|Joey Hutchinson takes a corner kick for his U12 Manatee Magic soccer team during its 11-1 victory over Tampa Blackwatch.
Islander Hutchinson named to regional Olympic development soccer team
It has been quite a successful year in soccer for Islander Joey Hutchinson. Just a few weeks back, he was named as the Anna Maria Island Community Center Division I recreational soccer league's most valuable player. That would be impressive enough by itself, but Hutchinson, 12, young enough at the beginning of season to play in Division II, has recently earned even more impressive accolades in soccer.
On Dec. 3 and 4, Hutchinson traveled down to Cape Coral for the U14 Regional U.S. Olympic Development Program tryouts. Despite being one of the younger players trying out, Hutchinson did well enough to make the regional team and will now try and "kick it up a notch" when he tries out for the state ODP team.
ODP is a U.S. Soccer Federation program that identifies and develops the best players throughout the country to represent their state, region and the United States in soccer competition. The U.S. national team eventually is selected from these pools of high-level players, so this is a great honor for Hutchinson.
Hutchinson, who is a life-long Island resident and is a sixth-grader at Bradenton Prep, has been playing soccer since he was 8. He is a third-year player for the Manatee Magic, team captain and one of the leading scorers from his left wing position. U12 Magic coach Doug Goodman says, "He is our star left wing and possesses a cannon of a shot."
Hutchinson and his Magic mates are having a whale of a season thus far. They played in a tournament over the Nov. 25 weekend that had 144 teams and the Magic made it to the finals where they lost 6-3 to the Largo United soccer club. Hutchinson scored one goal for the Magic in the loss.
Magic advanced to the finals by winning four straight games, opening with an easy 8-2 win over East Lake behind two goals from Hutchinson. Magic then upset HC United, the second ranked team in the state by a 2-1 score that included one goal from Hutchinson. He scored two goals in the Magic's 3-1 victory over Central Pasco and one goal in the 4-2 win over Countryside.
The U12 Magic have played in five tournaments this season and came in first three times and finished second twice. They won the Lakeland Spring Challenge in May and finished second in the Dunedin Memorial Day tournament. They also captured the Magic's Kickoff Classic in September and won the Braden River Rage's Halloween Havock tournament in October.
So far Magic has compiled a 4-1-1 record in the regular season, including an 11-1 victory over Blackwatch Dec. 10 at G.T. Bray Park, Bradenton, behind a hat trick from Hutchinson.
Hutchinson is one good player on a talented Magic team that includes Nick Tankersley, Bakie Goodman, Hunter Barcomb, Federico Brokate, Andrew Chlebina, Austin Garraus, Thomas Hritz, Brendan O'Connor and Justin O'Connor.
Practicing four days a week on a team with good players helps everyone get better and it is showing on the field of play. Congratulations to Joey and his Magic mates and, of course, his proud parents, mom Lori and dad Joe Hutchinson.
Don't miss the indoor soccer action
The Anna Maria Island Community Center's 12th annual indoor soccer tourament takes place Dec. 11-22 with evening games starting at 5 p.m. and going until 10 p.m. If you've never seen an indoor soccer game, you don't know what you're missing. It is end-to-end fast-paced action that any sports fan is sure to enjoy.
For more information, contact Andy Jonatzke at the Center by calling 778-1908.
Ron Slagh of Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria's George McKay defeated Bradenton's Bill Bartlett and Doug Yox of Cortez by a 21-8 score to emerge from a stairstep playoff. Slagh and McKay advanced to the finals by defeating the husband-and-wife team of Debbie and Tom Rhodes of Cortez.
Cathy Stoltzfus of Anna Maria and Jerry Disbrow of Bradenton were the Wednesday champions, thanks to perfect 3-0 match-play record. Bradenton's Ron Pepka and Bruce Munro won a playoff for second place by defeating "walker" Art Kingstad.
Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday in the park behind Anna Maria City Hall. Warm ups 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
Lois Biel, Nancy King, Dorothy McKinna and Cindy Miller each shot a two-over par 34 on Dec. 6 to tie for first place in the flight AA/A Key Royale womens' golf competition.
Flight B, C and D winner was Sally Keyes, whose two-under par 30 was three shots better than second-place finisher Jane Winegarden. Rose Slomba and Theresa Schuett each shot 35 to finish in a tie for third place.
Low putts per round champions were Teddy Morgan and Dorothy McKinna with 14 putts. Biel and Rose Slomba each had 15 putts to finish in a tie for second place.
Best wishes to Biel for a quick recovery and return to the course following a fall at home that resulted in a broken leg. Biel is also known for managing the box office at Island Players and walking many miles in the mornings. Hurry back.
Calling all cheerleaders
The Anna Maria Island Community Center is still accepting registration for basketball cheerleaders. All youths ages 5-10 years of age are encouraged to sign up. Cost for members is $20, while non-members pay $35, which includes the cost of a uniform.
The center will host a free cheerleading clinic at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Regular practices will begin Dec. 5 in preparation for the basketball season, which gets under way Jan. 9.
For more information, contact Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908.