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On the Run to Recognize Raymonds

Roger and Karen Raymond (right) with the Marco Island Charter Middle School girls Gulf Coast Athletic Conference track championship team last spring.

By Roger LaLonde Kyle Grucci and Dr. Patty Poling are on the run for Roger and Karen Raymond. The Raymonds have announced that they are leaving Marco Island for Orlando, due to family health reasons. After being leaders in their fields for 18 years, the Raymonds will be leaving Marco Island Charter Middle School. Due to a short time frame, Grucci and Poling have been hustling to put together a “Raymond Going Away Run” at Mackle Park, beginning at 8 AM on Sunday, August 28. Grucci, who coaches basketball, along with Poling and husband Dr. Bob, who have had four ... Read More »

5 Tips For Boaters To Beat The Heat

It’s hot out and we are all wearing long-sleeve Columbia brand breathable fishing clothing. Submitted Photo

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps The mid-summer heat has arrived, but that doesn’t keep the fish from biting. Still, with the heat can come the risk of sunburn and skin damage, dehydration, heat stroke, and more. So before you head out into the boat, here are a few ways you can stay cool in the summer heat. Tip 1: Stay Hydrated  Staying hydrated is more than just being in or on the water. When you are swimming, it can be tempting to feel like you are more hydrated than you actually are. You may assume the same thing when you ... Read More »

Olympic Golf

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ALL THINGS Golf Todd Elliott The 2016 Rio Olympic Games are finally here, and for the first time since 1904 golf will once again be a featured event. So beyond the usual fare of swimming competitions, track and field, diving, judo, gymnastics and many other sports less popular to the general American audience, golf will be part of the Olympic extravaganza on a world-wide stage. When the decision to add golf to the 2016 Games was announced by the International Olympic Committee, jubilation flowed throughout the world of golf. The decision, many of us felt, would help introduce more young ... Read More »

The Importance of Holding Serve

Traditional Setup For Doubles

Coach Wayne’s Corner  Wayne Clark I enjoy watching tennis and golf on television because the commentators (who are usually retired champions themselves) do such a great job of explaining what is occurring mentally and emotionally with a player, which directly translates to what is occurring physically as the players compete. How many times do you hear winning players being asked, “What made the difference in your game today?” In tennis they usually say something like, “My serve was really on today,” or a golfer, after a good round stating, “I was hitting my driver well today.” Like hitting a good ... Read More »

Sailing Center’s Summer Program Ends

The MICSC summer camp participants in action. Photo by Mary Lee Cale

By Don Manley Rocky Cale is looking forward to the fall after another successful summer for the Marco Island Community Sailing Center’s youth program. “Our advanced class really took off this year, which is what we were really trying to achieve,” said Cale, the nonprofit’s president, said of enrollment in the summertime program. The Marco Island Community Sailing Center (MICSC) provides instruction to youths between the ages of 8 and 18 at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The year-round program, which operates from the Marco Island Yacht Club beach, also provides instruction to adults, including private lessons. For the ... Read More »

Marco Optimists Clean up in Orlando

Coach Jim Watt fires up his U10 team up before the big game. As always, he has their undivided attention.

Jake Watt’s Big Day  By Barry Gwinn Jim Watt is the volunteer varsity soccer coach at Marco Island Academy. He is the only coach the team has ever had. His daughter Olivia, now a junior, is a star on the team. Olivia has two younger brothers, Jake, at Tommie Barfield Elementary School (TBE), and Jonathan at Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS), both soccer players par excellence. Watt is national sales manager for a thriving family business, King’s Company (commercial lumber), which has now gone global. He is constantly on the road keeping his customers happy and signing up new ... Read More »

Lely Opens with Island Coast

Photos By Roger Lalonde
A Lely defender flies to block a Noah Reich field goal, but is a bit late as it sails 42 yards through the uprights. The holder is and will be Hakeem Durity.

By Roger LaLonde It is a new head coach, with mostly new assistants, looking to begin a new day with the Lely football program. It starts with Lely’s first fall game at 7 PM August 19, hosting Island Coast. Maurice Belser gained his first experience with the Trojans in its spring game, shortly after replacing Culmer St. Jean. Belser chose to replace many long-time coaches as he puts his mark on this year’s team. New coaches include Derek Woods, linebackers, Cliff Cook, defensive backs, Bill Dunne, defensive linemen, Allen Carter, offensive coordinator and Talise Simeon, receivers. Returning is Mike Cassio, ... Read More »

MIA Opens at Home Against Gateway Charte

Coach Damon Coiro sets up play during practice.

By Roger LaLonde The lightning warning went off, forcing the Marco Island Academy football team to practice under a pavilion, behind Marco Island Charter Middle School on August 15. The team is hoping they will provide its own lightning when it opens its season at home against Fort Myers-Gateway Charter at 7:30 PM on August 19 at Winterberry Park. The Manta Rays lost 12 starters from a year ago, but is steadily building its own leaders. “Bon Deese has been phenomenal,” Coach Damon Coiro said. “He and Tyler Gresham are all in to bring success to the team.” Deese and ... Read More »

Chess, the Battle Game of All Ages

Submitted Photos

By Wade Keller The battle was set. Round nine, the final game of the World Chess Open would begin at 4:30 afternoon on July 4. There were over a thousand players, competing in separate ratings at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia. I was in the Under-1400 rating with 118 competitors. After eight rounds my score was 5-3, meaning 5 wins, 3 losses. As I set up the chess pieces I was thinking, Got to have this final game. Score of 6-3 will be with the winners. Got to win. In tournaments the computer decides who plays who based on wins/losses/draws. ... Read More »

Rays Down Gateway Charter 45-38

MIA football team is lined up and ready to go for its preseason game.

By Roger LaLonde When the Marco Island Academy defensive line stuffed the quarterback on the last two plays of the game, the Rays earned a hard-fought win over Fort Myers-Gateway Charter, 45-38 on Aug. 19. First-year coach Damon Coiro’s team was looking to shed its losing ways over its first four years. They did it in dramatic fashion as they rallied their way on offense and defense. Coiro ran onto the field to share a bear hug with Tyler Gresham who scored three touchdowns and made numerous plays on defense. Many of the players came off the field in tears ... Read More »

It’s Little League All Over Again!

“It’s hot out there,” and (from left) Don Schwartz, Jimmy Williams, Ray Niemeyer and Jeff Hultgren try to cool off.

Submitted “It’s gonna be a hot one,” yelled one of the guys, as players begin to file into the dugout at a recent softball pick-up game at Winterberry Park. Except, these are not your average ball players. They are members of the Marco Island Senior Softball League. By 8:20 AM on a Monday morning, about 20 guys arrived, enough for two teams. Ages ago, many of these guys played on teams in college, but some have not played since high school. They got married, had kids, moved around a lot. Then retirement came. They’ve been waiting for this moment for ... Read More »

August Fishing in the Ten Thousand Islands

The Wicklund crew with a nice black drum on a Capt. Rapps charter. Photo by Capt. Pete Rapps

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps With July ending and August only just beginning, we are approaching the hottest season of the year in the Ten Thousand Islands. With the right planning, you can easily take advantage of the best and most productive fishing our area can offer you. At around midday, the air temperatures will begin to average around 93 degrees. Likewise, the water temperatures will warm up to about 87 degrees. Although this time of day can be stifling hot, there are daily thunderstorms around the time the bite turns off. Once the thunderstorms have come and gone, you ... Read More »

Own the Moment

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott Conventional wisdom holds that “golf is 90% mental and 10% physical.” But based on work done by researchers in the world of sports in general and golf in particular, a more apt phrase describing the game we love may very well be “golf is 100% mental,” an enlightened concept opening a path toward higher performance levels on the golf course. While golfers have known for years how important the mental side is to the game, most think the phrase specifically relates to mental control during the course of a round of golf. But I maintain the ... Read More »

Handling Nerves

Brad Gilbert in his playing days,

Coach Wayne’s Corner  Wayne Clark All of us get anxious and nervous about things. As a high school or college student, it may SATs or final exams. In our careers, it may be a new job interview or a meeting with your boss. Maybe you don’t like to speak in public or in front of large groups.?Some of us don’t like to fly or we have a fear of heights. Whichever one it is for you,?the truth is, in sports, everybody, even the great champions, gets nervous when competing. Whatever the occasion, the main reason we get nervous is because ... Read More »

Minto Title Sponsor of U.S. Open Pickleball

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Submitted Minto Communities has signed a multi-year contract extension as title sponsor of the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships (USOPC) in Naples, Florida. The 2017 USOPC will be held April 23-30 at the East Naples Community Park. It is anticipated that 1,000 athletes will compete on the park’s 48 world-class courts. According to USOPC founder and President Terri Graham, “This is a great partnership. Minto came on board for the inaugural event in 2016, and we are excited about continuing the relationship for years to come.” The inaugural USOPC event, held April 26-May 1, brought in more than 800 participants and ... Read More »

6 Tips for a Safe Day on the Water

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FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps CaptainRapps@Outlook.com With this hot summer air, and a tackle box full of lures, it is no wonder why you may be excited to hop onto the boat for a long day of fishing and relaxing. However, before you jump in, there are a few safety measures you should know about. 1. Follow and check off your pre-departure checklist  No one can perfectly remember everything they need to bring 10 minutes before heading out. That is why you should make a pre-departure checklist to check off before every boat ride. This list should include: life jackets, ... Read More »

Communication Breakdown

Venus and Serena discussing strategy in between points. Submitted Photos

Coach Wayne’s Corner Wayne Clark WClark@cityofmarcoisland.com In all sports, focus and concentration are a vital part of winning. In most sports, coaches on the sidelines are able to constantly observe and advise on a play-by-play status, allowing the athletes to be able to focus solely on performing. Pickleball, like the sport of tennis, requires players to be their own coach and it is quite a challenge to play the dual role of competitor and coach all at the same time. In both the sports of tennis and pickleball, players must be able to remain focused and compete, while having to ... Read More »

MICMS Seeks Volleyball Coach, Urges Physicals

MICMS girls varsity volleyball Submitted Photo

By Roger LaLonde Roger Raymond, Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS) athletic director, is in search of a new girls varsity volleyball coach. “I would like a person with experience, someone who knows the game,” Raymond said. He can be contacted by email, RaymonRo@collierschools.com. He also urged all fall athletes, particularly girls volleyball players, to get their required sports physical. “Without a sports physical that is current (they are good for 365 days from the date of completion) you cannot tryout.” Volleyball tryouts begin the first week of school. School opens August 15th. “Volleyball is the first sport to start ... Read More »

Traditionally Speaking

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Coach Wayne’s Corner Wayne Clark Over the years, traditions in all sports, have changed. Two of the most ‘old school’ and honorable sports are tennis and golf. I was recently watching a broadcast of vintage Wimbledon matches on The Tennis Channel. The show included an interview with the great Rod Laver, aka, “The Rocket”, about how the game has changed since his day, both in regards to the speed, spin and power of today’s game, as well as what it was like to play at the Grand Slams back in his era. Some of the clips and films they were ... Read More »

2016 United States Open Recap

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Golf Tips Todd Elliott I hope everyone got a chance to watch some of Sunday’s US Open coverage at Oakmont Country Club.  Dustin Johnson showed why most of the golf world believes he is the most talented golfer playing the game today.  His ability to drive the golf ball long and straight gives him a superior advantage over most of the field.  Dustin has had multiple disappointing finishes in major championships, but he was more than up to the challenge at Oakmont.  Congrats to Dustin, and his whole team. With that being said, those who watched understand that unfortunately the ... Read More »