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Sports Scene: Miami area crews perform well at U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships

After three tough days of racing, the medals and rankings for the top rowing crews in the nation were decided during the U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships at Lake Natoma, California.

Eleven Miami area crews placed in the Top 18.

The best finishes were from the Belen Jesuit boys’ lightweight double and the Miami Rowing Center’s boys’ heavyweight double.

Miami Rowing Center’s boys’ heavyweight double crew (Luciano Mercenari, Nick Montalvo) was fourth. The winning Saugatuck and the next three crews — Brookline, Rye, Miami — crossed the finish line at one second intervals.

Belen Jesuit’s boys’ lightweight double (Jose Armengol, Hector Formoso) stayed close to the lead for the entire race and almost medaled, placing fourth, two seconds behind Saugatuck. The top two were Seattle and California Yacht Club.

Other Miami ranked crews:


Boys’ lightweight four, sixth, (cox F. Pinera, Joseph Garcia, Daniel Brennan, Christian Burke, Alejandro Seda).

Boys’ lightweight eight, sixth, (cox Miguel Zaldivar, Nicolas Fernandez, Danie lUgas, Joseph Menendez, Benjamin Gilbert, Andres Fernandez, Alexander Keenan, Nicholas Keenan, Manuel Sanchez).


Boys’ heavyweight four, 13th, (cox Natasha Ribeiro, Dominic Prego, Zachary Skypeck, Luciano Mercenari, Nick Montalvo).

Boys’ lightweight four, 15th, (cox Xavier Mendez, Andrew Bared, Vincent Tetreault, Elden Little, Oscar Fernandez).

Boys’ heavyweight quad, 16th, (Jacob Sorensen, Alex von Puffelen, Roury Higgins, John Morcos).

Girls’ lightweight four, ninth, (cox Natasha Murcia, Alexandra Duffy, Elizabeth Levy, Marissa Williford, Kamila Vazquez).

Girls open weight four, ranked 17th, (cox M.Velez, Sarah Hernandez, Daniela Pachon, Yailene Herrera, Elizabeth Ray).


Girls’ lightweight double, 13th, (Sakia Sanchez, Gabrielle Ayzen).

Boys’ heavyweight double, 11th, (David Choukroun, Chase Navalier).


South Miami Gymnastics excelled at the AAU Age Group National Championships at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.

The following SMG athletes were first all around in their respective divisions and age groups:

Level 1: Kaylie Cueto (Child C) - All Around 38.375 (1st), Vault 9.75 (5th), Bars 9.325 (4th), Beam 9.575 (1st), Floor 9.725 (1st). Georgia Eston (Child D) - All Around 39.4 (1st), Vault 9.875 (2nd), Bars 9.75 (1st), Beam 9.85 (1st), Floor 9.925 (1st).

Level 2: Gabriela Pena (Child F): All Around 37.7 (1st), Vault 9.625 (1st), Bars 9.225 (3rd), Beam 9.425 (2nd), Floor 9.425 (3rd). Holland Ramos (Junior E): All Around 38.5 (1st), Vault 9.525 (1st), Bars 9.5 (1st), Beam 9.472 (2nd), Floor 9.85 (1st).

Level 3: Calista Sumonthee (Child F): All Around 38.4 (1st), Vault 9.475 (2nd), Bars 9.675 (1st), Beam 9.5 (1st), Floor 9.75 (1st). Ava Burke (Junior B): All Around 38.3 (1st), Vault 9.45 (5th), Bars 9.75 (1st), Beam 9.525 (2nd), Floor 9.575 (1st).

Level 4: Samantha Ableman (Junior B): All Around 36.925 (1st), Vault 8.575 (10th), Bars 9.275 (1st), Beam 9.575 (1st), Floor 9.5 (1st).

Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 football

Booker T. Washington defeated Miami Southridge 41-24 in a dominating performance that featured two of Miami-Dade County’s premier teams to win the seventh annual Miami Dolphins Academy 7-on-7 High School Football Tournament, presented by Under Armour and the National Guard at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens.

This marked the second time in the past three years that Booker T. Washington has won the Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 and advanced to the national championship. In 2012, it defeated the team representing the Detroit Lions to win the national championship.

“Winning this game means a lot. We’ve got some great guys out there and they deserve this win,” Booker T. Washington coach Tim Harris Jr. said. “We’ve grown stronger as a team. We’ve worked hard and it’s great to see that hard work pay off.”

Booker T. Washington bested a field of nearly 50 schools from the tri-county area that participated in the three-day event.

Booker T. Washington advanced to the championship game after defeating Gulliver Prep 27-21 in overtime in the semifinals. It was the second overtime game that Booker T. Washington won in the playoffs. It also defeated Champagnat Catholic 27-21 in the round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals.

The three-day event began with the HSPD Symposium, which focused on character development and life skills training. A variety of guest speakers, including Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Community Affairs Twan Russell, Dolphins defensive tackle A.J. Francis, Dolphins safety Michael Thomas, former NFL coach turned motivational speaker Ernest Jones and members of the National Guard gave the students practical life lessons and advice aimed to help them as they enter adulthood.

“It is important for us to get these high school kids involved in events that are put on by the HSPD,” Miami Dolphins Manager of Youth and Community Programs Troy Drayton said. “The NFL does a great job of hosting events that will make these kids successful in the future, and we are happy to be part of that process. Now we can get them on the field and see who represents us in Indianapolis.”

The tournament began with round robin games and the first round of the playoffs. The final six teams competed the following day for the championship.

The weekend also included youth tournaments in three age groups. In the 10-and-under division, the Gwen Cherry Bulls defeated the Pop Warner Mighty Dolphins 13-6 in the championship game. Gwen Cherry also avenged its only loss in pool play by defeating Miramar in the semifinals.

“I just told them to go out and have fun,” Gwen Cherry coach O.J. Miller said. “Just another stepping stone because we’re trying to get to Disney [for nationals] in Pop Warner [in Lake Buena Vista], so it’s a learning experience getting the kids on one unit. So, down the line this will help us.”

The 12-and-under age group was the largest in the youth tournament. The day started with 16 teams and ended with Lauderhill defeating Carol City 34-14. The win capped a perfect 5-0 day for Lauderhill which outscored its opponents 136-40 in the most dominating performance of the tournament.

“It feels great knowing that every day we’re out there Monday through Thursday just working and the kids are coming out there putting in the work, and the coaches coming out and doing what they’re supposed to do, just preparing,” Lauderhill coach Willie Davis said. “It’s a good feeling, especially having success at the end of the day. Just another step in trying to get prepared for the upcoming season and just making it work for us.”

The oldest group in the youth tournament was 14-and-under, and that title was claimed by Adrenaline Rush. It efeated the Washington Park Buccaneers 34-14 to win their pool and then defeated Red Zone Elite 24-17 for the title.

“It was great. These boys have all grown up together. So they’ll see each other in high school, and it’ll be fun,” Adrenaline Rush’s Jerry Scalzo said. “We prepare to win and we really don’t accept failure easy. So we work very hard and it shows on the field.”


The Wilson brothers of Coral Gables each completed a 200-yard swim, 6-mile bike and 1.2-mile run during the USAT Florida Regional Youth Triathlon Championship in Sebring.

The event was part of the ninth annual Heartland Triathlon.

Cavan Wilson, 14, placed third in the 14-year-old male division, covering the course in 26 minutes 31 seconds. Colin Wilson, 12, won the regional championship for 12-year-olds in 27:39. The brothers represented the AAA Triathlon Team.


Brittany Dubins of North Miami Beach and Billy Federhofer of Miami won the mixed-doubles championship during the U.S. Open National Playoffs-Florida Tournament at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center on the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee.

Dubins just completed her senior year playing for the University of Miami Hurricanes, and Federhofer, the former University of Florida player, is the current volunteer assistant coach with the Barry University men’s tennis team. In the final, they defeated brother-sister teens Noah and Star Makarome of Wesley Chapel 6-3, 6-1.

Dubins-Federhofer did not drop a set during the tournament. The Makarome twins won two of their three prior matches in 10-point third-set tiebreakers.

The U.S. Open National Playoffs-Florida Tournament leads to the U.S. Open National Mixed Doubles Championship, where the Florida winners will compete to reach the U.S. Open. The national championship will be in conjunction with the WTA tour’s New Haven Open at Yale, an Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series event.

More tennis

Teenager Katerina Stewart of Coral Gables defeated unseeded Josie Kuhlman of Ponte Vedra Beach 6-0, 6-3 in the final of the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 tournament in Bethany Beach, Delaware.

Stewart, seeded seventh, did not drop a set during the tournament and lost only four games in the semifinals and finals combined.

It was Stewart’s second USTA Pro Circuit title of the year and third final after winning in Orlando and finishing runner-up in Gainesville.

Kuhlman en route to the final upset top-seeded Alexandra Mueller in the opening round and did not meet another seeded player until the final.

Stewart and fellow American Rima Asatrian, a wildcard doubles team entry, were runners-up to the top-seeded Mueller and fellow American Lena Litvak 6-4, 6-1.


The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department will continue the Mayor’s Cup Youth Golf Series in July.

A series of two unique summer golf competitions, for boys and girls, includes the “Mayor’s Cup Youth Golf Tournament” for seasoned golfers, 17 and younger, and the “Mayor’s Cup Youth SNAG Golf Challenge” for beginner golfers, 14 and younger.

They are part of the Youth Sports Championship Series, an initiative of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez aimed at increasing participation in youth athletics. Registration is now open for both competitions.

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.

“Youth sporting events, such as the Mayor’s Cup Youth Golf Series, are a great way for children to learn how to play and compete in a sport,” he said. “Through sports like golf, they also learn life-skills such as good sportsmanship, teamwork, responsibility, and discipline, which are the core ingredients for successful living.”

• Mayor’s Cup Youth Golf Tournament and Championship (17 and younger)

Sponsored by Golf Miami-Dade and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade Parks’ five golf courses are designated tournament sites. Qualifying tournaments were at Palmetto Golf on June 15, at Briar Bay Golf on June 22 and at the Country Club of Miami on June 29.

Below are dates and locations of two remaining qualifying tournaments. Advance registration is required. The cost is $10 per player. Tournaments tee off at 11 a.m.

July 13: Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne (18-hole site), 6700 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne

July 20: Greynolds Golf Course (9-hole site), 17530 W Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach

The format for the Youth Golf Tournament is individual stroke play and by age division: 12-and-younger, 13-15, 16-17. Top golfers from each of the five qualifying tournaments will compete in the Mayor’s Cup Golf Championship on Aug, 10 at Crandon Golf.

• Mayor’s Cup Youth SNAG Golf Challenge and Championship (6-14)

Sponsored by Golf Miami-Dade, Jack Nicholas Learning League, 2 Up Golf Club of Miami, Inc., and Golfing Gals

The innovative “Starting New At Golf” program offer players of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn and play the game of golf in almost any environment. Since 2013, SNAG/JNLL (Jack Nicholas Learning League) has been a component of the Miami-Dade County Parks’ Fit2Play after-school and summer camp curriculum.

The format uses lighter, kid-friendly golf clubs, Velcro balls, targets, and other teaching tools.

Youth SNAG Golf teams will consist of four players and be co-ed, having at least one boy and one girl on a team. Teams in the 6-9 and 10-14 age groups are invited to participate in one of these regional SNAG Golf Challenges 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on July 22.

North Region: Gwen Cherry Park, 7090 NW 22 Ave., Miami

Central Region: Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St., Miami

South Region: Goulds Park, 11350 SW 216 St., Miami

Registration is free and required by July 21. Age-appropriate golf equipment will be provided. The regional SNAG Golf Challenges will culminate in the Mayor’s Cup Youth SNAG Golf Championship 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Tamiami Park.

To register for the Mayor’s Cup Youth Golf Series competitions and for more information, visit, or contact Chris Evans at 305-755-7885 or

Running program

The 18th annual Summer Fun Runs, hosted by the Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep cross-country team, returns to Miami Shores. Last year, the team welcomed its largest of number community participants.

Runners and walkers of all abilities meet every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Miami Shores Recreation Center, 9617 Park Dr., Miami Shores, 33138. The runs are free and continue through July 31.

This school and community tradition has grown from a small following of about seven runners per week to a total record-breaking turnout of 354 runners in fifteen gatherings. Athletic experience ranges from a 25-time participating marathoner, to a tri-athlete, to someone who had never run recreationally. The ages range from about 11-60.

Archbishop Curley Coach Br. John Corcoran designs three courses of gradually increasing mileage: one for beginner runners or walkers, a second for recreational runners and joggers, and a third for advanced or competitive runners. By the end of July, the distances covered from three to seven miles, with no pace being set.

For information call the school at 305-751-8367, email Br. John Corcoran at

Participants can find updates and routes on the Facebook page:

Crandon Park

Crandon Park Marina at 4000 Crandon Blvd. in Key Biscayne has undergone a major facelift, which includes new charter boat docks, a new seawall and new state-of-the-art marina amenities that offer better access and security for boaters.

The new development is the result of an extensive shoreline restoration effort led by the Florida Inland Navigation District, the state’s sponsor of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

“The improvements to Crandon Marina have preserved a vital Miami-Dade County waterfront treasure and served to enhance the Marina as a world-class boating destination for visitors and residents,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We commend the Parks Department for their collaborations and shared vision, which is helping us to restore and beautify the recreational treasures of our community.”

As part of the marina restoration project, a total of 515 linear feet of existing concrete seawall (built circa 1950) was replaced with a newly designed “sheet pile seawall” that consists of deep in ground galvanized steel piles encased in concrete. A new five-foot-wide cap was installed atop the new seawall, which added three more feet of boardwalk.

The charter boat area received new fender and mooring piles, a new concrete walk with integrated light bollards and planters, and 10 new boat slips, each with its own new power/water pedestal and fish-cleaning station. The two original scales used for weighing-in fish were renovated and reinstalled on the docks, for a touch of nostalgia. There is also a new transient boat slip just south of the site.

The marina restorations were completed through the collaborative efforts of FIND, working with Neville/Steffens Architects LLP; Ports and Coastal Engineering Practice - Atkins; SDM Consulting Engineers, Inc.; and Construction Contractors - Shoreline Foundation, Inc.

Miami-Dade County District 7 Commissioner Xavier Suarez said: “We are happy to provide this boating community with a fresher and new looking marina. This renewed facility is more accessible than ever, easier to use and will continue to meet the recreational needs of boaters for many years to come.”

The marina has also added a new entrance and several new security features, such as eight-foot-high fencing around the perimeter and dry boat storage and wet slip areas, electronic gates that open and close via a key card, and non-motorized pedestrian gates that allow for emergency or occasional egress. The dry boat storage area also has new inside lighting fixtures and security cameras and lamp posts for its parking lot.

All parking areas were re-surfaced and re-striped and have new wheel stops and traffic signage. The grounds have a new automatic irrigation system and new landscaping throughout that includes Emerald sod (a top golf course turf known as Zoysia) and an assortment of native trees, such as Palms, Oaks, Royal Poincianas, and Gumbo Limbos. There are also new concrete walkways throughout the site, creating a seamless connection to marina facilities.

Miami-Dade County Parks worked in conjunction with KVH Architects, Laura Llerena and Associates, Inc., and ABC Construction, Inc. to complete the improvements.

Miami-Dade County Parks Department Director Jack Kardys added: “Miami-Dade Parks is committed to meeting the needs of the boaters that use our marina facilities. These enhancements will enable us to provide the boating public with a better overall boating experience.”

The total cost for the marina restorations and improvements was $8,060,000. Funding was provided by the Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program, Capital Outlay Reserve Funds, FIND, and the Marina Capital Improvements Fund.

Crandon Park Marina is near some of the most spectacular fishing and diving opportunities in the United States. The marina features a dock master complex with a bait-and-tackle and shower and laundry facilities, 425 wet slips, 10 commercial slips, moorings, and dry dock storage. Boat rentals and charter fishing excursions are available.

The facility is conveniently situated on the Intercoastal Waterway (at Mile Marker 73) and nearby Miami-Dade Parks’ Crandon Park Beach, Crandon Park Golf Course and the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

For information about Crandon Park Marina, call (305) 361-1281, or visit

Soccer training

Inter Academy Florida is the first official youth soccer training program sanctioned by one of the best soccer clubs in the world, Italy’s F.C. Internazionale (widely known as Inter Milan).

Inter Academy Florida features a former Italian pro player, Riccardo Ferri, fronting the entire program, which will be available in Miami-Dade County.

This academy, geared for boys and girls, age 4-17, is the result of years of careful planning and aims at passing onto young players the expert training philosophy and methodology used by Italy’s F.C. Inter adult and youth national teams.

Programs offered by Inter Academy Florida are divided into three different options: Camp, Elite Academy, Recreational.

Day sessions run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, and Evening sessions are 5-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Pinecrest: Evelyn Greer Park, 8200 SW 124th St., Miami, 33156.

Day Session 2: July 14-18

Evening Session: July 14-18

Coral Gables: Ponce de Leon Middle School , 5801 Augusto St., Miami, 33146.

Day Session 2: July 7-11

Evening Session: July 7-11

For details about programs, dates and events, visit:

Thunder Summer Camp

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

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

The camp runs 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 15.

Sibling discounts are available. Call for pricing and availability.

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

For information, visit or


Archbishop Curley sports camp

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep will offer a summer sports camp for students in grades 6 through 9 through July 18.

The Summer Knights Athletic Camp teaches the fundamentals of sports and competition with each week focusing on a new area including: basketball, football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, softball, baseball, and wrestling.

ACND Athletic Director Greg Magner, a Miami-Dade County Football Coach of the Year, heads the camp. Instructors have between five and 40 years coaching experience. The camp costs $100 per week with discounts for multiple weeks booked.

Visit for information or to register online.

Florida Christian lacrosse

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


Kendall Hammocks cheerleading, tackle football

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

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

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

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

Tackle Registration Fee: $180

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

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

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

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

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

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

For added tackle information, email Kendall Hammocks Football and Optimist President Mike Pintado at or visit the web site at

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

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More events, leagues, programs

Miami Fury women’s football

The Miami Fury women’s tackle football season is underway. Home games are at North Miami Athletic Stadium on the FIU North Campus, 2555 NE 151 St.

For the past 12 years, the Miami Fury has represented South Florida, while providing an opportunity for female athletes to fulfill the dream of playing organized football at the highest level. Sports have really transformed where adults, especially women, now have the opportunity to excel into the Global market as athletes.

They practice at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Southwest Broward Jr. Athletic Association Complex, 6210 SW 33rd St., Miramar.

Opportunities are available with the Miami Fury season from April-July, and volunteering can continue year round. For volunteering, community service hours, tickets and more, contact Miami Fury Owner Gayla Harrington at 786-229-7487 or


Thunder Athletix and Brain Gymnasium LLC teamed to offer a complete fitness program of body and mind at the new ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82 Ave. in Doral.

Students can improve their basketball skills and physical fitness, as well as strengthen their academic skills through specialized tutoring programs. They can have fun and finish their homework.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game to children age 5-17.

Brain Gymnasium offers specialized tutoring, homework help, FCAT Prep, SAT/ACT Prep, and Entrance Exam Prep. Their degreed, professional and experienced teachers provide a simple and exciting approach to learning.

For information on special packages, after school programs and summer programs,

visit ; or call 786-505-5585.

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit or call 305-788-7339.


USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a landmark three-way agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide more tennis playing opportunities to athletes in Florida.

The formal agreement builds on the existing support that USTA Florida and its charitable arm have provided to local Special Olympics programs by offering free 10 and Under Tennis workshops, grants and other resources to providers that offer tennis programs to Special Olympics athletes.

Likewise, Special Olympics Florida will encourage their athletes to participate in USTA Florida programs and events.

“We are absolutely committed to changing lives through tennis,” said Linda Curtis, executive director of the USTA Florida Section Foundation. “This agreement is a prime example of how USTA Florida and our Foundation work together to impact communities each and every day. These athletes play tennis for the pure joy of the sport. It’s inspiring to see, and I’m proud to know that we will be able to provide even more opportunities for them to play through this partnership.”

Sherry Wheelock, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Florida, said: “At Special Olympics Florida, we embrace the transformative power of sports. USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation will help us bring first-rate trainings and competitive experiences to our athletes throughout the state. We are excited for this new partnership and are confident that it will further ignite a passion in our athletes for tennis.”

To get a program started, Special Olympics coaches may apply for a USTA Florida Section Foundation equipment grant for adaptive tennis equipment and other program needs by contacting Jessica Flynn at Special Olympics Florida.

For additional training opportunities and training resources, contact Linda Curtis at the USTA Florida Section Foundation at

Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

Marlins Jose’s Heroes

Tickets to the José’s Heroes Fan Zone are available each time Miami Marlins star pitcher José Fernandez takes the mound at Marlins Park.

For $16, fans receive:

A ticket in the José’s Heroes Fan Zone (Left Field Bullpen Reserved)

A José’s Heroes T-shirt

A ‘K’ Card to wave when José records a strikeout

Go to

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind-the-scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 per person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas, including the suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours of 10 to 25 people are available by appointment.

For more information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (Northwest Sixth Street between 14th and 15th avenues) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school) players.

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams, which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, for boys ages 6-18, practices from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101.

Visit .

Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, makes its South Florida debut at three Miami-Dade County-owned parks — Tropical Park (7900 Bird Rd.), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127th Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St., Hialeah).

Headed by Soccer 5’s Director of Coaching Development Alan Georgeson, who has more than 15 years of experience in Europe in mini/small-sided soccer, kids 3 to 12 years old will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in “3v3” to “7v7” matches.

The three locations make mini/small-sided soccer available across the county, providing a greater opportunity for children and families to access the proper 4G turf game fields specifically designed for “5v5,” “6v6” and “7v7” games.

With smaller fields, mini soccer is much easier for young children or children who have never played. In addition, mini soccer is designed for competition among teams with fewer players, providing more opportunity for pick-up games, as well as more opportunity to play the ball making mini soccer popular with older players, too.

Soccer 5 Tropical Park is open 3 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and Sundays.

“I cannot thank Miami-Dade Parks and our Soccer 5 coaching staff enough for making our dream of developing small-sided soccer for kids in the Greater Miami area a reality,” Georgeson said. “It is an exciting time for us at Soccer 5 as we continue to expand our Kids Academy in South Florida built on the success of our public/private partnership with Miami-Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.”

Allison Diego, director of business development, fundraising and advocacy for Miami-Dade Parks’ Recreation and Open Spaces Department, added: “The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is delighted to partner with The Soccer 5 vision to provide an outstanding experience for this community through soccer. We are happy to be a part of this important child sports development.”

For more information or to register, visit


South Kendall Sun Blazers ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79th St. (305-630-3314).

Miami Dade Soccer League ( at Three Lakes Park, 13375 SW 136th St. (786-488-5216).

Soccer 5 ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127th Ave. (888-575-2976).

Club Atletico de Miami ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127th Ave. (305-764-5783).

Soccer Academy of the Americas ( at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St. (786-486-3804)

Pinecrest Premier Soccer ( at Deerwood Bonita Lakes, 11511 S. Dixie Hwy. (305-255-3422).

Optimist Club of Westchester ( at Tropical Park, 7900 Bird Rd., (786-370-4222).

Coral Estates Soccer Club ( at Coral Estates Park, 1411 SW 97th Ave. (305-279-2328).

South Kendall Soccer Club ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79th St. (305-630-3314).

Southern Soccer Coalition-AYSO ( at Millers Pond Park, 13350 SW 47th St. and Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152nd Ave. (305-965-0083).

Thunder basketball

Thunder Basketball opened its new year-round facility at ThunderPleX, 1440 NW 82th Ave., Doral.

Thunder Basketball is currently running a day camp and summer league, open to boys and girls ages 5 to 17. Thunder Basketball’s mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game. It stresses the importance of team and sportsmanship.

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life. For more information visit Registration is now open. Email or call 786-505-5585.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been raising funds.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School, where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys ages 5 to 16. Email or call 305 -273-1145.

Heads Up

Former tight end Troy Drayton played nine seasons in the NFL, including 1996-99 with the Miami Dolphins, and he is now the Dolphins’ youth program coordinator.

Drayton is adding a new title to his résumé — NFL Ambassador for Heads Up Football.

The NFL and USA Football jointly announced the national launch of Heads Up Football, a youth football program aimed at making football better and safer for all who play it. The program is being supported with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation.

Three million kids already play tackle football, and the game can be even safer. Heads Up Football includes a tackling model that removes the head from the game.

Heads Up Football has five core elements: The use of the Heads Up Tackling model; coaching certification; Player Safety Coaches; concussion education; and proper equipment-fitting.

The program was launched in three test markets last year. This year, it will expand to more than 600 youth leagues in all 50 states. Of these leagues, 100 will be assigned a former NFL player mentor. Drayton will serve as a mentor to a local Heads Up League — the Tamiami Colts of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE Second Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at the Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School Biscayne Bay Campus.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.

Visit .


Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Call Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

Jai-Alai for women

Who said you have to be a male to play jai-alai? Just as females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, women can play it in South Florida at the amateur indoor, air-conditioned fronton at 1935 NE 150 St., North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls are used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls are also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open every day. Email or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

CB Sports Leagues

CB Sports Club offers youth basketball, flag football, youth soccer, adult soccer and adult basketball.

Visit or call 786-273-5639.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).