Miami-Dade County

Booker T. Washington’s Devonaire Clarington, Westminster Christian’s Jordan Cronkrite, Tim Irvin selected for U.S. Army All-American Bowl

The 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour visited Booker T. Washington High School to select tight end Devonaire Clarington for the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Pictured with Clarington are Army representatives Second Lieutenant Yarelys Moreau (left) and Sergeant Adam Alvarez.
The 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour visited Booker T. Washington High School to select tight end Devonaire Clarington for the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Pictured with Clarington are Army representatives Second Lieutenant Yarelys Moreau (left) and Sergeant Adam Alvarez. All American Games

The 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour visited Westminster Christian School in Palmetto Bay to select athlete Jordan Cronkrite and running back Tim Irvin for the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Westminster Christian School honored them before their teammates, classmates, fans and family during a Selection Tour Stop in the gymnasium.

“Jordan and Tim and all of the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl players were selected not only for their ability on the football field, but also because they demonstrate mental, emotional and physical toughness – similar strengths to those of our Army Soldiers,” said Mark S. Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. “We are pleased to welcome these talented athletes to this year’s showcase of athleticism, teamwork and excellence and we congratulate each of them on their selection.”

Five U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour teams are traveling a combined 30,000 miles across the country from late September to mid-December to announce all 90 players and 125 marching band members invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

By becoming U.S. Army All-Americans, they join an elite group. Players are chosen not only because they excel on the football field, but because they possess the strengths similar to our Army Soldiers of mental, emotional and physical toughness.

Cronkrite and Irvin were selected by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee, which consists of All American Games, 247Sports and XOS Digital. U.S. Army All-Americans are eligible for the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year Award, the American Family Insurance Defensive Player of the Year Award, the Pete Dawkins Game MVP Award and the Felix “Doc” Blanchard and Glenn Davis Awards.

As a result of Cronkrite and Irvin being selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, their head coach, Sedrick Irvin, is invited to travel to San Antonio to attend the U.S. Army Coaches Academy, an elite three-day learning experience, and participate in Bowl Week activities. Sedrick Irvin will also be an assistant coach for the East squad.

For more than 14 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been the nation’s premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Andrew Luck, Patrick Peterson and Jamaal Charles made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans.

In the 2014 NFL Draft, there were seven U.S. Army All-American Bowl alum drafted in the first round. The 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew 40,017 to the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl is 1 p.m. Jan. 3, 2015 at the Alamodome and will be aired on NBC.

www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com

www.goarmy.com/events/aab

www.facebook.com/usarmyallamericanbowl

www.twitter.com/armyallamerican

Booker T football

Tight end Devonaire Clarington of Booker T. Washington High School in Miami has been selected to join an elite group of All-Americans for the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Those selected will play in the annual East vs. West match-up on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The game will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST and will feature the nation’s top 90 high school football players.

“Devonaire and all of the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl players were selected not only for their ability on the football field, but also because they demonstrate mental, emotional and physical toughness – similar strengths to those of our Army Soldiers,” said Mark S. Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. “We are pleased to welcome these talented athletes to this year’s showcase of athleticism, teamwork and excellence and we congratulate each of them on their selection.”

Clarington was selected by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee, which consists of All American Games, 247Sports and XOS Digital. U.S. Army All-Americans are eligible for the U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year Award, the American Family Insurance Defensive Player of the Year Award, the Pete Dawkins Game MVP Award and the Felix “Doc” Blanchard and Glenn Davis Awards.

As a result of Clarington being selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, his head coach, Tim Harris Jr., is invited to travel to San Antonio to attend the U.S. Army Coaches Academy, an elite three-day learning experience, and participate in Bowl Week.

For 15 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been the nation’s premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Andrew Luck, Patrick Peterson and Jamaal Charles made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans, and a total of seven U.S. Army All-American Bowl alumni were drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew a crowd of 40,017 to the Alamodome.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is owned and produced by All American Games, a New Jersey-based sports marketing and event management company. The U.S. Army is the title sponsor of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and American Family Insurance is the lead national sponsor and presenting sponsor of the telecast on NBC. Other national sponsors include adidas, Gatorade, San Antonio Visitors Bureau, 247Sports, XOS Digital, NCSA, Lockheed Martin, Xenith, Battle Sports Science, EvoShield, 23 Blast Movie, NewTek and Football University. National sponsors of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band include: The National Association for Music Education, Drum Corps International, Jupiter Wind Instruments, Mapex Marching Percussion, Majestic Concert Percussion and DeMoulin Uniforms.

For information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events,

visit www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com

and www.goarmy.com/events/aab

or the official Facebook and Twitter pages

at http://www.facebook.com/USArmyAllAmericanBowl

and www.twitter.com/armyallamerican

Miami Dolphins honor

Running back K.C. Hall of the Kendall Boys & Girls Club 145s in the Miami Xtreme Football League was honored by the Miami Dolphins as the Youth Player of the Week, presented by Under Armour, during their game against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. Hall is coached by Victor Amant.

Quarterback Hilton Joseph of North Miami High School was honored as the High School Player of the Week, presented by Under Armour. Joseph is coached by Ed Williams.

Devin Bush of Flanagan High School was honored as the High School Coach of the Week.

Gymnastics

Megan Fernandez, a student at Palmetto Senior High School, did very well during the Special Olympics Florida State Fall Gymnastics Classic at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.

Megan earned gold medals in floor exercise, beam, bars and all-around. She captured bronze on vault.

Megan is trained by Coach Lauren Petrick and staff at LEAP South Florida.

Visit www.LEAPSouthFlorida.com

St. Brendan volleyball

The St. Brendan High School girls’ volleyball team finished the season 14-11.

Juniors Carolina Caram and Sophia Sires led the Sabres to third place in one of the toughest districts in the state.

“The girls worked extremely hard all year round, from conditioning to lifting weights every single day in the off-season, including the summer,” said head coach Julio Arnaiz.

Miami Country Day sports

Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Laureen Jean-Jacques (varsity soccer) scored four goals in matches against Sagemont, Marathon, Dade Christian, and Florida Christian.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Oliver Massolo (soccer) scored five goals in games against Gulliver, Palmer-Trinity, Marathon, and Cushman.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Julian Schultz (cross-country) ran a personal best (17:53) at his final meet, states in Tallahassee.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Channise Lewis (basketball) had 28 points, nine assists and three steals against Nova High School.

Scheck Hillel sports

Scheck Hillel Community School named Rachelle Murciano and Jack Kaswan as its Student-Athletes of the Week.

Murciano, a freshman on the girls’ varsity soccer team, has been a strong offensive force for the Lions.

Kaswan, a senior captain on the boys’ varsity basketball team, was chosen for his strong performance in the JDSSF Pre-Season Classic at Hebrew Academy. In the tournament, he averaged 22 points per game, 4.5 assists per game and 3.0 steals per game as the Lions went 1-1.

Barry basketball

Sophomore Adrian Gonzalez, a Hialeah Gardens High School graduate, recently tied a Barry University men’s basketball record.

The 6-5, 215-pound forward went 10 of 10 from the floor as the No. 22 Buccaneers beat Puerto Rico Mayaguez 89-64 in a non-conference Division II matchup. He finished with 22 points.

Gonzalez’s field goal shooting tied a school record set by Willie Whitfield on Dec. 19, 2010 against West Florida.

“I felt good. My body felt good,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t make shots that were out of my range. I try to get my teammates involved. I don’t care who scores, as long as we’re playing well.”

Junior guard Yunio Barrueta, another Hialeah Gardens grad, had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Buccaneers (2-0). Sophomore power forward Alvaro Simoza, also a Hialeah Gardens grad, gave Barry good minutes off the bench with six points during a stretch when both of the Bucs big men were in foul trouble.

“Even though Alvaro doesn’t play a whole lot, he’s a key part of our team,” said Gonzalez, who shares special Hialeah Gardens High School bonds with Simoza. “I talk to him every once in a while just to keep his head up and keep going. He was here last year so now the offense is coming natural to him. He looked comfortable.”

Simoza even drilled a triple with 5:17 to play in the first half to extend the Buccaneers’ lead to 37-17 on one of Deric Hill’s five assists.

Visit www.gobarrybucs.com

Hochberg basketball

The Hochberg Prep Middle School girls’ basketball team remained undefeated and atop the Independent Athletic League after defeating previously unbeaten Parkway Christian Academy 36-22. It marked the first loss in three years for the two-time defending state champion Parkway team.

Archbishop Curley tennis

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep honored a group of alumni who represented the ACND’s past state championship tennis teams at a tennis court dedication ceremony. The school renovated its existing courts through a grant awarded by the United State Tennis Association, private donation and funds raised by the Booster Club.

Representing the USTA were ACND alums Jean Desdunes ‘79 (USTA Senior Director, Diversity) and Rick Davison (USTA Georgia Junior Competition Coordinator). Both played for Archbishop Curley, and Desdunes was a doubles state champion in 1979. Many other members of the Curley tennis program attended including Coach Ed Matallo and Blaine Willenborg ’78, who won three high school state championships (1976-78), and was part of UCLA's national championship teams (1979 and 1982) before turning pro.

Willenborg, vice president of Wealth Management and financial advisor for Morgan Stanley in Aventura, organizes the company’s annual Doubles Tennis Challenge. One thousand dollars of the event proceeds from this and subsequent years benefit the ACND tennis program.

Other players honored were: Chris Kelley ’68, Mark Hurd ’76, George Oyarzan ’76, Leon De Leon ’76, Cory Waldman ‘77, Derrick Davison ‘78, Egan Adams ‘78, Gary Pappas ’79, Ken Kleinfeld ‘80, Joe Frechette, Jr. ’80, Carl Cascio ’80, Albert Mora ’83, Tamara Sutton ’98, and the late Tim Charles ’78 and Don O’Brakta.

“It was such a thrill to go back to my high school and visit with some of my lifelong friends and fellow tennis buddies, and a few surprise guests that made the day even more special,” said honoree Carl A. Cascio ’80, “It surpassed my already high expectations in being able to visit and reminisce with all of the Archbishop Curley/Notre Dame friends and family. I only hope we can do this again and more often.”

The $5,000 in USTA Facility Funding will be used to purchase six benches and aluminum bleachers to complete the resurfacing of the school’s five existing 78-foot tennis courts. The essence of the USTA initiative is to assist communities, leveraging their tennis facilities to promote lifelong healthy activity and to improve their programming by advancing the latest tennis innovations for all program types.

“We are pleased to receive this endorsement by the USTA as we move forward with our goal to enhance our middle and high school tennis program, plus offer a community tennis summer camp accessible to low-income families,” said Douglas Romanik, ACND Principal. “It is a great honor to credit improvements to our 14-acre urban campus through grants awarded by national associations such as the USTA for tennis and also the MLB’s Baseball Tomorrow Fund.”

To learn about upcoming tennis programs and summer camp, visit:

http://www.acnd.us/HighSchool.asp?photos=TennisCourt2014&page=1.

Tennis

USTA Florida volunteer Susan Allshouse and USTA Florida staff member Cathy Nordlund were honored with the Special Olympics Florida Outstanding Volunteers Award, presented at the organization's annual sponsor and athlete awards dinner in Brickell Key.

“You have been chosen to receive this award because of your dedication to providing our athletes with extensive coaching and support through USTA Florida,” said Miami-Dade County Special Olympics Director Linsey Harris Smith. “We are inspired by your commitment to provide athletes with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to train consistently and compete regularly. Under your excellent coaching leadership, our athletes have had the opportunity to improve their tennis skills to the point where many can now compete in singles and doubles matches. Your work sets the precedent for our goals in sports training in Miami-Dade County.”

Allshouse and Nordlund organized or conducted in-school Special Olympics Tennis sessions in Miami and Homestead high schools, middle and elementary schools, and at education centers. School staff also participated in athlete workshops at the Tamiami Tennis Center.

The pair also worked with Miami-Dade County to offer a Tennis Skills Development Program at four community sites with six-week sessions, and offering year-round tennis programs at Michael-Ann Russell JCC, Tamiami Park Tennis Center, Goodlet Park Tennis Center, and JD Redd Park Tennis Center. The program features matches set up for players, T-shirts and end-of-the-season trophies and medals.

Summer Games Athlete Preparatory Clinics at Tamiami Tennis Center also prepare approximately 100 school-based athletes for the Special Olympics Summer Games, featuring tennis professionals and volunteers working with the athletes.

“I would like to give credit to Friends of Miami Tennis, a not-for-profit community tennis association that manages Tamiami Tennis Center and donates their time and pros for the preparatory clinics,” Nordland said.

In February 2014, USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a landmark three-way agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide additional tennis play opportunities to athletes in Florida. The result was evident in the performance of the athletes at the Special Olympics Florida Summer Games 2014 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports facility in Orlando in May, where a record number of athletes competed in the Skills Competition and Match Play categories.

Special Olympics Miami-Dade is currently spearheading the move for Florida to adopt the Rule Changes of 2012 and 2014 to bring tennis to even more athletes and with greater success using the format of ROGY (Red, Orange, Green, Yellow ball progression with skill-appropriate court sizes and racquets) instruction and play.

Soccer tournament

The Come Make A Difference 5v5 Soccer Tournament to support Special Olympics is Dec. 6 at Kendall Soccer Park.

There are boys and girls divisions (U6, U8, U10, U12, U14, U16) and men and women’s open, over 35 and coed divisions.

There will also be a Special Olympic athletes division and a Unified Family Division which means people with and without disabilities can play on the same team. Now the parent instead of just cheering from the sidelines can play with his or her child and even give them the assist and hug them after a goal.

A free soccer clinic, featuring five World Cup ambassadors, is scheduled for all athletes with special needs.

The ambassadors are a Who’s Who of soccer royalty including Teofilo Nene Cubillas (World Cup player for Peru in 1970, 1978, 1982; Peru’s greatest soccer player; world’s Top 50 player all-time), Enrique Borja (World Cup player from Mexico 1966, 1970), Pavel Pardo (World Cup player from Mexico 1998, 2006), Luis Carlos Perea (World Cup player from Colombia 1990, 1994), and Fernando Fiore (former Univision sportscaster who covered World Cups in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014).

A Celebrity Unified match with the ambassadors, athletes and special guests will follow.

Teams that sign up through the link have the option to fund raise for their team. There is also a volunteer link.

The website is www.so5v5miami.com

Registration and donation page http://www.firstgiving.com/sofl/special-olympics-5v5-futbol-tournament

Volunteer page http://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0a4dacaa2da20-special1

Any questions, call 786-361-6363 or e-mail ccubillas@specialolympics.org.

Orange Bowl shoe drive

The Orange Bowl announced the launch of its annual Kicks For Kids Program, in partnership with In Jacob’s Shoes, a local charity that provides new and gently used shoes, school supplies and athletic shoes and equipment to economically disadvantaged youth.

The organization will once again challenge schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to collect shoes. In addition, the Orange Bowl is partnering with Baptist Health South Florida to use its facilities as community collection sites. Anyone can drop off a pair of new or gently used athletic shoes in the Kicks For Kids boxes at participating Miami-Dade or Broward County Baptist Health Urgent Care Centers or Baptist Health Medical Plazas. TD Bank is also an associate sponsor of this year’s Kicks for Kids Program.

The Orange Bowl and Baptist Health are hosting a photo challenge, where people can post pictures of themselves donating shoes at the Baptist Health collection sites for a chance to win a VIP experience for two at the 2014 MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic featuring game tickets and behind-the-scenes access. To participate, donors are encouraged to use the hastag #Kicks4KidsChallenge tagging @BaptistHealthSF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and, nominate their family and friends to take the challenge.

For the school challenge, six schools – three schools from Miami-Dade and three from Broward County – will have the opportunity to win up to $1,500. Participating schools from across both counties are asked to collect new or gently used athletic shoes and cleats throughout the month of November. The top collectors from Miami-Dade and Broward counties will each receive a $1,500 grant from the Orange Bowl, with the second and third finishers receiving $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Last year, the Orange Bowl collected more than 4,000 shoes, the majority from the School Challenge. This year, the Orange Bowl’s goal is to collect 5,000 pairs for South Florida youth.

“The South Florida community’s response to the Orange Bowl’s Kicks for Kids program has been very gratifying,” said Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms. “Because of their contributions, we have exceeded our own goals in each of the first three years. We can’t wait to see the results of this year’s challenge.”

For a list of participating collection sites,

visit: http://community.orangebowl.org/community-involvement/kicks-4-kids/

Other businesses and individuals are also encouraged to participate.

If you or your business would like to collect or provide shoes or make a monetary donation to the program, contact Melissa Klein at mklein@orangebowl.org.

The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community.

The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 31, 2014. Other Orange Bowl core events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta, Orange Bowl Swim Classic and Orange Bowl Paddle Championships.

For information on the 2014-15 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread,

log on to www.orangebowl.org

In Jacob’s Shoes is a 501(c)3 Charity and was formed in 2009 in loving memory of Jacob S. Zweig. In Jacob’s Shoes provides new and gently used shoes, school supplies and athletic gear to children in need as well as grants for camp, athletic and enrichment programs.

Since inception, In Jacob’s Shoes has served more than 80 agencies, schools and shelters and provided 23,000+ pairs of shoes and 2,500 backpacks with school supplies for children living in shelters, foster care and poverty in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.

For information, including volunteer opportunities,

visit www.injacobsshoes.org or facebook.com/InJacobsShoes.

More events, leagues, programs

Football

The FBU National Championship kicks off Dec. 6 at 16 venues across America, with the winners advancing to round 2 on Dec. 7.

The structure of the Football University National Championship is a combination of the Little League World Series and the NCAA March Madness. The single-elimination tournament, features 192-region-based teams (64-teams in each age bracket – 6th, 7th and 8th grade) comprised of the top 30 all-star athletes from their area who had to try out to earn a roster spot.

The first four rounds will occur at regional sites, with the semifinals and championship weekend Dec. 20-21 in Naples for the final four teams in each age bracket.

Miami-Dade County youth athletes have been given the extraordinary honor of participating in the tournament beginning Dec. 6. Sixth graders, seventh graders, and eighth graders were selected to play for the FBU Miami-Dade County Team in each of their grade levels. Each team, comprised of top football players from through the county, will be competing in full contact football games with the ultimate goal of advancing to the championship in Naples.

The Miami-Dade County team, led by State Director Damian Sosa, will begin the tournament on Dec. 6 in West Palm Beach.

This year’s tournament marks the fourth year of the biggest youth football event to date, with 192 teams nationwide, including more than 250 games, 6,000 athletes and 1,200 coaches. The tournament will showcase 250 games through a three-week period, resulting in more than 1,000 hours of play.

Visit www.fbunc.com

Football

The fifth annual National Bowl, featuring some of the best FCS (NCAA Division I-AA) players in the country, is Dec 5-7 at Florida International University at Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium in Miami.

Representatives from 10 Nteams attended in 2013, and NFilms distributed game film to teams. Fifteen players in the past two years participated in Ncamps, seven in 2013.

NATIONALBOWL.ORG

FCSBOWL.COM

Heads Up

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

Drayton added a new title to his résumé — NAmbassador for Heads Up Football.

The Nand 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 NFoundation.

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 expanded to more than 600 youth leagues in 50 states. Of these leagues, 100 were assigned a former Nplayer mentor. Drayton served as a mentor to a local Heads Up League — the Tamiami Colts of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

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 www.floridachristian.org.

ThunderPlex

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 www.jointhunder.com ; contact@jointhunder.com or call 786-505-5585.

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

Thunder basketball

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

The 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 information visit www.jointhunder.com

Registration is open.

Email contact@jointhunder.com 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 Tamiamibasketball@gmail.com or call 305 -273-1145.

Tennis

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, 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 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 tours@marlins.com. 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 www.hofball.net 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 www.miamirugbykids.com.

Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, is 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.

For more information or to register, visit www.miamisoccer5.com.

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 www.rebelleathletics.com.

Jai-Alai

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 admanUSA@aol.com or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

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).

Be honored at Miami Heat game

The Miami Herald and the three-time world champion Miami Heat in partnership with Gatorade are sponsoring the Academic/Sportsmanship Team Player spotlight in Sunday’s youth sports pages in the Neighbors Sunday print section of the Miami Herald and online at http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth-sports/.

Youth league coaches, team reps, school coaches, administrators, teachers or family members can nominate any South Florida recreational, travel league, elementary school, middle school or junior varsity basketball player from fall, winter, spring or summer seasons who displays sportsmanship and good grades or shows improvement in the classroom.

Include school, grade level and grades or interim report. Each selected academic team player will receive a certificate of achievement, a Heat gift pack, two Heat tickets and will be recognized on the court. Plan accordingly as there are three designated ceremony dates during the regular season, and no make-up dates.

To nominate a Team Player, e-mail (Jim) jvarsallone@miamiherald.com or call 954-538-7153. Winners will be selected by random drawing from nominees who meet the above requirements.

Be sure to include a contact telephone number and complete mailing address in your correspondence and mail or e-mail a photograph to us. For Heat ticket information, call 786-777-HEAT and log on to HEAT.com.

Submit athlete or team news to Sports Scene

Sports Scene spotlights news and notes from youth sports and adult league activities with the aim to feature game notes and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.

We rely on league directors and coaches, 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.

All sports are welcome as long as the team, individual or league is Miami-based.

Email sportsscene@miamiherald.com.

Visit http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth-sports

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