Commentary | Manatee County Pop Warner football teams shine

October 1, 2013 

For the first time this Pop Warner football season, the North Manatee Storm reeled off victories in every division for a sweep during Saturday's action.

The Tiny Mites defeated the Valrico Rams 21-0 and the East Tampa Bandits 21-7 in round-robin play.

Leading the defensive effort were Tommy Mercado, Jake Samuels, Kale Bunce, Landon Pizano, Carmelo Shelley, Colton Davis and Anthony Mack as the group allowed just one score and five first downs combined from the two games.

The offense was led by Jonathan Styles' two touchdown runs of 71 and 60 yards, while Demarius Smith and Jakobe Murrell added two touchdowns apiece.

Wyatt Loggins and Jacob Dennie tallied touchdowns in the Mitey Mites' 13-6 victory over the Rams, the club's first win this season.

The Junior Pee Wees blanked the Rams 31-0 behind Novell Chestnut (three touchdowns), Zorian Geathers (two touchdowns) and Kobe Alvarez (extra point) providing the offense.

Aiding the attack were John Stanko, Kolby Smith, Gunner Bonds and Colin Heina doing the blocking, and Calvin Sauerbeck, Bodie Hart, Damien Dugan, Parker Oler and Luke Pizano packed the punch on defense.

The Pee Wees also shut out the Rams, receiving scores from Dwayne Fabbs (two), Logan Pizano (one) and Elijah Knicker (one) in a 32-0 victory.

Josh Daggel (fumble return for a touchdown), Knicker (interception), Alex Petitfrere (interception) and Pizano (two fumble recoveries) led a defense that forced five turnovers en route to its first shutout this fall.

Wrapping up the sweep were the Junior Midgets, who downed the Rams 22-12. The Storm remained unbeaten, pushing their record to 6-0 as Danion Harker tossed three touchdown passes with Vaughn Hayes converting 2-of-3 extra points.

Korey Waters and John

Jones were the receivers on Harker's touchdowns throws, while Rory Houston, Dajor Murrell, Cedric Waters and Jet Gillum led the Storm's rushing game.

On defense, Korey Waters, Jones, Gillum, Houston, Murrell, Cedric Waters, Ademole Adeobe, Jackson Sauerbeck, Gage Clarke, Mateus Urbanski and Ryan Overstreet led the way.

To the south, the Manatee Mustangs ripped off a sweep of their own, demolishing the South Shore Junior Longhorns in the Mitey Mite (26-0), Junior Pee Wee (39-0), Pee Wee (38-0), Junior Midget (32-0) and Midget (20-6) divisions. The club's second Mitey Mite squad, defeated the Carrollwood Hurricanes 24-12.

The Manatee Wildcats split four games with the Pinellas Park Rebels, earning victories in the Junior Pee Wee (38-18) and Midget (30-0) games.

And the Palmetto Trojans turned away the Hurricanes in the Mitey Mite (35-0) and Pee Wee (40-0) games.

Calling all Gladiators

The Bradenton Gladiators, the lone minor league football organization in Manatee County, are holding Organized Training Activities (OTAs) throughout October at the Manatee PAL Complex for interested players wanting to join the 2014 season.

Registration is $25 per player due before any participation, and can be done via cash, money order or credit card. The dates for the OTAs are as follows: Oct. 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24 and 27.

The Sunday dates (6, 13, 20, 27) are from 3:30-6 p.m. and is when registration is open.

The other dates are Thursdays, and the OTAs run from 5-8 p.m.

For more information, check out the Gladiators website at

Runner sets new records

Bradenton's Mickey Hooke recently competed in the 10th Annual Firefighters 5K in Hollywood Beach, which served as a 2013 Road Runners Club of America Florida 5K State Championship race and featured 725 competitors. Hooke completed the course in 17 minutes, 28 seconds to take sixth place overall at the age of 52 and was awarded the 2013 RRCA Florida 5K Grandmasters State Championship. It was a new course, so his time was a new record and it was also a record time using the old course where he set the record in 2012 and shattered that mark by five seconds.

Triathon looms

The Sharks Siesta Key Triathlon is hitting the area shortly, with the race scheduled for this Sunday at 7:30 a.m.

It's the 30th annual edition of the event, which features a ½ mile swim, 13-mile bike ride and 5K running course.

The race benefits the Sarasota YMCA Sharks swim team, which has had several Manatee County swimmers as members of the years. For information, visit

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

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