HomeSportsSoccerThe Center kicks off...

The Center kicks off fall adult soccer

ANNA MARIA – One week after the effects of Hurricane Idalia, the excitement of adult co-ed recreational soccer returned to the Island pitch at The Center.

Starting the season in a close 3-2 game against Gulf Drive Café, team captain Greg Ross brought his Ross Built Custom Homes squad onto the field looking like an American football team. As a local growing up on Anna Maria Island, Ross is no stranger to the fields at the community center, playing youth and adult sports over the years.

Ross’ roster includes his twin sons, Andrew and Jake. The Ross brothers cut their athletic teeth in the youth leagues on the very fields they are now playing on with their father as adults.

A team on the field, the Ross Built team includes several members of Ross’ team in the world of residential construction.

Longtime co-worker and friend Max Gazzo played in the goalkeeper position for Ross last Thursday night. Like the Ross boys and G. Ross himself, Gazzo grew up on the Island and played in the youth leagues at The Center, then the Anna Maria Island Community Center.

Credited with 10 saves in the game against the young Gulf Drive Café squad, Gazzo helped his team to the first win of the season.

Gazzo is joined on the soccer field by co-workers and Islanders John Coleman, Nate Talucci and Andrew Thomas. Ross’ sons also work in the family business.

Winning by a goal, the Ross Built team got three shots past Gulf Drive Café’s Charles “Tuna” McCracken, arguably one of the best goalies in the league. Singles by Daniel Hampton, Nicola Manni and J. Ross earned their team the win. A. Ross had a critical assist allowing for a goal.

McCracken had 11 big stops in the first game of the season, but playing without team captain Kevin Roman and Jana Whitehead could have been the difference in the opening matchup.

The Gulf Drive team includes three lifelong friends, Tyler Brewer, Javier Rivera and McCracken. Learning at Anna Maria Elementary School and playing at the community center together, the three teammates are joined by Helio Gomez, who also played youth sports at The Center.

Gomez scored one of two goals for the Gulf Drive Café team. Juan Vega put the other point on the scoreboard, along with an assist in the statistics.

Flavio Olvera is credited with the assist on Vega’s goal.

Off to a slow start to the season, the Gulf Drive Café squad hopes to win their first game against team Pool America. Pool America is seeking its first win of the season after a volatile loss against Moss Builders 5-1 in the final game of week one action.

The Ross Built team will face Moss Builders at the 9 p.m. game on Thursday night. There can be only one winner, squashing the hopes of the other team’s undefeated season.

Josh Sato’s team won by three goals against team Slim’s Place, led by team captain Yuri Pereira. Sato Real Estate plays Gulfview Windows & Doors in the 8 p.m. game, while Slim’s battles the Sandbar team.

Sandbar Seafood & Spirits lost 3-1 against Gulfview in the third game of the night.

With six games remaining in the regular season, the top seed going into the first round of playoffs is any team’s for the taking.









Ross Built Custom Homes 3

Gulf Drive Café 2



Sato Real Estate 6

Slim’s Place 3



Gulfview Windows & Doors 3

Sandbar Seafood & Spirits 1



Moss Builders 5

Pool America 1

Most Popular

More from Author

Miles Moss: Not stopped by Guillain–Barré

HOLMES BEACH - To anyone seeing him on the playground at...

Adult soccer heats up with two ties, two blowouts

ANNA MARIA – With the sun’s heat pounding on The Center...

Friends, family raise funds for The Center at LaPensee Bowling Tournament

ANNA MARIA – Sold out again this year, the Greg LaPensee...

Pickup soccer, Island style

ANNA MARIA – For more than a decade, a band of...

Commissioner Kruse hosts Island talk

HOLMES BEACH – Only 18 people came out to the Island Branch Library on a stormy Wednesday night to hear what Manatee County Commissioner-at-large George Kruse had to say, but the conversation continued for nearly two hours. Kruse held his monthly town hall meeting in Holmes Beach and...

Get ready for fabulous fall fishing

The first cold front is probably still a month or more away, but fish are showing up and now is a great time to prepare for the fall season, getting tackle in order and keeping an eye on the sky for diving birds and breaking fish. Under those...

Market in the eye of the beholder

To some people, our national real estate market is downright awful, but to others, it may be the best of real estate times. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Don’t believe everything you read and, believe me, I read it all. Yes, it’s true that buyers,...

Painted rock honors young Iowa woman

ANNA MARIA – Bradenton Beach resident Rob Edwards made a heartwarming discovery while recently photographing the sunrise at the Anna Maria City Pier. Edwards, a retired electrician from New York, often takes photographs of the Island sunrises to send to his snowbird friends up north. On Sept. 9,...

Commissioners approve funding to remove derelict boats

BRADENTON BEACH – City commissioners have passed a request from Bradenton Beach Police Chief John Cosby to approve funding for the removal of derelict boats at the city pier following Hurricane Idalia. A proposed motion was read by Mayor John Chappie at the Sept. 21 commission meeting to...

Siddique, Shoemaker enter county commission race

MANATEE COUNTY – Democrat Diana Shoemaker and Republican Talha “Tal” Siddique both seek the District 3 Manatee County Commission seat currently held by Kevin Van Ostenbridge. Shoemaker announced her candidacy on Sept. 22. Siddique announced his candidacy on Sept. 19. District 3 includes all of Anna Maria Island, Cortez,...

Turtle season slows to a crawl

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – The 2023 turtle nesting season is coming to an early end, partly due to Hurricane Idalia. “No changes in nest numbers,” Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Executive Director Kristen Mazzarella said. “That’s not surprising as this is usually the hatching time of year.” The last...

Ferry will stop at Anna Maria

ANNA MARIA – The city commission has approved an interlocal agreement that allows Manatee County to use the City Pier as a Gulf Island Ferry stop. The unanimous approval granted on Aug. 21 ends a lengthy negotiation process that included the mayor and city commissioners recently rejecting the...

Miles Moss: Not stopped by Guillain–Barré

HOLMES BEACH - To anyone seeing him on the playground at Anna Maria Elementary School or on the field at the Island’s community center, Miles Moss looks like any 8-year-old boy. Kicking the soccer ball on the field or in the gym at The Center, Miles has...

Sebring departs Anna Maria Commission

ANNA MARIA – City Commissioner Deanie Sebring has vacated her city commission seat. Sebring participated in her final commission meeting on Sept. 21. In October, she and her husband, Tripp, are moving to France. The remaining months of Sebring’s two-year term will be filled by a commission appointment...

Nesting News

Turtle nests laid: 405 (Record: 544 in 2019) False crawls: 438 (Record: 831 in 2010) Hatched nests: 295 (Record: 453 in 2022) Hatchlings: 22,995 (Previous record: 35,850 in 2022) Hatchling disorientations: 89 Source: Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring

Where’s Suzi?

Suzi, a female loggerhead sea turtle released from Coquina Beach after nesting and being satellite tagged on June 27, is in 7th place in a field of 11 turtles in the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s Tour de Turtles race, having traveled 743 miles. Suzi is swimming to bring...