Commentary | Medals stack up for Ellenton-based ice skaters

Last week's U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, N.C., saw a four-medal performance by skaters that call the Ellenton Ice Rink home.

Gold medals were captured by Elli Kopmar and Jonah Barrett in the intermediate pairs. Barrett followed that up with a gold in the men's novice singles.

Sarah Rose and Joseph Goodpaster, in their first year in Ellenton as a duo, snagged silver in the novice pairs.

Rounding out the medal performances was the team of Tara Kayne and Danny O'Shea, who earned the bronze medal in the senior pairs.

Past Olympian Nathan Bartholomay teamed with Gretchen Donlan to take seventh place in the senior pairs.

The skaters are trained by Jim Peterson, Lyndon Johnston and former Olympian Amanda Evora, who partnered with Mark Ladwig in 2009 -- which was the last time Ellenton skaters

tallied four medals from nationals.

Admirals lock up top seed

Last Friday's Florida High School Hockey Association televised game turned into a showcase event for the East Manatee Admirals.

The county's lone high school hockey team blasted Tampa Wharton, 10-0, on the strength of four goals in the first period.

The Admirals, who tallied five more goals in the second period, remained unbeaten in the Lightning Conference, and earned the No. 1 seed for the upcoming playoffs with one game remaining.

East Manatee (17-0-0) received goals from six different players. Bradenton's David Tmej and Bradenton's Rhett Rampinelli tallied four points apiece. Tmej had two goals to go with two assists, while Rampinelli dished out three assists to go with one goal.

The 2015 playoff schedule was recently announced, too. The top eight teams advance to the FHSHA Lightning Conference Playoffs, which begins with the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, Feb.10 and Wednesday, Feb. 11.

The semifinal round is re-seeded and takes place Friday, Feb. 13.

The championship takes place at the Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Sunday, Feb. 15. The Lightning Conference All-Star Game precedes the championship tilt.

The Admirals conclude their regular season this Friday in Clearwater against Seminole.

Braden River Soccer Club

The Braden River Soccer Club's spring recreational season is nearing the deadline for registration. The spring slate runs March 1 to May 3 with games on Sunday afternoons.

The program, which is open for players 4-18 years old, costs $90 for returning players that played in the fall 2014 season or $110 for non-returning players that did not play in the fall 2014 season.

The registration is done only online at and the deadline is this Saturday.

Volunteer coaches are also needed. For more information, visit or contact the club at 1-866-717-2772.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill and like his Facebook page at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.