at St. Petersburg Catholic
9/7 at Community School of Naples*
9/14 at Moore Haven*
9/21 NAPLES ST. JOHN NEUMANN*
9/28 at Fort Myers Evangelical*
10/12 IMAGINE SCHOOL OF NORTH PORT
10/19 FORT MYERS SOUTHWEST FLORIDA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY*
10/26 NAPLES FIRST BAPTIST ACADEMY*
11/2 SAINT STEPHEN'S*

PALMETTO
8/31 at Riverview
9/7 SARASOTA
9/14 BRADEN RIVER
9/21 ARCADIA DESOTO*
9/28 at Lakewood Ranch
10/5 at Bayshore*
10/19 at Wauchula Hardee*
10/26 at Manatee
11/2 SOUTHEAST*
11/9 OCALA TRINITY CATHOLIC

SAINT STEPHEN'S
8/31 NAPLES ST. JOHN NEUMANN*
9/7 at Naples First Baptist Academy*
9/14 at Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian*
9/21 FORT MYERS GATEWAY CHARTER
9/28 at St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep
10/5 MOORE HAVEN*
10/18 FORT MYERS EVANGELICAL*
10/26 at Community School of Naples*
11/2 at Out-of-Door Academy*
11/9 at St. Petersburg Northside Christian

SOUTHEAST
8/31 at Largo
9/7 LAKEWOOD RANCH
9/14 BOOKER
9/21 at Sarasota
9/28 MANATEE
10/5 at Arcadia DeSoto*
10/12 RIVERVIEW
10/19 BAYSHORE*
10/26 WAUCHULA HARDEE*
11/2 at Palmetto*

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Prep football: No locals on Rivals100

photo by Paul Videla
No area players were selected on Rivals' list of the top 100 prospects for the class of 2013, which was updated today.
One notable omission is Hurricanes quarterback Cord Sandberg, who Rivals listed as the 10th-best dual-threat quarterback in the country and was named the state's player of the year in Class 7A last fall.
Sandberg was rated the nation's 97th-best recruit by MaxPreps. He was the lone local player to make the cut.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Prep football: Odds and ends from Manatee's spring game

- Canes quarterback Cord Sandberg is in no danger of losing his job, but Manatee's coaches are high on his backup, freshman Josh Meyer. Meyer grew up in Bradenton and played Pop Warner football with the Manatee Wildcats before moving to Oklahoma and returning to the area this year.
He ran for a touchdown and threw for another during Manatee's 49-6 win over Gibbs on Friday and drew praise from Sandberg, voted the Class 7A Football Player of the Year in 2011.
"He's bigger than I was when I was a freshman," Sandberg said. "He's probably further ahead than I was. I expect him, when I leave, to not skip a beat."
- Rising senior Gregory Moss may have solidified his job as the Canes' placekicker Friday, when he converted all four extra-point attempts and had four kickoffs go for touchbacks.
"He does a good job," Kinnan said of Moss.
Moss' apparent backup, Austin Snowden, was 3-for-3 on point-after attempts Friday. Both are replacing Nick Tankersley, who had 53 extra points and 16 field goals last season, including a school-record 53-yarder against Sarasota. Tankersley is expected to play next year at Division II Carson-Newman in Tennessee.
Another part of kicking team that pleased Kinnan on Friday was Jon Carter, who took over long-snapping duties after not playing last year.  There's another new piece, too - holder and punter Jonathan Hernandez, who started in goal last winter for the school's soccer team.
He'll be a senior next year.
"We just wish we would've gotten him out sooner," Kinnan said. "He's left-footed, never kicked a football until this spring...And he's got great hands from being a goalie and he adjusts to the ball well."
- Following last year's game against New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep, Manatee decided to keep its defense on the field to block and return punts. It's a trend that continued Friday.
"Our kids, they can line up in anything if (the kicking team) runs a play," Kinnan said. "And it looks like our punt returner is going to be our free safety (Willie Smith) anyway, so we don't even need to take him out...(Defenisve linemen) (Derrick) Calloway, (Blake) Keller, (DeMarcus) Christmas, they all blocked punts last year. And if they fake and try a run or something, good. Come after us."

Prep football: No revolving quarterbacks for Palmetto

photo by Grant Jefferies
Palmetto's quarterback for the 2012 football season will be either Chris Tuten or Spencer Atkins.
It won't be Chris Tuten AND Spencer Atkins.
"We don't want to have a revolving door at quarterback," coach Dave Marino said following Thursday's spring game with Booker, which was cancelled after a half because of lightning. "Somebody will be our guy, and that's who we're going to hang our hat on until something arises that we can't."
Tuten is a freshman who quarterbacked Palmetto's JV team last fall, while Atkins, who moved into the area from Illinois, worked out at IMG's football academy.
Both are vying to replace Trent Miller, who threw for 2,449 yards and 30 touchdowns in the fall.
Tuten and Atkins are lefties who have tall and slender body types. Each saw limited action Thursday, when Palmetto took a 34-0 lead into halftime, but both appeared comfortable throwing and running the football.
"I went back a lot and looked at where Trent was at this point last year," Marino said. "Trent's first pass was in the dirt, his second pass sailed over Cory's (Crawford) head by 15 yards...So the fact that Spencer was able to make those throws, and Chris, as well, is a plus."
Marino and his staff have all summer to make a decision, and will probably wait until after the Kickoff Classic with Venice to do so. Whomever it is will have plenty at this disposal - Palmetto has two good backs in Josh Hicks and Leon Gilbert, and a solid stable of receivers that includes Crawford, Shaquille Harris and Pat Green.
"All of them equally are talented and have playmaking capabilities," Marino said of his receivers. "It gives us a lot of diversity in the passing game, which doesn't put a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Prep sports: Lakewood Ranch wins Class 6A academic award

photo by Grant Jefferies
Champions on the field, champions in the classroom.
Lakewood Ranch was named the Academic Team Champion in Class 6A by the Florida High School Athletic Association, totaling 123 points to beat second-place Naples Barron Collier (115).
The award is based on the total grade-point averages of each school's teams. For a breakdown of how points are awarded, click here.
It was banner year for the Mustangs, who crowned state champions in cross country, track and field and tennis. The school's baseball and softball teams also made the state final four.
Saint Stephen's placed ninth in Class 2A with 23 points.

Prep football: Palmetto's spring game moved to Thursday

photo by Grant Jefferies
Dave Marino's Palmetto Tigers will play their spring game a day earlier than scheduled.
The Tigers head to Booker 7 p.m. Thursday. The game was originally slated to be played Friday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Prep football: Manatee's Lauro expects to play Friday

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
Manatee wide receiver/running back Anthony Lauro said he will probably a play of quarter of Friday's spring game against St. Petersburg Gibbs.
Lauro, a rising senior, underwent knee surgery following December's Class 7A state championship game. He practiced for the first time Monday and said he felt fine.
"I've still got my speed and all that," said Lauro, his right knee wrapped in ice. "I'll be 100 percent."
Lauro rushed for 631 yards and had 607 yards receiving while totaling 14 touchdowns last season for the Canes. He should get more time at running back this year now that Leon Allen, the team's leading rusher last year, has graduated.
Lauro said he put on roughly 20 pounds of muscle in anticipation of carrying the ball and now weights about 200 pounds.
He has received scholarship offers from Western Kentucky and Akron, and other schools such as Purdue and Georgia Tech have shown interest.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prep baseball: Manatee, Ranch fall to eventual state champs

photo by Paul Videla
Manatee and Lakewood Ranch can say they lost to the best.
The Hurricanes and Mustangs were eliminated from their respective regional and state baseball tournaments by teams that eventually won state titles.
Venice, which knocked Manatee out of the Class 7A-Region 3 semifinals, defeated Brandon 4-2 on Sunday to claim the Class 7A state championship.
Manatee beat Venice three times in five tries and won the District 11 title at the Indians' expense. But Venice scored a win when it counted the most and the program has a baseball state championship for the second time since 2007.
The Mustangs' furious rally against Archbishop McCarthy was cut short during a Class 6A state semifinal, and McCarthy defeated Pace 4-3 the next day to clinch title.
It was third consecutive state championship for the Mavericks.
Lakewood Ranch hadn't reached the state baseball final four since the 2003 edition won the school's first team baseball championship.
Nationally-ranked Tampa Jesuit, which beat Bayshore in the opening round of the Class 5A-Region 3 tournament, lost in the state semifinals to Plantation American Heritage.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prep baseball: Getting to know Archbishop McCarthy

photo by Paul Videla
Lakewood Ranch's baseball team is back in the final four for the first time since the 2003 team's run to the state championship.
Here is a look at the Archbishop McCarthy Mavericks, the Mustangs' opponents Thursday in a 6A state semifinal at Digital Domain Park.
For more on the Mavericks, including an interview with head coach Rich Bielski, check out Tuesday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

RECORD: 25-4-1
HEAD COACH: Rich Bielski, fourth year at school (106-16-1); 325-13-1 overall.
ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR: Won the District 15 title; defeated Hialeah-Miami Lakes in regional quarterfinal, Miami Belen Jesuit Prep in regional semifinal and Naples in Region 4 championship game.
HITTING LEADERS: Nick Basto (.345, 38 RBIs, three home runs, seven doubles, four triples); Jason Morozowski (.466, 41 hits, 25 RBIs); Brandon Roberts (.384, 23 RBIs, 27 runs, 33 hits).
PITCHING LEADERS: Andre Martinez (10-1, 0.93 ERA, 97 strikeouts, 60 IP); Nick Travieso (7-1, 0.47 ERA, 94 strikeouts, 54 1/3 IP); Brian Gonzalez (3 saves, 0.78 ERA, 27 strikeouts, 18 IP).
OF NOTE: The Mavericks went  29-3 last season and won their second consecutive state championship. They also finished the year ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today...Bielski, who led Hialeah to back-to-back state championships in 2000-01, was named USA Today's 2011 Coach of the Year...Former major-leaguer Alex Fernandez is an assistant coach at Archbishop McCarthy. His son, Alex Jr., graduated from the school last year and is now pitching for the University of Miami...Mavericks pitchers have posted a 1.21 ERA and have totaled 13 shutouts this year.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Prep baseball: Getting to know Winter Haven

photo by Jim Ross/Canadian Press
In the final non-football prep event to be played in Manatee County this spring, Lakewood Ranch's baseball team hosts Winter Haven on 7 p.m. Friday in the Class 6A-Region 3 championship game.
The winner heads to the Class 6A state final four, which begins next Thursday at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie.
The baseball Mustangs (23-6) won Lakewood Ranch's first state team title in 2003, and are currently ranked second in Class 6A by MaxPreps.
Here is a little info on Winter Haven (17-10), ranked 14th in 6A by MaxPreps.
The top-ranked team is Pace, which reached the Class 5A state final four last seasons and hosts Lake City Columbia on Friday in the Region 1 championship game.


HOW THEY GOT HERE: The Blue Devils won the District 9 title before beating Land O'Lakes, 4-3, in a regional quarterfinal. They won another one-run game Tuesday when they erased a 1-0, sixth-inning deficit and beat Tarpon Springs 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
HISTORY: Winter Haven has never won a state baseball title but was a runner-up in 1949, '53, '04 and '05.
ON A ROLL: The Blue Devils have won seven straight and have allowed eight runs during the streak.
HE LOOKS FAMILIAR: According to newschief.com, former major-league Pat Borders, pictured to the right of Joe Carter, will become the team's head coach at the conclusion of this season. Borders is currently on staff as an assistant and has two sons on the team - Levi, a senior, and Luke, a junior.
A catcher, Borders appeared in 1,099 games during a 17-year career spent with the Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, California Angels, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins.
Borders was a career .253 hitter and  the MVP of the 1992 World Series, when the Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves.

Prep baseball: What's next for the Hurricanes?

Manatee is banking on guys such as Danny Lee, above, to keep the program moving forward next spring. Photo by Paul Videla
A season and an era ended Tuesday night at G.T. Bray, where Manatee's baseball team fell to Venice in a Class 7A-Region 3 semifinal.
It marked the final game in Hurricanes colors for guys such as Chase Sandberg, Correlle Prime, Garrett Waiters and twins Tyler and Trevor Beeman. That group was responsible for breathing life back into the Canes' baseball program, which reached the state final four last season for the first time in nearly 50 years.
So what's next?
Manatee will have some holes to full, but the cupboard won't be bare as Manatee preps for the 2013 season.
Lefty Scott Kelly went 3-2 this season and tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief Tuesday. He has pitched behind Prime the past two seasons and could assume the ace role next year. Another junior, Tyler Souris, primarily played second base this season, but occasionally pitched and posted a 4.30 ERA in 27 2/3 innings while going 2-1 with two saves.
They will try and fill the void left by Prime, who won 10 games this year and 24 over the past three seasons.
Rightfielder Danny Lee, who transferred from Cardinal Mooney prior to this season, should be back next season after hitting .370 with nine RBIs and five doubles. Lee and classmates Danny Kerwin (catcher), Cord Sandberg (centerfielder) and Souris were in the starting lineup Tuesday and should return next fall.
Cord Sandberg, better known as the football team's star quarterback, drove in 17 runs and clubbed six doubles this season. Older brother Chase, who played shortstop, lead the team with 25 RBIs.
Tyler Beeman played left field and Trevor was the team's third baseman, while Waiters played first whenever Prime pitched.
Will their replacements do just was well?
Coach Dwayne Strong is ready to find out.
"We hope that they learned something. We've got a good nucleus coming back," said Strong, whose Canes have won back-to-back district title. "We've got some good young guys, and hopefully those young guys step up and fill some holes for us...Losing Correlle, that's pretty huge. And you lose the Beemans and you lose Chase in the middle, so you've got some holes to fill."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Prep basbeall: Mustangs ranked second in 6A by MaxPreps


photo by Paul Videla
MaxPreps thinks highly of Lakewood Ranch's baseball team.
The prep sports website has the Mustangs ranked second in its latest Class 6A state rankings, below only Pace.
The Mustangs (22-6) are ranked seventh overall in the state by MaxPreps and 70th in the county. Lakewood Ranch heads to Tampa to face King in a Region 3 semifinal Tuesday night.
MaxPreps ranks King eighth in 7A.
The area's other remaining baseball team, Manatee, is ranked 11th in Class 7A and 38th overall in the state.
The Hurricanes host Venice on Tuesday in a Region 3 semifinal Tuesday. It's the fifth meeting of season between the two teams, and though Manatee has won three of the four, the Indians are ranked first in 7A by MaxPreps.
Sarasota, which was 0-2 against Manatee this season, is ranked second.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Prep baseball: Manatee only local team to win Wednesday


photo by Grant Jefferies
 Correlle Prime turned in another gem Wednesday, pitching a three-hit shutout in Manatee's 3-0 win over Port St. Lucie in a Class 7A-Region 3 quarterfinal.
The Hurricanes host district rival Venice on Tuesday.
Manatee was the lone local team to win Wednesday, and here is how all the teams fared:

CLASS 7A-REGION 3
Manatee 3, Port St. Lucie 0
CLASS 5A-REGION 3
Tampa Jesuit 5, Bayshore 0
CLASS 3A-REGION 3
Clearwater Calvary Christian 8, Cardinal Mooney 2
St. Petersburg Catholic 6, Out-of-Door Academy 1

Lakewood Ranch hosts Tampa Sickles on Thursday in a Class 6A-Region 3 quarterfinal.