Cheryl Golden has spent the better part of her life working with kids and athletes.
On Monday night, at Don Shula’s Grand Slam Ballroom in Miami Lakes, she got a thank you for all her efforts.
Golden, 58, who has been in charge of overseeing athletics for Miami-Dade Schools for 14 years, is retiring and was honored with the Lifetime of Giving Award at the Delta Psi Kappa 33rd Annual “Reach for the Stars” Banquet for Women Athletes.
That award was not a bad achievement for someone who was born in Black River Falls, Wisconsin (population 600), and took a journey that ended in the diversity and immensity of Miami, a city Golden has come to embrace and love.
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“I love Miami,” the much-respected Golden said of the place she now calls home. Being a part of the 305 is a thing to these kids, and we are all a part of it.
“Kids were definitely the best thing about the journey and the job,” Golden said. “It is heartwarming to see kids achieve what many of these kids have achieved.”
Although Miami-Dade and South Florida routinely produce some of the nation’s best athletes in a variety of sports, Golden took time to appreciate the other side — observing the teams and athletes who had to struggle.
“I admire a kid on the 0-10 team or 2-20 team as much as the kids on the 10-0 team,” she said. “They work just as hard, they get up just as early — and they persevere just as much.”
When Golden first came to Miami, before being placed in charge of the entire county’s athletics, she had a stint working at Southwest High.
“There were easily more people at that school by itself than I had in my entire hometown,” she said with a laugh.
What does her future hold with the 70-hour work weeks going away?
“I just want to sit down and relax,” Golden said. “I don’t have any certain plans yet.”
However, she is definite about one thing.
“At this point, my family will be coming off the bench and become my starting lineup,” she said.
Concluding her remarks, Golden gave the young people in attendance a bit of advice.
“Follow your dreams,” she said. “Follow your passion. If you do, it will work out just fine for you.”
▪ In addition to 23 athletes receiving awards, two scholarships were given out during the ceremonies.
Nachalie Dejesus, a Miami Dade College basketball player who will be playing for Florida Southern next year, won a $1,000 scholarship.
Heidy Lucas of Hialeah High was the winner of a surprise raffle and was given a $500 scholarship.
Delta Psi Kappa honorees
Ava Grossman, Alonzo Mourning; Michelle Oliva, Barbara Goleman; Dominique Griffin, Booker T. Washington; Moneik Hargrett, Central; Lauren Kerzner, Coral Gables; Jocelyn Velez, Coral Park; Lindsay Manganiello, Coral Reef; Melissa Diaz, Holmes Braddock; Heidy Lucas, Hialeah; Amanda Marie Hernandez, Michelle Yang, Hialeah Gardens; Maria Perez, Hialeah-Miami Lakes; Melissa Melchor, Ferguson; Tenka Stringer, Killian; Taylor Coachman, Krop; Angelica Varona, MAST; Yenifer Castillo, North Miami; Riccia Holder, North Miami Beach; Willetta Colson, South Miami; Sabrina Perez, Sunset; Allison Newsome, Terra; Cassandra Iglesias, Varela; Daniela Trujillo, Westland Hialeah. $1,000 Scholarship: Nachalie Dejesus, Miami Dade College. $500 Scholarship: Heidy Lucas, Hialeah,
Region 4-9A final: Columbus at Coral Park, 4
Region 3-9A final: Douglas at Jupiter, 7
Region 4-8A final at Miller Park: Westland Hialeah at Delray Atlantic, 7
Region 4-7A final: Belen Jesuit at Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, 7
Region 4-6A final: Archbishop McCarthy at Rockledge, 7
Region 4-5A final: Monsignor Pace at Pompano Beach, 7
Region 4-2A final: Miami High at Hialeah, 4
Region 3-2A final: Coral Springs at Seminole Ridge, 7
Region 4-1A final: Edison at Coconut Creek, 7
Last week’s best Miami-Dade performances
TEAM OF THE WEEK
The Northwestern girls’ track and field team won its state-record eighth consecutive state championship and state-leading 13th overall. De’Andreah Young won the 300 hurdles and was part of the winning 1,600-meter relay. Timetria Mitchell won the 100 hurdles and helped the Bulls win the 400-meter relay.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Andy Arguelles, Columbus, baseball: Arguelles, an FIU signee, threw his third no-hitter of the season and struck out 11 to lead the Explorers to a 9-0 win over Southwest in the Region 4-9A semifinal.
Anthony Vazquez, Coral Park, baseball: Vazquez pitched a five-hit shutout against Hialeah Gardens as the Rams advanced to the regional final for the first time since 1997.
Lauren Margolis, Palmetto, softball: Margolis went 2 for 3 with two RBI in the Panthers’ 8-6 loss to Tampa Alonso in a Class 9A state semifinal.
Tyresse Cooper, American, boys’ track and field: Cooper won the 200 and 400 meters and finished second in the 100 at the Class 4A state meet.
Tiara McMinn, Jackson, girls’ track and field: McMinn won the Class 2A high jump, 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles at the state championships.
Jason Harris, Killian, volleyball: Harris totaled 35 kills, 65 assists and 46 digs in three matches at state as the Cougars finished state runner-up and became the first team to play three five-set matches at state.
Ja’Keira Battles and Diamond Celestine, Hialeah, flag football: Battles and Celestine connected for two second-half touchdown passes to lead the T-Breds to a 14-7 win over Everglades in a Region 4-2A semifinal.
Andre C. Fernandez
Last week’s best Broward performances
TEAMS OF THE WEEK
Behind junior ace Ally Muraskin’s 14 strikeouts to earn the victory and freshman Lyndsey Garcia finishing 3 for 4 with two runs and two RBI, the Coral Springs Charter softball team won its second consecutive Class 5A state title with a 9-2 victory over Bradenton Bayshore.
Sophomore star Anthony Schwartz pulled off a rare four gold-winning performance at the state track finals by winning the 100 meters, 200 and leading the winning 400-meter relay and 1,600 relays as the American Heritage boys’ track team won the Class 2A state team title.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
James Brooks, Archbishop McCarthy, boys’ volleyball: Brooks had a team-high 11 kills and eight blocks to help the Mavericks (28-2) rally for a five-set victory over Miami Killian in the state championship game.
Sydney Grobman and Jordyn Griffith, American Heritage, softball: Grobman hit a three-run home run and Griffith went 2 for 4 with three RBI and three runs to lead the Patriots over Panama City Arnold 12-2 in the Class 6A state championship game.
Morgan Brown, Calvary Christian, girls’ track: Brown won the Class 1A state title in the pole vault.
Max Guzman, Calvary Christian, baseball: Guzman hit a three-home run to lead the Eagles (19-9) to a 6-5 win over SLAM Academy in the Class 4A regional final, earning the Eagles’ first trip to the state final four.
Mckinley Brown, American Heritage, boys’ track: Brown won the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and ran on the winning 1,600-meter relay team at the Class 2A state finals.
Joe Perez, Alex Toral and Kobe Lopez, Archbishop McCarthy, baseball: Perez, Toral and Lopez hit solo home runs as the Mavericks (26-2), ranked No. 13 in the nation by MaxPreps, held on to beat archrival American Heritage 4-3 in the Class 6A regional semifinals.
Damion Thomas Jr., Northeast, boys’ track: Thomas clocked 13.84 to win his second consecutive 110-meter high hurdles title at the Class 3A state finals.
Dominic Thieman, St. Thomas Aquinas, boys’ track: Thieman won the boys' triple jump at the Class 4A state finals.
Jan’Taijah Ford, Northeast, girls’ track: Ford won the 400 meters in 54.01 and led the winning 1,600-relay team with Daneisha Woodside, Takiyah Johnson and Chyna-Joi Staton at the Class 3A state finals.