North Miami Beach’s Markus Bermudez (Ojus Elementary School), Miami’s Michael Cabrera (Snapper Creek Elementary School), West Kendall’s Jared Guell (home schooled), Hialeah’s Daniel Perez (Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School) and West Kendall’s Alfredo Silva (Conchita Espinosa Academy) were honored during a July presentation conducted by the Miami Marlins in conjunction with the Miami Herald.
The outstanding student athletes dispalyed solid academics in the classroom and sportsmanship on the field, competing in school, rec league and/or travel baseball.
Each recipient received two tickets, complimentary parking, a certficate and an autographed Marlins player card, presented by Marlins starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. They were recognized by Eovaldi and Billy the Marlin near home plate before the Marlins/New York Mets game at Marlins Park.
North Miami Beach’s Markus Bermudez, 10, plays for Xtreme Baseball Academy, a youth travel league baseball team based at Ives Estate Park, under the leadership and instruction of Coach JJ Sanchez.
A starter pitcher and starting shortstop, Markus is co-captain for the 10U team. Markus also plays up on the 11U team whenever Coach JJ needs him where he often plays centerfield because of his speed and desire to catch the ball. Markus also has stellar bat speed and makes contact under pressure especially with two strikes. He runs very fast, using his speed to reach base and steals many bases.
Markus is a capable swimmer and runner. He completed a 1-mile run timed event in an impressive 6 minutes and 45 seconds.
Academically, Markus completed an advanced curriculum in 4th grade at Ojus Elementary School. He is a member of the “Million Word READING Club” since third grade, totaling nearly 100 AR points for reading. Markus loves math class. He is also member of the chess club and Future Educators of Miami.
His first career choice is MLB baseball player. His second is working in the sports industry as a trainer, coach and/or therapist.
Miami’s Michael Cabrera, 6, completed Kindergarten at Snapper Creek Elementary School with straight A’s.
In school, besides being Student of the Month, Michael won various sports awards, such as first place in the field day 100-yard dash and relay race. His speed on the baseball diamond helped him win those awards.
Michael started playing baseball when he was 4. Because of his natural ability, he is playing on two teams at LatinoAmericana in Grapeland Park. He is the starting shortstop on the 6U blue team, which is undefeated, and he is also playing up as the starting shortstop on the 8U red team.
Last season as a 6-year-old, he helped his 8U team place runner-up in a tournament and did the same with the 6U team. This season, the 6U team is first place calibre. He has been Player of the Game four times from January-April, and he loves when his teammates sign his Game Ball.
West Kendall’s Jared Guell, 9, has been playing baseball for Danny Berry Diamondbacks since age 4. He gives his all on the field. His coaches (team, batting, pitching) commented on his dedication and intelligence. “He just gets it” they often say and because of his determination and devotion to the task at had, they love working with him.
He has also been an example by excelling in school and serving his community.
Jared completed third grade and has always been an Honor Roll student. One grading period he received his first and only ‘B’ and was devastated. When asked why he earned a ‘B,’ his response, “I did not do the best that I could.” The following semester he earned an ‘A.’ Jared holds himself to a high standard of excellence in everything he does and yet remains humble.
He participated in Feed My Starving Children. He was so inspired after the first day of volunteering, he wanted to return to help more. He was part of the weekend team that helped make one million meals. He also helped make 600 food boxes for children and their families. These food boxes are for children whose only meals are from the free meals they receive at school. These food boxes ensure they had food over the weekend.
At school, Jared is an example of kindness. Jared noticed a male classmate sitting with the girls in the cafeteria because he did not bring his lunch. Bringing lunch gives you first choice seating. Having to go through the lunch line means not having a choice. Jared realizing this, made it a point to save his classmate a seat next to him. At his age most children are more concerned with themselves. Jared set an example by making sure his peers are treated kindly.
Jared has been homeschooled since January, but he did make an impression and set an example at his former school.
Daniel Javier Perez, 10, of Hialeah was the MVP for the Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School Primary baseball team.
Born at Palmetto Hospital in Hialeah on March 28, 2003, he began playing baseball, his favorite sport, at age 4. He also plays for the South Florida Extreme travel baseball team where he’s been named team Defensive Player of the Year twice. He loves all sports, playing basketball for his school team.
Nicknamed DJ, he wants to attend Archbishop McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches and the University of Miami in Coral Gables, two schools noted for baseball.
Daniel also works hard in the classroom. He maintains A’s in all subjects, readying for fifth grade in the Fall. His parents always say, “School comes first.”
Daniel likes chicken tenders and fries. Who doesn’t? He loves his family, going to the keys and hanging out with friends after a long day of baseball.
He said: “I thank God each day for the many Blessings I have in my life.”
Alfredo Silva, 14, of West Kendall was captain of the middle school baseball team at Conchita Espinosa Academy.
He also competed in soccer, football and basketball at Conchita. Away from school, he plays baseball for park leagues and traveling teams.
An A student, he represented Conchita in the Academic Olympics in science, and he mentors younger kids in baseball.
He will be a freshman at Colombus High School in the fall.
• YouTube videos of the honorees including presentations by Marlins starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and Billy the Marlin and interviews conducted by Miami Herald Neighbors Youth Sports Reporter Jacqueline Alman.
YouTube on the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)
Marlins All-Star Jose Fernandez signing autographs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH1BhYbiEn8