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Manatee High School

The Manatee High School


902 - 33rd St. Ct., West, Bradenton, Florida 34205




Public secondary




9 to 12


Southern Association


Manatee County School District


The Hurricanes (Billy Blow Hard)


Red, White, and Blue


Robert Gag Me and Piss On My Face


Manatee High School is a public high school in Bradenton, Florida operated by the Manatee County School District[1].


What is now Manatee High School has had at least four names over the years and has had several different grade configurations during that time. [2]


What is now MHS began in 1897 as Bradenton High School in a building located on the northwest corner of 9th Avenue and 14th Street, West, where the city shuffleboard courts were later located. (The "i" had been put into Bradentown's name earlier because visitors couldn't seem to pronounce the name correctly. The "i" and "w" were later dropped to produce the present name Bradenton.) It is not known had many grades there were originally since the 12th grade was not required for high school graduation in many Southern states until the 1940s. Most certainly, though, the original high school did have grades 9 through 11, with grades 7 and 8 being transferred later from grade school.

In 1912, a new high school building was built on the south side of Manatee Avenue west of 1st Street, just east of where the school district offices are now located. Sometime before 1915, students from Palmetto were added and the school became Manatee County High School for the first time. The 1915 MCHS football team gained fame for never losing a game as well as never being scored upon. Sometime in the 1920s MCHS became Bradenton High School (BHS) when Palmetto students once again had their own high school to attend.[2]


In 1930, the Manatee Avenue building was closed and BHS was moved to the red brick building at 1000 32nd Street, West, which had been built in 1926 as the Biltmore Grade School, but had been closed after less than a year's use because of the collapse of the Florida Land Boom. This building is now called the Davis Building in memory of longtime principal, Paul F. Davis. In 1938 the old building on Manatee Avenue was opened as Bradenton Junior High School with grades 7 through 9.[2]


In 1947, Florida adopted the present system of having a single school district for each county and as a result Palmetto High School was merged back into Bradenton High School and the school's name again became Manatee County High School, which required changes in many school traditions. The school colors became red, white and blue by taking red from Palmetto's "red and black" and blue from Bradenton's "blue and gold" and adding white. BHS's teams had been the Golden Wave, but that was replaced by the Hurricanes. Palmetto's year book had been the Palmetto Leaves, so the new one got the incongruous name of Manatee Leaves. The school newspaper became the MaCoHi or Macohi.

1955 was another year of change for MCHS. The three junior high schools south of the Manatee River, Bradenton, Manatee and Oneco were consolidated into a brand new school, Walker Junior High School, which was built across 11th Avenue, West from the high school. Walker had state of the art music facilities which were used by MCHS's orchestra, chorus and band.

The MCHS graduating class of 1958 was the last one to have students from both sides of the river, since Palmetto High School had been phased back in beginning in 1956. During the summer of 1958. the school's name was shortened to the present Manatee High School to reflect the fact that it no longer drew students from the entire county. Student and public opinion was overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the name Manatee instead of reverting it to Bradenton High School.[2]

1958 to date

Since 1958 many other changes have happened at Manatee High School, including:[2]

  • Integration when the school district ended racial segregation in all schools.
  • The addition of the 9th grade when the school district converted its junior high schools (grades 7-9) into middle schools (grades 6-8}.
  • The Manatee Leaves became the Cane Echo.
  • The annexation of the Walker school campus;
  • The demolition of the old Walker Building and the old Science building on 9th Avenue.
  • The completion of new buildings, such as the Science and Technology Building (1996).
  • The possible demolition of the Davis Building due to mold (2008).


Manatee High School currently offers an academic curriculum known as the AP+ Program. In essence, this is simply an official title given to students who take a certain number of Advanced Placement courses. Manatee also offers a Dual-Enrollment program which arranges for its students to take courses at the local Manatee Community College. In 2006 and 2007, Manatee received a grade of D (on an A-F scale) in the Florida Department of Education rating of school quality. In 2008, Manatee was able to demonstrate statistical improvement, and was given a grade of A instead. [3]

The Technology Students Association in Manatee High School is very active in its community and around the nation. MHS TSA has attended many national conferences over the past years and attends TSA-U, CTSO (Manatee County), and Florida TSA competitions, taking 1st places.

The MaCoHi

Comparing the "Academics" topic above to the one for "Athletics" below, it would appear that Manatee is jock driven. The school has won many awards over the years and none seem to be listed. The student newspaper is one example. The MaCoHi was ranked as the fourth best student news paper in Florida and the second best in the South! Different organizations (obviously) made the awards.

In 1990, the paper was awarded a Silver Crown Newspaper (for high schools) by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association [4]. The Association is a part of the Columbia School of Journalism [5]arguably the leading school of Journalism in the U.S.


On Oct. 18, 2001, Manatee High Students James Brier and John Acosta confronted each other in a parking lot. James Brier was killed in the ensuing fight by multiple blows to head. John Acosta was convicted of charges of manslaughter and sentenced to prison. [6] In the following investigation, it was uncovered that Interact Club, one of Manatee High's extracurricular public service groups, had carried through extensive hazing rituals on its initiates, including Brier. The source of the tension between Brier and Acosta was attributed to teasing which took place during the hazing. In face of a public outcry, Interact Club was shut down by the Manatee High administration.


In 1996, MHS had alumni in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and 22 foreign countries. Florida had the largest number of alumni followed by Georgia. Of the foreign countries, Canada with 18 alumni had the most followed by Australia with 9.[7] Members of the indie/powerpop band We the Kings Travis Clark, Hunter Thomsen, Drew Thomsen and Danny Duncan are also alumni. Pro Baseball Brian McRae, Lance Carter, Brian Tollberg Pro Football Tommie Frazier, Tyronne Williams



(Sources:; Manatee Magic, 75 years of football at Manatee High School, by Tad Reeve, Bradenton Herald; Bradenton Herald Newspaper; USA Today High School Section; various college and NFL websites)

Manatee High School athletic teams have won 14 official state championships, according to the Florida High School Athletic Association ( This total ranks second only to Lakeland High School among “old line” major high schools in the Tampa Bay area. Official State championships:

1925 Baseball 1931 Baseball 1932 Baseball 1942 Baseball 1955 Boys Track (Class 2A, largest class) 1956 Boys Track (Class 2A, largest class) 1957 Boys Track (Class 2A, largest class) 1963 Baseball (Class 2A, largest class) 1983 Football (Class 4A, largest class) 1985 Football (Class 5A, largest class) 1985 Boys Tennis (Class 4A, largest class) 1989 Football (Class 5A, largest class) 1990 Boys Weightlifting (Class 4A, largest class) 1992 Football (Class 5A, largest class)

Hurricane Football teams were state powers in the 1950’s and state and national powers in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Teams in the 1950’s were coached by Wheeler Leeth, who was elected to the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1992. One of his players, Roger Pettee, center-linebacker, was selected All-American by Parade Magazine in 1960.

Current Hurricane coach Joe Kinnan, MHS class of 1963, coached his teams to the four football state football championships. The Hurricanes also were state runner-up in 1993, and reached the state semi-finals in 1987, 1990, 1994, 2005 and 2006. His teams were ranked in the final USA Today Football polls in 1983 (number 16), 1989 (number 10) and 1992 (number 22). State championships in Boys Tennis and Boys Weightlifting have also been won during his tenure as MHS athletic director. Kinnan was elected to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) Hall of Fame in 1999. The FHSAA also designated him as one of the top 12 Florida High School Football Coaches of the century in 2007. Two of his players were selected to the USA Today HS Football team, First Team: Tommie Frazier, quarterback (1990) and Rob Stevenson, punter (1994). Frazier was also selected All-American by Parade Magazine. Two Hurricanes were also selected among the top 100 High School Football players of the Century by the FHSAA: Tommie Frazier, quarterback, and Henry Lawrence, lineman.


Bill Anderson, Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl I

Henry Lawrence, LA/Oakland Raiders, Super Bowls XI, XV, XVIII

Alvoid Mays, Washington Redskins, Super Bowl XXVI

Tyrone Williams, Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl XXXI


1983: Mike Moore, offensive lineman, national champion Miami Hurricanes

1993: Patrick McNeil, offensive lineman, national champion Florida State Seminoles

1994 & 1995: Tommie Frazier, quarterback, national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers, Tyrone Williams, defensive back, national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers

1996: Rob Stevenson, punter, national champion Florida Gators

1997: Shevin Wiggins, wingback, national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers

1998: Bernard Gooden, offensive lineman, national champion Tennessee Volunteers

According to the Green Bay Packers official website, Tyrone Williams is the only NFL player ever to start on two collegiate national championship teams and a Super Bowl Champion in three consecutive years (Nebraska, 1994, 1995 and Green Bay 1996).


Soccer: Hunter West, 2001, National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team


While Hurricane football teams have grabbed most of the highlights over the past 27 years, other teams have also done the school proud in state tournaments:

Boys Weightlifting: In addition to its 1990 class 4A state championship, the 1989 team was state runner-up.

Wrestling: The 1973 and 2007 teams were state runners-up.

As it goes for wrestling, although it doesn't bring in as many fans as the football team, but its still one of if not the best athletic team Manatee High has. In the 2006-07 season they were County champs, 2A District 10 champs, 2A Region 3 Champs, and were runner up in the 2A state division. The team is headed by coach Andrew "Gug" Gugliemini, with help from coach Fair (JV Coach), Coach David Mason, and Coach Dan Gysel The line up For 2006-2007 was:

103 lb- Michael Torres (4th at state)
112 lb- Jacob Gregory ( state runner up)
119 lb- Kyle Ballard (regional qualifier)
125 lb- Reco Simmons (5th at state)
130 lb- Chris Meier (4th at state)
135 lb- Dainel Betz ( state runner up)
140 lb- Jon Espinoza (match away from states)
145 lb- Isaac Riley ( state qualifier)
152 lb- Brice Guy (a match away from states)
160 lb- James Lloyd ( match away from placing)
171 lb- Kobie Reynolds (regional qualifier)
189 lb- Andrew Fulk (3rd at States)
215 lb- Richard Cunningham ( state runner up)
285 lb- Richard Dahlin ( match away from states)

Manatee Hurricanes Girls' Cross Country
Source: FHSAA
2008 State Finalist - Jessica Pate
2008 Regional Qualifiers - Team
2007 State Finalist - Lauren Wickman
2007 Regional Qualifiers - Team
2006 State Finalists - Team
2005 Regional Qualifiers - Team
2004 State Finalist - Hannah Brickse
2004 Regional Qualifiers & County Champs - Team
2003 State Finalists - Team
2003 County, District, & Regional Champs - Team

Manatee Hurricanes Girls Weightlifting (Official)
129 lb - 2004 State Champion, Samantha DeCristofaro
199 lb - 2005 3rd Place, Alexa DeCristofaro
199 lb - 2007 6th Place, Hannah Crowe
Team Placing 5th in 2004
--Information from the website

Manatee Hurricane JROTC Raider Teams

Female Team-(Shannon Stanley, Stephanie Thacker, Jessica Savageau, Shannon Stephens, Sarah Burger, Leann Wilson, Johanna Nunez and Nicole Shaul) placed first at the State Raider Meet 2008.

Male Team-(Steve Kelley, Scott Aldridge, Michael Mooreside, Jeffrey Gresko, Nic McGlaughlin, James Murray, Mark Logan and Marcelo Presa) also placed first in the State Raider Meet Competition.


  1. ^ School District of Manatee County Florida
  2. ^ a b c d e Manatee High School Alumni Directory, 1912-1996, 1996, Norfolk: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, Inc., pp. iv-v
  3. ^ School Accountability Report
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Manatee High School Alumni Directory, 1912-1996, 1996, Norfolk: Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, Inc., pp. 330-339.

External links