Sports Scene: Our Lady of the Lakes baseball wins ACC North Division title

 

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)

www.youtube.com/user/jvarsallone/videos

Miami Herald High School Sports App

Check out the new Miami Herald High School Sports App

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.


Our Lady of Lakes baseball

The Our Lady of the Lakes varsity baseball team has clinched the All Catholic Conference (ACC) North Division Title. The Cheetahs defeated Immaculate Conception School 3-1 in seven innings to secure the championship.

The team was led offensively by Andres Gancedo (7th grader) who went 2-for-4. He singled in the fourth inning and tripled in the sixth inning.

Pitcher Bailey Mantilla (8th grader) struck out 14 to push the Cheetahs past Immaculate. Bailey allowed one earned run, two hits and no walks in five innings.

The Cheetahs kept the lead after the second when it scored twice on an error and an RBI single by Jose Gonzalez (7th grader). Reliever Andres Vega (7th grader) struck out two and walked none to earn the save.

Our Lady of the Lakes is 5-1.

Barry soccer

Former Barry University men’s soccer teammates Mark Anderson and Devala Gorrick played against each other in the North American Soccer League opener at Lockhart Stadium when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers hosted the Ottawa Fury FC on Saturday, April 12.

Gorrick and Anderson were teammates at Barry in 2008.

Gorrick, a goalkeeper for the Buccaneers from 2007-08, signed with the Ottawa Fury FC after spending last season with the Swedish First Division club IK Frej. Prior, Gorrick played three years with Pattaya United in the Thai Premier League.

As a senior at Barry in 2008, Gorrick went 11-6-1 with four shutouts, a 1.64 goals against average and .769 saves percentage. In 2007, he posted a 1.46 GAA and .750 saves percentage, winning four games – all by shutout.

Following his college career, Gorrick played for Miami FC of the United Soccer Leagues Pro in 2008 before signing with Bayamon FC in Puerto Rico the following season.

Anderson, a midfielder, is in his third season with the Strikers. As a rookie in 2012, he had a team-high 13 goals and three assists, earning a spot on the NASL Bext XI team and two NASL Offensive Player of the Week honors. Last year, injuries limited him to two goals and an assist in 11 starts.

Anderson was the 2011 Daktronics Division II National Player of the Year after scoring 21 goals and totaling 46 points. In four years with the Buccaneers, he had 59 goals, 32 assists and 150 points.

Anderson won bragging rights for now as the Strikers beat Ottawa 2-0. During the reunion, Gorrick stopped Anderson’s direct kick, but Anderson did record an assist.

Miami Beach basketball

SRYC Basketball 7-8

The Heat edged the Bobcats 14-12 at the Scott Rakow Youth Center in Miami Beach. Drew Tobin led the Heat with 7 points, and Brody Minick scored 5 points. Logan Moskovitz added a basket, and Anton Dubrovski totaled 4 rebounds. Jack Meltzer paced the Bobcats with 7 points. Rodolfo Pages finished with 3 points, and Jasper Jansen added a basket. Xavier Harvey had 3 assists.

The Lakers beat the Knicks 18-15. Julian Corniel topped the Lakers with 10 points. Isaac Sokol finished with 4 points and 4 assists, and Gianfranco Catalini and Joshua Harris each added a basket. Cole Young led the Knicks with 11 points. Caleb Samuel and Eli Rudd finished with 2 points each, and Patrick Barker had 3 assists.

The Clippers clipped the Pelicans 18-12. Miguel Arronte led the Clippers with 6 points, and Zachary Nedjar, Owen Basner and Max Abrahamson finished with 2 points apiece. Baptiste Pablo Tard grabbed 4 rebounds. Alec Miller led the Pelicans with 6 points, and Carl Tegal finished with 4 points. Trey Steward scored 2 points, and Jordan Duran had 3 assists.

The Lakers and Clippers played to a tie at 18. Julian Corniel led the Lakers with a game-high 13 points, and Koltun Weissman finished with 5 points. Miguel Arronte led the Clippers with 8 points. Owen Basner and Trent Mopsick finished with 4 points each, and Lohan Joulin added a basket.

The Pelicans edged the Heat 9-8. Adrian Corniel led the Pelicans with 3 points, and Trey Steward scored the tying and winning free throw with two seconds remaining. Logan Moskovitz led the Heat with 6 points, and Brody Minick added a basket.

The Bobcats defeated the Knicks 14-11. Adonys Christo and Jack Meltzer led the Bobcats with 4 points each, and Zachary Schuster scored 2 points. Owen Ebner topped the Knicks with 7 points, and Jacob Katz added a score.

The Lakers beat the Pelicans 14-9. Julian Corniel sparked the Lakers with 7 points. Koltun Weissman finished with 4 points, and Joshua Harris added a basket. Paul Russel made a free throw. Carl Tegal led the Pelicans with 4 points. Trey Steward scored 3 points, and Jordan Duran finished with 2 points. Harrison Delisle and Alec Miller each connected on a foul shot.

The Knicks defeated the Heat 15-6. The duo of Eli Rudd and Cole Young led the Knicks with 6 points each. Patrick Barker added a basket, and Andrew Barker made a free throw. Brody Minick led the Heat with 4 points, and Logan Moskovitz added a basket.

The Bobcats and the Clippers played to a tie at eight. Franco Lamana ignited the Cats with 8 points. Jack Meltzer and Adonys Christo finished with 2 points apiece. Miguel Arronte paced the Clippers with 4 points. Trent Mopsick and Owen Ebner added a basket each.

SRYC Basketball 9-11

The Knicks edged the Lakers 16-13. Anthony Delrosario led the Knicks with 7 points, and Magnus Kron scored 4 points. Ariel Arwas added a basket, and Dylan David converted a free-throw. Bryce Hammon led the Lakers with 6 points, and Thomas Poliakof finished with 3 points. Dillon Weissman and Alex Levine scored 2 points apiece.

The Heat beat the Bucks 20-13. Maximo Bratter led the Heat with 12 points, and Brock Levin scored 5 points. Dylan Allen had 2 points, and Timmy Haynackie made a free-throw. Max Gotlin paced the Bucks with 6 points, and Antonio Todd scored 4 points. Andrew Castro added a basket, and Jesus Molina coverted a foul-shot.

The Pelicans beat the Bucks 17-13. Owen Spill topped the Pelicans with 11 points. Daniel Sordo finished with 3 points. Jonah Bennett added a basket, and Logan Spill converted a free throw. Max Gotlin led the Bucks with 8 points. Antonio Todd finished with 3 points, and Brian Fernandez-Casavieja added a basket.

The Knicks edged the Raptors 13-12. Anthony Delrosario and Alessandro Inverardi paced the Knicks with 4 points each, and Aidan Murphy finished with 2 points. Dylan David sank a free throw. Brandon Septian and Kyle Glasgow led the Raptors with 4 points each. Dylan Montalvo and Andy Martinez finished with 2 points apiece.

The Clippers defeated the Timberwolves 22-16. Jared Rogoff led the Clippers with 8 points, and Rolando Medina and Sebastian Perez-Bravo finished with 6 points each. David Saka added a basket. Bryant Cuello sparked the Wolves with 10 points. Sam Noli finished with 6 points, and Antonio De Souza added a basket.

The Bucks beat the Raptors 18-7. Max Gotlin guided the Bucks with 10 points. Jesus Molina and Antonio Todd finished with 4 points each. Sebastian Lopez led the Raptors with 3 points. Kyle Glasgow finished with 2 points. Hudson Elegant and Brandon Septian each connected on a foul shot.

The Clippers edged the Heat 29-26. Rolando Medina led the Clippers with 13 points. Sebastian Perez-Bravo finished with 10 points. Jared Rogoff scored 4 points, and Alexander Raymond added a basket. The Heat’s Dylan Allen scored a game-high 14 points, and Maximo Bratter finished with 12 points, including three baskets behind the 3-point line.

The Celtics win on overtime over the Timberwolves 22-19. Max Quibet topped the Celtics with 7 points. Cole Vita and Jackson Gessner finished with 4 points apiece, and Kyle Vita and Mendy Rudd each added a basket. Sam Noli led the Wolves with 11 points. Jack Sherman and Tommaso Polidori finished with 4 points apiece.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School: Girls’ Middle School Athlete of the Week: Camila Burton, a tennis player, won her singles matches against Riviera Prep and Westminster Christian.

Boys’ Middle School Athlete of the Week: Ryan Finvarb, a lacrosse player, was named to the South Florida Middle School Conference All-Tournament team by scoring four goals and adding four assists against Gulliver Prep and Ransom Everglades and recording three assists in a varsity game against LaSalle.

Girls’ Upper School Athlete of the Week: Sasha Bass, a tennis player, won her No.2 singles match against Carrollton in regionals.

Boys’ Upper School Athlete of the Week: Alec Koss, a tennis player, qualified for state with Shaun Berman at No.1 doubles.

Spartan Super Fan: Matthew Wendrow, a junior.

Scheck Hillel sports

Scheck Hillel Community School named two all-star athletes as the Student Athletes of the Week. Sion Cherem and Alexa Cohen, strong competitors for the Hurricanes’ varsity tennis teams, have upheld excellent commitment to their academics, earning the weekly honor.

Tennis

Mark Epshteyn-Losev of Sunny Isles celebrated his 17th birthday by recording the biggest win of his young tennis career.

He upset No.2 seed Henrik Wiersholm, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round of boys’ 18s singles during the ASICS Easter Bowl at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif.

In juniors, Wiersholm, a Kirkland, Wash. resident, is ranked No.45 in the world. A native New Yorker, Epshteyn-Losev is training in Miami with Robert Gomez.

Archbishop Curley sports camp

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep will offer a summer sports camp for students in grades 6 through 9 from June 16 to July 18.

The Summer Knights Athletic Camp teaches the fundamentals of sports and competition with each week focusing on a new area including: basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, softball, baseball, and wrestling.

ACND Athletic Director Greg Magner, a Miami-Dade County Football Coach of the Year, heads the camp. Instructors have between five and 40 years coaching experience. The camp costs $100 per week with discounts for multiple weeks booked.

Visit www.acnd.net/SummerKnights for information or to register online.

Suniland football, cheerleading

The Suniland Optimist Club Sundevils have registration for youth football and cheerleading for the 2014 Miami Xtreme League season.

Cheer registration is 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays thru July 8 and Noon-4 p.m. Saturdays thru July 5 at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy. (US1) Pinecrest, 33156.

Ages 5-15. Registration fee is $160 for the season that starts in July and runs thru December. For information, contact Cheer Commissioner Roca Nova at 305-733-9872 or e-mail at sunilandsundevils@aol.com

Football registration is 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and Noon-4 p.m. Saturdays thru July 5 at Suniland Park.

Ages 5-14. The fee is $160 for the season that starts in July and runs thru December. For information, call Football Commissioner Jose Regalado at 305-458-1966 or e-mail sunilandsundevils@aol.com. Visit WWW.SUNILANDSUNDEVILS.ORG.

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 151 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.

AIDS Walk Miami

The 26th annual AIDS WALK MIAMI is Sunday, April 27 at the Miami Beach Convention Center and new Miami Beach Botanical Gardens.

AIDS Walk Miami is a 5K (3.1 mile) walk-a-thon fundraiser benefiting Care Resource, a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides comprehensive primary medical and preventive care, including health, oral and mental health/substance abuse services to all individuals in the community.

Monies raised will help provide services to more than 15,000 South Floridians affected/infected with HIV/AIDS in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This annual fundraiser also serves as a vital vehicle to raise awareness and funds to combat the effect HIV/AIDS continues to have on the South Florida region.

For information, call 305-751-WALK (9255). Visit http://www.aidswalkmiami.org/

ThunderPlex

Thunder Athletix and Brain Gymnasium LLC teamed to offer a complete fitness program of body and mind at the new ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82 Ave. in Doral.

Students can improve their basketball skills and physical fitness, as well as strengthen their academic skills through specialized tutoring programs. They can have fun and finish their homework.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game to children age 5-17.

Brain Gymnasium offers specialized tutoring, homework help, FCAT Prep, SAT/ACT Prep, and Entrance Exam Prep. Their degreed, professional and experienced teachers provide a simple and exciting approach to learning.

For information on special packages, after school programs and summer programs,

visit www.jointhunder.com ; contact@jointhunder.com or call 786-505-5585.

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit www.braingymnasium.org or call 305-788-7339.

Marlins Jose’s Heroes

Tickets to the José's Heroes Fan Zone are available each time Miami 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

A 'K' Card to wave when José 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

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.

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.

Tennis

Kids love playing on teams, from junior team tennis to middle school tennis to high school. The new USTA Florida Regional Team Tennis Challenge is bringing recreational team play events to Miami-area children.

A USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenge for 10-under players, presented by Wilson Racquet Sports, will be hosted by the Tamiami Tennis Center, 11201 SW 24th St., on Saturday, June 28.

The one-day tournament will host gender-blind teams of no more than six players per team. Players must be age 10 or younger to compete in "orange ball" and "red ball" divisions.

The USTA Youth Tennis format allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, low-compression low-bouncing balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long 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.

These "BYOT" (bring your own team) events do not require previous team tennis league participation. USTA members and non-members can participate, with USTA members receiving a $10 discount on registration. Team registration closes on June 23. To register go to www.ustaflorida.com/teamtennischallenges.

“We have seen consistent demand across Florida for more open, recreational formats of play,” said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland. “The new USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges offer fewer restrictions, allowing more teams to participate.”

USTA Florida strongly encourages coaches to register teams early.

“The partnership with USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges is a great fit for Wilson Racquet Sports and our shared vision to attract more youth participation,” said Erika Offerdahl, promotions manager for Wilson Racquet Sports.

Coaches and players can also connect with USTA Florida via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #BYOTeamTennis.

The Tamiami Tennis Center Tennis Center is at 11201 SW 24th St., Miami, 33165.

For more information or to register go to www.ustaflorida.com/teamtennischallenges.

Tennis Play Days

Miami-area tennis facilities will host Tennis Play Days in March and 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 on March 3 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.

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).

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