Journalism Next

Meet some of Manatee High’s most famous alumni

It’s inevitable that some of Manatee’s countless alumni are successful, and recognized nationally, or, in some cases, internationally. The most notable span from reality show sous chefs and best-selling authors to famous musicians and football giants.

Tommie Frazier

Frazier grew up in Bradenton and attended Manatee, where he was quarterback on the varsity football team. In 1992, having graduated from Manatee, Frazier became the backup to the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ quarterback Mike Grant. After an early season loss to Washington, he was able to take over at starting quarterback. He won his first start and went on to win several more. That year he threw only one interception.

Frazier went on to have three more successful years with the Cornhuskers, though he played less his third year due to a blood clot in his left leg. He was back in 1995 to lead the Cornhuskers and dominate college football.

Frazier was recruited by the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, but, after being hospitalized with pneumonia, he soon decided to give up his football career to pursue other paths.

Frazier later became an assistant coach at Baylor University, assistant director of athletic development at Nebraska and head coach at Doane College in Nebraska. He won two national championships and four Big Eight Conference championships. He had the record for the longest touchdown run in a bowl game as well as several Nebraska team records. Frazier received two consecutive Orange Bowl MVPs, one Fiesta Bowl MVP, the 1995 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and was named the 1996 Top NCAA QB. He was an All-American, won ESPY’s College Football Play of the Year for his scramble in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl with Nebraska, and was part of the Nebraska 1995 team that was voted the best college football team in history on ESPN.com. (Picture from bleacherreport.com)

Kathleen Flinn

Kathleen Flinn is a journalist, restaurant reviewer and online producer. Her best-selling book, “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry,” was the non-fiction account of her experiences in Le Cordon Bleu, the famed Paris culinary school. The film rights to this book were bought by 20th Century Fox, but a movie is not yet in the works. She is currently touring the country, giving cooking classes and attending book signings for her newest book, “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School.” (Picture from kathleenflinn.com)

Jamie Gregorich

Jamie grew up on Anna Maria Island. While she attended Manatee, she waited tables at Peach’s on Cortez. After graduation, she decided to attend MTI for the culinary program. Gregorich got a job at Euphemia Haye, a well-known restaurant on Longboat Key, where she eventually became head sous chef.

She auditioned and was picked to compete on season nine of the reality show “Hell’s Kitchen,” which aired this past summer.

She now teaches at MTI, as well as keeping her job as sous chef at Euphemia Haye. On July 21, she threw out the first pitch at a Marauders game. (Picture from Bradenton Herald website)

Robbie Stevenson

Stevenson was born and raised in Bradenton and played on the varsity football team when he attended Manatee. He wanted to be quarterback, but the team was in need of a kicker, and the former soccer player was the perfect choice. He was named an All-American by USA Today and held the Manatee record for longest field goal until Nov. 4, when senior Nick Tankersley beat the record. Stevenson went on to the University of Florida, where he was starting kicker as a freshman. He helped the Gators win several championships, but eventually came back to Bradenton, where he is currently a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Travis Clark, Hunter Thomsen, Andrew Thomsen and Danny Duncan

The Manatee graduates’ band, formed in 2005 and named We The Kings, gained popularity in 2007 after posting its music on the social networking website Purevolume. Soon they were signed to S-curve Records, through which they put out their self-titled, first album. In 2008, the band appeared on “The Early Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel,” “MTV’s Spring Break” and “Friday Premiere.” That same year, We The Kings was nominated for the MTV Video Award for Best New Artist and won the Rock on Request Best Pop/Punk Band Award. They released their second studio album, “Smile Kid,” in 2009. The band teamed up with Demi Lovato for the single “We’ll Be A Dream,” which was nominated for a Teen Choice Award: Choice Hook Up. In 2010, the band appeared on MTV’s game show, “Silent Library.”

This year, they released their newest album, “Sunshine State of Mind.” The band was also invited to a Manatee County Commission meeting, where commissioners officially named Oct. 11, 2011, We The Kings Day. In 2012, We The Kings will be touring with the band Simple Plan across Europe.

Ace Sanders

Though Ace is the most recent graduate on this list, having graduated in 2010, it seems promising that he will be one of our most notable alumni. He was a starting wide receiver for Manatee and ranked 151st the nation and 14th in the state his senior year. Coach Joe Kinnan wrote for Sanders’ MaxPreps profile, “He seems to be able to do it all ... He is a very disciplined route runner with good body control who can adjust to poorly thrown balls and has proven he can gain yardage after the catch.”

Ace now attends University of South Carolina, where he continues to play wide receiver. (Picture from zimbio.com)

About the writer

Maggie Potter, junior, Manatee High School

Activities: She’s involved in Mam’Selles, Foreign Language Club, Macohi, Junior Class Board, Senate, Student Council, Swim Team and Key Club.

On journalism: She thinks journalism is important because it gets important news and opinions to the people.

Related stories from Bradenton Herald

  Comments