Thursday's Prep news and notes
Middleton assistant Mancuso let go Middleton High athletic director Derrick Gaines said Wednesday that offensive coordinator Danny Mancuso was fired for disagreeing with Coach Jason Stokes about how the offense should operate, not for using profane language during Middleton's 47-0 loss to Robinson on Friday. "He was let go for a difference in offensive philosophy and how to move forward," Gaines said. When asked if the use of profane language during Friday's game had any bearing on the administration's decision Gaines said, "that wasn't the reason."Tuesday night, Stokes confirmed the firing, but he would not comment further. Middleton is the second program this week to lose an assistant coach. On Friday, Alonso defensive coordinator Dale Rude quit during halftime of the Ravens' game against Hillsborough when asked by administration to leave after using profane language on the sideline. Middleton (1-2) plays at Lennard (1-2) this week. Basketball Gaines said Morris Scott will be the new boys varsity basketball coach. Scott, who was an assistant at Southeastern Louisiana University last year, replaces Cornell Young, who guided the Tigers to a 4-18 record last season. Football Plant coach Robert Weiner and Tampa Bay Tech coach C.C. Culpepper are among the coaches who have sent well wishes to injured Wharton player Xavier Fisher. Fisher suffered a broken neck in Friday's loss to Armwood and will be out for the rest of the season. He has to wear a halo for three months to stabilize his neck. "I speak, I'm sure, on behalf of all coaches and players in Hillsborough County that we want to send along our prayers to Xavier Fisher," Weiner said. "The tragedies (Wharton has) gone through in the past two years, it's a really sad thing. We hope nothing but the best for him. We have that film and we know it was just a football thing and it just happens, but we just want to tell his family and tell him that whatever we can send out in terms of thoughts and prayers, that we do and I know the whole football community in Hillsborough County does." Others in the football community have reached out to Fisher, including Culpepper, who has spearheaded an effort to raise money for a scholarship fund for Fisher. Anyone interested in donating to the fund should contact Wharton coach David Mitchell at (813) 631-4710. Online Can't make it out to Plant-Armwood or any of the other football games Friday night? No worries, you're covered. Beginning at 7 p.m., it's Friday Night Football Live on TBO.com. Host Joey Johnston will answer questions, provide updates from area games and talk football throughout the night. Go to the scoreboard for scores after each quarter and sign up for scores sent to your mobile device.
Nick Williams, Bill Ward