Monday, February 19, 2018

Manta Rays Show Promise in Tough Opener



Marco Island Center for the Arts is proud to present professional vocalist Sandra Rose Rommel on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, from 5:30-7 PM in the Lauritzen & Rush Galleries. Sandra Rose will open the current season Musical Interludes Series.

Sandra Rose has been entertaining audiences for over three decades. She has been a backup singer for Bruce Springsteen, done studio work for Celine Dion’s producers and has appeared in Las Vegas with David Foster after winning the “Born to Sing” contest.

“Sandra Rose was beyond extraordinary and a total natural…” said wellknown English entertainment writer and producer Robin Leach.

This musical journey with Sandra Rose will include the music of Michael Buble, Patsy Cline, Celine Dion, Fleetwood Mac, Barbara Streisand, and from the Great American Songbook.

Austin Brooks picked up 91 hard-fought yards for the Manta Rays. Brooks also scored two touchdowns. Photos by Scott H. Shook

Austin Brooks picked up 91 hard-fought yards for the Manta Rays. Brooks also scored two touchdowns. Photos by Scott H. Shook

Sandra Rose shares that she “Loves to move people with my voice. I am passionate about performing.”

Tickets are $25 for Center for the Arts members and $30 for non-members. To reserve your seat, call the Art Center at 239- 394-4221 or visit marcoislandart.org.

In its five year history, the Marco Island Academy Manta Rays have not fared well against county powers like Community School, their opening night opponent on Friday, August 25.

Senior captain and tight end Brenden Howard (#17) makes a touchdown saving tackle early in the second quarter. Photo by Jenny Cartwright

Senior captain and tight end Brenden Howard (#17) makes a touchdown saving tackle early in the second quarter. Photo by Jenny Cartwright

The Rays’ best team, the 4-6 squad of 2014, was no match for a squad like homestanding Community School, who have averaged over 10 wins the past four seasons. But the 2017 edition of the Rays gave Community School all they wanted before bowing, 39- 25, at Barron Collier High School stadium.

The game was moved to nearby Barron Collier stadium instead of being played at Community School because of Barron Collier’s artificial turf—which played magnificently, despite the flooded parking lots all around town.

Wendy Luders turns the corner en route to a 10-yard touchdown run. Luders had two scores on the evening.

Wendy Luders turns the corner en route to a 10-yard touchdown run. Luders had two scores on the evening.

The Rays surely raised eyebrows all over the county when the first quarter came to an end and they were up 6-0.

“My kids are working hard and they’re doing the right things,” said Marco Island Academy (MIA) head coach Damon Coiro. “I couldn’t be more proud of these guys for how they stepped up and fought. We’re in the process of doing something special. We played a great Community School team tonight.”

The Rays pulled to within 26-19 with 2:20 left in the third quarter when Wendy Luders crashed over for a three yard touchdown run. Community School was clearly struggling to stop the Rays ground game.

Damon Coiro motivates his team during their opening game.

Damon Coiro motivates his team during their opening game.

The Rays got the ball right back and were driving again when a long third down run by Luders was called back for holding. The call may have changed the momentum of the game.

“We could have drove down the field,” Coiro said, “it’s 26-19 at that point, all we needed was another score.”

Instead, Community School regrouped behind two touchdown throws by Richard Reisinger, who played his youth football on the island.

The Rays punched in one more score on a beautiful 10-yard jaunt by Luders.

Austin Brooks was a bright spot for the Rays, picking up 91 hard-fought yards and scoring two five-yard TDs, one on a pass reception and one on a bruising run. Coiro also singled out Cameron Foss for his great leadership.

“They’re developing a sense of urgency that maybe we didn’t have on Marco Island in the past,” Coiro said.

The Rays play host to Oasis Charter School of Cape Coral at 7 PM Friday, September 1 at Winterberry Park. On September 8, the Rays travel to First Baptist Academy of Naples.

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