Did You Know?
Over 100 Years of Manatee Football
Established in 1914
January 19, 2018
Sometime before 1915, students from Palmetto were added and the school became Manatee County High School for the first time. Coach Julian Howard brought football to Manatee in 1914 and local merchants outfitted the team with uniforms and equipment. When 1915 rolled around, local fascination with football had peaked and there were 13 players on the roster. The schedule consisted of 6 teams but played Tampa Hillsborough and Plant City each twice. Without giving up a point, Manatee swept through eight games unbeaten. To play St. Pete, Manatee had to travel by boat to the old Municipal Pier, and then walk 56 blocks to the field. Trips to other schools in the area were 2 day affairs and always by train. Manatee was regarded as the best team in the southern part of the state and Gainesville was the best in the northern part of the state – Manatee traveled for 2 days to Gainesville and continued their winning streak with a score of 10 – 0. There was no state organization for high school sports, coaches were not allowed to send in plays or signal instructions from the sidelines, offenses never huddled before a play the way they do today, there were no bleachers and spectators moved with the action up and down the field.