History was made by Scheck Hillel Community School as its boys’ varsity soccer team defeated defending state champion Maitland-Orangewood Christian School in a shootout to win the FHSAA Class 1A state title in Melbourne.
More than 400 Lions’ fans packed the stands to watch their team compete for that elusive state championship - a title the team had been chasing since a devastating loss three years ago on the very same field in Melbourne. The energy from the Hillel fans did not dwindle even as the scoreless game entered overtime, double overtime and eventually penalty kicks.
After five rounds of penalty kicks, the game was even at four. In a sudden death, sixth round, Hillel senior Salo Lapco scored, and then Hillel senior keeper Alan Landau stopped a shot to seal the dramatic 1-0 (5-4 PKs) state championship win. Lions’ players rushed Landau on the field, and victory celebrations erupted in the stands.
Hillel finished its season unbeaten at 19-0-1.
“To make history is something that can never be taken away from this team ever,” said Lions head coach Ben Magidson. “What an incredible season and experience. It's been an honor to be the head coach for these young men.”
The win is a result of the determination and sportsmanship of the players, the leadership of the coaches and team captains and the support of the Scheck Hillel community as well as the South Florida Jewish community.
“It is a Blessing for me and my team to be a part of it,” said team co-captain Netty Silberman, who scored three goals in the state semifinal. “We’re the ones playing, but the truth is all of your support and prayers are what got us here. Thank you.”
The historic champs are seniors Leon Almosny, Alan Landau, Salo Lapco, Netty Silberman, Max Stern; juniors Yom Tov Bejar, Moises Bendahan, Daniel Berkman, Daniel Franco, Ilan Stern; sophomores Ilan Lapco, Max Peicher, Michael Romano, Jonathan Zinguer; freshmen Alex Almosny, Joseph Bensabat, Ariel Grobman, Joel Herman, Sebastian Ludmir, Ariel Martinez, David Mizrahi, David Sternberg, Abraham Woldenberg.
Undefeated state champions.
That’s the new title for the Belen Jesuit School boys’ soccer team.
However, the private school's journey to a first-ever soccer state title might be unparalleled in U.S. high school sports history. It is likely that by winning the FHSAA Class 4A crown, Belen Jesuit became the first school to win a U.S. high school soccer state title despite the fact the school was not founded in the United States
Belen Jesuit opened in 1854 in Havana, Cuba. There it stayed, educating the elite of Cuban society for more than a century until the communist regime took over the country and ousted the Jesuits in 1961. The school was re-established later in 1961 in Miami, where it remains today.
There are other private schools that have changed state locations, most notably on a high school sports front, like Georgetown Prep (North Bethesda, Md.), which moved from D.C. to Maryland. There are even a few public schools that compete as members in neighboring states because of geographic reasons like the Tahoe, Calif., schools, which are members of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association instead of the California Interscholastic Federation.
But Belen Jesuit likely stands alone, Hawaii schools aside, as the only U.S. high school whose relocation crossed national boundaries.
John Jay Bowling Benefit
More than 200 guests enjoyed a fun-filled evening of bowling at Splitsville Lanes in Miami during the fifth annual Jon Jay FMSbonds Celebrity Bowling Challenge, which raised approximately $50,000 gross for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.
Jay, a San Diego Padres outfielder, Miami native and Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade alum, along with other Major League Baseball stars, celebrities and members of the public, joined in the fundraising and bowling fun.
All event proceeds will benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Project Learn After-School Program, serving Club members in grades K-8.
In addition to exciting bowling matches, guests enjoyed red carpet arrivals, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and more. Attendees were matched with athletes to bowl.
Jay, who played baseball for years as a child at Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, was happy to once again help give back to the organization that played an important part in his life.
He said: “We’re thrilled with the amazing response to this event. I’m looking forward to continuing to raise more funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade in coming years.”
In addition to Jay, athletes in attendance included Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles, Jon Beason of the New York Giants, Olivier Vernon of the Miami Dolphins, Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia of the Oakland Athletics, Delmon Young (free agent) and David Freese (free agent). Celebrities Troy Garity and Omar Benson Miller, actors from HBO’s “Ballers,” also attended the event.
The event’s title sponsor was FMSbonds, Inc. Additional sponsors were Emerson, Florida Propane Exchange, MassMutual, UHealth Sports Medicine, Dex Imaging, Marlins Foundation, Velos Designwerks, and Core Group.
“We’re very grateful for Jon Jay’s dedication to Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade,” said Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. “Through the efforts of Jon and many others who support our organization, we have the ability to continue to make a difference in the lives of many area youth.”
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade
Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been serving youth in the community since 1940. What once was a single building and site for boys has grown to five Clubs serving thousands of boys and girls year round, providing programs in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, cultural arts and sports, fitness and recreation.
Club staffing, initiatives, and programs are designed to inspire and enable young people and provide them with the resources to succeed and share in the American Dream. For information, visit
Monsignor Edward Pace High School’s long-time wrestling coach Frank Pelegri will be inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016.
Pelegri was nominated to receive the “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” Award by the Florida Chapter of National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in Stillwater, Okla. This is the second Hall of Fame he has joined in recent months, as he was inducted into Pace’s Hall of Fame in November.
Pelegri arrived at Pace in 1996 after years of coaching wrestling at the University of Minnesota, Lyndonwood University and Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory. In his nearly 20 years at Pace, he coached the wrestling team to a state title in 2000, making Pace the first state wrestling champions from a Miami-Dade County private school.
“The fact that Pace is a Christ-centered school is so important for building students’ characters and confidence. I consider this school a real Blessing in my life and I'm very proud to be in the Hall of Fame,” said Pelegri.
Pelegri will be inducted at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Florida Chapter’s Honors Banquet on Aug. 6.
Miami Country Day sports
Miami Country Day School: Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Sasha Bass (tennis) won her singles and doubles matches in a team win against Carrollton.
Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Connor Goodman (baseball) recorded two wins in relief against Curley and Palmer-Trinity.
Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Julia Rose Siegler (varsity tennis) won her No.1 singles match as a sixth grader in a team win against Carrollton.
Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Ryan Mendelson (lacrosse) had a goal and two assists in the Spartans 7-3 win against Gulliver.
Doctors Charter baseball
The Doctors Charter School middle school baseball team in Miami Shores swept a doubleheader against Marathon from the lower Keys.
One year ago in Doctors Charter School’s inaugural middle school baseball season, Marathon traveled to Miami Shores and handed the Hawks a 19-0 defeat. This year – in their second season - the Hawks won 13-3 and 8-4, improving to 2-3-1.
In game one, Chaz Royo hit the first home run in DCS middle school baseball history – a two-run, 250-foot shot over the left field fence. The Hawks scored six runs in the first inning and held on behind the pitching of Charlie Calli who went the distance facing 23 batters, striking out eight and walking four on 83 pitches. Mike Michot had two singles, four RBI and scored twice.
In game two, Camrin Thompson pitched 4 1 /3 innings allowing three runs and striking out seven. He also helped his cause with two singles and two runs. Loren Kretzschmar, Zach Gallo, Seve Leoni, Dom Tirado, Antonio Longa, Ken Brown, Reza Pedram, Kai Kawachika and Jackson Carney registered hits and scored.
North Miami baseball
North Miami Little League Baseball registration is open to boys and girls, age 4-14. The program provides the youth a safe structured environment to learn and enjoy the game. Contact Lucas Bailey 786-266-2738 or Brian Jinks 786-999-9130.
The University of Miami won its second USTA Florida ‘Tennis on Campus’ club tennis title of the 2015-16 season at the Florida Gulf Coast University Dirty Bird Classic in Fort Myers.
UM beat the University of Central Florida 29-15 in the finals.
UCF won the men’s singles 6-5, but UM swept the remaining divisions, winning the women’s singles 6-1, men’s doubles 6-5, women’s doubles 6-3, and mixed doubles 6-0.
The field also included host Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, Colorado State and Georgia College.
In the Silver Bracket final, the University of Miami “B” team defeated FGCU “B” 26-15.
Lights Out Tennis
Ron Ehmann Park in Miami will glow in the dark when the 2016 USTA Florida “Lights Out Tour” featuring XGLOsive Tennis makes a stop in South Florida.
The glow-in-the-dark spectacular, open to the public and for all ages, is guaranteed to leave smiles on the face of adults and children alike on March 5.
All participants will receive a free Lights Out Tour glowing T-shirt.
Participants are provided with glow-in-the-dark T-shirts and are encouraged to wear white or pastel-glow-colored clothing, wristbands, shoes or other accessories.
“We are very excited about bringing this one-of-a-kind event to Miami,” said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami area Cathy Nordlund. “With the two sessions, one for kids and one for the adults, everyone will have a great time with the high-energy drills, music and glow-in-the-dark T-shirts.”
The events feature music, King of the Court games, skill games, special courts for youth players, and fast-paced fun for players, friends and entire teams.
“XGLOsive is the mix of tennis and a party,” said Jason Cordova, founder of XGLOsive LLC. “I love seeing the amazed look on everyone’s face when we flip on the black lights on the courts.”
Friends of Miami Tennis is hosting the event as the new management of Ron Ehmann Park, partnering with Miami-Dade County Parks to showcase the new facility. Friends of Miami Tennis is a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization. Ron Ehmann Park is at 10995 SW 97th Ave. in Miami.
For more event information or to sign up go to
Jose A. Ledo Jr., 37, of Kendall fired a hole-in-one at the Killian Greens Golf Club in Kendall.
Using a 7-iron, he recorded his first career hole-in-one on Hole No.8, a par-three covering 158 yards.
Ledo Jr., a 1996 graduate of Sunset Senior High School, is a former Miami Herald All-Dade pitcher.
Guard George Gray had a game-high 30 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded four assists as the Miami Midnites basketball team (16-3) beat crosstown rival South Florida Gold 122-109 at JC Carter Park in Fort Lauderdale.
Guard Kevin Thomas added 19 points, and power forward Antonio Hester totaled 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, had nine rebounds and six assists. South Florida was paced by Philip Flowers who registered a double-double on 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Midnites improved to 17-3 with a 128-106 victory over the Texas Sky Riders at the MLK Community Center in Hollywood. Despite not playing in the first quarter, Hester finished with a game-high 33 points off the bench on 13-of-15 shooting from the field and eight rebounds in 27 minutes. Miami totaled 15 blocks, led by Ty Thomas with seven. He also had 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Center Keion Palmer added six blocks, 23 points and 15 rebounds. Kevin Thomas scored 25 points on 5-of-11 from three-point range and recorded seven assists. Former Barry University guard Deric Hill chipped in 11 points, eight assists and seven steals.
About Miami Midnites
The Miami Midnites, established in 2014, are the official Minor League affiliate of the reining Israeli Basketball Super League runner-up and 2012-13 champions Maccabi Haifa basketball team.
In their first season of existence, the Miami Midnites won the 2014 and 2015 Florida Basketball Association championships and finished as the 2015 ABA runner-up. The Midnites compete year-round, playing their home games at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie.
For information on the Miami Midnites, visit the team's official website at
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, a nonprofit organization, hosts its annual DRIHOPE4ACURE 5k/10k/Kids Super Hero Fun Run on Saturday morning, March 5 at Marlins Park.
This timed run by MultiRace is part of the DRI WALK for diabetes and Family Funday, presented by Walgreens.
In an effort for kids to live healthier lives, a grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida allows the fist 500 runners, age 21 or younger, to register for free. Enter code DRI2016.
The fun day will also include music, Star Wars characters, a Health Fair, a health walk, Ronald McDonald, Billy the Marlin, Marlins baseball tickets, food, fun and more.
Michelob Ultra Miami Beach Marathon
The 2016 Michelob Ultra Miami Beach 13.1 Marathon on Sunday, March 6 is the fourth leg of the Florida Storm Series, which also includes the Michelob Ultra Fort Lauderdale 13.1 Marathon, the Palm Beach Marathon and Run Fest, the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon, and the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay.
The Michelob Ultra Miami Beach 13.1 Marathon, produced and presented by Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company, has a 6:15 a.m. start on Ocean Drive and 13th Street. The marathon and the accompanying Life Time Fitness 5K race are expected to host nearly 3,000 runners and walkers.
The marathon attracts serious and recreational runners who want to experience one of Florida’s most picturesque courses. The race finishes at Lummus Park on Ocean Drive and 7th Street, Miami Beach, with a Finish Line Beach Party.
Registration remains open through race day for $110. The 5K registration fee is $30. Go to
For more information and updates on the 2016 Michelob Ultra Miami Beach 13.1 Marathon, visit http://www.run131series.com/miamibeach/ or go to the Marathon Facebook page or follow @131marathon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/131marathon.
Mo Steel football
Mo Steel Football, winner of eight NFL Flag National Championships, is forming teams for next season. Tryouts are at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center, 18900 NE 25th Ave., North Miami Beach, 33180.
Boys and girls, age 11-12, can tryout 6:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 29. Boys and girls, age 13-14, can tryout 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29. For information, call David Fried at 786-344-3726 or Yossi Behar at 305-498-7395.
Check out www.mosteelsports.com.
Suniland Sports Camp
The Suniland Sundevils Sports Conditioning Camp is now-May 29 at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy.
The fee is $75 for boys and girls, age 5-15. That Includes:T-shirt, awards and secondary insurance.
Registration open 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For information, contact Jose Regalado 305-458-1966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More events, leagues, programs
Miami Junior Tennis Cup
Youth tennis players, age 8-12, are invited to register for the Miami Junior Tennis Cup.
The prestigious youth tennis tournament is an opportunity for intermediate and advance level players living in Miami-Dade County to realize their dream to play at the world-famous “Miami Open” professional tennis tournament at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne.
The first two rounds will be March 19 and 20 at the Tamiami Park Tennis Center, 11201 SW 24th St., Miami. The winners of the first round qualifiers will compete in the semifinals and finals, April 1 and 2, at the Miami Open.
Registration is open until March 16. Entry cost is $48.88 per player. Register online at PlayMiami.org
For more information, the public can contact Chris Evans at 850-384-9033 or ChrisEv@MiamiDade.gov.
The Miami Junior Tennis Cup is sponsored by the Youth Sports Championship Series, an initiative created by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez that aims to increase participation in youth athletics for kids ages 14 and under. As a father, grandfather and lifetime advocate of the long-term health benefits of regular exercise for children, Mayor Gimenez knows first-hand the esteemed values developed from continuous involvement in athletics.
“The Miami Junior Tennis Cup provides kids who love tennis with an extra incentive to compete and play their very best,” said Mayor Gimenez. “Thanks to Miami-Dade Parks’ long-standing partnership with USTA Florida, youth tennis is flourishing in our community. Through a sport like tennis, kids have fun staying active, improve their self-esteem and important life skills, such as good sportsmanship, fair play and respect for one another.”
For information about the Youth Sports Championship series, visit
For information about USTA Florida, visit
The Miami Junior Team Tennis League is running until mid-March.
The league will feature divisions for boys and girls, age 6-18, at all skill levels. Registration is now open, and kids are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible.
Junior Team Tennis leagues have kids playing on compatible teams of similar age and ability, with new formats introduced in 2016 for greater flexibility and more fun. USTA Florida is expecting to have more than 2,500 children participating in leagues this year in local and regional events throughout the state.
Younger participants will receive credits and ranking points applied to the 10 and Under Youth Tennis Tournament Pathway in Florida.
“I am excited to start a new Junior Team Tennis season in the Miami area,” said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami-Dade area Cathy Nordlund. “It is a great opportunity for kids to have fun with their friends and meet new ones on the tennis courts.”
To find out more information about Junior Team Tennis, levels of play and details, visit
www.ustaflorida.com/JTT. Additional information is also available at the USTA national JTT page at
Kendall Hammocks NFL flag football
The Kendall Hammocks NFL Flag Football program announces the registrations dates and times for the upcoming season.
Registration is open to boys and girls, age 5-16. Can not turn 17 in 2016. Copy of birth certificate is requested for age verification only during the registration process.
No weight requirements for Flag. Teams are based by age only. Regular season is 12 games with season running April 25-June 25.
Fee includes NFL Flag Jersey, flag belts, secondary insurance, participation trophy and referee cost.
Registration: March 4 (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.); March 19 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.).
Tryouts and draft will be Sunday, April 17.
Registrations, practices and games are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., Kendall.
Discounted rates for head coaches.
The NFL Flag football program is under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks and is an all volunteer organization, serving the community in sports for more than 28 years.
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.
Miami-Dade County Fair sports
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition has released the schedule for its 2016 winter-spring middle school sports invitational meets.
The middle school golf and tennis invitational meets will occur at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County in April.
Students competing in the tournaments must be officially enrolled in the school they are representing. If a school is not represented at a Youth Fair sports activity, parents may enter their children with written approval from the school principal.
Golf - Briar Bay Golf Course: Wednesday, April 6 at 10 a.m.
Tennis - Tropical Tennis Center: Saturday, April 9 at 8:30 a.m.
or call 305-223-7060.
Miami-Dade Fair sports
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition has released the schedule for its 2016 winter-spring middle school sports invitational meets.
The middle school golf and tennis tournaments are in April. All events will occur at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County.
The Middle School Golf Invitational is 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 6 at the Briar Bay Golf Course, 9373 SW 134th St., in Miami. The nine-hole tournament will accept a four-player team or a maximum of four individuals.
Matches for the 2016 tennis invitational begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9 at the Tropical Tennis Center, 7900 SW 40 St., in Miami. Team entries must include one boys’ team and one girls’ team for singles competition, one co-ed doubles team, one girls’ doubles team and one boys’ doubles team. Individual competitors are permitted to enter in one event only.
Students competing in the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition sports program must be officially enrolled in the school they are representing. If a school is not represented at a Youth Fair sports activity, parents may enter their children with written approval from the school principal.
Participants must complete a school certified field trip form and be accompanied by a school coach or a school approved chaperone. All Miami-Dade County Youth Fair activities within the department of athletics will be held in accordance with the official rules of the National Federation of State High School Association, Florida High School Activities Association and G.M.A.C. All events are open to students in grades 6-8. Middle school students who participate on high school teams are not allowed to participate in these events.
The Youth Fair and the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department work together to promote a year-round athletic program. Annually, there are more than 6,000 public and private school students who participate in the various sporting events: swimming and diving, cross country, tennis, track, golf, bowling, wrestling and badminton. The events are open to middle and high school students.
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition (The Youth Fair) is the largest charity event in South Florida. The not-for-profit association is dedicated to promoting education and agriculture while showcasing and rewarding youth achievement and providing quality family entertainment, all without taxpayer dollars.
The annual Youth Fair exhibits more than 53,000 student projects to more than 650,000 Youth Fair guests and awards more than $300,000 annually in college scholarships, cash premiums and awards to students. To date, The Youth Fair has presented well above $10 million to the Miami-Dade community. It was recognized in 2015 as the Leisure & Entertainment Services Firm of the Year by the Latin Builder's Association, the Non-Profit Organization of the Year by the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was the Diamond Award Winner for Outstanding Hospitality Entity by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.
The Fair Exposition Center, which is the second largest convention center in Miami-Dade County, hosts an additional 70 community events each year.
or call 305-223-7060.
Panthers hockey clinics
The Florida Panthers announced as part of promoting youth hockey in South Florida, they are holding “Try Hockey for Free” clinics in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
Try Hockey for Free clinics are at the Florida Panthers IceDen (Broward County), Palm Beach Skate Zone and Palm Beach Ice Works (Palm Beach County) and Kendall Ice Arena (Miami-Dade County). Boys and girls, age 4-9, are encouraged to learn the game of hockey for the first time free of charge. All equipment including skates will be provided.
To register for one of the clinics or for information, visit
The schedule includes:
Kendall Ice Arena, 10355 Hammocks Blvd., Miami, 33196.
March 6: Noon-2 p.m. March 13: Noon-1 p.m. March 20: Noon-1 p.m. March 26: 1-2 p.m. April 10: Noon-1 p.m.
The Sunshine State Athletic Conference, a multiple sport athletic organization made up of 35 private and charter schools created in 2008, announced that two additional sporting opportunities are being introduced for the 2016-17 school year.
SSAC currently offers four sports, including football and basketball at the middle and high school levels, but in keeping with its pledge to student-athletes and their families, the conference will grow to offer a second football classification and the formation of girls’ beach volleyball.
The second football classification of a Developmental Football League, debuting next fall, will provide member schools that are starting, growing or rebuilding programs with a competitive, but level, playing field in which to compete. This will not replace nor negate the highly successful championship Florida Bowl Series but will instead compliment all football programs and schools in the SSAC. The only criteria for schools to participate in the new Developmental Football League is for teams to have less than 23 players, and the championship Florida Bowl Series will be open to them, if they desire to participate.
The second addition to SSAC athletics is an exciting opportunity that perfectly captures the spirit of Florida’s athletic environment. Starting in spring of 2017, the SSAC will debut girls’ beach volleyball. This up-and-coming sport is quickly spreading around the nation and will undoubtedly be a natural fit for Florida student-athletes. This addition will help build exposure and opportunity for female student-athletes and will add value to SSAC’s independent athletic conference.
“Including girls’ beach volleyball was a decision that just made sense; it only requires a few players and we are blessed with an abundance of sun and sand,” said Stuart Weiss, president of Sunshine State Athletics Conference. “We believe that by adding these two new opportunities for Florida high schools, we are continuing to provide more choice and control to our partner schools addressing the need for a level playing field in high school athletics.”
Visit the SSAC website at
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
Pitch, Hit & Run
Scotts Major League Baseball Pitch Hit & Run is a free, exciting skills event providing boys and girls the opportunity to compete in four levels of competition including Team Championship events at all 30 Major League ballparks and the National Finals at the MLB All-Star Game.
To host a local competition for your community and be involved in the official skills competition of Major League Baseball, go to
North Miami Beach baseball
North Miami Beach Little League is a sound organization run by volunteers to help keep children off the streets and on the fields.
Registration is open for boys and girls, age 4-14. Scholarships are available.
For information go to www.NMBLL.org.
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.
Florida continues a new era of tennis development for tournament players, age 10 and younger, with the introduction of the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway, a graduated development path with established benchmarks at each level to guide parents and coaches through junior tennis.
From beginning “red ball” play on 36-foot courts, youth progress through “orange ball” and “green ball” at various tournament levels before graduating to full-court “yellow ball” tennis. Each level contains appropriate kids-sized racquets, balls and court sizes, along with participation or achievement benchmarks to progress between age groups or tournament levels.
The Pathway contains a “Grandfather Clause” for players that turn age 11 during 2015 who currently have the skill set to play full-court yellow ball tournaments.
The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway roll-out is in partnership with the USPTA-Florida Division (United States Professional Teaching Association) and PTR (Professional Tennis Registry), the two largest tennis teaching professional certifying organizations in the U.S.
The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was also developed with solicited input from coaches and parents throughout Florida.
The red, orange and green ball levels correspond on the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway with tournaments beginning at Level 9 (beginner) up to the start of advanced tournaments at Level 6 and higher.
The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was recently implemented in Florida tournaments.
For information on the Pathway, go to www.USTAFlorida.com/10UPathway
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.
Olive Garden and the NFHS Network, the nation’s leading high school sports media company, are teaming up to recognize Team Moms and the high school athletes they support. This partnership includes the launch of GoTeamMoms.com, which will serve as a resource and destination to recognize Team Moms.
Team Moms volunteer to assist coaches and often lead team communications, fundraising, travel coordination and more. The website will feature Team Mom’s Best-Kept Secrets and game day highlights from high schools around the nation. In addition, coaches, athletes, family members and the community are invited to contribute shout-outs or photos of their favorite Team Mom using #GoTeamMoms on Twitter and Instagram to be featured on the website.
“The goal of the NFHS Network is to serve and support both the athletes and their fans,” said Christopher Young, senior vice president of sales for the NFHS Network. “There’s no bigger fan than a Team Mom and no better partner for the NFHS Network than Olive Garden, which resonates so deeply with our audience and shares our same commitment to families and the local community.”
To further assist Team Moms, each Olive Garden restaurant in the U.S. will be paired with a local high school to support through two national fundraising nights and Olive Garden VIP Passes that give teams access to exclusive discounts. With dining options that include ToGo and catering, Olive Garden is often the choice for feeding an entire team.
"Our restaurants are excited to support their hometown high schools and give back to their communities," said Jose Duenas, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “This partnership allows us to thank Team Moms nationwide as well as give families and teams chances to connect over meals and create memories during the busy sports season.”
ABOUT OLIVE GARDEN
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.8 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.8 billion in annual sales.
Headquartered in Orlando, and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated more than 33 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com.
ABOUT THE NFHS NETWORK
The NFHS Network (www.nfhsnetwork.com) captures the passion, pride, and energy of the high school experience by delivering live high school sports and events to family members and fans whenever they want, wherever they are.
The NFHS Network celebrates and showcases the unique accomplishments of high schools students, including the student-athletes participating in 27 different sporting events and the student broadcasters from schools around the country that produce events through the School Broadcast Program. The NFHS Network also broadcasts state playoff and championship events in 46 states.
The NFHS Network is a joint venture among the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), its member state associations and PlayOn! Sports. The NFHS is located in Indianapolis, Indiana and is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. PlayOn! Sports is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is the nation’s largest high school sports media company.
Follow the NFHS Network on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram at @NFHSnetwork for the latest news and event information.
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 announced the launch of FootballMatters.org, a powerful new 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.