VS. BRADENTON SOUTHEAST
UNLIKE SOME OF FLORIDA’S TOP PREP RIVALRIES,
Manatee vs. Southeast hasn’t been contested for nearly a
century, so instead this game has taken 100 years’ worth of on-
the-field drama and excellence and crammed it into 33 games.
Manatee is actually the original Bradenton High dating back
to 1897, while Southeast came along in 1959. The two schools
didn’t play each other in football until 1974, then waited another
five years to play again in 1979, with Southeast’s first win in
the series coming in 1985. There was a big-brother, little-step-brother aura about things in the beginning, but since then it has
evolved into one of Florida’s finest rivalries.
“This rivalry is such a big game for our community and
means a lot to each school and the alumni,” Manatee grad
and second-year head coach John Booth told FNF Magazine.
“Over the years we’ve seen some of the best players that
have come from Bradenton play against each other in this
game. It’s always played with enthusiasm and intensity
because it means so much to each school. I look forward to
While the past few years have seen Manatee dominate
the series, the overall picture has been incredible. The two
teams have been consistently strong over the past three
decades and the games have been incredibly intense as
two legendary coaches once stared across the field at each
other. Manatee’s Joe Kinnan (290 career wins, 5 state titles)
and Southeast’s Paul Maechtle (283 wins, 2 state titles) are
two of the state’s all-time best. Last year was the first time
since 1980 in which neither coach was on the sideline.
“Southeast vs. Manatee is what Friday Night Lights signi-fies,” Southeast coach John Warren said. “The game means
the world to our kids when our two teams meet up. There is a
different feel in the hallways, in the classes, in the practices …
during the week leading up to our game.
“The crowds are electric, the bands a bit louder and the
game-day experience is second to none. Every year our kids
circle the date when our schedules come out. This rivalry is
deep. There is no motivation necessary. The athletes want
nothing more than to knock off Manatee.”
Manatee holds the lead in the series at 19-14, and has
won eight straight.
NORTH TO SOUTH)
Fort Walton Beach vs.
Fort Walton Beach
Chipley vs. Vernon
Liberty County vs.
Tallahassee Leon vs.
Lake City Columbia vs.
Live Oak Suwanee
Macclenny Baker County
vs. Starke Bradford
Jacksonville Raines vs.
Daytona Beach Mainland vs.
Daytona Beach Seabreeze
Eustis vs. Leesburg
Cocoa vs. Rockledge
Orlando Boone vs.
Kissimmee Osceola vs.
Fort Meade vs. Frostproof
Tampa Hillsborough vs.
Avon Park vs. Sebring
Fort Myers vs.
Punta Gorda Charlotte
Clewiston vs. Immokalee
Palm Beach Gardens
Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas
Aquinas vs. Miramar
Fort Lauderdale Dillard vs.
Pompano Beach Ely
Miami Booker T. Washington
vs. Miami Central
Coral Gables vs.
PENSACOLA VS. PENSACOLA ESCAMBIA
IN PENSACOLA, THERE RESIDES A BEAT-UP, DENTED
washtub. Who knows … maybe it was born that way. It is
homeless. Actually, let’s just say it doesn’t have a permanent
home, but it’s not that it isn’t loved or cherished. In fact,
every year there’s a huge controlled brawl to determine
where that washtub gets to sleep at night.
This regulated fight happens annually on the gridiron – the
participants being Pensacola High School and nearby Escambia
High School. The Tigers and Gators scrap and claw for the right
to take home this Tub (yes, out of respect we will capitalize
the T), which might as well be made of gold and adorned with
rare gems even though it’s much, much more humble. It’s a
workmanlike trophy, and there’s a gulf-side city that loves it.
“The trophy for the game is a copper tub called ‘Ye Olde
Wash Boiler,’” said Escambia head coach Mike Davis, who
enjoyed an ice bath after last year’s battle for the Tub. “You
could probably ask anybody in the community and they
know who has the Tub. … The EHS/PHS game is an event.
It’s all about pride and the records don’t matter in this
game. … Being the last game of the season will make the
Escambia alum and NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith talked
in his book, “The Emmitt Zone,” about how
when these two schools played, everybody
else in the surrounding area just moved their
games to Thursday night to avoid the conflict.
It was the only game in town worth attending.
Just like any typical public school rivalry,
this game has had its cycles since Escambia
opened in 1958, taking a few hundred kids
that normally would have attended Pensacola High School. Pensacola has dominated
at times and Escambia has certainly had its
share of success, like when Smith ran all
over not just the Tigers, but about everybody
in the state.
The Gators are on a two-game winning
streak, but before that didn’t win from 2002-
2012, spanning 11 consecutive Pensacola
High victories. There is no question this
is arguably the most bitter of rivalries in a
football-hungry Florida Panhandle, a region
that more closely resembles Alabama or
Georgia than most towns farther south in the
Sunshine State. Bradenton Manatee and Bradenton Southeast have met 33 times.
The trophy for the winner of Pensacola vs. Pensacola Escambia is a
copper tub called ‘ Ye Olde Wash Boiler.