Field Goal(s) – 3 points for District 8A-6

Palm Harbor University


The season can’t get here fast enough…
If you’re Manatee, the sanctuary has to be on the field with all of the off the field stuff surrounding the ‘Canes. Head Coach John Booth and his staff handled the adversity from the pre-2014 offseason pretty darn well putting Manatee on the doorstep in the 8A State Semifinals versus Apopka. Quarterback AJ Colagiovanni looks to be the main guy under center for Manatee. AJ went 24-of-46 last season for 322 yards in spot duty. He won’t have the service of Kelvin Mcknight due to graduation, but he will have Kavious Price and an emerging talent in Garrett Ware at tight end. No Johnnie Lang could mean a few issues, but the ‘Canes will sort that out as quickly as possible and move on. They’ll have to hit the ground running with games at Hoover and Palmetto before hosting Lincoln in their home opener on September 11th.

Who’s it going to be?
The competition for the postseason in this district should be fantastic with Alonso, Newsome and Steinbrenner all having viable shots at making noise and perhaps even catching the big dogs from down south off their guard. Alonso’s staff is raving about their big fellas in the trenches and they have adjusted well to the departure of Chris Oladokun to Sickles before the spring. Newsome always brings a special brand of ball control and physicality that could spell disaster while Steinbrenner is one or two plays in their passing game from being a two-way threat with a stout defense already in tow. This district outside of Manatee did not have a single team finish over .500 last season so chaos could be in-store before the postseason picture is clear.

Save the date(s)…
9/18-Alonso vs. Manatee: This game is a trap game for the ‘Canes and one that Alonso will be ready for with the ingredients for an upset present. Manatee will have faced a trip to Birmingham, then a rivalry game on the road before hosting a much improved Talahassee-Lincoln squad in Bradenton. By the time the ‘Canes get on the bus and head all the way up to Westchase in the middle of the month of September it may have felt like the longest road trip on the face of the planet.
10/9-Newsome vs. Steinbrenner: This one is a beat writers dream as both teams will grind and grind some more causing a total time of game to be somewhere around two hours if they get their way. This game is also one that could go a long way to deciding the postseason.
10/23-Alonso vs. Steinbrenner: This game will have postseason implications for sure.
10/30-Manatee vs. Newsome: If the Wolves are still alive for the postseason, this is probably the game they have to win in order to solidify it.