High School Sports

High school stars are honored at Miami Herald All-Dade Awards banquet

All-Dade Athletes of the Year, from left, Dewan Huell of Norland, Michelle Cuervo of Ferguson, and Michael Colonna and Sofia Carrera-Justiz, both of Ransom Everglades.
All-Dade Athletes of the Year, from left, Dewan Huell of Norland, Michelle Cuervo of Ferguson, and Michael Colonna and Sofia Carrera-Justiz, both of Ransom Everglades. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

Much as he has throughout his high school basketball career, Miami Norland’s Dewan Huell stood taller than everyone on stage Thursday morning.

Sofia Carrera-Justiz and Michael Colonna knew it before they had even heard their names called as their coaches and teammates at Ransom Everglades cheered them on.

And Ferguson All-American volleyball star Michelle Cuervo smiled as she completed the quartet of Miami-Dade County Athletes of the Year.

The four talented athletes were among the numerous high school stars honored Thursday morning by the Miami Herald at its annual All-Dade Awards breakfast at Jungle Island in Miami.

The event, sponsored by Miami Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Baptist Health South Florida, the Orange Bowl and the Florida Panthers, drew a crowd of more than 1,200 and honored athletes and coaches in 18 sports.

Colonna, who also was named Co-Player of the Year for Classes 3A-1A Boys’ Soccer along with Scheck Hillel’s Netanel Silberman after each led his school to its first state championship, was named the 5A-1A Male Athlete of the Year.

Colonna, a junior who also made first team All-Dade in his main sport of volleyball and was a standout wide receiver and defensive end on his school’s football team, was the first Male Athlete of the Year ever for Ransom Everglades.

Colonna and Carrera-Justiz headlined a stellar season for Ransom, which won the Class 5A-1A All-Sports Award for the third consecutive season.

Carrera-Justiz, who is headed to Harvard, became the sixth Female Athlete of the Year for Ransom since 2007, and was also named the Girls’ Water Polo Player of the Year after leading the Raiders to a state championship. She also was a first-team All-Dade selection in volleyball and soccer.

Huell, a 6-10 senior forward, was named the Class 9A-6A Male Athlete of the Year. Although his Vikings were unable to repeat as state champions this season, Huell was named a McDonald’s All-American and signed with the University of Miami.

Huell is the second basketball player and fourth athlete ever at Norland to win the award, joining former Georgia Tech standout Zachery Peacock, and he’s the first Viking to win it since current Cleveland Browns and former UM running back Duke Johnson won it in 2012. Huell also was named the Class 8A-6A Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year.

Cuervo, a junior, entered the season as Preseason All-American in volleyball and didn’t disappoint. She was named the 9A-6A Female Athlete of the Year and Girls’ Volleyball Player of the Year for large schools after a stellar season in which she led the Falcons to the state final four. She is the second recipient of the award in the past three seasons from Ferguson, joining another volleyball standout, Annika Reczek.

Booker T. Washington football coach Earl Tillman and longtime Gulliver tennis coach Kelly Mulligan were named the Overall Coaches of the Year for Male and Female Sports, respectively.

Tillman, the head coach at Booker T. last year, led the Tornadoes to their fourth consecutive state title following a 5-5 regular season. He also was named the Classes 5A-Independents Football Coach of the Year.

Mulligan led both of her tennis teams to the Class 2A state championships this season at Gulliver. It was the seventh for her girls and 10th for her boys since 1994.

Veteran volleyball coach Mauricio Diaz and South Dade principal Javier Perez were honored with the Miami Herald’s Leo Suarez/Walter Krietsch Courage Awards. The awards are given annually to individuals in the local community who have persevered through adversity.

Perez, South Dade’s principal, was hit by an SUV in late April while coaching his son’s baseball game at Tamiami Park. Perez remains hospitalized after losing both legs after the tragic incident.

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South Dade players, coaches and faculty accepted the award Thursday as Bucs baseball first baseman Alek Manoah led the crowd in a prayer on his behalf.

Diaz, a two-time state championship coach at Southwest High and a state championship assistant coach at Ransom Everglades, has been battling a Stage 2 brain tumor that kept him from coaching this season.

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In addition to Ransom, Coral Reef earned the Class 9A-6A All-Sports Award for overall athletic excellence. Westminster Christian swept the Boys’ and Girls’ Major Awards in the Class 5A-1A category. Belen Jesuit won the Boys’ Major Trophy for Classes 9A-6A and Lourdes took home the Girls’ Major.

The Miami Herald also honored three notable figures of the high school sports community with its Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Greater Miami Athletic Conference executive secretary Cheryl Golden was honored after 14 years directing Dade County Public School athletics and, among many accomplishments, helped to make several innovations for the safety of athletes in the conference.

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Departing Ransom Everglades athletic director Claude Grubair also was honored for his 17 years of service to his school and the local community.

Retiring Dr. Krop coach Mike Kypriss also was honored for his Hall of Fame career in tennis.

Andre C. Fernandez: 305-376-4997, @AndreMHsports

2015-16 Miami Herald All-Dade Awards winners

ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

Class 9A-6A Male Athlete of the Year: Dewan Huell, Norland (basketball).

Other Finalists: Chei Hill, South Dade (wrestling, football), Trajan Bandy, Columbus (football, track and field), Tavish Rice, Belen (football, soccer), Jason Harris, Killian (volleyball, badminton), James Wiggins, South Dade (football, track and field), Alex Victor, Braddock (football, wrestling).

Class 9A-6A Female Athlete of the Year: Michelle Cuervo, Ferguson (volleyball).

Other finalists: Ashley Reid, Killian (volleyball, badminton, soccer, flag football), Daesha Rogers, North Miami (cross-country, track and field), Andrisia Sweeting, Miami High (basketball, flag football), Lori Cuoto, Lourdes (basketball, track and field), Thea Ramirez, South Dade (softball).

Class 5A-1A Male Athlete of the Year: Michael Colonna, Ransom Everglades (soccer, volleyball).

Other Finalists: Joseph Jackson, Gulliver (football, basketball, track and field), Blake Miller, Palmer Trinity (football, baseball), Dylan Charlton, Westminster Christian (football, wrestling), Justin Brown, Westminster Christian (basketball), Trevor Pelletier, Gulliver (lacrosse, golf).

Class 5A-1A Female Athlete of the Year: Sophia Carrera-Justiz, Ransom Everglades (volleyball, soccer, water polo).

Other Finalists: Nikkia Benitez, Westminster Christian (volleyball, softball), Debbie Ajagbe, Ransom Everglades (volleyball, track and field); Natalie Varela, Gulliver (cross-country, track and field), Destiny Wilson, Monsignor Pace (basketball, flag football), Tiara McMinn, Jackson (track and field, cross-country).

Boys’ scholar-athlete: Tavish Rice, Belen Jesuit.

Girls’ scholar-athlete: Victoria Maseda, Lourdes.

SPECIAL AWARDS

Lifetime Achievement: Cheryl Golden, GMAC executive secretary.

Lifetime Achievement: Michael Kypriss, Dr. Krop tennis coach.

Lifetime Achievement: Claude Grubair, Ransom Everglades, athletic director.

Leo Suarez/Walter Krietsch Courage Award: Mauricio Diaz, Southwest and Ransom Everglades volleyball coach.

Leo Suarez/Walter Krietsch Courage Award: Javier Perez, South Dade principal.

ALL-SPORTS

Class 9A-6A All-Sports: Coral Reef.

Class 9A-6A Boys’ Major: Belen Jesuit.

Class 9A-6A Girls’ Major: Lourdes.

Class 5A-1A All-Sports: Ransom Everglades.

Class 5A-1A Boys’ Major: Westminster Christian.

Class 5A-1A Girls’ Major: Westminster Christian.

OVERALL

Male Sports Coach of the Year: Earl Tillman, Booker T. Washington football.

Other finalists: Roland Smith, Central football, David Villano, Ransom Everglades soccer, Tanger Mendonca, Belen soccer, Ben Magidson, Scheck Hillel soccer, Vic Balmeceda, South Dade wrestling.

Female Sports Coach of the Year: Kelly Mulligan, Gulliver tennis.

Other finalists: Ochiel Swaby, Miami Country Day basketball, Carmen Jackson, Northwestern track and field, Jeff Poppel, Gulliver swimming and diving, Eric Lefebvre, Ransom Everglades water polo.

FALL SPORTS

FOOTBALL

8A-6A Offensive Player of the Year: Alejandro Ros, Columbus.

8A-6A Defensive Player of the Year: Keir Thomas, Central.

8A-6A Co-Coaches of the Year: Roland Smith, Central and Joseph Petisco, Sunset.

5A-Ind. Offensive Player of the Year: Daniel Richardson, Booker T. Washington.

5A-Ind. Defensive Player of the Year: Jaquan Beaver, Booker T. Washington.

5A-Ind. Coach of the Year: Earl Tillman, Booker T. Washington.

GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL

8A-6A Player of the Year: Michelle Cuervo, Ferguson.

8A-6A Coach of the Year: Greg Shanower, Ferguson.

4A-2A Player of the Year: Nikkia Benitez, Westminster Christian.

4A-2A Coach of the Year: William Gonzalez, Palmer Trinity.

GOLF

Boys’ Golfer of the Year: Cole Castro, South Dade.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Mike Marinelli, Columbus.

Girls’ Golfer of the Year: Daniella Spillert, Lourdes.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Armando Echevarria, Carrollton.

SWIMMING

Boys’ Swimmer of the Year: Julio Horrego, Mater Academy.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Cathy Silveira, Doral Academy.

Girls’ Co-Swimmers of the Year: Kyla Valls, Ransom AND Kelly Fertel, Gulliver.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Jeff Poppell, Gulliver.

CROSS-COUNTRY

Boys’ Runner of the Year: Carlin Berryhill, Coral Reef.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Mike Becker, Coral Reef.

Girls’ Runner of the Year: Natalie Varela, Gulliver.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Doc Crabtree, Ransom Everglades.

BOWLING

Boys’ Bowler of the Year: Charlie Forero, Killian.

Girls’ Bowler of the Year: Patricia Velasco, Braddock.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Amado Yaniz, Miami Christian.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Sebastian Verger, Braddock.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

8A-6A Player of the Year: Dewan Huell, Norland.

8A-6A Coach of the Year: Robert Doctor, South Miami.

4A-2A Player of the Year: Justin Brown, Westminster Chris- tian.

4A-2A Co-Coaches of the Year: Juan Hernandez, Archbishop Carroll and P.J. Brown, Westminster Chris- tian.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

8A-6A Player of the Year: Gio Perez, Ferguson.

8A-6A Coach of the Year: Gabriel Lazo, Ferguson.

4A-2A Player of the Year: Channise Lewis, Miami Country Day.

4A-2A Coach of the Year: Ochiel Swaby, Miami Country Day.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

5A-4A Player of the Year: Ava Gruener, Palmetto.

5A-4A Coach of the Year: Ramiro Vengoechea, Lourdes.

3A-1A Player of the Year: Alyssa Deno, Miami Springs.

3A-1A Coach of the Year: Andrew Vassell, Gulliver.

BOYS’ SOCCER

5A-4A Player of the Year: Frankie de la Camara, Belen Jesuit.

5A-4A Coach of the Year: Tanger Mendonca, Belen Jesuit.

3A-1A Co-Players of the Year: Michael Colonna, Ransom Everglades and Netanel Silberman, Scheck Hillel.

3A-1A Co-Coaches of the Year: David Villano, Ransom Everglades and Ben Magidson, Scheck Hillel.

WRESTLING

Wrestler of the Year: Ozzy Lugo, South Dade.

Coach of the Year: Vic Balmeceda, South Dade.

CHEERLEADING

Coach of the Year: Arlenee Suarez, St. Brendan.

BASEBALL

9A-7A Pitcher of the Year: Andy Arguelles, Columbus.

9A-7A Player of the Year: Christian Del Castillo, Belen Jesuit.

9A-7A Co-Coaches of the Year: Jose Alvarez, Westland Hialeah AND Juan Carnicero, Coral Park.

6A-2A Pitcher of the Year: Chris Rodriguez, Monsignor Pace.

6A-2A Player of the Year: Jeter Downs, SLAM Academy.

6A-2A Coach of the Year: Tom Duffin, Monsignor Pace.

SOFTBALL

9A-7A Pitcher of the Year: Brittney Barczak, Palmetto.

9A-7A Player of the Year: Thea Ramirez, South Dade.

9A-7A Coach of the Year: Emilio Exposito, Palmetto.

6A-2A Pitcher of the Year: Victoria Perez, Westminster Christian.

6A-2A Player of the Year: Ally Mena, Westminster Christian.

6A-2A Coach of the Year: Scott Doan, Westminster Christian.

TRACK AND FIELD

Boys’ Athlete of the Year: Tyresse Cooper, American.

Girls’ Athlete of the Year: Tiara McMinn, Jackson.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Fred Foyo, Columbus.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Carmen Jackson, Northwestern.

TENNIS

Boys’ Player of the Year: Richie Torres, MAST Academy.

Girls’ Player of the Year: Sara Culbertson, Riviera Prep.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Kelly Mulligan, Gulliver.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Kelly Mulligan, Gulliver.

WATER POLO

Boys’ Player of the Year: Pablo Kurzan, Belen Jesuit.

Girls’ Player of the Year: Sofia Carrera-Justiz, Ransom Everglades.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Jimmy Aguilera, Belen Jesuit.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Eric Lefebvre, Ransom Everglades.

LACROSSE

Boys’ Co-Players of the Year: C.J. Hassan, Gulliver and Carlos Clavijo, St. Brendan.

Girls’ Player of the Year: Erin Bakes, Ransom Everglades.

Boys’ Coach of the Year: Jim Piggot, Gulliver.

Girls’ Coach of the Year: Bridgette Laskey, Ransom Everglades.

BOYS’ VOLLEYBALL

Player of the Year: Jason Harris, Killian.

Co-Coaches of the Year: Dee Rey, Mourning and Clinton Reid, Killian.

FLAG FOOTBALL

Player of the Year: Destiny Wilson, Monsignor Pace.

Coach of the Year: Denoff Johnson, Hialeah.

BADMINTON

Boys’ Player of the Year: Jason Harris, Killian.

Girls’ Player of the Year: Patricia Miranda, Goleman.

Coaches of the Year: Marta Guinea and Linda Golden, Southwest.

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