The Ocala Karate Dojo had an impressive showing at the Amateur Athletic Union National Karate Tournament in Fort Lauderdale.
The group came away with 11 national champions, and a tally of 14 gold, six silver, and six bronze medals, for a total of 26 medals out of 16 competitors.
In addition to nationals, the Ocala Karate Dojo has produced 10 state champions and an overall medal count of 79 gold, 67 silver, and 67 bronze medals.
The Ocala Karate Dojo is led by director and owner Hanshi Bill Woodard, an eighth degree black belt. The AAU national championships were held at the Broward County Convention Center.
At nationals, nine-year-old Angelo Fucci won three gold medals with first-place finishes in the Kobudo, Kata, and Kumite. Liam Lumia, 5, the youngest competitor out of the group, took home two gold medals with wins in the Kobudo and Kumite, and he also won the silver in the Kata.
Other gold medal winners were Kayliannie Miranda (age 7, gold in Kobudo, bronze in Kumite), Beck LaRue (age 8, gold in Kobudo), Amyneelie Miranda (age 8, gold in Kobudo, bronze in Kumite), Sabrina Forsythe (age 9, gold in Kobudo), Griffin Garbutt (age 9, gold in Kobudo, silver in Kumite), Tyler Klein (age 10, gold in Kobudo), Olivia Pfeiffer (age 13, gold in Kata, silver in Kobudo), Sean Malone (age 13, gold in Kobudo), and Jeremiah Mano (age 15, gold in Kobudo, bronze in Kata and Kumite).
All gold medal winners were named national champions.
Will Jingozian (age 10, silver in Kumite), Amelia Schmeltz (age 10, bronze in Kumite), Kenzlee Hutchinson (age 10, silver in Kumite), Sensei Alec McCann (age 17, silver in Kobudo, bronze in Team Kumite), and Nicholas Kelty (age 14, national qualifier) rounded out the nationals list for the Ocala Karate Dojo.
Woodard’s dojo is assisted and coached by Shihan Colton Woodard, Sensei Julio Ramos, Sensei Julius Ramos, Jeremiah Mano, and admin coaches Mark Lumia and Dr. Michelle Forsythe.
Team members Liam Lumia, Sabrina Forsythe, and Angelo Fucci will be attending the 2018 AAU Junior Olympics in Des Moines, Iowa, in August. The Ocala Karate Dojo also will be setting its sights on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
MAX Performance Volleyball wins national title
Ocala’s MAX Performance 14's volleyball team came away with a national title after a gold medal finish on June 20 at the AAU Girls’ National volleyball tournament in Orlando.
“We have seen so many great things happen within our club this season, but this is by far the best,” head coach and club director Jason LaBorde said. “Not only did the 14’s MAX team snag a title and gold medal in Orlando, they immediately followed it with a third-place finish and a bronze medal on June 28 at the USAV Girls’ Junior nationals championships held in Detroit.
“With only a roster of eight athletes, these girls defied the odds. With the tallest team member standing 5-foot-5, many did not believe it was possible, and we proved them wrong ... they are mini but mighty,” LaBorde said.
MPV has announced it will offer additional teams this upcoming season. For information on training with MPV, email email@example.com.
Ocala Power beach volleyball captures gold
The Ocala Power beach volleyball team of Mackenzie Danner and Kailyn Howard won gold in the 12u club division at the SSOVA Clearwater Pier 60 junior beach tournament on June 10. The OPU gold-medal winning team is coached by Kevin Brown and Chris Hamilton. For information on training with OPU visit ocalapowerunited.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ocala Rotary T-ball all-star team wins two games at state
The Ocala Rotary T-ball all-star team traveled to Oviedo last weekend and came away with a 2-2 record. According to head coach Ralph Long, his team was the first Ocala Rotary T-ball all-star team to win an all-star game. Ocala Rotary placed 10th out of 25 teams.