Sports Scene: Doctors Charter, Palmer Trinity cross-country teams make school history


Be honored at a Heat game

The Miami Herald and the three-time world champion Miami Heat in partnership with Gatorade are sponsoring the Academic/Sportsmanship Team Player spotlight in Sunday’s youth sports pages in the Neighbors Sunday print section of the Miami Herald and online at

Youth league coaches, team representatives, teachers or family members can nominate any South Florida recreational, travel league, elementary school, middle school or junior varsity basketball player from fall, winter, spring or summer seasons who displays sportsmanship and good grades or shows improvement in the classroom.

Include school, grade level and grades or interim report. Each selected academic team player will receive a certificate of achievement, a Heat gift pack, two Heat tickets and will be recognized on the court. Plan accordingly as there are three designated ceremony dates during the regular season, and no make-up dates.

To nominate a Team Player, e-mail (Jim) or call 954-538-7153. Winners will be selected by random drawing from nominees who meet the above requirements.

Be sure to include a contact telephone number and complete mailing address in your correspondence and mail or e-mail a photograph to us. For Heat ticket information, call 786-777-HEAT and log on to

About this feature

Sports Scene spotlights news and notes from youth sports activities in your neighborhood. The aim is to feature game notes 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. We accept photos but ask that everyone pictured be identified with a first and last name and the name of the team or park they represent.


Doctors Charter cross-country

The Doctors Charter School of Miami Shores varsity boys’ cross-country team qualified for the FHSAA Class 1A State Championships for the first time in school history.

Doctors Charter, which was unranked at the beginning of the season, was runner-up at the District 16-1A Championships at Greynolds Park. The team was led by senior Josiah McLaughlin, who won the race in 17 minutes 18 seconds.

The Hawks then placed sixth at the Region 4-1A Championships at Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, qualifying for state in Tallahassee. They finished 19th at state.

While at state, McLaughlin was 30th of 180 runners with a personal best 17:11. He was the top finisher for Miami-Dade County 1A runners. Jonathan Gill, who set a personal best in 18:36, and Darwin Abreu (18:39) ran well. Alex Pegg (19:07) and Robert Spalding (20:30) also ran personal bests. Torrian Wallace (20:24) and Daniel Strouse (20:35) rounded out Coach Brent McLaughlin’s history making team.

Archbishop Curley cross-country

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame junior Rhian Romanik was 11th at the Region 4-1A Cross-Country Championships, qualifying for the FHSAA Class 1A State Championships in Tallahassee.

Elite runners from 17 schools and four districts competed in this regional race at the challenging (21- hill) Westminster Academy course in Fort Lauderdale. Romanik re-established herself as one of the most fierce competitors in the region with a time of 21 minutes 34 seconds.

Her time at state was even better at 21:26.

Palmer Trinity cross-country

The Palmer Trinity School varsity girls’ cross-country team had record setting performances at the FHSAA Class 1A State Championships In Tallahasee. The Falcons average of 22 minutes 47 seconds shattered the team’s previous best average 23:00 set in 2006.

Ella Wright led Palmer Trinity, finishing in 21:31. She was followed by teammates Janelle Gonzalez and Monica Reinhard, who both ran 21:35. Alexa Copeland continued her strong finish with a personal best 24:07. Ana Martinez-Oletta (25:08), Natalia Benchlouch (26:15) and Adena Dass (26:51) also ran personal bests.

Palmer Trinity School—a coeducational, Episcopal day school—provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that integrates knowledge, compassion and social responsibility, an essential goal of the school’s mission. Palmer Trinity School serves students from a broad range of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in grades 6-12.

For information about the school, visit

Highland Oaks cross-country

The Highland Oaks Middle School cross-country team finished its season by competing in the Miami-Dade County Championships at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.

The varsity boys’ team finished second of 18 teams. Jamir Ferguson was second of 159 runners with a personal best 11:54 on the 2.1 mile course. Derrick Spicer (12:26) was fourth, Euniel Fortunato (12:58) 16th, Jack Gottlieb (13:41) 33rd and Devin Pryor (13:51) 36th to round out the scoring. Eddie Gabriel (14:41) and Levensky Laguerre (14:48) set personal best times.

The varsity girls were fourth of 16 teams. Of 135 runners, Ayoolah Gbolade (14:44) was ninth and Vashti Claybrook (15:23) 13th to win individual medals for placing in the Top 20. Hayley Piper (17:46), Kathy Elizabeth (18:01) and Emily Palmeiro (18:07) ran season best times. Tiffany Herrera and Caileigh Marshall finished the course in 22:29 and 22:43, respectively.

For the JV boys, Deandre Richards was 72nd of 109 in 18:23. Teammate Roger Henriquez ran a personal best 18:27 for 73rd place. Kevin Castor completed the course in 19:45. Jamie Galo of the JV girls was 32nd in 18:43, and Giuliana Moreno (20:10) was 56th of 106.

Ronald Reagan/Doral swim

Isabella Paez, a senior at Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School, has been swimming competitively since age 5. At 15, she represented Venezuela at the Junior World Championships. At 16, she qualified to compete at the Omaha Olympic Trials, placing 26th.

She made Miami Herald All-Dade first team three consecutive years, placing Top 8 at state since freshman year. She recently placed first at the district and regional meets in the 100-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle relay. She was runner-up at districts in the 100-yard freestyle relay.

Isabella continuously strives to outwork the competition in the pool and in the classroom. Her day starts at 5 a.m. for a swimming training session. She trains again after school in the afternoon. Her GPA is 4.52.

Isabella plans on creating a splash at Duke University next year, where she recently verbally committed.

Miami Country Day School sports

Coming off a winless 2012, Miami Country Day School’s Junior High football team found a spark, improved and finished the 2013 campaign 4-3.

The team was led by ninth grade captains Griffin Sennett, Sami Habib, Cole Boucher and Alec Rosen. The offense was led by ninth grader Owen Wesley who amassed 725 rushing yards with nine touchdowns. Hector Estupinan topped the team in receiving with four catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Quarterback Cole Boucher threw four touchdown passes and ran for one. The offense was protected by eighth grade center Matthew Hanson. The defense stood solid behind eighth grade linebacker Carlos Ortega (44 tackles) and ninth grader Zachary Weinberg (38 tackles, two forced fumbles, an interception).

Ninth grade offensive/defensive lineman Josh Abeckjerr (35 tackles) was a stalwart up front, and seventh grader Sean Fuller (18 tackles) protected the back of the defense. Ninth grader Zach Kurkin led the team in sacks (3.5) and forced fumbles (three), and ninth grader Camryn Novaton (19 tackles) was big down the stretch.

• The Miami Country Day School varsity golf team (5-3-1) qualified for regionals for the 13th consecutive year.

This season junior Spencer Berens and senior Jonathan Roberts guided the Spartans. Junior Lorenzo Figueroa improved throughout the season. The Spartans return four golfers next season.

• The Miami Country Day Middle School varsity volleyball team had one of its strongest seasons. The team was comprised of many first-year volleyball players.

The middle school varsity team finished 14-7. They led by Bridgette Lewin, Yakira Matisonn, Mia Simmonds and Mia Elortegui.

The middle school JV team was 5-11. They were led by Eva Sirlin, Molli Leoni and Ananda Naves-Penkwitt.

Conchita Espinosa flag football

The Conchita Espinosa Academy Junior Varsity flag football team defeated Archimedean to win the Independent School League Championship.

Conchita finished the season undefeated, winning its first JV football championship since 2008.

Conchita had the home field advantage but was trailing with 20 seconds left in the game and needing 80 yards to reach the end zone. With four seconds left, Dorian Gonzalez threw the winning pass to Nicholas Canino for the dramatic victory.

Miami Beach flag football

The Warriors beat Phoenix 13-6 in the 9-10 age group of Miami Beach Parks & Recreation flag football at Flamingo Park.

Jared Rogoff threw a touchdown pass to sure-handed receiver Logan Spill. Adrian Albarca scored on an interception return and added the extra point conversion. Phoenix quarterback Justin Swartz tossed a touchdown pass to Elijah Adorno.

Broncos 18, Colts 6: Alex Martinez had two touchdown runs. Jack Costaregni scored on a Pick 6. Sebastian Alarcon caught a touchdown pass from Tyler Elpert.

Archimedean volleyball

The Archimedean Middle Conservatory School successfully defended its ISL Fall Girls Volleyball County Championship by defeating Edison Private School 25-14, 25-15 in the finals at the Miami Springs Recreation Center.

After clinching the ISL South Division Championship with a 25-11, 25-14 victory over Winston Park, the Owls continued the road to a repeat county title and an impressive 20-0 perfect season, winning every set.

The champion Owls are Valeria Salvaggio, Stephanie Chang, Melanie Osorio, Carla Sanchez-Noya, Gabriela Blandino, Madeleine Molinares, Kaylie Job, Mia Gaines, Amanda Conde, Naomi Panagiotidou, Brianna Rodriguez, Priscilla Bezerra, Tatiana Correa, Karen Mora, Melissa Rodas, Valeria Cardenas, Sophia Menendez. The coaches are Amparo Gonzalez and Angelis Perez.


Arielle deLisser of Pinecrest was runner-up at the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s Singlehanded National Championships, sailed in Laser Radials and hosted by Sail Newport in Newport, R.I.

Eighteen races were sailed in windy and cold conditions on a W4-Windward-Leeward course. Making her third appearance in the singlehanded championship, deLisser was first after the first day, placing in the top five in each of six races.

Six more races occurred on day two, and deLisser earned her first victory in the second race of the day. On the final day, the final six races were held. deLisser earned another first place finish. Overall, she placed in the top three in nine of 18 races.

deLisser finished with 69 points. Fort Lauderdale’s Erika Reineke, who attends Boston College, won with 49 points. deLisser, a graduate of Miami Palmetto High School, is a senior at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y.

deLisser and Reineke grew up sailing together in South Florida. Reineke is a St. Thomas Aquinas High School graduate.

Miami Beach soccer

Miguel Arronte scored the winner as the Blue Mako Sharks edged the Silver Eagles 1-0 in the 7-8 age group of Miami Beach Parks & Recreation soccer at Flamingo Park.

Black Wolves 2, Green Dragons 1: Franco Lamanna and Sebastian Nerguizian each scored. Ian Maza had a goal for the Green Dragons.

7-8: Code Red 1, Monstars 1: Gabriel Chang scored for the Monstars, and Max Abrahamson had a goal for Code Red assisted by Xavier Smith.

No Mercy 2, Broncos 0: David Deppen and Lohan Joulin scored, and Jaiden Mujica was outstanding on defense.


Miami will be well represented when the USTA Florida Section distributes its year-end awards during the 64th USTA Florida Annual Meeting and Tennis Celebration Weekend at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando.

Blaine Willenborg of Miami Shores will be inducted into the USTA Florida Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1972 he debuted on the Florida 12-and-under rankings, quickly climbing to No. 1, then the national No. 1 ranking. He repeated the feat in the 14s division, winning the Jr. Orange Bowl and climbing to No. 1 in the world. His junior career through the 18s encompassed the No. 1 ranking in each age division and eight national Gold Balls, ranked No. 5 in the world in the 18s. He also represented the Florida Section in national competitions, and was named to the U.S. Jr. Davis Cup team. He continued to play high school tennis throughout his junior career, posting a 70-1 singles record and joining Chris Evert as the only high school players to win three individual Florida state singles championships at the No. 1 position. He attended UCLA, where he won the deciding points when the Bruins captured the 1979 and 1982 NCAA national team championships. Willenborg went on to a pro career where he ranked Top 50 in singles, and No. 13 in doubles, partnering players such as Boris Becker and Ivan Lendl, and reaching doubles quarterfinals at the French Open and US Open.

Friends of Miami Tennis will receive the USTA Florida Member Organization of the Year Award, to be accepted by Cathy Nordlund. Still the only facility in the country to have permanent 36-foot and 60-foot youth courts in addition to blended lines on all of their 78-foot courts, the Tamiami Tennis Center, managed by Friends of Miami Tennis, kept on giving in 2013. Among the activities and events this year were annual free workshops for Special Olympics athletes and new year-round programming, USTA play days and festivals, a junior and adult wheelchair tennis program partnership with Miami-Dade County Parks & Rec., and new 10 and Under Team Tennis Challenge events. An additional four 60-foot courts were celebrated by USTA national as "Court 10K," the 10,000th court built nationwide with USTA funding, and in conjunction with Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. Closed and left abandoned by the county for three years after Hurricane Wilma, Friends of Miami Tennis resurrected the center in 2008, providing affordable programs available to all ages and levels. Featured is 10 and Under Tennis instruction using low compression balls, kid-friendly racquets and youth-size courts. They also provide every program option imaginable, from support of high school and college tennis to thriving adult leagues, high performance programs, charity support, and a firm commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Sandy Teter of Miami will posthumously receive the USTA Florida League Tennis Service Award. Teter's passing this July was felt throughout the Miami women's league community. While she did not hold an "official" USTA volunteer position, she worked behind the scenes and in concert with local league coordinators to advocate, recruit, organize, and captain women's teams for more than 11 years. After retiring from physical education teaching in 2002, Teter poured herself into women's league tennis in Miami, becoming to many the "go-to" person for fostering tennis awareness, and recruiting and encouraging new players. She would captain up to 11 teams at a time, while playing at Miami's Alper Jewish Community Center on three teams in her trademark colorful outfits. One famous story goes that the day before going to the league championships in Daytona, her live-in boyfriend of 12 years asked her what was more important to her: tennis or him. "You don't want to ask me that question now," she said -- and he never asked again. From 2002 to 2012 it is estimated she captained 53 teams, also serving as a board member for the South Florida Women's Doubles Tennis League, and maintaining a massive e-mail contact list of players to rally each season.

Mario Tabares of Miami will receive the USTA Florida Male Player of the Year Award. The 48-year-old Tabares first saw the promise of 2013 in April, when he won the USTA Men's 45s National Clay Court Championships in Ft. Lauderdale in both singles and doubles. Between raising three girls with his wife and operating a tennis shop in Miami,Tabares also found the time in 2013 to represent the U.S. at the Potter Cup in Barcelona; to captain the U.S. Men's 45 team at the ITF World Championships in Antalya, Turkey; and to participate in major Men's 45s tournaments in Atlanta and Los Angeles. His miles logged and trophies raised resulted in his being listed by the USTA as No. 1 in the national Men's 45s singles standings, and No. 1 in the national Men's 45 doubles team standings as of this October. He first broke new ground in 1988 by becoming the first Cuban player to compete at a tour-level event when he qualified at the ATP event in Barcelona, and competition continues to drive him in age-division play today.

The Jaimes Tennis Super Series Tournament in Pembroke Pines will receive the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior Tournament of the Year Award, to be accepted by Lynn Jaimes. If a junior player is spending their birthday at the Jaimes Tennis Super Series, tournament staff will have a surprise in store. And if any problems arise, they can likely be solved by reaching into Lynn Jaimes' magic tournament emergency bag, which carries everything from shoelaces for players to sun screen to playing cards for rain delays. Jaimes says, "It is important to provide a fun, welcoming environment. I always try to think what I would want at an event if I was a participant. I think it is also important in all aspects of life to genuinely make people feel seen, heard and remembered." Jaimes Tennis has run USTA junior tournaments for 18 years, which Lynn attributes to her love of grassroots junior tennis. Her company also assists 12 other local pros and clubs in running events to, as she says, “make them the very, very best.” The event also partners with a local non-profit organization, and teach kids the importance of giving back to their local community. This year they also introduced the Smile Revolution, where players and parents alike at events note what makes them smile, documented on a smile chalkboard with a photo.

Eric Hectman of Miami will receive the USTA Florida Junior Competitive Coach of the Year Award. Since graduating as a top player from the University of Miami seven years ago, Hechtman has been all about leading through example. The director of junior tennis at Royal Palm Tennis Club can one day tell his tournament-level players about the virtues of training hard for success, and the next day show them by winning the Florida Section US Open Playoffs and advancing to nationals, as he did in 2012, and competing again in 2013. Some of the top juniors following Hectman's blueprint for hard work and success have been Chase Perez-Blanco and Baker Newman, college players Chanelle Van Nguyen and Nicholas Nieto, and Boys' 10s talents Matthew and Ryan Fung. Many of his players are former age division winners at the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Championships.

Hectman said, “I have tried to instill work ethic, sportsmanship, respect, and responsibility into these young players in order to help build a future generation of tennis in the Miami area. Greatness in all of these aspects is contagious, and I hope it will spread throughout the community.”

Chase Perez-Blanco of Miami will receive the USTA Florida Albert Carrington BalinkJunior Player of the Year Award. Miami produces the Junior Player of the Year for a second consecutive year in Perez-Blanco, who climbed to the No. 1 ranking in the Boys' 16s singles, capped by the Boy's 16s title at the USTA Florida Bobby Curtis Junior State Championships. It was the second consecutive year he took home the Boys' 16s title. Perez-Blanco is also a multiple sportsmanship award winner at both the Florida Section and USTA national level, embodying this award that honors results not only on the court, but also conduct and character. A self-described “little shy introverted kid” when he started tournament play, he credits tennis and the familiar faces, from fellow players to referees and tournament directors, to helping him find his niche. This year he also represented USTA Florida on intersectional and national teams, and was the singles and doubles winner at the high school 2A state championships. He and his brother organize back-to-school supply collections for in-need students at a local elementary school, and are involved with “Give the Gift of Sight” to collect used eyeglasses for the less fortunate.

More events, leagues, programs


The Florida International University baseball and softball programs have announced that former Major League Baseball pitcher and current broadcaster Jim Kaat will speak at the annual Diamond Dinner on Feb. 8 in the Graham Center Ballroom on campus.

Kaat was a pitcher for five different teams in a stellar 25-year career. He currently broadcasts games on the MLB Network.

"Jim pitched 25 years in Major League Baseball and was one of the greatest in the history of the game," said FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas. "He is very much of a household, recognizable name we look forward to speaking at the Diamond Dinner. Jim received seven Emmy Awards for broadcasting excellence, which makes him significant for both his on field and off field endeavors."

FIU softball coach Jake Schumann added: "I am truly excited to not only have someone of Jim Kaat’s baseball background speak at this year’s Diamond Dinner, but I’m truly excited because as someone who grew up in Minnesota, I am a life-long Twins fan, and to get the chance to meet him will be a great honor. When someone like Jim speaks about his life in baseball, it can only be a positive influence on our student-athletes. Having heard Jim call games on TV and hear him speak about not only baseball but things other than the game, it should be a great evening for our teams to take that knowledge and apply it to their everyday lives.’

Kaat, who was nicknamed "Kitty," kicked off his career in the big leagues with the Washington Senators in 1959. Once the team moved to Minnesota in 1961, Kaat was a member of the Twins organization until 1973. After 15 years between both clubs, he went on to have stints with the Chicago White Sox (1973-75), Philadelphia Phillies (1976-79), New York Yankees (1979-80) and St. Louis Cardinals (1980-83). He won 283 career games while posting a lifetime ERA of 3.45. During the 1966 season, he won a league-leading 25 games for the Twins and finished fifth in the AL MVP voting.

At the time of his retirement in 1983, Kaat’s 25-year career was the longest of any pitcher in Major League history. He is now third all-time behind Nolan Ryan’s 27 seasons and Tommy John’s 26 years. During Kaat’s playing career, there were seven different United States Presidents.

After a brief coaching stint with the Cincinnati Reds, Kaat focused on his broadcasting career. Most recently, he has served as a broadcaster on the MLB Network. Kaat has won seven Emmy Awards for excellence in sports broadcasting.

Tickets to the Diamond Dinner cost $120 for an individual and $1,200 for a table of 10. Purchases can be made through Anybody interested in opportunities to give to the Diamond Dinner fund, contact Alyssa Meyer at 305-348-7297 or by email at

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.

Visit .


For the first time in more than 20 years, the World Rowing Championships will be in the United States.

Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park has been selected by the International Federation of Rowing Associations to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

The 2017 World Rowing Championships are expected to attract more than 1,500 Olympic-caliber athletes from more than 70 countries. The international competition, which is a precursor to the Olympic Games, will be broadcast to a worldwide television audience of 130 million people.

An estimated 40,000 spectators are expected to attend the event.

The official announcement was made on Sept. 2 in Seoul, South Korea.

More than $40 million in public and private-sector funds have been committed to help transform a former borrow pit into Nathan Benderson Park, the premier rowing venue in North America, capable of hosting an Olympic-caliber event. Those funds have paid for Phase I (dredge and fill) and Phase II (installation of park amenities, hardscaping and landscaping). Phase III of the project, construction of a state-of-the-art boathouse, timing towers, grandstands and other amenities, will be funded by SANCA and corporate support.

In addition to the commitment of state and local elected officials and the community, FISA officials cited the park’s proximity to Interstate 75, Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport and the City of Sarasota, calm waters and year-round good weather as reasons for choosing Nathan Benderson Park.

Many of the best rowing teams in North America spend the winter months training at Benderson Park. The opportunity for Sarasota-Bradenton to partner with USRowing to host the World Championships will further develop rowing interest around the country. The United States has more than a quarter of a million rowers competing domestically and internationally. NBP will continue to host events throughout the year, demonstrating that the United States of America has the premiere rowing venue in the Western Hemisphere.


The new 2013-14 Century Doubles Men’s Tournament series, presented by Cliff Drysdale Tennis and an official USTA Florida Pilot Event Series, will conclude in Miami.

The five-event Century Doubles Men’s Tournament series is open to men’s doubles teams with a combined age of 100 years or over, featuring a Club Division and an Open Division. Players must be age 35 or older to compete.

For each individual tournament, players will earn points on a sliding scale toward qualification in the end-of-series Grand Finals at The Ritz-Carlton, (Miami) Key Biscayne in April. A minimum of 60 total points will be required to participate in the Grand Finals.

"Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded for each tournament’s division winners and runners-up, with the addition of luxury hotel getaways awarded to the series winners," said series coordinator Bertan Cikigil. "All participants are guaranteed at least two matches, with a maximum of three per day at each event."

Series schedule:

Dec. 7-8: West Bay Beach and Golf Club, Estero.

Jan. 25-26: Weston Tennis Center, Weston.

March 1-2: Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island.

April 5-6: Miami Grand Finals & Awards hosted by The Ritz-Carlton Tennis Garden, Key Biscayne.

The Club Division and Open Division at each event will be limited to 16 teams each. Scoring is best of three sets, with a 10-point tiebreak in lieu of a third set. USTA rules and regulations apply, including the point penalty system and 15 minute default rule. Teams must be available to start at 9 a.m. each Saturday and Sunday.

"USTA Florida is excited about partnering with Cliff Drysdale Tennis to offer alternative events that will offer different play opportunities compared to our traditional events," said USTA Florida President Bob Pfeander.

Event entry fee is $100 per team, and players must be active USTA members.

For information contact Bertan Cikigil at or call 914-815-4093, or to register online go to

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.

Senior Games

Florida senior athletes have the opportunity to register for the 2013 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships.

The event, presented by the Florida Sports Foundation in conjunction with the Lee County Sports Authority, is Dec. 7-15 in Lee County.

Online registration is open in 22 sports of the annual Olympic-style Sports Festival for athletes age 50 and older. Visit and fill out registration forms in pdf documents and send the completed forms to the Florida Sports Foundation. Registration deadlines are in mid-to-late November, and entry fees vary by sport.

JCC Maccabi program

The Levis Jewish Community Center seeks participants for its JCC Maccabi program.

Jewish athletes between ages 13 and 16 (as of July 31, 2014) can participate in team sports, and athletes between age 12 and 16 (as of July 31, 2014) can participate in individual sports.

Athletes will represent the Boca Raton Mitchell Dobbin Maccabi Team in boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ baseball, boys’ flag football, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, swimming, tennis, bowling, golf and Star Reporter (a competition for Jewish teens with skills in writing, reporting, photography and social media). Participants will show off their skills and be inspired by the values of community involvement, teamwork, creativity, integrity and pride.

The JCC Maccabi Games is the largest Jewish youth event in the world.

Athletes interested in competing in individual sports must contact the JCC Maccabi Games Delegation Head at 561-852-3257 or by Jan. 10. Individual athletes do not need to tryout but must pre-register online at by Jan. 10.

Visit for details.


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 .

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.

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.

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 .


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.

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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