• Major Craig McQueen, the vice president of GMSF Pop Warner and commissioner of Miami PAL, presented finalists with medals and a huge team trophy. GMSF Pop Warner, under the direction of President Frank Gowin, features 19 programs from Florida City to Lauderhill. There are more than 5,000 kids, age 6-15, participating in GMSF Pop Warner football and cheerleading.
As the competition narrows for the 2012 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award program, 20 of Florida’s top scholar-athletes were announced as state finalists for the prestigious award.
Mater Academy’s Amanda Canellas and Marathon High School’s Taylor Konrath are two of 10 girls to reach the state level.
Those finalists are now in the running to become state winners, the next phase of the program.
Of the 45,000 seniors who applied nationwide, 2,135 were from Florida and have been narrowed to the state’s 20 finalists including Canellas and Konrath. The finalists embody the Heisman spirit of hard work and dedication through outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and community/school leadership.
One male and one female finalist from each state will be named state winners. Of those state winners, 12 will be chosen as national finalists and compete for the national honor on Dec. 7 in New York City.
National finalists will be featured during a televised ceremony on ESPN networks and will receive gold medals and $2,000 awards for their high schools. One male and one female national winner will receive a crystal Wendy’s High School Heisman trophy and a $500 Wendy’s gift certificate. Wendy’s will also donate $10,000 to each winner’s respective high school. The winners will be recognized during the collegiate Heisman Trophy broadcast on Dec. 8 on ESPN.
Belen Jesuit swim
The Belen Jesuit High School varsity boys’ swim team won its second consecutive district title. The Wolverines scored 515 points.
Senior Julian Ballestas won the 100 and 200 freestyle races. Manny Lopez, a junior, placed first in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. Ryan Guso, a sophomore, and Boleck De Pawlikowski, a junior, also swam very well.
• The Jesuits founded Belen Jesuit Preparatory School www.belenjesuit.org in 1854 in Havana, Cuba. In 1961, when Belen and all private schools were confiscated by the new political regime, the school was re-established in Miami that same year and has grown the past five decades. The current enrollment is nearly 1,500 male students in grades 6 to 12 and more than 6,000 alum. For the seventh consecutive year, Belen Jesuit has been named one of the Top 50 U.S. Catholic High Schools by the National Catholic High School Honor Roll.
Highland Oaks cross-country
The Highland Oaks Middle School JV boys’ cross-country team (sixth and seventh grade) finished second of 20 teams at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo Invitational at Larry & Penny Thompson Park in Miami.
Co-captain Jamir Ferguson won his third straight meet, defeating 205 runners in 12 minutes 39 seconds, a personal best. Teammates Derrick Spicer (13:45) and Jared Ratner (13:45.1) were seventh and eighth, respectively, on the 2.1-mile course. Euniel Fortunato (14:04) was the fourth HOM runner to make the Top 15, placing 13.
The JV girls were eighth of 15 teams. Katherine Elizabeth was 39 of 145 runners in 18:25. Emily Palmeiro (18:43) and Hayley Piper (19:15) also turned in strong performances.