The Gulf Coast Flames, a 12-and-under youth hockey team based in Ellenton with players from around Tampa Bay, won the USA Hockey Tier II National Championship last weekend in Hackensack, N.J.
The team beat the Grosse Pointe Bulldogs 4-2. The Flames are thought to be the first Florida team to win a USA Hockey national championship.
The Flames played six games and won all six, one in overtime. They had 30 goals for and seven against to win pool A of the Tier II 12-and-under group, and the defense played well throughout the tournament, helping limit quality scoring chances.
Jeremy Butterworth scored four goals and had six assists to lead the Flames with 10 points. Nate McPherson had three goals and six assists, Caleb Fizer had five goals and four assists, and Drew Fineberg had five goals and three assists.
The Flames won the Southeast District to qualify for nationals by outscoring opponents 33-9. Other players on the team: Jackson Widell, Jimmy Jones, Joey Fabec, Zack Mitchell, J.C. Bradley, Matt Grabowski, Sean Murray, Sam Johnson, Zachary Facheris, Blake Redden, Trent Cowicson, Tanner Cowicson and Reid Simpson.
LaFleur's of Largo won the Level 8 and 9 state championship March 29-30 at the Long Center in Clearwater. The Level 8 all-around winners included Meghan Brannon (bars, beam and floor), Natalie Humbert (bars, beam and floor), Megan Schell (vault and bars) and Lynn Burton (vault).
The Level 9 all-around winners were Amanda Condreay (vault, beam and floor), Danielle Kazakos (vault, beam and floor) and Dalila Lemezan (vault and floor). The Level 8 champs have qualified for the region tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn., and the Level 9 champs qualified for regionals in Huntsville, Ala.
The On Top of the World Ladies Golf Association held its 11th annual Rally for the Cure on April 1. The winning team was the foursome of Carole and Jack Lacey and Jane and Dick Hanley with a scramble score of 55.
• The Largo Golf Course held its biweekly scramble March 29. The winning team was Paul Battle, Bob Winkler, Larry Guldan and Bill Hackney, who shot 15-under 47.
• The County Golf Association held a better-ball tournament April 7 at Countryside Country Club. Juice Ahern and Mark Wheaton won the regular division gross championship with 65. Dick Clemens and Claud Johnston won the senior division gross championship with 62. The overall net championship team was Bill Greenman and Tom Parker with 59. The Ladies net champion was the team of Mary Lou Edwards and Jane Racila with 68.
The Royal Racquet Club in Clearwater held the 30th annual Suncoast Championships last weekend. Gewan Maharaj won the men's 55 singles championship. Anthony Ruggiero was the men's 60 singles winner, Will Reoper won the men's 65 title, and Donald Mathias was the men's 70 winner.
Phil James of Clearwater had a pretty good week. He bowled a 300 and 785 series March 31 at Countryside Lanes in the evening league. He followed with another 300 on April 1 at Seminole Lanes in the morning league.
• After the first weekend of competition, Wild Hogs is leading the Team Handicap Event at 3,563 in the 71st annual St. Petersburg Bowling Association Championship Tournament at Twedt's Bowling Center in Largo. Leading the team with a scratch 638 three-game total was Mike Scalisce. Others on the team: Mel Glynn, Nicholas Stella, Gary Tucker and David Rathburn.
Matt Galhouse and Gabe Tosella of Largo lead Handicap Doubles with 1,637. Chris Rivera and Jon Ellerhorst of Clearwater lead the Scratch Doubles with 1,397.
Robert Dantschisch of Pinellas Park leads Handicap Singles with 781, and Justin Veitch of St. Petersburg has a three-pin lead in Scratch Singles with 677.
Dantschisch is in front in Handicap All Events with 2,188.
The tournament winds up this weekend at Twedt's Bowling Center. Complete results are available at www.spbafl.org.
The Pelican under-19 rugby team will play the Northeast Nomads of Fort Lauderdale at 3 p.m. today in the semifinals of the Florida High School Rugby Union tournament. The team will play at the Northdale Soccer Fields in Tampa. The Pelicans, made up of players from throughout Tampa Bay, will play in the championship match Saturday if they win.
The Clearwater Horseshoe Club held the Bill Smith Open tournament last weekend. Sue Snyder of Kentucky won with an 81 percent ringer percentage. Snyder is a six-time women's world champion and is ranked second in the world.
Melanie Peters, the second-place finisher in the Iron Girl 10K, had a time of 38:44. An incorrect time was listed in Wednesday's Times.