Macaws, Flamingos finish strong
PLANT CITY - With perfect 7-0 records, the Under-07 Flamingos and Under-08 Macaws earned season championships in the Plant City Recreation and Parks Department/Optimist Youth Soccer Program. Of the 11 age groups, the four youngest do not conduct postseason tournaments, so the final regular-season standings determine the champs for some. With perfect marks, the Flamingos and Macaws decidedly earned their titles. Both teams wrapped up their campaigns May 22. The two youngest age groups, Under-05 and Under-06, do not keep score in their games. The remaining seven age groups were scheduled to conduct their postseason tournament title games Tuesday night at the Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex.In the Under-08 league, it all came down to a contest played May 8. A battle of unbeatens went to the Macaws, who beat the Ducks 4-2. Manuel V. Contreras scored three goals for the Macaws, and Madison Luke had one goal. The Ducks (6-1) finished strong with 17 goals in their final two outings, getting six in the two games from Charlie Villanueva and four more from Jakob Brace. Following up their win over the Ducks, the Macaws topped the Falcons 5-1, with Jonathan Ponce scoring twice, and then beat the Geese by the same score, with Garrett Brumbaloe and Zachary Spivey getting two goals each. "By the end of the season, they really had everything going well together," Macaws coach Alaina Edgemon said. "We weren't all bunched up; everyone was calling for the ball and knowing their positions. They passed the ball very well, too." The rest of the Macaws roster not previously mentioned included Riley Cooper, Isamara Flores, Damien Gonzalez, Angel Hernandez, Gavin Hessler and Joanna Ruiz. Finishing third were the Robins, who went 4-1-2 and allowed only 11 goals all season. Their lone defeat came from the Macaws, who won 3-0 on April 24. After that, the Robins posted wins by scores of 9-1 (three goals each from Jose G. Lopez and Christian Olmos) and 6-1 (hat trick for Olmos). In the Under-07 league, the Flamingos' key victory turned out to be in Week 2, a 7-3 win April 10 over the Mallards in which Alex Vela put five goals home. That was the only loss for the Mallards, who finished 6-1. Coming in third were the Eagles (4-2-1). Vela scored four times in the Flamingos' finale, a 7-5 win over the Eagles on May 22. Leslie Ramirez scored three times to secure second place for the Mallards in a 5-2 win over the Cardinals. The championship roster of the Flamingos included Kharon Albert, Isabel Bustamante, Fabian Cruz, Anneke Davidson, Arisbeth Gutierrez, Logan Holt, Kevin Ibarra, Robbie Noble, Samuel Salazar, Nicholas Stross, Christian Valez and Alex Vela.
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