|Players, coaches and parents of the Anna Maria Island Little League follow an escort provided by the West Manatee Fire & Rescue District during the annual opening-day parade from Island Baptist Church to the Center's Benji Scanio Memorial Field.
|Brennan Bowers takes a cut on the ball during Little League an exhibition-game at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
|Katie Rose Dell takes a healthy cut on the ball during exhibition-game action at the Center.
The Junior League Islanders, sponsored by The Islander newspaper, made their debut this week on their home field, Birdie Tebbetts Field in Holmes Beach, and at the Anna Maria Island Community Center for the team photo session. Islander Photo: Courtesy AMICC
Play ball: Island Little League kicks off season
The normal opening day wishes for baseball fans usually amount to nice weather and a win. Opening day for the Anna Maria Little League had all of that and more.
Saturday's festivities got a jump-start with a parade of players, coaches, parents, siblings and friends that started at Island Baptist Church and finished at Benji Scanio Memorial Stadium, but that was but a precursor.
The rest of the day consisted of a series of mini-games where each team got to send every player up to bat once. In addition to the exhibition games, team photos were taken and Mark Howard manned a blistering grill, providing attendees some delicious burgers and dogs.
Sunday afternoon, Anna Maria Island Little Leaguers descended upon McKechnie Field in Bradenton to catch the spring-training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and our very own Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
The Island Little League season regular schedule in several divisions started Tuesday and continues until the third week of May. And this year there is a Junior League team - The Islanders - sponsored by The Islander newspaper. Good luck to all of the players and coaches and a good time for baseball fans.
Mickey "Hookes" first place in Boca Grande
Former Island resident Mickey Hooke overcame rainy conditions to claim first place overall in the annual Boca Grande 5K race. Hooke finished with 17:08, which shattered the course record by 22 seconds and placed him 27 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
The win was Hooke's first overall victory as a 45-year-old and also set a record in the 45s division. Hooke's run also set a new masters record by 1 minute, 6 seconds over the previous mark.
The Boca Grande event featured 145 competitors with the proceeds benefiting the Boca Grande Community Center.
Leo Hutton and Dean Rowe edged Sam Samuels and Bill Gagnon 22-20 to capture bragging rights for the March 8 horseshoe competition at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Hutton and Rowe, along with five other pairs, advanced from the 29-team field to the elimination round where it was win or go home.
Hutton and Rowe's fifth win on the day came against the team of Ron Pepka and Bruce Munro, which advanced them to the championship game.
Steve Doyle and Dean Rowe defeated odd-man Tom Rhodes 22-15 to win the March 4 horseshoe competition.
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.
If horseshoes isn't your game, how about shuffleboard? The Anna Maria Shuffleboard Club plays Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. at Anna Maria City Hall. Anyone interested in playing, regardless of skill level, is invited to play.
Key Royale golf news
Barb Carr fired a three-under-par 20 to capture the March 7 women's low-net golf competition at the Key Royale Club.
Cindi Mansour and Dolores Jorgensen each shot 31 to finish tied for second, while Roswitha Fowler and Jean Holmes shot an even-par 32 to tie for fourth place. Sally Keyes, Marian Mulroy, Del Reppenhagen, Grace Sayles and Jane Winegarden tied for fifth place with identical 33s.
Reppenhagen needed only 12 putts to negotiate the Key Royale track, which was two putts better then Sally Keyes, Phyllis Lamp, Mansour, Meredith Slavin and Sally York, who each had 14 putts.
Reppenhagen, Penny Williams, Shirley Cessna and Marb Mason won the team low-putt competition with a 14.74 average. The team of Jean Holmes and Donna Soos came in second with a 15.5 average, which was slightly better than the third-place team's 15.66 stroke average.
Last, but certainly not least, Jane Winegarten sunk an approach shot on No. 5. Congratulations Jane.
Pickleball comes to Center
Pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in the United States is coming to the Anna Maria Island Community Center at 7 p.m. on Monday and Thursday evenings. Pickleball, a combination of tennis and badmintion, is played by two or four people using wooden paddle/racquets and a whiffle ball. If you are over 21 years of age and interested in this exciting new game, come on down to the Center. Cost is $5 for members and $8 for non-members.
For more information, contact the Center's Andy Jonatzke at 778-1908.