Spring Hill dance team sparkles at regional competition

By Derek J. LaRiviere, Times Correspondent
Published March 7, 2008

Erin's Danceworks, based in Spring Hill, sent its 2008 Competition Team to the Dance Olympus-Dance America Regional Competition.

Held at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the event featured some of the best dance teams in this part of country. Instructor Erin Messaris brought a 38-member team with dancers from ages 7 to 19. They competed in 17 group dances and 25 solos. The dances were in the categories of ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theater and open.

At the end of the competition, the studio was awarded 30 first places, four second places, five third places, a fourth place and two fifth places. Among the top awards were eight High Scoring Awards. These awards are given to the highest scoring solo, duo/trio, small group, large group, line and production of the competition. They are split into the junior and senior categories.

Claudia Maigne won the Best Technical Execution Award, and Malia Nicolini won the Best Emotional Execution Award. Teachers Messaris and Kelli Gill were each awarded the Best Choreography Awards.

Five primary-aged girls - Haileigh Fuller, Heather Greenleaf, Kelcey Morris, Kayla VanNess and April Zee - won the Overall High Scoring Award for the entire junior competition with their musical theater dance, I Wanna Be A Rockette.

Baseball: Playing in the AAU Tournament of Champions this past weekend in Longwood Ranch, the Brooksville Bombers 11-7 impressed, going 3-3 and finishing in second place.

The tournament was open to 9-and-under-AAU programs, a step up for the 8-and-under Bombers. All three of the Bombers' losses came at the hands of the same team, the Tampa Titans (15-1). Tampa is the top-ranked 9U-AAU team in the state.

The most impressive win was a 28-2 thumping against the Brandon Storm in only three innings. Sparkling outfield defense from centerfielder J.P. Gates kept many of the offenses Brooksville faced in check.

In the championship game against Tampa, the Bombers were primed for an upset with the team up 7-2 after four innings. Starting pitcher Mikey Ebberup kept Tampa quiet for most of the game. But a dramatic three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth gave the Titans the 12-9 win and the title.

The heart of Brooksville's batting order - Kevin Thomas, Dalton Mosser, Brendon Sessa and Steven Beach - went a combined 33-for-59 (.559) with 33 runs scored, 11 doubles, three triples and 30 RBIs in six games.

YMCA Sports: The Spring Hill YMCA is beginning its spring 2008 season March 15.

Youth soccer is a noncompetitive sport with five age groups that emphasizes teamwork and good sportsmanship. All games will be played at Veterans Park on Spring Hill Drive.

The baseball league is divided into three age divisions. Tee Ball (3-5), Tee Ball/Coach Pitch (6-7) and Coach Pitch (8-12) work with the young athletes to emphasize the fundamentals of the game while focusing on teamwork and good sportsmanship. League games will be played at the YMCA fields on Mariner Boulevard.

Both sports have eight-week seasons that end May 17. More information on the leagues can be found at www.ymcasuncoast.org.

Submit info to communitysports@tampabay.com.