9th Annual "KICK" Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament: RESULTS

April 12, 2024


“Barrette Knights” Crowned 2024 Kickball Champs
United Way of Hernando County raises over 889 1-Year Scholarships, equivalent to 10,668 books, towards Early Literacy at Kickball Tournament

Spring Hill, FL – United Way of Hernando County’s 9th Annual “KICK” Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament was on Saturday, April 6, 2024 at Anderson Snow Park - 1360 Anderson Snow Rd, Spring Hill, FL 34609. This tournament was proudly presented by United Way’s “Grand Slam Champion” Sponsor Tampa General Hospital Spring Hill/Brooksville. Each year, 16 Kickball Teams compete in this single elimination tournament for a chance to win the Ultimate Traveling Trophy and have the honor of being crowned “Champions of Early Literacy.” Teams are exclusively invited to participate and represent company partners of United Way in Hernando that align themselves with supporting local initiatives.

The Kickball Tournament's purpose is to support early literacy and continue to provide Hernando preschool children free books to help them grow their own little library and
prepare them for kindergarten. Thanks to supporters of United Way’s "KICK" Start to Early Literacy Kickball Tournament, we were able to raise over 889 1-year scholarships, which
is equivalent to 10,668 books! All proceeds benefit United Way’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, currently providing over 1,050 Hernando children with a free book every
month from birth to age of five. The books are mailed directly to enrolled children regardless of their family’s economic status.

After a long afternoon of local Hernando businesses vying for the Ultimate Traveling Trophy, the final matchup came down between Downtown Athletics “Tangerine Dream Team” with Celebrity Coach Christa Tanner and Barrette Outdoor Living’s “Barrette Knights” with Celebrity Coach Joel Fritton. It was a close and intense game, but in the end Barrette Outdoor Living’s “Barrette Knights” were crowned the victors and the 2024 Kickball Champions with a score of 1-0.

Thank you to the other 14 participating teams and their accompanying “Celebrity Coaches” who competed in this year’s event:

  • Dr. Brian Dahmer coaching Tampa General Hospital’s team, “One Kick Wonders”

  • City of Brooksville Mayor Blake Bell coaching Coastal Engineering’s team, “Kicks & Giggles”

  • Attorney Brian Brijbag coaching Rivera’s Flooring, Kitchens, & More’s team, “Rivera’s Kickin’ Kitcheneers”

  • PHSC Provost Dr. Amy Anderson coaching Publix Super Market at Shoppes at Avalon's team, "Kevin's Kickers"

  • Hits 106 Marvelous Marvin coaching Publix Super Market at The Shoppes at Glen Lakes team, "Glen Lakers”

  • Hernando County Board of County Commissioner Brian Hawkins coaching Timber Pine’s team, “Hammer Jammers”

  • Hernando County Emergency Management Director Dave DeCarlo coaching HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital’s team, “LifeSavers”

  • Hernando County Board of County Commissioner Jerry Campbell coaching Regions Bank’s team, “Balls of Fury”

  • Superintendent of Hernando Count Schools John Stratton coaching Hernando School’s team, "Saved By The Ball"

  • Hernando County Fire Chief & Public Safety Director Paul Hasenmeier coaching Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative’s team "WRECking Crew"

  • Hernando County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller Doug Chorvat Jr. coaching Clerk of Court’s team, “The Mighty Dougs”

  • Dr. Lauren Dedea from Dedea M.D. Family Medicine coaching Publix Super Market at Brooksville Square's team, "Brooksville Skillz"

  • Sheriff Al Nienhuis coaching Publix Super Market at Hernando West Plaza’s team, "187-WON”

  • Publix’s Brittany Montmarquet coaching Publix Super Market at Lakewood Plaza’s team, "Riki’s Rockets”

The following Celebrity Coaches were voted for a dip in the Dunk Tank by attendees, Brijbag Law’s Brian Brijbag (voted), Board of County Commissioner Jerry Campbell (voted), Family Chiropractic Center for Wellness’s Dr. Brian Dahmer (selected), and Hernando County Fire Chief Paul Hasenmeier (selected). This family fun day included music from PJ the DJ, a Bounce House, Foto Fun Booth, craft vendors, and a special performance of the National Anthem by Hernando’s very own talented singer, Snow Anna Mazourek.

This year’s final line-up for our Food Truck Rally included Spice CornerCali Street TacosThe Ice Cream BarrBrain Freeze Italian IceLove Corn DogsMurph Coffee Company! Home Run Hero Field Sponsors included HCA Florida Oak Hill HospitalCarter Foreman, PLLCBrijbag Law, and Kiwanis Club of Brooksville. Base Run Baller Sponsors included Micro MaticGrow FinancialFamily Chiropractic Center for WellnessComfort Control Specialists, and Allstate by Jason AldrichPublix is always recognized by United Way of Hernando County as an active Community Partner thanks to their ongoing level of support towards our mission. The Touch-a-Truck event featured the ARGO amphibious vehicle used by Hernando County Mosquito ControlFire Rescue’s Ladder Truck, and first responder vehicles for children to enjoy.

Fans and supporters of the event also noticed over 30 cause-brand marketing yard signs from local “Double Play Sponsors” throughout the park that day. Our annual Mascot Fun Run was held on Field #3. The line-up included Smiley of Lifesouth Community Blood Center, Andy the Armadillo of Texas Roadhouse, WWHS Hornet, J.D. Floyd Dolphin, HHS Leopard, Tommy The T-Rex, Pikachu, Plato the Dinosaur of Publix Supermarkets, Carey The Cow, and Scoopie of Culvers. WWHS Hornet took home the gold for this year’s Mascot Fun Run Race!

United Way would also like to thank Hernando County Parks and Recreation, United Way of Hernando County volunteers, Board Members, and Kickball Planning Committee Members for generously donating their time, talents, and efforts to help make this event such a success. Thank you for always #LIVINGUNITED.

Visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org/Kickball for information on event entertainment, participants, and opportunities. For more ways to GIVE, ADVOCATE, or VOLUNTEER for our future events, contact Justine Peppe at Impact@UnitedWayHernando.org or call 352-688-2026.


United Way of Hernando County, Inc.:
United Way of Hernando County (UWHC) was established as a 501c3 organization in 1987, and since then has continuously focused on creating partnerships and mobilizing our community to seek sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing local needs.  UWHC strategically allocates Community Investment Funds in Health, Education, & Financial Stability programs with proven results and local impact. UWHC works hard to balance the growing demand for basic services such as food, utilities, and rent assistance, with our ongoing commitment to tackling the underlying causes of complex issues. United Way partners with businesses and organizations that share our vision for improving lives through the power of collective impact and working together. Our support for long-term commitments are essential to addressing key social issues, such as helping children, youth, adults & elders, encouraging health and wellness, including physical and emotional care, promoting financial stability and self-sufficiency, and crisis intervention. For more information on how YOU can LIVE UNITED, visit www.UnitedWayHernando.org.