Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Prep volleyball: Semifinal pairings

photo by Paul Videla

Ashlyn Falahee and Lakewood Ranch's volleyball team took a step toward another final four appearance Tuesday by sweeping Seminole during a Class 7A-Region 3 quarterfinal.
Bayshore and Out-of-Door Academy also won Tuesday in quarterfinal play, ensuring at least three area teams will play in next Tuesday's regional semifinals.
Manatee hosts Bloomingdale Valrico tonight in a Class 8A-Region 2 quarterfinal.
Listed below are the area semifinal pairings. All matches begin at 7 p.m.
The regional championship matches will be played 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.

Sarasota at Lakewood Ranch
Bayshore at Tampa Robinson
Out-of-Door Academy at Clearwater Central Catholic

Monday, October 28, 2013

Prep football: Manatee moves up national polls after comeback over University

photo by Paul Videla
Manatee's thrilling win Friday over Fort Lauderdale University caught the attention of the folks at Rivals and MaxPreps, who bumped up the Hurricanes in this week's rankings.
The Hurricanes are ranked 12th in the latest RivalsHigh 100 after entering the week at No. 16.
Miami Booker T. Washington (No. 1) and Miami Central (No.4) are the only Florida teams ranked higher in the poll.
University fell one spot to No. 14.
MaxPreps ranks Manatee at No. 16, up a spot in the Xcellent Top 25.
Manatee trailed 21-0 in the first quarter before rallying for a 28-24 victory over Class 4A University, which entered with a 19-game winning streak.
The Hurricanes are 9-0 and have clinched the Class 8A-District 7 title. They host Palm Harbor University on Friday and are off the following week before hosting a Region 2 quarterfinal Nov. 15 against the District 8 runner-up.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Prep volleyball: District schedules

Kahlee York and the Lakewood Ranch Mustangs are the top seed in next week's Class 7A-District 10 volleyball tournament. PHOTO BY TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE
The volleyball playoffs begin next week with the district tournaments. The champion and runner-up out of each district advance to the regional playoffs, which begin Tuesday, Oct. 29 (Classes 3A, 5A and 7A) and Wednesday, Oct. 30 (Classes 2A, 4A, 6A and 8A).
Listed below are the district matchups involving area teams, with each team's seed in parentheses.

(3) Manatee at (2) Riverview, 7 p.m.
(4) St. Petersburg at (1) Palm Harbor University, 7 p.m.
7 p.m. at highest remaining seed

(5) Palmetto at (4) North Port, 7 p.m.
Palmetto/North Port at (1) Lakewood Ranch, 7 p.m.
(3) Braden River at (2) Sarasota, 7 p.m.
7 p.m. at highest remaining seed

(5) St. Petersburg Gibbs at (4) Gulfport Boca Ciega, 7 p.m.
Gibbs/Boca Ciega at (1) Bayshore, 7 p.m.
(3) St. Petersburg Lakewood at (2) Southeast, 7 p.m.
7 p.m.

(5) Imagine School of North Port vs. (4) Bradenton Christian, 7 p.m.
Imagine/Bradenton Christian vs. (1) Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m.
(3) Saint Stephen's vs. (2) Out-of-Door Academy, 7 p.m.
7 p.m..

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cross country: District schedules

Bayshore's Cannan Meester-Kitterman and the rest of the area's cross country runners kickoff the postseason next week with the district meets.
Listed below are meets involving area teams.
Regional meets begin Thursday, Oct. 31.

WHEN: 9 a.m. (girls); 9:30 (boys) Wednesday, Oct. 23
WHERE: John S. Taylor Park, Largo
LOCALS: Manatee
OTHERS: Clearwater Countryside, Largo Pinellas Park, North Port, Palm Harbor University, Sarasota Riverview, Seminole, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs East Lake.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. (girls); 10:15 (boys) Thursday, Oct. 24
WHERE: Eagle Lake Park, Largo
LOCALS: Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto 
OTHERS: Clearwater, Gulfport Boca Ciega, Largo, Sarasota, St. Petersburg Dixie Hollins, St. Petersburg Northeast,  Seminole Osceola, Tarpon Springs, Venice.

WHEN: 8:15 am (girls); 8:45 (boys) Thursday, Oct. 24
WHERE: John S. Taylor Park, Largo
LOCALS: Bayshore
OTHERS: Holiday Anclote, Tampa Berkeley Prep, Tampa Holy Names, Tampa Catholic, Tampa Jesuit (boys only).

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. (girls); 10:15 (boys) Monday, Oct. 21
WHERE: Southeast
LOCAL: Southeast
OTHERS: Arcadia DeSoto, Booker, Dunedin, St. Petersburg Gibbs, St. Petersburg Lakewood, Sarasota Military Academy, Wauchula Hardee.

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. (girls); 10:15 (boys) Friday, Oct. 25.
WHERE: John S. Taylor Park, Largo
LOCALS: Cardinal Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen's
OTHERSImagine School of North Port, St. Petersburg Admiral Farragut, St. Petersburg Canterbury, St. Petersburg Keswick Christian, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep, St. Petersburg Catholic.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Prep football: Pinkos ranks Manatee tops in 8A, third overall

Manatee is ranked first in Class 8A and third overall in Joe Pinkos' Power Rankings.
The Hurricanes' score is 219.3. Class 4A Miami Booker T. Washington is first with 223.5 points followed by Class 6A Miami Central with 219.5.
Fort Lauderdale University School, which visits Manatee on Oct. 25, is ninth overall and second in Class 4A with 198.5 points
Strength of schedule and margin a victory factors in the rankings, and the predicted margin of victory between teams can be determined by looking at difference between each team's points.
Manatee is 6-0 and visits Palmetto on Friday.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prep sports: Bayshore partners with Community Sports Network

Bayshore's athletic events will be streamed live online thanks to the school's partnering with Community Sports Network and PlayOn! Sports.
The first broadcast will be Bayshore's home football game against Wauchula Hardee on Friday, Oct. 18.
The game can be viewed at the school's site, which currently features broadcasts of games from last season.
"We feel privileged to be able to build on the video archives started by Bayshore High School," said Mike Byrnes, CEO and producer of Community Sports Network, which is headquartered in Manatee County, "and will work to improve the viewing experience for students, parents and local businesses interested in advertising during live events."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Prep football: Manatee's Joe Kinnan nominated in USA Today's top coach contest

photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie
Do you think Manatee coach Joe Kinnan is the best prep football coach in Florida? How about the whole country?
If so, you can vote for Kinnan in USA Today's Best High School Football coach contest.
Eight coaches from each state, as well as the District of Columbia, have been nominated. One winner from each state heads to the regional round, and that round's eight winners advance to the national round.
The winning coach's athletic department will receive $2,000, and second- through fifth-place finishers will receiver cash prizes, as well. All eight finalists will receive a banner for their school.
A five-time state champion, Kinnan has won 285 games.
The seven other Florida coaches nominated: Bill Castle (Lakeland); Corky Rogers (Jacksonville Bolles); Dan Burke (Melbourne Palm Bay); John Wilkinson (Cocoa); Pete Walker (Clewiston); Robert Weiner (Tampa Plant); Tim Harris (Miami Booker T. Washington).
Click here to vote.

Prep football: 2013 Lemmy Awards

photo by Paul Videla
The prep football season has hit the midway point, so you all know what that means:
Lemmy Awards!
Often imitated though never duplicated, the Lemmy Awards are chosen by, well, me.
Keep in mind, they have no bearing on our All-Area teams, which are picked with input from the staff as well as area coaches.
So here...we...go!

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Josh Hicks, RB, Palmetto: It's no coincidence that Palmetto hasn't lost since Hicks has been the beneficiary of more carries.
Actually, the Tigers are the beneficiaries. Hicks has run for 652 yards and 12 touchdowns and carried the Tigers to a tremendous comeback Friday against Bayshore, tallying five touchdowns and 244 yards to help erase a 31-0 deficit.
Not bad for a guy who has also split time at safety.
But aside from stats, Hicks, a senior, has been taking some heat off sophomore Jack Allison, in the midst of his first year of varsity football, and a young receiving corps. That's what captains are supposed to do and that's what Hicks has done for a Palmetto team that takes a 3-2 record into this week's bye.
No one means more to his team than Hicks.
Honorable mention: Chad Rex, QB, Lakewood Ranch; Trevon Walters, QB, Manatee; Kelvin McKnight, WR, Manatee; Titus Humphrey, Braden River; Courtney Allen, RB, Southeast.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Curt Bradley, Braden River: A year after an ugly 1-9 record, Bradley steered the Pirates to their first-ever 2-0 start before back-to-back losses to Lakewood Ranch and Booker.
The Pirates are playing with purpose this fall, which isn't easy considering they came within a week of going 0-10 last year. It may be a bit too early to start camping out for Braden River playoff tickets, especially since the Pirates already have a district loss and still have to face the likes of Palmetto and Sarasota. But after last year's struggles, Braden River just may be heading in the right direction. Right now, that's enough.
Honorable mention: Joe Kinnan, Manatee; Dave Marino, Palmetto; Josh Smithers, Cardinal Mooney.

TEAM OF THE YEAR: Manatee Hurricanes: They haven't lost to a county team since 2006 and haven't lost a regular-season game since 2011. They've outscored their last two opponents 128-7. Their defense has allowed three touchdowns over the last four games. And they're 5-0 and slowly ascending up a number of national polls. Manatee is on another level than any team in the area, and - dare we say it? - may be better than last year's 13-1 team that nearly won the program's first national title.
Honorable mention: Palmetto Tigers, Cardinal Mooney Cougars.

TIDBITS FROM THE FIRST FIVE: All four teams in Class 8A-District 7 have a winning record - Manatee (5-0), Palm Harbor University (3-1), St. Petersburg (3-1) and Riverview (2-1). District play opens Friday...Saint Stephen's scored 64 points against Citrus Park Christian in Week 2, the most the Falcons have scored since the school reintroduced football in 2006...Southeast may be 1-4 but the Seminoles are 1-0 in Class 5A-District 10, which is all that matters....Big Game Alert: Manatee hosts Fort Lauderdale University on Oct. 25. Both teams are currently ranked nationally.