By Tamas Mondovics

Lacrosse Becomes Sanctioned High School Sport

Local area schools looking to add a new sport to their athletics list may draw from the efforts and subsequent success of the students at Bloomingdale High School.

Student-athletes interested in playing varsity lacrosse at their own school got the news they have been waiting for a while. Hillsborough County has voted to have lacrosse as an FHSAA sanctioned sport in high schools.

Joining the list of schools now included in the program, Bloomingdale takes its rightful place alongside Alonso, Durant, Freedom, Jefferson, Newsome, Plant, Robinson, Steinbrenner, Tampa Bay Tech and Wharton.

The Bloomingdale Lacrosse Club itself was formed in December 2013 to provide an opportunity for Bloomingdale High School students to play Varsity Lacrosse.

With plenty of interest and support, the club was able to join the list of area schools under the direction of Hillsborough County Lacrosse Alliance (HALAX), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works with Hillsborough County Public Schools to manage the transition of high school lacrosse from a club sport to an FHSAA-sanctioned sport.

Students were able to set up an official Bloomingdale lacrosse sign-up table during this year’s open house alongside the other sanctioned school sports.

“The students are so excited,” said team parent Sandy Porto. “Besides the students that played last year, well over 50 signed up including girls, which is awesome. They now feel included and that is great. We have some super happy kids.”

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BSAC will Host Annual Dash and Splash Event

The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) proudly announced its hosting the third annual Dash and Splash event scheduled to be held on Saturday, September 13 at its facility located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon.

According to BSAC officials, the event, which will begin at 7:30 a.m., is held annually is an important event for both the center and the community.

“This event is in support of our Youth Drowning Prevention initiative,” said Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center Director of Operations, Lori Bukaweski. “All proceeds will go toward providing swim lessons to families who cannot afford them.”

Bukaweski explained that Dash and Splash is a swimming/running timed event consisting of a two mile run, quarter mile swim and a one mile run for adults.

Children are not left out of the activity-filled festivities as for children ages 7 to 10 the event will feature a half mile run, 100 meter swim, and children ages 11 to 14 will be able to take part in a one mile run, 200 meter swim.

Pre-race day registration prices are $25 for adults, $15 for children ages 7 to 10 and $20 for children ages 11 to 14. Registration will be available at

Those unable to attend the event can still support BSAC’s youth drowning prevention initiative by purchasing a T-shirt for $15 from the Center promoting the event and its sponsors.

“We encourage athletes, non-athletes, children and adults of all ages to participate in this family oriented fun event,” Bukaweski said.

For more information, call 689-0908.

Local Team Rallies to Win 12U Girls Softball World Series

This year’s Babe Ruth Softball 12U World Series tourney started out a bit rough for the members of the Bloomingdale Blaze team, but instead of giving up the girls rallied together and became World Series Champions in Alachua, Fla.

After losing their first pool game to Connecticut, which was also the team’s first loss of the entire season, the team turned things around and lived up to its undefeated status by winning the remaining seven rounds, including the 2-1 title game victory against Pitt County North Carolina.

“It’s been a lot of work, but we have been very solid with our pitching and timely with hitting,” said Bloomingdale Blaze Head Coach DJ Pena in an earlier interview as he talked about the girls journey to the World Series.

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