Prep football | A first look at district breakdown for area teams

jlembo@bradenton.comAugust 4, 2013 

Manatee's Josh Meyer looks for a receiver in the spring football game between the Hurricanes and the Lincoln Trojans. Photos by TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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BRADENTON

The prep football season begins Monday, the official start of summer workouts.

This is the first of a two-year cycle for the new districts, and here is an early look at the districts that include area teams:

Class 8A-District 7

Local: Manatee.

Others: Palm Harbor University, Sarasota Riverview, St. Petersburg.

Last season: Manatee went 13-1, winning district and regional titles before falling to St. Thomas Aquinas in the Class 7A state final four. ... Palm Harbor University went to the Class 8A playoffs last season and lost in the first round to Vero Beach to finish 8-3. ... St. Petersburg and Riverview each went 4-6, missing out on the postseason.

Noteworthy: Manatee and Palm Harbor University share a Hurricane mascot. ... Manatee's lone road district game is Oct. 18 at St. Petersburg.

Class 7A-District 10

Locals: Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto.

Others: North Port, Sarasota.

Last season: Palmetto is the only one of this group that made the playoffs last season, going 9-4 and losing in the second round of the Class 5A-Region 3 tournament to Lake Wales. ... Lakewood Ranch dropped its final three games, including two to district opponents, to finish 5-5. ... Braden River struggled in its first season under head coach Curt Bradley but won the final game of the season to go 1-9. ... Sarasota and North Port each finished 4-6.

Noteworthy: Sarasota head coach Ed Volz was an assistant at Braden River and served as the head coach there for one year before taking over the Sailors. ... Dave Marino is 3-for-3 in playoff appearances since being hired at Palmetto prior to the 2010 season. ... The Mustangs have gone to the postseason three times under coach Shawn Trent, who took over in 2005.

Class 5A-District 13

Locals: Bayshore, Southeast.

Others: Arcadia DeSoto, Booker, Wauchula Hardee.

Last season: The Seminoles closed the season on a five-game winning streak to win the Class 5A-District 10 title but were upset by Lake Wales in the first round of the region playoffs to finish 8-3. ... Bayshore went 3-7, but scored a district win with a 21-20 victory over DeSoto on Oct. 26. ... Following a tumultuous start to their season that included a sudden change of coaches, the Tornados went 3-8, but 3-2 in Class 4A-District 6 and finished a game out of a playoff spot. ... Hardee (4-6) and DeSoto (5-5) did not make the playoffs.

Noteworthy: The Seminoles are the only ones in the group who had a winning record last year. ... Bayshore has not made the postseason since 2005 and hasn't had a winning season since '03. The Bruins will be coached this fall by Bayshore alum and former Palmetto assistant Elijah Freeman.

Class 3A-District 6

Locals: Cardinal Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy.

Other: Fort Myers Bishop Verot.

Last season: The Cougars (5-5), Thunder (4-5) and Vikings (1-9) all missed out on the playoffs last year.

Noteworthy: If Cardinal Mooney and ODA are indeed trying to drum up a rivalry, being in a three-team district with two playoff spots up for grabs should help. And if both teams get in, they could meet again in the second round.

Class 2A-District 5

Local: Bradenton Christian.

Others: Largo Indian Rocks Christian, St. Petersburg Canterbury, St. Petersburg Keswick Christian, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, Tampa Cambridge, Tampa Carrollwood.

Last season: A late-season three-game losing saddled BCS with a 4-6 mark; Northside Christian didn't win a game during its first year under head coach and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Alstott, but did score a spring victory over ODA in May; Keswick went 1-9, with its lone win coming over Northside; Cambridge tallied a winning record (6-4) but didn't make the playoffs; Canterbury finished 4-6; Carrollwood went 10-2 and lost in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs to Naples First Baptist Academy; Indian Rocks Christian finished 6-5 and lost to First Baptist in the first round.

Noteworthy: The Panthers open up with three home games, including two against district foes (Cambridge and Indian Rocks), which could provide a jolt as BCS looks to make the playoffs for the first time.

Independent

Locals: Saint Stephen's, The IMG Academy.

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