Lakewood Ranch at Tarpon Springs — Lakewood is coming off a 43-7 loss to Palmetto, which is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 5A. The Mustangs return to district action tonight against the Spongers. Both teams already have one district win and the winner of tonight's game should have an edge in determining which two teams will make the playoffs.
Braden River vs. Manatee — Braden River showed signs of promise in its 29-14 loss to Port Charlotte last week — putting up more points than it had through the first four games of the season. The Pirates will have their hands full tonight when they host Manatee in their district opener. The Hurricanes are nationally ranked and have scored more than 40 points in all four of their games so far this season. Braden River fell to Manatee 63-0 last season, and tonight should prove to be just as difficult.
Sarasota at Venice — Sarasota opens its district season tonight at Venice. A win tonight and the Sailors would set themselves up to possibly clinch a spot in the playoffs with a victory over Braden River Oct. 19.
Riverview vs. Palm Harbor University — Riverview opens its district season tonight with its Homecoming game versus Palm Harbor University. The Rams have gotten off to a slow start this season, but a win tonight could give Riverview confidence heading into the second half of the season. Riverview fell to Palm Harbor 27-7 last season, but expect wide receiver Richie James and the rest of the Rams to feed off of the crowd's energy.
Cardinal Mooney at Lakeland Christian — The Cougars will open their district season tonight against the Vikings.
Booker at Lake Placid — Booker will look for its first district win of the season tonight against Lake Placid.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.