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Commentary: Just another boring year in prep sports

BRADENTON -- Well, it happened yet again.

I wanted to highlight Manatee County’s best and brightest prep moments for my last column of 2010, but again, nothing happened.

Ugh.

Nothing, unless you count Manatee’s football team starring on ESPN, playing their first-ever game out of state, rolling to an undefeated regular season for the first time in 20 years and making the Class 5A final four for the fourth time in six years; Southeast’s football team winning a pair of heartburn-inducing playoff games en route to the Class 3A regional final; Southeast’s John Harder and Bradenton Christian’s Jim Van Til willing more magic out of their girls basketball players; Manatee’s wrestlers hauling more hardware away from the state wresting tournament; Palmetto’s wrestling team, the county’s newest, winning the county tournament by beating the Hurricanes; Palmetto’s boys soccer team making more history; Lakewood Ranch’s girls soccer team, perpetually the best in the county, finally breaking through and reaching the state semifinals; Lakewood Ranch’s girls and boys tennis teams making spirited runs to the state tournament; Lakewood Ranch’s cross country team earning another runner-up finish at the state meet; Lakewood Ranch’s swimmers collecting medals by the gross; Bradenton Christian and Southeast opening their doors again for a pair of holiday basketball tournaments; Braden River’s football team making the playoffs for a third straight year under a third different coach; Dave Marino, a longtime assistant, willing an injury-riddled Palmetto football team into the playoffs in his first year as a head coach; more resumé padding for Brett Timmons, who keeps leading Out-of-Door Academy’s football team into one postseason tournament after another; Mike Blakely’s four-touchdown performance in yet another classic Manatee-Southeast game; another busy National Signing Day; Bradenton Christian’s Dominic Cotrone winning a state tennis championship; Saint Stephen’s longtime volleyball coach, Nancy Cothron, winning her first district championship, days before winning her first regional tournament game; Braden River and Bradenton Christian playing for regional volleyball championships; Southeast’s Brian Poole intercepting a pass one minute and running for a 20-yard touchdown the next; Southeast linebacker Desmond Blue tackling everything in sight; Southeast quarterback Cord Sandberg completing all 14 pass attempts against Sarasota; the Hurricanes and Seminoles hosting postseason football games the day after Thanksgiving.

See? Nothing.

I hope something happens in 2011. This is getting really boring.

John Lembo, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7080, ext. 2097.

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