Commentary | Runners flock to annual Turkey Trot

November 27, 2012 

Former Manatee High standout Josh Sanchez won the 15th annual Turkey Trot 5-miler on Thanksgiving that featured more than 800 runners competing.

Sanchez clocked in with a time of 25 minutes, 13.68 seconds to capture the title.

Current Bayshore High runner Canaan Meester-Kitterman finished with a time of 27:37.58 for second place.

The top female time came from Manatee High cross-country coach Rae Ann Darling Reed, who ran the course in 33:45.21 to finish in 23rd place overall.

The next big area race is the 17th Annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K & 1-mile scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. (5K) and 7:10 p.m. (1-mile).

That race is conducted in downtown Bradenton on Old Main Street (12th St. W.) with registration starting at 5 p.m.

Commemorative long-sleeve shirts and jingle bells with laces are handed out to participants, and there will be music, food, vendors, VIP tent, kid zone and Santa Claus on hand. The race benefits the Arthritis Foundation.

For more information, contact Lee Lewis at or at 708-3901.

Hockey players shine

The Sarasota County Rampage, the lone high school hockey team in either Sarasota or Manatee

counties, reeled off a 9-0 victory over Bloomingdale in the last game before the Thanksgiving break.

Bradenton's Jesse Bafia and Brett Wessel joined Sarasota's Taylor Anderson with two-goal games. Bradenton's Christopher Boehm chipped in two assists.

The victory was the second in three games for Sarasota, who dropped Berkeley 20-7 on Nov. 9 before losing 7-1 to Mitchell on Nov. 16.

It's left them with a 4-3-3 record, and tied for eighth place with 11 points in the Lightning Conference.

The Rampage next play Seminole at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex on Friday.

Cheering at nationals

The East Manatee Bulldogs' Midget Cheer squad is heading to the Pop Warner National Championship on Dec. 7.

The squad took first place in the Midget Small Level 2 Division at the 2012 Southeast Regional Cheer Competition this past weekend at the Silver Spur Arena in Kissimmee, beating out 13 other teams that represent organizations from Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

The National Championship is held in Orlando at Disney's Wide World of Sports, and the team is beginning fundraising efforts for the trip.

Anyone wishing to sponsor the team should email

Storm fall short

The North Manatee Storm's dream undefeated season came to a halt two weeks ago against the Palmetto Bay Broncos in St. Petersburg.

The Broncos came away with an 8-0 victory off a third-quarter touchdown to advance to the 2012 Pop Warner Division-II Southeast Regional football finals, which they won 25-0 on Saturday against the Clay County PAL Blue Devils.

The Storm's run featured a potent offense and stingy defense, and the latter kept the club in the regional semifinal tilt with the Broncos.

North Manatee's defensive unit, led by Jett Gillum, John Jones, Jackson Sauerbeck, Harrison Fuller, Rory Houston and Jared Richardson, thwarted two Palmetto Bay drives into Storm territory during the first half.

However, the Storm's offense came up empty on two red-zone visits on their two possessions following the Broncos score.

Nonetheless, the club finished the season as the first Storm team to go through a regular season unbeaten, win a playoff game, FYD Conference championship, two Southeast Regional games and score the most points in program history with more than 450.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill

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