This weekend’s Sunshine State Games Lacrosse features 121 teams in Parkland
~Also a look back at Figure Skating and Rugby Championships~
TALLAHASSEE – Successive weekends of Sunshine State Games competitions in Broward County have athletes in competition on the ice and on fields of grass.
The Sunshine State Games Summer Kickoff Lacrosse Tournament will be played at Pine Trails Park in Parkland beginning Friday, May 20. A total of 121 teams (85 boys, 36 girls) will compete in 12 age groups (9 boys, 3 girls) ranging from 9 and under through high school. The 121 teams will play a total of 268 games over a 25 hour span when games begin at 6:00 p.m. Friday and conclude with the final round of games at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22.
Six of the 121 teams will be representing the Bradenton Monsters, competing in six of the nine boys divisions (High School A, High School B2, Middle School A, Middle School B, 11 and under and 9 and under). In 2015, the Monsters won 16 championships titles in six different tournaments. The program has a total of eight teams ranging from the 9 and under age group to a high school team and a girls team.
Last weekend’s Broward County Festival was the first of six weeks of events over the next seven weeks of the 2016 Sunshine State Games, Florida’s Olympic-style Sports Festival that has provided amateur sports opportunities for residents of the state for 37 years.
The 30th Anniversary of the Sunshine State Games Figure Skating Championships was celebrated with three days of events on the two rinks of the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.
Of the 127 gold medals awarded for the events that began on Friday morning, May 13 and ended Sunday afternoon, May 15, 10-year old Haley Scott, of Port Orange, earned a pair of golds to win the Betty Stark Award as the top Juvenile skater of the Games. Winning the Dorothy Dodson Award for Figure Skating Excellence as the top skater in the Intermediate division free skating long and short programs events was 12-year old Anastasia Russ, of Parkland.
Presenting the Betty Stark Award was the 30-year Figure Skating Sport Director, of Coral Springs, who was recognized for her service to the Sunshine State Games and amateur sports in the State of Florida.
Scott won the gold medal in the Juvenile Free Skating Championship Round and Russ had a combined score of 86.36 (56.07 long program, 30.29 short program) in the Intermediate Free Skating Programs to win silver medals in both events while totaling the high score for the award.
The 2015 Dorothy Dodson Award winner, Paxton James, of Estero, won a pair of gold medals skating in the Novice Division Free Skate and Short Programs. This is the fourth consecutive year James has won a SSG gold medal.
The Orlando Lady Griffins Rugby Club and the Miami Rugby Club were both undefeated in winning the gold medals in the Women’s and Men’s Open Divisions of the 2016 SSG Rugby Championships at Brian Piccolo Park in Cooper City.
The Orlando Lady Griffins are a competitive USA Rugby Division II Senior Women’s Club, part of the Orlando Rugby Football Club (established in 1970), the oldest rugby club in Florida. They won the double round-robin format tournament defeating Miami Vice and Fort Miami twice for a 4-0 record.
The Miami A Rugby Club was undefeated in five games for the Men’s Open Division gold medal. In the first four games of pool play, Miami outscored its opponents 144-20 and defeated Naples in the Championship Game, 20-19.
The Sunshine State Games championship was the first event of a full summer schedule for the Miami Rugby Club as the team will play in seven more tournaments around the state through August 6.
The Palm Beach Punishers won the High School Division with four wins and a loss. Palm Beach defeated Okapi in the championship round 26-7
Rounding out the calendar in May is the Sunshine State Games Boxing Championships in Fort Lauderdale and the Sunshine State Games Basketball Championships in Alachua County, the weekend of May 28-30.
For more information about the 37th Annual Sunshine State Games, visit www.sunshinestategames.com. Click the “Results,” link for full results of each of the 28 sports of the Games as they progress through the coming months. More than 10,000 of Florida’s Finest amateur athletes will compete in this program presented annually by the Florida Sports Foundation.