Commentary | Chargers make semis in Champions Cup

August 13, 2013 

The Lakewood Ranch Chargers came close to capturing the 2013 National Premier League's Champions Cup in Aurora, Colo., last month.

The U-13 boys soccer squad breezed through group play with a 3-0-0 mark and a plus-seven goal differential.

From there, the club battled New Jersey's PDA 1999, which won Group B via a goal differential tiebreaker, in a semifinal.

However, that's where the road ended for the Chargers. They fell 3-0 to the Jersey team, which went on to become the NPL Champions Cup winners.

Volleyball mini-camp

Volleyball players ranging from 11-14 years old, and looking to sharpen their games can head to Coastline Volleyball's Mini-Club on Sunday for placement.

Coastline's new training center is located near U.S. 301 off 58th Avenue East, and Sunday's placement times are as follows: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (11-12s) and 1-3 p.m. (13-14s).

The cost is $300 per player, and the preliminary practice schedule runs Aug. 18, 22, 25, 28 and Sept. 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 25, 29 and Oct. 2.

The Orlando Sports Center is the place for one-day tournaments involving Coastline. Those dates are Sept. 21 and Oct. 6 for the 13-14s, and Sept. 22 and Oct. 5 for the 11-12s. The tournaments run 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each time.

An AAU membership is required, too. The cost for that is $14 or $16 for the membership that runs from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31.

For more information, visit

Fundraiser for Manatee Crew

The Manatee Crew is holding a fundraiser Saturday at Pier 22 in Bradenton. The island style menu and one beverage is $35

per person, and is scheduled for 6-9 p.m.

In addition, T. Scott Walker will supply music, and there's a silent auction.

For more information, contact Robert DeMino at 224-1252 or Margaret Tsai 812-7260.

Praise the volunteers

Kudos are in order for Beth Van Vranken, Guy Vilt, Sandy Camus and the countless volunteers who enabled Little League as well as Cal Ripken youth baseball teams to enjoy the summer months with tournament action.

Van Vranken ran the District 26 and Section IV Little League All-Star Tournaments with help from Vilt, who was in charge of the umpires, and Camus, who was in charge of the scorekeepers.

While the action on the field was all about the youngsters with dreams of heading to Williamsport or elsewhere for a World Series tournament, it wouldn't have been possible without the volunteers that worked tirelessly to get fields prepped (against Mother Nature's bountiful inclement weather), concessions operating, scorebooks charted and umpires calling the action so that each tournament ran smoothly and without a hitch.

So remember that when you watch the Little League World Series beam across your television set on ESPN and ABC, beginning this week.

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

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