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Date of Issue: December 16, 2009

MHS Hurricanes shock high school football fans

Manatee High beats Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas 28 - 20

The Canes’ fans join the players on the field as the clock ticked down and the score held at 28-20 against Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas for an MHS victory that defied the predictions.

Canes' Davian Evans and Darius White bring down a St. Thomas ball carrier.
Islander Photos: Courtesy

Islander Nick Galati and his Manatee High School Hurricanes football teammates shocked the high school football world Dec. 11 with a 28-20 win over undefeated Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, in the state semifinals.

Aquinas saw 13 graduates recruited by Division I colleges last year and this year’s team is projected to send even more senior players to top schools.

How big is this win for MHS? This is tantamount to David upsetting Goliath, the U.S. hockey team defeating the Russians and Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson — all put together!

To demonstrate my point, even ESPN reported the win for MHS.

St. Thomas Aquinas came into the game having won consecutive Class-5A state titles and had won 38 consecutive games. They draw players from as far away as California to their school and boast former NFL all-pro receiver Chris Carter as the team’s wide receivers coach.

To be fair, it’s not like Manatee is in uncharted waters here, having won three state titles. But nobody saw this coming, except maybe the Hurricane players and coaches.

Next up for Galati and his mates is the Class-5A state title game Friday, Dec. 18, at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. There they will take on Tampa Plant High School, which scored an upset of its own when they rolled past the Lakeland Dreadnaughts 20-0 in the weekend’s other semifinal game.

Manatee and Plant played once this season — Aug. 29 in the preseason kickoff class. Manatee won that game 49-33, so next week’s game has all the ingredients in place for an offensive shootout. Plant boasts running-back James Wilder Jr., the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneer great James Wilder, the team’s all-time leading rusher.

Manatee counters with University of South Florida-bound quarterback Brionne Carnes and offensive playmakers such as wide-receiver Ace Sanders and running-back Mike Blakely.

Good luck to Nick and the Manatee Hurricanes.

Go Canes!

Key Royale golf news

Chuck Montgomery made some news recently at the Key Royale Club. On Dec. 6 he made a hole-in-one on the 167-yard par-3 seven hole. Problem was, he was playing alone and had no witness so it wasn’t official.

But as luck and good golf would have it, the following day in one of the men’s weekly games, he aced the same hole to receive his due reward.

Also at the weekly nine-hole game Dec. 7, Bill Melvin, Earl Ritchie, Chuck Montgomery and Paul Proxy combined for a 9-under-par 23 to tie for first with the team of John Lindwall, Bob King, Blake Graham and Jim Kruger. Second place went to the team of Dan Hayes, Austin Rice, Ralph Bassett and Tom Warda with a 7-under 25.

The Dec. 9 18-hole game saw the team of Bob Sayles and Larry Fowler combine to card an 8-under-par 54 to win a better-ball-of-partners game. Second place was a tie with Gary Harris and Bob Elliott carding a 55 to match the score by Jim Mixon and Peter Proxy.

Fifty players participated in the Key Royale Club women’s Christmas mixer tournament Dec. 8. Cindi Mansour and Jean Holmes both carded 2-over-par 34s to tie for first place in Flight AA. Flight A produced a tie as well with Diane Miller, Sara Falk and Nancy King all finishing with 34s.

Flight B was won by Ginny Nunn, who carded a 1-under-par 31 to finish one shot ahead of Joyce Reith and four shots in front of third-place finisher Dorothy McKinna.

Markie Ksiazek fired a 2-under-par 31 to take Flight C by three strokes over second-place finisher Lorraine Towne. Sally Keyes and Sally Martin tied for third place with 34s.

Nell Bergstrom had the low-net round of the day with a 5-under-par 27 to win Flight D. Eunice Warda was second with 34, while Sally York finished in third place at 35.

The team of Meredith Slavin, Rosemary Knick Marden Eichhorn and Nell Bergstrom won the team low-net competition with a combined score of 141. Diane Miller had the sole birdie of the day on number six, while Judy Ward chipped in on number four.

Horseshoe news

The team of Herb Puryear and Jeff Moore were the only team to emerge from pool play with an unblemished 3-0 record at the Dec. 12 horseshoe games at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. That left three teams to battle it out for second place. John Crawford and Paul Sheatler rolled past John Johnson and Steve Doyle. Crawford-Sheatler then defeated Fritz Erdrich and Bruce Wagner 21-10 to take second place.

Four teams earned the prerequisite three wins in pool play to earn the right to battle it out for first place in the Dec. 9 horseshoe games. Norm Good and Paul Sheatler defeated Jeff Moore and John Crawford, while Bruce Munro and Rod Bussey routed Fritz Erdrich and Bruce Wagner 21-4 in the semifinals. The final saw Munro-Bussey edge Good-Sheatler 21-17.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.