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Challenging rehab awaits former ’Cane

Keep Austin Jensen in your prayers.

The former Manatee Hurricanes all-state linebacker remains hospitalized in Delray Medical Center’s ICU unit after being seriously injured in a crash last Saturday afternoon in Boca Raton.

“Doctors said if he hadn’t been in such good shape, he wouldn’t be here because of the trauma,” said his mom, Kim.

Jensen, a junior defensive back, and three teammates were en route to Florida Atlantic University’s football banquet when their car was hit and rolled several times on I-95.

His teammates were unhurt, but Jensen was ejected, suffering two skull fractures, a brain bruise, four pelvis fractures and numerous abrasions.

Fortunately, another teammate and his father were following in another car and stopped traffic. An off-duty paramedic was right behind on a motorcycle. So was an ambulance.

“Austin was very, very lucky,” his mom said.

The 21-year-old was able to sit in a chair Wednesday, finally eat Thursday and is more coherent every day.

Austin didn’t need surgery, but faces an indefinite hospital stay and extensive rehab.

“He’s doing as well as can be expected and the support has been overwhelming — from here and Bradenton,” said Kim, whose husband, Mark, and children Lacie and Tyler have been on hand, along with grands Steve and Donna DeLesline. “He’s going to need it down the line.”

n New Palmetto High football coach Dave Marino and Tampa Tribune Rays baseball beat man Roger Mooney, a former Herald staffer, are Ryan T. Boyd’s guests at 2 p.m. Monday on 1490-AM WWPR.

n That’s 35 years of wedded bliss for Tom “Lottoman” Warren and his wife, Sandy.

n Bradenton Marauders “Pick Your Season Ticket Seat” day is Feb. 27.

Season ticket holders can come select their seats starting at 10 a.m. at McKechnie Field.

For ticket details, call 747-3031 or visit www. BradentonMarauders.com.

n Tom Mims is 70 years young.

Cheers from Ed, Jen, Logan, Kathy, Mark, Ryan and Tommy.

n Manatee School for the Arts HEAT Dance Team hosts a clinic Feb. 27 at 700 Haben Blvd. Registration begins 9 a.m. Or e-mail eborn@ msfta.org. Call 721-6800, ext. 1061 or 1024, for more details.

n LRHS percussionist Kevin Lopez is 17. Trumpeter Jack Bailey is 16.

n Feel like Manatee’s Amanda Evora, Mark Ladwig, Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett were disrespected by the judges at the 2010 Winter Games?

So does Maureen Faraguna. “Scoring for skating is like life — the worse you do the more points you get,” she wrote. “The Chinese couple who won are great skaters, but it was evident from the beginning they were going to win the gold no matter how good or bad they were.

“The second Chinese couple were much better than the first, (but) did not count. The Americans were written off from the beginning. The 16-year-old did not fall once, they skated like one with lots of power, and were scored terribly. I did not expect them to win gold, but should have scored much higher.”

n The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society’s Sisterhood of the Crown holds its first Royal Tea at 1 p.m. Feb. 27 in honor of Queen Natalie Lopez and Princess Kim Hillmann at Bradenton Country Club. Ladies of all ages are invited to attend.

For tickets, visit www.desotoqueens.com and click on Crown Shoppe.

Vin’s People is by local columnist Vin Mannix. Have an item or photo to share? Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at vmannix@bradenton.com. Please include a phone number for verification.

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