2013 H.S. Football Preview: Manatee Hurricanes

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BRADENTON, Fla. - The Manatee Hurricanes lost out on a shot to win a national championship last season, but they have a lot of talent returning with hopes of winning one this season -- or at least another state championship.

The Manatee Hurricanes posed for a team picture last week that they hope becomes one for the history books. If they want that to happen, then standout defensive end Demarcus Christmas has to carry their defense.

"We have been practicing hard to replace the people we lost last year, and I believe we are going to come out better this year than we were last year," says Christmas.

On offense, they have everyone back but the 2-time State 7A Player of the Year, quarterback Cord Sandberg. Their line is led by Michael Galati and Jake Stickler who both are headed for Division-1 colleges. And they will clear the way for Trevon Walters at running back. "The cool thing about him is that he gets hit and he keeps going, which I really like. Like you are out there blocking but he is still pushing. I get to go downfield and block, so that is a cool thing do," says Galanti.

The ‘Canes have loads of talent at wide receiver, beginning with Marquel Hines, Brodrick Yancy, and Kelvin McKnight.

Replacing Sandberg is a quarterback who is very similar, Josh Meyer, so the ‘Canes feel like they are in good stead. “He's about 6' 1'' and 205, or 210 lbs. He runs very well. We practiced him all year with the varsity, so he got to play in some of the playoff games and some of the last regular season games at the end," says head coach Joe Kinnan.

"I have played with him since little league. I played Wildcats with him. He's comfortable. He got a little experience on JV and then on Varsity. The spring game, too, so he is going to do pretty good," says Galanti.

Manatee plays their Kickoff Classic game Friday night at home against East Lake. Then they travel to Baltimore, Maryland to play Gilman for their season opener.