The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 36 - June 20, 2012


Community Center Cup Champions

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Matt Ray | submitted
Don Meilner & Sons Construction wins the Community
Center Cup Championship for spring 2012.

The newly added spring adult co-ed soccer season at the Anna Maria Island Community Center is now officially over. The season capped off on Thursday night with the first ever adult all-star game and then the Cup Championship.

Ten weeks ago, eight teams began the journey towards the title. But in the end it was the Don Meilner & Son Construction team that was crowned champions. Doing it with authority and leaving no doubt, they shutout the powerhouse Florida Discount Signs team 8-0.

The team that peaks at the right time and gets hot is usually the one that wins in a playoff format. Don Meilner & Sons did just that. They worked their way up from the middle seeded position defeating Best Buy and Pink & Navy Boutique before winning the championship game.

Tim Tedesco, aka Speedy, seemed unstoppable in the playoffs this year and had four of the eight total goals in the championship game. Matt Plummer also had a great season and scored two goals in this game. Chris Kazanas chipped in with a goal and an assist, and Amy Talucci added the other goal.

The team really pulled together when it counted, and it was mainly due to its three strong leaders. Former professional player and the Center’s West Edge soccer camp instructor Paul Hayward could be heard on the field coaching his team while playing.

The second strong leader was former woman’s colligate coach, player and Center’s Education Director Lindsey Weaver. She, with her unselfish play, had two assists in the championship game and could also be heard on the field directing the players into positions.

The glue that kept the team together and anchored it in goal was coach/goalie Nate Talucci. He had five stellar saves in goal and recorded the shutout performance for his team. Rich Bell provided the superb defense in front of him all year, and the championship game was not any different.

Congratulations to Don Meilner & Sons Construction, 2012 spring league champions! The road to the next Center Cup Championship begins in August.

Gator Man Pools Basketball Champs

Coach/player Aaron Duduks led his team to his second straight Community Center co-ed adult basketball championship. He scored 23 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in the title game as Gator Man Pools defeated Bowes Imaging Center 64 - 51.

Evan Wolfe added 18 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Sean Hubbard chipped in with 8 points, 7 rebounds and an assist. Chris Smith added 8 points, 3 rebounds and an assist. Sean Sanders had 5 points and 3 rebounds, and Larry Berkery added 2 points and 6 rebounds.

For the Bowes Imaging team, Jason Mickan had 29 points, 6 rebounds and an assist. Mike Hanes added 11 points, 2 rebounds and an assist. Mark Templeton had 9 points, 18 rebounds and an assist.

Congratulations to the Gator Man Pools team! The next season begins in late August.

Adult Co-Ed Basketball Results
Semifinal Playoffs

The Feast restaurant  52
Gator Man Pools  66
Aaron Duduks led the way with 34 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Evan Wolfe had 16 points, 7 rebounds in the Gator Man Pools win. For the Feast, Matt Morgan had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Brent Moss had 11 points, 6 rebounds and an assist.

BeachHouse restaurant  60
Bowes Imaging Center  65
Tyler Bekkerus had 33 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Mike Hanes had 16 points and 3 rebounds for the Bowes Imaging Center win. For the BeachHouse, Antwaun Jackson had a double-double with 31 points and 16 rebounds and 4 assists. Brandon Kern had 22 points and 3 rebounds.


Readers praise graduation stance

The response to last week’s column on the Manatee High School valedictorian Sarah Ecker, who didn’t give a speech at graduation or even get a mention in the program, has been overwhelmingly kind. A summary of responses follows, with Sarah’s dad first:

I would like to thank you very much for the kind words about my daughter. There are not enough words that can express a father’s happiness regarding Sarah’s accomplishments. As a parent, I was blessed when Sarah was born, making me the proud father I am today as I was when I first set eyes on her.

Just as you wrote, I can attest to how hard Sarah has worked as an academic and an athlete. It is disheartening that track and cross country do not receive the accolades that other sports receive, such as football. But then again, football is not an Olympic sport and running is. Another achievement that Sarah may one day strive to achieve is being in the Olympics.

Her hard work and perseverance have awarded her a full scholarship to Georgia Tech, where Sarah surely will work hard towards her goal to be an environmental engineer.

Thank you for the recognition you have given Sarah, the sport of running and the hard work that these athletes put in to achieve their dreams. Our news is so full of violence, drama and sensationalism that we sometimes forget what is real and important in our lives – the kids. I am so proud to be Sarah’s father.

nce again, thank you for being a mentor to our kids and making for a great Father’s Day for me with your column.

Rick Ecker

Thank you so much for your article. I went to MHS as well 10-plus years ago, and it is the same as it ever was. Worse, from the looks of it. I shared your article on my Facebook page, and I hope others do as well. I do wish this would change in high schools, this football crazed insanity, and not for the school’s reputation, but for all the kids in the schools, both football players and non.

Maybe life isn’t fair, but some things are sacred. Who ever heard of a graduation where the head of the class didn’t speak? I guess Manatee is shooting for a new slogan something like, “Tis better to abuse your brain, then use your brain.” I am glad someone with a local platform was able to publically comment about the whole thing.

Thank you again! It was fantastic.

Dawn Kitterman

I loved your article. I actually remember the same thing at my graduation from MHS. It’s sad and absolutely crazy. I hope your article and social media starts a revolution and it never happens again.

I remember knowing who was #1 in the class because she was a friend, but they didn’t recognize her at graduation.

FYI, Riley was awarded a really great leadership scholarship of $25,000 so it’s more of a half-ride. She is still trying to scrape together all the smaller awards she can to lower the loan amount she is taking out.

Combined with her smaller scholarships and work study, government and bank loans, money she earns from working a part time job, babysitting, graduation gifts and her dad and I, she’s getting there. Even though it’s a stretch and leap of faith that she will find the money she needs for all four years, its such an amazing opportunity I’m willing to take that route for at least one. I am so proud of Riley and her incredible work ethic. I know she will be successful wherever life takes her, but this school just seems to be the ideal place.

Anyway, you have been such an awesome cheerleader for her and we are so happy Riley has found such a great friend and role model in you. Thank you for being a part of her life.

Cyndi Crowder Dunn
Riley Paige Dunn’s Mom

This week, I’m heading to Miami where I worked as a TV investigative reporter years ago. I am very honored to be speaking about eating well on a budget at five different Whole Foods – Coral Gables, Wellington, Plantation, Boca Raton and Coral Springs – from Wednesday through Saturday. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.

Ellen Jaffe Jones is the author of “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day,” a certified personal trainer and running coach and can be reached at

You can follow Island resident Ellen Jaffe Jones on her Facebook page and keep up with her just released book:,"Eat Vegan on $4 a Day," or her website: She is also a nationally certified personal trainer and running coach. For training in a gym or private hire, contact Ellen at or 941-704-1025.

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