Some of the best youth baseball teams will be descending on Bradenton this summer for one of the United States Specialty Sports Association’s biggest postseason tournaments. The AA World series for players ages 9-14 will come to Manatee and Sarasota counties from July 16-21.
The path to the World Series begins this weekend for some of the area’s USSSA teams. The Suncoast Travel Ball (STB) slate begins the meat of its schedule — there was a winter warm-up tournament last month — with a trio of tournaments, including one in Bradenton. Four county teams will play in the Manatee Baseball Classic from Friday through Sunday in the 13U and 14U age groups. The Palmetto Yankees and 5 Star National CF will represent the area in the 14U open division, and Florida Burn 13U and 5 Star National CF will take the field in 13U open. Games will be played at Braden River Little League and Lakewood Ranch Little League.
With the Manatee Classic limited to only two age groups, some of the area’s younger teams will head north for the fourth annual FishHawk Frenzy. The Cortez Stone Crabs will field teams in both the 12U open and 11U AA divisions. Games will be played across Plant City and Lithia from Friday through Sunday. A third STB tournament, the North Florida Ice Crystal Championship in Lake City on Saturday and Sunday, doesn’t include any local teams.
FYSA opens Commissioner’s Cup season at Premier Sports Campus
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Region C of the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) will call the Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch home this year and the 2017 season kicks off Saturday and Sunday at the home of Chargers SC. Games begin at 8 a.m.
The Chargers, who draw players from Manatee and Sarasota counties, are fielding boys and girls teams in U11, U12 and U13 this weekend, while the older age groups in the FYSA, going up to U17, won’t have their first round until Feb. 25-26.
The fields will be seeded after this weekend to set up a final 16 to enter bracket play. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be played March 11 and 12, and the regional finals are settled March 18 and 19. The Commissioner’s Cup finals take place April 22 and 23 in Auburndale.
Cheer and dance competition comes to Palmetto
Victory Spirit Athletics hosts cheer and dance competitions throughout the Southeast United States and Sunday will mark the tour’s second stop in Florida this year. The Bradenton Area Convention Center will host the House of Refuge.
Competitions for Victory events include all-star dance, all-star cheer, prep cheer, prep dance, recreational, school, specialty cheer, specialty dance and club teams. Top teams can earn bids to Victory’s Emerald Nationals in Fort Walton and The One Finals in Orlando.
Victory won’t leave Florida for long, though, after the House of Refuge. The Battle at the Fort is scheduled for March 4 in Fort Walton.