Sports Scene: Tumblebees Gymnastics does well at Florida USAG State Championships

 

Youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth/miami-dade

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

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https://itunes.apple.com/app/miami-herald-high-school-sports/id692780888?mt=8


Be honored at Miami Marlins game

In an effort to recognize deserving South Florida youth baseball and softball players for doing well in school and displaying sportsmanship on the diamond, the Miami Marlins have once again partnered with The Miami Herald to co-sponsor the Team Player spotlight on the Sunday Youth Sports pages in the Neighbors section of The Miami Herald in print and online.

Youth league coaches, team representatives, teachers, friends or family members can nominate youth baseball or softball players, who display sportsmanship and good grades or academic improvements. Eligible nominees are from the recreational in-house league or travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school or high school junior varsity).

Honored players – selected by random drawing – will be invited to a Marlins game where they will receive a certificate of achievement and a Marlins item during a recognition ceremony at Marlins Park.

To nominate someone, e-mail jvarsallone@miamiherald.com or call 954-538-7153.


Carole Poveda, 13, of Tumblebees Gymnastics in Kendall won the Florida USAG Level 8 State All-Around Championship in Fort Myers.

Poveda scored 9.050 on vault, 9.075 on bars, 9.300 on balance beam and 9.400 on floor exercise for a winning overall score 36.825. She was second on balance beam and floor exercise, fourth on bars and fifth on vault.

In various divisions of Level 8, Tumblebees Gymnastics’ Bella Torres, 11, Chabely Arias, 12, and Tatiana Corujo, 12, each finished first on balance beam.

In Level 7, Amy Gonzalez, 10, won state titles for Tumblebees on the uneven bars and vault.

Tumblebees also had seven girls qualify for regionals in Concord, N.C.

Tennis

Miami’s Katerina Stewart, fresh off her first career finalist effort at the USTA Pro Circuit event in Gainesville, captured her first professional tennis title at the $10,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Orlando.

The 16-year-old Stewart dominated the field, in the final, defeating unseeded Elizaveta Ianchuk of the Ukraine 6-1, 6-1.

Winning the qualifying event to reach the main draw in Gainesville, Stewart was granted a special exempt into the main draw in Orlando because her Gainesville finalist effort kept her from participating in the Orlando qualifying. In the Orlando quarterfinals, she defeated No. 3 seed Mayo Hibi 6-0 in the third set. In the semifinals, she defeated qualifier Natalie Suk 6-0, 6-1.

Since 1979, 17 USTA Pro Circuit alumni (including five Americans) have achieved the No. 1 world singles rankings. Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Lindsay Davenport, Pete Sampras, Justine Henin, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi are among the game's top stars who began their career on the USTA Pro Circuit. The past few years have seen breakout performances by a number of USTA Pro Circuit players, including John Isner, Sloane Stephens, Jack Sock, and Madison Keys.

For more info go to www.usta.com/Pro-Tennis/Pro-Circuit.

More tennis

USTA Florida has teamed up with the City of Hialeah to bring Tenis para Todos to Goodlet Park.

The park is the sixth facility across the state to participate in USTA Florida’s Tenis para Todos initiative, which is focused on bringing tennis to more Hispanic families in Central and South Florida.

Goodlet Park offers programs for children such as 10-and-under tennis, junior team tennis, play days and player development. Adult and senior programs include clinics, USTA League play, cardio tennis and round robin.

In 2014, Goodlet Park will host a series of events to provide the community in Hialeah with different play opportunities for all levels and to invite residents to experience tennis at this wonderful park.

“I am excited for Goodlet to be part of Tenis para Todos and to grow tennis here in South Florida,” Cathy Nordlund, USTA Florida tennis program coordinator, said in a release. “With the support of the city of Hialeah and the great programs offered at this facility, we can reach out to many families in this wonderful community.”

Kenneth Soler, Hialeah recreation supervisor, added: “The city of Hialeah is proud to once again have a successful and vibrant tennis program. There is nothing nicer to see than all 11 [soon to be 13] courts packed with families playing the sport. You can see how tennis is not just a sport, but also a community network of families and friends. Tennis is back in Hialeah and it is here to stay and expand.”

For information on “Tenis Para Todos” and a full list of events, visit www.USTAFlorida.com or www.tenisparatodos.com.

Our Lady of Lakes sports

• The Our Lady of the Lakes boys’ flag football team defeated Mother of Our Redeemer 28-6. Brent Becerra made some stellar flag pulls, and Julian Rosario added several sacks. Chris Roque had an interception, and Alejandro Llano had a touchdown catch.

Also, the Cheetahs edged St. Mary’s 19-18. Trailing by five points with 30 seconds left, quarterback Matthew Sarduey scrambled on fourth down and completed a 45-yard touchdown pass to Julian Rosario for the winner. The team is 4-2.

• The Our Lady of the Lakes baseball team defeated St. Michael’s 6-0. Four pitchers shared in the complete-game shutout.

OLL also beat Sts. Peter & Paul 12-2 with some big hitting by Jorge Jebian and solid pitching by Matthew Sarduey. The team is 2-1.

• The Our Lady of the Lakes varsity girls’ volleyball team defeated Blessed Trinity 25-19, 5-25, 15-11 with outstanding serving by Gaby Perez Robles and Kristen Fleitas. The Cheetahs evened their record to 3-3.

Scheck Hillel top athletes

Scheck Hillel Community School named varsity tennis players Andrea Waxman and Daniel Berkman as the school’s Athletes of the Week. They were victorious in their singles and doubles matches against Divine Savior.

Miami Sports Month

Following the success of Miami Golf Month and Miami's growing sports and recreation scene, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has expanded its popular Temptation Program to now include all sports. The inaugural Miami Sports Month includes offers for golf, tennis, bicycling, water sports, running and more.

Miami Sports Month, sponsored by MasterCard, runs now through April 30.

Beautiful weather year-round, top-notch professional teams and countless outdoor activities, like the seventh annual Miami International Agriculture & Cattle Show, make Greater Miami and the Beaches a premier sports and events destination. This year's Cattle Show will occur April 11-13 at Tropical Park, where cattle breeders from North America, South America and around the world will meet.

For information visit www.MiamiCattleShow.org

With special offers and discounts distinguishing Miami Sports Month, April has become the perfect time to get moving. Check out the Miami Sports Month website, www.MiamiSportsMonth.com for more details.

“We're proud to kick off the first Miami Sports Month,” said William D. Talbert III, CDME, president and CEO of the GMCVB. “Miami is among the top sports destinations in the world offering residents and visitors who enjoy an active lifestyle and vacation with world-class recreational facilities. Now visitors who travel here for our amazing weather can enjoy special offers for their favorite sports activity during the month of April.”

Miami Sports Month is part of the GMCVB’s popular Temptations Program, which takes a thematic focus on the best that Miami has to offer throughout the year at attractive prices.

Other programs include Cruise Month, Romance Month, Shop Miami Month, Museum Month, Film Month, Spa Month, Miami Spice, Attractions Month, and Miami Live Month. For information on the Temptations programs visit www.MiamiTemptations.com.

Miami Fury women’s football

The Miami Fury women’s tackle football season is underway. Home games are at North Miami Athletic Stadium on the FIU North Campus, 2555 NE 151st St.

For the past 12 years, the Miami Fury has represented South Florida, while providing an opportunity for female athletes to fulfill the dream of playing organized football at the highest level. Sports have really transformed where adults, especially women, now have the opportunity to excel into the Global market as athletes.

They practice at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Southwest Broward Jr. Athletic Association Complex, 6210 SW 33rd St., Miramar.

Opportunities are available with the Miami Fury season from April-July, and volunteering can continue year round. For volunteering, community service hours, tickets and more, contact Miami Fury Owner Gayla Harrington at 786-229-7487 or info@miamifuryfootball.com.

Marlins Jose’s Heroes

Tickets to the José's Heroes Fan Zone are available each time Marlins star pitcher José Fernandez takes the mound at Marlins Park.

For $16, fans receive:

A ticket in the José's Heroes Fan Zone (Left Field Bullpen Reserved), a José's Heroes T-shirt and a “K” Card to wave when Fernandez records a strikeout

Go to

http://miami.marlins.mlb.com/mia/ticketing/joses_heroes.jsp?partnerId=ed-8012831-665489153

Nominate all-star teachers

Major League Baseball, People and Target invite anyone to nominate a current or retired teacher who makes a difference in the lives of students as well as the community.

Thirty teachers will attend and be celebrated at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game at Target Field in Minnesota.

Nominate at

http://link.mlblists.com/r/D23ZNS/WGPGI5/UUJ70Z/6HIORP/GICGAY/VB/t?a=7959670&b=659651063

Nomination deadline is May 6.

Visit www.AllStarTeachers.com.

More events, leagues, programs

Tennis Play Days

Miami-area tennis facilities will host Tennis Play Days in April in an extended celebration of World Tennis Day.

The events introduce children to the excitement of tennis competition in a low-pressure setting of organized play, with rotation of opponents and short continuous matches over a two- to three-hour period.

“Play Days are a great transition for kids to team tennis and tournaments as they provide them with the opportunity to improve their game in a competitive environment with players of their same level, and where results are not reported,” Cathy Nordlund, USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami area, said in a release. “Kids new to the game can pick up tennis right away with the youth tennis equipment designed to ease them into the game, including smaller racquets, lower-bouncing balls and smaller court sizes.”

For more information about the new way for kids to learn tennis, go to www.youthtennis.com.

Kids of all skill levels and ages are welcome to the events that will showcase the “red” and “orange” lower-bouncing balls on 36-foot and 60-foot courts for children age 10 and younger. Both members and nonmembers of the USTA can participate, but USTA members will receive a discount on the registration fee.

World Tennis Day is the international effort to get kids excited about and active in tennis. It is a celebration of tennis around the world that includes professional tennis matches in New York City, Hong Kong and London. The televised World Tennis Day celebration at New York’s Madison Square Garden featured Novak Djokovic squaring off against Andy Murray, and Bob and Mike Bryan taking on John and Patrick McEnroe.

More than a thousand facilities will host USTA Tennis Play Events this month, each showcasing how fun and easy it is for families to get into the sport. These events will also allow parents to sign up their children for spring and summer tennis programs.

Sunday, April 6

11 a.m., Michael-Ann Russell JCC, 18900 NE 25th Ave., North Miami Beach 33180

Donna Toleffsen

dtustajrtennis@aol.com, 305-932-4200, Ext. 160

Saturday, April 27

Turnberry Isle Tennis, 19735 Turnberry Way, Aventura 33180

Eduardo Gomez

info@canastennis.com, 786-312-0128

For information visit www.ustaflorida.com/youthtennis or email Cathy Nordlund at nordlund@florida.usta.com.

Tennis

USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a landmark three-way agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide more tennis playing opportunities to athletes in Florida.

The formal agreement builds on the existing support that USTA Florida and its charitable arm have provided to local Special Olympics programs by offering free 10 and Under Tennis workshops, grants and other resources to providers that offer tennis programs to Special Olympics athletes.

Likewise, Special Olympics Florida will encourage their athletes to participate in USTA Florida programs and events.

“We are absolutely committed to changing lives through tennis,” said Linda Curtis, executive director of the USTA Florida Section Foundation. “This agreement is a prime example of how USTA Florida and our Foundation work together to impact communities each and every day. These athletes play tennis for the pure joy of the sport. It’s inspiring to see, and I’m proud to know that we will be able to provide even more opportunities for them to play through this partnership.”

Sherry Wheelock, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Florida, said: “At Special Olympics Florida, we embrace the transformative power of sports. USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation will help us bring first-rate trainings and competitive experiences to our athletes throughout the state. We are excited for this new partnership and are confident that it will further ignite a passion in our athletes for tennis.”

To get a program started, Special Olympics coaches may apply for a USTA Florida Section Foundation equipment grant for adaptive tennis equipment and other program needs by contacting Jessica Flynn at Special Olympics Florida. For additional training opportunities and training resources, contact Linda Curtis at the USTA Florida Section Foundation at www.USTAFloridaFoundation.com.

Tennis

USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association, announced awards of $450,000 in grants to 40 organizations that provide tennis and education to underserved youth and people with disabilities. This brings the total awarded during the 2013 grant funding cycle to more than $1.2 million. Combined with scholarships, USTA Serves awarded a total of $1.6 million in 2013.

Special Olympics Florida of Miami-Dade County is a grant recipient. It incorporates tennis in providing year-round sports training and competition to children and adults age 8 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It currently serves 2,848 athletes throughout Miami-Dade County.

The biannual grant process, a national initiative of USTA Serves, was established to award organizations that successfully combine tennis and education for underserved youth as well as people with disabilities to gain an opportunity to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format. These programs also strive to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles.

“USTA Serves is proud to end the year by awarding and recognizing some of the country’s most phenomenal programs for their efforts toward impacting the lives of youth through tennis and education,” Dan Faber, USTA Serves executive director, said in a release. “These programs have a solid foundation and exhibit tremendous dedication to serving children who deserve a life filled with education and physical activities. For this, we thank them for leading the way in designing a nurturing environment where students can thrive and succeed on and off the tennis court.”

USTA Serves has awarded more than $17 million in grants and scholarships to standout players and programs throughout the country in order to provide at-risk and underserved youth with greater opportunities to achieve success.

For more information about USTA Serves, visit www.ustaserves.com.

South Miami baseball

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

Call Coach Nick at 305-878-5087 or email brisuela44@gmail.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 per 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 of 10 to 25 people are available by appointment.

For more 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 (Northwest Sixth Street between 14th and 15th avenues) 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) players.

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.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, for boys ages 6-18, practices from 6 to 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 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 Bird Rd.), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127th Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St., 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 3 to 12 years old will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in “3v3” to “7v7” matches.

The three locations make mini/small-sided soccer 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 competition among teams with fewer 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. to midnight Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 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 more information or to register, visit www.miamisoccer5.com.

Soccer

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

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

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

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

Soccer Academy of the Americas (socceraa.com) at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th 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 Bird Rd., (786-370-4222).

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

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

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

Thunder basketball

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

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

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life. For more information visit www.jointhunder.com Registration is now open. Email 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 raising funds.

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 ages 5 to 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 résumé — 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 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: The use of the Heads Up Tackling model; coaching certification; Player Safety Coaches; concussion education; and proper equipment-fitting.

The program was launched in three test markets last year. This year, it will expand to more than 600 youth leagues in all 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 Second 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 the Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School Biscayne Bay Campus.

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. Call 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, women can play it in South Florida at the 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 are used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls are also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open every day. 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 or 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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