|photo by Paul Videla|
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.
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.