The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Pro Team won the Contest of Champions Cheerleading National Championship in the Youth Division at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.
Each cheerleader received a first place medal and a COC national championship Jacket.
The successful program is part of the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks Warriors at Devonaire Park. The cheer commissioner is Meylin Castro, and Optimist president is Mike Pintado.
The champs are Caitlin Drickler, Tiffany Bentancourt, Natalia Fraguela, Geena Albisa, Joselyn Criberio, Emi Nevot, Zoe Suarez, Luna Chimerakis, Adrianna Rodriguez, Natalie Sardinas, Sofia Isaza, Ella Guevara, Ashley Lardizabul, Haylee Dube, Joy Castano, Victoria Perez, Axelle Bennett, Diego Perez, Angelica Sardinas, Kaitlyn Bentancourt, Marcela Cespedes, and Rachel Ramirez. The head coach is Meylin Castro, and the coaches are Nicole Caraquero and Yuki Oide.
Never miss a local story.
Also, the Kendall Hammocks Warriors Pro and Prep/Pee Wee teams won the All Around Spirit Award at the event. They will be treated to a pizza party on behalf of the COC organization.
For information regarding the Kendall Hammocks Warriors cheerleading program, contact
Dolphins flag football jamboree
Miami Dolphins Youth Programs, in partnership with the Greater Miami Athletic Conference and the Broward County Athletic Association, hosted the Girls Flag Football Jamboree at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.
“It was great to see the high level of athleticism and passion for the sport at the jamboree today,” said Troy Drayton, Manager of Youth and Community Affairs. “These girls came to play.”
The jamboree featured high school girls flag football teams from South Florida with nearly 250 girls and 12 teams participating in the clinic and 26 teams in the jamboree.
“My favorite part of the of the jamboree was watching all the teams that we are possibly going to play this year and seeing how many girls are excited about the sport,” said Miami Jackson Head Coach Lakatriona Brunson who participated in the event for the first time along with Miami-Dade schools Coral Park, Miami Central and Miami Edison.
The goal of this event was to promote high school football. 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.
“It gives a chance for the girls to come out and play,” said West Broward Coach Kelly Calderon. “This is the first game of the season, so it was an eye opener for them and for us coaches. The facilities are beautiful. It’s a great opportunity to see the other schools as well.”
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 in the South Florida Community.
Results: Field A: Miami Edison 13, Monarch 0; Piper 25, Boyd Anderson 0; Plantation 27, McArthur 0; West Broward 13, South Plantation 6; Coral Springs 25, Flanagan 0; Coconut Creek 6, Everglades 0; Miami Jackson 14, Cooper City 8.
Field B: Miami Central 13, Ft. Lauderdale 0; Stranahan 14, Deerfield 0; Hollywood Hills 13, Coral Park 0; Western 18, Miramar 6; Dillard 19, Miami Pace 0; Hallandale 13, Cypress Bay 2; Mater 18, Pompano Beach 6.
Red Zone flag football
ROCC won the U12 Recreational Division Championship of the Red Zone Sports Youth Flag Football League.
Team Raiders won the U14 Recreational Division Championship. The Panthers won the U8 Division Championship.
All Stars won the U14 Pro Division Championship. Ryan Sports won the U12 Pro Division Championship. The Mighty Dolphins won the U6 Division Championship.
For more information on how to join, www.redzonesports.org.
Hebrew Academy basketball
The RASG Hebrew Academy Warriors, based in Miami Beach, defeated the Rambam Ravens to win the Tier II championship at the Sarachek Basketball Tournament at Yeshiva University in New York City. This is the first Tier II championship for the school.
The Warriors began the tournament as the No.8 seed, but fell short in their first game. However, they showed great resilience and bounced back to win their three remaining games. They were reseeded No.1 in Tier II after a winning shot at the buzzer by Shmuel Kahn off a long pass from Jack Esformes.
The final game of the tournament was watched and cheered in live stream by high school students and faculty at the school.
According to Rabbi Aharon Assaraf, Hebrew Academy Director of Student Life, who traveled to New York with the senior class to support the team, “This win is going to leave a mark that is a source of pride and unity for the whole school, paving the way for even better things to come.”
Warrior player Daniel Yerushalmi said: “This is a big stepping stone for the program. It unified the whole team, and that was made even more meaningful by having the whole school watching at home. We are looking forward to building on this for next year.”
The annual Red Sarachek Tournament is the country's most prestigious tournament for Jewish high school basketball teams. Each year, hundreds of student-athletes and their fans from schools across the United States and Canada gather at Yeshiva University for four days of top-level competition and community-wide celebration. The tournament is divided into four tiers, each with its own champion.
Full game recaps can be found at:
RASG Hebrew Academy is a Modern-Orthodox Jewish day school that has proudly served the South Florida community for almost seventy years. The school provides a comprehensive dual-curricular program for children ranging in age from six weeks to grade 12. Hebrew Academy strives to inspire each and every student through the light of Torah and academic excellence to improve the world.
RASG Hebrew Academy is at 2400 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach, 33140.
Barry University’s men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 for the first time in school history, following a 74-65 win over Union (Tenn.) in the South Region semifinals.
Yunio Barrueta (Hialeah Gardens HS) scored 19 points and had seven rebounds for the Buccaneers (25-6), ranked 19th in the country. He broke Ron Johnson’s school career scoring record of 1,723 points set in 1989. Barrueta now owns the Barry mark with 1,734 points.
Adrian Gonzalez (Hialeah Gardens HS) added 13 points on six of 10 shooting.
Miami Midnites basketball
After a tightly contested first half, the Miami Midnites men’s basketball team exploded in the third quarter against the Georgia Kingz to record a 137-119 victory at Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami Beach.
The Midnites (23-3) earned their second consecutive appearance in the ABA Tournament from April 4-10, pitting the top eight ABA teams in the nation against one another to crown an ABA champion.
Seven Midnites players scored in double-figures, led by 23 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds from Miami native Amir Celestin, who returned from Israel's Maccabi Haifa to bolster the Midnites' roster for the playoff run. Power forward Antonio Hester was perfect from the field on 11-of-11 shooting for 22 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Former Florida Memorial University standout point guard George Gray nearly registered a triple-double, posting 16 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Keion Palmer, a 6-foot-11 center, notched a double-double on 16 points and 12 rebounds to go along with 4 blocks. Forward Ty Thomas shot 4-of-9 from 3-point range for 14 points and 8 assists.
About Miami Midnites
The Miami Midnites, established in 2014, are the official Minor League affiliate of the 2012-13 Israeli Super League champions Maccabi Haifa basketball team. In their first season, the Miami Midnites won the 2014 Florida Basketball Association championship and followed up with back-to-back titles after winning the 2015 FBA championship.
The Midnites joined the American Basketball Association for the 2014-15 season and finished runner-up of 90-plus teams across the country. 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
North Miami Beach baseball
North Miami Beach Little League. We currently have about 210 area kids playing and we would like to begin submitting game recaps for our league for inclusion in the neighbors section of the Herald. Here is our first recap:
Anthony Ortega and Menachem Druin each went 3 for 5 as the Angels beat the Blue Jays 13-5 in Minors Juniors (age 7-8, coach pitch) of North Miami Beach Little League baseball. For the Blue Jays, Marco DeFillipo and Madisen Leyva each were 2 for 2.
In other action, the Braves and Dodgers played to a tie at five. Excellent fielding by Jonathan Cox and Robbie Kramer kept the game close. For the Dodgers, Silas Dunn hit a 3-run home run, and Ethan Simon drove in the tying run.
In Minors (9-10, kid pitch), the Yankees defeated the Cubs on a walk-off grand slam by Brandon Babin. Abel Profetta did a good job in relief to keep things close, allowing no runs and no walks and striking out four in 2.1 innings. He was also 3 for 3.
The Marlins beat the Brewers 10-3 behind strong pitching by Matthew Greenspan, who struck out eight in three innings. Mikey Plewinsky had a double, driving in two runs. For the Brewers, Eli Slomovitz was 2 for 2 with a home run.
The A’s bested the Rangers 7-2 behind Logan Brenan’s two strong innings on the mound. Jake Deangelis hit a 2-run home run, and Braden Parris added two hits. For the Rangers, Austin Fill recorded six strikeouts in three innings.
In Majors (11-12, kid pitch), the Pirates rallied from a 5-0 deficit, scoring 10 runs with two outs in the top of the last inning. A strong all around game by Juan Tito Suarez kept the Pirates in the game, and JT Mozloom stole four bases. For the Royals, Doug Katz, Josh Krutchik and Ryan Pedram contributed.
Doctors Charter baseball
The middle school baseball team of Doctors Charter School of Miami Shores swept a doubleheader from rival Miami Country Day School.
The DCS Hawks, in only their second season, won 11-1 and 10-3 to push their season record to 7-8-1. DCS entered Spring Break on a three-game winning streak – their second of the season – having recently defeated Westwood Christian 7-2.
Against Miami Country Day, Chaz Royo and Jackson Carney combined for 11 hits, 11 runs and eight RBI. Antonio Longa had two hits, two RBI and scored twice. Brian Brooks had two singles, two RBI and scored. Ethan Buster had a hit, an RBI and scored. Reza Pedram scored twice. Seve Leoni had a hit and scored twice. Dominic Tirado had two hits and scored. Charlie Calli had three hits, two RBI and scored.
In game one, Calli (4-3) allowed one run and struck out 10 in a complete game win. In game two, Royo hit a 3-run line drive home run over the fence in left center, his third homer of the season. Carney, the next batter, followed with a towering home run over the fence in left center for his first long ball of the season. It marked the the program’s first back-to-back home runs.
Miami Country Day sports
Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Gabriela Martinez (tennis) won her singles and doubles matches against Palmer-Trinity.
Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Noah Markofsky (lacrosse) combined for 4 goals and an assist in wins against American Heritage and Palmer-Trinity.
Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Celina Lindemann (tennis) won her singles and doubles matches against Hillel.
Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Sam Robins (lacrosse) combined for 12 goals and 2 assists in wins against Palmer-Trinity and St. Brendan.
Katerina Stewart of Coral Gables won the Midtown Weston $10,000 ITF event, defeating No.4-seeded Chanel Simmonds of South Africa 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the final in Weston.
The top-seeded Stewart in the quarterfinals beat No.5 seed Ulrikke Eikeri, and in the semifinals beat No.3 seed Shilin Xu.
The 18 year old ended a three-tournament losing streak entering Weston, having lost in the first round in her previous three events at the WTA Rio de Janeiro qualifying, the ITF Sunrise main draw and the Australian Open qualifying. It was her first ITF circuit title of the year, improving to 7-3 in career ITF-level singles finals.
Stewart also won the Weston doubles as an unseeded pair with Swiss player Tess Sugnaux. They upset the No.4 and No.2 seeds en route to the final. In the championship match, they beat unseeded Julieta Lara Estable of Argentina and Jasmine Paolini of Italy 6-2, 3-6, 10-5.
Miami Country Day soccer
The Miami Country Day Middle School girls’ soccer team finished 9-8-1, after advancing to the South Florida Middle School Conference semifinals.
The Spartans had key wins against Florida Christian, South Florida Heat and Palmer Trinity. Head Coach Fred Carpenter says it’s the most productive team he’s coached in his nine years with the program.
Mia Batista led MCD with 13 goals, and Sofia Nelcha had 10 goals. Becky Bibas totaled eight goals, and Tiasa Strouse added 5 goals. Eighth grade goalkeeper Andrea Nelcha made 62 saves and recorded nine shutouts to earn a spot on the All-Conference Team.
The Miami Country Day Middle School boys’ soccer team went 10-5-2, reaching the South Florida Middle School Conference semifinals. The Spartans had key wins against Riviera Prep, University School and South Florida Heat. They managed to beat Florida Christian three times during the season.
Top scorer Itay Arguetty led MCD. Keeper Santino Buttice recorded five shutouts. Other key contributors were Alejandro Roye, Alan Bruckstein and Ethan White.
Dolphins Cancer Challenge
The Dolphins Cancer Challenge announced an additional exclusive opportunity for the South Florida community to be cancer fighters. On April 4, the DCC will hold its inaugural DCC Celebrity Golf Tournament hosted by Turnberry Isle Resort & Golf Club.
Co-Chaired by Don Soffer and James Caan, the tournament will offer cancer fighters a chance to golf and interact with athletes and other celebrity guests. One hundred percent of the funds raised from the golf tournament will benefit Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.
“The participants, donors and partners of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge are dedicated to improving people’s lives through the financial support of innovative cancer research,” Miami Dolphins President & CEO and DCC VI Chair Tom Garfinkel said. “We wanted to expand the scope of ways for anyone to be a cancer fighter. This golf tournament provides an additional opportunity – along with our bike ride, 5k run/walk, Fall Family Fest and concert to help in this fight.”
Players will enjoy a complimentary, VIP shopping experience at the Pro Shop onsite exclusively for the DCC Celebrity Golf Tournament. Signature food and drinks will be served on the course with a cocktail reception and awards ceremony to end the day. Golfers will tee off for a round of scramble-golf on the world-famous Soffer Course, home to a number of LPGA and PGA events.
Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available. To register for a foursome, visit
About Dolphins Cancer Challenge
The Dolphins Cancer Challenge was founded in 2010 by the Miami Dolphins organization as the signature initiative of the Foundation’s health pillar. In part inspired by Dolphins alumnus and long-time radio voice Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich’s courageous battle with cancer, the DCC’s mission is to improve people’s lives through financial support for innovative cancer research at South Florida’s only academic-based cancer center – Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.
Since its inception, the DCC has raised more than $11.55 million, donating 100 percent of participant-raised funds to Sylvester. For additional information, call 305-943-6799 or visit
DCC can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/RideDCC and on Twitter at @TackleCancer.
More events, leagues, programs
UM Sports Hall of Fame
The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame holds its 48th Annual UMSHoF Induction Banquet on Thursday, March 31 at Jungle Island in Miami.
Headlining the class are 2001 football National Champions Willis McGahee and Joaquin Gonzalez; , Miami's first African-American basketball player Will Allen and World Series Champion Jon Jay. The stellar class also includes women’s tennis great Megan Bradley, football’s John Mackey Award winner Kellen Winslow, Jr., women’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer Tamara James and two-time National Champion swimming coach Charlie Hodgson.
“The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct its 2016 class that once again represents some of the finest athletes and coaches to wear the Orange, Green and White,” said UMSHoF President Gerard Loisel. “We are proud to recognize their accomplishments as we welcome them into the UM Sports Hall of Fame.”
UM Athletic Director Blake James said: “The UM Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016 is representative of the excellence displayed by the thousands of Hurricane coaches and athletes over the years. The individuals to be honored achieved remarkable success during their time in Coral Gables and, for many, on fields and courts well beyond South Florida. On behalf of the Hurricane Family, I want to congratulate all of the inductees and to thank them for their contributions to The U.”
Tickets for the 48th Annual UMSHoF Induction Banquet are $100 each, or a table of 10 for $1,000 In addition, a Super Table of 10 can be purchased for $1,500, which includes preferred seating and a 1 /4 page advertisement in the banquet program. For information contact the UMSHoF at 305-284-2775 or go to UMSportsHallofFame.com.
The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization founded in 1966 by eight Dade County Circuit Court judges, Miami alumni, who wanted to establish an organization that would recognize those student-athletes, coaches and administrators who excelled at their sport and brought acclaim to the University through their achievements and championships. With the addition of the Class of 2016, only 300 honorees will have been inducted into the Hall.
A class in Israeli self-defense is 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 17 at the Alper Jewish Community Center in Kendall.
Philip Glikman, expert instructor, will conduct the class for all levels, using the Operative Emeth Krav Maga System (how to defend yourself efficiently in the real world; relieve stress; get into the best shape of your life, becoming mentally and physically stronger).
Individual fee $30. Parent and child (mature teen) $50. Advance reservation required: 305-271-9000, ext. 284.
The PFC Bruce W. Carter Young Marines of Miami Dade is hosting its first 5k Walk/Run in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient who sacrificed his life fighting in Vietnam. The event is May 7 at the Village of Virginia Gardens Pavilion, 6500 NW 38 Ter.
Raised in Virginia Gardens, PFC Carter was a native Floridian, who diligently served his country.
Previously known as the Young Marines of Miami-Dade County, the unit was proud to have adopted the name PFC Bruce W. Carter Young Marines of Miami Dade because the legacy of this fine young man has inspired many boys and girls to pursue a life of dignity, respect and leadership. Though he left us too soon, PFC Carter’s life has stood as a testament to his courage and fortitude.
Community service is an integral part of the PFC Bruce W. Carter Young Marines ofMiami Dade unit’s day-in and day-out activities. As a 501 (3) c, non-profit organization, making this 5k Walk/Run possible is yet another testament of how these kids work conscientiously to remind others how important it is to give back to their community, while choosing a life of service and loyalty.
As a fundraiser, the 5k Walk/Run will help support the PFC Bruce C. Carter Young Marines of Miami Dade’s mission and also provide scholarships and leadership school opportunities for the unit.
The PFC Bruce C. Carter Young Marines of Miami Dade 5k Walk/Run will run on the very street named after PFC Carter, which is a great way to involve the Virginia Gardens community in something positive.
Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Lisbeth Colon at 305-607-3030. Volunteers can contact Zenith Gordillo at 305-606-4011. For information about the program visit
www.youngmarines.com or log on directly to the Facebook Page
The Florida High School Athletic Association in partnership with USTA Florida has increased high school “No-Cut” tennis teams from 22 at the end of 2015 to 164 registered schools thus far in 2016.
“The No-Cut program gave kids who wouldn’t normally make the team an opportunity to participate,” said Will Adams, the contract administration specialist for the FHSAA. “I received several calls from coaches thanking us for sending out the information so they could take advantage of the program. It gave teams the opportunity to receive a free case of balls, which is a huge benefit as tennis programs don’t always receive a lot of funding.”
USTA Florida offered an incentive where the first 100 schools to register received two cases of balls (or four cases if the school had both boys’ and girls’ teams). The next 50 schools to register each received one case of balls. A total $15,000 investment was made by USTA Florida for approximately 200 cases of balls to Florida high schools.
Thad Hawkes, the entry-level tournament coordinator for USTA Florida and a high school coach, coordinated the effort. As a No-Cut coach himself, he has seen the difference the program has made in keeping kids in tennis.
“The hardest thing for a coach is to tell someone that they didn’t make the team,” he said. “The other consequence is that the student may very well drop tennis and pick up another sport. Being a supporter of No-Cut means that I keep anyone who comes out. They practice with us, travel when they can, and many times get to play practice matches. They don’t just feel like part of the team — they actually are. The support we received from the FHSAA has made a huge difference this year.
“Growing this program is just the first step in growing the opportunity for high school tennis in years to come.”
Tony Lilly, the head men’s and women’s coach at Monsignor Pace High School, was one recipient from the program.
“As Thad stated in his letter, ‘I understand the value of tennis balls and how every little bit helps’ — this could not be more meaningful in our situation, and I’m sure for many programs throughout the nation with limited funding and resources.”
High school tennis and providing additional opportunities for players and coaches is high on the Florida tennis radar, along with collaborating with state and local coordinators, according to USTA Florida Associate Executive Director of Recreational Tennis Andy McFarland.
“High school tennis coaches and players are a demographic USTA Florida is looking to get more involved with these next few years,” McFarland said. “From offering education and resources to providing off-season Junior Team Tennis play opportunities, we at USTA Florida need to do a better job collaborating together with coaches and players. Building a sound relationship with FHSAA is a start in the right direction.”
For more information on No-Cut tennis go to
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.
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.
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
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.
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 for academics, sportsmanship at Miami Marlins game
In an effort to recognize deserving South Florida youth baseball and softball players for doing well in school and displaying sportsmanship on the diamond, the Miami Marlins have once again partnered with The Miami Herald to co-sponsor the Team Player spotlight on the Sunday Youth Sports pages in the Neighbors section of The Miami Herald in print and online.
Youth league coaches, team representatives, teachers, friends or family members can nominate youth baseball or softball players, who display sportsmanship and good grades or academic improvements. Eligible nominees are from the recreational in-house league, travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school aged) from any season of the year.
Honored players – selected by random drawing – will be invited to a Marlins game where they will receive a certificate of achievement and a Marlins item during a recognition ceremony at Marlins Park.
To nominate someone, e-mail Miami Herald Youth Sports Editor Jim Varsallone at
email@example.com or call 305-376-3621.