DeSoto County's Brooke Zolkos will lead her Bulldogs into three matches this week. Hardee visits Monday while Palmetto comes to town Thursday. In between, DeSoto travels to Lake Placid for a Tuesday match.

The book, as well as the movie and television series it spawned is called “Friday Night Lights.”

This week, prep football is under the lights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as the ongoing officials shortage reaches our region.

Before then, there’s a whole lot of volleyball and golf going on, with the occasional pool dive and cross country sojourn.

Let’s get after it:


A good pair of volleyball matches featuring familiar foes opens the week. DeSoto County will play host to rival Hardee while Port Charlotte will travel to Lemon Bay.

Venice launches a busy week of golf with the Jenkins Invitational.


Imagine volleyball, coming off a fifth-place finish at the Gene Gorman Invitational, plays host to Out-of-Door Academy before heading to another weekend tournament. DeSoto County (Lake Placid) and Lemon Bay (LaBelle) hit the road for their volleyball dates.

If you have a tee time on this day, make sure it’s in the morning because the high schools are all over the fairways in the afternoon. On the girls’ side, Charlotte is at Hardee, Lemon Bay is at Port Charlotte and Venice is at Lakewood Ranch. North Port’s boys will play host to a tri-meet while Port Charlotte travels to Arcadia Municipal to battle DeSoto County.

Port Charlotte’s swim team will take on Cape Coral at Centennial Park.


A light day features Venice volleyball playing host to Sarasota while Port Charlotte takes a trip to LaBelle. Lemon Bay’s boys will travel to Venice for some golf.


One heckuva game to start the extended football weekend — Charlotte travels to Dunbar for what should be an epic battle.

Charlotte’s volleyball team, meanwhile will play host to Lemon Bay, seeking revenge for a defeat earlier this month. DeSoto County volleyball will welcome Palmetto to Arcadia. Charlotte and Lemon Bay girls will be doing battle on the links, as well. On the boys’ side, North Port (vs. Manatee) and DeSoto County (at Santa Fe Catholic) will also be in action.

The Charlotte (Gulf Coast) and Port Charlotte (Hardee) swim teams have road dates, as well.


Three football games to choose from on this day — Venice at Sarasota, Port Charlotte at Bishop Verot and Palmetto Ridge at North Port. All three locals should get a good test.

Meanwhile Venice volleyball well head up to the Berkeley Prep Tournament.


Seems like this day just gets more and more busy.

The big one, of course, is Lemon Bay football traveling to DeSoto County as the Mantas seek to extend their undefeated season.

Venice (at Berkeley Prep) and Imagine (at Palmetto) will be playing some tournament volleyball, but by the time any of this stuff happens, North Port will have already completed its hosting duties for the epic North Port Cross Country Invitational, which should including every local team plus a horde of other schools.

Venice’s golfers cap their full week at the Lakewood Ranch Invitational. Charlotte’s swim team will play host to Evangelical while Port Charlotte throws open its swimming hole for an Invitational of its own.

Clear eyes, full gas tanks, can’t lose.


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