The Bradenton Blades, a group of adult hockey players that plays out of Manatee PAL, recently captured their division at the Fall Classic tournament in Kissimmee.
The East Coast Hockey Organization event provided the club a chance to face off against teams from around the country.
Players Jonathan Hencke, Justin Cichowski, Eric McGlade, Tim Pierce, Blair Pontious, Jeremy Pinkerton, Jimmy Griffith, Kyle Williams and Nick Reagen ran roughshod over the competition.
They outscored opponents 25-8 in five tournament games -- all victories -- including a 5-3 triumph over the New York Phantoms in the final.
The club is a reunion of players that won national championships as youths about 14-15 years ago.
Golden Hurricanes storming
Manatee County Hockey Club’s Golden Hurricanes are picking up right where they left last year -- in the winner’s circle.
The two-time defending Lightning Cup champs are 2-0 and leading the Central Division standings. And it’s not even close. In two games, the Golden Hurricanes have outscored the opposition 23-2.
Manatee dispatched Berkeley 18-1 last Friday in Oldsmar behind Raven Woodring (five goals), Paul Lochner (five goals) and Luke Bafia’s (four goals) offensive production.
Nathan Benderson Park is the venue for this Saturday’s Creaky Bones 5K run. There also are kids’ monster dashes scheduled.
The main event, which benefits the Arthritis Foundation, begins at 5 p.m.
For more information, call 708-3901 or visit www.runnergirl.com or www.active.com.
Mustangs, Bulldogs rolling
The Manatee Mustangs took four out of five against the Fishhawk Wolfpack as they prepare for a deep Pop Warner football playoff run.
The Mighty Mite division club was the lone one to get beat, suffering a 43-12 setback for a second straight loss.
Meanwhile, the Junior Pee Wee and Pee Wee clubs rolled to 30-0 and 28-0 shutout victories, respectfully.
The Midget division game also was a shutout (42-0). And in the junior midget contest, the Mustangs took a 7-0 lead into the fourth quarter before the Wolfpack scored eight points for a one-point cushion with less than four minutes remaining. The club remained unbeaten at 8-0 with a game-winning touchdown on the Wolfpack’s ensuing kickoff following their score.
As the Mustangs begin preparing for the postseason, the East Manatee Bulldogs are also in playoff push mode.
The Bulldogs stayed in town and made the short trek to G.T. Bray in a battle with the Manatee Wildcats.
The Junior Midget division proved the biggest conquest for the Bulldogs this fall as they clinched the Foundation for Youth Development’s South Division II title. A 32-16 victory improved the Bulldogs to 7-1 while dropping the Wildcats to 6-2 with just one game remaining in the regular season. The Bulldogs own the head-to-head tiebreaker as a result of Saturday’s matchup.
Nate Strawderman was instrumental in the triumph with another big game at quarterback. He tossed two touchdowns and had 220 passing yards.
The benefactors to Strawderman’s passing were Kyle Thoma and Kyle Struthers. Both had 100-plus receiving games with touchdown receptions. Thoma also added 112 rushing yards to go with his two-TD game.
Struthers’ monster performance equaled last week’s game where he cracked the 100-yard receiving barrier.
Brandon Chisan, Isaiah Joseph and Dillon Davis anchored the defense.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Bulldogs. The Wildcats won the Junior Pee Wee (14-13) and Pee Wee divisions (8-6) in Saturday’s action.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.