Commentary | North Manatee Storm's Junior Midget season ends, other Pop Warner teams advance in playoffs

November 5, 2013 

The North Manatee Storm's Junior Midget team reeled off another victory two weeks ago, but the undefeated season came to an end this past weekend.

The Storm advanced to the Pop Warner FYD Conference Championship game last Saturday after defeating the New Tampa Tigers 38-0.

The Storm did so by getting three rushing touchdowns from John Jones and a touchdown apiece from Jett Gillum and Ademole Adeobe, who caught a 20-yard score from Dainon Harker.

North Manatee's defense pitched the shutout with three turnovers and two sacks.

However, the Storm's season ended with an 8-6 loss to the Palm Harbor Panthers as North Manatee's bid to win back-to-back conference crowns was cut short.

This past weekend's action, though, did see some area Pop Warner programs advance in the playoffs.

That included victories in the Division II conference championship game by the Palmetto Trojans (6-0 over the New Tampa Tigers in the Pee Wee division) and the Manatee Wildcats (8-7 over the Pinellas Park Rebels in the Midget division).

Those two teams head to Port St. Lucie for the first round of the regional playoffs Saturday.

In Division I, the Manatee Mustangs progressed through the semifinal round of the conference playoffs in two divisions. The program's Junior Pee Wee club ousted the Fishhawk Wolfpack 42-0 and the Junior Midget team beat the Wolfpack 8-0.

The Mustangs' Pee Wee and Midget teams earned byes based off their regular season records, and all four teams play for conference titles this Saturday at Tampa Sickles High.

Canadian trip yields win

Bradenton's Francesca "Franki" Cappello and her Tampa Bay Junior Lightning hockey team went 1-2-1 in the Hocktoberfest tournament recently.

Cappello was one of a select few from the state of Florida who were selected to make the trip to Windsor, Canada for the prestigious hockey tourney.

The team, playing in the Bantam BB division, scored 12 goals, while allowing 18.

The lone victory came against the 14-and-younger Michigan Icebreakers, where the Lightning won 6-4.

The AYR Rockets won the tournament.

Outlaws on a roll

The Outlaws keep winning baseball games. The travel ball high school showcase club went 3-0 at the recent Tigertown JUCO Classic in Lakeland to run their record to 11-2 in the past 13 games.

Derek Paparella collected six hits with two doubles, while Bryce Borngraeber, Charlie Skantze and Chase Diaz earned victories from the mound.

Team 941 Outlaws' three triumphs came against the Florida Baseball Academy (4-1), the Gainesville Hardballers (7-4) and the Orlando City Orioles (5-1).

Havoc claim first title

The 8-and-younger Braden River Havoc won the Fall State Baseball Championship at Buffalo Creek Little League this past weekend.

The Havoc's U8 team is competing in its inaugural season. Following pool play, the Havoc were tasked with winning three elimination games Sunday to capture their first tournament title.

They did with wins against the GCBA Black Sox and Lakewood Ranch Marauders to set up a championship game against the Riverdawgs.

The Havoc won the wild contest 15-14.

"Our boys played hard all weekend long and really earned this championship," Havoc head coach Dave Bender said in a news release.

"Each and every player on the team contributed and all of the coaches are very proud of the boys. All of the hard work they put in is paying off."

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

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