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Marco Island Academy Boys Basketball Team Champs Again

Players watch as Manta Rays' Victoria Vale takes aim on one of two foul shots in game against Evangelical Christian. Vale led the team with 15 points in its loss to Evangelical.

By Roger LaLonde With steady Cole Stretton leading the way the Marco Island Academy boys basketball team won its second straight Class 2A District 10 championship by downing Seacrest Academy. The win on Jan. 16 resulted in the Manta Rays going undefeated in the district at 6-0. In the Seacrest win, Stretton scored 27 points, the lone Manta Ray in double figures. Strong on defense was Tyler Gresham. Coach Roger Raymond said, “Tyler is a very young player in terms of experience. As a sophomore player, his varsity experience is “on the job” training. He basically sat out last year, ... Read More »

Boys, Girls Basketball Teams Recognized at Senior Night

Proud parents stand with their children as they were honored at Marco Island Academy Senior Night.

By Roger LaLonde The Marco Island Academy’s boys and girls basketball teams were recognized at Senior Night on Tuesday (Jan. 20) between the two varsity games against Evangelical Christian. With their parents, Victoria Vale, Jessica Ragan, Alyssa Stolinas, Sarah Colburn, Peter Servente, Preston Reese and Connor Schmidt were honored, with each couple receiving a rose from Roger Raymond, athletic director. The daughter of Michael and Donna Vale, Victoria has been co-captain since the school’s first basketball team four years ago. She has been the team’s leading scorer every year. She has lettered all four years in basketball, cross country, track ... Read More »

Cutting the Ribbon on Xcel Fitness

The ribbon cutting marked the official grand opening of Xcel Fitness Spa, one of the newer businesses on the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce membership rolls.

By Don Manley It’s a case of so far, so good for Xcel Fitness Spa, Marco Island’s newest, large-scale exercise center. Located in a 6,300-square-foot space in the Shops of Marco, off San Marco Road, Xcel has attracted a loyal following since opening last Feburary, said the business’ owner, Eddy Hoyo. “Here we are 11 months later and business is great,” he said recently. “We had a great summer sign-up from residents and season’s starting now, and we’re getting a great response from our out-of-towners. So we’re looking forward to a great season and growing Xcel in the best it ... Read More »

Flotilla 95 Swears In New Bridge for 2015

Tom Dines and Keith Wohltman are sworn in by Chief Warrant Officer Robert Garris and Commodore Walter Jaskiewicz.

By Laurie Harris Public Affairs Officer In a time-honored tradition, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary conducted the 48th annual Change of Watch. On Jan. 11, Flotilla 95 Marco Island swore in Keith Wohltman as flotilla commander and Tom Dines as vice flotilla commander. The program began with John DeFalco, a past flotilla commander, sounding the bell for the “Crossing the Bar” ceremony. The ringing of the bell provides a moment to remember those lost over the past year. In 2014, Flotilla 95 lost one of its most dedicated members, Ron Klein, after a long illness. This solemn time was followed ... Read More »

MICMS Girls Soccer Wins GCAC Championship

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By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com It was beautiful afternoon for a soccer game on Friday, Jan. 9. Thanks to word-of-mouth community support and the Optimist Club of Marco Island’s recreational league, a crowd of about 200 spectators gathered at Winterberry Park to watch the Marco Island Charter Middle School Girls Soccer Team win the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) Championship game against Evangelical Christian School of Fort Meyers. Led by a strong backbone of eighth graders and second-year Head Coach Patrick Baldwin, the Eagles won handily 6-1 and brought the first conference championship in any sport back to MICMS since ... Read More »

District title on the line for Marco Academy and Seacrest

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The Class 2A District title will be on the line when the Marco Island Academy boys basketball team travels to Seacrest Community Day tonight (Friday). Game time is 7 p.m. The Manta Rays downed Seacrest convincingly at home two weeks ago with a second half surge. Should Seacrest win the teams will be tied at 6-1. The championship and top seeding in the  district tournament will come down to a coin toss they be tied. “We aren’t looking to have that happen,” Raymond said. “We can score in a hurry  and our defense keeps getting better. Our team fitness shows ... Read More »

Angling Styles

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com Although there are many different techniques used in the sport of fishing, there are generally only two types of angling styles or approaches to angling. The first approach is more proactive in nature, and the second is more reactive. The proactive angler is a hunter, constantly seeking signs of fish activity and active water. Other promising signs that proactive enthusiasts seek are areas holding structure, such as mangrove edges, oyster beds, dead branches, docks, wrecks and bridges, as well as emergent and submerged cover which is comprised of grasses and plant materials. Fish gravitate ... Read More »

There is Nothing Like the Real Thing!

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com First and most importantly, Happy New Year to all of our tennis enthusiasts in Southwest Florida and around the world. There are so many reasons to be thankful, and tennis continues to thrive in the area. Recently, I have been doing pro-bono work with a rising junior tennis player from California, and he has a solidly-built foundation. He lacks tournament proficiency, though. His ultimate goal is to play college tennis, and he has the work ethic to pursue his dream. However, the world of tennis has produced thousands of great practice players, but too many ... Read More »

Goal Setting

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org The game of golf in the year of 2014 was exciting. Rory McIlroy became an even bigger superstar. Tiger Woods battled injuries. Rickie Fowler shined in the majors. Patrick Reed made a stir as the USA lost another Ryder Cup, and President Barack Obama made news by playing a lot of golf. How was your 2014 golf year? Did you meet your goals? Did you have golf goals? I challenge all golfers who want to get better in 2015 to set golf goals. A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the ... Read More »

What Was on Your Holiday Wish List?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com There was a time when most recreational tennis players dreamed of the day Santa would deliver a solid backhand drive on Christmas Eve, but those old days of weaker backhands is long over. Not only have we witnessed an explosion of outstanding “two-handers,” but now we are watching the return of some of the best one-handers we have ever seen: Wawrinka, Gasquet, Dimitrov, Almagro, Kolschreiber, Haas and Federer. So, I’ve completely changed my mind, and now I am totally focusing on the mental game. Why? Without a doubt, the emergence of tennis coaching is at ... Read More »

Club Face Awareness

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org Anyone who reads my articles understands that I believe in the body-swing connection. To constantly keep improving over time, a golfer must strive to improve the body and the golf swing. My experience of doing physical evaluations of students has made it clear to me that the club path is heavily affected by how the body functions. The club path is the path the club head travels to make impact to the golf ball relative to the target. With that being said, the club face angle at impact is king. The club face is especially ... Read More »

January Fishing in the Islands

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FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com January is typically our coolest month of the year. The days when the fronts are absent. The sun is shining, and the thermometer gets up into the mid 70s. This can make for some awesome fishing! The full moon this January falls on the 5th, and the new moon is on the 20th. In January, we typically have some of the most extreme tides of the year around the full and new moon. We will have extreme low tides the mornings of Jan.1-8 and the 17-24. They will still be great days to fish, ... Read More »

Manta Rays Shock Seacrest for District Win, 78-61

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By Roger LaLonde roger@coastalbreezenews.com After the first quarter, Marco Island Academy trailed Seacrest Country Day School, 18-12. No problem for the 7-3 Manta Rays, as they ran away with the contest in the last three quarters, resulting in a 78-61 win. It was their third straight Class 2A-District 12 victory. Peter Servente came off the bench and singed the nets for a career high 32 points, with seven three-pointers. Quietly, team leader Cole Stretton added 20 points, including three three-pointers, and Brandon Estremera made four three-pointers for 12 points. During the game, the Rays ran hot and cold, but when ... Read More »

Manta Rays shock Seacrest for district win, 78-61

The ball is up for grabs in Marco Island Academy’s 78-61 win over Seacrest at home on Dec. 16.

By Roger LaLonde roger@coastalbreezenews.com After the first quarter Marco Island trailed Seacrest Country Day School, 18-12. No problem for the 7-3 Manta Rays as they ran away with the contest in the last three quarters, resulting in a 78-61 win. It was their third straight Class 2A-District 12 victory. Peter Servente came off the bench and singed the nets for a career high 32 points, with seven three-pointers. Quietly, team leader Cole Stretton added 20 points, including three three-pointers and Brandon Estremera made four three-pointers for 12 points. During the game the Rays ran hot and cold, but when Seacrest ... Read More »

Take the Kids Fishing

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FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@gmail.com Just remember: It’s more about quantity, not quality. Forget the trophy. Just put them on action. When I was young, my grandfather used to take my brother and I fishing all he could. He loved to have us out on the boat. Sometimes, he would take us out to the shallow reefs, and we would drop cut squid or live shrimp down on small hook. We would have a blast reeling in grunts, porgies, snapper and the occasional trigger fish. We would laugh and giggle as we pulled in one after the other ... Read More »

Holiday Family Fishing Fun

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LADY ANGLERS Captain Mary A. Fink islandgirlscharters.com This is the time of year when friends and family come together to enjoy quality time during the holidays. I can think of no better way to enjoy time together than fishing in the magnificent inshore areas that South Florida has to offer. A good portion of the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge encompasses the area between Everglades National Park and Cape Romano and boasts some of the finest fishing opportunities in the state. Additionally, the area is rich with wildlife, including birds, manatees and dolphin due to the area’s pristine ecosystem and ... Read More »

The Body, the Body, the Body

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott telliott@hideawaybeachclub.org When I started teaching the game of golf, it never crossed my mind that I would be studying biomechanics, 6D video and physics, but this is the high level of education available to instructors. I am just a novice at these subjects compared to the top teachers in the world. However, my expertise is helping a student make a golf swing that is functional for their body. A new buzz word in the golf instructional world is biomechanics. Many biomechanics are discovering that that the biomechanical study of the golf swing is complex and right ... Read More »

How Can We Win If No One Will Go to the Net?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com A few weeks ago, I received a text from a 4.0 player who was clearly perplexed about her last CTA match and wanted to solve the puzzle on the tennis court. Strangely enough, not many of my students have inquired about this particular dilemma, and I had tremendous compassion about her recent problem. “Doug, it was so weird facing this last team because they elected to play from the baseline the entire match, and it threw us a curve, no doubt,” my student explained. Hey, it is always tough when we face a strategy ... Read More »

Lely Trojans Fall Sports Awards

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Lely High School held a banquet for players who participated in the fall sports programs catered by Carrabbas. The evening began with Athletic Director Josh Corr giving a short speech and awarding some district recognitions. After dinner, the teams separated for coachs’ awards and recognitions.     Lely Volleyball players honored by coaches Christine Haire coached Freshman volleyball. Coach Haire recognized Savannah Jones with a Just Got Served award, Yesenio Castillo as Body Sacrificer award, Lauren Bulka and Andrea Castillo with Freshman Athletic awards. Mike Cain coached the Junior Varsity volleyball team. He awarded Payge ... Read More »

Lely Cross Country Team Celebrates Multiple Awards

Bailey Greaves, left, Jack Remaks, Dalton Herrity, Gage Wheeler and Rosie Poling were among cross country athletes recognized at the Lely awards dinner. Wheeler was 3A District 12 champion and Poling came in second. Both were named to the Collier County All Conference cross country team and most valuable for their teams.

By Roger LaLonde roger@coastalbreezenews.com The Lely cross country team celebrated an outstanding season at the awards program at Lely High School on December 3. The girls won the 3A District 12 team title, while the boys finished second. Senior Gage Wheeler won the district championship and sophomore Rosie Poling ran to second place in leading the girls. The week before both teams finished fifth at the Collier Cross County Conference Championships, but refocused for the district races. Head coach Mark McGarity said that he and new assistant Leslie Bentley talked with the runners prior to the district meet. “We projected ... Read More »