Fab Five | Manatee still reigns as Herald's weekly prep football poll makes its debut

August 29, 2012 

With the start of the prep football regular season just two days away, it's time for the Bradenton Herald's first Fab Five poll of the season.

Predictably, the defending state champion Manatee Hurricanes are atop the poll, right where they ended up last season. In fact, Palmetto and Southeast were Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, last year.

Let the arguments begin.

1. MANATEE (13-2 in 2011): 50 points -- No one can ever accuse Manatee head coach Joe Kinnan of dodging competition with his brutal schedule. We will know a lot about the Canes' national title chances after Week 3.

2. PALMETTO (12-2): 40 -- Tigers head coach Dave Marino must own a piece of real estate in quarterback heaven because for the second year in a row he got a good one; so much for homegrown talent.

3. SOUTHEAST (7-3): 38 -- Superman, aka Brian Poole, is gone, but folks in Maechtleville are saying this team is better than the 2011 club; Courtney Allen is ready to become Noles' next superstar and is on pace to become the county's career rushing leader.

4. LAKEWOOD RANCH (6-5): 10 -- Mustangs are looking for their next workhorse running back. If they don't find one Shawn Trent will take a running back by committee approach. It won't matter as long as they keeping feeding the offensive line with all you can eat meals.

5. BRADEN RIVER (4-6): 8 -- First-year coach Curt Bradley gets his baptism by fire when the Pirates take on archrival Lakewood Ranch in East Manatee's version of the Hatfield vs. McCoys.

Also receiving points -- Bayshore 2, Cardinal Mooney 2.

Points awarded -- 10 for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, 4 for fourth, 2 for fifth.

Voters -- Alan Dell, Jason Dill, John Lembo, Vin Mannix, Timothy R. Wolfrum.

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