By Tamas Mondovics

SPORTS_IMGM0212Durant, Bloomingdale High Schools End Season With Regional Losses

Finishing its regular season, Durant entered the post season with a nearly perfect district record. After a strong start in the first round of regionals, the girls defeated Freedom 3-0, confidently setting up for the match against its regional rival, but fell short of advancing to the next round.

With Freedom behind them, the Cougars, led by program Head Coach Brittany Wilson, found themselves in the regional semifinal rematch against Steinbrenner, but things played out nearly mirroring last year as they suffered a 3-0 loss (25-15, 25-21, 25-23) halting the program’s chances to go further.

To reach the playoffs, Durant dominated its 7A District 7 conference, but ended the season with an overall 19-9, district 9-1 record ranking 80 in the state.

As is the case of Durant, Bloomingdale suffered a similar fate.

With a 10-0 regular season record secured, the Bloomingdale Bulls volleyball team took on and defeated its district rival Wharton Wildcats with a final score of 3-2 during the 8A District 7 playoff championship and advanced to a promising post season success.

But after a sluggish start, the Bulls won their second set of the regional quarterfinal match against Palm Harbor University, but was unable to keep the momentum going suffering a 3-1 loss (25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20), which halted the program’s chance to advance, ending Bloomingdale’s 2014 fall season with a 25-2 overall record.

It was Palm Harbor that brought the Bulls last season to a close as well.

A win would have also given Bloomingdale a chance to redeem last year’s 3-0 regional loss to the Hurricanes, an effort that the Bulls will now have to wait until next fall.

For the team’s Head Coach Claudia Cabrera, 23 a USF graduate, the season was a nice way to start a head coaching career.

“I am very proud of the girls for working so hard all season,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera emphasized that while the team has the necessary individual talent, more was needed.

Building on the previous year’s ups and downs Cabrera said she worked with the girls to learn to recover from losses and take each game one step at a time.

“We have a great senior lineup, strong leadership, great chemistry and the desire to win the title and go as far as possible post season,” she said prior to the playoffs, adding that the team has been motivated by a Kenneth Blanchard phrase printed on their practice T-shirts, which reads, “When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

For more information visit, www.maxpreps.com or www.fhsaa.org.

Valrico Kickballers Now Recruiting for Adult Year Round

In its sixth year of year-round, adult, co-ed kickball season the Valrico Kickballers are recruiting new members.

Enticing residents with the promise of a fun-filled season playing a sport in a recreational, non-league setting that is sure to keep each player active; the organization is urging commitment to become a partner in supporting the program.

Played on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:45-8:15 p.m. rain or shine, the event boasts of being a diverse, fun loving, recreational (non-competitive) adult co-ed kickball and social group. According to the group’s Website, current ages vary from are 20 somethings to 60 somethings with all skill levels, playing for fun, in a family friendly atmosphere.

Beside the evening games, Valrico Kickballers also offer year round social activities (monthly birthday celebrations, board game nights, family games, kids outings, Halloween and new year parties, just to name a few) all at a cost of $10 per year.

To learn more about Valrico Kickballers, visit www.meetup.com/valricokickballers.