Mickey Hooke set 55 running records last year while competing in 37 races in 25 cities across Florida. Islander Photo: Courtesy of Kathy Johnson
Andrew Proctor makes a flag pull during flag football action at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy
Brooke Capparelli carries the ball forward during Manatee Magic soccer action last season. Islander Photo: Courtesy Tina Burns
Christian Daniels of Holmes Beach goes off the lip during an NSSA surf contest in New Smyrna Beach. Islander Photo: Courtesy Tommy Daniels
Hooke runs to top of The Islander’s 2012 sports
Another year of Island sports is done, which results in the ranking of the top sports stories. It’s enjoyable to look back at all of the great sports moments reported and to reflect on the accomplishments of islanders.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention regular contributors to this sports column — which starts with Troy Shonk and other staff at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. They provide the “meat and potatoes” of sports on AMI with youth programs and with expanding adult sports.
Other contributors to be recognized are Sam Samuels, Jay Disbrow and the rest of the horseshoe regulars. Last, but not least is Ed Havlik of the Key Royale Club. He really puts effort into his weekly reports, complete with photos and stats of the members’ weekly golf matches and tournaments. He stepped up to provide running coverage of the men’s and women’s match-play championships at KRC.
And after pouring over the archives of the year 2012, The Islander sports champion award of the year goes to Mickey Hooke.
1. Hooke shatters running records
Former islander and longtime Anna Maria Galati Marine employee Mickey Hooke made several appearances in The Islander sports section — and each had him setting new age division running records.
To say Hooke had a great year would be an understatement. He ran in 37 races and set 55 records, including six course records, 19 masters records, 26 grandmasters and four event records. He had 11 first places overall, 19 top-two overall finishes and finished the year unbeaten in grandmasters races.
He finished third overall in the RRCA Florida State 10K Championship in February, setting masters and grandmasters records. In April, he won first overall in the Villages Senior Games 5K and again set a record.
He finished fourth overall in the RRCA Florida 5K State Championship in September, setting a new grandmasters course record. He followed that up with an overall first place finish in the 10K Beach Running World Championship in October, again setting new masters and grandmasters records along the way.
In November, he “lapped the field,” winning first place overall by three minutes at the Florida Senior Games 10K Road Race State Championship, setting new masters and grandmasters records.
Last, but certainly not least, Hooke captured first place overall by more than two minutes at the Florida Senior Games 5K Road Race State Championship in December.
For this body of work, Hooke is The Islander sportsman of the year!
2. Islander takes fourth in world triathlon
Ten-year Holmes Beach resident Sandy Meneley graced the pages of The Islander in November for her fourth-place finish in the Ironman World Championship Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.
Meneley overcame heavy winds, rain, leg cramps and raced downhill at speeds up to 41 mph in the bike race portion of the event. She persevered to finish fourth in her age group.
Meneley, a retired sixth-grade math teacher is originally from Illinois, where she coached high school track and cross country.
She got involved in triathlons after her move to the island and became an avid runner, competing frequently in 5K races. She “graduated” to marathons in 1982.
3. Young islander helps team to world hockey title
Holmes Beach resident Zack Fernandes and his teammates on the Tampa Bay Lightning 2001s (grouped by year of birth) captured first place in the Bauer World Hockey Invitational Nov. 2-4 in Chicago.
In what is billed as the world’s largest youth hockey tournament, Zack scored the game-winning goal with six seconds to play in the second overtime against the Michigan Nationals in the round of 16. They went on to defeat the Soo Greyhounds from Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, 3-2 in the finals.
4. Islander qualifies for national surf contest
Lifelong islander Christian Daniels surfed in four separate divisions in the four-day Nike National Scholastic Surfing Association East Coast Regional Championships held in New Smyrna Beach Inlet April 12-15.
Christian, 10, and a fifth-grader at Anna Maria Elementary, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Explorer Menehune division (12 & under) and advanced to the semifinals of the open Mini-grom division (10 & under) before being edged out.
His best performance came in the Explorer super-grom (10 & under), where he advanced to the finals and led midway before settling for third place.
Christian may not have come in first, but his performance importantly qualified him for the June 26-July 3 NSSA Nationals in Huntington Beach, Calif.
5. Longtime island friend makes USA baseball team
John Killichowski, an 18-year-old who has island ties in the Busciglio family annual July 4 pyramid, was named one of 20 members of baseball’s Team USA and competed Aug. 30 in the 2012 IBAF 18U/AAU World Championships in Seoul, South Korea.
In the early 1950s, his great-grandparents purchased a home on Anna Maria Island. John’s parents, Debbie and Bill, met on the island and much of the extended family now own homes and spend summers here.
6. Islanders spark new Magic
Manatee Area Youth Soccer Organization merged its Magic competitive program with Football Club Sarasota three years ago to be more competitive.
It didn’t work out quite the way it was planned and the MAYSO board of directors decided to revive the Magic program.
Last season, Magic had four teams and the U12 girls team finished its regular season with a 10-2-2 record and the southeastern Division III championship.
Four islanders played a major role in the team’s success, starting with goalkeeper Emma Moneuse, who helped the team post eight shutouts. Contributing to the team’s stingy defense, allowing only eight goals all season, was central defender Gracie Bowers. Gracie also added a pair of goals to the offense. Outside midfielders Morgan Burns and Brooke Capparelli also were a big part of the team’s success. Morgan was the second leading scorer on the team with six goals, and Brooke notched two goals while also playing strong defense.
7. Adult sports adds pizazz
The community center kicked things up a notch in its adult sports offerings in the past year with adult soccer, flag football, basketball and volleyball leagues.
The adult sport that most exemplifies the center’s goal to provide fun, exercise and camaraderie is volleyball. This league fosters the attitude in which more talented and experienced players encourage and teach the newer players the nuances of the game.
Lobstahs completed an undefeated volleyball season Aug. 14 with a 25-12, 25-16 victory over The Feast.
Other champs crowned in the adult leagues include Gatorman Pools, crowned basketball champs in two seasons. They defeated Bowes Imaging 64-51 to win the title June 12 and then upset undefeated Best Buy 79-75 to win the second-season title Nov. 13.
Two seasons of flag football champs were Florida Discount Signs 49ers, defeating Coastal Orthopedic Raiders 35-14 in March and Duffy’s Tavern Raiders in a 21-19 victory over Agnelli Pool & Spa Dolphins in August.
Don Meilner & Son Construction defeated Florida Discount Signs 8-0 to win the summer Island Cup soccer championship in June, while Sato Real Estate defeated Wash Family Construction 4-1 to win the fall title in November.
8. Championship Saturday
The center’s youth basketball season closed June 9 with “Championship Saturday,” where three teams were crowned champions and the crowd enjoyed three great games.
Dip’s Ice Cream was undefeated in the Premier League with a 66-55 win over Anna Maria Oyster Bar.
Walter & Associates lived up to their No. 1 seeding with a solid 35-26 victory over Holy Cow Ice Cream in the 11-13 division. Jack Walter scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Walter & Associates, which also received 13 points and 19 rebounds from Mark Miller. Seth Walter’s 6 points completed the Walter scoring in the victory.
David Daigle exploded for 12 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Gettel Toyota to a 26-20 upset victory over Beach Bistro in the 8-10 division championship game.
9. Super Bowl winners crowned
Super Bowl winners in the center’s NFL Flag Football League were crowned March 24 at the center with three exciting games, each decided by 6 points or less.
Walter & Associates Bears came from behind to defeat Integrity Sound Redskins 31-28 to win the 13-16 division title. The Redskins had taken a 28-25 lead with 2:30 left to play on a spectacular catch by Joseph Andruzzi on a pass from Joey Carder.
Undaunted, the Bears got the ball back and drove the length of the field. With 24 seconds to play, the Bears had a first and goal. Seth Walter dropped back to pass and found brother Jack Walter to give the Bears a 31-28 victory.
Ross Built Broncos outlasted Mr. Bones Colts 26-20 to win the 10-12 division title. Jake Ross nabbed an interception with 27 seconds remaining and the Colts inside their 10-yard line to end the game.
Beach Bistro Vikings slipped past Beach Bum Steelers 13-12 in the 8-9 division Super Bowl. Nathan Hyman’s touchdown pass to Morgan Horesh provided the winning margin for the Vikings.
10. Soccer champs crowned
AMICC’s fall recreational youth soccer season finished Nov. 10 with another Championship Saturday.
Steam Designs swept its way to the 11-13 division title and finished the season with a perfect 11-0 record on a 9-0 routing of Jen Crady Massage Nov. 10. League MVP Nico Calleja and sportsmanship winner Gavin Sentman led the way with three goals each, while Aiden Grumley and Christian Daniels added a goal each to the victory total.
Lobstahs also ended its season on top without a loss and a shutout victory over Tyler’s Ice Cream in the 8-10 division championship game. Catherine Calhoun led Lobstahs with two goals while Chris Snyder added one in the 3-0 victory.
Thanks to all the players for another great year.