Hampton 'drives' 'Team VO' past field in Privateer tourney
|WMFD center fielder Daniel Janisch makes a great catch during a 9-8 loss to Duncan Real Estate.
A combination of long drives by Roy Hampton, several fortuitous "hand wedges" and some good all-around play from David Futch and Butch and Scotty Van Ostenbridge resulted in "Team VO" running away with the 10th annual Whitey Horton Memorial Golf Tournament, a benefit put on by the Anna Maria Island Privateers.
The tourney was Saturday, May 8, at the Manatee County golf course, which "Team VO" scorched with an unheard-of score of 53. Their 53 was eight strokes better than second-place finishers Jesse Carr, Jesse Carr Jr. and Bob Ware, who shot a 61.
There was a tie for third place between Team Islander, including myself, Brett McIntosh, Bill Romberger and young Danny Canniff, who carried his older teammates. Also shooting a 64 to tie for third place was the team of Brian Bilber, Stewart Zimmer, George Lackie and Matt Keller.
By now, you're probably scratching your head over the term "hand wedge." Being that the Horton tourney is a fundraiser, golfers had the option of purchasing "hand wedges" and "mulligans" for $1 each. A mulligan lets a player do a shot over without penalty, while a hand wedge gave golfers an opportunity to advance their ball without penalty by throwing the ball.
Team Islander capitalized on one of their three hand wedges on its first hole, the par-five ninth hole. Two strong shots left them 35 yards short of the green, but southpaw Canniff threw a nice shot to within 15 feet, where McIntosh calmly putted it in for an eagle.
Team VO wasn't to be denied with Hampton routinely pummeling drives of 350 yards, including a 365-yard drive on the 410-yard 10th hole to win the long drive contest.
After the tournament, golfers "retired" to the Kirby Stewart American Legion Post on 75th Street in Bradenton for a big prime rib dinner and plenty of awards and raffles.
Everyone had a good time eating, drinking and listening to some good tunes played by the band, Skyway Jumpers. Though many had a great laugh regarding a hand wedge that went awry by this writer (OK, it went in the trap), the last laugh was mine when I won the 50/50 raffle.
Duncan crowned champ
Duncan Real Estate claimed the top seed for the upcoming season-ending, double-elimination AMI Little League baseball tournament with an 11-3-1 record. This gives them a bye for the opening round of the tourney, which gets started at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, when WMFD (5-11) takes on Island Lumber (6-8-1), with the winner taking on Duncan at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 14.
The loser of the second versus third-place game will take on the loser of the May 14 game on May 17 with the finals set for Wednesday, May 19, with a playoff, if needed, May 21.
Little League baseball awards night is set for 7 p.m. Monday, May 24, at the Center.
Tickets still available Center Day at the Trop
Come and join family and friends May 30 at Tropicana Field and help support Island kids in Little League. Tickets are on sale now for $15 with $7 of each ticket sold benefiting the Anna Maria Island Little League.
Seats are located behind home plate and the Center reports they are going fast. Buy or sell the most tickets and you could get to throw out the first pitch.
Don't want to drive to St. Pete, or need a ride? The Center's got you covered. While you're purchasing your game ticket, pick up a ticket for their air-conditioned charter bus for $15 and ride up with friends.
To place ticket orders or for more information, you can contact the Anna Maria Island Community Center at 778-1908, or you can contact Devil Rays representative Barry Jones at 1-888-FAN RAYS, ext. 3123 or (727) 825-3123.
WMFD loses heartbreaker
WMFD Little Leaguers looked like they had it going during their game against Duncan Real Estate Friday, May 7. They held a 7-2 lead after three innings, but somehow, in the end it was another close loss for WMFD, which has played several close games against Duncan this season.
Duncan battled to within 7-5 with three runs in the fourth inning. Dillon King started the rally when he reached base on an error and later scored on a two-out single by Forrest Schield. A single by Cory Wash set the table for Forrest Goodwin, who responded with a two-run triple.
Duncan tied the game when Steven Sylvester reached on an error to lead off the fifth inning and score on Kyle Bellinger's triple. Bellinger later scored when he scooted home on a passed ball to tie the game 7-7.
WMFD fought back to retake the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Jordan Sebastiano reached second on an error with two outs. He alertly made it to third on a perfectly executed delayed steal and then scored easily on a single by Blake Wilson for an 8-7 lead.
Duncan scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning without the benefit of a hit. Forrest Schield walked and quickly stole second and third base. A strikeout was followed by a walk from Forrest Goodwin. Goodwin took off for first, drawing a throw down to second, which allowed Schield to come home with the tying run. Goodwin stole third, where he scored the game winner on Sylvester's RBI ground out to end the game. Cory Wash and Bellinger each had two hits and one run scored to lead Duncan, which also received a triple and one run scored from Goodwin and a single and one run from Schield.
Wilson, who went 3-for-4 to lead WMFD at the plate, also received a single and two runs scored from Sebastiano and Price in the loss.
Duncan 15, Island Lumber 9
Forrest Goodwin went 2-for-4, including a triple and two runs scored, and Steven Sylvester had a double and two runs scored among his two hits, to lead Duncan Real Estate past Island Lumber Wednesday, May 5. Forrest Schield added a double and two runs scored for Duncan, which also received singles and two runs scored from Max Huber and Cory Wash in the victory.
Matt Bauer went 2-for-3 with one run scored and Joey Hutchinson singled to lead the Island Lumber offense in the loss.
WMFD 8, Island Lumber 3
Zach Even pitched WMFD past Island Lumber on Monday, May 3, by allowing no hits and one run in four innings of work that included 10 strikeouts. Jordan Sebastiano provided much of the offense, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Alex Burgess, Even and Wyatt Easterling each added a single and one run scored for WMFD in the victory.
Daniel Riley singled and scored one run for the only hit on the night for Island Lumber. Patrice Facheris and Joey Hutchinson added runs for Island Lumber in the loss.
WMFD 13, Island Lumber 9
WMFD defeated Island Lumber 13-9 in a make-up game played Saturday, May 1, behind a 2-for-2 hitting performance from Wyatt Easterling and a 2-for-5 day from Daniel Janisch. Alex Burgess singled and scored a pair of runs for WMFD, which also received a single and two runs scored from Zach Even and two runs scored from both Trevor Bystrom and Blake Wilson.
Zach Facheris singled and scored two runs and Matt Bauer singled and scored once to lead the Island Lumber offense. Troy Kozewski added a pair of singles, while Glenn Bower came around to score two runs in the loss.
Athletics run in Thomas family
The Manatee County Pitch, Hit & Run baseball competition was held Sunday, May 2, at G.T. Bray Park, Bradenton. Kids in age groups 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12 had to hit off a tee for distance and accuracy, then throw six pitches into a strike zone. The last component was to run the bases for speed with points being tallied to crown an overall winner.
Islander Stephen Thomas was the 11-12 winner on the bases with a time of 8.23 seconds for the 160-foot distance. He also finished in second place in the overall competition for points to advance to Pitch, Hit & Run sectional competition, which will be held at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater Saturday, May 22.
Stephen's older sister Sarah has also been busy on the athletic field. Sarah, who was a four-year varsity soccer player at Manatee High School, has kept active at Florida Gulf Coast University by playing club soccer and competing in intramural sports. She recently was a member of the championship flag football team.
She's not just goofing around though. She just finished her sophomore year at FGCU and again made the dean's list with an impressive 3.8 grade-point average.
Longboater victorious at Lakewood Ranch tennis tournament
Longboat Key resident Anthea Rokop continued her climb up the junior tennis rankings with a pair of strong showings in recent tennis tournaments.
Rokop, 8, won the girls 10 and under division of the Bangoura Memorial Tennis Tournament at Lakewood Ranch Sunday, May 10. That win followed a strong second-place showing in the Sarasota Bath and Racquet Super Series on April 11.
Miss Rokop, a second-grader at Anna Maria Elementary school who trains with Warren Girle at the Cedar's Tennis Club, was ranked No. 60 in the state prior to her victory at Lakewood Ranch.
Anna Maria Island Little League baseball schedules
Date Time Teams
Major League (ages 9-12)
May 12 6:30 p.m. WMFD vs. Island Lumber
May 14 6:30 p.m. TBA vs. Duncan
Major League standings (as of May 7)
Duncan Real Estate 11-3-1
Island Lumber 6-8-1