Thursday, December 18, 2014

Basketball: Holiday tournament brackets

A pair of holiday traditions, The Willie Clemons Holiday Basketball Classic at Southeast and the Smoothie King Classic at Bradenton Christian, get underway Dec. 29 and wrap Dec. 31.
Here are the first-round pairings for each tournament.

Bayshore vs. Tampa Sickles, 9:30 a.m.
Englewood Lemon Bay vs. Oldsmar Christian, 12:30 p.m.
Manatee vs. Sarasota Christian, 3:30 p.m.
Bradenton Christian vs. St. Petersburg Shorecrest, 6:30 p.m.
Sarasota Christian vs. Southeast, 11 a.m.
Braden River vs. Manatee, 2 p.m.
Bayshore vs. Cape Coral, 5 p.m.
Bradenton Christian vs. Seven Rivers Christian, 8 p.m.

Braden River vs. Riverview, 2 p.m.
Palmetto vs. Clearwater Calvary Christian, 3:30 p.m.
Gulfport Boca Ciega vs. East Bay, 5 p.m.
Southeast vs. Lakeland Kathleen, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Football: Tentative assignments for 2015-18

Here are the tentative football districts featuring area schools for the 2015-18 cycle.
Schools can appeal their placement with the Florida High School Athletic Association.

Alonso (Tampa)
Riverview (Riverview)
George Steinbrenner (Lutz)
Newsome (Lithia)
Palm Harbor University
Riverview (Sarasota)

Braden River
Lakewood Ranch

North Port

Booker (Sarasota)
DeSoto County (Arcadia)
Hardee (Wauchula)
Lemon Bay (Englewood)

Bishop Verot (Fort Myers)
Cardinal Mooney
Calvary Christian (Clearwater)
Clearwater Central Catholic
St. Petersburg Catholic

Out-of-Door Academy
Bradenton Christian
Cambridge (Tampa)
Carrollwood (Tampa)
Seffner Christian
INDEPENDENT - IMG Academy, Saint Stephen's

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Football: Lemmy Awards

Rent that tuxedo. Purchase you ball gown.
Hire the babysitter and take your pick between the sirloin and the salmon.
It's time  to hand out the postseason Lemmy Awards, surely the highlight of every prep football season and another excuse to get decked out in your Sunday best.
Annual disclaimer: These awards have no bearing on the upcoming All-Area Team, which is put together by Herald staffers with input from area coaches.
The Lemmy Awards are put together by me. Hence the name.
The envelopes, please...

COACH OF THE YEAR: Curt Bradley, Braden River - Bradley wins it for the second year in a row because his Pirates overachieved for the second year in a row. Yes, I picked the Pirates to reach the playoffs way back in August.  But I didn't expect an undefeated regular season and district title clinched with a three-touchdown defeat of Palmetto. Bradley asked his players to believe in him and his staff while in the throes of a nightmarish 1-9 campaign in 2012, and he has certainly delivered. And the players deserve credit for sticking with it. Now comes the tough part: Keeping the winning  going when everybody expects it. Given what Bradley has done in such a short time,  however, it has become awfully tough to bet against him.
HONORABLE MENTION: John Booth, Manatee; Josh Smithers, Cardinal Mooney.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Johnnie Lang, Manatee - Oh, what a year.  The speedy Hurricane plowed his way to 2,116 yards (second-best single-season total in Hurricanes history) and 32 touchdowns in leading Manatee to its 15th regional championship. What made Lang's season so special was he didn't sneak up on anyone.  Opponents, especially when Manatee was ironing out its passing game early in the season, knew stopping the Hurricanes meant stopping Lang. And few could. In a season of standout performances, nothing topped what he did against Vero Beach in the second round of the Class 8A playoffs, scoring five times and rushing for 208 yards. Here's the best part, Canes fans: Lang is only a junior.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jacob Huesman, Braden River; Kwanzi Jackson,  Manatee; Quincy Washington, Palmetto; Reese Vita, Cardinal Mooney.

CLUTCH MOMENT OF THE YEAR: Nick Null's game-winning field goal in Class 8A-Region 2 final: With the wind swirling as momentum shifted away from Manatee, Null booted a 39-yarder to snap a 21-21 tie with Orlando Dr. Phillips with two minutes, 36 seconds remaining. John Madden said there is no such thing as a chip shot, that all kicks from all lengths are difficult. That's especially true in the prep ranks, where the kickers are far removed from their high-powered foes in the NFL. But Null, who also hit a big 42-yarder to help  Manatee beat Venice, made it look simple that night at Bill Spoone Stadium, where Phillips lost for the first time in 38 games.
HONORABLE  MENTION: Braden River's Jacob Huesman throwing for 316 yards and two touchdowns vs.  Palmetto in 7A-10 championship game; Manatee's  defense blanking Venice; Lakewood  Ranch's  Darren Lowery's 1-yard touchdown run with 33 seconds remaining vs. North Port.

QUOTE OF THE YEAR: "...We just thought that maybe that would be a memory for them to kind of find something that everybody could unify around." - Cardinal Mooney assistant and former Southeast head coach Paul Maechtle, who created a drill at the end of practice reminding Mooney of a key personal foul penalty suffered in last year's  Class 3A  playoffs. This year's Cougars won their first playoff game since 2006.

Read more here:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Football: Manatee's Booth, Lang third in voting

Manatee coach John Booth and running back Johnnie  Lang each took third in Class 8A in the Coach and Player of the Year balloting for the Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards.
Results were announced Monday.
In his first season at Manatee, Booth tallied 70 points, tying him with Miami Columbus' Chris Merritt. The Hurricanes went 12-2 and won district and regional championships under Booth, a 2000 Manatee alum hired in July.
Pembroke Pines Flanagan Devin Bush was first and Apopka's Rick Darlington was second.
Lang rushed for 2,116 yards and 32 touchdowns in his junior season and first as a starter. He finished with 56 points behind Player of the Year De'Andre Johnson of Jacksonville First Coast and runner-up Jacques Patrick from  Orlando Timber Creek.
Braden River's Curt Bradley (7A) and Cardinal  Mooney's  Josh Smithers and Reese Vita (3A), coach and  player of the year nominees in their classifications, did not crack the top three.
Voting was done by a panel of coaches and media members.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Football: The skinny on Apopka

Manatee heads back to the Orlando area Friday to face Apopka in a Class 8A state semifinal with the winner off to the state championship game Dec. 13 at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Here is a primer on the Blue Darters.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: The Blue Darters were the runner-up in District 4 and defeated District 3 champ Oviedo in the first round of the playoffs before blasting Winter Garden West Orange, 42-0, after losing to the Warriors during the regular season. Apopka then won a shootout over Jacksonville First Coast, 64-48, to claim the Region 1 title.
QUITE THE QUARTET: Apopka's four losses this season all came to playoff teams: Orlando Oak Ridge, West Orange, Plantation American Heritage and Orlando Edgewater.
VERY OFFENSIVE: The Blue Darters have scored 190 points during their current four-game winning streak, though this is nothing new: Apopka set a state scoring record last season with 786 points despite losing Nebraska-bound quarterback Zack Darlington to an early-season injury.
HE'S NO  1:  Senior lineman Martez Ivey (6-foot-5, 271 pounds) is ranked the nation's top offensive tackle by Rivals. Florida State, Ohio State and Auburn are among the 16 schools to make Ivey an offer.
POSTSEASON PATTERN: Apopka has made the playoffs every year since 2000 and won state titles in '01 and 2012. Both championships came under current coach Rick Darlington, who returned to Apopka in 2006 after spending 2003-05 coaching Valdosta High in Georgia.  The Blue Darters lost last year's Class 8A state title game to South Dade.
QUOTABLE: "People  call  it a Pop Warner offense, and that's not a joke: Pop Warner invented it in 1907. Jim Thorpe was his tailback, that's how old it is." Rick Darlington on Apopka's single wing offense.

Football: Booth, Bradley, Lang, Smithers and Vita up for awards

Braden River's  Curt Bradley (7A), Cardinal Mooney's Josh Smithers (3A) and Manatee's  John Boooth (8A) are all up for Coach of the Year in their classifications, while Manatee running back Johnnie Lang (8A) and Cardinal Mooney quarterback Reese Vita (3A) are player of the year nominees in the Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards.
In his first year replacing Joe Kinnan, Booth has the Hurricanes (12-1) in the Class 8A state semifinals Friday at Apopka after leading them to district and regional titles. A big part of that has been Lang, a junior who has rushed for 2,088 yards and 32 touchdowns. Only Shevin Wiggins (2,267 in 1993) has rushed for more yards in a single season at Manatee.
Two years after losing his first nine games, Bradley helped the Pirates win their first district title and record an undefeated regular season en route to Region 3 semifinals.
Smithers, who took over the Cougars in 2007, helped Mooney win its second straight district title and reach the Region 3 championship game. Vita threw for 1,226 yards and set program records for passing yards and touchdowns in a career.
The players of the year in each classification will have a chance to be named Mr.  Football, while the coaches of the year will be up for the state's overall award.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Volleyball: Manatee's Cothron, Coulter win Class 8A awards

Winning its first state title is continuing to pay dividends for Manatee's volleyball team.
Haley Coulter was named the Class 8A Player of the Year and Tony Cothron was named the classification's Coach of the Year in the Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards after helping the Hurricanes win a state championship Nov.  15.
Coulter earned 132 points to beat Jupiter's Cara Guthrie (119) after finishing the season with 356 kills, 261 digs and 31 blocks. In Manatee's state semifinal and final victories, Coulter, a junior who has committed to Tulsa, had 32 kills and 22 digs.
"It's nice to be recognized for something I love to do,"  Coulter said, "and this award is just as much mine as it is my coach's, my team and my family's. I wouldn't be the player that I am today without them."
By winning the honor in Class 8A, Coulter is up for Miss Volleyball along with the players of the year in the state's  seven other classifications.
Manatee had never advanced past the regional semifinals before Cothron took over the program prior to this season. A longtime area club coach, Cothron led the Canes to 25 wins and a 3-1 win over nationally-ranked Jupiter in the state championship match.
Cothron tallied 146 points to beat Jupiter's Blane Betz (133) and is now a nominee for the state's overall  Coach of the Year honor.
Lakewood Ranch coach Perri Hankins finished third  in the Class 7A Coach of the Year honors with 49 points. Hankins helped the Mustangs reach the state semifinals for the second time in three years.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Football: Former Seminole and personal trainer Charles Chestnut honoring late friend

Southeast alum Charles Chestnut, owner of Chestnut Performance Training, is conducting free workouts at his Lakewood Ranch training center this week in honor of his friend, Gabriella "Gigi" Longpre, who was killed in a car accident Thursday.
Longpre, a Bradenton resident, was  22.
Workouts at Chestnut Performance Training, 7345 International Place, Suite 103 in Lakewood Ranch, are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30  p.m.  and Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 a.m. They are free of charge though donations will be accepted to help  Longpre's family pay for the services.
Chestnut is also hosting a candlelight vigil  8:45 p.m. tonight at the Riverwalk in Bradenton.
Chestunt starred in football  and track at Southeast before playing football at Western Illinois, where he earned a degree in biology. A certified personal trainer, Chestnut founded CPT in 2013.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Football: Vero Beach has a dangerous QB-WR tandem

photo courtesy of Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
John Booth knows a thing or two about being a prolific quarterback.
In order for his Manatee Hurricanes to reach the Class 8A-Region 2 title game, they need to contain one.
Vero Beach heads to Hawkins Stadium on Friday for a regional semifinal. Leading the way for the Indians is quarterback Carter Stanley, who has thrown for 2,819 yards and 36 touchdowns for the 11-0 Indians, who are looking to reach a regional final for the first time  in 11 years.
Friday's winner plays either Tampa Plant or Orlando Dr.Phillips next Friday for the regional championship and a spot in the final four.
"Really (need to) try to create some pressure with our defensive line on their quarterback," Booth said. "If we let him sit in the pocket and just be comfortable all night, he's good enough to kind of pick you apart and get it to their different weapons."
After graduating from  Manatee in 2000, Booth played at MidAmerica Nazarene, a NAIA school in Kansas, and threw for 4,250 yards and 42 touchdowns to earn All-America honors and a spot in the school's hall of fame.
"So we've got to get pressure on him and collapse that pocket,"   Booth said of Stanley, "and get him to make some errant throws."
Manatee has had success getting pressure on quarterbacks, recording 44 during the regular season, including 21 from end Kwanzi Jackson. Manatee also intercepted 12 passes, and the Canes will call on that secondary to try and quell M.J. McGriff, Stanley's favorite target who has pulled in 97 catches and 20 touchdowns this season.
McGriff has also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, which means Manatee needs a big night from kicker Nick Null, who has sent 40 of 64 kickoffs into the end zone for a touchback.

"They’ve got a special talent at receiver,"  Booth said. "He can beat you in the screen game, he can get vertical on you. So we have to make sure we stay over the top of him."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Volleyball: Notes and observations from Manatee's state championship

photo by John Lembo
-  If you like close volleyball, Manatee was the team for you. The Hurricanes won their six sets against University and Jupiter by a combined 14 points and allowed 22 points or more in each one. Jupiter actually outscored Manatee 98-93 in the championship  match, which Manatee won 3-1 on the strength of three two-point victories.
- Manatee lost just three sets in seven postseason matches, dropping two to Palm Harbor University in a Region 2 semifinal and another to Jupiter in the championship match.
- If there was an official MVP of the tournament, Haley Coulter would have made a strong candidate. The Tulsa commit had 32 kills and 22 digs in the semifinal  and  final to go along with five blocks. No surprise the junior is up for Player of the Year honors in Class 8A.
- Speaking of awards, Canes coach Tony Cothron has a solid shot of winning the title in Class 8A. Manatee never made it past the regional  semifinals before Cothron showed up and the Canes wound up winning the county's first state volleyball title since Palmetto in 1986.
- The last area volleyball team to reach a state final was  Cardinal  Mooney, a runner-up to  Orlando Bishop  Moore in Class 3A in  2000. Palmetto is the last county team to do so,  falling to Estero in 1988 in the Class 2A final. That capped quite a run for the Tigers, won a state title in '86 and made the final four the following year.
- The Hurricanes had a two-headed set monster in  Kissimmee  as junior Gillian Cassidy and freshman Gabby Coulter teamed for 82 assists in the two matches. They were balanced, too - Coulter had 42, Cassidy had 40.
- How did Manatee win so  many close sets? Success at the service line helped. The Hurricanes totaled 19 aces at Kissimmee, including six from Stefani Keller. (Jupiter and University combined for seven.) A freshman, Keller won the Region 2 championship match at Orlando Timber Creek with an ace to send Manatee to the state semifinals.
- The volleyball team is  Manatee's first indoor team to win a state title since the boys weightlifting team won the Class 4A title in 1990. Nine boys lifters have won individual titles for Manatee. The wrestling team has 16 individual championships but never won the team trophy, finishing second in 1973, 2007 and '09. The girls lifting team crowned a champ in 2004 when Sam DeCristofaro won at 129 pounds.
(Cheerleading is a bit tricky. Manatee has won consecutive state cheer titles but is that considered an inside sport? Discuss.)
- Not a bad year for volleyball  in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Venice and Manatee won state titles and  Lakewood Ranch reached the state semifinals for the second time in three years.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Prep volleyball: Manatee, Orange City University have already met

photo by Timothy R. Wolfrum
Friday marks Manatee's first time playing in a state semifinal though it won't mark the first time the Hurricanes have seen their opponent.
Manatee plays Orange City University at 9 a.m. Friday in a Class 8A state semifinal in Kissimmee less than two months after beating the Titans 2-0 during the Winter Park/Lake Highland Showcase.
The Hurricanes won 25-22, 25-23 on Sept. 13.
"They just know they have to come out and play, and play defense," said Canes coach Tony Cothron. "I think across the board we're more offensive than the other team, but we just need to play defense. If we play defense like we did Saturday (at Orlando Timber Creek in the Region 2 final), it's going to be a short day for us...We didn't play defense very well."
Haley and JoJo Coulter had eight kills each for Manatee against the Titans, who had nine kills from Jenna Talbert.
The defenses matched up well: Manatee had 31 digs, led by Haley Coulter and Jesse Durst, who had 10 each; Rebekah Blunt and Monica Jones had eight apiece for the Titans, who had 29. And Manatee made 12 digging errors to the Titans' 13.
MaxPreps ranks Manatee third in Class 8A while University is fourth, making this an even more of a tougher match to call.
The winner plays either Jupiter or Miami Coral Reef at 11:05 a.m. Saturday for the state championship.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Volleyball: District championship pairings

photo by Paul Videla
Jacqui Armer and Manatee's volleyball team are looking for a second consecutive district title tonight against Palm Harbor University in a Class 8A-District 8 final.
Here are the local pairings for tonight's finals. All teams have qualified for the regional tournament, which gets underway Tuesday (Classes 8A, 6A, 4A, 2A) and Wednesday (7A, 5A, 3A).
Tonight's matches begin at 7 p.m.

Palm Harbor University at Manatee
Sarasota at Lakewood Ranch
Southeast at Gulfport Boca Ciega
Out-of-Door Academy vs. Cardinal Mooney

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Volleyball: District pairings

photo by Tim  Wolfrum
Lakewood  Ranch's volleyball team has reason to celebrate - the  Mustangs are the top seed in next week's Class 7A-District 10 tournament.
Here are the pairings for the tournaments involving area teams. The top two finishers in each district advance to the regional  playoffs, which begin Tuesday, Oct.  28 (Classes 2A,  4A,  6A and 8A) and   Wednesday, Oct.  29 (1A, 3A, 5A, 7A).
Each team's seeds are in parentheses.

(4)  St. Petersburg at (1) Manatee, 7 p.m.
(3) Riverview at (2) Palm Harbor University,  7 p.m.
7 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) St. Petersburg Lakewood, 7 p.m.
Gibbs/Lakewood at (1) Gulfport Boca Ciega,  7  p.m.
(3) Southeast at (2) Bayshore, 7 p.m.
7 p.m. at highest remaining seed

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

Golf: District tournaments

Philip Knowles and Bradenton Christian's boys golf team head to Bent Tree Country Club on Monday for the Class 1A-District 17 golf tournament
Proof the fall season is winding down: The playoffs are upon us beginning with the district golf meets, scheduled for next week at various sites.
The top three teams  in each district advance to regional play and the top three individuals not on regional-qualifying teams advance, as well.
Here is the information involving local  schools.

DISTRICT: Class  3A-District 14
LOCALS: Braden River,  Lakewood Ranch, Manatee
BOYS: 8 a.m.  Monday, Misti Creek Country Club, Sarasota
GIRLS: Noon, Tuesday, Mission Valley  Country Club, Nokomis

DISTRICT: Class  2A-District 19
LOCALS: Bayshore,  Palmetto, Southeast
BOYS and GIRLS: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Golf Hammock Golf and Country Club, Sebring

DISTRICT: Class 1A-District 17
LOCALS: Bradenton Christian, Cardinal  Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy,   Saint Stephen's
BOYS:  10 a.m. Monday, Bent Tree Country Club, Sarasota
GIRLS: 11 a.m.    Monday, Tatum Ridge Golf  Links,  Sarasota

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Football: Sloan Drummonds is Manatee's quarterback

A balanced Manatee attack will ease the workload of running back Johnnie Lang
As Manatee approaches the most critical stretch of its schedule, head coach John Booth has decided to put senior Sloan Drummonds under center.
A transfer from Sebastian River, Drummonds has had an eventful year at Manatee, leaving the team after the Kickoff  Classic before  deciding to return.  But his performance Saturday at Southeast, where he threw for 180 yards and three touchdowns while running for another in his Manatee debut, convinced Booth that Drummonds is the best option heading Thursday's Class 8A-Distrit 7 opener at Riverview.
"Sloan did a great job for us in creating some balance in what we were trying to do," Booth said following practice Wednesday.
Drummonds was slowed by an injury over the summer and was replaced by sophomore A.J.  Colagiovanni. But as the season progressed,  Manatee become  more  reliant on running back Johnnie Lang, who leads the area with 765 rushing yards while averaging close  to 30 carries per game lining up mostly in the wildcat.
"We looked at it and said, 'There's no  way we'll be able to run Johnnie like that for the course of the season,'" said Booth, whose brother,  James,  is Manatee's  offensive coordinator. "And we were going to get into some teams that were going to load the box, go cover zero and force Johnnie to throw. So  we're going to have to be able to find  some balance,  and  Sloan  did that for us against Southeast."
Lang will still be used out of the wildcat, however.
"That's  just been so successful for us," Booth said, "so it would be silly to not use that."
Colagiovanni completed 21 of 43 attempts for 307 yards, three interceptions and a touchdown. And Booth praised the sophomore for how he has handled the personnel   shift.
"A.J.'s been, I can't even stress, he's been fantastic," Booth said. "He's been very supportive,  he understands, and we tried to be very honest with him, as well. And he's responded well.  And he's been very supportive of Sloan and he's just a team guy, and he's  looking forward to being whatever role he could  do  for the team this year and improving and building to hopefully where he can get out there and play in the future."
The Hurricanes are 4-1 overall and host Palmetto next week before playing St. Petersburg on Oct.  17 in a key district game in Bradenton. Following a bye week Oct. 24, Manatee closes district play Oct. 31 at Palm Harbor University and wraps the regular season Nov. 7 at Venice.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Prep football: Manatee, IMG nationally ranked

photo by Grant Jefferies
Manatee is back in the national rankings.
Winners of four straight following Saturday's  39-26 win over rival Southeast, the Hurricanes are ranked 71st in the HSFB100 at
Ranked No.1 in three different national polls during the 2012 season, Manatee entered this season unranked. But Manatee began last week ninth in Class 8A by The Associated Press.
The Hurricanes open Class  8A-District 7 on Thursday at Riverview. Manatee has won 50 straight regular-season games against Florida opponents and has not lost a district game since Oct. 31,  2008 at Venice.
IMG Academy also cracked the HSFB100, entering the list at 89 after beating New Jersey's   St.Peter's  Prep.  St. Peter's entered the game ranked fifth and is now 27th.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Volleyball: Lakewood Ranch wins county title

photo by Tim Wolfum
Lakewood Ranch swept Manatee (25-22, 25-22) to win the Manatee County volleyball tournament Saturday at Braden River.
It was the Mustangs' first county championship since 2007.
The Hurricanes had won the last two titles.
For more on the Mustangs' win, check out Sunday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.
Here is the all-tournament team:
Bayshore - Kristen Fleury
Braden River - Siena Kelly
Bradenton Christian - Savannah Shontere
Lakewood Ranch - Nicole Grant, Courtney Rapp
Manatee - Haley Coulter, Jacqui Armer
Palmetto - Whitley Canezo
Saint Stephen's - Bryce Liebel
Southeast - Emma Bartges

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER - Nicole Grant, Lakewood Ranch

Monday, September 22, 2014

Volleyball: County tournament information

Manatee will be looking for its third straight county title Friday and Saturday at Braden River.
Braden River will host this year's  Manatee County volleyball tournament, which gets underway 4:30  p.m. Friday and resumes 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Pirates reached the finals  last year for the first time and fell to Manatee, which won its second straight title and seventh overall.
The eight teams will be split into Pools A and B and the top two finishers from each pool advance to the Gold Bracket  to play off for the championship and third place.
The third- and fourth-place teams will play for fifth and seventh place in the Silver Bracket.
The championship and fifth-place games are scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.
Listed below is the information for this year's  tournament with each team's seed in parentheses. Seeding is based on last year's  results.

POOL A - (1) Manatee, (4) Saint Stephen's, (5) Bradenton Christian, (8) Bayshore.
POOL B - (2) Braden River, (3)  Lakewood  Ranch, (6) Southeast, (7) Palmetto.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Volleyball: Manatee alum Butler doing well at Mars Hill

Former  Manatee volleyball  player Becca Butler has had little trouble finding success at the college level.
A freshman at Mars Hills University, a Division II school in North Carolina,  Butler earned All-Tournament Team honors for her play Saturday during the CSU Cougar Invitational at Columbus State.
Butler, an outside hitter, had 20 kills,  10 digs and eight blocks during the tournament. She is second on the team with 73 kills,  which is also good for 11th in the South Atlantic Conference.
Butler was named The Herald's All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year  in 2013 after helping the Hurricanes win the Class 8A-District 8 title.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Football: Drummonds is back with Manatee

Quarterback Sloan Drummonds has returned to Manatee's  football team.
A transfer from Sebastian River,  Drummonds left the Hurricanes  prior to the start of the regular season. But the senior was on Manatee's  sideline Friday wearing his jersey and a  pair  of shorts, and coach John Booth said Drummonds will suit up next week when Manatee hosts Sarasota.
"It was a mutual thing. It didn't work out where he was going, and he wanted to come back. And it worked out,"  Booth said Friday following Manatee's win over Naples. "It wasn't  a negative thing why they were leaving.  And when they came back we said, 'Yeah,  we'll take you back. No problem,' with certain conditions...He's been great with understanding his role and where he fits in with everything."
Sophomore  A.J. Colagiovanni got the start during the Canes' Kickoff Classic at Tarpon Springs East Lake while Drummonds, who had battled an injury during camp, watched in the sideline from street clothes. He left the team days before Manatee opened the regular season in Ware County, Ga.
Though Drummonds will  be active against the Sailors, Booth said he won't  automatically slide into the starting lineup. Colagiovanni has completed 20  of 41 attempts for 304 yards, and Manatee has utilized running back Johnnie Lang out the  wildcat. The junior has totaled 367 yards on the ground and four touchdowns in the last two weeks.
"A.J.  played well and we've done some different things with Johnnie in the wildcat," Booth said,  "so we're not necessarily next week having (Drummonds) come in and start. But certainly as we move and progress down,  we're trying to find a role and where he can kind of fit in with the offense."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Football: Sloan Drummonds has left Manatee's football team

Sloan Drummonds is no longer with Manatee's football team, said head coach John Booth.
"They decided it was what was best for their family," Booth said Monday. He wasn't sure if Drummonds planned on staying at Manatee.
Drummonds transferred to Manatee from Sebastian River after the spring season and was expected to start at quarterback during his senior year. But he was in street clothes Friday as sophomore A.J. Colagiovanni helped guide Manatee to a 26-17 win over Tarpon Springs East Lake.
After the game, Booth said Colagiovanni was Manatee's starting quarterback heading into the regular season, which gets underway Friday when the Hurricanes play Ware County, Ga., in Valdosta.
Originally from South Carolina, Drummonds also played at Vero Beach in 2012. It appeared he had a lock on Manatee's starting job early in camp, but an injury, coupled with Colagiovanni's progress, led to Booth's decision."It wasn't something I was expecting and you never want to lose anyone from your program," Booth said of Drummonds' leaving. "But we wish him the best and hope things turn out well for him and his family."
Kavious Price, Manatee's quarterback in the spring who went back to his natural position at slot receiver, is the team's back-up. Price will also be used in some wildcat packages, as well.
But Booth said the team is grooming a JV player to serve as Colagiovanni's chief back-up to help free up Price.

Football: Southeast hosts Military Appreciation Night

Southeast will host its first Military Appreciation Night at 7:30 p.m. Friday when the Seminoles play Lakewood Ranch in each season's regular-season football opener.
Admission is free to veterans, who along with local veteran organizations, will be honored during a 7 p.m. ceremony. During the coin toss, members from each branch of the military will serve as honorary captains.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Baseball: Hirst steps down at Bayshore

Ron Hirst has stepped down as Bayshore's baseball coach.
Hoping to land an administrative position, Hirst has taken a dean position at Palmetto.
"That's just how my career was going," Hirst said Tuesday. "It was a tough decision because you love your kids. But I was ready to move into an administrative role."
Hirst was the head coach at Bayshore in 2008 and again from 2011-14, helping the Bruins to two district championships, including last season. He also served as an assistant under Charlie Smythers for three years.
"It was a lot of fun," Hirst said of last year's run. "It was a good group of kids. I enjoyed it."
Though he hopes to climb the administrative ladder, Hirst said he has not closed the door on another coaching gig.
"If the role was right, I would do it it was doable," said Hirst, who coaches at IMG Academy during the summer. "I love coaching. But I'm definitely excited about moving into an administrative role."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Football: Joe Kinnan to hold press conference Wednesday

Joe Kinnan is ready to talk.
Manatee's former football coach, who announced in June he was taken a medical leave of absence for the 2014-15 school year, will conduct a press conference 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bradenton City Hall.
"I will be speaking about my career at Manatee High," Kinnan wrote in an email, "and the allegations made against me by the Manatee County School District."
During an 2012 investigation of former Manatee baseball coach Dwayne Strong, district officials recommended Kinnan, formerly Manatee's athletic director, be suspended for 10 days without pay for failing "to maintain honesty in his professional dealings."
Kinnan resigned as athletic director in early December, roughly two weeks before the district unveiled its findings, and Manatee's athletic program was fined over $13,000 by the Florida High School Athletic Association because of violations committed by Strong and the baseball program.
Kinnan responded with a statement through his attorney at the time, Douglas Peebles, acknowledging that he "could have been more diligent in my oversight and follow through," regarding Strong.
He also added: "However, the allegations and findings contained within the complaint are far overreaching. I cannot abide and cannot more strongly disagree with any allegations or findings which wrongly characterize my conduct as intentional, misleading or dishonest or that may otherwise impugn my integrity."
Citing health reasons, Kinnan, a three-time cancer survivor, did not coach Manatee during the spring football season, which ran through May, but held off on making a decision about whether he would coach in the fall.
On June 20, however, Kinnan, on medical leave since December, announced he would not be coaching Manatee in 2014 and requested a year-long medical leave of absence.
"I would love to continue as the head football coach. However, there are conditions that exist that make that impossible at this time," Kinnan's statement read that day. "The turmoil and uncertainty that exists in the Manatee County School District has impacted my health to the extent that I cannot perform as head football coach at the level of excellence that Manatee players and fans expect and deserve."
District superintendent Rick Mills, who recommended Kinnan's suspension in December, said he was hoping to see Kinnan try and chase down his 300th victory this fall.
"He is a great coach with a great legacy," Mills said June 20.
A nationwide search for Manatee's new football coach yielded 70 applicants, and Jason Montgomery, hired in February to replace Kinnan as the school's athletic director, said he wasn't looking for an interim hire.
"There have been no mixed signals on our end," Montgomery said June 30. "We're looking for a long-term solution."
The choice to replace Kinnan was John Booth, a Manatee alum who played under Kinnan for four years and spent the last five coaching at Valrico Bloomingdale. He makes his coaching debut Aug. 22 when the Hurricanes head to Tarpon Springs East Lake for a Kickoff Classic.
Kinnan won 290 games and five state titles in two separate stints at Manatee and graduated from the school in 1963.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Football: Notes from Week 1 of camp

Made a few stops at area practices this week while working on The Herald's prep football preview edition, which comes out Friday, Aug.29.

Some tibits:

- There's no quarterback battle at Manatee. Sloan Drummonds, who transferred in from Sebastian River, has the starting job, which means Kavious Price returns to his natural position at slot receiver. Price played quarterback during Manatee's spring game against Haines City.
"We Kavious playing quarterback in the spring, that takes a huge weapon out of the receiving corps," said Manatee head coach John Booth. "Now we're able to do some different things in the screen game with him and get him down the field. He's so fast and quick on the cuts, and he has great hands."Booth, who doubles as the Hurricanes' quarterback coach (he earned All-America honors playing the position at MidAmerica Nazarene), is pleased with the progress made by Drummonds, a senior.
"He's been bombarded with a lot of different offenses, a lot of different terminologies. So it's just trying to get him to hone in on what we're doing," Booth said. "But he's a quick learner. We were working with him for about a month before the season started and he picked up the pass game rather quickly."

- As if their rivalry on the field has become heated enough, Manatee and Palmetto are now duking it out in cyberspace.
Well, not really.
Both both schools have developed websites dedicated to prep sports - and And both are quite good.
As its title says, Manatee's site is dedicated solely to the school's football program. It includes schedules, bios on all the coaches (updated with John Booth and his twin brother, James, who will serve as offensive coordinator), photos, an up-to-date roster and information on Hawkins Stadium. An injury report and team store are coming soon, according to the site.
Palmetto's site has links to the school's other sports. Understandably, the content revolves around football, and daily practice reports feature interviews with various players and coaches. Following Friday's practices, interviews with head coach Dave Marino, defensive line coach Greg Walls and defensive lineman Brian Bembry were on the site.
Palmetto's games will be streamed live on the site, as well.

- Saint Stephen's will once again be playing an independent football schedule, meaning the school is still a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association but will not compete in a district. Instead, the Falcons will play in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference, which includes 27 teams sliced into two leagues with two divisions each. Saint Stephen's was with the Gulf Atlantic Conference  last season, which merged with the SSAC.
The Falcons are in the Coral League's Bay Division. The conference is six years old, according to its website, and is for FHSAA member schools in Class 3A and 2A that choose to play an independent schedule.
The league's president is Seffner Christian coach Stu Weiss.
"He's a guy who really believes that what we're carving out is something that's needed in the state," said Tod Creneti, whose team went 5-5 playing an independent schedule last year. "Small-school football has just not really been favorably treated by the state. For instance, where we are at the classification cusp of things, it makes it very hard for us to be playing in the 3A district with schools twice our size. So this provides schools with sort of like mission statements to compete with each other."
The site will stream one conference game each week on its website. First up: Saint Stephen's against visiting Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin on Aug. 29.
The current FHSAA alignment ends after this season. And while Creneti is happy being part of the SSAC, he didn't rule out a return to district football, especially since independent teams cannot compete for state titles.
"We love the conference and I have a lot of respect for the conference," he said, "but depending on how things shake out, you always want to be able to compete for a state championship. And we haven't lost that dream or that goal, that we can be a team that competes on a state level in the not-too-distant future. We want to be able to bring our kids into the first day of camp and say, 'Hey, everything we're doing right now is for a chance to go and play for a state title.' And when we're ready, that's what we want."

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Baseball: Catching up with local prospects

Palmetto's Granden Goetzman is playing high Single-A baseball with the Tampa Bay Rays' affiliate in Port Charlotte.
A rundown at how some of the locals are faring in professional baseball:

MICHAEL OHLMAN, LAKEWOOD RANCH: An 11th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2009, Ohlman is on the organization's 40-man roster and playing with its Double-A team in Bowie, Md. He's hitting .241 in 87 games with the Baysox with 26 RBIs, 21 doubles and two home runs. A catcher, Ohlman has thrown out 27 percent of runners trying to steal.

CORRELLE PRIME, MANATEE: The former Hurricane has found his power stroke with the Colorado Rockies' Single-A team in Asheville, N.C., slugging 16 home runs in 98 games with the first-place Tourists. Prime is tied for third in the South Atlantic League in home runs and second in RBIs (68) while slugging .469. Asheville is 29-10 in the second half and leads the league's South Division by 5 1/2 games.

CORD SANDBERG, MANATEE: Sandberg is hitting .237 with the Philadelphia Phillies' low short-season New York-Penn League team in Williamsport, Pa. He has three home runs, three doubles and three triples with 16 RBIs in 38 games and is 6-for-7 in steal attempts.

MICHAL SUCHY, SOUTHEAST: The area's newest pro after the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him during the fifth round of this year's draft, Suchy is with the Pirates' New York-Penn League team in Jamestown, N.Y. The former Seminole is hitting .241 but has a .345 on-base percentage thanks to his 19 walks and four hit-by-pitches in 38 games. Suchy has no home runs but five doubles and three triples.

GRANDEN GOETZMAN, PALMETTO: Bedeviled by injuries early in his career, Goetzman took advantage of his good health with the Bowling Green Hot Rods, a low Single-A affiliate with the Tampa Bay Rays. Goetzman batted .315 with 31 RBIs and seven home runs and 20 doubles in 60 games at Bowling Green, earning a promotion to the team's high Single-A affiliate in Port Charlotte. Goetzman is hitting .184 in 27 games with the Stone Crabs.

JON  GRIFFIN, LAKEWOOD RANCH: The former Mustang and State College of Florida product made national headlines by hitting four home runs in a game and five in as many at-bats. Playing with the Arizona Diamondbacks' Double-A team in Mobile, Ala., Griffin has hit 14 home runs while batting .236 with 48 RBIs in 88 games.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Football: District breakdowns for 2014

Johnnie Lang (No. 22) and the Manatee Hurricanes will look to repeat as Class 8A-District 7 champions this fall.
Practice for the 2014 prep football season officially begins Monday, Aug. 4 with games beginning Aug. 27.
So here is a look at the districts involving Bradenton area teams. Don't get too attached, though - this is the last of each district's two-year cycle before the Florida High School Athletic Association realigns everything later this school year.

DISTRICT: Class 8A-7
LOCAL: Manatee
OTHERS: Palm Harbor, Sarasota Riverview, St. Petersburg
THE SKINNY: Perhaps you've heard Manatee has a new coach? Former Hurricane John Booth takes over for Joe Kinnan....Manatee hasn't lost a district game since 2008 against Venice. The Indians beat Manatee the next season, but that win was ruled a forfeit in favor of the Hurricanes by the FHSAA...The Rams, who made the playoffs as a runner-up, lost three games, all against playoff teams - Manatee, Venice and Fort Pierce Central in the quarterfinals of the Region 2 tournament...None of the teams had a losing record. The closest was Palm Harbor University, which went 5-5...Manatee's lone home district game is Oct. 17 against St. Petersburg.

DISTRICT: Class 7A-10
LOCALS: Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto
OTHERS: North Port, Sarasota
THE SKINNY: Despite tallying a losing record (5-6), Palmetto made the playoffs for the fourth straight season, a program record...The Sailors won their last three district games by a combined 57 points to claim the title, though they'll try to repeat with a new coach as Brian Ryals takes over for Ed Volz. Ryals was Sarasota's offensive coordinator the last three seasons; Volz resigned to spend more time with his family...A year after winning just one game, Braden River finished 5-4 in coach Curt Bradley's second season. The Pirates were the lone district team to defeat Sarasota...After a 2-0 start in district play, Lakewood Ranch lost its final two league games to Palmetto and Sarasota, but beat previously undefeated Port Charlotte in its season finale to finish 5-5...North Port (3-6) was the only team in the district to finish the regular season below .500.

DISTRICT: Class 5A-13
LOCALS: Bayshore, Southeast
OTHERS: Arcadia DeSoto, Booker, Wauchula Hardee
THE SKINNY: Another John takes over for a local legend - John Warren was selected as Southeast's new head coach after Paul Maecthle retired. The Seminoles won Maechtle's final game against Palmetto but finished 3-7 and missed the playoffs...Bayshore went 2-8 under new head coach Elijah Freeman and dropped its final two district games after splitting its first two...Despite leading Booker to the second round of the playoffs, coach Johnnie Jones was dismissed and replaced with former defensive coordinator Recharde Goodwyn...Hardee rolled to the district title, allowing 30 points in its four district games, before losing at Plantation American Heritage in the Region 4 championship game...DeSoto went winless in four district games.

DISTRICT: Class 3A-6
LOCALS: Cardinal Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy
OTHER: Fort Myers Bishop Verot
THE SKINNY: The Cougars won the district last season, defeating Verot 35-10 in what wound up being the championship game...Verot made the playoffs as a runner-up...Bedeviled by injuries and transfers, the Thunder won one game.

DISTRICT: Class 2A-5
LOCAL:  Bradenton Christian
OTHERS: Largo Indian Rocks Christian, St. Petersburg Canterbury, St. Petersburg Keswick Christian, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, Tampa Cambridge, Tampa Carrollwood.
THE SKINNY: The only team located on this side of the Sunshine Skyway, Bradenton Christian finished at .500 (5-5) but went 2-4 against district teams. The Panthers haven't made the playoffs since they began playing football in 2006...Indian Rocks Christan went 6-0 to win the district en route to the state semifinals...Carrollwood Day (5-1) was the runner-up...Five of the district's seven teams finished at .500 or better overall.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wrestling: FHSAA taking applications to host state tournament

Do you want to host the Florida state wrestling tournament?
All you have to do is head over to the Florida High School Association's website, fill out a 31-page form and return it to the FHSAA by Friday, Aug. 15.
The association is looking for a host for the next three years after The Lakeland Center served that capacity from 1993-95 before reclaiming hosting duties in 1998.
So what exactly is the FHSAA looking for?
Applicants have to answer questions regarding available lodging in the area, plans for marketing and promoting event and about the site's food and beverage concessions, security and safety codes.
The facility cannot charge the FHSAA fees for use of power or lighting, and the host must provide, at its own expense, a public-address announcer, head table personnel, volunteer coordinators, awards coordinators, table workers for each mat, attendants for locker rooms and officials, eight certified trainers, an EMT or physician, security and media assistants to help run off copies.
The host must also, at its own expense, provide two meals per day to credentialed members of the event (an estimated 150 people per day) and have snacks and beverages readily available throughout.
Parking is also crucial, as the facility must have at least 40 reserved spots. According to the FHSAA, last year's total attendance for the two-day event was 13,726, a number that also includes coaches, wrestlers, team personnel, media and others who used to credentials to enter the arena and didn't have to purchase a ticket.
The paid attendance was 10,879. Admission was $9 per person.
What does the FHSAA provide? Compensation and expenses for officials, state championship trophies and medallions, a "memento" for all who participate (coaches, wrestlers, officials), souvenir programs (if printed) and merchandise, promotional materials including decals, signs and flyers bearing the FHSAA logo,  Gatorade coolers and cups and credentials.
In exchange, the host facility retains parking fees, sales from concessions, government and tourist development grants and agreements with sponsors.
So that's about does it. The state wrestling tournament is scheduled for March 6 and 7, the FHSAA plans on announcing its host no later than Oct. 1.
And in case you were wondering, the state wrestling tournament came to the area once: 1988 at the Manatee Civic Center.

Wrestling: Manatee does well at Disney Duals

Caleb Rudisill and members of Manatee's wrestling team had a solid showing during  the Disney Duals in Orlando, which wrapped July 1.'
The Manatee Mafia placed 14th out of 46 teams and Rudisill went 10-1 to earn All-America honors. A rising junior, Rudisill won 57 matches last season and was ranked No.1 in Class 3A at 113 pounds heading into the state tournament, where he fell a win short of reaching the medal round.
Rudisill won his first 10 matches in Orlando, however, and is 42-11 in offseason matches.
Jesse Fullk, a state runner-up last season at 160 whose 59 wins set a single-season program record, went 9-2 to also earn All-America honors. A rising senior, Fulk has wrestled 60 matches in the offseason, winning 48.
After losing 21 of 22 previous matches at past Disney Duals, Tim Dinsdale turned around this time, going 9-2 and also being named an All-American. Tyrek Hoyte, a surprising medalist at 126 last year, went 6-5.
Also notching winning records for the Canes were Alex Ginn (7-4), a state qualifier last year, John Baldwin (7-4) and Eric Pompey (5-4).

Monday, July 7, 2014

Prep football: Chris Conboy resigns as Manatee's quarterbacks coach

Chris Conboy will not return as Manatee's quarterbacks coach.
With new head coach John Booth coaching the quarterbacks and John's brother James serving as the offensive coordinator, Conboy didn't see a big role for himself on the staff.
"They do what I do, and I didn't want to coach another position," said Conboy, adding the split was amicable. "I thought it be best for the kids if I wasn't out there so they could buy into the new system."
A Cardinal Mooney graduate, Conboy coached at Manatee from 1992-98 and returned in 2006. He also served as a liaison between players and college coaches, and applied to be Manatee's new coach when Joe Kinnan decided to take a medical leave of absence for the 2014 school year.
Conboy was one of seven finalists before the job went to John Booth, who graduated from Manatee in 2000 and earned All-America honors while playing quarterback at MidAmerica Nazarene.
"It wasn't something I set out to do," John Booth said about parting ways with Conboy. "I was pleased with his professionalism. It could have gone a million different ways. He was very respectful.  We parted ways, and this gives him a chance to pursue a  coordinator opportunity at another school."
Booth offered Conboy another position on staff. But Conboy declined. 
Conboy said he plans on continuing to teach at Manatee. While he doesn't think he is through with coaching, he is unsure what will happen  in the immediate future."There are a few things I thought about doing," he said. "For the longest time, I never had time to do anything else in the fall but coach football. Just have to wait and see what unfolds. Having a 3-year-old and a 10-year-old, I'm sure I'll stay busy."
Though he won't be a part of it, Conboy said he plans on keeping an eye on how the Hurricanes fare in 2014.
"I said that one of reasons I stepped aside was I thought it would be best for (the players)," he said. "I didn't really feel like I could add any value. I think stepping aside and letting them go 100 percent into the new system was the best thing."

Monday, June 30, 2014

Prep football: Manatee's final seven candidates

Longtime Manatee assistant Chuck Sandberg is one of seven candidates in the running to replace Joe Kinnan as the  Hurricanes' head football coach.
Kevin Wallace, the  head coach of Bowling Green High in Kentucky, withdrew his name for consideration Monday morning, said Manatee athletic director Jason Montgomery, who said he hopes to have a decision finalized by the end of the week.
Montgomery said Wallace decided he did not want to move his family.

John Booth - head coach at Valrico Bloomingdale
Chad Choate - linebackers coach at Manatee
Chris Conboy - quarterbacks coach at Manatee
Jason Milgrom - co-offensive coordinator at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
Jim Phelan - defensive coordinator at Manatee
Chuck Sandberg - receivers coach at Manatee
Bart Sessions - recently resigned as head coach at McGill-Toolen Catholic in Alabama

Prep football: Manatee to interview two more candidates

Manatee alum John Booth and former Alabama coach Bart Sessions are being interviewed to be Manatee's new football coach.
Booth just wrapped his fourth season at Valrico Bloomingdale, where his record is 12-28. But the Bulls were 6-4 last year and have improved each season after going 0-10 under Booth in 2009.
After leaving Manatee, Booth earned All-America honors playing quarterback at MidAmerica Nazarene, a NAIA school in Kansas, before signing as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs and switching to wide receiver.
Booth played in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals, helping the team win World Bowl XIII in 2005 with 103 receiving yards.
He also coached wide receivers for two years at Nazarene and played in the Arena Football League with the Kansas City Brigade.
Sessions made his mark as one of the top defensive coordinators in Alabama, helping Daphne win the Class 6A state title in 2010 and Pratville to state championships in 2008 and '09.
He has been the head coach at Alabama's McGill-Toolen since 2011. Sessions is 35-5 in three seasons with the Yellowjackets.
Manatee assistants Chad Choate, Chris Conboy, Jim Phelan and Chuck Sandberg were scheduled to be interviewed, along with Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas assistant Jason Milgrom and Bowling Green (Kentucky) head coach Kevin Wallace.
Joe Kinnan announced earlier this month he is taking a medical leave of absence from Manatee for the 2014-15 school year.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Prep football: Vote for Manatee's football coach

Six candidates are being interviewed to be Manatee's new head football coach.
There are four in-house candidates - Chad Choate, Chris Conboy, Jim Phelan and Chuck Sandberg; and two outside candidates - Jason Milgrom and Kevin Wallace.
So look to the poll on the right and pick your candidate.
Jason Montgomery, Manatee's athletic director, said there are other candidates he is reviewing, so this may not be the end of the applicant pool.
But let us know who you like thus far.

Prep football: Manatee's two outside coaching candidates

A pair of outside candidates have landed interviews to fill Manatee's head coaching position - Jason Milgrom and Kevin Wallace.
Milgrom is the co-offensive coordinator at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, where he has coached for 13 years, and graduated from the school in 1993. He was also on the the Raiders' first state championship team in 1992 and played offensive guard.
He has some familiarity with the Hurricanes: Aquinas and Manatee met in the state semifinals in 2005, '06, '09, 2010 and '12.
Wallace has been the head coach at Bowling Green High in Kentucky since 1996 and has lead the team to three consecutive Class 5A state championships. The Purples haven't lost a game since 2010 and were state runners-up in 2005, '06 and '07. Wallace's record at Bowling Green is 190-35.
Wallace also served as the head coach at Warren East High in Bowling Green from 1984-93, and was the school's athletic director for three years, as well.
Manatee assistants Chris Conboy, Chad Choate, Jim Phelan and Chuck Sandberg are also being interviewed, and athletic director Jason Montgomery said there are eight other candidates he is reviewing.
Joe Kinnan, Manatee's head coach who won 290 games and five state titles in two stints (1981-2000, 2005-2013), announced last week he was taking a medical leave of absence for the 2014-15 school year.
It is unclear if he will return after this season.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Football: Quarterback Sloan Drummonds headed to Manatee

A new quarterback is headed to Manatee
Sloan Drummonds, a rising senior, is transferring from Sebastian River, according to a story on Sharks coach Kevin Pettis told the paper of Drummonds' intention to transfer.
According to the story, Drummonds is originally from South Carolina, played at Vero Beach in 2012 and went back to South Carolina before returning last season to play for Sebastian River. Drummonds missed two games because of a shoulder injury and was intercepted eight times while completing just over 36 percent of  his attempts.
The Sharks went 2-8.
He threw a touchdown pass during Sebastian River's spring game against Treasure Coast.
Manatee's quarterback situation grew murky when Josh Meyer, expected to be back for his senior season, was arrested for on charges on lewd and lascivious battery in April. He is suspended from Manatee.
Kavious Price played quarterback during Manatee's spring game against Haines City.
Drummonds is listed at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds on Sebastian River's roster on MaxPreps.
Manatee opens the regular season Aug. 29 in Georgia against Ware County.

Baseball: Sandberg, Suchy meet in minor-league series

Manatee's Cord Sandberg and Southeast's Michael Suchy are in the midst of a minor-league matchup.
Sandberg's Williamsport Crosscutters are hosting Suchy's Jamestown Jammers in a New York-Penn League three-game series that wraps Thursday.
Round one went to Sandberg, a third-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies last year. Sandberg homered and drove in five runs Tuesday during Williamsport's 12-5 win. He added a triple, too, to raise his average to .409 in five games with six RBIs.
Suchy, a fifth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this month, went 0-for-4 and is hitting .231 in four games with the Jammers.
Sandberg is the more experienced of the two. Drafted out of high school, Sandberg made his pro debut last year with the Phillies' Gulf Coast Leauge team. Suchy spent the last three seasons playing college ball at Florida Gulf Coast University and is getting his first taste of pro ball.
Sandberg and Suchy will see a lot each other this year - their teams compete in the New York-Penn League's Pinckney Division and meet again July 1-3 in Jamestown.

Volleyball: Jaco signs with Barry

Braden River and State College of Florida alum Brittany Jaco has signed to play volleyball with Division II Barry University.
Jaco had 555 digs last year with the Manatees en route to landing a spot on the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 8 team and a runner-up finish in FCSAA Player of the Year balloting.
Barry has won three national championships, the last in 2004, and has made 14 NCAA Division II tournament appearances. The Buccaneers went 11-17 last year.