The Coral Gables High School boys’ cross-country team won the District 15-4A Championship at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.
The Cavaliers bested nine other Miami-Dade high school teams en route to winning districts and qualifying for regionals.
The champs are Mario Garcia, Any Rodriguez, Colin Wilson, Samir Elmir, Cavan Wilson, Daniel Rodriguez, Sebastian Escobar, Anthony Imperatori, Braulio Gonzalez, Gabriel Benedi, Renato Gonzalez, Carlos Argenal, and Claudio Benedi. The coaches are Michel Fotso, Scott Nelson and Carl Springer.
Lina Adjouadi a seventh grader from Hammocks Middle School, won the girls’ division of the Miami-Dade County Middle School Cross-Country Championships at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.
She completed the course in 13 minutes 57 seconds to best a field of 163 runners.
In the boys’ division, Hammocks Middle School eighth grader Joseph Bader placed 12th of 195 competitors in 13:13.
Highland Oaks cross-country
The Highland Oaks Middle School varsity girls’ cross-country team was second of 15 teams during the Sam Burley Invitational at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.
Anissa Lespinasse-Casimir (14:31), Jada Saint Louis (15:10) and Destiny Desrivieres (15:11) ran personal best times on the 2.1-mile course, finishing fourth, eighth and ninth, respectively, of 144 runners.
Samantha Whitman (19:12) and Sophia Warsing (19:35) also had PRs to complete the HOM scoring. Also running strongly for HOM were Shannon Laguerre (20:10), Kayla Gatlin (20:15), Brianna Easy (20:29), and Sophie Rier (22:55).
The JV boys top performer was Lorenzo Moreno, placing 10th of 206 runners in 14:31. Jaden Foy, representing the varsity boys, ran a steady 19:20. The JV girls were led by Amaria Sajous (19:45), who was 44th of 145 entrants. Ashleigh Whitman (21:17) and Janiya Lott (26:28) ran personal bests in the JV girls’ race.
Nautilus Middle swimming
The two-time defending district champion Nautilus Middle School Sharks swim team opened its season with an excellent showing at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Meet at Tamiami Pool.
The Sharks girls’ swim team, which has won the past two Miami-Dade district championships, finished second of eight schools to grab the runner-up trophy. The Sharks boys’ swim team also fared well as it beat six other teams to secure second place and a runner-up trophy.
The girls were led by the 200-yard freestyle relay (first) and 200 medley relay (second). Both relays featured Camila Gomez, Chloe Gonzalez, Kaya Martin, and Priscilla Lamery. Gonzalez also won the 50 butterfly and 100 individual medley. Gomez won the 50 backstroke (with teammate Kaya Martin finishing third) and 50 freestyle events with Martin placing second. Melanie Jalbert, Kim Castro, Chloe Tavares and Imperio Roman also contributed solid performances.
The boys were second in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay. The relay teams consisted of Nicolas Bruna, Lautaro Gomez, Ethan Reta and Luca Lesentier. Bruna won the 50 freestyle in 26.13 and was second in the 200 freestyle. Lesentier won the 50 backstroke and finished second in the 100 individual medley. Elijah Adorno, Tomas Dominguez, Joel Muniz, Diego Marques and Mathieu Bujosa also contributed strong performances.
Miami Country Day sports
Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Lauren McGaffic – Cross-Country - As a sixth grader, Lauren won the district title at Greynolds Park and helped the Spartans’ girls capture their second consecutive district team title.
Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Ryan Mendelson – Cross-Country - was third overall at districts and helped the Spartans’ boys capture the district runner-up trophy.
Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Gabriella Palmisano – Swimming - was fifth in the 50 freestyle and ninth in the 100 freestyle at the Ransom Invitational.
Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Alexander Cohen – Cross-Country - was second overall at districts and helped the Spartans’ boys capture the district runner-up trophy.
Christopher Henderson, a senior football player from Christopher Columbus High School, was presented his honorary game jersey during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2017 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game.
The event at Christopher Columbus High School was part of the three-month American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the Under Armour All-America Game.
Henderson is one of more than 100 players selected to compete in the tenth annual Under Armour All-America Game presented by American Family Insurance, a nationally televised competition spotlighting the country’s top high school seniors. The 2017 Under Armour All-America Game is slated for Sunday, Jan. 1 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando and will be televised 1 p.m. ET live on ESPN.
“The aspect of the game I’m looking forward to the most is getting to play against the best players and having my family there to see me play,” said Henderson.
As the quintessential champion of dreams, along with the encouragement of family members, coaches, friends and communities, American Family Insurance is honored to salute student-athletes as they work hard to pursue their dreams. Under Armour All-Americans embody American Family Insurance core values, including hard work, inspiration, dedication and committed support from those around them.
“Dreams are not wishes; dreams are not achieved without a plan, a lot of hard work and dedication,” said Telisa Yancy, chief marketing officer for American Family Insurance. “American Family Insurance is honored to celebrate the achievements of these young student-athletes who pursue their dreams tirelessly and make the commitment to do whatever it takes to make them come true.”
Those dreams would not be possible without a great support system. Along with saluting Christopher Henderson, American Family Insurance recognized his parents, Chris and Prudence Henderson, with the American Family Insurance Dream Champion Award.
For more information on the Under Armour All-America Game and news from the American Family Insurance Selection Tour, visit underarmourgame.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
Dolphins Hometown Huddle
Miami Dolphins alum Troy Drayton, Lousaka Polite and Twan Russell and cheerleaders Etta, Kristan and Rachael, in partnership with United Way and PACER, hosted a Hometown Huddle at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes.
The group hosted a Gatorade Junior Training Camp as the students participated in several fitness-orientated stations and learn the benefits of hydration and staying physically active.
“Today we’re partnering with United Way and PACER for this tremendous event. Tomorrow is Unity Day, so we’re out here showing the kids a good time and we’re also delivering an anti-bullying message,” Miami Dolphins alum and Youth Programs Manager Troy Drayton said. “So today’s a special day for us. It’s just a part of what we do and a part of the Miami Dolphins being in the community.”
Additionally, a UNITY station was added in honor of UNITY day. The kids pledged against bullying and created crafts using positive words. The Dolphins are working closely with PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center to spread awareness of bullying prevention and to celebrate Unity Day to be united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which initiated National Bullying Prevention Month and Unity Day, encourages students, parents, teachers, community members, schools and organizations to wear and share orange to support those who experience bullying.
“Unity Day is an opportunity to make a powerful statement that encourages everyone to unite for kindness, acceptance and inclusion,” PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center Director Julie Hertzog said. “Bullying affects one out of every four children each year, and many say they feel alone in their experience. On Unity Day, we show our support and pledge to create safe environments for all children.”
The day concluded with a Fins Frenzy, hosted by Dolphins Alum Twan Russell with mascot T.D. The Dolphins highlighted the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices.
The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ mission is to emphasize the importance of education, physical fitness, and positive choices for kids in a safe and fun environment. The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ vision is to prepare the next generation of leaders in staying physically active through our Junior Training Camps (JTC), Youth Football Clinics, and Youth Football Camps.
About PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. PACER offers tools to address bullying in schools, the community, and online.
For information, visit: PACER.org/bullying or call 952-838-9000 or 888-248-0822 (national toll free).
The Miami Dolphins and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) recognize the week eight youth football players, coach and parent who have demonstrated their commitment to being leaders on and off the field:
• High School Player of the Week: Anthony Wynds Jr. from Palm Beach Central High School. Wynds Jr. is a senior running back, rushing for 260 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Jupiter High School. The victory marked the Broncos’ third-straight win and kept the team in contention for the playoffs.
• High School Coach of the Week: Brendan Kent from Oxbridge Academy. Kent and his team are having a great season and have defeated some of the toughest teams in the state. He has lead Oxbridge Academy to victories over two 2015 State Champions – Charles W. Flanagan High School and Miami Carol City Senior High School.
Kent is a native Floridian and a graduate of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton with a BA in Social Science. He has taught in public and private school settings and is currently working on a Master’s in Educational Leadership. Kent has coached football in the Florida for nine years and has experience at the college and high school levels. He loves to travel with his wife, Keisha, and lives an active lifestyle outside of coaching by golfing and fishing.
• Youth Player of the Week: Ryan Mack from the Miami Gardens Ravens 10U of the Florida Youth Football League. Mack rushed for 50 yards and one touchdown and also contributed five solo tackles as a safety as the Ravens defeated the Fort Lauderdale Hurricanes 36-0.
• Team Mom of the Week: Tererika Green from the Miami Junior Rockets 7U of the National Youth Football League. Green goes above and beyond for the 29 kids on her team. She volunteers more than 30 hours over six days a week to make sure that her team’s needs are met. Green helps with all of the park’s fundraisers, prepares pregame and post-game meals for home and away games and provides rides to and from practices and games to players who need transportation. She also remains the team mom for the Super Pee Wee team (5-6-year-olds) at the park without missing a beat.
Each award recipient will be presented with a plaque on the field during the Nov. 6 Dolphins home game at Hard Rock Stadium against the New York Jets and receive acknowledgement of their accomplishment in the game program and through the Dolphins’ and RISE’s social media platforms. They also will receive a pair of tickets to a Miami Dolphins home game and a Dolphins/RISE T-shirt.
Awardees are encouraged to take a pledge, committing to stand up to racial inequality and share how they plan to affect change by creating a “How I RISE” video message, which will be posted on RISEtoWIN.org.
About Miami Dolphins Youth Programs
The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ mission is to emphasize the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices for kids in a safe and fun environment. The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs’ vision is to prepare the next generation of leaders in staying physically active through our Junior Training Camps (JTC), Youth Football Clinics and Youth Football Camps. The goal is to promote Youth Football in the South Florida community.
About the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)
Founded in 2015 by Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sport to advance race relations and drive social progress. Supported by an unprecedented alliance of sports leagues, organizations, educators, media networks, sports professionals and athletes, RISE uses sport as a vehicle to promote understanding, respect and equality. Through public awareness campaigns and educational programming, RISE aims to spark enduring action.
To learn more, visit www.RISEtoWIN.org.
Howard Palmetto Baseball/Softball
Registration has started for the 2017 season of Howard Palmetto Baseball and Softball.
Divisions are available for girls and boys from high school ages through T-Ball, age 4 and 5. The league is open to all residents of Miami-Dade County, and the games are played at parks in Suniland, Greer, Coral Reef and Palmetto Bay.
Go to www.howardpalmetto.com for more information and to access the online registration link.
Player evaluations begin in December, and the season starts in January continuing through April/May.
Howard Palmetto Baseball Softball is beginning its 55th year as a not-for-profit community association dedicated to the enjoyment of organizing baseball and softball for all kids and their families. Howard Palmetto is a league where the beginning player improves and the improved player excels. It grows relationships and friendships for a stronger and healthier community.
More events, leagues, programs
Miami Man Triathlon
South Florida resident and national role model for the disabled Hector Picard is taking on his biggest challenge, yet. The award-winning double-arm amputee athlete will compete in the Miami Man Triathlon on Nov. 13 with a goal of raising awareness and $50,000 for Broward Children’s Center, a caring home in Pompano for the most medically fragile and technologically dependent infants, children and young adults in the nation.
“I am so committed to these kids and grateful that I can set this challenge to raise awareness and funds for Broward Children’s Center,” said Picard. “Through my own life experiences that I have had to overcome, I feel even more connected to these kids and know this is my calling to give back and inspire others to make a difference.”
Through his #RacingForTrueChampions campaign, Picard has raised about half to date, but aims to meet his $50,000 goal by year’s end. Through the help of individuals and companies such as BBI (Burdette Beckmann, Inc.), a Fort Lauderdale-based national sales agency representing snack and confectionary manufacturers, Picard hopes to meet his goal by year’s end. A longtime supporter of Picard, BBI affably put-up $5,000 and a corporate team to race against Picard in the upcoming marathon.
“We are amazed by Hector’s incredible drive to physically challenge himself, but also by his huge heart to champion children without a voice,” said Robert Taylor, Jr., president of BBI. BBI is privileged to know him and proud to rally behind such a noble cause which is why we are also encouraging others to help him reach this milestone. I have no doubt that Hector will give us a true run for our money.”
On his way to reach his goal, he will be carrying a photo of a specific child during his upcoming races to emphasize his efforts for Broward Children’s Center and sharing his compassionate message of hope. Each medal he earns from every race effort is dedicated to a child at the Center.
This won’t be Picard’s first day at the races. Since 1992, Hector Picard has been pushing the limits of physical endurance. While working as apprentice electrician for then employer Florida Power & Light, he was struck by a 13,000-volt bolt of lightning (twice). As a result, he suffered severe third-degree burns and lost both of his arms, but not the will to overcome.
An inspiring and driven family man, Picard harnessed the power of determination to become the first double-arm amputee four-time IRONMAN champion. Since 2009, the 50-year-old husband, father of four and grandfather, not to mention softball coach, has completed more than 150 triathlons and cross-country bike rides, appeared on the popular AMC series “The Walking Dead” and established a non-profit organization, dontstopliving.org, to serve as a resource and support system for all individuals facing life’s obstacles – disabled or not. He also serves as a lululemon ambassador and motivational speaker for Novation Settlement Solutions.
His upcoming participation in the Miami Man Triathlon follows his recent October trial in the Kona, Hawaii Ironman World Championship competition where he triumphed to become the first amputee with no hands to finish. In December, he will tackle a 600-mile trek from Tallahassee to Key West.
Picard’s incredible journey and motivational story through the years has been featured nationally on ESPN.com, CNN, FOX News and cyclistsinternational.com plus countless out-of-state and local news sites.
Corporations and individuals wishing to support Hector Picard’s fundraising efforts for the kids at Broward Children’s Center can donate directly at dontstopliving.org. More information can also be found on his Facebook page at facebook.com/hector.picardI. Fans can also follow Hector Picard on Twitter @HectorPicard and on Instagram @hector.picard.
Miracle League Ballpark
The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade in partnership with the Miracle League of Miami-Dade County (MLOMD) and the Marlins Foundation are making way to bring a new Miracle League ballpark complex to Miami-Dade County.
The new development broke ground at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St., Miami. It will be the first ballpark of its kind for the county -- specifically designed for use by youth with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
The facility will consist of an outdoor ballpark complex with specialized rubber fields, dugouts, a playground, a concession building, restrooms, and “quiet rooms” for parents and children. The entire site, including recessed drop-off and pick-up areas will be 100 percent accessible with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Funding for this project will be provided by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, together with the Marlins Foundation.
“I want to thank the Miracle League of Miami-Dade and the Marlins Foundation for coming together to expand athletic opportunities for our community’s children with disabilities,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “This new ballpark will give even more children and families in Miami-Dade County a place to enjoy America’s favorite pastime. I look forward to seeing this project come to life and watching our youngest residents play ball.”
Miracle League of Miami-Dade Co-Chairman Ray Rocha said: “There are over 276 specialized Miracle League parks across the nation and in Puerto Rico. This field at Tamiami Park would never have been possible without the unwavering support from the Miami Marlins organization along with the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. This first of its kind field in Miami-Dade County will provide the over 69,000 special needs children and young adults residing in our area, a safe and obstacle free environment to participate in America's favorite pass time. Every child deserves a chance to play baseball.”
Alfredo Mesa, Executive Director of the Marlins Foundation, added: “The Marlins Foundation proudly supports our charity sponsor the Miracle League of Miami-Dade in building this one-of-a-kind all-inclusive ballpark complex. The funds we have raised together with the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade are aligned with the mission of bettering the lives of our youth through recreational sports like baseball.”
Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys said: “Miami-Dade Parks has long been committed to providing accessible sports and recreation opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities. A ballpark like this will further encourage them to get outdoors and be active.”
MLOMD was founded in 2010 by Sturge and his partner Keith Reilly in 2010, marking it as the county’s first Miracle League and the 236th member joining the nationwide initiative that enables children with disabilities, such as Autism, Down syndrome, Cancer and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), to play the game of baseball and be part of a team.
In 2012, the MLOMD approached the County with plans for constructing a custom-designed accessible ballpark at a Miami-Dade Parks facility. Tamiami Park was selected for as the ballpark site because of its central location, accessibility and large youth baseball program.
To date, the League has been busy planning, preparing and fund-raising on behalf of the MLOMD ballpark development plan. A rendering of the ballpark and more information can be found at the MLOMD website.
MaxPreps Top Athletes
Each month of the school year, MaxPreps will name a Male and Female Athlete of the Month, culminating with the Male and Female Athletes of the Year in June. The program is presented by the United States Marines Corps.
“The United States Marine Corps, through the MaxPreps High School Athlete of the Month program, is committed to recognizing students that embody the fighting spirit which enables them to win battles and overcome challenges they face, both on and off the field,” said Captain Sean Pangia. “We’re proud to partner with MaxPreps in this powerful program showcasing student athletes that have a positive influence in their community.”
The program has received more than 7,700 nominations and counting for the year so far. To nominate an athlete, click:
Florida Senior Games
More than 600 athletes, age 50 and older, have joined the 25th anniversary celebration of the Florida Senior Games, which is Dec. 3-11 in various locations in Clearwater and Pinellas County.
Athletes who have qualified for one of the 24 sports needing a qualifying performance at a Florida Senior Games Series Qualifier, or who wish to compete in a non-qualifying sport, can visit
www.floridaseniorgames.com to find competition and registration information. Competition and registration inquiries can also be made by calling toll free 1-866-FLGAMES (354-2637) or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The online registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 18. Registration fees vary by sport.
After an 18-month hiatus, the Miami Backgammon Club plays 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at The 19th Hole Bar & Grill, Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, 33134.
The Miami Backgammon Club is a friendly group of South Florida Backgammon players. Players of all levels welcome. No membership fees.
Tournaments start promptly at 7 p.m.
Free live play. Tournament entry fee $10.
Contact Leo at 305-669-5260 or Leo@MiamiBackgammon.com.
Orange Bowl Showcase
The Orange Bowl Committee will host the inaugural Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, a free one day event in association with the National Football Foundation and its local chapters. It will bring together academically qualified high school seniors from Florida and football coaches from NCAA Division II, III and NAIA programs across the country.
The Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase will provide an unprecedented opportunity for young student-athletes to use their athletic and academic skills to earn collegiate scholarships, and ultimately a college degree.
The Showcase will occur 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 25 at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. All NCAA Division II, III, and NAIA athletic directors and head football coaches have been invited to attend the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase. Student-athletes eligible for participation must be graduating high school seniors who have not accepted a scholarship offer from a NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision) program. In addition, they must meet one of the three following academic qualifications:
· Earn a 2.3 GPA or higher in 16 Core Courses (please visit www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/core-courses for a description of NCAA Eligible Core Courses)
· Earn an SAT score of 820 (math and verbal only) or higher on the old format (SAT exams taken prior to March 2016)
· Earn an ACT sum score of 68 or higher
“Everyone knows Florida is a hotbed of football talent for Division I players, but there are hundreds of academically qualified student-athletes beyond Division I signees who are excellent football players and looking to continue both their academic and athletic careers,” said Judge Michael B. Chavies, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee. “The Orange Bowl is excited to provide this opportunity for student-athletes so that coaches from around the country, who may have limited recruiting budgets, can evaluate these football players all in one location.”
The Showcase will consist of a series of tests and drills to best display each player’s various talents at their respective position. The program will allow ample time for coaches to view student-athletes in drills and talk to them individually about their respective football programs. Staffs from university admissions and financial aid departments are also being encouraged to attend the Showcase.
Following the day’s activities, players and university representatives will meet to discuss scholarship opportunities for the participating student-athletes. The Orange Bowl is providing lodging for the first 50 colleges to register, in addition to meals for all coaches and administrators.
The Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase is the third Showcase being conducted nationally in association with the NFF. The original showcase was launched eight years ago behind the leadership of former Milby High School coach Phil Camp of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter, and it was later followed by the showcase led by College Football Hall of Fame and former UCLA coach Terry Donahue of the NFF Newport Beach Chapter in Los Angeles.
“We are extremely excited that the Orange Bowl is staging a High School Showcase in South Florida, and I specifically want to thank Bob Epling, who serves on the NFF Board and is a past president of the Orange Bowl Committee, as well as Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms for their leadership in making this happen,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The High School Showcases are an extremely powerful way for student-athletes to pursue their dream of attending college, and they result in millions of dollars in academic and participation scholarships each year. I had the privilege to serve as the Executive Director of the Orange Bowl from 1987 to 1993, and I know that the Showcase will make a real difference for high school players in South Florida. It’s really great that this is happening.”
The Showcase is a further commitment by Orange Bowl to youth sports, one of the four pillars of its community outreach, which also includes fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. For more than 80 years, the Orange Bowl has been one of South Florida’s leading civic organizations, promoting championship sporting events, related premier entertainment and other year-round activities to inspire youth, engage our community and enhance the South Florida economy.
For more information about the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase and to register, visit
About the Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts.
The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2016. For more information on the 2016-17 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to www.orangebowl.org. Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.
About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people.
With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include FootballMatters.org, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at
Orange Bowl Leadership Academy
The Orange Bowl Committee announces the official launch of the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, designed to engage and inspire middle school youth to maximize their potential to become future successful community leaders through access and exposure to career development, personal leadership and life skills.
Previously, the Orange Bowl conducted a pilot program that has now become the basis for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, with classes of approximately 20 sixth-graders from both Bair Middle School in Sunrise and North Miami Middle School. Those students will continue as seventh-graders this year with a new curriculum, and two new schools will be added with sixth-graders at both Sunrise Middle School in Fort Lauderdale and Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School in Miami.
The design of the program is eventually to have students follow a three-year curriculum through middle school and expand to other schools in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
“Our vision is to nurture and cultivate the next generation of South Florida community and business leaders,” said Judge Michael Chavies, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee.
“The Orange Bowl Leadership Academy will provide South Florida youth the opportunity to dream and develop a plan to achieve those dreams, to set and achieve personal goals and objectives, and to understand their options in life for success at home, their careers and in the community,” added Marlon A. Hill Esq, chair of the of the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy committee.
From October through May, students in the program meet twice a month after school with teachers and mentors, who are Orange Bowl Committee members. The curriculum is specifically designed toward fostering character development and responsibility geared to elevating individual empowerment, efficacy and self-esteem.
The students are also exposed to guest speakers, many of whom are Orange Bowl Committee members, and occasional field trips for behind-the-scenes tours of locations such as the Southern District Court of Florida. These sessions are designed to inspire and unleash individual youth potential and leadership, while also creating career development awareness, knowledge and opportunities.
Support for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy is being provided by the College Football Playoff Foundation, whose philanthropic initiatives are directed toward education generally and more specifically teachers, through its Extra Yard for Teachers program.
The Orange Bowl Leadership Academy receives additional support from sponsors Bank of America, Comcast, Deloitte and Florida Blue.
The curriculum for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy was created by the Pacific Institute specifically for the Orange Bowl Committee.
Miami Dolphins/Bank United
Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry and BankUnited, a proud corporate partner of the Miami Dolphins, are giving full-time Florida students, age 13-18, a chance to kick-start their own personal savings with a $1,000 grand prize for submitting the winning essay in the 4 Downs for Finance financial literacy contest, open now.
Full-time Florida high school students are encouraged to register online at
www.4downsforfinance.com now through Dec. 19 to access age-appropriate money tips throughout the football season, and submit an essay on a financial literacy topic. Everyone who enters will have a chance to win a football autographed by Landry and have his or her name read live on the radio during a game broadcast. One student will win a $1,000 cash prize and a visit with Landry.
“Together with Jarvis and the Miami Dolphins, it is our goal to inspire young people to take an interest in learning about finances early on,” said BankUnited President, Florida Region Thomas M. Cornish. “At an age when many students are beginning to earn their first paychecks, 4 Downs for Finance teaches them the importance of getting a head start on learning about money.”
For more money tips or to register for 4 Downs for Finance visit
The Tennis Committee of the USA Deaf Sports Federation is currently recruiting players with hearing disability to represent the U.S. at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey on July 18-30, 2017.
As United States citizens, players may be deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, cochlear implanted, late deafened, hearing challenged, or hearing disabled to qualify. However, to be eligible a player must have a hearing loss of 55 decibels (dBs) or greater in the better ear over an average of 500/1000/2000 Hertz.
Participants can be either orally oriented or sign language users.
Tennis players looking to qualify can e-mail email@example.com and HowardGorrell@aol.com no later than Sept. 30, 2016.
For more information, go to
For information about USA Deaf Sports Federation, visit
www.usdeafsports.org. For information about the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf and the Deaflympics, visit
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.
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 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.
Ali Boxing Center
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier D. Souto and the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department celebrated the renaming of Tropical Park’s Boxing Center to the “Muhammad Ali Boxing Center” at Tropical Park Boxing Center, 7900 SW 40 St., Miami.
“Back in September 2015, the Board of County Commissioners adopted my resolution for the Tropical Park Boxing Center to be named after the great Muhammad Ali, since I was privileged to have met the man in person and behold his many boxing victories,” said Commissioner Souto. “He was bigger than life and an inspiration to all. His memory will live on at this center as it grooms future generations of boxers.”
In honor of Ali – the late three-time heavyweight boxing champ - dignitaries joined members of the local boxing community.
Ali, born Cassius Clay, died on June 3 at age 74, following a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Considered one of the greatest boxing legends of all-time, Ali was famous in and out of the ring for his strength, power, speed, stamina, flamboyant personality and global presence.
Beyond The Game
Sports and history intertwine in HistoryMiami Museum’s new exhibition Beyond the Game: Sports and the Evolution of South Florida.
The exhibition -- open now thru Jan. 15, 2017 -- highlights the way South Florida sports have shaped and reflected the cultural growth of South Florida.
Since the 1920s, sports events and teams have both mirrored and molded the development of the area. Miami Jai-Alai, featuring the “world’s fastest” ballgame, and Hialeah Park, showcasing horse racing, were two early sporting attractions that lured northern tourists and fueled the public’s growing fascination with the area.
By the early 1960s, the Fifth Street Gym in Miami Beach, home to champion boxers like Muhammad Ali, emerged as an island of democracy amid the realities of Jim Crow segregation. Meanwhile, the newly opened Miami Marine Stadium was gaining popularity, and the sport of powerboat racing symbolized “sun and fun.” The Professional sports franchises followed, as did the rise of the University of Miami’s football program, confirming Miami’s status as a modern metropolis.
“From a historical perspective, the thing that is most striking is how central South Florida’s sporting scene has been to its identity almost from the very beginning. Hialeah Park and Miami Jai-Alai date to the mid-1920s, and both were not only important tourist destinations, but really shaped the way that people understood South Florida,” said exhibition curator Gaspar Gonzalez. “These kinds of attractions conveyed a sense of South Florida as a unique place.”
Curated by HistoryMiami and Gaspar González, a Yale-trained historian known for creating Emmy-winning documentary programming that has been featured on PBS, ESPN and others, the exhibition tells this story of evolution through photographs, trophies, uniforms, and never before seen items related to South Florida’s sport scene. In addition, two short films -- one on Hialeah Park, the other on the Marine Stadium, as well as a series of short video interviews with some of South Florida's most iconic former athletes -- will be played throughout the exhibition.
Presented by Hialeah Park and HistoryMiami, the exhibition will be displayed in more than 5,000 square feet of space in the Museum’s third floor gallery and will showcase artifacts from HistoryMiami's own collection, individuals in the community, as well as the area's professional sports teams and venues.
Notable items include:
Original Miami Heat floor from the Miami Arena; Dan Marino’s contract; Don Shula Play Sheet; Footage Muhammad Ali at 5th Street Gym; Orange Bowl trophy from University of Miami; Memorabilia from Marlins’ inaugural year; Hialeah Park infield sign; Video interviews with local sports icons Mike Lowell, Mercury Morris, Randal Hill
“The exhibition appeals to a diverse audience,” said Stuart Chase, President and CEO of HistoryMiami. “From the days of horseracing to the players who graced the grid iron Beyond the Game not only celebrates sports history, but offers a fresh perspective on the impact it had on Miami becoming the world-class city it is today.”
For information on becoming a member of HistoryMiami Museum contact Hilda Masip at 305-675-1618 or visit
About HistoryMiami Museum
HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is the premier cultural institution committed to gathering, organizing, preserving and celebrating Miami’s history as the unique crossroads of the Americas. It accomplishes this through education, collections, research, exhibitions, publications and city tours.
Located in the heart of downtown Miami, HistoryMiami Museum is a 70,000 square foot facility and home to more than one million historic images and 30,000 three-dimensional artifacts, including a 1920’s trolley car, artifacts from Pan American World Airways, and rafts that brought refugees to Miami.
For more information, call 305-375-1492 or visit
Florida Panthers Learn to Play
The Florida Panthers in conjunction with the NHL, NHLPA and USA Hockey will be hosting “Florida Panthers Learn To Play” for boys and girls, age 4-8, who are new, first time ice hockey participants who have never registered with USA Hockey.
The program was developed in an effort to reduce cost barriers to ice hockey participation by providing free equipment. The Learn To Play program primary goal is to create the next generation of hockey players and fans who will remain engaged with the game throughout the rest of their lives.
Cost of entry is $100. Every participant will receive six weeks of on-ice training with Florida Panthers Alumni and USA Hockey Certified Coaches, as well as free registration into USA Hockey for the 2016-17 season. Each participant will also be custom fitted for a full set of brand new Florida Panthers branded CCM hockey equipment, including skates that they will use during the program and keep at the conclusion of the six weeks.
Finally, each participant will receive a voucher for two free tickets to a select Florida Panthers weekend home game with the opportunity to purchase additional tickets at a discounted rate.
The Florida Panthers Learn To Play curriculum is designed in conjunction with USA Hockey’s “Gold Standard” which utilizes an age appropriate Long Term Athlete Development structure known as the American Development Model. This model ensures that the program structure is both fun AND effective.
The Warrior Basketball Pre-Travel Team Program in Miami is intense training for boys and girls, age 8-15, to prepare athletes for a travel team level.
The athletes will train two times a week in a two-hour practice. To gain experience, scrimmages will be set up, and tournament like situations will slowly be introduced to the team.
Practice days are Wednesdays, Fridays and/or Sundays. Kids will receive a Warrior basketball jersey and shorts.
NCSAA academics honors
The NSCAA annually recognizes high school soccer programs that have excelled in the classroom, in addition to their work on the field.
Three hundred and eight nine soccer teams (243 girls, 146 boys) from throughout the United States have earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for exemplary performance in the classroom as a team during the 2014-15 academic year.
To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players.
For information about the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, visit
Gifts in Golf
PGA Certified Pro Philip Argianas, program director of GIG-Gifts In Golf, is proud to bring his expertise to special people with special needs to Coral Gables.
GIG programing -- like Golfing with Autism and Kids Swing Into Golf -- enrich the quality of life for families in the community.
Coach Phil said in a release: “Our fun programing impacts kids by teaching them life skills while providing physical and mental training through learning the game of golf.”
For information about registration including schedules and release forms, go to GIG’s website
To volunteer or for any other questions on the Autism and Down syndrome golf programs, call Coach Phil at 888-909-5709, check the website http://www.giftsingolf.org and Facebook page for updates.
GIG was founded in 2009 and has been serving several communities in Miami-Dade County. The organization provides fun instruction and mentoring while empowering special people with special needs. Integrating families and community, it provides all the benefits that golfing delivers with a focus on a person’s ability.
Heads Up Football
USA Football’s Heads Up Football program for high schools and youth organizations will include sudden cardiac arrest protocols andHeads Up Blocking fundamentals.
Both topics are now included in USA Football’s Level 1 coaching education course and its high school certification course.
USA Football is the national governing body of the sport and educates more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the United States.
USA Football’s Heads Up Football program is supported by more than two dozen medical and football partners.
“Coaches should be prepared to respond to a life-threatening emergency if needed,” said Dr. Jonathan Drezner, past president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and a member of USA Football’s Medical Advisory Committee.
“With prompt recognition, early CPR and use of an AED, sudden cardiac arrest is largely a survivable event if treated quickly. USA Football is committed to the safety of young athletes, and I am proud that a sudden cardiac arrest training module is being added to the Heads Up Football program. The module provides coaches the information they need to be prepared for sudden cardiac arrest.”
“Blocking is one of football’s basic skills that every player needs to be taught,” said Jeff Saturday, a former NFL All-Pro center and ESPN analyst. Saturday is a member of USA Football’s Football Advisory Committee.
“USA Football’s Heads Up Blocking technique helps coaches teach this fundamental – properly engaging with a defender, driving with the legs and maintaining the correct body position for effective and safer play. This is how blocking should be taught.”
Heads Up Football is a comprehensive collection of resources and medically approved protocols to establish important standards rooted in education to change behavior for the better.
In addition to sudden cardiac arrest and Heads Up Blocking, the program covers concussion awareness and recognition, heat and hydration protocols, proper tackling fundamentals and equipment fitting. More than 5,500 youth leagues and 750 high schools in 2014 participated in the program this past fall, benefiting nearly 1-million players.
Follow USA Football at www.facebook.com/usafootball
or on Twitter @USAFootball
NFL Football Matters
The National Football Foundation promotes FootballMatters.org, a powerful addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it.
“Football makes a positive impact on so many levels, and we realized that we needed a centralized resource for capturing and subsequently promoting all the great football stories out there,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “FootballMatters.org provides us a potent platform for addressing that void and delivering compelling content directly to audiences who can help us amplify our messages about the value of football in producing leaders and creating educational opportunities.”
NFF Chairman Archie Manning added: “It’s just gratifying to be part of something that does so much good for our young people. The stories are out there, including the thousands of young kids who could not have gone to college but got some aid because of football, and their lives have been changed for the better. FootballMatters.org will enable us to directly capture those stories and inspire the next generation to further their educations.”
The NFF has linked with Arkleus Broadcasting, a Dallas-based full-service media company, to create the platform, which also encompasses a strong social media component to gain traction for the campaign.
“Arkleus is honored and thrilled to be chosen by such a prestigious American institution as the NFF to build and market an exciting new sports media property,” said Arkleus Broadcasting President Joe Shults. “We are passionately committed to helping the NFF in every way to protect, enhance, and ensure the future of football for generations to come.”
The site focuses on stories, videos, and franchises highlighting the very best in high school and college football, such as: Football Moms, Special Teams, Hook & Corporate Ladder, Man-to-Man, the Quote of the Day and many more. The site will also be the home to exclusive profiles of Campbell Trophy finalists, Leadership Award Winners, Courage Award Winners and all the honors associated with the NFF.
“We are really excited about the Football Matters initiative,” said Hatchell. “I want to thank everybody at Arkleus for their passion for the project. They have done a marvelous job of getting it up and running in a short amount of time, and we have already received great feedback.”
The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.
You can learn more about the site and watch a video featuring NFF Chairman Archie Manning and NFF Board Members Jack Ford, Archie Griffin, Kevin Plank and Rod West by clicking here.
The international sport Footgolf is being introduced to the South Miami-Dade community at Killian Greens Golf Club, 9980 SW 104th St.
Footgolf (18 holes) can be played in two hours and is a great source of exercise for those who enjoy kicking a soccer ball. Times are available everyday of the week after 4:30 p.m. to players of all skill levels, families and groups. Balls are available for rent for $5 to those who do not already own one.
Killian Greens is an accredited Footgolf course with the American Footgolf League. Call 305-271-0917.
Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).
Submit info to Sports Scene
Sports Scene spotlights news and notes from youth sports activities in your neighborhood. The aim is to feature game notes and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.
We rely on the directors and coaches of each league, as well as community members, parents and schools to submit information. We accept photos but ask that everyone pictured be identified with a first and last name and the name of the team or park they represent.
Youth sports online
For more area sports photos, go to
YouTube youth sports and more
YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)
Be honored at Miami Heat game
The Miami Herald and the three-time world champion Miami Heat in partnership with Gatorade are sponsoring the Academic/Sportsmanship Team Player spotlight in Sunday’s youth sports pages in the Miami-Dade Sunday Neighbors print section of the Miami Herald and online at http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth-sports/.
Youth league coaches, team reps, school coaches, administrators, teachers or family members can nominate any South Florida recreational, travel league, elementary school, middle school or junior varsity basketball player -- from fall, winter, spring or summer seasons -- who displays sportsmanship and good grades or shows improvement in the classroom.
Include school, grade level and grades or interim report. Each selected academic team player will receive a certificate of achievement, a Heat gift pack, two Heat tickets and will be recognized on the court at a designated Heat game. Plan accordingly as there are three ceremony dates during the regular season at the AmericanAirlines Arena, and no make-up dates.
Jan. 19 (Thursday) vs. Dallas Mavericks
Feb. 13 (Monday) vs. Orlando Magic
March 1 (Wednesday) vs. Philadelphia 76ers
To nominate a Team Player, e-mail Miami Herald Youth Sports Editor Jim Varsallone at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-376-3621.
Winners will be selected by random drawing from nominees who meet the above requirements.
Be sure to include a contact telephone number and complete mailing address in your correspondence and mail or e-mail.
For Heat ticket information, call 786-777-HEAT and log on to HEAT.com.