Friday, September 27, 2013

Prep football: IMG's Scarbrough picked for UnderArmour game

photo by Grant Jefferies
IMG running back Bo Scarbrough has been selected for the 2014 UnderArmour All-America high school football game.
Scarbrough, who has committed to Alabama and leads the area in rushing (626 yards) will be presented with his UnderArmour jersey 1:30 p.m. at IMG's football stadium.
The game will be played 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 at Tropicana Field.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Prep football:A great battle - Manatee's stout run defense vs. Southeast's Courtney Allen

photo by Paul Videla
Southeast is considered the underdog in Friday's game with archrival Manatee and hasn't defeated the Hurricanes since 2006.
But Friday's game at Hawkins Stadium will feature a great game within a game - Southeast running back Courtney Allen against Manatee's stout rushing defense.
Allen has already established the Seminoles' all-time career rushing record and has totaled 562 yards, second in the area to IMG's Alabama-bound Bo Scarbrough and tops among public-school backs.
But Manatee has made a habit this season of stopping the run, allowing an area-low 79 yards per week on the ground.
The Hurricanes limited Jonathan Haden of Friendship Collegiate Academy to just 35 yards in Week 3. Haden has committed to Arizona.
A week after he ran for 227 yards against Palmetto, Venice's Terry Polk had just 62 yards on 21 yards against Manatee during Week 2.
And Justin Austin, who scored three times against Class 7A state runner-up Tallahassee Lincoln, never got going last Friday against the Canes, moving backwards (minus 2 yards) on eight attempts.
Improved linebacking play has helped - Greg Reaves, a defensive back last season, is now a middle linebacker who has 24 tackles and three quarterback hurries. And the defense has forced seven turnovers.
Allen has been as good or maybe even better than advertised this year, a tough runner who leads the area in carries (68) and is leading an offense in the midst of making a transition at quarterback.
In order for the Seminoles to have a chance, Allen needs to push the ball forward. Manatee has the area's best offense, averaging over 441 yards per game, while Southeast is allowing 345 yards per game, ninth in the area.
Southeast's best defense? Keep Manatee's offense on the sideline. And the best way to do that is for Allen to do what no back has done this season - move the ball against the Hurricanes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prep volleyball: Info on county tournament

photo by Paul Videla

Manatee will look to defend its county championship this weekend at Lakewood Ranch, where pool play gets underway 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Action resumes 9 a.m. Saturday with the championship match slated for 1:30 p.m.
Listed below are the pool assignments.

POOL A: Lakewood Ranch, Saint Stephen's, Bayshore, Southeast
POOL B: Manatee, Braden River, Palmetto, Southeast

The top two teams from each pool meet in the championship semifinals 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and there will also be games determining the third-, fifth-, and seventh-place finishers.
The Hurricanes won the title last year, beating the Mustangs in the finals.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Prep football: Manatee cracks MaxPreps' top 25

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie

Quarterback Josh Meyer and the Manatee Hurricanes have played their way into the latest MaxPreps Xcellent 25.
Manatee is 3-0 after Friday's 23-13 win over Washington, D.C.'s Friendship Collegiate Academy. The Hurricanes opened the season by beating Baltimore's Gilman (44-14) and traditional rival Venice (35-14).
The Hurricanes entered last week ranked first in the state in Class 8A, and ranked nationally by USA Today and Rivals. They head to Sarasota on Friday.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Prep football: Manatee Hurricanes visit Pentagon Memorial

Hours before kicking off the regular season tonight against Gilman, Md., members of Manatee's football team visited the Pentagon Memorial, a tribute to the 184 lives lost Sept. 11, 2001 when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.
The Pentagon is located a quick walk from team's hotel in Arlington, Va.
Colonel Ed Fleming, the executive director of civil works and emergency operations at the US Army corps of engineers, accompanied the team to the memorial and also addressed the team at its hotel Sunday morning.
Col. Fleming went to West Point with Manatee alum Frank Brunner, who accompanied the Hurricanes on the trip.
Col. Fleming explained the positioning of the memorial benches dedicated to each of the day's victims: For the 125 who passed away in the Pentagon, their names and the building are in the same view; for the 55 on board Flight 77, their names  are in the same view as the plane's approach.
The wall surrounding memorial is symbolic in height, as well, starting at three inches for 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg, the youngest of the 184 victims, to 71 inches for 71-year-old John D. Yamnicky, the oldest of the victims.
Each memorial unit includes a bench and a lit pool of flowing water.
Flight 77 was one of four planes hijacked Sept. 11. Two flew into the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center, while another crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa. after passengers got wind of the attacks and thwarted the terrorists.
Col. Fleming told the players those planes were chosen for a purpose: they were making cross-country flights, which meant they were loaded with tons of fuel and were big enough to cause a lot of damage.
He also explained the reason the players and coaches had to go through a rigorous security check while boarding their plane in Tampa was because of the events of Sept. 11.
"You never had to take off your shoes or your belt or your belt buckles before Sept. 11, 2001," Col. Fleming said. "It was like getting on a bus.
Our lives were impacted forever on Sept. 11, 2001."
The Hurricanes stayed at the memorial for about 15 minutes before walking back to the team hotel, where they were scheduled to have a quick walk-through.
Manatee and Gilman kick off 7 p.m. tonight at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, located on the campus of the University of Maryland.