The Bradenton Gladiators are just one win away from hoisting the franchise's first-ever Florida Football Alliance championship trophy.
Bradenton knocked off rival Orlando in the NFC Championship game Saturday at the Manatee Police Athletic League Complex to advance to the Alliance Bowl scheduled for May 3 in Daytona Beach.
The Gladiators will meet the Magic City Bulls, who won the AFC title with a victory over the South Florida Storm on Saturday.
The Bulls have not lost a game this season, while Bradenton's only defeat came at the hands of Orlando earlier in the year.
The Gladiators avenged that defeat, though, with a 27-10 triumph over the Rage.
Inaugural 5K race churns out solid numbers
The inaugural Pinwheel 5K Run to benefit the Family Partnership Center was held this past weekend at Nathan Benderson Park.
A total of 249 participants competed in the event, which held the 5K run, elite fitness challenge and children's races.
Sarasota competitors made it a clean sweep with the top three places in both divisions.
Seth Kaufman was the overall male winner at 17 minutes, 22 seconds. The 38-year-old Kaufman won by more than a minute over 57 year old Mark Steve (second place, 18:27) and 38 year old Didier Saba (third place, 18:47).
Arielle Gaydosh claimed the female division. The 27-year-old ran the course in 23 minutes, 1 second. Finishing in second was 9 year old Rylee Volk with a time of 23:33. And 32 year old Jessica Chaney snagged third after clocking in at 24:25.
A highlight outside the champions was T.J. Resch's involvement. The 6-year-old received a donor heart and had a heart transplant at birth, and competed in the children's division for his first race.
State rowing sweep meet slated for weekend
The 2014 FSRA State Sweeping Rowing Regatta is scheduled for this weekend at Benderson Park. Among the 43
clubs scheduled to compete in the two-day meet, Manatee High, Palmetto High and Southeast High are representing the county. The Sarasota Scullers and Sarasota Crew will represent the area as well.
There are nine entries among Manatee, Palmetto and Southeast.
The Crew is aiming to capture their fourth consecutive state sweeping title just two weeks after completing the same feat at the state sculling regatta.
Relay for Life comes to three county venues
There are three different venues in which to participate in the Relay for Life in Manatee County. On May 3, interested parties can get involved at either G.T. Bray Park or the YMCA of Lakewood Ranch. And on May 17, there is an event scheduled for Coquina Gulfside Park on Anna Maria Island at 4:30 p.m.
The G.T. Bray event starts at 1 p.m., while the Lakewood Ranch event is slated for 6 p.m. on May 3.
All three are held on a Saturday.
As of Monday afternoon, here are the totals raised: more than $52,000 (G.T. Bray venue), $19,500 (Anna Maria Island venue) and just under $9,000 (Lakewood Ranch venue).
That money goes to the American Cancer Society to fight cancer.
For more information, visit relayforlife.org/bradentonfl.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill