'Magic' soccer highlights week in sports
|U13 Manatee Magic players Gus Pederson, Hunter Barcomb, Thomas Hritz, Brandan O'Connor, Austin Garraus, Fernando Calderon, Andrew Chlebina, Zach Reda, Bakie Goodman, Joey Hutchinson, Dylan Maggio, Justin O'Connor, Mitchell Howard, Federico Brokate, Stephen Taylor and Luis Rivera pose in front of Conwy Castle Wales. They went to Manchester, England, in the summer to play in the Umbro International Tournament and they defeated several highly rated teams.
Joey Hutchinson and his U13 Manatee Magic teammates have been on quite a roll for the 2006 soccer season. They've climbed to No. 5 in the state on the GotSoccer.com rankings, which is largely based on tournament results.
The Magic youths won three out of the four tournaments they've entered, including the Magic Kickoff Classic in September, the West Pines Kickoff Classic held in Miami in October, and the Clearwater Chargers Puma Challenge held at the Sarasota Polo Grounds in November.
In between, the team finished in second place at the October Gator Showcase held in Gainesville. There they dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to a powerful East Broward team.
The Magic's record in tournaments is now 16-1-1 with 77 goals scored while only giving up 13 goals on defense. The Magic boys, playing a Division I schedule, have compiled a 5-0-1 record, which puts them five points ahead of second-place Largo in the standings. Combined, their record is now an unheard of 21-1-2.
What is the key to the Magic's success? Coach Doug Goodman quickly points to the team's willingness to work together and their commitment to his defensive philosophy. "The key statistic is our two goals against after six regular season games. A team is going to win a lot of games with a 0.3 goals against average, following the old saying that championships are won with defense. But it reflects our full-field "suffocating press'" where every player immediately picks up an opponent and presses until we get the ball back."
A team can't have a strong defense without a strong keeper and in Gus Pederson, the Magic has just that. He is ably fronted by speedy defenders Hunter Barcomb, Thomas Hritz, Brendan O'Connor and Austin Garraus.
The team is loaded in the midfield as well, led by central midfielders Andrew Chlebina and Bakie Goodman. Chlebina is the defensive stalwart who comes through with strong tackles that quickly turn into Magic counter attacks. Goodman is one of the Magic playmakers who often sets up his teammates for scores and, along with fellow midfielder Fernando Calderon, leads the team in assists. Other tireless midfielders include Zach Reda, Mitchell Howard, Federico Brokate and Stephen Taylor.
Up front, the Magic are strong as well, led by Joey, who, along with Goodman, leads all goal scorers on the team. Hutchinson possesses great speed and a lethal left foot and also serves as one of the team captains along with Chlebina, Hritz and Goodman. Other forwards include Luis Rivera and Dylan Maggio, while Justin O'Connor effectively plays every position on the field when called upon by Coach Goodman.
With a 3-0 win over Players Club and a 5-0 win over Braden River last weekend, the Magic have opened up a comfortable lead in Division I. They have a chance to be one of the few teams that has won Division II and then advanced to the higher division and captured first place there as well.
Congratulations to Joey and his Magic teammates.
Key Royale golf news
Gloria Doudera's one-over-par 33 was good enough to capture first place in Flight AA during Key Royale Club women's golf action on Dec. 12. Cindy Miller, Bobbi Lindstrom and Penny Williams tied for second with net scores of 36. Flight A winner was Phyllis Lam, who fired a two-under-par 30 to finish two shots ahead of Dorothy McKinna and three shots better than third-place finisher Pat Townsend.
Markie Ksiazek's 31 placed her atop Flight B, two shots ahead of second-place finisher Judy Ward, while Jan Turner's 35 earned her third place. Terry Westby fired an even-par 32 to win Flight C. Cherrie Kinerk took second place with a 33, while Dolores Jorgensen finished a shot back in third place. There was a three-way tie for first place in Flight D between Marilyn Hayes, Erma McMullen and Sylvia Price, who all shot a one-over 33.
Marilyn Hayes and Mary Pat Swamy each had chip-ins on hole No. 1, while Marj Petring chipped in on No. 5. Meredith Slavin birdied No. 6 to round out women's golf news.
The men were rained out on Dec. 18, but did get in a nine-hole, two-best-balls-of-foursome tournament on Dec. 11.
Russ Olson, Charlie Knopp, Larry Fowler and Matt Behan fired an 11-under-par 53 to claim first place, two shots ahead of the second-place team of Dan Hayes, Ralph Bassett, Bob Dickinson and Omar Trolard. The team of Bob Sayles, Bob Lamp, Chuck Boes and Tom Warda fired a 56, good for third place, while two teams shot 57 to finish in a tie for fourth. Al Kaiser, Wade Ladue, Art Hibbs and Tom Steele shared fourth place with Jim Krumme, Pieter Thomassen and the Proxies.
Gulf Coast Senior Games upcoming
Senior athletes can now sign up for the 2007 Gulf Coast Senior Games, which take place Feb. 19-25 at a variety of locations in and around Bradenton. The Senior Games, which is entering it's 18th year of providing sporting competition in 20 events for "young" athletes 50 years old and up.
Seniors can choose among archery, basketball shooting, billiards, bocce, bowling, bridge, cribbage, cycling, golf, horseshoes, lawn bowling, punt-pass-kick, racquetball, 5k road race, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, Texas hold-em and track and field.
The cost to register is $12 with every entrant receiving a Senior Games T-shirt. There is an additional fee of $2 for each event/activity entered. To register or for more information, call 941-742-5926.