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Childs Park football shines at youngest level

The 10-week season of the Pinellas Youth Football Conference is complete, but every team in the 37-year-old conference is still in the running for a conference championship, since all eight teams make the playoffs.

"We've scheduled our playoffs this way to give all the teams the opportunity to participate in a playoff situation," PYFC president Geneva Waters said. "Most teams get better as the season goes on, so the playoffs are like starting all over with a clean slate. In the past, we've had some unexpected results and upsets."

Undefeated through 10 games in the varsity division were Largo in the Flyweights, Manatee (Mighty Mites) and St. Petersburg (Pee Wees). The Silver Raiders were first with a 9-1 record in Midgets. In the junior varsity division, Gibbs No. 2 was 10-0 in Flyweights and St. Petersburg 7-0 in Pee Wees. St. Petersburg No. 1 was 9-1 to lead the Mighty Mites.

Childs Park finished at the top of the youngest division, Flag.

"That's the start of the whole organization," Childs Park president Pat Hampton said of the Flag team. "A lot of them started out together when they were 4."

Hampton's board includes vice-president Anthony Hart, vice-president Ruthie Maynard-Jones, athletic director Bernard Rembert, treasurer Loretta Young, registrar Renita Ethridge and assistant athletic director Stacie Walton.

Childs Park serves about 300 on its four varsity teams and flag teams, all with corresponding cheerleading squads.

"Our Midgets have a good bunch of boys with a lot of talent," Hampton said. "They improved as the season went on. Our Flyweights had a pretty good season and finished 4-6.

"I'm definitely in favor of having all the teams in the playoffs. They should have a chance to participate to the end. We're still getting them ready for high school football. I would like to see less emphasis on competition and more focus on having fun."

The playoffs were to begin this weekend with the semifinals Nov. 8-9 at Southeast High in Manatee and the championships Nov. 15-16 at the Bradenton Sports Complex.

SYFC: This weekend is the final regular-season matchup in the Suncoast Youth Football Conference with quarterfinal playoffs slated Nov. 8 at Countryside. Semifinal games are Nov. 15 at Tarpon Springs with varsity finals Nov. 22 and JV title games Nov. 23 at Northeast High.

GYMNASTICS: Local clubs Bayside and LaFleur's of Largo competed in last month's Gasparilla Meet in Tampa.

Bayside Gymnastics placed four in Level 6 top-10 all-around. Brittany Tanner was sixth, Lacy Buck seventh, Sara Wright ninth and Samantha Stephan 10th. Taylor Ball (fifth all-around), Maegan Carlson (seventh), Allasyn Lieneck (seventh) and Shelby Hilton (eighth) led Bayside's Level 5 team.

LaFleur's Level 4 all-around champions were Morgan Marks, Katelyn Greenleaf, Rebecca Wunderlich, Taylor Lents and Nikki Wiseman and in Level 5 were Jenna Spady, Rachel Meyers and Mary Michael Toups. LaFleur's AAU gymnastCourtney Buheit was second all-around in Level 3. Kayla Duffee was fifth with Jaymi March winning vault and Buheit floor exercise. In Level 4, Stephanie Jeffords (bars) won the all-around, vault, balance beam and floor. Tying for third-place all-around were Mallory Leary and Amanda Maxwell. Event winners included Leary (beam) and Haley McHugh (vault).

LaFleur's won Level 4 and 5 team competitions and Bayside's Level 6 was second. In AAU competition, LaFleur's was second in Level 3 and third in Level 4.

In the South Florida Fright Night Meet in Coral Springs, Tampa Bay Turners entered three Level 4 teams, two Level 5 and one Level 6. Leading TB Turners Level 6 competition were Ashtyn Morgan, Alexia Perry and Aramis Andreatus. Jillian Root won the Level 5 all-around, as well as the vault and bars. Sara McCammack was first in all-around and won beam.

Other event winners were Mckenzie Smith (bars) and Kirsten Monkanian (bars). Therese Byrne, Kaitlin Griffith, Cortni Claar and Ashley Rhoads won the Level 4 all-around while Keri Linnemeyer won bars; Melissa Franklin, floor; Griffith, beam; Rhoads, vault, bars and beam; Claar, bars and floor; Christina Phiel, bars; Danielle Brown, bars. TB Turners Level 6 team was third; Level 5 second and fourth; Level 4 first, second and third.

SOCCER: The Strictly Soccer under-12 boys team is ranked No. 1 in Florida, the Southeast Region 3 and in the nation, according to nationalsoccerrankings.com.

SWIMMING: St. Petersburg Aquatic swimmers Tracy Rorer in the girls 11-12 and Cameron Chambers in the 11-12 boys were among the high-point winners in the West Florida Lightning Aquatics annual Halloween Open Swim Meet. SPA was fifth overall among 22 clubs. Clearwater Aquatics Team was second, host WFLA third, Tampa Bay Community Aquatics fourth, Dunedin Aquatic Club seventh, Swim Team at Countryside eighth and East Lake Woodlands 13th. Other local winners were CAT's Clay Bullock, senior boys; Jose Crescimbeni, 13-14; and Matt Davis, 10-and-under; and TBAY's Tripp Lawson, 8-and-under boys.

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