The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 20 - February 16, 2011


First place on the line in Flag Football

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Austin Ferrer runs for Beach Bistro Bears
with Francesca Parkin chasing him

The Sun sports game of the week was a Division I contest with first place on the line. The 5-1 Bassett, Vita, Vining & Hermann Group Raiders were tied with the 5-1 Beach Bistro Bears for first place going into the game. The winner would take over sole possession of first in the division.

Like most important games between two really good teams that have something to play for, both defenses came ready to shut the high powered offenses down. The first half proved to be just that. Both veteran volunteer coaches, John Vita for the Raiders and Gabe Ferrer for the Bears, played their defenses like a well thought out game of chess. The Raiders solid defense, led by Hunter Parrish with two interceptions and one flag pull and Danny Doyle and Denver Hardy with two pulls each, held the Bears offense to just 54 yards rushing and eight yards passing. While the Bears stingy defense, led by Austin Ferrer with one interception and three pulls and Nick Mello with three pulls and Katie Holiday with two pulls, held the Raiders offense to just 44 yards passing and 27 yards rushing in the first half. No team was able to score and it was 0-0 at halftime.

The second half adjustments seemed to work. The Raiders started with the ball on offense. Quarterback Reese Vita threw twice in a row to Michael Duffman, who made nice runs and took his team down to the three yard line. On third down and goal, Vita found Michael Galati in the end zone for the first touchdown of the game. The extra point was no good. The very next drive for the Bears also got them on the scoreboard. Nick Mello took a handoff and ran down to the six yard line. Then Austin Ferrer took the next handoff and scampered into the right corner for the touchdown. The extra point was also no good and the score was 6-6 with eleven minutes left in the game.

With two minutes left, the Bears quarterback Austin Ferrer had the ball handed off to him allowing him to run or pass. He faked the pass and ran the ball 40 yards to the five yard line. Ferrer then threw a strike to Nick Mello in the end zone for the touchdown. Again having the ball handed off to him so he could run or pass, Ferrer couldn't find anyone open and then ran the two point conversion in. With 1:46 left in the game and the score 14-6, it was up to the Raiders offense. Two quick throws by quarterback Reese Vita to Michael Galati got the ball past midfield and a first down before calling timeout. On second down, Vita found Michael Duffman on an out pattern and he tip toed down the sideline to the one yard line. It was now third and goal and first place on the line. With 23 seconds left, Vita threw a pass into the corner of the end zone that was tipped by a Bears defender and miraculously caught before hitting the ground by Duffman for the TD. The Raiders two point conversion attempt failed and ended the cliffhanger game 14-12 with the Bears in first place.

Game Summaries:

Division III (8-9-year-olds)

Beach Bums Seahawks 35
Connelly Marine Falcons 6

Beach Bums Seahawks 37
Island Real Estate Saints 0

Division II (10-12-year-olds):

Holy Cow Colts 13
Ross Built Construction Vikings 19

Anna Maria Oyster Bar Dolphins 7
Walter & Associates Steelers 39

Ross Built Construction Vikings 21
Anna Maria Oyster Bar Dolphins 6

Southern Greens Buccaneers 21
Holy Cow Colts 34

LaPensee Plumbing Falcons 25
Sandbar Restaurant Cowboys 24

Mr. Spiffy Cleaning Chargers 13
LPAC Cardinals 27

LaPensee Plumbing Falcons 13
Eat Here Jaguars 19

Anna Maria Oyster Bar Dolphins 35
Mr. Spiffy Cleaning Chargers 20

Sandbar Restaurant Cowboys 15
LPAC Cardinals 45

Division I (13-16-year-olds):

Mr. Bones BBQ Eagles 16
Beach Bistro Bears 27

Bassett, Vita, Vining & Hermann Group Raiders 34
1st American Bank Bills 20

Adult Co-Ed League

MartiniVille Bears 40
Rotten Ralphs Packers 18

Bob Vita Landscaping Cowboys 6
Walter & Associates Steelers 12

Jessie's Island Store Vikings 25
Sato Real Estate Browns 19 2OT

Duffy's Tavern Buccaneers 22
Island Sun Falcons 12

Slim's Place Jaguars 28
Beach to Bay Construction Rams 27 2OT

Lois Biel – the Grand Duchess of Anna Maria

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Every day, Lois Biel walks 2.7 miles each
way from her from home in Anna Maria
to Minnie's restaurant in Holmes Beach.

Since I began this column, I've been searching for Islanders to inspire a healthy lifestyle in paradise. Friends have been saying, "You've got to find the woman who walks the entire Island every day. She does it rain or shine, and has been doing it for years."

Her name is Lois Biel. I left a message on her phone machine. Weeks went by. She finally returned the call and said, "I've been thinking about this. I don't know if I have much of a story." I told her I had heard about her from so many different people that she had already inspired half the Island. I was hoping she could inspire the other half.

It is true. Lois walks 2.7 miles each way between her home in Anna Maria and to Minnie's restaurant in Holmes Beach. But who's counting? When I asked Lois how old she was she said, "I'll tell you, but you can only print that I'm well past 85." But who's counting? The important thing is Lois is well on her way to the century mark and is doing it with style and grace.

I met her at Minnie's for breakfast at 7 a.m. She had already walked half of her daily mileage by then. Bundled in a jacket that was a gift from her grandson, cashmere pants and a cashmere hat, she peeled off her wide headband, gloves and other layers as we sat down at a table for two.

"I love cashmere," she exclaimed. Pointing at the large circular table behind us with six men, about half her age, she said, "I usually sit with the guys every morning. But we'll sit here so we can talk." She ordered her usual lemon poppy muffin and coffee. "Coffee every morning," she informed me.

Of course, with my interest in eating healthfully I asked, "What is your favorite food?" "Ice cream," she answered. "How often?" I probed. "Quite frequently." This was going to be a tough interview. "How much?" I followed up. "A half gallon. In two days," she replied. "Is that like, an entire meal for you?" "Well, I eat snacks in between," she answered. "I also like to walk to Two Scoops."

I am beginning to think this is so not fair. Many women gain 5 pounds just looking at a muffin. She must have seen my despair, "But I don't have a weight problem. I come from a small family. My mother was more slender than me. I have no heart problems and not much arthritis." I'm slightly relieved. At least there seems to be some genetic destiny at play here.

Biel's only complaints are stiff knees in the morning and osteoporosis. She says she broke her shoulder before children and broke her leg tripping over her rescued cat, Freddie Cupples, named after the PGA star. "That happened December 6, 2005," she stated, rolling out the date without missing a beat. "But I was back walking three months later. The only other time I've missed was last week actually. I was out a whole week with bronchitis."

Lois says she has always been active, starting with walking to school back in her home town of Terre Haute, Ind. It wasn't six miles in the snow, only six blocks. "But when my husband got stationed in New York City, he would go to work and I started walking from Greenwich Village to Central Park every day. Then when we moved here in 1983, he'd go fishing at the city pier, and I'd walk there. The only day I don't walk is on Tuesday. That's my golf day." I Googled Biel and up popped her golf scores from the newspaper two years ago, "Lois Biel captured first flight honors with a 1-under-par 31."

Lois has a busy volunteer life with the Island Players and twice a week she plays mad rummy. Her best advice is "Be sensible in all your food and exercise choices." She says the only thing she's cut back on since her broken leg is riding her bike. "My son takes care of me, and he says he'll do it more if he needs to. But for now, he's glad I can be completely independent."

Before leaving, I asked her friends at the next table if they had any secrets they wanted to share about Lois. "We call her the Grand Duchess of Anna Maria," and we all laughed. With that, Lois said, "I don't know if this is really a story." I assured her it was. She bundled up and headed back to Anna Maria. When I grow up, I want to be just like Biel. Don't we all?

If you know of anyone with a story to inspire fitness, contact Ellen at or 941-704-1025. And don't forget to join us from 9 to 10 a.m. every Friday, rain or shine, at Manatee Beach, by the playground for an hour of free walking and/or running.

Have a burning question you would like to see answered here? Contact Ellen at or 941-704-1025.

Ellen Jaffe Jones is an Anna Maria Island resident, accomplished endurance runner, cookbook author, certified personal trainer and running coach. She also coaches the Manatee High School Girls Cross Country and Track and Field teams.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper