A salute to the 2018 class of inductees for the Manatee High School Athletics Hall of Honor who will be celebrated Thursday at B’town’s Pier 22.
You’ve got distinguished folks such as Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy Debbie Smith (Class of 1985), a gifted three-sport athlete all four years whose softball prowess earned her a full ride to Florida State.
There’s Mike Kelly, a larger-than-life personality, football and wresting coach, internationally respected wrestling official, Key Club adviser, and beloved mentor to many students.
Then there’s Debbie Crowe, who just celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary with husband Bob. The tireless owner of the iconic Shake Pit has supported the ’Canes in countless ways for years.
Among other august inductees are tennis player John “Jack” Egan (1950); Ed Mahoney (1963), who still holds the ’Canes single-game scoring record in basketball (49 points); and Chuck Howard (1986), a powerhouse linebacker on Manatee’s storied 1983 and 1985 state football champions.
The stellar 1995-96 boys soccer team (23-2-3) will also be inducted. Coach Rene Mirandilla’s squad included Mike Ameres, Russ Brantley, Mike Cruikshank, Alex Csizinsky, Jay D’Angiollilo, Joe DeJongh, Dan Kasler, Steve Kinlaw, Alex Mayer, Travis McClellan, Scott McMahon, Ian Murdoch, Chris Noll, Mike Phillips, James Price, Jeremy Purvis, Daryl Quinn, Chris Rasulo, Tony Rasulo, Doug Sanders, Jeff Saunders, Keith Tumolo, Travis West, manager Natalie Eppert, statistician Amy Guilfoyle and trainer Mike Estes.
“My wife and I were de-cluttering this summer and I came across that framed soccer picture,” said Estes, now a senior associate athletic director at Florida Gulf Coast University. “It definitely brings back some terrific memories.”
Today is the deadline for tickets, so visit manateehighalumni.com/hall-of-honor.
• And speaking of Hurricanes, that’s 35 years of wedded bliss for Janet and Mike Smith, the ’Canes track and cross country coach and once upon a time the fastest guy at Miami of Ohio.
• Big ups to Perspective Racing. The team of Manatee School District students took third place out of 51 teams from 31 countries in the F1 in Schools World Finals in Singapore and won the Research and Development Award.
Led by Brian Kendzior, a technology teacher at Palmetto High, the team included Braden River seniors Alana Kelly and Ahmad Ibsais, Palmetto grad Jaxson Bunes, and Southeast seniors Alex Kumar and Cassandra Atzrodt.
The competition included using computer-aided design and manufacturing to design, analyze, manufacture, test and race miniature compressed air-powered Formula One cars.
The third-place finish is another remarkable milestone for our town’s students. Southeast won the competition in 2010, took third in 2011, second in 2013, and a team of Manatee district students was fourth in 2014.
“These students are the next generation of engineers and scientists and we couldn’t be more proud of their exceptional achievements on a world stage,” Deputy Superintendent Doug Wagner said.
• Uh, oh! Eric Silenzi is one year shy of the Big 5-0!
• If you love pancakes, the Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier, 200 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, is hosting a pancake eating contest next Sunday at 10 a.m.
“Just something fun to bring people out to the Island,” owner Amanda Horne said. “It should be hilarious.”
The first 10 contestants who sign in by 9:30 a.m. will vie with four “ringers,” including Hizzoner Wayne Poston, B’town’s mayor-for-life, state House candidate Will Robinson, Jeff Podobnik, Pirates senior director of Florida and Dominican Republic operations, and yours truly.
The winner gets a $200 AMOB gift card.
For more details, call 941-778-2662.
• Dr. Anthony Ferretti was promoted to associate dean of Clinical Education Emeritus at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
• Michelle Bonds Slaughter is 39. Again.
• So is Lynn Pierce.
• Finally, did you see NASA’s administrator wants to explore selling naming rights to rockets and spacecraft? Just imagine Budweiser splashed up the side of a 36-story high Saturn V rocket. Gold Coast Eagle Distributing boss John Saputo must be ecstatic.
Vin’s People runs Sundays. Email Vin Mannix at email@example.com. Or call 941-962-5944. Twitter: @vinmannix.