All Miami final at NFL Flag Football National Championships in New Orleans


About this feature

Sports Scene is a Miami Herald feature that spotlights news and notes from all youth sports activities in your neighborhood. The aim of the section is to feature game notes from any sport and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.

We rely on the directors and coaches of each league to send information for Sports Scene. We also accept photos, but we ask that everyone pictured be identified with a first and last name and the name of the team or park they represent.

The section is free and open to anyone. Email or send a fax to 305-376-5287.

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NFL flag football

Three youth flag football teams from Miami were national finalists, completing their season-long quests at the NFL Flag, powered by USA Football, National Championships in New Orleans.

In the Coed 9-11 age group, it was an all Miami final as the (Miami) Mighty Dolphins JV defeated the (Aventura) Mo Steele Juniors.

The Mighty Dolphins qualified for nationals by winning a region qualifier in Dallas and Mo Steel did the same in New Orleans.

The national champs are Marvin Anthony, Willie Bentley, Ilias Clerisier, Dextan Hodge Jr., Tavares Kelly, Andrew Reese Jr. and Coach Haiven Kornbluth. The national runners-up are David Egozi, Arturo Jena, Robert Moret, Fred Nudel, Presley Pomeranc, Will Poses, Alejandro Sabo, Jonathan Weiselberg, Aaron Winer and Coach Yossi Behar.

In the Boys 12-14 division, the (Gilbert, Ariz) Coast to Coast Raiders defeated the (Miami) RedZone All-Stars in the finals. RedZone also advanced to nationals by winning regionals in New Orleans.

The national runners-up are Khevani Francios, Derek Gonzalez, Paul Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez, Oliver Guerra, Nicholas Lopez, Patrick McGhee, Sean Zetino and Coach Luis Rodriguez.

The (Miami) Varsity Dolphins were third. They are Keissac Hill, Alexander Stallings, Desmond Fairell, Sharod Johnson, Darnell Durham III and Kaywon Hannah.

• Twenty-four teams from across the United States competed in Metairie, La., with eight teams in each division. Round-robin competition determined seeding for a single-elimination semifinals. Teams qualified for the national championships by winning regional tournaments hosted by NFL clubs.

In 2012, a record number of 198,000 boys and girls, age 5-17, were part of NFL Flag, powered by USA Football, a fun and exciting non-contact football experience. The league develops skills and learning lessons in teamwork, dedication and discipline.

Regional tournaments were hosted by the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders.

USA Football is the only official youth football development partner that the NFL has had in its 93-year history. Leading football players and coaches in 50 states in strengthening their skills through digital membership resources, USA Football helps steer and bolster America’s premier flag football experience.

For more about NFL FLAG powered by USA Football, visit and

• USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, hosts dozens of football training events annually offering education for coaches, skill development for players and resources for youth football league commissioners. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NFL Players Association. USA Football manages U.S. national teams within the sport for international competitions and provides more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies. Endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002 through the NFL Youth Football Fund, USA Football is chaired by former NFL team executive Carl Peterson.

Prime Time Sports flag football

Max Greenwald threw three touchdown passes as the Gators defeated the Fighting Irish 19-13 in Seniors (5th-6th grade) of Prime Time Sports flag football at the Michael Ann-Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach.

Jack Finvarb caught six passes including one for touchdown and intercepted a pass. Kevin Ordet made eight receptions with a touchdown. Zachary Ordet had three receptions and two sacks, and Moises Essenfeld caught five passes, one for a touchdown.

For the Fighting Irish, Alan Grinspun had four receptions (one a touchdown), and James Brinker snagged two passes (one a touchdown) and intercepted one.

Cowboys 26, Longhorns 20: Noah Markkovsky four touchdown passes, one interception; Alex Bugay four receptions, one interception; Maxwell Cusnier five receptions, one touchdown. For the Longhorns, Jorge Batievsky three touchdown passes; Aidan Gold two catches (one a touchdown), one sack; Jake Kurkin two catches, one interception; Alan Doron three receptions, one touchdown.

Ducks 38, Hurricanes 20: Brian Mars three touchdown passes, one reception; Carter Levine one touchdown pass, one reception, three sacks; Federico Waldman seven receptions (one a touchdown); Leonardo Nicastro five catches (one touchdown), two interceptions; Joseph Bensabat seven catches (one touchdown); Louis D’Antuono two receptions, one touchdown. For the Hurricanes, Jonas Senker two touchdown passes, two receptions; Robert Behar one touchdown pass, five receptions; Joel Schaser eight receptions (three for touchdowns), one interception; Daniel Strimber five catches.

• Varsity (7th-9th grades)

Ducks 12, Hurricanes 6: Lee Friedman one touchdown pass; Joel Shapiro six catches (one touchdown); Aaron Benenson four receptions, two sacks; Michael Duek one sack, one interception. For the Hurricanes, Harry Mizraji one touchdown pass; Max Peicher four catches (one touchdown); Moises Doron five receptions, one sack; Josef Gad two receptions, one interception.

Gators 25, Cowboys 20: Yomtov Bejar three touchdown passes, four receptions (one touchdown catch); Simon Elharrar eight receptions; Alex Fraynd touchdown pass, three receptions, four sacks. For the Cowboys, Justin Moskovitz three touchdown passes; Brando Elyakim seven catches (one touchdown), one sack; Avi Parrino nine catches (two touchdowns), one interception; Darren Hirsh five receptions.

Longhorns 18, Fighting Irish 14: Josh Silverman one touchdown pass, two receptions, one sack; Abraham Shalom five receptions (one touchdown); Daniel Yerushalmi one catch, two interceptions. For the Fighting Irish, Daniel Ellenbogen two touchdown passes; Moshe Kalchman six catches (one touchdown), two interceptions; Rafi Hersher seven receptions (one touchdown).

•  Scouts (1st-2nd grade)

Hurricanes 18, Cowboys 6: Allan Strimber one touchdown pass, one reception, two interceptions (one for a touchdown); Marcos Romano 10 catches (one touchdown), one sack; Michael Kiblisky one touchdown run, one reception. For the Cowboys, Abraham Klainbaum one touchdown run, five receptions (one touchdown); Daniel Rosen one reception, one interception; Samuel Attias three receptions.

Gators 21, Crimson Tide 12: Alejandro Berkman one touchdown run, two receptions; Jose Levy one touchdown run, one interception; Nolan Senker one touchdown run, four catches, one sack. For the Crimson Tide, Adam Cohen one touchdown run, five receptions; Andres Ruah one touchdown run, four receptions; Rafael Derzavich six receptions; Rocco Solomon one touchdown pass, two receptions.

Fighting Irish 12, Longhorns 6: Kyle Ratzker seven receptions (one touchdown), one interception; Arie Mizrachi three receptions; Jack Harris one touchdown run, one reception; Dylan Wigoda one interception. For the Longhorns, Hank Klein five receptions (one touchdown); Jaime Mizrahi two receptions; Asthon Sklar two receptions.

•  Juniors (3rd-4th grade)

Cowboys 12, Hurricanes 0: Marc Wendrow two touchdown passes; Johnny Fishman four receptions (one touchdown); Nisim Toledano five receptions, three sacks; Samuel Courtney two catches (one touchdown). For the Hurricanes, Ilan Koeing three receptions.

Gators 19, Crimson Tide 12: Tyler Gale two touchdown runs, one touchdown pass, two interceptions (one for a touchdown; Gabriel Leizorek two receptions, one touchdown; Alex Benarrouch, Daniel Solomiany, Jaime Meller, Moises Micha one reception each. For the Crimson Tide, Daniel Broides six receptions (one touchdown); Dylan Gale one touchdown pass; Eli Silverman one touchdown run, three receptions, one interception; David Amsalem two receptions.

Longhorns 18, Fighting Irish 7: Pablo Sangranichne two touchdown passes, five catches, one interception; Daniel Roffe one touchdown run, three catches (one touchdown), one interception; Alan Wainer one reception, one interception; Daniel Eidelsten five receptions (one touchdown). For the Fighting Irish, Alexander Moltman four catches, one; Meyer Shalom one touchdown pass; Moises Shaferman six receptions, one sack; Tomer Spivak five receptions (one touchdown).

Hillel soccer

The Scheck Hillel Community Day School boys’ varsity soccer team advanced for the first time in any team sport to an FHSAA Class 1A state semifinal.

Hillel, founded in 1972, is a Jewish school in North Miami Beach. In its fifth season competing in winter soccer, the Hurricanes already won the district championship three times. This season they won their first region title to qualify for that first state semifinal.

Hillel (18-1-1) practices at 6 a.m. each day because they don’t have a field to practice after school. One is being built for next season. The Hurricanes are also unable to play or practice from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, because of their religious beliefs.

The team is 100 percent Latin, which surprises people. The Jewish community in Latin America was not afforded the same opportunities in respective Latin American countries. Fearful for their lives, some even had bodyguards. They relocated their families to the area.

“What these kids have done this year is phenomenal,” Hillel coach Ben Magidson said “It has been an unbelievable ride, and our whole community and school has rallied around these young men and what they have been able to accomplish.”

Hebrew Academy basketball

Hebrew Academy School senior Danny Abramowitz scored his 1,000th career point for the boys’ varsity basketball team.

This season he is averaging 17.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He reached the milestone with a 3-pointer in the first quarter of the final regular season game at home against MAST Academy at the Scott Rakow Youth Center.

Danny, 18, lives in Miami Beach. He is a three-year varsity starter. He was a Jewish High School All-American and Honorable Mention Miami Herald All-Dade in 2012. He is a candidate for the 2013 Jewish High School Player of the Year.

Danny is co-captain with fellow senior Isaac Schechter (15.7 and 5.8 assists per game), another three-year starter. Isaac, 18, is from Miami Beach.

They helped the Warriors finish the regular season 15-6, seeded second in the District 14-2A playoffs.

• Hebrew Academy senior Bari Gordon scored a school-record 52 points in a 79-74 win over second seed Greater Miami Academy in the District 14-2A girls’ varsity finals. The district champion Warriors (16-0) advanced to host an FHSAA regional quarterfinal at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center.

Highland Oaks track

The Highland Oaks Middle School girls’ track team was second of 16 teams at the Drew Middle Invitational at Northwestern Senior High School in Miami.

Brittany Malone won the 800-meter run and placed fourth in the 400. The girls 400 relay team (Tianna Jackson, Saharee Davey, Coreena Saintilmond, Maryann Jadotte) finished first. Jackson was runner-up in the 100 and 200 and sixth in the long jump.

Jadotte placed fourth in the 100 and sixth in the discus and shot put. Saintilmond took fourth in the high jump, seventh in the 200 and eighth in the 100. Kameron Clarke was fifth in the discus. Anicia Collins placed fifth in the triple jump. The 1,600 relay (Malone, Tramese Pierre, Hayley Piper, Samantha Castano) was fourth, and the 3,200 relay (Pierre, Piper, Caroline Williams, Katherine Elizabeth) was fifth.

The boys’ team was third of 17 teams. The 3,200 relay team (Jamir Ferguson, Malik Watson, Derrick Spicer, Timothy Williams) was first. Ferguson won his fifth consecutive 1,600-meter run and was second in the 800. Malik Watson was third in the 1,600 and 800. Spicer was fourth in 1,600 and sixth in the 800. Neil Fagan and Jordan Anderson tied for fourth in the high jump, and Bryce Coq was fifth in the discus.

Dade Christian School track

Senior Winter Rodriquez is vying to be a double champion in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles for the Dade Christian School girls’ varsity track & field team.

She has medaled in both at the FHSAA State Championships in 2010 and 2011.

Newcomer Amanda Martin, a seventh grader, has potential, and freshman Julie Ramos is another to watch.

The 3,200 relay team will be a force. It is led by senior Celeste Romero who is coming off a stellar cross-country season. The Crusaders 1,600 relay team should also do well.

Dade Christian, coached by Doreen Mercer, won districts last season.

Our Lady of the Lakes sports

Following the Christmas break, the Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School winter sports teams have been progressing well.

• The Cheetahs girls’ JV basketball team (5th-6th grade) won four of six games, including a relentless defensive team effort to shut out St. Hugh 16-0.

• The Primary boys’ basketball team is 6-0, atop the All Catholic Conference Northern Division. The Cheetahs recorded close victories over St. Agnes, Sts. Peter and Paul and Blessed Trinity.

• The Cheetahs JV baseball team out scored its opponents, 34-3, in its first two victories.

• The Varsity coed soccer team defeated St. Brendan 2-0 and St. Agatha 2-1 to start the season 2-0.

• In the past month, Cheetahs athletics are 14-2.

Conchita Espinosa sports

The Conchita Espinosa Academy boys’ varsity basketball team (7th and 8th graders) defeated Calusa Prep 35-32 in overtime. Hector Mata led all scores for CEA.

• Alejandra Moros ran the third fastest mile time in CEA track history at 6 minutes 28 seconds.

Belen Jesuit lacrosse

A veteran team, the Belen Jesuit High School boys’ varsity lacrosse team looks to improve greatly from last season’s 6-9 mark.

The Wolverines, under coach John Okunski, return all but two starters. The core of the team has been playing together three years, improving dramatically from last season.

Belen added Alan Bellando and Brian Cost from 2012 FHSAA State Champion St. Andrew’s School (Boca Ration) as defensive and offensive coordinators in moving to an uptempo offensive scheme and pressure defense.

Senior Matt Cristobal (47 groundballs in 2012) has been a starting varsity player since 10th grade. One of the top two long stick midfielders in the district, he is the vocal leader of the team and one of the best defensivemen in the county.

The Wolverines also feature seniors Robby Cosio (32 goals, 28 assists in 2012), Michael Munoz (38 groundballs in 2012), Edwin Ricardo (38 goals, four assists in 2012), Ethan Rodriguez (28 goals, 24 assists in 2012) and Paco Villafane (49 saves in 2012).

Palmetto High School lacrosse

The Palmetto High School boys’ lacrosse team looks to defend its district title this season.

The Panthers went 9-7 last season, finishing runner-up at regionals for Coach Raffy Lazo.

Sophomore Connor Berg (6-foot-1) and junior Robert Lugo (6-0) are two of the top defenders in Miami-Dade County, and senior Cameron Brooks (6-2) is a top goalie.

Seniors Austin Abercrombie (5-7) and Darius Gonzalez (5-10) and junior Peter Lowell (5-8) also help lead Palmetto.

Miami Country Day School top athletes

Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Channise Aryan Lewis (basketball) as the varsity team’s starting point guard, she led the team with 16 points, five assists, three rebounds and three assists in the Spartans’ district title win against Archbishop Curley.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Kayla Kotalik (basketball) had 10 points and five rebounds in the district title win against Archbishop Curley.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Rashad Woodside (basketball) combined for 23 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists in wins against Marathon and Hillel.

Spartan Super Fan: Carolyn Dorn (Upper School English Teacher).

Key West fishing

Lance Gleason of Missoula, Mont., released 15 barracuda measuring a total of 246.5 inches to win the spin division of the two-day Cuda Bowl Tournament in Key West.

Gleason, who also scored the most releases in the tournament, earned the title of divisional grand champion fishing with Captain Justin Rea of Key West. Rea was named the division’s grand champion guide.

Nathaniel Clark Linville of Key West won the Cuda Bowl’s fly division, releasing five barracuda that totaled 184.75 inches. He was guided by Captain Aaron Snell, another from Key West.

Linville and Snell took the division’s grand champion angler and guide titles, respectively. Linville also caught the single largest barracuda on fly tackle, a fish measuring 42 inches.

Runner-up in the spin division was Robert Monroe of McCall, Idaho, fishing with Captain Bo Sellers of Summerland Key. The duo scored 10 barracuda that measured a total of 223 inches.

Jim Knowles of Round Hill, Va., took the runner-up title in the fly division, releasing four barracuda that totaled 163.5 inches. His guide was Captain Peter Heydon of Key West.

The tournament’s largest barracuda on spin tackle, at 46.5 inches, was caught by Tom del Bosque of Plantation, fishing with Captain Mike Pollack of Key West.

The flats challenge drew 36 anglers fishing on 23 boats.

Key West visitor information: or 1-800-FLA-KEYS.

Mourning water polo

The Mourning Senior High School boys’ varsity water polo team was tops in the district in just its second season.

Coached by Luis Comulada, the Sharks (8-7) return a formidable squad, losing one senior. Juniors Gabriel Ribeiro (50 goals, 30 assists, 25 steals in 2012), Jacob Mosli (130 saves, 40 steals in 2012) and Daniel Angeles (10 goals, 15 assists, 30 steals in 2012) lead the team.

Senior Mathew Hunt (15 goals, 25 assists, 10 steals in 2012) and junior Alex Sismanoglou (five goals, five assists, 15 steals in 2012) will provide solid support, and experienced freshman Daniel Scotese is someone to watch.

Ribeiro, a team captain, is from a talented water polo family. His uncle, Fernando Carsalade, was an All-American who played in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games for the Brazilian Olympic Team. His uncle, Marcello Carsalade, was also an All-American. He played with the UCLA men’s club team from 1987-89.

• The Mourning girls’ varsity water polo team had a successful 2012 in just its second season. The Sharks (9-6) were district runners-up.

Senior captain Betty Poler (35 goals, 30 assists, 28 steals in 2012) leads Moruning. A candidate for Miami-Dade Scholar Athlete, she a well-rounded student athlete, lettering in three sports (basketball, swimming, water polo).

Chantal Tepper, a top junior goalie, made 130 saves and 25 steals. Junior Andrea Rancano (19 goals, 20 assists, 10 steals), senior Kristin Jackson (10 goals, 23 assists, 20 steals in 2012) and sophomores Mariana Lombello (five goals, 15 assists, 15 steals) and Nicole Mare (five goals, 10 assists, 12 steals) are key returnees.

Krop water polo

Sophomore Mohammad Alsaabbaghe has played year round to improve his skills for the Dr. Krop High School boys’ varsity water polo team.

The Lightning (10-12) was the district runner-up a year ago for coaches Ann Gordon and Gayle Steiner.

Also returning include senior Adam Tzur and juniors Daniel Egozi, Dean Kaire and Solomon Sacal.

• The Dr. Krop girls’ varsity team (25-3) won districts in 2012 and placed eighth in the state.

The Lightning have a young team in 2013 with returning juniors Jade Lubie and Alana Mantel leading the way.

Hurricane Challenge

The University of Miami Department of Physical Therapy will host the 26th annual Hurricane Challenge, run by Dr. Robert Gailey, on March 1.

The event is open to Miami-Dade public schools, where children with disabilities can participate in an assortment of activities. The goals are to raise awareness about children with diabilities and gives these kids a chance to interact with each other while enjoying a fun day.

Brittany Oliver, Co-Chair, DPT ’14, said: “The Hurricane Challenge is a special day for children with disabilities to play games, interact with others and learn the importance of physical activity. Many of these children look forward to this event all year. Here at UM, we’re just excited that we can make a difference in their lives.”

Joanne Ishikawa, Co-Chair, DPT ’14, added: “You should see the expressions on these kids’ faces when they’re here; it’s easy to see that this is the most fun some of them have had. It’s a day created with them in mind, and they can tell. Nothing warms your heart more than the smiles you see at the Hurricane Challenge.”


Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s north campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Contact Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

More Jai-Alai

Who said you have to be a male to play Jai Alai? Just as many females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, and gals can play it in South Florida at an amateur indoor air-conditioned fronton.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open everyday. Email or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

YouTube youth and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

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More events, leagues, programs

Celebrity Golf Classic

Former Miami Dolphins Joe Rose and Twan Russell will host the 12th Publix Links for Literacy VIP Party and Celebrity Golf Classic on March 1-2 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood.

The VIP Party will consist of a silent auction at Passion Nightclub in Seminole Paradise 6-9 p.m. March 1. The Celebrity Golf Classic occurs March 2 at Orangebrook Golf and Country Club in Hollywood with registration at 10 a.m. A shotgun start is at noon. Foursomes are paired with a celebrity. Each golfer can participate in a variety of challenges and enjoy food and drinks provided by sponsor partners throughout the course. The 19th Hole Awards Party will immediately follow.

Sponsored by Publix and Seminole Hard Hotel & Casino Hollywood, both will benefit The Russell Life Skills and Reading Foundation’s Reading Rooms in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The weekend gives many a chance to mingle, network and play golf with local celebrities, radio personalities and current and retired NFL alum who support The Russell Life Skills and Reading Foundation.

Past celebrities include current Dolphins players along with former players such as Nat Moore, Dwight Stephenson, OJ McDuffie, Kim Bokamper, Mark Higgs, James Pruitt, Corwin Anthony, John Offerdahl, Derrick Rodgers, Kerry Glenn, Bobby Harden, James McNight, Jed Weaver and Troy Drayton, former Baltimore Ravens cornerback Duane Starks, NBA Hawks power forward Mark Strickland and former NY Jets Don Silvestri.

This event is sponsored by Publix Supermarkets, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Under Armour, the City of Hollywood, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, MetroPCS, EnVision Web Development and Lifestyle Magazine Group.

Tickets for the VIP Party are $20 advance or $25 at the door. Celebrity Golf Classic foursomes are $500 and include the Celebrity VIP Party.

For information, call 954-921-3787. Visit or e-mail

ROGY tennis

Ready to introduce your child to organized tennis, but not sure if they’re ready for a league, and you don’t want to spend all day or a weekend playing a tournament?

Then you’re ready to ROGY.

USTA Florida ROGY (for the Red, Orange, Green, and Yellow ball progressions) Tourn-events are three-hour play periods where boys and girls, age 8-18, hone their tennis skills in a fun, no-pressure format using modified equipment. Depending on age and experience, they will play with the correct racquet size (smaller for kid’s hands) and court size (36-foot for beginners or very young children, up to 60-foot and regulation 78-foot courts), and with lower-compression balls that bounce in their hitting zone rather than over their head.

“These three-hour events feature fun match play, without the pressure of rankings,” said Andy McFarland, associate executive director of USTA Florida. “ROGY is ideal for youth players of all ages who want to improve their game by playing opponents with a similar skill level, in a time format that doesn’t take up a parent’s entire day or weekend.”

ROGY events are designed for rookie-level players who can serve, volley and keep score. By removing the rankings and focusing on gaining experience playing against kids of the same level rather than winning, ROGY events provide a more fun way for youth players to participate.

“It’s a great intermediate step for kids who were introduced to tennis through a Festival or Kids Tennis Club and are ready to play more organized matches,” McFarland said. “Kids enjoy immediate success playing with the modified equipment, making tennis fun as opposed to playing with adult equipment on an adult court.”

Upcoming local ROGY events:

Feb. 23: ROGY at Plantation, Frank Veltri Tennis Center, Plantation

March 9: ROGY Grand Prix, Reiner Heinser Tennis Academy, Miami

• To sign-up for a ROGY event, contact the club or facility listed above.

To see the entire 2013 ROGY schedule in Florida to date or learn more about ROGY, go to

Tennis Festivals

Thousands of Tennis Festivals are in March across the country including South Florida to boost junior participation. By hosting a tennis festival, tennis organizers, including facilities, parks and clubs and schools have the opportunity to showcase their youth tennis programs and attract new players.

Tennis Festivals are designed to welcome families to play tennis at all skill levels. Parents and children are encouraged to participate and experience first-hand the way in which tennis is now sized right for their child’s age and ability.

South Florida facilities registered for Tennis Festivals as of Feb. 6 are:

March 2: Miami: Tamiami Tennis Festival Grand Opening, Tamiami Tennis Center,

March 7: Coral Springs: Intramural Fun, Sawgrass Springs Middle School Tennis Courts,


Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

Sailfish tournament

The Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament returns for its 15th year with a cash purse up to $25,000. The event is March 1-3 at Key Colony Beach.

The late Captain Leon Shell, whom the event honors, was best known as the inventor of the artificial Leon Lure.

The winning boat team with the largest number of sailfish releases is to receive a grand prize of $20,000 cash. First and second runner-up teams also take home cash prizes.

Trophies and cash prizes also await the top individual sailfish anglers and contestants who catch the biggest wahoo, dolphin, kingfish and tuna.

Tournament action kicks off with a 7 p.m. captains meeting on March 1 at the fuel dock of Key Colony Beach Marina on Sadowski Causeway near mile marker 53.5 oceanside.

Fishing runs from lines-in at 8 a.m. to lines-out at 3:30 p.m. on March 2, with weigh-in until 6 p.m. Fishing on March 3 runs from lines-in at 7 a.m. to lines-out at 2:30 p.m. Weigh-in goes until 5 p.m., with an awards banquet to follow at Sparky’s Landing.

A raffle and silent auction are to round out the popular family-friendly angling weekend.

Entry fees for the boat tournament are $500 for the first angler and boat captain and $150 for each additional angler. Each boat is allowed unlimited anglers, but only four lines can be fished at a time. Registrations can be received no later than 4 p.m. on March 1.

Proceeds benefit Hospice and the Visiting Nurse Association of the Florida Keys, which provide home health and hospice services to the Keys community. Since the event’s inception, more than $165,000 has been donated to Hospice/VNA.

Event information

NFL/Wharton Leadership Program

NFL Player Engagement and the Wharton Sports Business Initiative will host the second annual NFL-Wharton Prep Leadership Program for student-athletes entering their senior year of high school.

The program, which runs from June 24-26 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, offers leadership training and development programming with instruction from Wharton professors and NFL executives. Last year’s 36 participants are now in the college application process.

“We are excited to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of these extraordinary high school student-athletes as leaders both academically and athletically,” said former Miami Dolphins defensive back Troy Vincent, who is the NFL Vice President of Player Engagement. “NFL Player Engagement looks forward to assisting them even more through our PREP 100 series in further developing essential life skills that result from leadership in academic performance, athletic experience and community service.”

Kenneth Shropshire, Wharton Professor and Faculty Director at the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, added: “For Wharton, this is the perfect blend of sports, academics and social impact. We are excited about playing a role in developing future leaders impacted by sport, blending sports and academics at the highest levels.”

Male and female student-athletes who will be high school seniors in the 2013-14 school year can apply for the program at the Wharton Sports Business Initiative website from now through March 15.

Thirty six tudent-athletes will be selected to participate based upon academic transcript, athletic experience, leadership activities, coach and teacher recommendations, and personal essays. All costs other than travel to and from the program will be covered by Wharton.

Among the topics covered in the full group sessions, breakout groups and panel discussions: Basics of Leadership – assessments, styles, motivating others; Professional Development – life skills, social media; Career Development – preparing for the future (resume, mock-interview, public speaking, networking); Financial Education – introduction to financial terms, tools, and the role of financial advisors; Basics of Management; Total Wellness – empowering student-athletes to make positive health decisions.

NFL Player Engagement assists players in reaching their highest potential on and off-the-field with guidance, support and resources provided before, during and after their NFL experiences. NFL Player Engagement works with three core audiences: Prep, Life, Next. NFL Prep provides high school and college student athletes of all sports with tools to help them succeed in life, focused on awareness, prevention, and education.

The Wharton Sports Business Initiative is a research, executive education and consulting focused think tank dedicated to provide practical and tangible solutions positively impacting a variety of clients and areas within the sports business globally.

USA Duathlon

With the aim of introducing more athletes to the exciting multisport discipline of duathlon, USA Triathlon unveiled the 10 events that will comprise the 2013 USA Triathlon Duathlon Race Series including one in Florida.

Ten races comprise USA Triathlon’s 2013 Duathlon Race Series. (David Sanders/USA Triathlon)

With one event in each of USA Triathlon’s 10 regions, athletes across the country will have the opportunity to compete in a top run-bike-run event. Each event is sanctioned by USA Triathlon and will count toward the popular end-of-year Duathlon National Rankings for USA Triathlon annual members.

Awards will be presented to the top finishers in each series event.

The first event of the series - the Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon - is Feb. 18 in Fort Worth, Texas, and series races will continue through the Oct. 20 Longboat Key Duathlon in Longboat Key, Fla. USA Triathlon’s Duathlon National Championships is Oct. 26 in Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz. Visit for information on Duathlon Nationals.

USA Triathlon sanctioned nearly 600 duathlon races in 2012, more than doubling the number of sanctioned races from 2006.

Florida Race: Oct. 20: Longboat Key Duathlon : Longboat Key, Fla. Distances: 2-mile run, 20-mile bike, 5-mile run. Website: Contact: or 813-966-7844.

USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon aims to return multisport to its roots with the inaugural USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series, which debuts this spring with 10 beginner-friendly events -- one in each USA Triathlon region including Miami.

The focus of the Retro Tri Series is participation, rather than competition. The aim of the events is to introduce the sport of triathlon and educate race participants about the healthy and active multisport lifestyle. The events are open to first-timers, seasoned veterans and those looking to stay active -- swimming, biking and running in a safe atmosphere. Each event is sanctioned by USA Triathlon.

“Our new Retro Tri Series events offer something for anyone interested in participating in the sport of triathlon,” USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach said. “These races can be for athletes who want a good, safe workout, or for someone who may feel intimidated by going to a larger race. We’re looking forward to this year’s events and can’t wait to introduce more and more newcomers to the multisport lifestyle.”

The Retro Tri Series events are geared toward adult and youth competitors age 13 and older. Each race will feature a 300-400-yard swim, 5-10-mile bike and 2-5-kilometer run.

2013 USA Triathlon Retro Series Schedule

April 27: Rio Grande Triathlon-Reverse Sprint, Albuquerque, N.M.

May 4: E-Bomb Triathlon, Biloxi, Miss.

June 8: Moses Lake Triathlon, Moses Lake, Wash.

June 23: Blue Ash Community Triathlon, Cincinnati.

July 20: Big Spring Super Sprint & Kids Tri, Big Spring, Texas.

July 20: Runner’s Roost Retro Triathlon (R3 Tri), Buffalo.

July 28: Gaucho Super Sprint Triathlon, Goleta, Calif.

Aug. 4: Omaha Retro Family Triathlon, Omaha, Neb.

Sept. 8: FIU Triathlon, North Miami.

Nov. 3: Old Dominion University (ODU) Triathlon, Norfolk, Va.

For more on the USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series, visit

JCC Maccabi Games

The Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center seeks participants for the JCC Maccabi Games.

JCC Maccabi Games: Athletes age 13-16 (as of July 31, 2013) can represent the Boca Raton Mitchell Dobbin Maccabi Team in boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ baseball, swimming, tennis, boys’ and girls’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse (depending on interest) and girls’ softball in Austin, Texas from July 28-Aug. 2 and Orange County, Calif. from Aug. 4-9.

Participants will display their skills as well as be inspired by the values of community involvement, teamwork, creativity, integrity and pride. Visit for details.

Athletes interested in competing in individual sports must contact Lesley Surfer, the Levis JCC Maccabi Games Delegation Head, at 561-852-3212 or

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys, age 5-16. Email or call 305 -273-1145.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been fundraising.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Howard Palmetto baseball, softball

Registration for the 2013 Howard Palmetto Baseball & Softball winter season has started. Go to to sign up.

The season starts in January and continues through April/May. Registration fees are $219 for baseball, $195 for softball and $185 for T-ball. Registration includes T-ball Titans for boys and girls age 4-6; baseball for boys age 6-15; high school boys’ baseball for grades 10-12; fast-pitch softball for girls age 6-17.

Games are at Evelyn Greer Park, Suniland Park, Palmetto Bay, Coral Reef and Chapman Field. Register online or for information, visit

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind the scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 a person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas including the Suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours, accommodating between 10 and 25 people, are available by appointment.

For information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (NW 6 Street between NW 14 Avenue and NW 15 Avenue) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school) for the fall season.

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, boys age 6-18, practices 6-8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101. Visiti

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE 2nd Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Biscayne Bay.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.



South Kendall Sun Blazers ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79 St. (305-630-3314).

Miami Dade Soccer League ( at Three Lakes Park, 13375 SW 136 St. (786-488-5216).

Soccer 5 ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave. (1-888-575-2976).

Club Atletico De Miami ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave. (305-764-5783).

Soccer Academy of the Americas ( at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St. (786-486-3804)

Pinecrest Premier Soccer ( at Deerwood Bonita Lakes, 11511 S. Dixie Hwy. (305-255-3422).

Optimist Club of Westchester ( at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St. (786-370-4222).

Coral Estates Soccer Club ( at Coral Estates Park, 1411 SW 97 Ave. (305-279-2328)

South Kendall Soccer Club ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79 St. (305-630-3314).

Southern Soccer Coalition-AYSO ( at Millers Pond Park, 13350 SW 47 St. and Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152 Ave. (305-965-0083).

Got Milk

The National Milk Mustache “got milk?” campaign launched the call for entries for the 15th annual Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Awards.

The SAMMY scholarship recognizes 25 student-athletes who excel in academics, athletics, community service, leadership and who fuel their daily success with milk.

Milk Mustache celebrity judges will help select 25 winners from across the country who will receive a $7,500 college scholarship, an awards ceremony at Walt Disney World and an opportunity to appear in their own special Milk Mustache ad.

For complete contest rules and applications log onto where visitors can also learn more about the exclusive SAMMY awards weekend and view behind the scenes footage.

Health program

Stand Up! For Those Who Can’t, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering children, families and communities through (w)holistic programs in education, culture and the arts, and as fiscal agent for the Sunshine Child Wellness Collaborative, has received a $50,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation to implement “Sunshine Fit for Tots,” an obesity-prevention program developed by SCWC for 3-year-old children.

“One in five preschool-age children in the United States are overweight or obese. We recognize the need to start prevention at the earliest age possible to promote lifelong habits of health and wellness,” said Mary Rae Smith, president and founder of SCWC. “We want to bend the curve on childhood obesity and are grateful to the Aetna Foundation for this opportunity to enhance obesity prevention through exercise and nutrition programming.”

Through March 2013, 60 children from four early childhood centers in Miami-Dade will receive nutritional education and obesity-prevention activities through art classes and dance lessons. The centers selected to receive the program are Fantasyland Learning Center in Westchester; Happy Kids in Miami Beach; Happy Children of Overtown; and Alberto’s Dream Childcare in North Miami.

“We thank the Aetna Foundation for awarding us this grant,” said Jeannette Egozi, president of SUFTWC. “In the United States, low-income families are the most affected by the alarming obesity trend. With these funds we can teach children how to eat healthfully and be physically active throughout their lives.”

For information about “Sunshine Fit for Tots” call the Sunshine Child Wellness Collaborative at 305-807-5229 or Stand Up! at 305-864-5237, e-mail

CB Sports Leagues

CB Sports Club offers Youth Basketball, Flag Football, Youth Soccer, Adult Soccer and Adult Basketball. Visit Call 786-273-5639.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).

Read more Miami-Dade Youth Sports stories from the Miami Herald

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