Sports Scene: Miami Xtreme, E.J. Biggers, Doug Wiggins visit Holtz Children’s Hospital

 

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.

Coaches, team representatives, teachers, friends or family members can nominate baseball or softball players, who display sportsmanship and good grades or academic improvements.

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.


Miami Xtreme Youth Football League executive board members, Washington Redskins defensive back E.J. Biggers and former Western Michigan University defensive back Doug Wiggins, visited the Holtz Children’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

The Miami Xtreme Youth Football League was created in 2000 by a group of commissioners with a vision of creating a league that would look after the best interest of children.

The esteemed crew went room to room meeting the children and their families. They posed for photos, signed autographs and encouraged the kids to persevere in their journey back to good health.

Miami Xtreme Youth Football League President Richard Raphael said: “These kids have an endurance and perseverance that reflects true character. It is our pleasure to help make their journey a little easier.”

Biggers and Wiggins are cousins. They starred for North Miami Beach High School where they were Miami Herald All-Dade selections. They also played for Western Michigan University, earning college degrees. Wiggins competed his freshman year at the University of Miami before transferring to Western Michigan.

Growing up, they were members of the North Miami Beach Sundevils Optimist Club football team under coach Keith LeCounte and assistant coach Richard Raphael in the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

Suniland cheerleading, tackle football

The Suniland Optimist Club Sundevils have registration for tackle football and cheerleading for the 2014 Miami Xtreme Youth 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., 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.

Kendall Hammocks cheerleading, tackle football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors announces the registrations dates and times for the 2014 tackle football and cheerleading season in the Miami Xtreme Youth League.

Registration is open to boys and girls, age 5-14. Must turn 14 after Aug 1 .

A copy of birth certificate, 2x2 mug shot and a 2014 physical is needed by July 30 but is not required at time of registration. Potential players must be present during the registration process to be weighed in, and cheerleaders will be sized for uniforms.

The tackle teams are based on age and weight. Cheerleaders are based only on age.

Tackle & Cheerleading Registrations Dates:

11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 31 and June 28

Tackle Registration Fee: $180

Fee includes use of equipment, helmet, shoulder pads, home and away uniform at the end of the season the player keeps the home jersey, participation award, secondary insurance, referee cost, county and league fees. Fee also includes yearly one day NFL Tullock Camp.

Tackle Military Discount: As part of giving back and honoring the real Warrior heroes, the league offers a 15 percent discount with proper military ID.

Rookie Camp: Free with paid registration fee. Camp, an introduction to tackle football, is for new players.

Cheerleading Information: For detailed information on the cheer registration fee and cheer gear packages, email Cheerleading Commissioner Alicia Zamorano at Cheer.4Warriors@aol.com. A mini camp is in June for a nominal fee.

Planned include new uniforms for cheerleaders and also a cheerleading competition at Disney’s Wide World of Sports aside from the local competitions.

Registration and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122nd Ave. Practice begins 6:30 p.m. on July 7.

For added tackle information, email Kendall Hammocks Football and Optimist President Mike Pintado at khwfootball@aol.com or visit the website at www.khwarriors.org

The tackle and cheerleading programs consist of an all-volunteer group under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks.

Kendall Hammocks flag football

The flag football program, through the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks and NFL Flag Football, played week two at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122nd Ave.

Results: U6: Bucx 27, Seahawks 25; Dolphins 26, Cowboys 13; Dolphins 33, Seahawks 27; Bucs 28, Cowboys 13. U12: Raiders 19, Eagles 6; Panthers 28, Seahawks 0; Bears 20, Packers 7; Dolphins 28, Eagles 0; Raiders 28, Seahawks 0; Dolphins 27, Packers 21; Panthers 6, Bears 2. U14: Cowboys 26, Broncos 6; Dolphins 35, Chargers 7; Cowboys 26, Bucs 6; Broncos 21, Dolphins 14; Bucs 34, Chargers 6.

Contact email khwfootball@aol.com. Visit website www.khwarriors.org

Miami Beach basketball

The top-ranked Warriors defeated the Heat 29-17 to win the 9-11 age group championship of the Miami Beach Parks & Recreation Basketball League before a packed crowd at the Scott Rakow Youth Center Gym.

The Warriors went 13-1, avenging their only loss by beating the Heat (10-5) in the finals.

Justin Neely led the Warriors with 11 points. Ashton Wright scored eight points, and Jared Zedner finished with six points. Aden Karp and Christian Dal Puppo added a basket each.

For the runners-up, Brock Levin had eight points, and Max Bratter totaled four points. Dylan Allen and Jermian Hereira each scored two points, and Timmy Haynackie made a foul shot.

Justin Neely was named MVP of the playoffs.

• The Warriors beat the Pelicans 27-16 in a semifinal matchup. Justin Neely led the Warriors with 11 points. Ashton Wright scored 10 poiints, and Aden Karp hit a three-pointer. Roni Uryash had two points, and Jared Zedner made a free throw. The Pelicans’ Owen Spill had a game-high 13 points. Jonah Bennett added two points, and Daniel Sordo converted a foul shot.

In the other semifinal, the Heat defeated the Bulls 27-19. Max Bratter sparked the Heat with 11 points, and Brock Levin scored 10 points. Dylan Allen finished with four points, and Jermian Hereira added two points. Mateo Strickland of the Bulls (10-3) had a game-high 12 points. Adrian Jansen scored four points, and Aidan Fuentes had two points. Arthur Joulin made a free throw.

Miami Country Day basketball

Miami Country Day School hired Lee DeForest as its new varsity boys’ basketball coach.

DeForest is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and St. Thomas University School of Law. He previously coached and taught at Garrard County High School and Christian County High School in Kentucky.

DeForest also served as an assistant coach and strength & conditioning coach at Central Florida College. With years of experience in the classroom and sideline, DeForest will be a teacher of the game and maximize the potential of the school’s student-athletes.

Miami Rowing Club

The second part of the FSRA State Rowing Championships – the sweeps – featuring eight, four and two-man rowing shells was on the new course at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.

Forty-one youth teams from high schools and clubs participated including the Miami Rowing Club.

The MRC boys won gold in the Varsity four and Freshmen eight events and placed second in the Junior eight competition.

The Varsity four (Andrew Bared, Nicholas Montalvo, Luciano Mercenari, Zach Skypeck, Dominic Prego) won by open water in a decisive performance.

The Freshmen eight (Miguel Velez, Fabian Herrera, Antonio Ramos, Emil Andreassen, John Levy, Patrick Maher, Joaquin Cisternas, Bruno Zudor, Andrew Bared) took gold by holding off the OARS crew’s continuous challenges, edging them by one second in the final stroke.

The Junior eight (Ariannie Pena, Alex von Puffelen, Harrison Kaplan, Roury Higgins, John Morcos, Lorenzo Frati, Marco Brugo, Viking Mayor, Jacob Sorensen) settled for a silver after challenging the winning Belen crew for the entire 1,500 meters – only to fall short by two seconds at the finish line.

Miami Country Day tennis

The Miami Country Day Middle School tennis program flourished this season.

The boys went 12-2 with big wins over Palmer and Ransom en route to a conference runner-up finish. They were led by Evan Meiselman who was 10-1. They also had outstanding contributions from Harrison Stier, Richard Anapolsky and Alejandro Wills.

Led by Lolita Bell and Skylar Carter, the girls’ team was 5-8 with solid victories over Westminster Christian and Doctors Charter.

Senior tennis

Miami tandem Carlos Gomez Diaz and Ricardo Mena took runner-up honors in Men 40s Doubles at the 2014 ITF Seniors World Individual Championships at the BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens.

Ricardo Mena of Miami was a finalist in Men 40s Singles. Miami’s Mario Tabares teamed with Carl Clark to reach the Men 45s Doubles finals.

More tennis

Aventura’s Carlos Triana was runner-up in Men 50s Singles during the United States Professional Tennis Association Clay Court Championships at The Landings Yacht, Golf & Tennis Club in Fort Myers.

Thunder Summer Camp

The Thunder Basketball Summer Camp is at the ThunderPlex, a 10,000 square feet facility in Doral at 1440 NW 82nd Ave.

Thunder Basketball operates year round, and the mission is to play basketball in a recreational setting, teaching students the principles, fundamentals and basic skills.

The camp runs 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 9-Aug. 15.

Thunder will also host the Norris Cole Camp on the week of June 30. Cole is a standout point guard for the multi-time champion Miami Heat.

Sibling discounts are available. Call for pricing and availability.

Thunder has also teamed with Brain Gymnasium for complete mind and body fitness. Brain Gymnasium will offer help with summer reading and math review classes K-12.

For information, visit www.jointhunder.com or www.braingymnasium.org

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-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.

Florida Christian lacrosse

Florida Christian School Athletic Director Ed Riggan announced that FCS Athletics will offer lacrosse at the JV level for the spring of the 2014-15 school year. For information call 305-226-8152 or visit www.floridachristian.org.

More events, leagues, programs

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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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