Prep Rally | Bayshore football program seeking fresh blood, new hope

jlembo@bradenton.comJanuary 11, 2013 

There's a head-coaching vacancy in the area, and it resides at Bayshore High.

It's an opportunity for someone to do something special.

Want to be the hero? Want to make a difference?

Then be the person who breathes a Hail Mary's worth of fresh air into a program that needs it more than any other in Manatee County.

Bayshore needs it even more than a Braden River team reeling from an injury-plagued one-win season because the Pirates have made the playoffs three times since 2007.

The Bruins haven't been there since 2005. Heck, they haven't had a winning season since 2003.

What Bayshore needs is a guy who will walk the halls and find athletes who spend their falls heading home right after school instead of heading to practice.

Hire a guy who is going to stand on his head during his interview. Hire a guy who challenges parents and students to fill the Balvanz Stadium bleachers every Friday.

Hire a guy who guarantees a district championship the second he steps on campus. Nothing wrong with putting a little swagger in your step, whether the prediction comes true or not.

Hire a guy who is going to make kids long to put a Bayshore Bruins jersey.

The Bruins haven't been terrible during this postseason drought. They've had some 1,000-yard rushers aided by big, athletic linemen, and found themselves in the playoff mix a couple of times.

But that hasn't prevented them from losing ground to their public-school brethren.

Manatee is back on the national radar; Southeast is forever solid; Palmetto came a play away from possibly winning a state championship in 2011 and

has made three straight trips to the playoffs; Lakewood Ranch has gone to the postseason three times since 2005; and Braden River was off to an incredible start before instability at the head-coaching position knocked the program off course.

Now Bayshore needs to regain its footing and become a player.

And it won't happen overnight. New coaches rarely take over a program, snap a finger or two and watch every player and assistant take to the new system.

But it needs to happen. The program needs more players, the bleachers need more fans, and the program needs a playoff game, just to remind everyone how special the postseason can be.

It needs someone who is going to shake things up, do things a little differently and remind everyone meaningful November football games can be played along 34th Street West.

Hire the one thing Bayshore football needs more than anything: Excitement.

John Lembo, sports writer, can be reached at 745-7080, ext. 2097. Follow him on Twitter at JohnLembo1878.

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