Homestead 805 soccer team goes out in style

 

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 sportsscene@MiamiHerald.com or send a fax to 305-376-5287.


Go to MiamiHerald.com/sports/youth/miami-dade

Homestead soccer

The Homestead 805 under-19 boys’ all-star soccer team won the AYSO State Games in Wellington.

This marked the first time in more than 10 years Homestead’s U19s won the title. Thus, a few players finished their AYSO eligibility with a championship, like the NFL’s Ray Lewis.

Some of the boys were new to AYSO, but the majority got their soccer start at a young age with AYSO 805. Even though some left AYSO to compete with other clubs, they reunited in 2011 as the Homestead Hawks playing FYSA and AYSO, leading to their outstanding finale.

Miami Pace football

Jamar Simpkins of Miami Pace High School signed to play football at Western Michigan University, an NCAA Division I program in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Broncos compete in the Mid-American Conference.

Simpkins, a 6-4, 265-pound defensive lineman from Opa-locka, was a Miami Herald All-Dade third team selection. A two-year starter, he helped Pace go undefeated in the regular season his sophomore season where they advanced to the second round of the playoffs. In his senior season, the Spartans went 5-5.

Simpkins, 17, played youth football with the Miramar Optimist Packers and the Miami Gardens Chargers. In his first season of Pee Wee football, the Packers reached the Super Bowl. Miramar High School linebacker Jermaine Grace, who signed with the University of Miami, was a teammate of Simpkins on that runner-up Pee Wee team. In his second season, Simpkins and the Packers, coached by his father, Lamar, won the Super Bowl.

Simpkins played two seasons with the newly formed Miami Gardens Chargers which branched out from the Miramar Optimist Wolverines program.

“Youth football helped me,” Simpkins said, “It helped to make me tough and to also have fun as a kid playing football.”

Simpkins is the son of April Haywood and Lamar Simpkins.

Prime Time flag football

Player of the Week Moshe Kalchman had one touchdown run and caught fives passes (two for touchdowns) as Mo Steel defeated the Fighting Irish 33-26 in Varsity (seventh-ninth grade) of Prime Time Sports flag football at the Michael Ann-Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami. Daniel Ellenbogen threw three touchdown passes, and Rafie Hersher made seven receptions (one for a touchdown).

Hurricanes 31, Gators 12: Harry Mizraji four touchdown passes; Josef Gad two touchdown receptions, four interceptions, four receptions; Max Peicher three receptions; Moises Doron one touchdown reception, three sacks, five receptions; Steven Moltmann one touchdown reception, four receptions.

For the Gators, Yomtov Bejar two touchdown passes; Alex Fraynd three receptions, one touchdown reception, two total receptions Simon Elharrar one touchdown reception, seven total receptions.

Ducks 18, Cowboys 14: Aaron Benenson one touchdown reception, four receptions; Jackson Levine two touchdown passes, three receptions; Joel Shapiro one touchdown reception, one interception, four receptions; Daniel Franco one touchdown pass, one interception, two receptions; Tom Korn three receptions; Michael Duek one interception, one reception; Lee Friedman one interception.

For the Cowboys, Alan Chocron two touchdown passes, three sacks, three receptions; Avi Parrino two touchdown receptions, 12 receptions; Brandon Elyakim one interception, one reception; Justin Mostovitz one sack, two receptions.

Longhorns 25, Yeshiva 6: Josh Silverman three touchdown pass; Abraham Shalom two touchdown receptions, two receptions; Daniel Yerushalmi two receptions, three interceptions; Sion Cherem one touchdown run, one touchdown reception, two receptions, one interception; Jake Singer two receptions; Gianni Maioul one reception; Eithan Ayache one reception.

•  Seniors (fifth-and sixth-grade)

Fighting Irish 38, Hurricanes 20: Lee Iaslovits four touchdown passes, one reception; Amit Yaari one touchdown pass, two touchdown receptions, nine receptions; Alan Grinspun, two touchdown receptions, three receptions; James Brinker, one touchdown reception, one sack, five receptions. Aiden Singer, one touchdown reception, five receptions.

For the Hurricanes, Jonas Senker three touchdown passes, three receptions; Daniel Strimber one touchdown reception, seven receptions; Joel Schraer one touchdown reception, six receptions; Robert Behar one touchdown reception, seven receptions; Jonah Wallach three receptions.

Longhorns 27, Gators 14: Jorge Batievsky four touchdown passes; Dimitri Politano two touchdown receptions, one interception, 10 receptions; Alan Doron one touchdown reception, seven receptions; Jake Kurkin one touchdown reception, four receptions; Sebastian Ludmir five receptions; Aidan Gold one sack.

For the Gators, Max Greenwald two touchdown passes; Jack Finvarb one touchdown reception, 10 receptions; Adolfo Bucay one touchdown reception, two receptions; Zachary Ordet five receptions; Moises Essenfeld four receptions; Ryan Fliegelman three receptions; Kevin Ordet two receptions.

Ducks 27, Cowboys 7: Brian Mars three touchdown passes, one interception, one reception; Player of the Week Leonardo Nicastro one touchdown reception, two interceptions (one for a touchdown), five receptions; Carter Levine one touchdown reception, two sacks, five receptions; Jose Sacal, one touchdown reception, five receptions; Federico Waldman three receptions; Joseph Bensabat one reception.

For the Cowboys, Noah Markovsky one touchdown pass, one sack; Benjamin Wolf one touchdown reception, five receptions; Maxwell Cusnier 10 receptions; Alex Bugay two receptions, one interception; Eric Getzel two receptions; Julian Rubinovich one reception.

•  Scouts (first-and second-grade)

Gators 19, Fighting Irish 6: Player of the Week Jonathan Bacal one touchdown pass, one touchdown run, one interception, five receptions; Alejandro Berkman one touchdown run, two interceptions, three receptions; Nolan Senker one touchdown reception , seven receptions; Jose Levy one reception.

For the Fighting Irish, Jack Harris one touchdown run, four receptions; Max Kertznus one sack, three receptions; Kyle Ratzker six receptions; Dylan Wigoda one reception; Jake Manasse one reception; Zack Banin one reception.

Hurricanes 33, Crimson Tide 14: Alan Strimber three interceptions, three receptions; Daniel Brown one touchdown reception, one interception; Michael Kiblisky one touchdown reception, five receptions; Marcos Romano one sack, three receptions; Isaac Feldman three receptions; Eithan Hornstein one reception.

For the Crimson Tide, Rocco Solomon two touchdown passes; Adam Cohen one touchdown reception, seven receptions; Ari Dejman one touchdown reception, three receptions; Rafael Derzavich five receptions; Eli Tamir two receptions.

Cowboys 24, Ducks 0: Abraham Klainbaum two touchdown run, one touchdown reception, one interception, three receptions; Daniel Rosen one touchdown pass, one touchdown run; Eyal Waxman two interceptions; Jack Agion two receptions; Jonathan Almosny one interception, one reception; Samuel Attias two sacks, two receptions.

For the Ducks, David Lalo three receptions, one interception; Noah Yecutieli one reception; Ricardo Koenig four receptions.

•  Juniors (third-and fourth-grade)

Gators 14, Fighting Irish 13: Tyler Gale one touchdown run, one touchdown pass, one reception; Player of the Week Daniel Solomiany, one touchdown reception, five receptions; Abie Saada four receptions, one interception; David Delarosa one interception, one reception.

For the Fighting Irish, Meyer Shalom two touchdown passes; Avi Lalo one touchdown reception, seven receptions; Tomer Spivak one touchdown reception, two reception; Aiden Blinderman one reception; Alexander Moltmann one reception.

Crimson Tide 26, Hurricanes 0: Dylan Gale two touchdown passes; Daniel Broides one touchdown reception, one interception, four receptions; David Amselem one sack, one reception; Joseph Talmaciu one touchdown reception, two receptions; Michael Brinker two interceptions; Eli Silverman five receptions.

•  Adult Pro: Marbin 36, Etzion 6.

Prime Time basketball

Daniel Shaferman scored 10 points as the Gators edged the Volunteers 28-26 in the SEC (fifth-and sixth grade) of Prime Time Sports basketball at the Michael Ann-Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami.

Matias Maia added five points, and Nathan Azizollahoff had four points. Alan Grinspun chipped in three points, and David Rayek, Gabriel Dayan and Michael Hirsch had two points each. For the Volunteers, Saul Birmaher totaled 13 points. Nathaniel Elharrar had seven points, and Elan Roffe had four points. Armando Ruah had two points.

Wildcats 25, Razorbacks 20: Jonathan Kiblisky 6 pts, Leon Assor 6 pts, Moises Benhamu 6 pts, Abraham Woldenberg 5 pts, Andres Bacal 2 pts. For the Razorbacks, Benjamin Wolf 6 pts, Eric Getzel 6 pts, Samuel Taieb 6pts, Tal Emano 2 pts.

Crimson Tide 46, Tigers 34: Yaniv Assraf 18 pts, Daniel Zipori 7 pts, Jaime Acherman 6 pts, Avi Alalu 6 pts, Ben Ratzker 4 pts, Shaul Levy 2 pts, Ben Hecker 2 pts. For the Tigers, Alan Berkman 17 pts, Jeremy Saunders 7 pts, Matias Ostrowics 6 pts, Simon Waxman 4 pts.

Commodores 29, Bulldogs 20: Leonardo Nicastro 11 pts, Ross Vaygensberg 9 pts, Jonathan Abbo 5 pts, Jake Strober 2 pts, Jonathan Baran 2 pts. For the Bulldogs, Asher Courtney 15 pts, Noah Markofsky 4 pts, Moises Essenfeld 1 pt.

•  NBA (seventh-ninth grades)

Spurs 44, Heat 23. Bruno Wesley 14 pts, Brando Elyakim 10 pts, Joshua Bonwitt 6 pts, Felipe Lombello 4 pts, Jake Gale 4 pts, Joseph Wiener 4 pts, Nicholas Dimartino 2 pts.

Clippers 42, Lakers 32: Avi Weisskoff 15 pts, Jordan Kasimow 7 pts, Jake Singer 7 pts, Dan Berflein 5 pts, Mark Hanz 4 pts, Sion Cherem 4 pts.

Nets 43, Knicks 22: Justin Korakakos 21 pts, Simon Elhrrar 13 pts, Alex Fraynd 5 pts, Adam Oliel 2 pts, Enzo Collomba 2 pts.

•  BIG EAST (third-and fourth-grade)

Wildcats 15, Hoyas 10: Avi Lalo 7 pts, Abie Saada 4 pts, Nicholas Ludwig 4 pts. For the Hoyas, Daniel Gutkin 7 pts, Jack Shechtman 2 pts, Benny Bakar 2 pts.

Huskies 24, Panthers 20: Jake Moss 10 pts, Alan Wainer 5 pts, Benjamin Holcman 3 pts, Tatiana Wainer 2 pts.

Bulls 29, Orangemen 27: Jacob Golan 12 pts, Josh Finvarb 10 pts, Marc Wendrow 7 pts. For the Orangemen, Daniel Broides 15 pts, William Shaoul 7 pts, Lucas Kac 2 pts, Ran Menshulam 2 pts, Michael Benzadon 1 pt.

Golden Eagles 18, Bearcats 5: Jaden Katz 7 pts, Pryce Markson 5 pts, Samuel Courtney 4 pts, Jared Brody 2 pts. For the Bearcats, Aaron Sherit 5 pts.

Miami City Ballers basketball

The Miami City Ballers 3rd grade travel basketball team won the South Florida Bash, hosted by Taylored Athletes in Boca Raton.

They defeated the Top Riser’s Heat 29-27 and Taylor Elite 65-15, before edging Wellington 34-32 in the finals. The champs are Bryce James, Lebron James Jr., Luke Pennie, Brandon Garcia, Ryan Paluso, Jose Amat III, Jett Howard, Terry Glasgow and Sal Stewart Jr. The coaches are Jose Amat Jr., Alex Garcia and Sal Stewart.

Top Risers basketball

The Top Risers Heat Academy 3rd, 4th and 5th grade basketball teams participated in the South Florida Bash, hosted by Taylored Athletes in Boca Raton.

The 4th grade team, coached by Zack Dawson, went undefeated to win the title. They defeated the Wellington Wolves in the opener 46-25 and then Palm Beach Elite 48-18. In bracket play they beat Palm Beach Elite again 52-25 to reach the finals where they defeated the Wellington Wolves 36-31.

The champs are Arturo Dean, Johnny Knight, Tavoris Miller, Tyler Greene, Jayden Higgins, Christopher Scott, Rashard Parms, Malik Burrows, Ryan Rodriguez, Laurence Seymore, Aaron Bush and Jaylin Bain.

The 3rd grade team placed third in its age bracket, and the 5th grade team was fourth.

• The previous week, the Top Risers Heat 3rd and 4th grade teams played up in the BBA Hoop Jam in Fort Lauderdale. The 3rd grade team was runner-up against 4th graders, and the 4th grade team finished third against 5th graders.

Archbishop Curley basketball

The Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep boys’ varsity basketball team defeated Miami Country Day 55-48 to win the District 15-3A title and advance to regionals.

Zach Brown led the way with 16 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.

The champ also feature Shelton Charles, Casey Ermitus, Dimitri Georges, Brian Dorvil, Philipp Cheron, Donovan Esquolin, Jordan Lominer, Serge Aristide, Bryan Llerandi, Kingsly Fritz and Hurgo Blanchard. The coaches are Dwight Harold Arscott, Carega Tucker and Charlie Funk.

Florida Christian basketball

The Florida Christian School boys’ varsity basketball team (13-13) defeated Westminster Christian 58-50 to win the District 16-3A title, qualifying for regionals.

Because of injuries, illness and academic issues, the Patriots started slow. They played their first game with a full roster two weeks before the regular season ended.

Florida Christian played nine teams that were ranked in the Top 10 of their respective classes (8A-2A) as well as four other games against 8A-6A opponents.

Wyatt Sikora (6-10 junior) gave the Patriots a big lift after returning from a separated shoulder that sidelined him 10 games. He came into his own as a dominating post player. Point guard John Cardoza (5-11 sophomore) made a huge impact on the team. Garrett Wicks (5-10 junior) displayed incredible leadership on and off the court.

The Patriots also feature JJ Burmister (6-0 senior), Alec Dieppa (5-10 junior), Sebastian Hernandez (5-9 senior), Matt Hershman (5-11 junior), Christian Jane (6-5 junior), Eric Montes De Oca (6-1 senior), Gabriel Perez (6-2 freshman), Jordan Valdes (5-9 sophomore), David Weeks (6-7 junior) and Michael Wright (5-9 freshman).

The head coach is Dan Pruessner, and the assistant coaches are JJ Burmister, Jose Carabano and Alex Sosa.

North Miami soccer

The North Miami Senior High School girls’ varsity soccer team finished third in District 14-5A.

The Pioneers played well but lost a heartbreaker in the district semifinals to the top ranked team 1-0 in a shootout.

The Pioneers are Norgia Grant, Marie Jeannot, Mika Felix, Michelle Carry, Riskamie Bastien, Captain Rochelle Hall, Mehida Jeanlouis, Cassandra Senatus, Shirlendy Jean, Romarline Livette, Sarika Francois, Chelsey Corneille, Dayana Labardy, Naidy Escobar, Kemberly Marcemat, Otelnise Pierre, Merlande Noel, Venise Azor, Nelly Belledent, co-Captain Chloe Martinez, Sandy Milien and Fabertha Cherfil. The coach is Michael Brevil.

Conchita Espinosa sports

Sebastian Prada scored twice as the Conchita Espinosa Academy’s 7-and-under soccer team beat Divine Savior 2-0.

The Cougars also defeated Highpoint Academy 3-1 with Alejandro Vigil and Jacob Marino scoring.

• Conchita Espinosa Academy’s girls’ varsity basketball team (seventh- and eighth-graders) defeated Divine Savior 35-4. Cristina Hernandez led all scorers with 11 points, and Karen Chakour had a team-high 11 rebounds. Katherine Rodriguez added 10 points and seven rebounds.

• Conchita Espinosa Academy’s boys’ junior varsity basketball team (fifth- and sixth-graders) improved to 2-0 with a 29-19 victory over Pinecrest North. Franco Castro led all players with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Nick Frades added six points and eight rebounds, and Daniel Comas grabbed 11 rebounds in his first game.

• Conchita Espinosa Academy boys’ varsity basketball team (seventh- and eighth-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.

Booker T. Washington track

With his entire squad returning, Coach Tim Harris has another state champion contender.

Last season the Booker T. Washington High School boys’ varsity track & field team finished second at district and regional and third at state.

The team features members who helped the Tornadoes football team win an FHSAA Class 4A state title in the Fall.

The sprint group is among the best in the state. Sophomore Vaquan Small will run the 800 meters after a freshman season where he made it to states in the 300-meter hurdles. He will be a force in the mid-distances.

All four relay teams are very strong. The 400 relay team was runner-up at state in 2012 in 41.32 seconds, and the 1,600 relay will receive a big boost from transfer Terrance Wells and Small.

Krondis Larry, a junior, is an exceptional athlete. He was the team’s top 100-meter sprinter last season and was third in the 400 at state.

Also, juniors Deltron Hopkins (100, 200), Nigel Patten (200, 400) and Terrawn McPhee (200) and senior Nicholas Norris (100) are standouts.

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.

Key West track

Jack Gruba of Key West High School was a double winner during the Westminster Academy Relays at the Westminster Academy Sports Complex in Lauderdale Lakes.

He won the boys’ shot put at 41 feet 0.75 inches and the discus at 128 feet 7 inches.

The Conchs were runners-up in the boys’ distance medley relay in 11 minutes 38.03 seconds. Key West also also second in the girls’ 400 shuttle hurdle relay in 1:18.40.

Key West took third in the boys’ 3,200 relay in 9:08.82.

Alexa Dawson of Key West finished fourth in the girls’ high jump at 4 feet 8 inches. The Conchs 1,600 girls’ relay also was fourth in 4:45.89.

Miami Country Day volleyball

The Miami Country Day School girls’ varsity volleyball team won its eighth district championship in nine years. The Spartans were led by seniors Ivana Vlahovic (165 digs), Mackenzie Bolton (121 kills, 43 aces, 101 digs) and Breanna Blot (145 kills, 52 blocks).

Juniors Kayla Kotalik (134 kills, 22 aces, 110 digs), Winona Paez (276 assists, 40 aces, 36 digs) and Callie Pumo (208 assists, 21 aces) were key contributors. Sophomores Taylor Mashburn and Sydney Jones, along with freshman Brooke Pumo, became formidable players, and freshman Lenee Blot was outstanding with 131 kills and 33 blocks.

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-chairwoman, 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-chairwoman, 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.”

YouTube youth and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel) http://www.youtube. com/user/jvarsallone/ videos

Miami Herald youth sports online

For more area sports info and photos, go to www.miamiherald.com/ sports/youth/miami-dade.

More events, leagues, programs

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 www.LeonShellTournament.com.

Fishing

Anglers can vie for top-honor trophies for catches of bonefish and redfish during the renamed and reformatted Jim Bokor Islamorada All-Tackle Bonefish and Redfish Shootout from March 13-15 in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

Tournament information: Betsy Bullard at 305-587-1460 or fishnfever@bellsouth.net.

Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic

Highlighted by a pair of college games between the top contenders in women’s and men’s Division 1 lacrosse, the Orange Bowl, in conjunction with Sun Life Stadium, will host the 2013 Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic on March 2. In addition to the college games, high school and youth games will be played throughout the weekend of March 1-3.

The No. 3 Florida Gators will face the No. 1 Syracuse Orange in a rematch of last year’s women’s NCAA Tournament semifinal. That meeting saw then fourth-ranked Syracuse edge then top-ranked Florida 14-13 in double overtime.

After its most successful year in program history, a 19-4 record and advancing to the national championship game, Syracuse enters the 2013 season ranked No.1 in the deBeer preseason media poll. The Gators return all but one starter from a team that a year ago finished with a 19-3 record and got within a win of the national championship game. Game time between the Gators and Orange is 5 p.m. and will be televised live by Sun Sports.

The second game of the college double header will feature the University of Michigan and the United States Military Academy men’s teams. The Wolverines enter their second season at the Division 1 level after consistently being one of the most successful club programs in the country. Army returns five starters from last year’s team that finished 7-8 overall and 4-2 in Patriot League action. Sun Sports will broadcast this first meeting between Michigan and Army.

In addition to the college action, a number of local high school and youth games will occur. On March 1, Pine Crest will battle St. Thomas Aquinas (boys) at 7:30 p.m., and on March 2 Coral Shores will play University School (boys) at 10:30 a.m. followed by Cardinal Gibbons and St. Thomas Aquinas (girls) at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets to the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic are general admission and start at $20, which includes all games throughout the weekend. Tickets to the event are on sale available at www.orangebowl.org or by calling the Orange Bowl ticket office at 305-341-4701. Tickets can also be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com and the Sun Life Stadium Box Office.

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 www.russellreadingroom.com or e-mail events@russellreadingroom.com.

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 www.whartonsportsbiz.org 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.

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 event:

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 www.FloridaRogy.com.

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, nordlund@florida.usta.com

March 7: Coral Springs: Intramural Fun, Sawgrass Springs Middle School Tennis Courts, fbrooker48@bellsouth.net

Visit www.YouthTennis.com.

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.

Big Shot Volleyball Series

The Reflekt Polarized Big Shot Volleyball Series, presented by Rider Sandals, will start the 2013 season at sites throughout Florida. Teams from throughout the East Coast will compete as they warm up for the 2013 Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.

Top male and female doubles teams will compete for over $75,000 cash prizes during the 2013 season including $12,000 at the Spring Florida events. Tournament play will start at 9 a.m. with women’s finals scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturdays and men’s finals Noon Sundays. Admission is free for spectators.

Spring Tour Schedule

Feb. 23-24: Clearwater

March 2-3: Singer Island/Riviera Beach

April 6-7: St. Augustine

April 20-21: Hollywood

April 27-28: Siesta Key

Separate divisions for players of intermediate and novice levels on Saturdays and Sundays. The $60 entry fee entitles players to a day of tournament play, an official Reflekt Polarized Big Shot Volleyball T-shirt and a chance to win merchandise prizes from tournament sponsors Spalding, Rider Sandals, 4C Totally Light 2Go Energy Drinks, Rox Volleyball, 1st Place Volleyball, SOB Volleyball Vacations, Sixpak Volleygear, Zem Booties, Dig Magazine, Bally’s Casino and Park and Sun Sports.

The Big Shot Volleyball Series holds 35 events leading to the $8,000 Big Shot Championships at Bally’s Casino Sept. 7-8 in Atlantic City and the $5,000 Volley America National Championships in October in Clearwater Beach. Visit www.eevb.net.

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.

Visit www.rebelleathletics.com.

Jai-Alai

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 admanUSA@aol.com or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

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 www.usatretroseries.com.

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 www.usatriathlon.org 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: http://longboatkeytri.com/. Contact: kvaughan1229@gmail.com or 813-966-7844.

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 www.levisjcc.org 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 lesleys@levisjcc.org.

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.

Tamiami basketball

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

MLB Pitch, Hit & Run

Major League Baseball invites you to host a local competition of Pitch, Hit & Run, presented by Scotts.

Any coach, parent or adult volunteer can host a competition, a one-day community event that can be run in just a few hours.

Boys and girls, age 7-14, have the opportunity to advance through four levels of competition, including Team Championships at Major League ballparks and the National Finals at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game.

It is free and can be offered in March, April or early May.

An administrative kit is provided with a handbook, strike zone banner, posters, awards and other information needed to host. Register to host a local competition at www.mlb.com/phr.

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 tours@marlins.com. 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).

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 www.hofball.net 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 www.miamirugbykids.com.

Jai-Alai

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 admanUSA@aol.com or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

Soccer

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

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

Soccer 5 (ussoccer5.com) at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave. (1-888-575-2976).

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southern Soccer Coalition-AYSO (kendallsoccer.com) 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 facebook.com/MilkMustache where visitors can also learn more about the exclusive SAMMY awards weekend and view behind the scenes footage.

CB Sports Leagues

CB Sports Club offers Youth Basketball, Flag Football, Youth Soccer, Adult Soccer and Adult Basketball. Visit cbsportsclub.com. 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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