Sports Scene: Highland Oaks track & field wins; Miami Dolphins Junior Camp at Coral Reef Elementary

 

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Highland Oaks track & field

The Highland Oaks Middle School girls’ track & field team won the Larry Wooten Invitational at Ferguson Sr. High School.

The girls defeated 15 teams, including rival Ammons Middle, to win the team trophy. Highland’s Ayoolah Gbolade won the 200 and 400-meter dashes and placed fifth in the 800 to earn the meet's top female performer award.

Teammate Vashti Claybrook was second in the 400 and fourth in the 200. Tianna Jackson won the long jump and was fourth in the 100. Maryann Jadotte was third in the discus, fourth in the 100 and seventh in the shot put. Tramese Pierre was sixth in the discuss and eighth in the shot out.

The 400 relay team (Jasmine Messiah, Jadotte, Zahria Allers, Kyara Walters) was runner-up, as was the 1,600 relay team (Allers, Jadae Barrett, Kaila Maman, Claybrook). The 3,200 relay (Hayley Piper, Pierre, Maman, Barrett) was fourth.

The Highland’s boys’ team placed fifth of 12 teams. Derrick Spicer was second in the 800 and 1600-meter runs. Jordan Anderson and Neil Fagan tied for third in the high jump. Eddie Gabriel took third in the long jump.

Euniel Fortunato was fifth in the 800. Bryce Coq and Levensky Laguerre were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the discus. The 3,200 relay (Darryl Dunn, Wilfrid Coleau, Kemoni Brown, Fortunato) placed third. The 1,600 relay (Coleau, Xavier Richemond, Keshaun Roberts, Brown) was fifth, and the 400 relay (Roberts, Fagan, Anderson, Gabriel) finished sixth.

Miami Marathon

Approximately 25,000 runners from all over the world will be in Miami on Feb. 2 to run the Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon.

For approximately 12 local runners, crossing the finish line will be extra special as they will be running in honor of an 8-year-old Miami girl in need of a life-saving heart transplant. Born on Jan. 16, 2006, Brianna is the daughter of Brian and Maria Medina.

Brianna was diagnosed with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy in the Fall 2013 and immediately referred to Shands Hospital in Gainesville where she awaits her transplant ( www.COTAforbribrim.com).

Amongst the dozen-plus running in honor of Brianna will be Viviana Horigian and Cristina Ramirez. Viviana and Cristina have run many races, but this particular race is one they will never forget. Every step they take, every breath they take in, they will do so in honor of this very special girl that has touched the hearts of hundreds in the South Florida community.

Brianna’s story has inspired other runners as well, like Tatiana Perrino and her 7-year old son, Nicolas, who will run the Carnaval Miami 5K in honor of Brianna. Teddy Ureña from New York will run the Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 23, and Paola Weems will run the Texas Med 5K in Houston on Feb. 8, also in honor of Brianna.

These runners have set up a page on www.Fundly.com (https://fundly.com/running-for-a-heart) to help raise funds for transplant-related expenses. All funds collected will go to Children’s Organ Transplant Association in honor of Brianna.

COTA is a national charity based in Bloomington, Ind. dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for children like Brianna. COTA’s services are completely free of charge, and 100-percent of funds generated by COTA community fundraising campaigns are available for transplant-related expenses. Volunteers are working with COTA to raise an estimated $60,000 for COTA in honor of Brianna.

For information about the family or the COTA community fundraising campaign, visit www.COTAforbribrim.com or contact the campaign Public Relations Coordinator, Rosa Verdeja at 305-439-9553 or rosaverdeja@gmail.com. For fundraising and volunteer opportunities, contact Liz Alonso, Community Coordinator, at 305-519-6335 or lizalonso73@gmail.com.

Miami Dolphins Junior Camp

The Miami Dolphins spent the day at Coral Reef Elementary School in Miami to deliver a message and put on a Gatorade Junior Training Camp for nearly 500 students, who participated in six interactive football drills and cheerleader routines.

“I think our students understand and are very grateful to have the Dolphins take time out and come and spend time with them and show them the drills that pro football players go through,” Coral Reef Elementary Principal Christina Gara said in a release. “I think the message validates everything we are trying to do here with promoting physical fitness.”

Former Miami Dolphin player and current Manager of Youth Programs Troy Drayton led the charge, giving hundreds of students an inspiring speech about the “Dol-Fit” message, which stresses the importance of education, physical fitness and making positive choices.

Students were then taught first-hand how to do a variety of football drills that emphasize the fundamentals of the game, such as running, throwing and catching the ball.

“I think the students, the faculty, the staff and the Dolphins all had an amazing time today at Coral Reef Elementary,” Drayton said. “The students learned a lot and the participation was very good; it was a fun time.”

Coral Reef Elementary, which serves 840 students, encourages a healthy lifestyle, with its Healthy School Generation Grant, as well as promoting physical fitness.

The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ vision is to prepare the next generation of leaders in staying physically active through the Junior Training Camps, Youth Football Clinics and Youth Football Camps.

For information on the Miami Dolphins Youth Football Clinics, Youth Football Camps or school visits, contact the Miami Dolphins Youth Programs Department at 305-943-7272 or youthprograms@dolphins.com.

Dolphins Academy training will begin in February, which are position-specific classes where athletes can be taught football by NFL alumni. Registration is on www.DolphinsAcademy.com.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Laurel Ivory: As the starting goalkeeper on the girls’ varsity soccer team, she helped lead her team to its second consecutive championship by stopping two penalty kicks in a shootout in the championship win over Dade Christian.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Channise Lewis: She combined for 52 points, 27 assists and 17 steals for the girls’ varsity basketball team against Miami High, Ferguson, American Heritage and Coral Springs Charter.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Ryan Gomez: He combined for 47 points and 29 rebounds for the boys’ varsity basketball team against Dade Christian, Hillel and Sheridan Hills.

Spartan Super Fan: Jaclyn Lash.

Scheck Hillel sports

Scheck Hillel Community School Athletes of the Week

Freshman Dani Scheck plays on the girls’ varsity basketball team. She contributed amazing hustle against Doctors Charters to secure the 36-35 win and the team’s undefeated home record.

Sophmore Leon Almosny is a standout player on the boys’ varsity soccer team. His stellar defense against Miami Country Day School led to the team’s 4-1 victory in the district championships.

Conchita Espinosa sports

The Conchita Espinosa Academy boys’ varsity basketball team, consisting of seventh and eighth graders, opened the regular season with a 12-point win over Champagnat. The team used a 15-0 run in the third quarter to secure the win.

The Cougars then defeated Calusa Preparatory School 41–22. Andre Alonzo again led the team in scoring.

• The Conchita soccer teams were in action for second, third and fourth grades.

The second grade team defeated Pinecrest North 3-0, and the third grade team beat Divine Savior 3-1.

The fifth grade team started its season with a 1-0 victory over Greater Miami Academy. Keeper Frankie Mederos recorded the shutout.

• The girls’ varsity soccer team, consisting of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, defeated Doctors Charter in a quarterfinal playoff game. Barbara Silva and Nicole Marie Ruiz-Sierra scored. Elena Lara added her first assist of the season, and keeper Ariana Aspuru posted the shutout.

Our Lady of Lakes basketball

The Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School Primary Gold boys’ basketball team (third and fourth grade) defeated St. Patrick’s Catholic School 31-5 and Immaculate Conception 35-5.

“In the first two games, the Cheetahs Gold team demonstrated stellar teamwork and outstanding defense,” said Coach German Garcia, OLL’s athletic director. “Because of speed and quickness of the Cheetahs defense, OLL was able to outscore their opponents 66-10, a plus-56 point margin.”

The Cheetahs Gold team is in first place in the All Catholic Conference North Division at 2-0.

Palmer Trinity sports

Palmer Trinity School Athletic Director Dr. Jake von Scherrer was named the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association President for 2015.

Von Scherrer will officially take office on May 3 at the annual FIAAA State Conference, and then he will begin coordinating the 2015 Conference where he will formally assume the office of FIAAA President for the rest of the year. Since 2011, von Scherrer has served on the FIAAA Board and currently serves as the FIAAA Chaplain.

Tennis

South Miami-Dade County, represented by the Doral Park Country Club team, won the Combo Men’s 7.5 Division title during USTA Florida Sectionals at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

In the finals, South Miami-Dade edged Marion County (Country Club of Ocala) 2-1. In No.1 Doubles, Cosme Barrios/Patrick Kettel (SMD) d. John Nardandrea/Bob Hatcher 6-3, 6-1, and in No.3 Doubles, Jairo Furniel/Gustavo Alvarez (SMD) d. Philip Libby/Tony Mendola 6-2, 6-4.

The champions are Armando Cabane (captain), Jairo Furniel, Patrick Dyer, Eli Panell, Cristian Mateluna, Cosme Barrios, Patrick Kettel, Santiago Anda, Guillermo Brito, Carlos Miyares, Julio Jimenez, Mario Montero, James Kettel, Gustavo Alvarez, Alberto Pierini, Ricardo Negrete, Franco Palmiotto, and Francisco Malavet.

Forty-nine teams representing 21 counties or regions participated in the USTA Florida Combo 18 & Over (5.5/7.5/9.5) League Tennis Championships, including the counties or regions of Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Indian River, Indian River/Martin, Lee/Charlotte, Leon, Marion, North Miami-Dade, North Palm Beach, Orange/Seminole, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota/Manatee, South Miami-Dade, South Palm Beach, and Volusia.

Competing teams advanced to the sectional championships by winning local USTA League play.

Barry basketball

Led by two local players, the Barry University men’s basketball team edged host Rollins College 79-77 in NCAA Division II Sunshine State Conference action in Winter Park.

The Buccaneers (13-3, 4-3 SSC) overcame a seven-point halftime deficit by using an 18-4 run over the first 6:56 of the second half to take a 56-49 lead on a pair of Deric Hill free throws.

Trailing 74-73 late in the game, Yunio Barrueta converted a three-point play to give the Bucs the lead for good, 76-74. The game featured seven ties and 18 lead changes.

Barrueta had a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds in his sixth double-double of the season. Hill scored 12 points and had seven assists and three steals.

Barrueta, a sophomore guard who played at NCAA Division I East Tennessee State, is a Hialeah Gardens High School graduate. Hill, a junior point guard, is a South Miami High School grad. He played at NCAA Division I FIU last season.

Rockin’ for the Cure Walk-a-Thon

Rockin’ for the Cure has a walk-a-thon on April 6 at Tropical Park in Miami.

The goal is to raise money for Baptist Hospital's new Cancer Research Institute. Baptist Hospital is one of the only medical facilities in Florida that grants treatment to cancer victims even if they can’t afford it.

Registration for the walk is: $25 for an individual; $20 for a team member; $100 for a family. Students will receive community service hours.

For information visit www.rockinforthecure.org.

South Miami baseball

The South Miami Youth Baseball League at Palmer Park has openings in the 8-12-year-old divisions.

Call Coach Nick at 305-878-5087 or email brisuela44@gmail.com.

More events, leagues, programs

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 (Facebook.com/FIUBaseball) for all the latest FIU baseball news. Follow all of FIU’s 18 athletic teams on Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUSports), YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).

• Tickets for the 2014 Diamond Dinner are now available for purchase. The 2014 Diamond Dinner, benefitting 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 alymeyer@fiu.edu.

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 www.marlins.com/golf. For information contact the Marlins Foundation at 305-480-2550 or email foundation@marlins.com.

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind the scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 a person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas including the Suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours, accommodating between 10 and 25 people, are available by appointment.

For information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail tours@marlins.com. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (NW 6 Street between NW 14 Avenue and NW 15 Avenue) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school).

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at www.hofball.net or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Kendall Hammocks flag football

The Kendall Hammocks NFL Flag Football program announces registrations dates and times for the 2014 season.

Registration is open to boys and girls, age 5-16 (cannot turn 17 in 2014) . Copy of birth certificate is requested for age verification only during the registration process. Teams are based by age.

The opening exhibition games will be on May 3. The regular season is 12 games.

Registrations, practices and games are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave.

Registrations Dates: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 22 and March 15, 22 and 29

6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb 27, March 5, March 14

Final registration: 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 4

Registration fee $115. Fee includes NFL team reversible jersey, NFL flag belts with flags, secondary Insurance, referees, and participation awards. Discounted rates for head coaches.

Tryouts and draft are April 19. Time chart by division can be found at www.khwarriors.org

For information or to coach, email khwfootball@aol.com or visit www.khwarriors.org.

The NFL Flag Football program is under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks and is an all volunteer organization.

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 www.copa.coca-cola.com 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 www.copa.coca-cola.com.

Tennis

It will be Tennis for Everyone (Tenis para Todos) when JD Redd Park, 550 N. Homestead Blvd. in Homestead, hosts the JD Redd Tenis Para Todos Festival from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 22.

The free event will feature games and prizes, on-court games and competitions for the whole family and more.

“Bring the whole family for a fun afternoon of tennis, games and prizes,” USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Cathy Nordlund said in a release. “See what everyone is talking about with 10 and Under Tennis for smaller children and information on area junior tennis programs, after-school clinics, home school tennis, wheelchair tennis and special-needs tennis, and for adults we have round robins, league information, ladders, Cardio Tennis, mixed doubles, senior tennis and socials for all levels.”

The USTA 10 and Under Tennis format allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, foam and low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.

To register for the event go to https://jdreddtennisfestival.eventbrite.com.

The event is organized through USTA Florida and Friends of Miami Tennis, a 501c(3) not-for-profit community tennis association committed to enhancing the diverse Miami-area community through the healthy lifestyle of tennis. Friends of Miami Tennis, Inc. is a recognized Community Tennis Association of the United States Tennis Association.

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 www.niaf.org/scholarships. 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 gmileti@niaf.org.

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 www.niaf.org .

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 www.miamirugbykids.com .

Tennis

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:

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 b.cikigil@cliffdrysdale.com or call 914-815-4093, or to register online go to www.CenturyDoublesTennis.com.

Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

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 www.miamisoccer5.com.

Soccer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southern Soccer Coalition-AYSO (kendallsoccer.com) at Millers Pond Park, 13350 SW 47 St. and Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152 Ave. (305-965-0083).

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 www.jointhunder.com Registration is now open. Contact contact@jointhunder.com 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 Tamiamibasketball@gmail.com 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 www.rebelleathletics.com .

Jai-Alai

Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s north campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Contact Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

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 admanUSA@aol.com 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 cbsportsclub.com. Call 786-273-5639.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).

Read more Miami-Dade Youth Sports stories from the Miami Herald

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