Sports Scene: Student athletes honored by Miami Marlins/Miami Herald at Marlins Park


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 as well as community members, parents and schools to submit 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

More information

Miami Herald youth sports online

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YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

Miami Marlins/Miami Herald youth honorees

West Kendall’s Nicholas Frades (Conchita Espinosa Academy), Golden Beach’s Jesse Grosman (Miami Country Day School), Miami Lakes’ Nicholas Sanchez (Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School), Miami’s Sal Maxwell Stewart (Pinecrest Cove Preparatory Academy) and North Miami’s Sarisha Wiggins (Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep School) were honored during a presentation conducted by the Miami Marlins in conjunction with the Miami Herald.

These outstanding student athletes displayed solid academics in the classroom and sportsmanship on the field, competing in school, rec league and/or travel baseball or softball.

Each recipient received two game tickets, complimentary parking, a certificate and an autographed Marlins player card, presented by Marlins catcher Rob Brantly. They were recognized by Brantly, Billy the Marlin and fans near home plate before the Marlins/San Diego Padres game at Marlins Park.


• Nicholas Frades, 12, a sixth grader at Conchita Espinosa Academy, has been playing baseball since he was 4. He played at Tamiami Park until he was 12. In 2009, he was the pitching champion and placed second overall in the local MLB Pitch, Hit and Run.

When he was in third grade, he made the school’s baseball team. He was the only third grader playing a middle school sport. He has been on the team ever since. The team has been champions at Bird Lake Park and in the Glades Baseball League. He plays all positions, besting as pitcher and first baseman.

A West Kendall resident, he also plays basketball for Conchita Espinosa, playing on the middle school team the past two years.

He has always been an excellent student, and he finished his first year of middle school with First Honors. He is junior editor of the school’s yearbook. He is a humble young man and a role model, who is and loved by his teachers and friends.

• Jesse Grosman, an eighth grader, is a Miami Country Day Middle School baseball player who had a fantastic season, earning a promotion to the Spartans’ high school varsity team near season’s end.

Grosman, 14, is also an outstanding student with English 8 Honors (quarter scores 90-92-93); Integrated Math I-8 (80-89-87); Physical Science 8 (90-87-92); Social Studies 8 (88-87-87); Spanish 8 Honors (89-85-92); PE (94-84-93); Drama (88-80-81).

A Golden Beach resident, his extra-curricular activities includes National Junior Honor Society and Operation Smile, an organization that helps raise money to bring smiles to children with cleft lips and pallet deformations in foreign countries that cannot afford it.

• Nicholas Sanchez, a Miami Lakes resident, is an eighth grader at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School in Miami Lakes. He was named MVP of the middle school’s varsity baseball team.

The 14-year-old also plays basketball and flag football for the school.

Away from school, he plays baseball for the Optimist Club of Miami Lakes where he’s been captain of its all-star baseball team the past three years.

He recently graduated with honors as an eighth grader from Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School. He will be attending Belen Jesuit High School in the fall.

On Sundays, he serves as lector and acolyte at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church.

He was recently awarded with his school’s Outstanding Citizenship Award. The award is given to a student who demonstrates outstanding service to its community and school.

• Sal Maxwell Stewart, 9, is a dedicated student athlete who leads others by setting a strong example with his effort and intensity in the classroom and on the playing field. His drive is evident in his school work and extra-curricular activities. Sal has demonstrated a unique ability to transcend what is merely required of him in order to make himself and those around him exceed expectations. He not only rises to the challenges confronting him, but he does so with enthusiasm, a sense of duty and an unwillingness to be satisfied with anything less than the best from himself .

His began playing sports at age 3, playing baseball and basketball the past six years. He currently competes for the MVP Legends baseball team, rated the top 9U team in the country. Earlier in the year, he earned MVP honors. He played for the Miami City Ballers basketball team and was a Copa Dorada Sports Award recipient.

A third grader at Pinecrest Cove Preparatory Academy, he maintains a 4.0 grade point average and has made the Principal’s Honor Roll since Kindergarten.

• In just her first year playing organized softball, Sarisha Wiggins helped the Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep High School girls’ varsity team win the District 15-3A championship, qualifying for regionals. An eighth grader, Sarisha started at shortstop 15 of 18 games. She batted .289 with a .490 on-base percentage and .342 slugging percentage. She also had 11 RBI and 11 runs and walked 13 times. Archbishop Curley coach Beth Love said she was an integral part of the team’s success.

Sarisha, 14, began her youth sports career at age 4 in T-ball. By age 7, she started playing basketball. Her teammates and opponents have always been boys at the local parks, and she received numerous awards for her hard work and skills. Sarisha also began cheering at age 7. An all-around talent, when one sport ends, she transitions to another.

A North Miami resident and solid student athlete, she is enrolled at Archbishop Curley’s Brother Rice Academy for Middle School. In the winter, she tried out for the high school’s junior varsity girls’ basketball team and made varsity and followed up by making the varsity softball team.

•  YouTube videos of the honorees including presentations by Marlins catcher Rob Brantly and Billy the Marlin and interviews conducted by Miami Herald Neighbors Youth Sports Reporter Jacqueline Alman.

YouTube on the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

Introduction inside Marlins Park:

Honorees on the field with Marlins staff readying for the ceremony:

Photo opt before the ceremony:

Ceremony for honorees with Marlins catcher Rob Brantly and Billy the Marlin:

Photo opt with honorees and Marlins catcher Rob Brantly

Interviews with honorees and parents:

Interview with Juan Garciga, Coordinator of Community Outreach and Youth Baseball for the Miami Marlins:

Closing for the event inside Marlins Park:


East Kendall’s Sophia Adams won the girls’ 16s singles title during a USTA Florida Super Series Level 6 Junior Tennis Tournament at Golden Isles Tennis Center in Hallandale Beach.

In a stellar finals, the top seeded Adams edged fourth seeded Danielle Obolevitch of Sunny Isles Beach 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 10-5. In the semifinals, Adams beat third seeded Ashby Bland of Sea Ranch Lakes 6-3, 6-2, and Obolevitch outlasted second seeded Zoe Kulkarni of Boynton Beach 6-1, 4-6, 10-5.

Adams trains with Coach Cesar Stewart at the Coral Gables Country Club.

Playing up, Mark Chepurnoy, 14, of Sunny Isles Beach won the boys 16s singles title, defeating Miramar’s Dimitri Bird 6-0, 6-0. The top seeded Chepurnoy beat Palmetto Bay’s Armando Gandini 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.

In the quarterfinals, he came from behind to defeat seventh seeded Jordan Skalet of Miami Beach 4-6, 6-1, 10-8. Chepurnoy, originally from Russia, trains with Freddy Azucey at Extreme Tennis Academy in Aventura.

In boys’ 18s singles, Miami’s Felipe Oyarzun was runner-up. He beat third seeded Oliver Otero of Coconut Grove 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals. In the quarterfinals, Otero defeated sixth seeded Joshua Dughi of Miami 6-2, 6-2, and Oyarzun edged Weston’s Carlos Moreno 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 10-8.

In boys’ 16s doubles, Palmetto Bay’s Diego Perez and Gandini reached the finals. In girls’ 16s doubles, Bland teamed with Cassandra Perez for runner-up honors.

The three-day event, during Wimbeldon Weekend, featured about 100 standout junior boys and girls from Vero Beach to the Keys and abroad in age groups 16s and 18s. The tournament director was Lynn Jaimes, and the tennis director at Golden Isles Tennis Center is Todd Trombetta.

•  YouTube videos of the USTA Florida Super Series Level 6 Junior Tennis Tournament at Golden Isles Tennis Center as well as interviews with top junior players, coaches, directors, organizers and parents conducted by Miami Herald Neighbors Youth Sports Reporter Jacqueline Alman.

YouTube on the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

Interviews with parents

John Adams

Scott Smashey

Sailee Kulkarni

Interviews with players

Chris Ernewein

Dora Rakem

Interviews with coaches, directors

Todd Trombetta

Lynn Jaimes

Bill Cook

AESP Morris Brown

Tennis action

Sophia Adams

Armando Gandini and Diego Perez

Mark Chepurnoy

Kaeli Smashey

Armando Gandini

Diego Perez

Mark Chepurnoy and Diego Perez

Carol City football

Carol City High School, representing the Miami Dolphins, reached the NFL High School Player Development National 7-on-7 Tournament’s championship game in Cleveland, but fell just short, 24-14, to the team representing the Detroit Lions in the finals.

This marked the fifth consecutive year that a team representing the Dolphins reached the championship game. Carol City qualified for nationals by winning a Dolphins-sanctioned tournament.

“The kids played the tournament with a lot of courage and a lot of heart and represented South Florida and the Dolphins really well,” Carol City Assistant Coach Andre Stafford said. “They fought until the end, but it’s a tough loss to deal with. It doesn’t feel too good, but it’s a good reminder how to continue to work hard and not give up.”

Carol City suffered only one loss throughout the tournament before being defeated by the Detroit Lions entry in the finals. The Chiefs went 4-1 on Day 1 of the tournament and won their first six games on Day 2 before dropping the finale. Carol City outscored its opponents, 413-261, and won by an average margin of 16.3 points.

Carol City quarterback Trayon Gray and wide receiver Theodore Hammonds led the way for the Chiefs. Gray threw 56 touchdowns in two days of games, with many of them going to Hammonds. Also, Hammonds had six interceptions in the tournament.

Carol City began single elimination games with a narrow victory over the team representing the New York Jets 28-21. They then defeated the team representing the New England Patriots, 28-21, to go undefeated in division play.

Carol City got its biggest test in the Elite 8 against the team representing the Pittsburgh Steelers, when they used a 44-yard touchdown in overtime to reach the semifinals. Carol City booked its ticket to the championship match by beating the team representing the Denver Broncos 38-21.

“Obviously, this is a tough loss to swallow for Carol City. The kids fought hard, and I admire their scrappy grit and competiveness,” Miami Dolphins Youth Programs Director Twan Russell said. “There was never a sign of quit in them and our organization cannot be more proud of them and Carol City High School. This experience in competing against other teams on a national level will give them great momentum heading into their season.”

Despite the disappointment, Carol City feels that the loss can be a learning lesson and build chemistry for its upcoming season.

“This builds momentum because we have chemistry now, and we are learning how to play together,” Gray said. “It’s going to have good impact on our season.”

• For information on the Miami Dolphins Youth Football Clinic, Youth Football Camps or school visits, contact the Miami Dolphins Youth and Community Programs Department at 305-943-7272 or

Dragon Boat Racing

Eight paddlers from Miami earned spots on Team USA, and they will compete at the 11th World Dragon Boat Racing Championship in Szeged, Hungary.

They trained for months on and off the water, making sure they are in optimal fitness levels to compete against 28 other countries. Below are some of the locals who will proudly represent the United States during the world-class event:

Marc Applewhite, third year competing on Team USA, captain of Miami’s Puff Dragon Boat Race Team.

John Murillo, second year competing on Team USA, suffers from Fibrous Dysplasia — a debilitating bone disease

Helen Novakova, dragon boating helped with her depression, born in Czechoslovakia

Kristin Stickels, second year competing on Team USA, teacher at Miami Country Day School

Alfredo Vizcarrondo, seven-year cancer survivor, born in Caracas, Venezuela.

Belen Jesuit sports

More than 150 people attended The Nike Hill & Tunnel Blessing & Dedication Ceremony for the Belen Jesuit Preparatory School cross-country program.

Members from current and past Belen Jesuit cross-country teams attended the ceremony which featured the seven FHSAA state championship trophies they’ve won since 1995.

“After three years of planning, raising funds, construction and a lot of hard work, I’m very proud to see this project nearly complete,” said Carlos Barquin, Belen Jesuit athletic director. “It took the determination of our cross-country alumni, spearheaded by alumnus Francisco Paco Ruiz [’73], to make this ‘Hill & Tunnel’ a reality.”

With the addition of the hill and tunnel, the length of the program’s cross-country course extends to 1.7 miles. The addition is also unique to Belen Jesuit; it is the only dedicated cross-country course in South Florida and the only course with a hill and tunnel, according to school officials.

“The ‘Hill & Tunnel’ are great features because it will give our team an added advantage going into meets in other places outside of Miami,” said Frankie Ruiz, (’96), Belen Jesuit head varsity coach. “The more exposure we give them to a variety of terrain the better prepared they will be to run on other courses.”

Miami Herald youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

More events, leagues, programs


The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade County and the Swim for Jenny Memorial Fund invite swimmers of all ages, abilities and skill levels to participate in iSwim for Jenny, a week-long fundraising event Aug. 10-16 at participating Miami-Dade County Parks and community pools.

Set a goal to swim a certain number of laps and solicit pledges from friends and family. Participants can be individuals or teams. Monies raised benefit the Swim for Jenny Memorial Fund to provide scholarships for beginner learn-to-swim lessons for underserved children and water safety education.

Swimming must be done at a neighborhood community pool with lifeguard and/or one of the Miami-Dade County Parks aquatic facilities/donation collection sites listed below:

AD Barnes Pool

3401 SW 72 Ave.


Palm Springs North Pool

901 NW 176 St.


South Dade Pool (Helen Sands)

16350 SW 280 St.


Tamiami Pool

11201 SW 24 St.


To register a swim team at a different pool than those listed above, or to register a community pool as an official site for the iSwim for Jenny, contact Jim O’Connor at A.D. Barnes Pool at 305-665-1626. All donations must be turned-in from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 16 at one of the four approved Miami-Dade County Parks’ aquatic facilities/donation collection sites listed above.



The USA Swimming Foundation granted more than $250,000 to help local Make a Splash partners in 19 states provide children with life-saving, learn-to-swim instruction for free or at a reduced cost.

More than 130 applications were received, and 41 local programs were selected as recipients of 2013 Make a Splash grants. Among the 41 recipients nationwide was Hialeah.

Make a Splash is the national child-focused, water-safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation. Make a Splash partners with more than 600 learn-to-swim providers in all 50 states in an effort to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim.

“This funding allows our local partners to provide swimming lessons to children who otherwise may never have the opportunity to learn the life-skills of swimming,” said Debbie Hesse, Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “The USA Swimming Foundation is excited to see continued growth, as we now have programs in all 50 states and have reached nearly 2 million children since 2007. We are incredibly grateful to our donors and corporate sponsors who are dedicated to making sure all children in American learn to swim.”

The USA Swimming Foundation grants money to partner organizations on an annual basis, and, to date, has disbursed more than $2.8 million. Grants are made possible by the support of donors, foundations and corporate partners.

Since June of 2007, more than 1.8 million children have taken lessons though local Make a Splash partners. Grant recipients like Hialeah provide a portion of its lessons for free or at a reduced cost, or provide free water safety education in their communities.

• About USA Swimming Foundation

The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions – in the pool and in life. Whether we’re equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country.

The Foundation also serves as the home for our National and Olympic Team Alumni reunions and regional events. The development efforts of the USA Swimming Foundation aim to establish an endowment to strengthen the future of USA Swimming’s programs and services. To learn more, visit


Florida Soccer Expo organizers will bring an estimated 8,000 fans to Sun Life Stadium on Sept. 14-15 in Miami Gardens. This celebration of “the beautiful game” will host the soccer community including soccer clubs, associations, tournament organizers, coaches, trainers, referees, soccer families and players from throughout the world.

The event features hosting a trade show, an indoor soccer tournament and interactive areas where the soccer public can participate in numerous soccer-related activities, organized by Florida Soccer Expo partners, sponsors and other exhibitors. This highly anticipated show will include coaching clinics, referee and nutritional and health seminars.

Several key soccer associations have been invited and are joining the efforts as Institutional Partners and will contribute with the promotion and success of this event, these include:

CONCACAF, American Youth Soccer Organization, Women Premier Soccer League, Miami Dade Soccer League, Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Florida State Referees, Florida State Soccer Association, SunLife Stadium and Miami Dolphins.

The expo includes six indoor soccer fields. For those interested in soccer shopping, the event features more than 80 exhibitor booths available at the event, including a wide variety of soccer and sports-related products, gear and equipment, food and drinks sampling, and other consumer goods and services. Exhibitors interested can contact the organization via email at or send a message at

For information:, or call 305-280-2088.

South Miami soccer camp

The South Miami Grey Ghosts Soccer Club is hosting a summer camp, weekly through Aug. 16 at South Miami Park, 4300 SW 58th St.

Grey Ghosts Soccer Club offers male and female players, age 5-15, an opportunity to learn the game in a fun and challenging environment. Techniques and basic individual tactics are emphasized. The philosophy of learning skills through fun games, which require maximum touches of the ball, introduces the young player to the most advanced techniques. To register or for information go to

Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, makes its South Florida debut at three Miami-Dade County-owned parks – Tropical Park (7900 SW 40 St. in Miami), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127 Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St in Hialeah).

Headed by Soccer 5’s Director of Coaching Development Alan Georgeson, who has more than 15 years of experience in Europe in mini/small-sided soccer, kids, age 3-12, will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer play for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in 3v3 to 7v7 matches.

With Kendall Park, ts recent grand opening of Soccer 5 Tropical Park and its third location at Amelia Earhart Park, mini/small-sided soccer will be available across the county, providing a greater opportunity for children and families to access the proper 4G turf game fields specifically designed for “5v5,” “6v6” and “7v7” games.

With smaller fields, mini soccer is much easier for young children or children who have never played. In addition, mini soccer is designed for competitive play against less number of players, providing more opportunity for pick-up games, as well as more opportunity to play the ball making mini soccer popular with older players, too.

Soccer 5 Tropical Park is open 3 p.m.-midnight Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m.-midnight Saturdays and Sundays.

“I cannot thank Miami Dade Parks and our Soccer 5 coaching staff enough for making our dream of developing small-sided soccer for kids in the Greater Miami area a reality,” Georgeson said. “It is an exciting time for us at Soccer 5 as we continue to expand our Kids Academy in South Florida built on the success of our public/private partnership with Miami Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.”

Allison Diego, Director of Business Development, Fundraising and Advocacy for Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, added: “The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is delighted to partner with The Soccer 5 vision to provide an outstanding experience for this community through soccer. We are happy to be a part of this important child sports development.”

For information or to register, visit


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).

Thunder basketball

Thunder Basketball opened its new year-round facility at ThunderPleX, 1440 NW 82 Ave., Miami.

Thunder Basketball is currently running a day camp and summer league, open to boys and girls, age 5-17. Thunder Basketball’s mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game. They stress the importance of team and sportsmanship.

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life. For information visit Registration is now open. Contact or call 786-505-5585.

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 or call 305 -273-1145.


The Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep cross-country team invites the community to join them at the Summer Fun Runs.

The free runs are 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 1. The group meets at the Miami Shores Recreation Center, 9617 Park Dr.

The school and community tradition grown from a small following of about seven runners per week to a record-breaking turnout of 354 runners in 15 gatherings. Athletic experience ranges from a 25 time participating marathoner to a tri-athlete to someone who had never run recreationally. Age range has been 11-60, but all ages are welcome.

Coach Br. John Corcoran designs three courses of gradually increasing mileage: one for beginner runners or walkers, another for recreational runners and joggers and also for advanced or competitive runners.

For information call the school at 305-751-8367, email Br. J. Corcoran at or visit the Facebook page:

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.

USA Triathlon Retro Series Schedule

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

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 series will continue through the Oct. 20 Longboat Key Duathlon in Longboat Key. 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. Distances: 2-mile run, 20-mile bike, 5-mile run. Website: Contact: or 813-966-7844.


Jordan Karp, a 16-year-old senior at Miami Country Day School, is leading a unique program to introduce lacrosse to under-privileged, at-risk inner city youths being tutored on the campus of the school. The program began June 17 in collaboration with Breakthrough Miami, a nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged students with the tools they need to reach their goals.

Jordan provides his lacrosse expertise to the students of Breakthrough Miami: how the sport is played, its rules and the team-building skills that will help the children not just in sport but life. Jordan secured revolutionary lacrosse equipment from major manufacturers who donated beginner equipment. He hopes that it will inspire similar programs for other sports to include underprivileged children throughout the nation as well as promote the expansion of lacrosse and encourage kids to play the game.

Breakthrough Miami is a tuition-free academic enrichment program that provides motivated middle-school students from underserved communities with the tools they need to achieve their most ambitious goals in life. It was recognized for its excellence by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with a grant of $3.25 million to expand and serve more students and families in need. Breakthrough Miami serves more than 1,000 students from across Miami-Dade County at five independent schools and one public charter school. It become an eight-year program, guiding students from the 5th grade through high school graduation.

Lacrosse will continue through July 26.

Jordan’s introduction to lacrosse began when he first picked up a stick in the 6th grade, and it has become his life’s passion, followed closely by academics. This season as a junior attackman, he was honored as the leading scorer on the Miami Country Day varsity lacrosse team. He will return to school as a Captain of the team next year.

Jordan was named by The Miami Herald as an All-Dade lacrosse player. Riding this momentum, Jordan was recently selected and is playing for Team Miami and the Elite Team Florida, which represents the state in two national tournaments: one held in Princeton, N.J. and the most prestigious tournament, Hotbeds at the University of Delaware. Florida Lacrosse News recently mentioned Jordan “as someone to keep an eye on” from his performance at the Team Florida All-Star competition.

Tennis challenge

USTA Florida is launching a new series of recreational team tennis events, under the mantra “Bring Your Own Team.” Dubbed Team Tennis Challenges, these two- and three-day tournaments are a more fun, open recreational format for teams to play.

Teams from anywhere in Florida can register for the inaugural State Team Tennis Challenge July 26-28 at the Florida Tennis Center. Four regional Team Tennis Challenges will follow in the fall across the state. USTA members and non-members can participate, with USTA members receiving a $10 discount on registration.

“We have seen consistent demand across Florida for more open, recreational formats of play,” said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland. “The new USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges offer fewer restrictions, allowing more teams to participate. They also give players who are not yet USTA members the opportunity to experience our events and programs, while offering a clear value proposition for our junior members.”

To participate in the State Team Tennis Challenge, teams must have a minimum of two boys and two girls and no more than eight players per team. Age divisions include 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U, and there are three skill divisions: novice, intermediate and advanced, with short-set scoring utilized.

Participation is limited, and USTA Florida strongly encourages coaches to register teams early to ensure their place in this landmark event.

More info, including a link to register, is online at You can also connect with USTA Florida via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #BYOTeamTennis.

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.

JCC Maccabi Games

The Levis JCC in Boca Raton proudly hosts the JCC Maccabi Games Aug. 10-15. The Olympic-style event welcomes thousands of Jewish teen athletes who will compete in team and individual sports and participate in social and community service activities.

The JCC Maccabi Games, managed by JCC Association, began as a 1982 pilot project in Memphis with 300 Jewish youth and has ballooned to an annual summer event which attracts thousands of teens from North America and abroad to multiple sites in the United States and Canada.

“We are thrilled to again welcome the Levis JCC to the long list of host communities,” said Dan Deutsch, director of JCC Maccabi Experience. “Hosting the Games is an incredible community building project. The impact of hosting can be felt for years.”

Locally chaired by Levis JCC Board of Directors members Bonnie Schweiger and Matt Baker, the Levis JCC will welcome Jewish teens from the United States, Israel and several other countries. Athletes will compete in a variety of team and individual sports including girls’ and boys’ soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf and swimming at venues throughout Boca Raton.

“Having hosted the Games in 2000, we are very excited about being given the opportunity to host the JCC Maccabi Games in our community for a second time. We anticipate another extremely successful JCC Maccabi Games,” said Randy Colman, Executive Director of the Levis JCC. “Involvement begins now. We are actively recruiting host families, athletes, volunteers, sponsors and coaches to participate in our Games. This is an incredible experience for all who are involved and for the Levis JCC to engage our entire community.”

In every team and individual contest, Games participants are encouraged to follow the “Rachmanus Rule,” a credo that dictates fair play, based on the Jewish values of mercy and compassion. Teamwork, sportsmanship, and respect for opponents are prized over winning at any cost.

Supplementing the team and individual sports competitions, there are fun and engaging social programs that promote friendships and JCC Cares projects that instill the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (social justice). That creates an informal educational instruction that foster a personal connection to the State of Israel. Over the years, participants have spoken of making new friends and memories to last a lifetime, motivating many to return to the Games annually, even volunteering as delegation heads and coaches when they are no longer participating as athletes.

Since they were established in 1982, the Games have offered a life-changing experience, not just to the athletes themselves, but also to their parents and coaches and the legions of volunteers in host communities who work hard for more than a year to plan a busy week of events on and off the field. There are numerous opportunities for people to become involved, from greeting athletes as they arrive, to hosting teens, to raising funds.

To encourage a stronger connection to Israel, the Opening Ceremonies will include a moving tribute to the 11 Israeli athletes killed by terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

The JCC Maccabi Games are a joint project of JCC Association, Maccabi Canada, Maccabi World Union, and Maccabi USA.

Those interested in being part of the JCC Maccabi Games in any capacity should contact Nancy Carroll, JCC Maccabi Games Director, or call 561-852-3117.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, contact Cindy Bergman or call 561-852-3253.

Heisman high school nominations

Now through Oct. 23, high school class of 2014 seniors can apply for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, a program honoring outstanding high school scholar-athletes for their commitment to academic achievement, community service involvement and athletic prowess.

To apply, students can go to for a chance to win the Award and the prestige of joining an ever-growing family of distinguished past winners. The first 25,000 students with completed applications will receive a Wendy’s gift card valued at $10.

Created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award has impacted the lives of thousands of scholar athletes who have been a part of the program for the past 20 years. Since its inception, Wendy’s High School Heisman has received more than 400,000 applications and honored more than 228 National Finalists and 38 National Winners.

A partner award with college football’s acclaimed Heisman Memorial Trophy, the Heisman caché touches students at every level of the program. In addition to recognition at school and state levels, six female and six male national finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to attend the Wendy’s High School Heisman Awards Ceremony and college Heisman Memorial Trophy Award weekend festivities in December 2013. The one male and one female Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winners will also earn $10,000 for their high school and a $500 Wendy’s gift card.

The Wendy’s High School Heisman Award is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Memorial Trust, host of the College Heisman Memorial Trophy. The 2012 winners were Samuel Prakel of Versailles, Ohio, who plans to study chemical engineering or biology this fall, and Zoe Alaniz of Corpus Christi, Texas, who plans to swim at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall and to follow a pre-med track.

A complete list of past WHSH finalists and winners can be found at

Moments of Month

Liberty Mutual Insurance announced the annual search for the most responsible youth sports moments of the year, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance.

Now in its third year, the “Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments” of 2013 seeks to identify and applaud acts of sportsmanship, selflessness, integrity, fairness and honesty from youth sports fields, rinks, courts, mats and pools around the country.

This year, with the help of U.S. Olympic skiing legend and youth sports parent Picabo Street, Liberty Mutual Insurance will name the “Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments” at the close of 2013.

Aligning with the brand’s ongoing commitment to responsibility, Liberty Mutual Insurance recently announced its partnership with the United States Olympic Committee and Team USA as the Official Property and Casualty and Life Insurance Partner of the 2014 and 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams that will compete in Sochi, Russia, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Street, best known for her gold medal performance in the super-G at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and silver medal downhill performance in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway, joins Liberty Mutual’s commitment to youth sports as a mother and avid supporter of sportsmanship at all levels.

“As an athlete and now a mother of four young sons, I know first-hand the influence youth sports have in enriching a child with the values of sportsmanship and responsibility,” Street said. “To see U.S. Olympic Team partners like Liberty Mutual Insurance celebrate responsibility on the youth sports level is something I am proud to be a part of, and I urge fans across the country to share their examples of selflessness with us as nominees for 2013’s ‘Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments.’”

Now through Nov. 30, coaches and parents can submit a moment that celebrates the inherent goodness in youth sports at or by tweeting a nomination using #RSMoments. In addition, throughout 2013, Liberty Mutual Insurance and PCA will scour local headlines across the country and identify additional moments that exemplify sportsmanship within local communities.

Each month, three nominees will be highlighted on the Responsible Sports site where fans can tweet their vote for the most responsible “Moment of the Month.”

Winning moments will be announced at the close of 2013 and be honored by Liberty Mutual Insurance with a charitable donation of $1,000 to the 10 organizations that are responsible for each Responsible Sports moment. The Top “Moment of the Year” winner, as voted on by fans on Twitter, will also earn an extra $1,000 honorarium for its organization.

For information, visit or join the conversation @RespSports.

Heads Up

Former tight end Troy Drayton played nine seasons in the NFL, including 1996-99 with the Miami Dolphins, and he is now the Dolphins’ youth program coordinator.

Drayton is adding a new title to his listing – NFL Ambassador for Heads Up Football.

The NFL and USA Football jointly announced the national launch of Heads Up Football, a youth football program aimed at making the game of football better and safer for all who play it. The program is being supported with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation.

Three million kids already play tackle football and the game can be even safer. Heads Up Football includes a tackling model that removes the head from the game.

Heads Up Football has five core elements: 1) The use of the Heads Up Tackling model, 2) coaching certification, 3) Player Safety Coaches, 4) concussion education, and 5) proper equipment fitting.

The program was launched in three pilot markets last year. This year, it will expand to more than 600 youth leagues throughout 50 states. Of these leagues, 100 will be assigned a former NFL player mentor. Drayton will serve as a mentor to a local Heads Up League – the Tamiami Colts of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

Big Shot Volleyball Series

The Reflekt Polarized Big Shot Volleyball Series, presented by Rider Sandals, started the 2013 season at sites throughout Florida.

Top male and female doubles teams will compete for over $75,000 cash prizes during the 2013 season. 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.

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

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.


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).

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


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.

Jai-Alai for women

Who said you have to be a male to play jai-alai? Just as females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, and gals can play it in South Florida at an amateur indoor air-conditioned fronton at 1935 NE 150 St., North Miami, near FIU’s north campus.

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.

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.

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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