|A swarm of soccer players chase after the ball during soccer camp action at the Island Community Center. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy
|Jacob Talucci, first-time player and camper at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, shows off his camp shirt. Islander Photo: Amelia Talucci
Soccer camp - a kick in the grass
The annual back-to-school soccer camp at the Anna Maria Island Community Center was a big hit with kids and parents. Approximately 60 kids participated in the camp, which ran Aug. 10-13.
The players came to brush up on their soccer skills for the upcoming recreational soccer league at the Center. Players were put through a series of drills and exercises by coaches Sean Pittman, Jordan "Mr. Cool" Pritchard, Phelps Tracy, Kevin Greunke, Billy Malfese, Rich Bell and Center athletic director Andy Jonatzke.
After the campers completed the array of drills and exercises, they were treated to the always-popular open scrimmages to end each evening of soccer.
Next on the agenda for Island soccer players is the draft, which will take place this week at the Center. Coaches for the teams within the Center's four divisions will gather on select nights to draft their teams for the upcoming season, which gets under way in early September. Tryouts for ages 10-11 are at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. Ages 12-13 try out at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18 and ages 14-16 will show their stuff at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19.
The Center is still looking for coaches in each of the four age-specific divisions. For more information, contact Jonatzke at 778-1908.
Walker runs away with horseshoe victory
Horseshoe action on Saturday, Aug. 13, featured a three-way playoff to determine a champion after three teams - including the one-person team of Debbie Rhodes - finished with identcal 3-0 records after regular match play.
They drew numbers to determine which teams would meet in a single semifinal game, with the winner advancing to the championship game.
Jay Disbrow of Bradenton and John Johnston of Holmes Beach drew the winning number to face Rhodes, who was untouchable in the semifinal game and easily advanced to the championship match.
In Saturday's finals, she defeated the team of husband Tom Rhodes and Bill Bartlett of Holmes Beach.
Wednesday, Aug. 10, it was Tom Rhodes who, along with Steve Doyle from Anna Maria, flashed the victory sign at the end of the morning. They had to first defeat the team of Disbrow and Ron Pepka in the playoff.
Play gets under way every Wednesday and Saturday at 9 a.m. behind the 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. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome, regardless of skill level.
Her-icane sponsors, not golfers, sought
The Manatee High School Her-icane Golf Challenge, which is being held at the Bradenton Country Club on Aug. 27, is sold out - hurrah! - and can not accept anymore golfers. Thirty foursomes are set to tee it up at 1 p.m. in the four-person scramble at Bradenton's most challenging lay out.
The golf challenge is still in need of hole sponsors and raffle items. Hole sponsorships cost $125 for a tee or green sign on the course while anything a business would like to donate for the raffle will be appreciated.
Current "hat trick" sponsors include attorney Brett D. McIntosh and the Bradenton Herald. Golden goal sponsors include The Islander, Dr. Thomas DeGroat, Artazen Construction, Christy Insurance, Tom Wessel Construction Corp., Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Grego's Almost to the Beach Tavern, Wedebrock Real Estate, Thyssen Krupp Elevator, Jeff Watts Plastering & Stucco and Ashdown Flooring. Goal sponsors include Bruce Williams Homes, Big League Haircuts, Palma Sola Animal Clinic, Sandbar restaurant, Commercial Plastering Inc. and Deryll & Alice Gross.
For more information, contact me, Her-icane coach Kevin Cassidy, at 807-11105.
Sign up for NFL punt, pass, kick competition
The Manatee Family YMCA, Bradenton branch, located at 3805 59th St. W., is hosting the National Football League and Pepsi's punt, pass and kick competition on Saturday, Sept. 10.
This is a free competiton for kids age 8-15 to compete with millions of other kids their age for one of 32 spots in the national finals. Boys and girls compete separately in four age divisions. All participants launch one punt, one pass and one kick, with scores based on distance and accuracy.
Registration is required with birth certificate for proof of age at sign up. Register today at the YMCA. Call 792-7484, ext. 120, for more information. You can also visit www.NFLyouthfootball.com or www.manateeymca.org.