High School Sports

Prep Sports Week in Review: Three Manatee County football teams remain unbeaten

While much of the focus Friday night was on Braden River and Manatee battling to avoid an 0-3 start, three other county football teams kept a zero in the loss column for at least another week.

Meanwhile, there were several thrilling all-county showdowns on the volleyball court, and Braden River continues to excel on the cross country circuit.

Here are some highlights from the past week in Manatee County high school sports. If you don’t see your team’s results, be sure to email scores, highlights and photos to sports@bradenton.com.


The three unbeatens: There was no time for a letdown after Palmetto edged Manatee in overtime on Aug. 30. The Tigers traveled to Sarasota Riverview on Friday, endured another weather delay, and came home with a third straight win to start the season.

Palmetto took the lead on a first-quarter field goal and, despite a back-and-forth game, never trailed on the way to a 38-28 victory.

Southeast improved to 2-0 with a 47-12 victory over Fort Myers Evangelical Christian. Maleek Huggins scored five touchdowns for the Seminoles.

Lakewood Ranch’s game against Bayshore didn’t start until about 8:40 p.m. due to lightning. The Mustangs and Bruins were tied 6-6 after three quarters, but Lakewood Ranch scored 10 unanswered points in the final 12 minutes for a 16-6 victory to up their mark to 2-0.

Friday’s other scores: Braden River 26, Manatee 14 ... Saint Stephen’s 41, St. Petersburg Catholic 18 ... Tampa Berkeley Prep 35, Cardinal Mooney 7... Out-of-Door Academy 28, Seminole Osceola 21 (OT) ... IMG Academy Varsity 56, Naples St. John Neumann Catholic 35 ... IMG Academy National 24, Miami Northwestern 7.

On Saturday night, Bradenton Christian lost 40-19 to Winter Garden Foundation Academy.


Braden River: The week started Tuesday night with the Pirates defeating rival Lakewood Ranch 25-20, 26-24, 25-14 in front of a packed crowd.

Top players for Braden River (4-1) included Sara Hall (19 kills, 10 digs), Ayanna Boldin (32 assists, 12 digs) and Emma DeCastro nine kills, 16 digs.

Billy D Photography

Lakewood Ranch: The Mustangs rebounded nicely from Tuesday’s loss, defeating rival Manatee 25-12, 23-25, 25-20, 24-26, 15-12 on Thursday and Naples Gulf Coast 14-25, 26-24, 25-23, 24-26, 15-12 on Saturday.

After starting the season 1-3, that’s an outstanding effort to survive back-to-back matches late in the fifth set.

Top players for the Mustangs over the two matches included sophomore Mackenzie Schmucker (87 assists, three kills, six aces, 18 digs), senior Anna Shelby Dees (44 kills, four aces, 30 digs), senior Yami Zamarripa (56 digs, seven aces) and freshman Andrea Deitz (nine kills, 14 digs vs. Gulf Coast).

Saint Stephen’s: The Falcons (3-2) handed previously undefeated Southeast (4-2) its second straight loss, 25-20, 25-23, 25-12.

Southeast’s first loss was to Gulfport Boca Ciega, which took a 25-11, 26-24, 21-25, 25-15 victory. Top players for the Semnioles included Danielle Marler (nine kills, 19 digs, 16 receptions, three aces), Lirian Hernandez (24 assists; 11 digs) and Whitney McDonald (15 digs).


Lakewood Ranch: The Mustangs (173 total) defeated Manatee (225) on Thursday at Manatee County Golf Course.

Lakewood Ranch (7-13) senior Elijah Ellingson medaled for then first time this season in carding a 4-over par 40. He was followed by Mason Wozniak (42), Noah Tollers (45) and Johnny May (46).

Gabe Arendt’s 47 led Manatee (0-4), followed by Sean O’Reilly (48), Jack Kufler (60) and Noah Johnson (60).

Southeast: The Seminoles picked up their first win, defeating Parrish’s inaugural team by eight strokes at Rosedale Golf and Country Club.

Qualifying scores for the Bulls (249 total, 0-2 record) included Rocco Klawitter (57), Mason McReynolds (62), Kobe Cassidy (64) and Colby Gardiner (64).

Southeast (241, 1-4) was led by medalist Griffin Shwarz (52), followed by Fred D’Ariano (60), Kaden Steffen (62) and Justin Needham (67).

Photo provided


Braden River: The Pirates finished second in the girls meet Saturday at the Venice Invitational.

Four runners from Braden River finished in the top 20, including sophomore Grace Marston (third, 20:32), junior Kenzie Johnson (fifth, 21:27), junior Allison Wightman (15th, 22:37) and sophomore Hailey Marston (17th, 22:43).

Braden River’s Dylan Howard took fourth place in the boys race in 18:18.



Girls golf: Out-of-Door Academy, Sarasota at Braden River, 3 p.m.

Volleyball: Saint Stephen’s at Bradenton Christian, 6 p.m.; Bayshore at Sarasota Booker, 7 p.m.


Boys golf: Bradenton Christian at Inspiration Academy, 3 p.m.; Manatee vs. Bayshore, 3 p.m.; Cardinal Mooney at Out-of-Door Academy, 4 p.m.

Girls golf: Bayshore vs. Manatee, 3 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Palmetto, 3:30 p.m.

Volleyball: Lakewood Ranch at Saint Stephen’s, 6 p.m.; Bayshore at Gulf Coast HEAT, 7 p.m.; Manatee at North Port, 7 p.m.; Sarasota Christian at Braden River, 7 p.m.; Wauchula Hardee at Southeast, 7 p.m.


JV Football: Bayshore at Riverview, 6 p.m.

Girls golf: Palmetto at Braden River, 3 p.m.

Swimming: Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee, Saint Stephen’s at Lakewood Ranch YMCA, 5 p.m.; Out-of-Door Academy at Venice, 5 p.m.

Volleyball: Sarasota Military Academy at Palmetto, 6 p.m.


JV Football: Riverview at Braden River, 6 p.m.; Southeast at Manatee, 6 p.m.; Tampa Catholic at Lakewood Ranch, 6 p.m.

Boys golf: Bayshore at Sarasota Booker, 3 p.m.; Braden River at Sarasota, 3:45 p.m.; Manatee at Bradenton Christian, 4 p.m.; Southeast at Inspiration Academy, 4 p.m.

Girls golf: Southeast at Out-of-Door Academy, 3:30 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Saint Stephen’s, 4 p.m.

Swimming: Bayshore, Bradenton Christian, Palmetto, Southeast at Marble Pool, 5 p.m.

Volleyball: Arcadia DeSoto at Palmetto, 6 p.m.; Bayshore at Bradenton Christian, 7 p.m.; Punta Gorda Charlotte at Braden River, 7 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Sarasota, 7 p.m.; Southeast at St. Petersburg Northeast, 7:15 p.m.; Saint Stephen’s at Fort Myers Evangelical, 7:30 p.m.


Football: Bradenton Christian at Out-of-Door Academy, 7 p.m.; Cape Coral Oasis at IMG Academy Varsity, 7 p.m.; Cardinal Mooney at Fort Myers Riverdale, 7 p.m.; Englewood Lemon Bay at Saint Stephen’s, 7 p.m.; IMG Academy National at St. Joseph’s Preparatory (Pa.), 7 p.m.; North Port at Lakewood Ranch, 7:30 p.m.; Palmetto at Port Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.; Punta Gorda Charlotte at Braden River, 7:30 p.m.; Tampa Chamberlain at Bayshore, 7:30 p.m.

Volleyball: Lakewood Ranch, Manatee at OTVA Tournament, TBA; Out-of-Door Academy at Battle at the Beach Tournament, Venice, TBA


Cross country: Bayshore, Bradenton Christian, Lakewood Ranch, Southeast at Palmetto Invitational, 8 a.m.; Braden River, Manatee, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen’s at Seffner Christian Invitational, 8 a.m.

Boys golf: Braden River, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen’s at Lakewood Ranch Invitational, 9 a.m.

Volleyball: Lakewood Ranch, Manatee at OTVA Tournament, TBA; Out-of-Door Academy at Battle at the Beach Tournament, Venice, TBA