It’s a quiet week on the high school front as student-athletes wrap up final exams and get prepared for the holiday break.
We’ll be taking a short rest, too, as this is the last Numbers Game of 2016.
What a year it’s been, with so many digits from high school sports to those special athletes like Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Gordie Howe and many more that were lost in the last 12 months.
But before we say adieu to the year and get cracking on the 2017 digits, let’s check some notable numerals from the area high school sports scene.
We’ll reflect back while spinning things forward to the holiday basketball tournaments coming to town next week.
So, here we go:
Approximate roundtrip mileage for Manatee High’s wrestling team in next week’s trip to Stanhope, N.J., for the Lenape Valley Holiday Wrestling Tournament.
The Hurricanes are coming off a dual meet loss to Kissimmee Osceola in Lakeland last Thursday. Five wrestlers scored victories in that meet: Daniel Cunningham (152 pounds), Charles Small (160), Brandon Dossey (195), Josh Booker (220) and Nekari Cheaves (heavyweight).
Former Manatee County high school stars expected to play in college football bowl games.
Manatee High leads the way with Florida State defensive lineman Demarcus Christmas, Temple wide receiver Brodrick Yancy, South Alabama long snapper Andrew Zink and South Florida punter Jonathan Hernandez.
Christmas and the Seminoles are in the Orange Bowl, while Zink and the Jaguars in the Arizona Bowl. Both of those games are Dec. 30. Yancy and the Owls are in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27, and Hernandez is set for punting duties with the Bulls in the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 29.
Southeast High alum Jacob Sannon is slated to play for Idaho in the Potato Bowl on Thursday.
Wins for Guy Virgilio in his soccer coaching career. The longtime Lakewood Ranch girls soccer coach can close to within one the magic number 300 with a victory against East Manatee County rival Braden River on Wednesday.
If that’s accomplished, a rivalry match at Venice awaits Friday, Jan. 6 for potential win No. 300. This year’s Mustangs (10-2-1) are once again potent in all facets and look like one of the area girls teams to beat this season. They’ve beaten Manatee twice while drawing against Braden River in an earlier encounter this season.
Manatee County girls teams competing in the annual Willie Clemons holiday basketball tournament at Southeast High next week. Palmetto High joins the Seminoles in the tourney field.
Some other teams coming to one of the two holiday hoops tourneys include North Port, Lakeland McKeel Academy and Fort Myers Cypress Lake. There are eight teams vying for the championship this year.
Combined winning percentage for the 16 teams entering Monday’s basketball action that are competing in next week’s Smoothie King Classic at Bradenton Christian. That’s eight teams in the boys bracket and eight teams in the girls bracket.
The tourney hosts are 5-2 and join Braden River (8-1 prior to Monday) as favorites on the boys side, while the Panthers are 12-0 and the overwhelming favorites to capture the girls crown. BCS won the boys title last year.