The Manatee Wildcats are heading to the cheerleading national championship starting Saturday. The Wildcats are sending four competitive squads to the Pop Warner National Championships at Lake Buena Vista's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The four cheerleading squads that advanced are: the junior pee wees (level two), pee wees (level two), junior midgets (level three) and midgets (level three).
The junior pee wee team is competing in the small division, while the other three teams are competing in the large division.
Each are representing the Southeast Region and the Foundation for Youth Development Tampa Bay League.
"I am not sure if any organization in all of Pop Warner has ever sent all four squads to nationals, but if they have, it is very unusual," said Wildcats vice president John Vita.
The Manatee Wildcats are seeking donations to send the teams to nationals. To cover the cost, Vita said they need to raise $15,000 by Wednesday.
Fast times at Turkey Trot
Harry Stants won the 2013 Turkey Trot 5-miler when he clocked in at 26 minutes, 52 seconds on Thursday. The annual race was navigated around the DeSoto National Monument, and Stants was
the overall winner in the Thanksgiving Day event.
Hannah Brickse, who ran the course in 33 minutes, 25 seconds, claimed the overall female title.
Two wins at tourney
Logan O'Leary (6-for-8, home run, three RBIs, two runs), Lucas Hartman (5-for-8, home run, two RBIs, three runs, walk), Jeremie Swafford (3-for-8, RBI, two runs, walk), Dante Talarico (3-for-7, RBI, walk), Satchell Norman (two home runs) paced the 11-and-younger Bradenton BEACH DAWGS in the Wreaking Havoc tournament held at Braden River in November. The club went 1-2.
The program also had two other teams that competed.
The 12-and-younger squad also went 1-2, receiving solid performances from Wyatt Beasley (3-for-5, double, RBI, two runs), Will Clem (2-for-5, run, stolen base) and Corbin Blackstone (2-for-6, two runs, four stolen bases).
In the 13-and-younger division, the Beach Dawgs were led by Austin Brinling (3-for-5, six runs, RBI, three walks, three stolen bases), Ty Hooks (1-for-3, five walks), Kieren Collins (3-for-5, two runs, walk) and Bobby Duffy (four walks, two RBIs). They went 0-3 in the tournament.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill.