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Community sports | Manatee County sailor qualifies for North American Championship

Making it to the North American Optimist Championship is now almost a foregone conclusion for Bryce Tone. The 12-year-old who sails Optimists -- "Optis" for short -- out of the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program qualified for the North American Championship for the third consecutive year by finishing fifth in his age group and 21st overall during the U.S. team trials in Miami. The top 25 sailors out of the 230 competitors, all of whom are 15 or younger, qualify for the North American Championship in Antigua in July.

Although Tone came up short of qualifying for the Optimist World Championship -- the top five Americans overall will compete at worlds -- 2014 has been another successful year for the young sailor. In April, he spent two weeks in Peru for the Optimist South American Championship where he finished 32nd out of 153 sailors from all across the Americas while also learning about the history and culture of Peru and South America.

"Bryce missed two weeks of school," said Karen Tone, Bryce's mother, "but the learning experience was unlike anything that could be learned in the classroom."

Canadians come to Fla. ice

For 35 years, the Florida Palms Hockey Championship has given adult hockey players from colder climates a chance to tease themselves with the warmth of Florida before the sunshine comes to Canada and other places in the northern parts of the globe.

The tournament,

which was held at Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex, is broken into seven divisions that bear sponsors names and the majority in 2015 were won by Canadian teams. The Brampton Caribous from Ontario took first place in the PJ's Oyster Bar Division, the Moncton Slow Pokes from New Brunswick won the 7-Eleven Division, the Misfits in Paradise triumphed in the Toasted Monkey Beach Bar Division and the West Mall Turtles from Toronto took home the championship in the PCI Beach Bar Division.

Another champion was the Sollentuna Hockey Club, which came all the way from Sweden to win the Pappy's Liquor Store Division in Ellenton.

Lacrosse competition

Only three schools in Manatee County -- Cardinal Mooney High School, Saint Stephen's Episcopal School and the Out-of-Door Academy -- field varsity high school lacrosse programs which compete in the FHSAA and none made it past the second round of play-ins for the state tournament, but Bradenton still got to see the top programs in the state this weekend.

IMG Academy hosted the FHSAA Lacrosse State Finals at IMG Academy Stadium on Friday and Saturday. Orlando Lake Highland Preparatory School took down Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas High School 13-11 in the boys championship and Vero Beach High School toppled Ponte Vedra High School 11-8 to win the girls title.

David Wilson, prep sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7057 or via email at dwilson@bradenton.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DBWilson2.

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