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Date of Issue: August 25, 2005

Golf and bowling challengers go head-to-head

Saturday, Aug. 27, is shaping up as a very busy day for some Island-area residents, including this writer. Check-in for the Her-icane golf tournament, which benefits the Manatee Her-icanes girls' soccer team for which I am the coach, gets started at 10:30 a.m. with a putting contest plus the always-important mulligan and raffle sales. 

Some locals, such as Matt Bowers, Rick Lease and Jim Weaver, are planning to participate in both fundraisers. This will require some good planning, good timing and a little bit of luck, but certainly it can be done. Her-icane Golf Challenge participants will tee it up at approximately 1 p.m., which would put them into the Bradenton Country Club banquet room somewhere around 5:30 or 6 p.m. Some quick bragging about their rounds, a sandwich and some drumettes for the road and they are golfers-turned-bowlers.

That is if they've registered and paid their $20 in advance! If you haven't registered when you're reading this, you could miss the proverbial boat. Two-hundred-eighty bowlers laced 'em up last year at AMF Bradenton Lanes and the 15th annual challenge figures to be just as packed.

Each particpant gets three games and shoes - if you can find your size - for the low, low price of $20. Participants also get a chance to hobnob with local Island personalities - some famous and infamous - while supporting a worthy cause in the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Bowling funds are dedicated to youth sports programs at the Center and help provide much-needed equipment for soccer, basketball and baseball leagues.

After the bowling, everyone will head out to the BeachHouse for the awards banquet to see who won, who stunk, and who wins the big-screen (32-inch) television donated by The Islander.

Now get registered! There's still time and space for teams of five bowlers per lane. If you don't have a team, you'll be assigned one. Call the Center at 778-1908, or visit Duffy's Tavern, Marina Drive at 59th Street, or The Islander office, 5404 Marina Drive, to register and pay.

See you there!

Island soccer season around the corner

Soccer camp and soccer team tryouts have come and gone and now coaches and players are practicing and planning for the start of the regular season, which gets under way on Sept. 12.

There was a tremendous turnout for tryouts, producing 23 teams in the Anna Maria Island Community Center league that includes five age divisions, 5-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-16.

The kick-off-the-season banquet, again catered by Sean Murphy of Beach Bistro, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Players, coaches and parents and families will enjoy a nice meal - traditionally spaghetti and Caesar salad - some donated prizes that will be raffled, desserts brought by parents, and the distribution of uniforms and season schedules by the coaches.

Sept. 8-10 is Spirit Week, a week-long celebration of the start of soccer season. Teams will play exhibition games to work out any kinks, while parents, friends and family members are encouraged to wear team colors and make as much “positive noise” as possible.

Center officials will be carefully monitoring the spirit levels of each team's fans and will crown a champion in each age division. The spirit winners will have their team photo displayed in the Center, while players and coaches of the most-spirited team will receive certificates for a free ice cream cone from Dips Ice Cream in Anna Maria.

Spirit Week culminates on Saturday, Sept. 10, with fun day and picture day. For more information, contact Center athletic director Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908.

Register now for beach soccer

The first-ever Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer Sand Blast Beach Soccer Tour will be held Sept. 16-18 at the Bilmar Beach Resort, located at 10650 Gulf Blvd. at Treasure Island Beach.

The Sand Blast tournament gets started with a Friday night bracket selection party, followed by tournament play all day Saturday. The Pabst Blast party will highlight Saturday night, while Championship Sunday boasts more fast-paced beach soccer action.

To register yourself or a team of players, or for more information, visit www.sandblastsoccer.com.

Horseshoe news

On Saturday, Aug. 20, Kathy Stoltzfus of Anna Maria and Ron Pepka of Bradenton defeated Debbie Rhodes of Cortez and Jay Disbrow of Bradenton after a one-game playoff for first place.

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, Disbrow teamed up with Tom Rhodes of Cortez in the championship winner's circle. Steve Doyle of Anna Maria and John Johnson of Holmes Beach won a playoff game for second place bragging rights.

Play gets under way every Wednesday and Saturday at 9 a.m. behind Anna Maria City Hall at the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection just prior to play. 

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