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East County Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 5 years ago

Hit or Miss: Jen Blanco

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Ready to pass the time with high school football?
by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

After Braden River ripped River Ridge 38-10 in its Kickoff Classic on Aug. 19, it appears ready to chase its third consecutive unbeaten regular season.

The big question for the Pirates, who lost in the state semifinals a year ago, was replacing quarterback Jacob Huesman, who is now playing football for Appalachian State. That question seems to be answered with the transfer of Louis Colosimo, who was at IMG Academy.

River Ridge is a defending district champion, so Braden River's 335 rushing yards was impressive with Colosimo directing the attack. That running game will be on display Friday when the Pirates open the regular season at Bayshore. The Pirates haven’t lost to the Bruins since 2012 and have won their last two meetings by a combined 65-0 margin. 

The opener also should be the perfect opportunity for Braden River tailback Raymond Thomas, who is coming back from a torn ACL, to show how well he has recovered.

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Although Lakewood Ranch fell short in its Kickoff Classic against Riverview, the two teams are supposed to meet in the third week of the regular season so neither coach was going to tip his hand early. Mustang fans will get a better idea about the team on Thursday at 7 p.m. when Lakewood Ranch opens the regular season at Jesuit, which was 13-1 a year ago.

The Mustangs will be a big underdog, but with a returning quarterback in Justin Curtis along with plenty of receiving threats, this is a good chance to see if they can be a quick-strike team this season. If Lakewood Ranch can move the ball against a powerhouse, and the defense takes a step forward, it could be a bounce-back year.

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Mother Nature brought an early end to The Out-of-Door Academy football team’s preseason plans. 

The Thunder’s game at Southwest Florida Christian Academy, in Fort Myers, was cancelled late in the first quarter due to lightning. 

With only one full offensive series, ODA the Thunder won’t have much film to prepare for Friday’s season opener at home against Zephryhills Christian Academy. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. 

Coming off a disappointing 3-7 finish last season, ODA is now part of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference, an independent league.

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Coming off a pair of preseason victories, the Lakewood Ranch High volleyball team returns to the court Aug. 26 for its season opener against Riverview. 

After failing to make the postseason for the first time since 2009 last season, the Mustangs beat Northside Christian 3-1 Aug. 17 before sweeping East Bay 3-0 Aug. 18. 

Lakewood Ranch returns one senior this fall in libero Ande McDonald. A four-year varsity player, McDonald is the only member of the Mustangs roster with postseason experience, having been a part of Lakewood’s state semifinal team in 2014. Staying healthy will be key for McDonald, who also runs cross-country for Lakewood in the fall. Coach Perri Hankins will rely heavily on McDonald’s experience, vision and leadership lead a Mustangs' squad that features five underclassmen on its 10-girl roster. 

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The Braden River Soccer Club is looking for players in preparation for the fall recreational season, which runs from Sept. 19 to Dec. 17. 

The league is open to all players, ages 4-18, based on birth year age groups. Cost ranges from $120 to $140 based on age group. 

For more information and to register visit bradenriversoccer.org. 

 

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