Donning armor of red, purple, and gold, Orlando City has established itself as one of the USL Pro’s most dominant teams, winning USL Pro championships in 2011—its inaugural season—and 2012. After their second championship, the squad’s success attracted the attention of the MLS’s Sporting Kansas City, who will serve as Orlando City’s parent squad for two years, beginning with the 2013 season.
The Orlando Predators stampede into the Arena Football League’s 25th season boasting the debut of a new head coach and retooled roster. Former Predators player and Winter Park native Bret Munsey brings with him both a new playbook and ArenaBowl championship expectations, telling the Orlando Sentinel upon his hiring, “[The Predators] want to win [this] year, and I’ve got to find a way to do that.” The front office has contributed to the championship campaign with new additions on both sides of the ball. Recently acquired quarterback Trevor Harris will compete with Collin Drafts for the duties of breaking the team out of each huddle and igloo-encased locker room. On defense, new nose tackle Richard Clebert dominates the line of scrimmage by clogging foes’ running lanes, as he did in his last two seasons on a pair of ArenaBowl championship teams.
The Florida Collegiate Summer League assembles 160 top college athletes each summer to play wooden-bat baseball in a competitive atmosphere intended to prepare them for careers in professional baseball. Four general-admission tickets unlock a plethora of best-available seating options at one of five home fields for your quad-pod pack of family members. Alternate nourishing bites from four hot dogs and bags of chips with hydrating drags from four icy soft drinks while viewing inspiring feats of athleticism such as grand slams, base burglary, and home-stretch backflips.
While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.
Hailed by NBC Sports' Rick Chandler as the "fastest-growing pro sports league in the nation," the Lingerie Football League pits padded squads of gridiron goddesses against each other during full-contact games of American football. Fans can line up on the edge of their seats as the Cleveland Crush clash with division rival the Orlando Fantasy, a team notorious for using eyeblack as lipstick to achieve maximum intimidation. Running back Etta Paul leads a stacked Fantasy offensive attack, which went off for 36 points in the team's season-opening victory against the Baltimore Charm. Meanwhile, the Crush storms into the Florida Citrus Bowl in midseason form, as quarterback and touchdown machine Abbie Sullivan disrupts opposing defenses with precise passes and by spreading rumors about the identity of the opposing team's mascot.
Helmed by coaching wunderkind Guy Boucher and managed by Hockey Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman, the ice-carving squad enthralls fans with powerful slapshots and magical hat tricks. Groupon getters can toast NHL history as they drink in the league's first bout at the new Amway Center, or anxiously gnaw lower-terrace seats as players slam into the glass just a few feet away. Center Steven Stamkos looks to lead the league in scoring after his 45 goals nabbed the No. 2 spot in the NHL last season. Veteran right-winger Martin St. Louis returns as well, after having filled up stat sheets with 68 assists, 99 points, and drawings of his pet kitty cat in 2010.