High school football is in the air! The first day of fall practice began Monday, and Numbers Game is taking note with a couple key digits to whet your appetite before the season begins in a few weeks. Of course, we’re also examining the upcoming Olympics, the recent PGA Championship and other top numerals around the sports world.
So let’s get going:
Teams that made the playoffs last season from Manatee County. Braden River went the deepest, reaching the Class 7A state semifinals before falling to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. Manatee advanced to the second round, while Southeast were upended in the first round. Palmetto reached the playoffs five consecutive seasons, before missing out in 2015. Lakewood Ranch is coming off a three-win season, and last made the postseason in 2011. Bayshore is on its third different head coach since the Bruins last made the playoffs in 2005. Of the private school programs, only Cardinal Mooney is eligible for playoff football as Bradenton Christian, Saint Stephen’s and Out-of-Door Academy play independently of the Florida High School Athletic Association in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference. IMG Academy is an FHSAA independent. Mooney exited the playoffs last year after the first round.
Golfers participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics that train at IMG Academy in Bradenton. The top names belong to Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, who briefly held the lead at the PGA Championship this past week at Baltustrol in Springfield, N.J., and South Korea’s Ben An, who won the United States Amateur while he was a student at the former Bradenton Prep Academy. The other IMG Academy alums set to compete in Rio include: Chen-Tsung Pan, Miriam Nagl, Julieta Grenada, Kelly Tan, Laetitia Beck and Giulia Molinaro.
Percentage of players leading or co-leading the PGA Championship after 54 holes that hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy for winning the final major of the year since 1958 when the event became a stroke-play competition. Jimmy Walker did just that as he became the fifth straight player to win his first major. All four major winners this year were first-timers, while Jason Day claimed his maiden major at last year’s PGA Championship. Day came up just shy, with an eagle on the par-5 18th to pull within one shot. Walker’s par on the 72nd hole assured him of a wire-to-wire victory at the PGA Championship, the first time it’s happened since Phil Mickelson’s triumph in 2005.
Attendance for the International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and Chelsea at Michigan Stadium on Saturday. It’s the second largest attended soccer game in the United States, which saw Real Madrid peel a 3-2 victory off in Ann Arbor at the Big House, the affectionate name given to the University of Michigan’s football stadium that turned into a soccer pitch for a day.
Entering Monday’s action, amount of baseball players collecting their 3,000th career hit at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. That was Hall of Famer Stan “The Man” Musial, who did it in 1958 for the St. Louis Cardinals. Ichiro Suzuki is on the verge of getting his 3,000th career hit at Wrigley during the Miami Marlins series with the Cubs that began Monday night. Ichiro entered Monday’s game two hits shy of 3,000 for his career. It’s a benchmark number that’s been accomplished 29 times and usually means a place in Cooperstown following retirement from America’s pastime.