Tim Sermanni extends his contract with Orlando Pride … and more Southwest Sports

compiled by Lauren Salinero

The Diamond Resorts Invitational, benefiting Florida Hospital for Children, will return with its popular format — featuring PGA Tour Champions players, LPGA stars and sports/entertainment celebrities — Jan. 12, 2018, at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World.

The tournament will feature up to 27 PGA Tour Champions players, five LPGA stars, and 46 top-tier athletes and entertainment celebrities in two distinct competitions. PGA Tour Champions and LPGA players will compete for $750,000 during the 54-hole tournament, while the celebrities will play for a $500,000 purse. Threesomes will include a PGA Tour Champions player or LPGA professional and two celebrities. The singular format allows for a distinct competition, as all professionals and celebrities play their own ball and compete from the same tees for 54 holes.

For more information, including updates on committed players, visit drigolf.com.

Orlando Pride head coach Tim Sermanni signs on to extend his contract for the soccer team’s third season.

After leading Orlando Pride to its first playoff berth in its second season in the National Women’s Soccer League, the club signed head coach Tim Sermanni to a contract extension. He is the only coach in the Prides’ two-year history. After finishing the inaugural campaign in ninth position, Sermanni transformed the Pride during the offseason and propelled the side six spots up the table, ending the 2017 regular season with the third overall seed.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I’ve had a great two years here. This gives me another opportunity to build the squad, to build the culture and philosophy around the team, and just be a part of this great organization. Orlando has felt like home to me virtually from day one when I came here. It’s wonderful. There’s the stadium, there’s the people in the club and the community as well. It’s a mix of all of those things that makes this club unique. And having been in football for some considerable time, you don’t often get that complete environment, and that’s what makes this club very special to me.”

Local youth had the opportunity to play with their big-league heroes during the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association Legends for Youth baseball clinic. The free event featured former MLB players who taught baseball skills, drills and life lessons to approximately 200 local kids. The clinic was held at the Dr. Phillips Little League — Senior Field.

Alumni players trained at stations, including pitching, catching, base running and life skills. Players included 1982 St. Louis Cardinals World Series champion Dave LaPoint and 2005 National League Slugger Award winner Felipe López, as well as Iván DeJesús Sr., John Koronka, Wil Nieves, James Parr and Randy Ruiz.

Orlando City Soccer Club officials announced the ‘Fuerza Puerto Rico’ Friendly will take place Nov. 4. All of the match’s net proceeds will go to the United for Puerto Rico initiative to raise funds and aid recovery efforts for the island following Hurricane Maria. The event marks Orlando City’s last game of 2017, as well as the last game for Isleworth resident and Team Captain Kaká, who announced that he will not return to the team as a player for the 2018 season.

“Our players and staff are very excited to be part of this historic match,” said Puerto Rican Soccer Foundation President Eric Labrador. “We understand that not only could it raise money to help people [who] need it the most, but using soccer, we can unite all Puerto Ricans on and off the island.“

The opening of Windermere High School created a fourth men’s golf program in west Orange County. In the spirit of competition, the inaugural Quad Cup was created to pit Dr. Phillips, Olympia, West Orange and Windermere high schools together in preparation for the upcoming championship season. This year’s match was held a Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World.

The DPHS Panthers took home the trophy, edging out Olympia by three strokes, 157-160. West Orange and Olympia each finished with a team score of 169.

Dr. Phillips High School’s golf teams made an impact at the 2017 District Championships. With a combined score of 307, the men’s team earned the runner-up trophy. Freshman Brendan Valdes finished at 2-under-par-70 and tied for second in the individual standings. Freshman Keoni Martin scored 4-over-par-76, junior Joey Hodges carded 80, and freshman Andrew Scinta finished in the No. 4 position with 81.

For the women’s team, senior Jennifer Jung broke the school record round with 2-under-70. The Lady Panthers also came in at second place as a team with a score of 333. Junior Skai Guity shot 82, senior Emma Hallson scored 85, and junior Kate Goodin finished at 96.

Florida Rush Soccer Club’s girls 2009 Rush I team won the Adidas Columbus Day Classic in Tampa Bay. The team, under the direction of coach Alex Burrell, dominated the U-9 division in its first tournament of the season.

(Front, l. to r.) Audrey Lands, Kendall Seays, Molly Guardia, Mariela Zavala, Addison White, (back, l. to r.) Caroline Ritchey, Cassidy Emerick, Taylor Heaton, Emma Dewey and coach Alex Burrell of Florida Rush Soccer Club’s girls 2009 Rush I team win the Adidas Columbus Day Classic.

Players are Emma Dewey, Cassidy Emerick, Molly Guardia, Taylor Heaton, Audrey Lands, Caroline Ritchey, Kendall Seays, Addision White and Mariela Zavala.

Although we try to ensure that all information presented above is the most current, correct and dependable available, we do rely on others for the source of our news. Therefore, the Southwest Orlando Bulletin and Cornerstone Publishing & Multi-Media LLC cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information presented here, nor does mentioning it constitute an endorsement. Sports information is welcome and may be mailed to P.O. Box 851, Windermere, FL 34786; or emailed to Lauren@kearneypublishing.com.♥

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