A disappointing loss wasn't just felt on the high school football level for Manatee County fans this past weekend.
At the professional level, a Hometown Hero suffered a setback with a Sunday loss to a local rival.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was part of a fifth blown fourth quarter lead this season for the New York Giants, as they fell to the New York Jets, 23-20, in overtime this week. The Lakewood Ranch alum and current Giants cornerback tallied five tackles in the loss, which dropped New York to 5-7 and in a three-way tie for first place in the woeful NFC East Division.
However, DRC was part of the defensive unit that saw Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick dice up in the final five minutes for 10 points, before getting the team into field goal range in overtime.
BRIAN POOLE -- The Southeast alum found himself attempting to play spoiler in the Southeastern Conference Championship game with the University of Florida. But the Florida senior defensive back, who had one tackle, didn't get an SEC title in his final college season as Alabama ran off a 25-19 victory to keep its national championship aspirations alive.
ALEX LATHAM -- A goalkeeper during her soccer days at Lakewood Ranch, Latham finished her sophomore season at Northwestern State in Louisiana with some stiff numbers. She split time in net with senior Brooke Bourbonais, appeared in all 19 matches and kept two clean sheets. Latham ranked seventh in the Southland Conference with a career-low 1.35 goals against average. The 5-foot-8 keeper also kept then-No. 5 Texas A&M from scoring for the half she played goalkeeper in during split duty with Bourbonais.
ANTONIO BLAKENEY -- Prior to transferring to Orlando Oak Ridge, Blakeney played basketball at Cardinal Mooney and now features at LSU. In his most recent game, Blakeney struggled in his 19 minutes on the floor with just two points, going 1-for-5 from the field in a wild, 119-108 shootout victory over the University of North Florida last Wednesday.
BRITTANY JACO -- A Braden River and State College of Florida alum, Jaco just received All-American honorable mention from the American Volleyball Coaches Association for her senior season at Barry University. Jaco set a school record with 599 kills and digs per set at 5.12.
FERRIS STATE FOOTBALL -- Manatee High alums dotted the Ferris State University roster at the end of November, when the Bulldogs were
eliminated from the NCAA Division II playoffs by Grand Valley State, 38-34. It was the first defeat of the season for Ferris State and it's group of former Hurricane standouts (Antonio Agurs, JaJuan Pollock, Willie Smith and Marquis Dawsey). All four participated in the Super Region semifinal loss against Grand Valley State. Agurs finished with six catches for 74 yards and two receiving touchdowns. That was good for second on the team, while Pollock had one carry for 11 rushing yards. Smith and Dawsey participated, but didn't notch any defensive statistics.
NORTH FLORIDA SOCCER -- A quartet of Manatee County players completed their seasons with the Ospreys in various fashion. Three of the four played at Manatee High (Sarah Wasser, Jessalyn Kinlaw and Kayla Aritt), while the other player is Braden River alum Kayla Gray.
Kinlaw made the most starts with 15, while Wasser and Aritt tallied the most goals of the Manatee alums with one apiece. Wasser also had an assist this season, as did Gray. North Florida went 4-11-1.