Was that the first sign of Fall in the air Friday night?
Not like up north, with leaves changing colors, a brisk breeze in the air and a light jacket in the evening. We’re talking about Florida fall, when the weather goes from very hot and muggy to not quite so hot and a little less humid.
Makes it just a little more comfortable to kick off your weekend rooting on your favorite high school football team from the bleachers.
Let’s check in with how all of our Manatee County football teams have fared after five weeks of the regular season, along with the rest of the fall high school sports scene:
Manatee: The Hurricanes finally broke into the win column against host Lakeland Kathleen, vanquishing the Red Devils 28-12. Manatee will look to keep the momentum going when they host undefeated Lakewood Ranch at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Despite the 1-3 start, the Canes still control their playoff destiny with all three district games still ahead, starting with the Mustangs.
Southeast: The Seminoles improved to 3-0 with a 36-21 victory against host Bayshore. Southeast quarterback Malik Huggins ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the Noles built a sizeable lead and held off a second-half rally by the Bruins. Up next is a district game at home Friday against Port Charlotte.
Bayshore: The Bruins showed some fight against Southeast, scoring touchdowns on an interception return by Joey Bing and on a trick play that resulted in a long scoring pass. Bayshore is 0-5 and next faces another winless team, St. Petersburg Gibbs, on the road Friday looking to earn the first victory of 2019.
Palmetto: The Tigers rolled to their fifth straight win to open the regular season. Palmetto has outscored its last two opponents, Port Charlotte and Largo, by a combined score of 91-13. And both were on the road. The Tigers return home Friday for the always important showdown with rival Braden River.
Braden River: The Pirates saw their two-game winning streak end at St. Petersburg Lakewood on Friday. It was a tough game against an opponent that hadn’t given up a point in the regular season until Braden River scored multiple times in a 38-20 defeat. The Pirates have won their last five meetings with their next opponent, district rival Palmetto.
Lakewood Ranch: Did not play; puts 3-0 record on the line Friday at Manatee.
Private schools: IMG Academy National (4-0) topped St. John’s out of Washington D.C. 35-20 in another impressive road victory. They will host Miami Booker T. Washington at 7 p.m. Friday. ... Bradenton Christian (1-3) lost 49-13 to Tampa Cambridge Christian and next hosts Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin at 7 p.m. Friday. ... Out-of-Door Academy (34-0 over Indian Rocks Christian) and Saint Stephen’s (35-7 over St. Petersburg Northside) both won leading into their showdown at 7 p.m. Friday at Saint Stephen’s. ... It was a tough loss for Cardinal Mooney, which saw a 20-point lead evaporate in a 28-20 setback against Lakeland Victory Christian. Up next is Clearwater Calvary Christian.
Lakewood Ranch: The host Mustangs (165 total shots) defeated Bradenton Christian (186), Manatee (201) and Inspiration Academy (207) on Tuesday.
After finishing 10th in the own invitational last Saturday, the Mustangs bounced back with their lowest nine-hole total of the season. Freshman Preston Severs led the way with a 38, followed by Stryker Reid (40), Eli Martin (43) and Johnny May (44).
Qualifying scores for the other participants included:
Bradenton Christian (5-2) -- Caleb Clover 40, Cooper Smith 48, Zach Johnson 48, Halle Hallman 50.
Manatee (2-7) -- Gabe Arendt 46, Sean O’Reilly 50, Caleb Arendt 52, Noah Johnson 53.
Inspiration Academy (3-5) -- Jake Platko 46, Keith Piccinini 50, Chase Chadwick 54, Judd Hildreth 57.
On Wednesday, the Mustangs (25-31) lost to host Sarasota at Legacy Golf Club. Severs and Reid led Lakewood Ranch (164 shots) with matching 38s, but they finished 17 shots behind the Sailors, led by Jordan Evans’ 36.
Manatee, Palmetto tie: The Hurricanes and Tigers each needed 213 strokes from their top four players to complete nine holes Thursday at Manatee County Golf Course. Qualifying scores included:
Manatee (2-1-5) -- Noah Johnson (51), Jake Kotter (52), Caleb Arendt (55) Gabe Arendt (55).
Palmetto (5-1-3) -- Seth Durrance (49), Landing Sellars (49), Jackson Malartsik (53), Martin Torres (62).
Braden River: The Pirates played Southeast on Monday, and though Southeast had to forfeit due to lack of players, the teams still played nine holes. Qualifying scores for Braden River included Samantha Walters (40), Yanelli Munivez (46), Georgia Jones (56) and Emily Wilcox (57).
Braden River: The Pirates defeated Sarasota 25-14, 25-23, 25-13 on Tuesday to improve to 6-1. Top players for Braden River included junior Sara Hall (13 kills, three aces, seven digs), junior Ayanna Boldin (31 assists, six digs, three aces) and junior Emma DeCastro nine kills, one ace, eight digs).
Lakewood Ranch: The Mustangs defeated rival Braden River 25-19, 25-22, 25-17 on Thursday to improve to 10-5.
Southeast: The Seminoles defeated host Booker in a tight three-setter, 26-24, 25-23, 28-26 on Tuesday. Top players included Danielle Marler (10 assists, six kills, two aces, 10 digs, two blocks) Reegan Cole (16 digs, 10 receptions, five kills, three blocks, two aces), Whitney McDonald (10 digs, 12 receptions, three kills, two aces), Maria Cruz (13 digs, 14 receptions, one kill), Ella Steffen (15 digs, seven receptions, one ace, one block) and Jasmine Hamilton (nine assists, five digs, two aces).
Saint Stephen’s: The Falcons traveled across the bridge into Pinellas County and returned with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 victory against St. Petersburg Catholic (3-10). The win improved Saint Stephen’s record to 5-5.
Palmetto: The Tigers hosted a tournament on Saturday with the following results available from MaxPreps.com:
Gulf Coast HEAT def. Saint Stephen’s 25-17, 25-23 ... Gulf Coast HEAT def. Southeast 21-25, 25-11, 25-7 ... Imagine School North Port def. Southeast 25-9, 25-19 ... Saint Stephen’s def. Bayshore 25-16, 25-14 ... Sarasota Christian def. Saint Stephen’s 25-21, 25-20 ... Sarasota Christian def. Southeast 25-13, 25-23 ... Southeast def. Tampa Bayshore Christian 25-5, 25-16.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Girls golf: Saint Stephen’s at Crutchfield/Hawkins Invitational, 8:30 a.m.
Volleyball: Community School of Naples at Palmetto, 6 p.m.; Braden River at Bradenton Christian, 7 p.m.
Cross country: Bradenton Christian at Saint Stephen’s, 3:30 p.m.
Boys golf: Bayshore at Southeast, 4 p.m.; Braden River, Cardinal Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy at Lakewood Ranch, 3:45 p.m.; Inspiration Academy at Bradenton Christian, 4 p.m.
Girls golf: Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota at Sarasota Military Academy, 3:30 p.m.; Out-of-Door Academy at Palmetto, 3:30 p.m.
Volleyball: Out-of-Door Academy at Ocala Trinity Catholic, 5:30 p.m.; Bradenton Christian at Saint Stephen’s, 6 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Manatee, 6 p.m.; Southeast at Bayshore, 7 p.m.
Swimming: Bayshore, Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Saint Stephen’s at Lakewood Ranch YMCA, 5 p.m.
Volleyball: Palmetto at Sarasota Military Academy, 6 p.m.
JV football: Bayshore at Sarasota, 6 p.m.
Boys golf: Sarasota Booker at Bayshore, 3 p.m.; Out-of-Door Academy at Sarasota Military Academy, 3:30 p.m.; Manatee, Sarasota, Venice at Braden River, 3:45 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Bradenton Christian, 4 p.m.
Girls golf: Bayshore, Manatee, Southeast at Manatee County Course, 3 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Sarasota, 3:30 p.m.
Swimming: Bradenton Christian, Palmetto, Southeast at Marble Pool, 5 p.m.
Volleyball: Saint Stephen’s at Sarasota Military Academy, 6 p.m.; Arcadia DeSoto at Southeast, 7 p.m.; Bayshore at St. Petersburg Northeast, 7 p.m.; Braden River at Riverview(?), 7 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Bradenton Christian, 7 p.m.; Manatee at Sarasota, 7 p.m.; Sarasota Christian at Palmetto, 7 p.m.
JV football: Braden River at Palmetto, 6 p.m.; Manatee at Venice, 6 p.m.; Southeast at Sarasota Riverview, 6:30 p.m.
Football: Clearwater Calvary Christian at Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m.; Miami Booker T. Washington at IMG Academy National, 7 p.m.; Out-of-Door Academy at Saint Stephen’s, 7 p.m.; Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin at Bradenton Christian, 7 p.m.; Bayshore at St. Petersburg Gibbs, 7:30 p.m.; Braden River at Palmetto, 7:30 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Manatee, 7:30 p.m.; Port Charlotte at Southeast, 7:30 p.m.
Volleyball: Lakewood Ranch at Wharton Tournament, Tampa, 4 p.m.; Rumble at the Thunderdome, TBA
Cross country: Braden River, Bradenton Christian, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee, Out-of-Door Academy at FLRunners.com Invitational, 7:20 a.m.
Boys golf: Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen’s at Riverview Invitational, Sarasota, 12 p.m.
Girls golf: Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Saint Stephen’s at Riverview Invitational, at Sarasota, TBA
Swimming: Out-of-Door Academy at Sarasota Christian, 10 a.m.
Volleyball: Lakewood Ranch at Wharton Tournament, Tampa, 8:30 a.m.; Rumble at the Thunderdome, TBA