Sports Scene: Coral Reef, Key Biscayne yacht clubs shine at Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta


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Young sailors from around the globe traveled to South Florida for the 68th Annual Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove. The four-day sailing event occurred amid soggy conditions but went off without a hitch.

One of the largest dinghy regattas for sailors age 8-18 in the world, the OBIYR was at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, with support from the U.S. Sailing Center Miami, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami. This year’s event boasted 689 competitors from 27 states and 23 countries - the farthest being the Czech Republic.

The competition featured several types of vessels: Optimists, Lasers (Full, Radial, 4.7) and Club 420s.

Awards were distributed to the top sailors in each vessel category by government officials, Orange Bowl Committee leaders and Olympians including Magnus Liljedahl, a former U.S gold medalist who presented this year’s Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Award. This year’s top local Opti sailor, Ivan Shestopalov of the Coral Reef Yacht Club, was presented a trophy, sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District.

Awards recipients in each category are:

Optimist White Fleet: (1. Mia Nicolosi from St. Thomas Yacht Club;

2. Bella Casaretto from Lauderdale Yacht Club; 3. Chapman Petersen from SailStrong Youth Racing/Lake Geneva Yacht Club; 4. Clark Samuel from Key Biscayne Yacht Club; 5. Justin Callahan from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 6. Lars Kunath from CCSP/LISOT; 7. Jake Mayol from Southern California/Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club; 8. Mitchell Callahan from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 9. Liam O’Keefe from Coral Reef Yacht Club; and 10. Abby Childerley from RSYC).

Optimist Blue Fleet: (1. Dylan Ascencios from Lakewood Yacht Club;

2. Luke Arnone from CERT; 3. Shelley Ripley from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 4. Fabian Magnusson from ROSS; 5. Zane Rogers from Lakewood Yacht Club; 6. Simon Gomez from Columbia; 7. Rayne Duff from Caribbean Mix/Royal BVI Yacht Club; 8. Thomas Hill from LISOT; 9. Luca Contessi from CNMP; and 10. Stefano Viale from Lima Peru).

Optimist Red Fleet: (1. Ivan Shestopalov from Coral Reef Yacht Club;

2. Ian Moran from Coral Reef Yacht Club/Edgewater Yacht Club; 3. Santiago Duncan from Club de Velas Rosario; 4. Thomas Rice from SailStrong/Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club; 5. J.C. Hermus from Sail Strong; 6. Teddy Nicolosi from St. Thomas Yacht Club; 7. Matt Logue from Riverside Yacht Club/LISOT; 8. Shane Riera from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 9. Cameron Giblin from LISOT/SSYC; and 10. Jacob Ahlers from MSC).

Optimist Overall - Red, White and Blue Fleets: (1. Ivan Shestopalov from Coral Reef Yacht Club; Ian Moran from Coral Reef Yacht Club;

3. Santiago Duncan from Club de Velas Rosario; 4. Thomas Rice from SailStrong/Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club; 5. J.C. Hermus from Sail Strong; 6. Teddy Nicolosi from St. Thomas Yacht Club; 7. Matt Logue from Riverside Yacht Club/LISOT; 8. Shane Riera from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 9. Cameron Giblin from LISOT/SSYC; and 10. Dylan Ascencios from Lakewood Yacht Club).

Top Overall Female Sailor: Olivia Belda from CCSP/LISOT

Optimist Green Fleet: (1. Javier Garcon from Key Biscayne Yacht Club;

2. Griffin Clark from Key Biscayne Yacht Club; 3. Stephan Baker from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 4. Emily Mueller from Key Biscayne Yacht Club; 5. Peter Joslin from Southern California/Balboa Yacht Club; 6. Scott Mueller from Lakewood Yacht Club; 7. John Franco from Lakewood Yacht Club; 8. Charles Allen from Cayman Island Yacht Club; 9. Jacques Rive form Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and 10. Monique Hernandez from Cayman Island Yacht Club).

420 Top Ten Finishers: (1. Skipper - Gabriel Elstrodt/Crew - Philipp Essle from YCSA Brazil;

2. Skipper - Scott Sinks/Crew - Rebecca McElvain from San Diego Yacht Club; 3. Skipper – Campbell D’ Eliscu/Crew – Katie Calder from Newport Harbour Yacht Club; 4. Skipper – Matthew Kaplan/Crew- Sean Walsh from Larchmont Yacht Club/American Yacht Club/LISOT; 5. Skipper – Martina Sly/Crew – Jamie Craven from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 6. Skipper – Augie Dale/Crew – Macey Ann McCann from LISOT/Pewaukee Yacht Club/Texas Corinthian Yacht Club; 7. Skipper - Andy Reiter/Crew – Charlie Miller from SDYC; 8. Skipper – Ty Ingram/Crew- John Sipp from LISOT/Larchmont Yacht Club; 9. Skipper – Rose Edwards/Crew- Katherine Jones from Chicago Yacht Club; and 10. Skipper – Thomas Walden/Crew – William Hundahl from St. Thomas Yacht Club).

Top All Girl Team: Skipper - Rose Edwards and Crew - Katherine Jones from Chicago Yacht Club.

Laser 4.7: (1. Skipper Alexander Boite from S.R. Havre;

2. Skipper Pablo Berttran from Cayman Islands Sailing Club; 3. Skipper Gage Wilson from Edison Sailing Center; 4. Skipper Paige Clarke from DWST/St. Thomas Yacht Club; and 5. Skipper Abigail Affoo from Trinidad and Tobago Yacht and Sailing Club and Sailing Association).

Laser Full: (1. Skipper Erik Weis from Lauderdale Yacht Club;

2. Skipper Richard Didham from San Diego Yacht Club; 3. Skipper Clay Broussard from Lakewood Yacht Club; 4. Skipper Matt Long from Santa Barbara/Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club; and 5. Skipper Thomson Butcher from C-Vane/Texas Corinthian Yacht Club).

Laser Radial: (1. Skipper Luke Muller from Lauderdale Yacht Club;

2. Skipper William Marshall from FAST Sailing Foundation; 3. Skipper Malcolm Lamphere from C-Vane Sailing Team/Lake Geneva Yacht Club/Chicago Yacht Club/Lake Forest Sailing; 4. Skipper Andrew Puopolo from Marsh Creek Sailing Club; 5. Skipper Addison Hackstaff from St. Petersburg Yacht Club; 6. Skipper Haddon Huges from TCYC; 7. Skipper Henry Marshall from FAST Sailing Foundation; 8. Skipper Jack Marshall from FAST Sailing Foundation; 9. Skipper Nic Baird from St. Petersburg Yacht Club; and 10. Skipper Colin Brego from St. John).

Laser Radial Female: (1. Skipper Haddon Hughes from TCYC;

2. Skipper Dana Rohde from Lauderdale Yacht Club, Beaufort Yacht and Sailing; 3. Skipper Lindsey Baab from San Francisco Yacht Club/St. Francis Yacht Club; 4. Skipper Riley Legault from LYC; and 5. Skipper Sophia Reineke from Lauderdale Yacht Club).

Staging for the four-day regatta occurred at several locations including the CRYC, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, U.S. Sailing Center Miami, and Shake-A-Leg Miami. For information or to view video and photos from the event, visit

FBU National Championships

South Florida scored four touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to break open a close contest en route to a 41-6 victory over Iowa in the finals of the 7th Grade Football University National Championship at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

South Florida started the scoring early when they mounted a 60-plus yard drive, which was boosted by a pass interference call in the end zone. A few plays later, Nayquan Wright punched it in from three yards, and after missing the PAT, South Florida held a 6-0 edge with 28 seconds left in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Iowa intercepted a pass and returned it to the South Florida 20-yard line. Soon thereafter, running back Trey Fugate plowed his way to paydirt, and after another missed extra point, the score was even at six with 6:11 left before halftime.

It stayed this way until the final two minutes of the first half, when Florida finished a long drive with Wright scoring from the one. South Florida added two more points when quarterback Nik Scalzo ran around right end for the conversion and a 14-6 lead.

The third quarter barrage began when James Cook of South Florida weaved his way through the defense on a 21-yard touchdown run, and Billy McConnell kicked the point after, increasing their advantage, 21-6.

On the ensuing kickoff, South Florida recovered a fumble at the 34-yard line. On the next play, Scalzo hit Lorenzo Floyd with a touchdown pass, followed by another McConnell PAT to put South Florida ahead 28-6. Then after stopping Iowa, Wright sprinted 68 yards for a touchdown and a commanding 34-6 lead.

Wright wasn’t done as he soon scored on a 28-yard punt return with 3:17 left in the third quarter, putting the game out of reach.

Miami Dolphins youth football

The Miami Dolphins concluded the third annual Miami Dolphins Championship Series p resented by Generation Nexxt and Under Armour at the Miramar Ansin Sports Complex.

Eight youth football teams from three prominent area youth football leagues (American Youth Football League, Florida Youth Football League, South Florida Youth Football League) were crowned champions.

Seven of the eight champions came from either the AYFL or FYFL. The Pembroke Pines Bengals won three titles, going 7-1 during the two-weekend event. This is the second consecutive Dolphins Championship Series in which the PPO Bengals have won at least three championships, with three of its teams winning last year as well.

The FYFL Miami Gardens Bulldogs, winners in the 11U Division, have not lost in five seasons.

Miami Dolphins Championships Series Final Results

8U: Pembroke Pines Bengals (AYFL) d. Miami Gardens Vikings (FYFL) 20-0

9U: Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes (FYFL) d. Gwen Cherry Bulls (Pop Warner) 6-0

10U: Pembroke Pines Bengals (AYFL) d. Miami Gardens Ravens (FYFL) 14-6

11U: Miami Gardens Bulldogs (FYFL) d. Miramar Wolverines (AYFL) 27-6

12U: Pembroke Pines Bengals (AYFL) d. West Miramar Patriots (XYFL) 30-0

13U: Southwest Seminoles (SFYFL) d. West Miramar Patriots (XYFL) 31-27

14U: Davie Broncos (AYFL) d. West Kendall Dolphins (XYFL) 14-8

UNL: Washington Park Buccaneers (FYFL) d. Pembroke Pines Bengals (AYFL) 12-0

“The third annual Miami Dolphins Championship Series was a resounding success, and it showed the competitive spirit of youth football in South Florida,” Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Community Affairs Twan Russell said. “These athletes fought really hard all weekend, and it just shows how strong football is down here. I’m really happy that we can put youth football on display, and I’d like to congratulate all the teams that participated in this event.”

Miami Dolphins Manager of Youth Programs Troy Drayton added. “A lot of great teams competed out there over these two weeks. This event really showcases the talent that exists in South Florida, and I’m happy we can put on an event where these athletes can compete and have their achievements awarded.”

The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ mission is to emphasize the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices for kids in a safe and fun environment. The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ vision is to prepare the next generation of leaders in staying physically active through its Junior Training Camps, Youth Football Clinics and Youth Football Camps.

Highland Oaks track & field

The Highland Oaks Middle School JV boys’ track & field team, despite being fifth much of the meet, managed to come from behind on the last event to finish second of seven teams in the Miami Middle JV Invitational Track Meet at Ferguson Sr. High School.

The boys won the 400 relay (Kemani Brown, Wilfred Coleau, Keshaun Roberts, Javas Jackson) and the 1,600 relay (Brown, Xavier Richemond, Coleau, Jackson). Coleau was second in the 800-meter run and Brown fifth. Jackson placed third in the 100, and Richemond and Roberts were fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 200.

In field events, Ezekiel Figueroa was third in the discus and fifth in the shot put. Brown took fourth in the high jump.

The JV girls placed third of nine teams with several outstanding performances. First place finishers were Vashti Claybrook (200 and 400), Jadae Barrett (long jump), Zahria Allers (100), 400 relay (Allers, Barrett, Jasmine Messiah, Kyara Walters), and 1,600 relay (Brown, Allers, Kaila Mamon, Claybrook). Walters took fifth in the 200, and Barrett finished sixth in the 1,600.

Messiah and Mamon were second and third, respectively, in the long jump. Esther Perceval was second in the shot put, and Morisa Griffin was fifth in the discus.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School Athletes of the Week

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Julius Delgado, an 8th grader playing JV basketball against 9th and 10th grades, totaled 20 points against Westminster Christian and La Progresiva.

Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Ava Hansen, an upper school varsity soccer player, totaled six goals in wins against ATM, Doctors Charter and SLAM.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Sam Benson scored twice in the varsity soccer team’s 6-1 win against Greater Miami Academy.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Danielle Minott combined for 126 points, 45 rebounds and 22 steals in girls’ varsity basketball games against Potter's House Christian, Florida Air Academy, Orlando Jones High School, Florida A & M, and Nova High School.

Scheck Hillel sports

Scheck Hillel Community School named four soccer players as the school’s Athletes of the Week the past two weeks.

Junior Nikki Scheck, a midfielder for the girls’ varsity team, had one assist and created many scoring opportunities for Hillel in the three games. Nikki works hard and overlaps with her forwards to distribute crosses. She has played on the varsity team since district playoffs in eighth grade and continues to grow as a player and a leader.

Sophomore Daniela Hojda plays defense for the girls’ varsity team. She was a key player in the recent match against Doral Academy, stepping up to the ball, clearing it and helping cover for the sweeper.

Freshman Daniel Franco, a midfielder for the boys’ varsity team, played very well in three consecutive games for the week, displaying amazing ball control to help bring his team to victory.

Senior Nathaniel Rub played stellar defense for the boys’ varsity team against Hebrew Academy in his return from injury.

Archbishop Curley sports

Coach Greg Magner, athletic director at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep, announced the school’s Athletes of the Week.

Male Athlete of the Week: Keeper Kerwins Mathurin, a senior captain, recorded 15 saves for the boys’ varsity soccer team in a competitive 2-0 defeat to crosstown rival Miami Country Day.

Female Athlete of the Week: Point Guard Sarisha Wiggins, a freshman, averaged 15 points and six steals for the girls’ varsity basketball team in victories over Doctors Charter and Hillel.

Conchita Espinosa soccer

Barbara Silva scored twice including the winner as the Conchita Espinosa Academy junior varsity soccer team consisting of fifth and sixth graders defeated Highpoint Academy 4-3 to win the Greater Miami Championship League title. Rowen Pouzza and Maximo Roman also scored.

The girls’ varsity soccer team, consisting of sixth, seventh and eighth graders, continued its winning streak with a 3-0 win over Doctor Charter. Alyssa Soublette scored twice, and Barbara Silva added a goal. Ariana Aspuru recorded her third shutout in goal.

St. Thomas basketball

St. Thomas University women’s basketball set a school record for points in a game, and senior Jasmin Sakers (Miami American HS) matched a school record with 36 points in a 116-108 win over Olivet Nazarene on Dec. 30 at the Northwood Holiday Classic in West Palm Beach.

Junior Claudia Martin (Miami Senior HS) scored a career-high 29 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Bobcats (4-7) broke the school scoring record on 54-percent shooting making 23 field goals on 90 attempts from the field. The scoring output came in a game that STU did not make a three-pointer, missing on six attempts. At the free throw line, St. Thomas sank 20 of 32 attempts.

The 116 points broke the previous school record of 102 points scored on Jan. 21, 2011 in a win over Edward Waters. Sakers matched the school record for individual points scored which came in the same game in 2011 when Maddie Cummings totaled 36 points in the 102-53 STU win. It marked the third time in school history that the Bobcats have eclipsed the century mark in scoring and the fifth time that an STU player has scored 30 or more points.

Sakers scored on 15 field goals in 26 attempts as well as going 6-of-11 from the free throw line. In addition to her career-best scoring total, she recorded eight rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals.

Martin set career highs in points (29), field goals made (12), field goals attempted (17), rebounds (12), offensive rebounds (12) and steals (3). The double-double for Martin was the second of her career.

Penn State volleyball

Paulina Prieto Cerame, a 2012 Palmer Trinity School graduate, helped the Penn State University women’s volleyball team win the NCAA Division 1 National Championship.

The Nittany Lions 34-2) beat the University of Wisconsin 25-19, 26-24, 20-25, 25-23 in the finals in Seattle. A 6-2 redshirt freshman, Prieto had two kills against Wisconsin (28-10). It is the sixth national championship for Penn State women’s volleyball.

In the semifinals, Penn State, ranked second nationally, beat Washington (30-3), ranked third, 25-14, 25-13, 25-16. Prieto had one dig.

Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Prieto was a star player on the Palmer Trinity girls’ varsity volleyball team. She is a two-time Miami Herald All-Dade Girls’ Volleyball Player of the Year.

Her Palmer Trinity coaches have regarded her as one of their hardest working players ever.

Bowling fundraiser with John Jay

Miami native John Jay, a St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and World Series champion, hosts The Jon Jay FMSbonds Celebrity Bowling Challenge at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at Lucky Strike in Miami Beach.

Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade to support its many positive programs for 10,000 area youth.

Along with other Major League Baseball stars, Jay will bowl with attendees during the fun-filled fundraising event, which is open to the public. The evening will include red carpet arrivals, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, bowling matches and more.

Sponsorships are available.

“We’re grateful that Jon Jay has again partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade for this wonderful community event,” Alex Rodriguez-Roig, executive director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, said in a release. “With the efforts of individuals such as Jon, we continue to make a difference in the lives of many area youth.”

Jay said: “We’ve been thrilled by the enthusiastic response to this event the past two years, and we’re looking forward to raising even more funds for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade in 2014.”

Cost is $450 per bowling team and $100 per person. For sponsorship or additional event information, call Tom Hagan at CAA Sports at 212-277-9000 or To purchase individual tickets and information: visit

South Miami baseball

The South Miami Youth Baseball League at Palmer Park has openings on several teams. Youth age 8-12 are eligible . Contact Coach Nick at or call 305-878-5087.

Red Zone flag football

Red Zone Youth League Flag Football starts Jan. 25.

The season features 12 games with two games per team each Saturday at Tropical Estates Park. There are two referees on field and a digital scoreboard.

MVP awards and game stats on the website. There will be academic awards.

Registration $125 includes dry fit jersey and new sonics flags/belts for each player. Team discounts available. Coach's son/daughter registration discounted to $50.

For information, visit or call 305-986-9084.

More events, leagues, programs

Copa Coca-Cola Miami soccer

As World Cup fever grips soccer fans across the globe, Coca-Cola and their official restaurant partner McDonald’s, brings Copa Coca-Cola to Miami, giving young players in the community the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to win a trip to the Copa Coca-Cola Soccer Camp in Brazil during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The tournament will kick off Feb. 22-23 at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127th Ave., giving more then 400 teens, age 13-15, the opportunity to get active and participate in the excitement leading to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

In addition to Miami, Copa Coca-Cola will also occur in 10 cities across America including San Jose, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.

Winning teams will travel to Los Angeles to compete in a national tournament from April 18-20 along with other winning teams from each participating city. Four players from the national championship teams (two boys and two girls) will have the opportunity to attend the Copa Coca-Cola Soccer Camp in Brazil, a unique experience with more than 150 other young players from around the world, all of whom are Copa Coca-Cola participants of their country’s national tournament.

“Copa Coca-Cola is more than a game. It is an opportunity for teens to be active while playing the sport they love,” Alba Adamo, Group Director of Hispanic Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, said in a release. “We want to keep inspiring teens to lead active healthy lives, form lasting friendships and follow their dreams. Through Copa Coca-Cola, participants truly become part of the FIFA World Cup fervor. It’s an amazing experience that brings people together from all over the world.”

To participate in this local tournament, teens must sign up as part of a five to seven-player team at now through Feb. 16. The first 30 boys’ teams and 30 girls’ teams to register in Miami will get the opportunity to be part of Copa Coca-Cola.

“I am proud to join Coca-Cola in promoting physical activity through soccer,” said Alex Morgan, U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympic Gold Medalist. “Soccer has had a huge impact on my life, and Copa Coca-Cola will allow me to share my love and passion for the game with a whole new generation of players.”

For information about Copa Coca-Cola, including all official rules, visit

FIU baseball with Jim Kaat

Season tickets for the upcoming Florida International University baseball season are on sale.

Tickets for the 2014 campaign cost just $50 per season ticket. Fans can purchase tickets online, over the phone by calling 305-FIU-GAME, or in person at the R. Kirk Landon Fieldhouse Box Office. FIU student admission is free to all FIU baseball home games.

The 55-game slate will include 34 home games with teams from nine different conferences, two NCAA Tournament teams from 2013 and a 2012 College World Series participant.

FIU will open the 2014 campaign with a three-game set against American Athletic Conference opponent Rutgers, beginning Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. An 11-game homestand to open the season will continue on Feb. 19 as the Panthers host Stetson from the Atlantic Sun Conference.

FIU will close out the seven-game stretch with a three-game series against a 2012 College World Series opponent in Stony Brook from Feb. 21-23. This will be the second consecutive year the Panthers play host to the Seawolves.

Fans are encouraged to follow the Panthers on Twitter (@FIUBaseball) and become a fan on Facebook ( for all the latest FIU baseball news. Follow all of FIU’s 18 athletic teams on Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook (, YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).

• Tickets for the 2014 Diamond Dinner are now available for purchase. The 2014 Diamond Dinner, benefiting the FIU baseball and softball programs occurs on Feb. 8 in the Graham Center Ballroom.

Tickets to the Diamond Dinner cost $120 for an individual and $1,200 for a table of 10. Tickets are on sale. Anybody interested in opportunities to give to the Diamond Dinner fund or to purchase tickets, contact Alyssa Meyer at 305-348-7297 or email

Former Major League Baseball great and current broadcaster Jim Kaat will speak at the Diamond Dinner. Kaat was a pitcher for five different teams in a stellar 25-year career. He currently broadcasts games on the MLB Network. Additionally, 15 items will be up for live auction while 100 items will be featured in a silent auction.

Marlins golf tournament

The Marlins Foundation announces the inaugural Jack McKeon Marlins Celebrity Golf Classic which is Feb. 12 at Crandon Golf Course Key Biscayne. Previously known as the Marlins Celebrity Golf Classic, the Marlins will pay tribute to former Marlins Manager John “Jack” McKeon, a two-time National League Manager of the Year and 2003 World Series Champion.

Marlins personalities scheduled to attend include: President David Samson, President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill, Vice President and General Manager Dan Jennings, Marlins Manager Mike Redmond, along with Marlins players and other community leaders.

Proceeds from the golf tournament will benefit the Miracle League of Miami-Dade County; a Marlins Charity Partner. The Miracle League is a nationally recognized baseball program for children with special needs. The mission is to provide children with developmental, intellectual, mental and/or physical challenges the opportunity to play baseball on special custom designed rubber turf fields that accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.

"We look forward to honoring Jack for his contributions to baseball in South Florida. Thanks to the generous donations of individuals and organizations, we can continue to impact the lives of children through baseball,” said Mike Redmond, Marlins Manager and Event Chair. “This event will give participants the opportunity to play alongside Marlins players as well as donate to a worthy cause.”

The daylong event will follow the below agenda:

Registration: 9-10:30 a.m.; Shot Gun Start: 11 a.m.; Awards Dinner: 4 p.m.

Event registration is available online at For information contact the Marlins Foundation at 305-480-2550 or email

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.

Miami Marlins Energy Team

The Miami Marlins are searching for talented female and male dancers, cheerleaders, gymnasts and break dancers to become part of the Miami Marlins Energy Team. Open auditions will occur Jan. 25 at Marlins Park.

The Miami Marlins Energy Team is a high-energy squad with a unique mix of gymnastics, hip-hop, acrobatics, modern jazz funk and break dancing. The team will provide excitement and entertainment during Miami Marlins homes games and appearances throughout the community. All positions are paid.

The Miami Marlins Energy Team will perform at Marlins Park, receive exposure through media, high profile events and community relations and receive extensive training in various styles by the best choreographers and coaches in Miami. All rehearsals, games and community appearances are paid events.

Candidates are welcome to contact Jose Guerrero at or visit for information.

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.

NIAF Scholarship Program

The National Italian American Foundation celebrates its 39th anniversary this year.

The Foundation’s scholarship program has grown from four scholarships of $250 each to dozens of annual scholarships ranging in value from $2,000 to $10,000 each in the humanities, medicine, engineering, business, music, Italian language and culture, and other specialized fields.

“NIAF has awarded millions of dollars in merit-based scholarships and cultural grants across the country since its inception. NIAF’s leadership is extremely proud of the high caliber of our scholarship students and their outstanding achievements,” said NIAF President and COO John M. Viola.

NIAF scholarship winners are selected based on academic merit and are academically outstanding with an average GPA of 3.95. The average scholarship in the United States was more than $3,000.

In addition to NIAF’s scholarship program, NIAF sent college students to Italy’s Calabria Region to participate in the Ambassador Peter F. Secchia Voyage of Discovery program, an educational and cultural initiative.

Contributors to the NIAF scholarship program include individuals, corporations and organizations across the United States.

Apply online for a 2014-2015 NIAF scholarship at Application deadline is March 1. NIAF scholarship winners will be announced on May 16 online.

For information on establishing a NIAF scholarship, contact Gabriella Mileti at

The National Italian American Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit .

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 .


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:

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.

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.

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.

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).

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