High School Sports

Manatee Hall of Honor to move from idea to reality

BRADENTON -- Jason Montgomery started his tenure as Manatee's athletic director in February.

That's when he learned the school didn't have a hall of honor.

"I was floored," he said.

There's Manatee's football team and its five state titles and its wrestling team with its litany of individual champions. The baseball team has won a state title. And the school's alumni include collegiate football champions, Super Bowl winners and baseball players selected to All-Star Games.

So the process has begun to create a Manatee Hall of Honor. The first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Manatee's media center.

The purpose of the meeting, Montgomery said, is to find out who wants to be involved in the ground floor of the hall's creation.

"We're going to need a board of directors, bylaws, fundraising," said Montgomery, who hopes to cap the meeting at 45 minutes so it will not interfere with the Hurricanes' Class 8A-District 7 football game against St. Petersburg, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Hawkins Stadium.

Montgomery also plans to present some examples of other halls of honor that have worked, as well.

"I also want to see if someone wants to step up to the forefront," he said. "I want some of the alumni and the people who have been here to take this and run with it. ... I think last weekend (during the celebration of Manatee's 100 years of football) showed what an incredible alumni base we have."

Montgomery said the hall is about more than just the school's tradition-rich football program and added he and principal Don Sauer have talked about putting it in the courtyard near the school's Davis Building.

"We want it to be highly visible so everyone can see it," Montgomery said. "It's going to encompass all sports as well as the 100-plus years of history at the high school."