Dodgers win Spring 2017 Majors District Tournament … and other Southwest Sports!

compiled by Lauren Salinero

The Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista Foundation Inc. held its inaugural Charity Challenge Golf Event at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Club. The tournament raised funds to support local Rotary programs for youth, such as Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotaract Club at the University of Central Florida Rosen School, Interact Club at Freedom High School, and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.

Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista President Jean Campana (far left) and Charity Challenge Golf Event Master of Ceremonies Dawn Grigsby (far right) congratulate the winners of the inaugural Challenge Traveling Cup Award, (l. to r.) Matt Golembieski, Eric Boylan, Sean Henderson and Mike Micallef.

The event featured a Challenge Traveling Cup Award, which any of the teams could have won. The cup will be returned to the LBV Rotary Club during the next Charity Challenge Golf Event and must be won again by whichever team has the best score. It also will list the company, if sponsored, and the four players on that team. The first team to win was Brinkerhoff Financial Group, composed of Eric Boylan, Sean Henderson, Matt Golembieski and Mike Micallef.

Officials of the Orlando Magic announced two additions to their managerial team: John Hammond as general manager and Jeff Weltman as president of basketball operations.
Hammond brings more than 35 years of coaching and administrative experience to Orlando, including the last nine seasons as general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks. During his 26 years in the NBA, his teams have made 15 postseason appearances.

John Hammond is named general manager of the Orlando Magic.

Jeff Weltman is named president of basketball operations of the Orlando Magic.

Weltman served as assistant general manager under Hammond for five seasons, from 2008-13, and also worked with him in Detroit. He recently completed his fourth season with the Toronto Raptors and first as general manager. Weltman joined the Raptors as executive vice president of basketball operations in 2013.

Garrett Milchin, a 2016 graduate of The Classical School of The First Academy, hit his first home run and earned his first save for the University of Florida Gators baseball team.

The city of Ocoee Parks and Recreation Department hosted its annual Big Orange Games at Ocoee High School. The event gives physically challenged youth an opportunity to participate in sporting events, where they can show that “disabled” doesn’t mean “unable.” Participants showcased their skills in a fun environment with the support of friends, family, volunteers and staff.

Ocoee is the only municipality in Central Florida that hosts an event like this. The city has sponsored the competition for more than 10 years. Athletes competed in the following track and field events: 60-, 100-, 220-, 440- and 880-yard dashes; club, discus, shot put and softball throws; and long jump. The competition was followed by an awards ceremony recognizing the athletes’ achievements.

(Front, l. to r.) AJ Gutzmer, Ryan Duffy, Gabriel Rodriguez, TD Cross, (middle, l. to r.) Morgan Deaton, Joey Stubblebine, Zach Miller, Jeremiah Fontana, Liam Sweeney, Mason Henrichsen, David Dupuis, Jacob Strong, and (back, l. to r.) coaches Phil Miller, Dennis Pope and David Duffy of the Dr. Phillips Little League Dodgers baseball team win the Spring 2017 Majors District Tournament.

Dr. Phillips Little League’s Dodgers baseball team battled through storms, injuries, tough competition and a hard-fought double-header against the Mighty Brewers to capture the Spring 2017 Majors District Tournament. The boys were led by coaches David Duffy, Dennis Pope and Phil Miller, and team mom was Erika Kessler.

Orlando hosted the Flag Football World Championship Tour over Memorial weekend. The family-friendly event had brackets for adults, youth, men and women, all competing for a $30,000 purse. Partial proceeds were donated to Honor Courage Commitment Inc. and 22Kill, two organizations dedicated to helping the nation’s veterans.

In addition to flag football, the event also featured Blaster Battle, a massive toy pistol fight that took place at Simmers-Young Park in Winter Haven. Participants fell short of the 2,289 needed to break the record for the largest toy pistol fight; however, children and adults had a great time battling each other with Nerf gear.

WalletHub released a report on 2017’s best and worst cities for basketball fans. To find the best cities for professional and college basketball fans, the company’s analysts compared 293 of the largest cities across 17 key metrics, ranging from the performance level of each city’s NBA and NCAA Division 1 teams to ticket prices to stadium accessibility. The scores ranged from 1 (best) to 147 (worst).

Orlando ranked No. 1 in NBA fan engagement, second in NBA stadium capacity, ninth in average ticket price for an NBA game, 13th in NBA attendance, 26th in performance level of NBA team, and 125th in minimum season ticket price for an NCAA Division 1 game. Overall, Orlando ranked 10th and was second among midsize cities.

Registration is open for Give Kids The World’s Challenge for Hope, the Coolest 5K on the Planet. Formerly known as the Gingerbread Run, the Challenge for Hope allows participants to walk, run, roll or stroll through GKTW’s storybook village while helping to create the happiness that has inspired hope for thousands of children and their families. The 5K will take place Nov. 11 at 210 S. Bass Road in Kissimmee.

For more information or to register, visit

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