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Date of Issue: April 28, 2010

Volleyball players flock to the beach

Henry Chen passes the ball to teammate Vince Steffler during a recent Saturday of volleyball at the Manatee Public Beach. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy

Bill Britt passes the ball to teammate Jodan Pryor during a recent volleyball contest at the beach.

Vince Steffler goes high to spike the ball.

With the school and the indoor volleyball season winding down and the arrival of warmer weather, people are flocking to the beach in droves — and some are there to play volleyball in the sand.

A lot of play is the traditional 4-6-person volleyball, but many are there to play beach doubles, and it’s a great way to improve their skills for the competitive season.

Beach doubles date back to the 1930s in Santa Monica, Calif., and is a more athletically demanding sport than its indoor counterpart. For starters, there’s a lot more ground to cover with only two players, and movement in the sand is more difficult. A player can really improve his or her movement and jumping ability in this game.

A recent Saturday over spring break at the Manatee Public Beach in Holmes Beach saw at least 60 people waiting their turn to play. With only two nets at the “PB”  — compared to 10 courts at Siesta Key beach — players need to arrive early and win the court. Lose and you could be waiting a long time to come up for another contest.

Serious players can also look forward to competing in the Dig the Beach Tournament for player levels from professional down to juniors.

Though the tournament season got started in early March, there are a few tournaments coming up, starting May 22-23 on Siesta Key when the Dig the Beach series comes to town. The tournaments follow a format for professionals on down to B-level players on Saturdays, while Sundays are reserved for coed teams and junior divisions.

Other dates for the Dig the Beach Series include June 5-6 in Fort Myers, June 26-27 at Clearwater Beach and July 10-11 with a return to Siesta Key. For more information on the Dig the Beach, go to

Key Royale golf news

The Key Royale Club held its 42nd golf awards presentation on April 17. The honorees and their guests enjoyed the pep rally-themed party as golf committee chairman Craig Humphreys and club vice president Quentin Talbert presented awards.

Club champion Mark Mixon was recognized along with runner-up Web Cutting. Also recognized were women’s club champion Joy Kaiser and runner-up Jean Holmes.

Larry Pipple was the 18-hole handicap tournament champ, while Merritt Fineout took second place. Judy Crowe was the nine-hole, women’s handicap tourney champ with Judy Christensen runner up.

Clare Talbert and Merritt Fineout were recognized as the mixed-couple champs along with Joyce Reith and Cutting in second.

Bob Lang captured the men’s President Cup with Ernie Hauser taking second, and Tootie Wagner won the women’s President’s Cup over Mary Miller.

Last, but not least, Chuck Montgomery was recognized for his Dec. 7 hole-in-one made on number seven. Congratulations to all.

The women of the Key Royale Club played a nine-hole, individual-low-net game April 20. Penny Williams captured Flight AA with a 2-underpar 30 that gave her a two-shot advantage over second-place finisher Sandy Tocco. One shot back in a tie for third were Sue Hookem and Cindy Miller at 33.

Joyce Brown and Mary Selby both carded even-par 32 to finish in a tie for first place in Flight A. Second place also produced a tie between Sara Falk and Patty Townsend with matching 33s.

Sue Christensen burned up the Key Royale track with a 6-underpar 26 to win Flight B by four shots over second-place finisher Jan Turner, who carded a 2-under 30. Denise Burkhardt and Dorothy McKinna tied for third place at 1-over 33.

Barb Harrold and Joanne Ozdych carded matching, 3-under-par 29s to tie for first place in Flight C. Liz Lang was one shot back in second place, while Terry Westby was alone in third with an even-par 32.

Joanne Brougher fired a 2-under-par 30 to win Flight D by one shot over Judy Huason in second place. Nell Bergstrom and Jane Winegarden tied for third with 33s.

Horseshoe news

Four teams emerged from pool play to battle it out in the elimination round during horseshoe action on April 24 at the Anna Maria City Hall horseshoe pits. Walker Norm Good advanced to the finals with an easy 22-14 victory over Rod Bussey and Steve Doyle. The other semifinal saw Herb Puryear and Jerry Disbrow slip past Dave Lansaw and John Crawford 21-20. In the finals, which saw several six-packs from both teams, Disbrow-Puryear prevailed over Good 21-13.

The April 21 games saw three teams qualify for the knockout round, with Fritz Erdich and Herb Puryear earning a bye into the finals. Jerry Disbrow and Rod Bussey rolled past Karl Thomas and Marvin Gangemy 23-5. They followed up on that victory with a 21-2 drubbing of Erdich-Puryear to claim the day’s bragging rights.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warm-ups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.

AMICC baseball schedule

T-Ball (ages 5-7)

Date         Time         Away vs. Home

May 1       10 a.m.      LPAC vs. Observer

May 1       11 a.m.      Dental Spa vs. A&E

Pitching Machine (ages 8-11)

May 1       12:30 p.m. Sato vs. Cedars

May 1       2 p.m.        Beach Const. vs. Sato

AMICC basketball schedule

Date         Time         Away vs. Home

Premier (ages 13-16)

May 4       8 p.m.        Tortilla vs. Ralph’s

Division I (ages 12-13)

May 4       7 p.m.        A-Paradise vs. Coastal

Division II (ages 10-11)

May 5       7 p.m.        Ross vs. Vita

May 7       7 p.m.        Vita vs. Oyster Bar

May 7       8 p.m.        Beach Const. vs. Walter

May 8       12 p.m.      Ross vs. Oyster Bar

May 8       1 p.m.        Vita vs. Beach Const.

May 10     7 p.m.        Oyster Bar vs. Walter

Division III (ages 8-9)

May 5       6 p.m.        Bistro vs. Sandbar

May 6       7 p.m.        Connie’s vs. Sandbar

May 8       2 p.m.        Bistro vs. Connie’s

May 10     6 p.m.        Sandbar vs. Bistro

Instructional (ages 5-7)

May 6       6 p.m.        IRE vs. WCAC

May 7       6 p.m.        IRE vs. Jessie’s

May 8       6 p.m.        WCAC vs. Jessie’s

May 11     6 p.m.        Jessie’s vs. IRE