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Date of Issue: March 21, 2010

Falcons fall in regional soccer semifinals

Martine Miller battles to maintain possession against a St. Pete Shorecrest player during the Class 2A, District 10 finals soccer match. Islander Photo: Courtesy Greg Jones

Martine Miller and her St. Stephen’s high school girls soccer team had their season come to an end at the hands of Tampa Prep on Feb. 2 in Tampa. The Falcons fell 3-1 to finish 18-4 in what is probably one of the best seasons ever for the Falcons girls team —and Miller is one of its key players.

The Falcons won the Class 2A, District 10 title by defeating St. Petersburg Shorecrest 3-1 on Jan. 22. The Falcons fell behind 1-0, but tied it up when Miller assisted on Amy Ivins’ goal on the way to the school’s third consecutive district title.

The Falcons then rolled past Indian Rocks Christian by a 5-1 score Jan. 28 before ending its season at Tampa Prep.

Miller, who has started for the Falcons since the eighth grade, was the team’s second-leading scorer with 19 goals and 11 assists. Only a sophomore, she has two more seasons to help her team and improve her college prospects.

Miller now turns her attention to her club team, the U17 Braden River Rage, which will be competing in the state cup competition in the near future. Miller is also playing lacrosse for the first time since St. Stephen’s started a club team this year.

Congratulations Martine, and good luck.

Olympian has Island roots

Mark Ladwig, who along with partner Amanda Evora captured a silver medal in the pairs competition at the U.S. National Figure Skating championships in January, is skating in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Both skaters train at the Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex in Ellenton, but Ladwig has some Island connections.

Beach Bistro owner Sean Murphy spent a lot of time at what was then known as J.P. Igloo with son Ben, a budding hockey standout. Someone there asked Murphy if he had any openings, because Ladwig needed a job. Murphy gave him a job as a busboy and the skater quickly moved up to the wait staff.

Ladwig worked at the Bistro for more than eight years and was well liked by everyone. “Mark is a great guy and worked like a dog,” stated Murphy. “He worked four or five shifts a week for us, while mixing in training, driving the Zamboni at the rink and also giving skating lessons.”

It’s safe to say that Ladwig, or “Fargo” as he is known at the Bistro thanks to his origins in North Dakota, will have some folks from Holmes Beach rooting for him and Evora in their quest for the gold medal in Vancouver.

Good luck to Ladwig and Evora from The Islander.

Flag football action

The NFL Flag Football regular season is winding down at the Anna Maria Island Community Center and teams are jockeying for playoff seed positions.

Tortilla Bay Dolphins still hold a comfortable lead in the 8-9 division, despite suffering its first loss of the season Feb. 8 when the Sandbar Saints rolled to a 31-12 victory. Sparks Steel Art Eagles won a pair of games last week to pull to within six points, but realistically they’re looking to hold onto their No. 2 seed.

Ross Built Raiders at 8-1 and Mr. Bones Bengals at 7-2 remain atop the 10-12 division, but the Bengals need help to overtake the Raiders for first place since they aren’t scheduled to play each other again — unless they meet in the playoffs.

The 13-16  division tightened up after Anna Maria Oyster Bar Panthers edged Tapes Tennis Titans Feb. 10.

In the end, earning a top seed only gives teams a more favorable matchup and no guarantees. Once the playoffs start, it’s win or go home.

That Feb. 10 game between the Panthers and the Titans is the 13-16 division game of the week. The Panthers edged the Titans 27-26 to pull to within six points of first place. More importantly, it shows the Titans that the Panthers are a team to be reckoned with once the playoffs start.

Christian Hightower had a huge game, completing 15-23 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his touchdown passes went to Jordan Grabski, who had 119 receiving yards and a pair of extra points. Carolyn Cullinan added 29 receiving yards, while Liam Cassidy caught an extra point pass to finish with five receiving yards. Grabski also made a mark on the defensive side of the ball when he grabbed an interception and took it to the house for a defensive TD. Other defensive contributions came from Christian Hightower and James Hardy with three flag pulls each and Lauren Hightower who added a quarterback sack.

Tapes Tennis Titans were led by quarterback Austin Ferrer, who passed for 88 yards and had three touchdowns. Ferrer also ran for 83 yards and a touchdown. Two of Ferrer’s passes went to Max Miller, who finished with 75 receiving yards and an extra point, while Kyle Parsons added 26 receiving yards and a touchdown. Ferrer led the Titan defensive effort as well, finishing with four flag pulls and a pair of interceptions. Chandler Hardy added an interception to go along with three flag pulls.

Ross Built Raiders showed why they’re on top of the 10-12 division with a convincing 27-12 victory over Walter & Associates Titans in the Feb. 9 game. The Raiders received 94 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards and a touchdown from Jake Ross, while Tyler Yavalar scored a pair of touchdowns on 21 receiving yards and 14 rushing yards. Andrew Ross threw for 41 yards and added a touchdown for the Raiders, which also received 12 receiving yards and a two-point conversion from Joey Cucci and 41 passing yards from Jack Shinn in the victory.

Shinn had a strong defensive game with four flag pulls and an interception. Jake Ross added a pick to go along with three flag pulls, matched by brother Andrew.

The Titans were led by Michael Duffman, who contributed 70 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and a touchdown. Keegan Murphy added 22 receiving yards and a touchdown, while Jacob Talucci passed for 68 yards.

Keegan Murphy and Duffman had five pulls to lead the Titans, while Brendan Muphy and Talucci each finished with four flag pulls in the loss.

The 8-9 division game of the week was an offensive shootout that saw Sparks Steel Art Eagles edge Sandbar Saints by a 32-30 score Feb. 10. The Eagles were led by Jack Mello, who ran for an incredible 222 yards and scored all five touchdowns. QB Truman Carlsen completed four passes for 27 yards. Marlin Ellis had 11 receiving yards and an extra point, while Tori Walter had five receiving yards and an extra point to complete the Eagles scoring. Dylan Joseph finished with 21 rushing yards and 11 receiving yards. Joseph was huge on defense, with a team-high six flag pulls, while Leo Rose finished with four pulls and a pair of interceptions.

The Saints Michael Latimer was just as dynamic, rushing for 207 yards and five touchdowns. Andrew Proctor added 62 rushing yards and 13 receiving yards to the Saints offense. Kurtis Green-Zelina paced the Saints defensive efforts with four flag pulls, while Benjamin Calhoun and Latimer each added two. Catherine Calhoun, Proctor, Joe Rogers and Leo Tilelli finished with one pull apiece in the loss.

Horseshoe news

Twenty-six teams were whittled down to three to battle for horseshoe supremacy at the Anna Maria City Hall pits Feb. 13. The team of Leo Hutton and Debbie Rhodes earned the bye to the finals and got to watch as Norm Good and Fritz Fredrich edged Gene Bobeldyke and Sam Samuels 22-20. The finals was a battle as well with Good-Fredrich outlasting Hutton-Rhodes 21-19.

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. 

Roundball around the corner

The Anna Maria Island Community Center is accepting registrations for its 2010 youth basketball season for players ages 5-17. Cost per player is $55 for members and $70 for non-members. Each player receives a team jersey.

Games will be played Monday through Friday starting at 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. Saturday.

The Center will host a basketball camp to gear up for the season Saturday, March 13. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for players 8-13, while the 5-7 age group camp runs from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Camp costs $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

But the Center will combine the costs for some savings: Season/camp for members is $70 while non-member pay $95.

Though every player makes a team, there are mandatory tryouts to ensure league parity.

Tryout dates and times are:

• Ages 14-17, 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 8.

• Ages 12-13, 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 9.

• Ages 10-11, 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 10.

• Ages 8-9, 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 11.

• Ages 5-7, 6:30-7:30 p.m. March 12.

For more information, contact Andy Jonatzke or Tyler Bekkerus at the Center, 941-778-1908, ext. 9205.

AMICC recreational baseball info

The Anna Maria Island Community Center is also registering players age 5-11 for its recreational baseball league. The last day to register will be March 15.

The Island program will not be part of Little League. Cost is $65 for members and $80 for non-members for the pitching machine division, geared for players in the 7-11 age group. T-ball is $55 for Center members and $70 for non-members. The player uniform package includes shirt, hat and socks.

The league is in need of volunteer coaches, and, if approved as a coach, the coach’s child plays for free.

For more information, contact the Center.

AMICC NFL Flag Football schedule

Date Time       Teams

5-7 Division

Feb. 17    6 p.m.      Patriots vs. Cardinals

Feb. 17    7 p.m.      Ravens vs. Bears

8-9 Division

Feb. 17    6 p.m.      Sparks vs. Tortilla Bay

Feb. 18    6 p.m.      Sand Bar vs. Tortilla Bay

10-12 Division

Feb. 17    7 p.m.      Walter vs. Holy Cow

13-16 Division

Feb. 17    8 p.m.      Lapensee vs. Oyster Bar

Feb. 19    8 p.m.      Tapes Tennis vs. Galati

Feb. 22    7 p.m.      Oyster Bar vs. Galati

Feb. 22    8 p.m.      Lapensee vs. Tapes Tennis

Adult Coed Division

Feb. 18    6 p.m.      Cowboys vs. Bengals 

Feb. 18    7 p.m.      Titans vs. Chiefs

Feb. 18    8 p.m.      Lions vs. Raiders

AMICC NFL Flag Football standings

8-9 Division

Team       won lost  tie    points

Dolphins 8      1      0      24

Eagles     6      5      0      18

Saints      4      6      0      12

Cardinals 2      8      0      6

10-12 Division

Raiders    8      1      0      24

Bengals   7      2      0      21

Ravens    4      5      0      12

Titans      3      5      0      9

Falcons    3      6      0      9

Cowboys 1      7      0      3

13-16 Division

Titans      7      2      0      21

Panthers  5      4      0      15

Raiders    3      5      0      9

Ravens    2      6      0      6

Adult Coed Division

Raiders    5      0      0      15

Titans      3      2      0      9

Chiefs      3      2      0      9

Bengals   3      2      0      9

Cowboys 1      4      0      3

Lions       0      5      0      0