Breya Sauls is happy with her shot on goal during instructional league soccer tryouts at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy
Juliet Greene dribbles the ball toward the goal during instructional league soccer tryouts at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
Katie Burgess shoots for the back of the net during instructional league soccer tryouts at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
Coaches Lindsey Weaver and Dave Greene talk to the players prior to the beginning of soccer tryouts on the field at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
Center readies for fall sports leagues
The Anna Maria Island Community Center finalized tryouts for its fall sports league last week.
The center’s youth recreational soccer league held tryouts Aug. 29-30. The players were put through a series of drills to assess dribbling, trapping and shooting skill level, which enable the coaches to draft equitable teams for the challenge ahead.
This year’s league will have four teams each for the age 4-5 and 6-7 instructional divisions as well as the 11-13 division, while the age 8-10 division is set for six teams. The 14-17 division currently managed to field only two teams, but the Center is actively looking for a few more players so to round up three teams for that age group.
The season will kick off Sept. 22 with “spirit week,” which gets everyone — players, parents, family members and rowdy extras — ready for the season.
At the spirit event, teams will play a rotating schedule of mini games in a jamboree-style format. Here coaches can experiment with different lineups and player combinations, while the players themselves will get a chance to test their competitive skills against another team.
Last, but not least, it gives fans a chance to show who has the most team spirit by wearing team colors and accessories, which, in the past, have included some pretty wild combinations of wigs, hair color and pom-poms.
Next up at the center will be an adult coed basketball league, with games on Tuesday evenings starting Sept. 11, and an adult coed soccer league starting Sept. 13 and set to play Thursday evenings.
Four teams emerged from pool play with 2-1 records to advance to the knockout round during Sept. 1 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City hall horseshoe pits.
In the first semifinal, the team of Hank Huyghe and Tim Sofran defeated George McKay and Steve Grossman 22-9, while the second semifinal match saw Sam Samuels and Steve Doyle double up on Tom Skoloda 22-11. Samuels-Doyle then rolled past Huyghe-Sofran in the finals by a 22-13 score to earn the day’s bragging rights.
Two teams advanced to the knockout stage during Aug. 29 horseshoe action. Norm Good and Sam Samuels edged Tim Sofran and John Johnson 24-17 to take the day’s title.
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.