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."