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Date of Issue: February 01, 2007

Island soccer stars, Her-icanes suffer heartbreaking losses

sport pic
Amber Wright, shown here in an earlier game against George Jenkins High School, has the tough job of always marking the opposing team's best offensive player. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy
sport pic
Christina Papazian pays close attention to the action in front of her during a recent Manatee High School varsity soccer game. Islander Photo: Kevin Cassidy

Island residents Christina Papazian and Amber Wright, who anchor the girls Manatee Her-icanes soccer team defense from their goalie and defender positions, and senior Sean Pittman, who starts at midfield for the Manatee Hurricanes boys soccer team, all recently experienced the agony of defeat during high school playoff soccer action.

On Jan. 19, Papazian and Wright, along with the rest of their Her-icane teammates dropped a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to the Lakewood Ranch Mustangs in the girls Class 5A, District 12 championship game.

Papazian, a freshman goalie from Longboat Key, made eight saves in the game, while Wright, a junior, did a fantastic job of marking Mustang "all-everything" forward Lindsay Thompson throughout the game.

On Jan. 25, the Her-icanes traveled to Seminole and ended their season with a brutal, 2-1 double-overtime loss to Seminole High.

Again, the Island teammates excelled with Papazian making seven strong saves and Wright again was called upon to mark the opposing team's top offensive threat.

Papazian, who registered five shutouts and posted an impressive 0.71 goals against average this season, and Wright, who had the unenviable task of always marking the opposing team's top offensive player, will both be back for another run next season.

On Jan. 26, Pittman and his Manatee Hurricane teammates battled it out for the boys Class 5A, District 12 title against Southeast High. The Hurricanes trailed 1-0 until late in the first half when Pittman's pass found forward Christian Raudales, who finished to tie the game 1-1.

The score remained a tie at 1-1 after regulation and two overtime periods so the game went to a shootout. Pittman's penalty kick tied the shootout at 4-4, but Andres Bustamante's penalty kick won the game for Southeast when Manatee's last attempt went just wide of the goal.

Pittman and his Hurricane teammates now must travel to Seminole High on Thursday, Feb. 1, for a 7 p.m. kickoff in the regional quarterfinals.

Good luck to Sean and his Hurricane teammates - we're cheering for you.

Flag football under way

The Anna Maria Island Community Center's flag football season is under way with games being played at the Holmes Beach field on Fridays and Saturdays in three age divisions. The league is broken down for players in grades six to eight, three to five, and one to two.

Junior Division (third- to fifth-grade):

Black 24, White 20

Black defeated White 24-20 on Jan. 19 behind three touchdowns from Josh Zawistoski and a defensive TD from Kalif Mora.

Max Monuese led the White team with two Tds, while Jake Parsons added a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the loss.


Yellow 29, Black 6

Josh Schmidt and Hunter Parrish each scored a pair of touchdowns to lead the Yellow past the Black on Jan. 20. Chris Hightower added a pair of two-point conversions for the Yellow in the victory.

Josh Zawistoski scored the lone Black TD in the loss that evened their record to 1-1 on the season.

Youth Division (sixth- to eighth-grade):


White 36, Green 18

Tommy Price scored four touchdowns to lead White to an easy victory over Green on Jan. 20 in flag football action. Chris Pate and Alex Hall each added touchdowns for the victorious Green squad.

Green was led by two touchdowns from Blake Rivers and one TD from Connor Cloherty in the loss.


Yellow 40, Black 19

Brandon Gengler scored two TDs and a two-point conversion on offense and added a defensive touchdown to lead Yellow past Black on Jan. 20. Alex Burgess and Jack Titsworth each added a touchdown and a one-point conversion for Yellow, which also received a TD from Daniel Janisch.

Garrett Secor scored two touchdowns to lead the Black, which also received a TD from Lee Bergeron and an extra point from Hunter Hardy in the loss.


Three teams sport perfect records in basketball

Three teams are still chasing perfect seasons at the halfway point in the Anna Maria Island Community Center's youth basketball league.

Kumon in Division III, Dips Ice Cream in Division II and A Paradise Realty in Division I have yet to swallow the bitter pill of defeat. Kumon has Ooh La La! Bistro right on its heels with a 3-1 record, but the bistro's only defeat came at the hands of Kumon on Jan. 18. Dips also has a one-game lead in Division II with Air & Energy giving chase, but its only loss was to the division leader as well. Paradise is two games ahead in the loss column with Connect Cycles and Anna Maria Oyster Bar both sporting 2-2 records. Time will tell if a challenger emerges from one of these .500 teams.

The three-team Premier Division is still tight with only two games separating first-place Island Real Estate from last place West Coast Air Conditioning.

Stay tuned!


Premier Division:

IRE 53, WCAC 47

Zach Schield dominated the low post, scoring 25 points and grabbing 18 rebounds as Island Real Estate eased past West Coast Air Conditioning by six points on Jan. 25. Al Barrett added seven points and seven assists for Island Real Estate, which also received five points apiece from Ben Valdivieso and Kyle Aritt and four points each from Vanessa Bradbury and Jordan Graeff.

Fourteen points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots from David Tyson and 12 points and two steals from Jordan Pritchard paced West Coast Air Conditioning. Chad Reed added eight points and Thomas Ganoy scored seven points in the loss.


IRE 49, Rotten Ralph's 44

Al Barrett scored 17 points and dished out six assists and along with 12 points from Jordan Graeff, the effort lifted Island Real Estate past Rotten Ralph's on Jan. 22. Zach and Forest Schield added eight points apiece while Vanessa Bradbury and Nash Thompson completed the scoring with two points apiece in the victory.

Fourteen points apiece from Jacob Stebbings and Garrett Secor, who also grabbed 15 rebounds, paced Rotten Ralph's in the loss. Zach Evans chipped in with six points while Brandon Gengler added four points.


Division I:

Oyster Bar 43, Danziger 36

Twenty-one points from Ryan Schroeder and 12 points from Brett Rocklein paced the Anna Maria Oyster Bar past Dr. Danziger's Destroyers on Jan. 24. Emma Barlow added seven points and six steals, while Courtney Bristow completed the scoring with two points.

Matt Bauer led the Destroyers effort with 16 points and 19 rebounds, while Kelly Guerin added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Four points from Chris Pate and two points apiece from Joey Garbus and Stephanie Poelsha completed the scoring for the Destroyers in the loss.


Paradise 35, Oyster Bar 24

Blake Wilson just missed out on a "triple-double" - double-figure scoring, rebounding, assists and or steals - during A Paradise Realty's 11-point victory on Jan. 23. Wilson had 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine steals while also throwing in one blocked shot for good measure to pace the first-place team. Daniel Janisch chipped in with six points and seven rebounds for Paradise, which also received four points from Blake Rivers and two points apiece from Stephanie Shenk and Erin Dolan.

Ryan Schroeder had 17 points, six rebounds and three blocks to lead the Oyster Bar, which also received six points from Emma Barlow and one point from Molly McDonough in the loss.


Cycles 32, Danziger 31

Tommy Price scored a game-high 19 points to lead Connect Cycles past Dr. Danziger's Destroyers on Jan. 22. Kyle Parsons added five points, while Chris Callahan, Patrick Edwards and Breslyn Reiber completed the scoring with two points apiece.

Kelly Guerin scored 18 points and Matt Bauer added seven in the heartbreaking loss. Stephanie Poelsha, Chris Pate and Wyatt Hoffman each scored two points for the Destroyers in the loss.


Division II:

ReMax 24, Duncan 9

ReMax Gulfstream Realty closed on Duncan Real Estate 24-9 on Jan. 24 behind 13 points from Patrick Sheedy. Travis Belsito added six points and seven steals for ReMax, which also received two points apiece from Shawn Steenstra and Max Miller. Jacob Baird contributed one point and six rebounds to the victory.

Helio Gomez scored four points and Josh Schmidt added three points and six rebounds for Duncan, which also received two points and five rebounds from Luke Shackelford in the loss.


A&E 24, Duncan 13

Becca Butler and Stephanie Purnell scored nine points apiece with Purnell also snaring seven rebounds to lead Air & Energy past Duncan Real Estate on Jan. 23. Noell Niemann, Dayle Hoffman and Savannah Schield completed the scoring with two points apiece.

Five points and four rebounds from Luke Shackelford and four points from Kalif Mora paced Duncan in the loss. Helio Gomez and Brennan Gallagher rounded out the scoring with two points apiece.


Dips 25, ReMax 20

Justin Gargett scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Dips Ice Cream past ReMax Gulfstream Realty on Jan. 23. Daniel Schroeder added eight points, while Johnny Mattay and Jerry Meyer completed the Dips scoring with three and two points respectively.

ReMax Gulfstream Realty was led by Jacob Baird's 10 points and six points from Travis Belsito. Max Miller completed the ReMax scoring with four points while also pulling down a game-high five rebounds.


Division III

Kumon 24, Jessie's 15

Thirteen points, four rebounds and three steals from Neil Carper helped Kumon to a nine-point victory over Jessie's Island Store on Jan. 25. Four points from Emma Terry, three points from Logan Reiber and two points apiece from Chris Burdick and Nick Valdivieso completed the scoring for Kumon.

Samantha Purnell's 10 points led the scoring effort for Jessie's, which also received three points from Madison Driscoll and two points from Anne Marie Galati.


Publix 16, Jessie's 12

Burke McCampbell-Hill scored 10 points and pulled down four rebounds to lead Publix past Jessie's on Jan. 24. Cameron Brauner's four points and two points from Alexandra Selinas completed the Publix scoring in the victory.

Jessie's was led by Stephanie Purnell's eight points and five rebounds. GiGi Belsito and Madison Driscoll added two points apiece in the loss.


Ooh La La! 28, Ross 0

Josh Zawistoski scored 12 points and had eight steals, while Lauren Sapienza added six points and six rebounds as Ooh La La! cooked Greg Ross Development on Jan. 22. Phillip Dudevoire added four points, while Chase Lewis, Keegan Murphy and Jake Parsons each scored two points in the victory.


Key Royale golf news

Joy Nelles, Hal Sears, Fred Meyer and Ethel Proxy teamed up to fire a 121 to win the Key Royale Club's coed handicap, low-team-net tournament on Jan. 26. Jane Winegarden, Mary Selby, Jerry Brown and Fred Proxy finished in second place with a 134.

On Jan. 24, the Key Royale men teed it up for an 18-hole, two-best-balls-of-foursome game that saw Chuck Boes, Tom Lewis, Don Ruggles and Dick Ware combine to shoot a 104. Six shots back in second place was the team of Bob Dickinson, Bill Gallachea, Don Latorre and Dan Hayes. The team of Gordon McKinna, Fred Meyer, Mike Selby and Frank Vikingstad finished with a 111 and third place.

The men played a nine-hole, low-net-of-partner's match on Jan. 22. Charlie Knopp and Matt Behan teamed up to fire a two-under-par 62 to claim first place over Dave Kruger and Paul Kaemmerlen, who were one shot back at 63. Gordon McKinna and Tom Warda, along with the team of Jim McVicar and Fred Proxy, finished in a tie for third with identical scores of 64.


More golf news

Attention senior golfers: The Men's Senior Golf Association of Manatee County has openings for golfers over age 55 to play in a twice-weekly league. The association plays at Manatee County golf course and River Run and prizes and a hole-in-one contest are featured.

For more information, contact Hugh Benedict at 761-0702 or Karl Sturtz at 778-2920. You can also get information by e-mailing Benedict at


Horseshoe news

George McKay started out the Jan. 20 horseshoe competition as a walker, but after thumping his first couple of opponents, William Johnson showed up late and McKay took him on as his partner. Together the twosome battled it out with Bob Lee and Fritz Erdrich for bragging rights in a game that saw 22 ringers thrown between the two teams. McKay and Johnson emerged with an exciting 23-12 victory that saw more than half the ringers thrown capped.

The Jan. 24 horseshoe competition saw Tom Rhodes and Gene Bobeldyk edge Bob Lee and Sam Samuels by a 23-18 score.

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.


Playing sports?

Calling all Island athletes. Give us a call or drop an e-mail to us and let us know about any and all athletic endeavors. Call me at 807-1105 or e-mail me at with information.

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