The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 14 No. 13 - January 22, 2014


Tyler’s Ice Cream warms the crowd

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Scott dell | submitted

Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings quarterback Thomas Heckler
runs for a first down with Cowboys defender Anthony
Monetti coming up fast during AMICC NFL Flag Football action on Friday night.

The Sun sports game of the week was an eight-to-ten-year-old NFL flag football contest between the Miller Electric Cowboys and the Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings.

On a cold winter’s Friday night at the Community Center, football fans were warmed by an exciting come from behind victory.

The opening drive of the game saw the Miller Electric Cowboys march down the field and then stall at the Vikings four-yard line. The Cowboys were unable to score and the Vikings defense rose to the challenge.

The Cowboys defense held strong, and on the Vikings third offensive possession, Cowboys defender Anthony Monetti intercepted a pass at mid-field. This set up the Cowboys first touchdown of the game.

With third and goal from the 12-yard line, Cowboys quarterback Will Batey threw a pass to Brandon Yost over the middle. Yost cut and weaved through a host of Viking’s defenders to find the end-zone. The extra-point pass was good when Batey threw to Monetti and gave the Cowboys the lead 7-0.

The Vikings had little time left in the first half, but answered with a touchdown of their own. On a third and goal from the 10-yard line and only nine seconds left, Vikings quarterback Thomas Heckler threw a touchdown pass to Tuna McCracken. The extra-point attempt failed and left the score 7-6 Cowboys at the half.

The Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings started with the ball on offense in the second half. Vikings quarterback Heckler drove his team down field and picked up the first down. On first and goal from the 22-yard line, Heckler threw a bomb over the top of the defense to an open Ava Alderson for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed and gave the Vikings the lead 12 to 7.

In an exciting turn of momentum, Brandon Yost and the Cowboys answered right back. On their first second half offensive play, Yost took a hand off and bobbed and weaved his way through every Vikings defender to the end zone. Yost ran 45 yards for the touchdown. Vikings defender McCracken brook up the extra-point pass, but gave the Cowboys the lead 13 to 12.

After two immediate scoring drives to open the second half, both defenses calmed the scoring. Neither team would budge and continued to send the opposing offenses to three and outs.

With only two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game and the Vikings trailing by one point, the offense was running out of chances. On a second down play, Vikings quarterback Thomas Heckler connected on a beautiful deep post pattern with receiver Tuna McCracken. Heckler hit McCracken in full stride more than 20 yards in the air, which is not easy for an eight-to-ten-year-old player. McCracken turned on the jets and ran the last 10 yards into the end-zone for the score. The extra-point pass was good when McCracken threw to Madelyn Rogers and with only one minute left in the game, the Vikings took the lead 19 to 13.

With just over a minute and all of their timeouts left, the Cowboys still had a chance to tie or win the game. The Vikings defense rose to the challenge once again and forced the Cowboys to a three and out. The Vikings offense then ran the clock out and sealed the come from behind victory for them. Final score 19 to 13.

Youth 5-7-Year-Old Flag Football Schedule

Jan. 24, Friday, 6 p.m. – Air & Energy Bucs vs. Beaches Real Estate Packers

Youth 8-10-Year-Old Flag Football Results

Beach Bistro Buccaneers  31
LPAC Cardinals  27

West Coast Air & Heating Dolphins 26 Miller Electric Cowboys  6

Beach Bums Patriots  20
Manatee Diagnostic Ravens  18

Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings  19
Miller Electric Cowboys  13

Youth 8-10-Year-Old Flag Football Schedule

Jan. 22, Wednesday, 6 p.m. – Beach Bistro Buccaneers vs. West Coast Air & Heating Dolphins
Jan. 24, Friday, 6 p.m. – LPAC Cardinals vs. Tyler’s Ice Cream Vikings
Jan. 24, Friday, 7 p.m. – Miller Electric Cowboys vs. Manatee Diagnostic Ravens
Jan. 27, Monday, 6 p.m. Beach Bistro Buccaneers vs. Beach Bums Patriots

Youth 11-13-Year-Old Flag Football Results:

LPAC Cardinals  14
Bark & Company Realty Ravens  7

Sandbar Colts  42
Eat Here Redskins  19

Beach to Bay Bucs  19
Will C. Photos Falcons  6

Healthy food can taste great

As a TV reporter ages ago, I used to get paid the big bucks (ha) getting all sides to a story and doing the research it takes. So this volunteer column is the result of my week’s experiences and what I can write in two to three hours time. I always hope to inspire and prevent needless suffering of humans and animals that occurs way too often.

It is my belief that in our area, it would be a huge financial benefit if we had more vegan restaurants. Really vegan restaurants.

Like the exclusively vegan restaurant Ionie’s in Sarasota. My friend, Carl Lovejoy, is the amazing chef there. Check out restaurants’ Facebook pages or websites to see what they’re serving.

What I love are restaurants that aren’t afraid to say they are vegan in their name. Leafy Greens in St. Petersburg is an example. The first yelp review says, “Very fresh ingredients and the largest dehydrator I've ever seen combine for a menu that is very palatable even to non-vegans. 

Highly recommend the chilled curry soup, spinach salad with berry dressing, Mediterranean pizza and The Real Deal.

Also, the vegan chocolate lava cake is the perfect balance of dates and cacao. This is the way things should be. Healthy food can taste great!”

My problem is that I’ve traveled the country on book tour, and my publisher and others have taken me to the best and outrageously, financially successful vegan restaurants. Karyn’s on Greens in Chicago, The Chicago Diner, Café Gratitude all over California, New York’s Candle 79, San Francisco’s Millenium, Philly’s Vedge are just a sampling of restaurants that are exclusively vegan and even boast it in their titles.

Guess what? All those cities have lots of people, I bet, who travel here and would love an exclusively vegan restaurant option. I for one, would be a regular. Even an exclusively vegetarian restaurant on the Island would be awesome.

Speaking of food, the deadline is approaching to register for my noon Taste of Vegan cooking classes at the Anna Maria Island Community Center on all Thursdays in February. Fresh Market has donated the food. To whet your appetite, here’s what I’ll be demonstrating, and what you get to eat:

Feb. 6: Eating/Staying Fit on $4/Day – Thai no-fry spring rolls, braised collards, stone-broke soup;

Feb. 13: Getting Enough Protein on Just Plants – garbanzo bean salad, tempeh broccoli saute, breakfast scramble;

Feb. 20: Sumptious Salads – easy bean salad, community garden salad, tropical salad;

Feb. 27: Delectable Desserts – chocolate mousse, coconut ice cream, heavenly Island smoothies.

We had a small, but mighty, turnout to brave the cool temps at my free Manatee Public Beach hour-long, mini-workout last week. I start with warm-ups that have kept me injury free, then a walk and or run, depending on group interests, and cool down stretches. Feel free to join us every Monday at 9 a.m. at the Manatee Public Beach playground.

All abilities are welcome. I separate the group if needed. We’re always there as long as the temperature is 50 degrees or warmer. If it’s windy, bring a windbreaker and a towel and water. And I promise never to mention the “v” (vegan) word unless you ask.

I placed first in my age group at the Bradenton YMCA 5K this weekend – the 63rd time placing in a race since 2006. I thought it would be a gentle cross-country course on the county fairgrounds. Instead, it wound through the actual fair itself – heavy lighter fluid, BBQ smoke, people smoking and a fuel truck that blocked the narrow path at one point. But I got to hold my trophy by the Beef-It’s What’s For Dinner sign.

I’ll be attempting the marathon in Celebration next weekend. I’ve been spending way too much time in the chair writing. Sitting is the new smoking you know.

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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