Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spring football: A look back

photo by Tom Hubbard
The spring season, a temporary cure for anyone thirsting for some prep football, is behind us, so let's take a look back at some of the more memorable moments of the past few weeks.
And in case you were wondering, the regular season begins Aug. 29.

TOP PERFORMERS: Palmetto linebacker Ty'Ron Sumpter, a JV player a year ago, made a strong pitch for a promotion Friday when he scored a pair of sacks during the Tigers' win over Booker...Rising senior linebacker Nashon Smith forced a fumble and recovered a fumble, both of which led to points, to help Manatee knock of Haines City...His teammate, running back Johnnie Lang, scored a pair of touchdowns while running behind a brand-new offensive line and taking handoffs from his cousin, quarterback Kavious Price...Fred Billy, a quarterback who won't be a freshman until next year, ran for 53 yards and a touchdown to help Saint Stephen's go 1-1 during its jamboree against Southewest Florida Christian and Bradenton Christian....As for the Panthers, they swept both games thanks in part to rising senior Peyton Spencer, who returned a kickoff 99 yards to help BCS defeat the rival Falcons in the final quarter of the night...A rising freshman whose versatility has earned him the title of "joker" from coach Brett Timmons, ODA's Dakota Dickerson scored two touchdowns against St. Petersburg Northside Christian, with one coming on an interception return. Dickerson also lined up at running back and caught a touchdown...Despite the circumstances surrounding Manatee's football team, the Hurricanes didn't look distracted during their 29-14 win over Haines City. Credit that to interim head coach Jim Phelan and Manatee's seasoned coaching staff.

"(H)e doesn't realize the effect he can have on a football game. And he did." BCS coach Allen Gerber, on Specner.
"We just didn't worry about the outside world -- we just played football." Manatee WR Kelvin McKnight, who caught a touchdown.
"I told my guys we are here to have fun and give our best effort. We kept fighting until the end." New Southeast coach John Warren after the Seminoles' rally came up a little short in a 13-12 loss to Riverview.
 "If you just do what you're taught, plays will come to you." Palmetto assistant coach Matt Braselton


Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/05/24/5168855/spring-football-palmetto-players.html?sp=/99/217/241/263/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/05/24/5168860/prep-football-riverview-holds.html?sp=/99/217/241/265/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/05/24/5168858/spring-football-canes-rebound.html?sp=/99/217/241/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2014/05/17/5158213/prep-football-bradenton-christian.html?sp=/99/217/241/254/#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Softball: Breaking down Bayshore and Belleview

Bayshore's softball team makes its state semifinal debut 7:20 p.m. Friday against Belleview
Here is a look at Bayshore and Belleview, which will meet 7:20 p.m. Friday at Historic Dodgertown in a Class 5A state semifinal. It's the first appearance for the Bruins (23-4) and the second in three seasons for the Rattlers (25-5).
The winner plays either Plantation American Heritage or Ponte Vedra at 7:05 p.m. Saturday for the 5A state title.

HEAD COACH: Gary Greer
HOW THEY GOT HERE: District 5 runner-up; beat Lecanto (11-0), Crystal River (15-0) and Brooksville Hernnando (18-4).
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Alexis Day has been a big-time threat, batting .517 with seven home runs, 32 RBIs, nine triples, seven doubles and 55 runs. She is also 37-for-37 on steal attempts...Alex Suzuki leads the team in RBIs (42) and doubles (16) and is hitting .447...Freshman Jamie Adams has handled the pitching, twirling a 21-3 record and 1.56 ERA. Adams doesn't strike out many - 68 in 134 1/3 innings - but relies on a defense that has a .944 fielding percentage.
OF NOTE: Belleview lost the District 5 championship game to Ocala Lake Weir, the same team Belleview beat 10-2 during the regular season...The Rattlers lost the 5A state final (6-4) to Plantation American Heritage in 2012...Belleview has no seniors on its roster. It does have six juniors, four sophomores and five freshmen.

HEAD COACH: Frank Luther
HOW THEY GOT HERE: District 10 champion; beat Tampa Middleton (15-0), St. Petersburg Lakewood (3-1) and Wauchula Hardee (6-0).
PLAYERS TO WATCH: LaShara James is in the midst of another big season, batting .600 with eight home runs, 43 RBIs, six triples and seven doubles while scoring 53 runs. She is 29-for-32 in steal attempts...Kristin Staley, the only senior in Bayshore's starting lineup, is hitting .521 with 29 steals...JoJo Muldoon is hitting .512...Marina Clark has knocked in 25 runs while stroking a team-best 11 doubles...Miriam Schmoll, a freshman, is 16-3 with a 1.27 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings. She has also hit five home runs and is hitting .449 with 30 RBIs.
OF NOTE: The Bruins never reached a regional softball final until last year...Bayshore has outscored its five postseason opponents 38-1...Staley is headed to Flagler next year on a softball scholarship, and Schmoll has already committed to USF.