Island Dental Spa player Ben Bugless shields the ball from Southern Greens player James Richards during July 11 indoor soccer action on the pitch at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy
Longtime islander Ken Bowers, pictured from his playing days at North Carolina Wesleyan College, will be inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame during a homecoming ceremony Oct. 25. Islander Photo: Courtesy Wesleyan College
Islander to be inducted into college sports hall of fame
Longtime Islander Ken Bowers will soon be in good company at his alma mater in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Bowers has been named to join 56 other former athletes, administrators, coaches and contributors enshrined in the North Carolina Wesleyan College Athletics Hall of Fame during the October homecoming ceremony.
Bowers, who lives in Holmes Beach with wife Bonnie and son Lane, was a four-year starter and two-year captain on the 1985-88 Battling Bishops soccer team.
Bowers, who finished his career among the soccer programs’ top-five all-time leading scorers with 55 total points, 17 goals and 21 assists, was the only player from the 53-team South Region to earn NCAA Division III All-American honors in 1988, becoming just the fourth Battling Bishop to accomplish that feat.
Bowers led the Bishops to four consecutive winning seasons, including back-to-back Dixie Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. N.C. Wesleyan lost on penalty kicks to eventual national champions UNC Greensboro in the 1987 South Regional final, and then lost 1-0 to Emory University in 1988’s first-round action.
Overall, Bowers helped the Bishops to a 58-18-6 record during his four-year tenure.
During his All-America season, Bowers tallied a career-high 22 points, notching seven goals and eight assists on his way to being named most valuable player and First Team All Conference honors.
Bowers, who moved with his mom, Lois, and brothers Cole, Mark and Matt to Holmes Beach in 1974, got his start playing soccer at the Island Youth Center — now the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
He said he was surprised to learn of the hall-of-fame honor. “I didn’t realize I had that much of an impact on and off the pitch, though it’s great to be recognized by my teammates.”
Bowers went on to say that he was hooked by the game back in the 1970s. “We played soccer all day at the center, either on the tennis courts or the field. There were a lot of great players back then. No fees. No worries. Just be home on time for dinner.”
When asked the influences in his early years playing soccer, Bowers quickly mentioned two players. “I looked up to Tim Lease and Junior Tipton. Both were great all-around athletes. Timmy was a great ball handler and had a great shot. A true goal-scoring presence. Junior, on the other hand, was as tough as they come, great in the air and an awesome slide-tackler. Just one of the strongest players I’ve been around.”
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and, while his dad was an offensive midfielder, Lane is quietly making a name by anchoring the back line in competitive soccer for the U14 Manatee Magic.
Though Ken Bowers’ playing days are behind him, he still enjoys the sport, especially from the sidelines at Lane’s games.
Congratulations to Bowers and his family from the Islander.
And then there were two
Island Gourmet continued its Cinderella run July 8 in adult basketball at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria.
After having only a single win during the regular season, Island Gourmet went on a two-game winning streak, defeating No. 2 seed Bug Guys 64-53 in the semifinals behind a huge night from Scott Elsio.
Elsio was unstoppable, scoring 37 points, including 13 for 16 from the charity stripe. Dale Smith added 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Justin Jones finished with 10 rebounds in the victory.
Brandon Kern scored 19 points and Andrew Turman added 17 points and six rebounds in the loss to lead the Bug Guys, which also received 10 points and 15 rebounds from Matt Dwyer.
Duncan Real Estate justified its No. 1 seeding, advancing to the championship after edging Island Sun 62-61 in the second semifinal of the evening.
Duncan was led by the one-two punch of Ray Gardner, who scored 21 points and dished out nine assists, while Jordan Demers finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Tom Heald added 12 points and five rebounds to round out the Duncan scoring.
Teagan Purtill scored 17 points and Matt Ray added 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Island Sun, which also received 12 points and eight rebounds from Jason Mican in the loss.
The championship game was set for 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 15, after press time for this week’s Islander, and it will be preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a slam dunk and 3-point shooting contests.
Indoor soccer underway
The center’s indoor soccer league is playing at night throughout the remainder of the summer.
The 11-14 division got started July 7 in the center gym with a pair of games. The first matchup saw Island Dental Spa defeat Beach Bistro 6-3 behind four goals from Ryan Joseph and single goals from David Daigle and Javi Salgado.
Beach Bistro was led by Robbie Fellowes, who scored twice, while fill-in Conal Cassidy added one goal in the loss.
The second game of the evening saw Southern Greens roll past Dojo Martial Arts 9-4 as five different players scored, all led by Gavin Walker’s hat trick. Nate Bettger and James Richards added two goals each, while Brooke Capperelli and Shelby Morrow each added one goal.
Tyler Pearson scored three goals to lead Dojo Martial Arts, which also received a goal from Michael Latimer in the loss.
The 11-13 division saw action July 11 with two more matches. Southern Greens eased past Island Dental Spa by a 5-2 score behind two goals each from Gavin Walker and Nate Bettger. Tyler Brewer completed the scoring with one goal.
Javi Salgado and Ryan Joseph scored a goal each to lead Island Dental Spa in the loss.
The second game of the evening saw Dojo Martial Arts kick its way past Beach Bistro 5-4 in a back-and-forth game. Michael Latimer led the Dojo attack with three goals, while Chloe Romberger and Bella Romberger each scored one goal in the victory.
Robbie Fellowes topped the Beach Bistro scoring with three goals, while Connor Mulhearn added one goal in the loss.
The 8-10 division got started July 9 with Air & Energy outscoring Bowes Imaging 12-7 behind 10 goals from Cole Pearson. Will Carroll and Maddie Rogers also scored for A&E.
Garrett Laflamme scored four goals and Breya Sauls added two goals to lead Bowes, which also received one goal from Noah Wampole in the loss.
Bowes then defeated Gulf-Bay Realty 7-4 during 8-10 division action July 11. Garrett Laflamme scored three goals and Noah Wampole added two goals to lead Bowes, which also received single goals from Lincoln Sauls and Breya Sauls in the victory.
Evan Talucci scored three goals and Ben Brashier put one in the net to lead Gulf-Bay in the loss.
Key Royale golf news
The women golfers at the Key Royale Club played a nine-hole, two-best-balls-of-foursome and an individual-low-net match July 8.
The team of Helen Pollock, Laura Purcell, Jana Samuels and Janet Razze combined on an 86 that was matched by the team of Joyce Brown, Luanne Collins, Kris Landkammer and Christina Mason, resulting in shared clubhouse bragging rights.
Laura Purcell’s 3-under-par 29 gave her the low-net score of the day in flight A, while Terry Westby’s 2-under-par 30 put her in first in Flight B.
Fran Barford chipped in on the third hole, while Joyce Lathrop chipped in on eight.
Three teams advanced out of pool play to the knockout round in July 9 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall horseshoe pits.
The team of Steve Doyle and Hank Huyghe drew the bye into the final and watched as Norm Good opened the match with a pair of “six packs” — double ringers — to lead Good and partner Steve Grossman to a 22-7 victory and a spot in the finals. Doyle and Huyghe cooled them off in the championship round with a 24-12 victory and bragging rights for the day.
Huyghe made it two trips to the winner’s circle in a row, teaming with Sam Samuels on July 12 to be the only team with a 3-0 pool-play record and the day’s outright title.
Play gets underway 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.