The East Manatee Admirals, the county's lone high school hockey team, are firmly entrenched atop the Florida High School Hockey Association's Lightning Conference standings as the regular season winds down with the conference finals looming next month.
The Admirals began 2015 just like they left 2014 off: with a dominating victory.
East Manatee blanked Tarpon Springs East Lake 8-0 this past Friday at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex behind six different goal scorers.
Palmetto's Ian Deckard led the way with a hat trick. He also added an assist.
Bradenton's David Tmej, Bradenton's Rhett Rampinelli, Parrish's Chase Bafia, Sarasota's Bradley Cook and Lakewood Ranch's Patrick Kenefick each had multi-assist games, too.
The victory gives the Admirals a 15-0-0 record and 30 points, which is seven better than second-place Steinbrenner.
Record set at Jingle Bell Run
North Port's Heather Butcher's time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds, set a new course record at this year's Jingle Bell Run. The 5K race was in its third addition late last month, and benefitted the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center's Pediatric Unit and FELT (Feeding Empty Lit
tle Tummies) of Manatee County.
Bradenton's Brian Lamb was the overall male winner with a time of 16:02.
Other winners included: Sarasota's Kelley Miller (female masters, 22:26), Bradenton's Mickey Hooke (male masters, 17:54), Lakewood Ranch's Suzanne Hoffman (female grand masters, 22:36), Bradenton's Rob Hetterich (male grand masters, 19:25), Maryland's Dee Nelson (female senior grand masters, 25:34), Sarasota's Phillip Sutcliffe (male senior grand masters, 23:49), Lakewood Ranch's Colette Knox (female veterans, 31:18) and Lakewood Ranch's Bob Franzman (male veterans, 26:07).
SCF Hall of Fame Weekend
State College of Florida's Hall of Fame weekend is set for Jan. 22-24. The event kicks off with the annual Hall of Fame ceremony, where there will be four inductees this year. Stanley Cromartie (basketball), David Howard (baseball) and Robin Jennings (baseball) are being inducted as former players. Brian Newberry, who worked in the athletic program for 19 years, is being inducted posthumously after passing away last May.
The ceremony takes place at IMG Academy Golf and Country Club on Thursday, Jan. 22, with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. Dinner and the induction ceremony starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be obtained through the SCF Athletic Department. The deadline to purchase tickets or contribute with a sponsorship is Jan. 15.
Contact athletic director Matt Ennis at 752-5574 or via email at email@example.com for more information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities.
There's also a golf tournament scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23, and a pair of alumni games for softball and baseball on Saturday, Jan. 24.
The softball and baseball alumni games are free to attend, and begin at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
Gladiators getting going
Bradenton's lone minor-league football team, the Gladiators, concludes its preseason this Saturday.
But the organization enters the 2015 season with a new look.
Still searching for that elusive Florida Football Alliance championship -- the Glads lost in last year's Alliance Bowl -- the franchise was rebranded as the Southwest Gladiators.
Their first game under the new moniker, from the old Bradenton Gladiators name, resulted in a 52-0 rout of the Florida Veterans.
The preseason finale is against the West Coast Soldiers, a United Football Federation of America member, on Saturday.
The game is held in Hudson at the Soldiers' home field. The Gladiators open regular season play at the Tampa Patriots on Jan. 31.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill or on Facebook at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.