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Date of Issue: May 21, 2008

Islander in Major League Baseball debut against Rays

sport pic
Jake Ross, left, of the Ross Built Bucs, takes the football to goal as Sparks Seahawks Tyler Yvalar pursues along with teammates, Jack XX, coming in from the right and Sophie Bernet, rear, racing to get in the NFL Flag Football action. Islander Photo: Lee Ross
sport pic
Holmes Beach resident Chris Perez delivers a pitch for his Miami Hurricanes college team. Perez now is delivering pitches for Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Holmes Beach resident Tim Perez spends a lot of time online reading up on the goings on and happenings of Major League Baseball, in particular, the St. Louis Cardinals and their AAA affiliate, the Memphis Red Dogs.

Perez’ son Chris was a member of the Red Dogs, so when Tim Perez read about Cardinal pitcher Jason Isringhausen being placed on the disabled list, he thought his son might get called up to the big-league club. He proved himself prophetic when Perez got called up on May 15 in time to be in the Cardinal bullpen as the Tampa Bay Rays come into town for interleague play.

Chris Perez was drafted as a closer, or late-inning relief specialist — a 2006 first-round pick out of Miami. His first season was spent in A-ball with a Quad Cities team in the Midwestern League where he posted a 2-0 record and 12 saves, including 32 strikeouts in 29 innings of work.

Chris was then promoted to AA Springfield of the Texas League and put up good numbers with a 2-0 record, 62 strikeouts and an incredible 27 consecutive saves. That earned him a promotion to AAA Memphis, where he finished the 2007 season with nine saves.

He was impressive in spring training, but got sent back down to Memphis, where he posted eight saves and a stingy 2.04 ERA before getting the callup to the Cardinals.

On May 16, Perez made his MLB debut in the seventh inning with his family in the stands. He did not disappoint. He faced four Tampa Bay Rays’ batters and struck out one in a scoreless appearance that will have St. Louis fans clamoring for him to assume the closer’s role. The stadium radar gun clocked one of his pitches at 100 mph.

Dad commented on his son’s long road to the majors. “It’s surreal. I still don’t believe this is really happening. Chris told me a long time ago that he was going to play in the majors, but as a Little League dad, you’re just wanting your kid to play and have fun. I was satisfied when he earned a college scholarship to play baseball, but to now be able to watch him play baseball for the Cardinals is just unbelievable.”

Congratulations to Chris and his family.


NFL Flag football carries on

The 8-9 division and the 13-16 division of the Anna Maria Island Community Center flag football league are being dominated by Buccaneers — the Ross Built Bucs are 6-0 in 8-9, while AMI Video Bucs are 5-0 in 13-16 division. The 10-12 division has three teams vying for first place. Mr. Bone’s Steelers currently is on top by one game with a 4-1 record. Close behind are the Americo Cowboys and Galati Marine Chiefs with 3-2 records.

The playoffs are approaching, so stay tuned.

On May 17, Ross Built Bucs topped the Sparks Seahawks 33- 0 as Jake and Andrew Ross each scored the Bucs a pair of touchdowns. Ross Built also received a TD from Ben Connors and an extra point from Chris Pennewill as they remained undefeated on the season.

On May 17, Mr. Bones edged Americo Title by one TD and a score of 24-18 in 10-12 division action. Morgan Hackworth led the charge with two touchdowns while teammates Connor Field and Michael Garza each added one.

The Cowboys received one touchdown apiece from Travis Belsito, Austin Marrow and Logan Reiber in the loss.

In action May 17, Chris Galati scored 39 points on five offensive touchdowns and a defensive score in addition to a two-point and one-point conversion to lead the Chiefs over the Browns 55-19 in 10-12 division action. Seth Walters added an offensive score while Anna Maria Galati notched a defensive score.

Luke Shackleford paced the Browns with two TDs, while Philip Dudevoire scored one in the loss.

On May 17, Kyle Aritt and Blake Rivers scored two touchdowns apiece to lead the Bills 31-21 past the Falcons in 13-16 division action. Wyatt Hoffman added a defensive score for the Bills, which also received an extra point from Zach Evans in the victory.

The Falcons were paced by Christian Hightower, who had two defensive TDs and an offensive touchdown. Patrick Facheris added a two-point conversion while Emma Barlow notched a one-point conversion in the loss.

In other action, Sparks Seahawks its first game of the season on May 15 in 8-9 division against LPAC Eagles 14-6, thanks to a two-touchdown performance from Michael Latimer. Latimer also added a two-point conversion for Sparks. Gavin Sentmen scored the lone touchdown for the Eagles in the loss.

On May 12, Austin Marrow scored three offensive touchdowns and Denver Hardy added two TDs and a two-point conversion to lead the Americo Cowboys past the Mike Norman Browns 51-14 in 10-12 division action. Travis Belsito and Keegan Murphy each added touchdowns, while Zach Stewart added a pair of two-point conversions and one extra point. The Browns were led by Luke Shackleford, who finished with two touchdowns in the loss.

May 12 saw the AMI Video Bucs roll over the Island Animal Clinic Falcons 58-14 as Tommy Price scored two offensive touchdowns and added one defensive score to help the Bucs to an easy win in the 13-16 division. Price had plenty of help as Mackenzie Kosfeld and Brandon Gengler each added a pair of TDs. Kyle Parsons chipped in with a defensive score for the undefeated Bucs.

Chandler Hardy and Christian Hightower each scored one TD to lead the Falcons, who also received an extra point from Trevor Bystrom and Hardy in the loss.


Sign up for Wiffle ball ongoing

The Anna Maria Island Community Center is hosting an indoor Wiffle ball tournament June 7-13 for players ages 7-17 competing in groups for ages 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-15 and 16-17. The registration fee is $100 for teams, which must have a minimum of six, maximum of 12 players. Deadline to register teams is May 31 and there will be a mandatory coaches meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 2.

For more information, contact Center athletic director Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908, ext. 9205.


And volleyball debuts

The Anna Maria Island Community Center will begin its inaugural volleyball program this week, offering instruction in two groups, ages 8-13 and 14-17, and will be run by coach Ted Rigo.

Cost for the volleyball program is $50 for Center members and $65 for non-members. The program gets started for the 8-13 age group at 6 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. for the 14-17 group on Wednesday, May 21.

To register or for more information, contact Center athletic director Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908, ext. 9205.


Horseshoe news

Steve Doyle teamed up with Norm Good to post the only perfect pool-play record to win the May 14 horseshoe competition at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Debbie Rhodes threw the decisive ringer as she and Sam Samuels captured the ensuing second-place playoff by edging Ron Pepka and Tom Rhodes 23-20.

Ten teams were whittled down to two after May 10 pool play. Steve Doyle and Jerry Bennett rolled past Norm Good and Bill Bartlett by a 21-5 score to earn the day’s bragging rights.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.


Key Royale golf news

The men of the Key Royale Club played an 18-hole, better-ball-of-partners game May 14 with the team of Charlie Knopp and Gordon McKinna topping the field with a 9-under-par 55. That was two shots better than second-place finishers Bob Kral and Vince Mercadante. Third place went to the team of Jim MacVicar and Pieter Thomassen with a 58.

The men’s nine-hole game on May 12 was a two-best-balls-of-foursome game that produced a pair of 8-under-par scores to tie for first place. Earl Huntzinger, Vince Mercadante, John Heiselman and Gary Harris matched the 56 carded by Ralph Bassett, Austin Rice, Bob King and Dave Kruger. Second place went to the team of Earl Ritchie, Tom Nelson, Jim Thorton and Peter Proxy.

The ladies teamed up with the men on May 9 for a low-net-of-foursome game. First place went to the team of Frankie Smith-Williams, Rose Slomba, Gordon McKinna and Jim Finn with a 135 score. Four shots back in second place was the team of Jane Winegarden, Terry Westby, Earl Huntizinger and Don Ledford.

Anna Maria Flag Football standings

(as of May 8)

8-9 division


Ross Built Buc   60

LPAC Eagles33

Sparks Seahawks16

10-12 division

Americo Cowboys32

Bones Steelers41

Galati Chiefs32

Norman Browns   05

13-16 division

Video Bucs50

Pine Ave. Bills   23

IAC Falcons15

Anna Maria Island Little League schedule


10 a.m.May 24  JR1 vs. Islanders @ Birdie Tebbetts Field



6:30 p.m.May 21Florida Eye Tours vs. LPAC

7 p.m.May 23Florida Eye Tours vs. Americo Title

11 a.m.May 24LPAC vs. Americo Title


5:30 p.m.May 21  HB Auto vs. M. Stanley

5:30 p.m.May 23Fitness vs. HB Auto

9:30 a.m.May 23Fitness vs. M. Stanley

Flag Football schedule

(all games at Birdie Tebbetts/Holmes Beach field)

5-7 age division

6 p.m.May 27  Dips vs. Walter & Assoc.

8-9 age division

6 p.m.May 22LPAC vs. Sparks

4 p.m.May 27LPAC vs. Ross

10-12 age division

7 p.m.May 21Americo vs. M. Norman

7 p.m.May 22  Mr. Bones vs. Galati

6 p.m.May 26Americo vs. Bones

13-16 age division

7 p.m.May 26  Pine Ave. vs. AMI Video

7 p.m.May 27  Pine Ave. vs. Animal Clinic

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