Longtime Anna Maria resident and former Islander newspaper editorial cartoonist Jack Egan was inducted into the Manatee High School Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sept. 20 at Pier 22 restaurant in Bradenton.
Egan, who attended Manatee County High School 1947-50, was a year ahead in school and the smallest male in his graduating class.
He didn’t grow up playing tennis and didn’t really take the sport up until the summer before he started high school, he recalled. Back then, there were only four public tennis courts — all in downtown Bradenton. Two were clay courts with loads of pebbles and were concrete/grass courts — the grass was growing through the cracks in the concrete. And the net was a chain-link fence!
So Egan showed up to tryouts with a $3 tennis racquet purchased from Montgomery Ward and quickly earned the No. 1 single’s slot and was named team captain. His first high school match saw him take a beating against the national boy’s clay court champion, which made him realize he needed to work harder on his game.
By senior year, he defeated the defending South Conference Champion and was a finalist in both singles and doubles. Egan’s biggest disappointment was in the state matches for all Florida High Schools. He was seeded third, but was forced to default when the MHS football coach failed to get him to the courts in time to play his first match.
After graduation from MHS, Egan enrolled at Florida State University and joined the tennis team. He was named captain his junior year and that team went on to finish 15-2, a record that stands today at FSU.
After graduation, Egan served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. He later found work as a tennis pro for the Asheville Country Club in North Carolina, now the Grove Park Inn.
Egan, wife Judie and family moved to the island in 1968. He spent most of his career as public relations consultant for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, retiring in 1989. He also worked as a political cartoonist for the former Islander newspaper in the early 1970s and the present Islander from 1993 to retirement in 2010.
Egan and his wife reside in Anna Maria and are grandparents to six grandchildren, including two granddaughters who graduated Manatee High and lettered in various sports, although not tennis.
Congratulations to Egan and the family from The Islander.
Tough but winning summer for runner
Longtime Galati Yacht sales employee and former Islander Mickey Hooke had a successful summer in middle distance races.
Hooke dealt with blows to his training regimen from dental work and skin cancer surgeries (ain’t old age great?), but still managed to demonstrate he is the top runner in his age group and a top overall competitor.
Hooke, 57, overcame a sore right calf to finish fourth overall in the very hilly Spring Lake Memorial 10K May 26 in Brooksville. He finished with a time of 46:51, winning the grandmasters division and setting a new division record.
Hooke then set his sights on the Madeira Beach Sunset 5K three-race series. The June 15 race saw Hooke finish second overall with a time of 20:30.
The second leg took place July 6 and Hooke came in third overall with a time of 20:29. The final leg of the series was Aug. 3 with challenging conditions — a rugged beach in full sun and 92 degrees. Hooke posted his fastest time of the series with a 20:18 — good enough for second place overall. He was the master’s division winner of all three races and finished second overall in the series standings.
In late August, Hook entered the 37th Annual Ernie Chatman Labor Day 5K in Brooksville and posted a time of 19:59, good for seventh place overall and another grandmaster win.
He ran his final race of the summer, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Ranch Run in Temple Terrace. The course is shady but hilly and a tough test for competitors. Hooke placed first overall in the 10K with a time of 42:38, which set the course master’s and grandmaster’s records. The race raised $20,000 for Hooke’s favorite charity, the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches.
Congratulations to Hooke from The Islander.
Key Royale news
The summer rains subsided and the nine-hole course at Key Royale Club dried out, resulting in the first full week of golf action in a month. The players got started Sept. 17 with a nine-hole, modified Stableford-system match. Gary Alvord and Bill MacMillan each carded scores of plus-4 to finish in a tie for first place.
The women were on the course Sept. 18 for a nine-hole individual-low-net match in two flights.
Helen Pollock won Flight A with a 4-under-par 28, while Flight B winner was Jana Samuels, with a 3-under-par 29. Ellen Boin made her round more memorable with a chipin on the sixth hole.
The men were back on the course Sept. 20 for a nine-hole scramble that resulted in a tie for the team of Tom Nelson, Dave Richardson, Hoyt Miller and Terry Schaefer, who matched the 3-under-par 29 carded by Warren Boin, Mike Gillie, Scott Mitchell and Jeff Rodencal. We’re not sure who paid for the rounds in the clubhouse.
Tim Sofran ran his winning streak to four in a row in horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall horseshoe pits.
The Sept. 19 games saw Sofran walk his way to the winner’s circle with the lone 3-0 pool-play record.
On Sept. 22, Sofran teamed up with Dom Livedotti to defeat walker Gary Howcroft by a 22-3 score in the finals.
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.
It’s not too late to golf for center
The Center of Anna Maria Island is accepting entries for the Ugly Grouper Golf Tournament fundraiser Friday, Sept. 28, at The Links at Greenfield Plantation, 10325 Greenfield Blvd., Bradenton.
Check-in and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by a shotgun start on the course at 1 p.m. Cost is $125 per person or $450 per foursome and includes the golf, lunch and an awards dinner.
Register online at centerami.org or visit the center at 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. The tournament also is looking for sponsors.
For more information, call the center at 941-778-1908.