Spring flag football is in the air for youth football teams in Manatee County. The East Manatee Bulldogs got things started in the Wildcat level of Pop Warner this past Saturday.
The Bulldogs defeated the Carrollwood Hurricanes 22-12 behind sound offensive and defensive execution.
Quarterback Cody Staton tossed three touchdown passes, converted two extra-point attempts and added an interception on defense.
Chase Tench caught two of Staton's touchdown strikes, going for 30 and 60 yards apiece. Jake Seaman added a 20-yard touchdown reception. Nima Gore was on the end of both point after conversions.
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And Evan Brammer led the defense with several flag pulls for losses.
Local swimmers compete
At the recent Florida Age Group Championships held in Sarasota, several Lakewood Ranch swimmers competed.
For the Lakewood Ranch Waverunners, Amelia Skoumal (50 freestyle, 50 backstroke), Suzie Aguirre (50 free, 50 butterfly, 100 free), Ryan Walker (50 free, 100 free, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke), Courtney Chapin (50 free, 100 breaststroke, 100 free, 100 back, 200 back) and Sebas
tian Aguirre (50 free, 100 free, 50 fly, 100 fly, 50 back and 100 individual medley) qualified and competed in a variety of events.
Sebastian Aguirre had the best overall point total, when he secured 20th place after 33 points in the boys 11-12 year old individual standings.
Meanwhile, Ava Merriott took 30th place in the girls 10-and-younger individual standings. Merriott joined Haille Bogumil (44th, girls 11-12s) and Joseph Lynch (41st, boys 11-12s) in representing the Lakewood Ranch Swim Association.
Bradenton's David Meier finished 13th overall at the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay on Sunday. His time of 1:24:02 led all Bradenton runners in the event.
The 46-year-old finished roughly 14 minutes behind the overall winner. That was Jupiter's Evan Dehart, who clocked in at 1:10:24 to best the other 2,540 competitors.
Gladiators share lead
The Bradenton Gladiators kept pace with NFC Central Division foe Orlando this past week in Florida Football Alliance action.
The Glads dusted off the Brevard Hurricanes 24-12 to stay tied with the Orlando Rage for the division lead.
Bradenton is 5-1, and stayed at No. 3 in the minor league football league's latest power rankings.
The Gladiators sit behind Orlando and the undefeated Magic City Bulls in the rankings with just four games remaining.
Bradenton plays the Treasure Coast Bobcats this week in a non-divisional NFC matchup.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill.