Youth Sports

Highland Oaks cross-country running well

The Highland Oaks Middle School cross-country program, led by Coach Matt Tomlinson, did well at the 305 Invitational and Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Meet, both at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.
The Highland Oaks Middle School cross-country program, led by Coach Matt Tomlinson, did well at the 305 Invitational and Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Meet, both at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.

The Highland Oaks Middle School girls’ varsity cross-country team placed third of 19 teams at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Meet at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.

Anissa Lespinase-Casimir was second of 156 girls, covering 2,1 miles in 14 minutes 45 seconds. Jada Saint Louis finished sixth in15:11, and Destiny Desrivieres also made the Top 10 by placing ninth in 15:24. Sophia Warsing (68th, 19:44) and Samantha Whitman (71st,19:48) completed the scoring. Kayla Gatlin (20:56), Brianna Easy (21:56), and Sophie Rier (27:02) also competed for the Panthers varsity.

The boys’ JV was ninth of 22 teams. Lorenzo Moreno took 25th in a field of 203 runners. Nicolas Ricardi (60th, 17:04), Andres Teixeira (70th, 17:20), Maxwell Hockenstein (75th, 17:26), and Kent Lavale also scored. Others competing were Matthew Pierre (18:35), Christian Veltchev (18:46), Emiliano Jara (20:32), Anthony Enriquez (21:31), and Alexander Valderrama (21:49).

Running for the girls’ JV were Amaria Sajous (20:51) and Ashleigh Whitman (21:53).

Jaden Foy and Francesco Rignanese ran for the boys’ varsity in 18:15 and 20:08, respectively.

Prior, the Panthers cross-country team opened their season at the 305 Invitational at Larry and Penny Thompson Park. The girls’ varsity team was second of nine teams as three HOM runners placed in the Top 10 in a field of 76.

Anissa Lespinase-Casimir took second on the 2.1-mile course in 15:09, and Jada Saint Louis was third (15:13). Destiny Desrivieres placed sixth in 15:54. Rounding out the scoring were Sophia Warsing (29th, 19:21) and Samantha Whitman (53rd, 22:13). Sophie Rier (24:30) also competed for the varsity.

The boys’ JV was fourth of nine teams. They were led by Lorenzo Moreno, who was fifth of 85 runners in 14:45. Nicolas Ricardi (29th, 16:56), Andres Teixeira (30th, 16:59) and Lavale Kent (17:28) also had strong races. Others competing for the boys’ JV were Alexander Valderrama (21:33), Anthony Henriquez (21:35) and Christian Veltchev (21:37).

Ashleigh Whitman was the lone girls’ JV girls runner, placing 33rd of 55 runners in 22:20. Francesco Rignanese represented the boys’ varsity, setting a personal best in 18:23.

Gulliver football

Robert Burns, a superstar running back from Gulliver Schools, was recently presented his honorary game jersey at the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2016 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game at Gulliver Preparatory.

The event was part of the three-month American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the Under Armour All-America Game.

Burns will represent the Gulliver Raiders at the prestigious football game in Orlando on Jan. 1, 2017. His selection for the New Years Day classic by ESPN Recruiting means Burns, a four-star recruit, is considered among the top rushers in the nation. ESPN rates Burns the eighth-best running back in the country and the 16th-best player overall in football-rich Florida.

Burns is one of more than 100 players selected to compete in the 10th annual Under Armour All-America Game presented by American Family Insurance, a nationally televised competition spotlighting the country’s top high school seniors.

“This is an incredible recognition,” said Burns, who turned 18 years old last week. “Growing up, that game is a must-watch event, and every player dreams of suiting up for it when their time comes. I'm humbled and honored that I will be one of the few who gets to realize those dreams. I only wish all my teammates could come along for the ride, since they're the ones who got me here. I'm thankful to each of them, my family, and the Lord, because I could never have achieved this without His love and strength.”

Gulliver football coach Earl Sims said: “At Gulliver, we are fortunate to see incredible players pass through our doors, and Robert is among the best we've ever seen. He's young man with an incredible work ethic and unbelievable faith. He has grown immensely during his time here, and I personally cannot wait to see what he does at the next level.”

Burns, whose played at Gulliver Preparatory since his freshman year, will take the field with and against the top competition in the country, playing one final game before heading to the University of Miami, where he is expected to make an impact right away for the Hurricanes just a few short miles down the road from his high school.

For more information on the Under Armour All-America Game, visit

underarmourgame.com.

About Gulliver Schools

Gulliver Schools is a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit, independent, coeducational, nonsectarian day school with the mission to create an academic community devoted to educational excellence, with a personal touch, that fulfills each student's potential. For more information about Gulliver, visit

www.gulliverschools.org.

About the Under Armour All-America Football Game

Since 2008, the nation's elite high school football players have been selected by ESPN Recruiting to participate in the Under Armour All-America Football Game.

NFL Pro Bowlers like Julio Jones and A.J. Green competed in the inaugural game, while No. 1 NFL Draft selections like Jadeveon Clowney and Jameis Winston are among the players that participated in later years. The tenth-annual Under Armour All-America Football Game will once again feature more than 100 of the nation's best senior high school football players on Jan. 1, 2017 in front of a national audience live on ESPN.

Kendall Hammocks football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors 9U tackle football team finished the regular season at 8-2 following a 24-0 victory over the Hialeah Cougars in Miami Xtreme at Devonaire Park.

The defense limited Hialeah to under 20 yards offense and did not allow a first down. Touchdowns by Cortez Mills, Bernardo Oliva , Dylan Gonzalez and Zachary Ruiz led the Warriors offense.

In 7U, Kendall Hammocks defeated the Hialeah Cougars 7-0 behind Ivan Houston’s 53 yards rushing, the winning touchdown and nine solo tackles. On defense Joel Rodriguez made two sacks and forced three fumble. Elijah Franoics had five tackles and a forced fumble.

In 12U action, the Warriors beat Hialeah 24-0 behind a season best 254 yards rushing thanks to strong offensive line led by John Noriega, Javier Cifuentes, David Diaz, Manny Fraga and Antonio Rangel. Roman Bisek-Seeber ran for 101 yards, and Diego Rodriguez rushed for 154 yards.

In other action: PW: Hollywood PAL 21, KH 0. 8U: KH 32, NMB 6. 10U: Hia 12, KH 7. 13U: Hia 20, KH 6.

For information on the Kendall Hammocks Warriors contact Mike Pintado at khwfootball@aol.com.

Miami Dolphins/RISE

The Miami Dolphins and the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) recognize the week six youth football players, coach and parent who have demonstrated their commitment to being leaders on and off the field:

• High School Player of the Week: Derohn King from Piper Senior High School in Sunrise. King is a freshman quarterback and commanded his offense against district opponent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, throwing for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Under King’s leadership, the Bengals remain undefeated at 6-0.

• High School Coach of the Week: Max Edwards from Miami Northwestern Senior High School. The Northwestern Bulls are currently 6-1 and are one of the leading teams in the playoff race.

• Youth Player of the Week: Jarvis Johnson from the Miami Xtreme Football League. Johnson plays running back and linebacker for the North Miami Redskins 10U. He rushed 16 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns and made six solo tackles in a 24-0 victory over the South Kendall Seahawks.

• Team Mom of the Week: Karen Davis from the American Youth Football League’s Plantation Wildcats. Davis is known as, “The kindest person in the park,’ according to Wildcats Head Coach and Captain of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department Patrick Heart. She has amazing organizational skills, overseeing the park’s uniform committee, managing concession stands, the parent snack schedule, team fundraisers and making sure the players have transportation to and from practice each day.

Davis replaced her car earlier this the year and selected a new vehicle based on her responsibilities as a team mom. “My car needed to be able to hold my wagon that has everything I need for practice and the game,” said Davis.

Her car is filled with shoulder pad parts, helmet parts, knee pads, thigh pads, girdles, mouthpieces, extra jerseys, socks, cleats and much more.

“Karen’s first aid kit would put most trainers or doctors to shame. Karen is always prepared and is known for having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for hungry kids after practice each night who need a meal,” said Wildcats Defensive Coordinator and Pembroke Pines Police Officer Jason Grieves.

Each week, Davis holds “Fun Fridays” for the kids that often include team scavenger hunts, ice cream, prizes for players with perfect practice attendance and t-shirts for the most improved players. Additionally, she finds time to help families who fall on hard times. Once there was a parent that needed to move quickly, because she lost her apartment, and Davis was instrumental helping the family find an apartment, move and made sure their son was at practice each night.

Several police officers presented the awards to High School Player of the Week Derohn King and High School Coach of the Week Max Edwards. Officer Yarborough from the Broward Sheriff’s Office visited Piper Senior High School, and Miami-Dade Police Department Sergeant Jesus Gonzalez, Officer David Thompson, Officer Anthony Turner and Officer Jason Whiting were present at Miami Northwestern Senior High School.

Each award recipient was also presented with a plaque on the field during the Oct. 16 Dolphins home game at Hard Rock Stadium against the Pittsburgh Steelers and received acknowledgement of their accomplishment in the game program and through the Dolphins’ and RISE’s social media platforms. They also received a pair of tickets to a Miami Dolphins home game and a Dolphins/RISE T-shirt.

As a newly added component of the program and part of the Dolphins/RISE partnership, winners will be empowered to make a difference by participating in a RISE training program where they will learn how to use the unifying power of sport to promote the importance and benefits of unity, equality and inclusiveness as well as address racial tensions their teams, schools and communities might experience.

Awardees also will be encouraged to take a pledge, committing to stand up to racial inequality and share how they plan to affect change by creating a “How I RISE” video message, which will be posted on RISEtoWIN.org.

About Miami Dolphins Youth Programs

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. 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. The goal is to promote Youth Football in the South Florida community.

About the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE)

Founded in 2015 by Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sport to advance race relations and drive social progress. Supported by an unprecedented alliance of sports leagues, organizations, educators, media networks, sports professionals and athletes, RISE uses sport as a vehicle to promote understanding, respect and equality. Through public awareness campaigns and educational programming, RISE aims to spark enduring action.

To learn more, visit www.RISEtoWIN.org.

FIU football

FIU junior linebacker Anthony Wint (Homestead/Homestead HS) has been named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 16.

Wint tied a career-high in tackles with 13 (seven solo) versus the Charlotte 49ers as FIU won its third-straight to improve to 3-0 in Conference USA action. He notched his fifth double-digit tackles outing of the season. Wint led an FIU defense that put the team in position to make a 13-point comeback in the waning moments of the fourth quarter as the Panthers scored two touchdowns in the final 4:30 for the one-point victory. Wint and the FIU defense held the 49ers on the final drive of the game to a missed 49-yard field goal to clinch the win.

The win improved FIU to 3-0 in conference action for the first time in program history and gave the Panthers their first three-game winning streak since the 2011 season.

Wint is currently fifth in the conference and 17th in the nation in tackles. The junior linebacker has recorded 72 total tackles this season – second on the team – and is 15 tackles shy of breaking into the top 10 all-time in the FIU record books.

This marks Wint’s second C-USA Defensive Player of the Week award this season.

For the latest information on Panthers football, follow us on Twitter, @FIUFootball, and check out Pete Pelegrin’s in-depth coverage of FIU Athletics on his official blog, The Prowl, at

www.FIUSports.com.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School: Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Colten Katcher – Football - scored on a fumble recovery, made nine tackles and forced a fumble against Florida Christian.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Ananda Naves – Junior Varsity Volleyball - combined for seven aces, 19 assists and 19 points in wins against LaSalle and Carrollton.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Ilan Zenatti – Swimming - won the 50 backstroke, was second in the 100 freestyle and was on the winning 200 freestyle relay team in a meet against Ransom Everglades.

Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Yakira Wardlaw – Volleyball - helped the Spartans win the South Florida Middle School Championship and was named tournament Most Valuable Player.

Escape to Miami Triathlon

Many of the 2,200 triathletes elected to participate in the shorter Sprint division (quarter-mile shoreline swim, 13-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) during the Mack Cycle Escape To Miami Triathlon.

A pair of Miamians led the way in the Sprint division, with United Health Care nurse Vladimir Casanova the overall winner (1:04:20) and state attorney prosecutor Marianne Curtis the first woman to cross the finish line (1:15:42).

Casanova, 40, is a four-year triathlon veteran and won the Mack Cycle Escape To Miami Triathlon race, when he last entered in 2014.

“I'm happy,” he said. “This is a hard race compared to the other races here in Miami.”

Curtis, 30, a former University of Miami women’s basketball player who has been racing in the event for several years, bettered her fifth-place finish from a year ago.

“It was awesome, absolutely awesome,” she said. “That’s why I keep coming back.”

The Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon is the final event of the 2016 Life Time Tri Series, which includes 10 triathlons across the country. The series also includes the South Beach Triathlon on the southern tip of Miami Beach each April.

Sprint Distance: Top Miami Finishers: Men: 1. Vladimir Casanova 1:04:02; 3, Javier Hidalgo 1:07:52; 4. Samuel Junior 1:09:19; 6. Paco Aspuru 1:10:33; 7. Bernardo Perez 1:11:43; 8. William Santa Cruz 1:13:33; 10. Carlos Mendoza 1:13:59.

Women: 1. Marianne Curtis 1:15:42; 2. Monica Rossi-Montero 1:17:19; 3. Rachel Ginsberg 1:19:25; 6. Jessica Oreamuno 1:21:48; 8. Lisa Blackburn 1:23:58; 9. Natalia Vazquez Radoszcyki 1:24:30; 10. Nancy Pena 1:24:33.

International Distance: Top Miami Finishers: Men: 2. Yunior Rosete Torres 1:59:33; 5. Roy Liu 2:03:43; 7. Yhousmam Perdomo 2:04:53; 9. Jesus Angulo 2:09:44; 10. Nacho Norena Ochaita 2:10:23; 11. Yacceri Leal 2:10:26; 14. Jorge Palma 2:12:54; 17. Javier Marquez 2:13:53; 18. Juan Benitez 2:14:06; 20. Gian Gil 2:14:25.

Women: 6. Alma Campiani 2:24:46; 8. Michele Lopez 2:27:22; 9. Sarah Glick 2:30:10; 10. Melissa Goldberg 2:31:58; 11. Kristin Von Hoerde 2:32:01; 12. Maria Ignacia Scharffenorth 2:32:16; 14. Nicole Rendos 2:32:59; 18. Belinda Bradberry 2:35:45; 19. Adriana Rendon Ventura 2:36:32.

Miami Country Day cross-country

The Miami Country Day School girls’ cross country team finished the regular season 12-0 and eye a second consecutive district title. The Spartans have been consistently ranked in the Top 15 in Class 1A by Flrunners.com and 11th in the state. The team is led by sixth grader Lauren McGaffic, eighth graders Kitty Simmonds and sophia Agurcia along with high schoolers Isaballa Allen, Taisa Strouse, Briana Espinosa, and Anastasija Moskvina.

Miami Country Day Open 5K at Greynolds Park: Girls’ teams: 1. Miami Country Day 52; 2. South Florida Heat 57; 3. Westminster Academy 70; 4. Calvary Christian 77; 5. Archbishop McCarthy 86; 6. Chaminade-Madonna 186.

Individuals: 1. Jasmine Hincapie (WA) 20:29.38; 2. Nicole Taggart (CC) 20:41.44; 3. Lauren McGaffic (MCD) 20:52.24; 4. Hayley Simonson (SFH) 21:34.63; 5. Abigail Rashid (Florida Christian) 21:53.31; 6. Windsor Anderton (SFH) 22:03.75; 7. Yanisel Stuart (AM) 22:16.12; 8. Megan Kelley (SFH) 22:31.31; 9. Estella Dunham (Doctors Charter) 23:00.04; 10. D. Franta (WA) 23:09.47; 11. Briana Espinosa (MCD) 23:11.14; 12. Victoria Carvajal-Romeu (AM) 23:11.53; 13. Ashley Williams (WA) 23:14.20; 14. Taisa Strouse (MCD) 23:22.00; 15. Sophia Agurcia (MCD) 23:27.42.

Boys’ teams: 1. Calvary Christian 58; 2. Westminster Academy 62; 3. Christopher Columbus 72; 4. Archbishop McCarthy 99; 5. Doctors Charter 155; 6. Miami Country Day 166; 7. Florida Christian 172; 8. South Florida Heat 173; 9. Coral Springs Christian 222; 10. Chaminade-Madonna 303.

Individuals: 1. Danny Ferro (CC) 16:06.28; 2. Will Shine (AM) 16:43.72; 3. Andres Del Valle (FC) 16:59.75; 4. Saahr Edouard (WA) 17:01.65; 5. David Hernandez (CC) 17:10.29; 6. Alec Cuevas (COL) 17:11.78; 7. Patrick Sastre (WA) 17:44.85; 8. Tristan Cravello (DC) 17:52.81; 9. Alex Aguerri (COL) 17:57.32; 10. Ariel Saravia (CC) 18:02.89; 11. Benjamin Deangulo (WA) 18:17.62; 12. Julian Plante (SFH) 18:26.56; 13. Julian Rashid (FC) 18:28.16; 14. Jonathan Villalobos (COL) 18:30.07; 15. Thomas Rodriguez (AM) 18:30.56.

Barry sports

The Barry University women’s volleyball team beat West Alabama 25-10, 18-25, 25-20, 25-12 in the final match of the South Region Crossover at the Orlando Sports Complex.

Kat Espinosa (Miami/Sunset HS) had 24 digs and three aces. Barry raced to a 13-4 lead following an ace by Espinosa in the opening set. Espinosa had nine digs in the third set. Espinosa ripped off an ace to push the lead to 18-6 in the fourth set. Megan Cuesta (Miami/Lourdes Academy) had a key assist down the stretch.

The Buccaneers improved to 9-7.

Carissa Sanchez (Miami/Archbishop McCarthy HS) scored the winner in overtime as the Barry University women’s soccer team edged visiting Tampa 2-1 in Sunshine State Conference play.

In overtime, Molly Sharpe saved a ball from going out on the left sideline and lofted a cross into the box. Sanchez collected it and slotted the ball home at the far post.

The Buccaneers are 6-2-1, 3-2 SSC.

The Barry University men’s soccer team defeated Auburn-Montgomery 7-1 in Tampa. An early goal from forward Ivan Arenas (Hialeah/Dade Christian School), just two minutes into the match, started Barry's scoring spree.

Pablo Georgakopoulos (Doral/Ronald Reagan HS) assisted Thomas Coombes on his second goal, setting him up with a one-on-one with the keeper for a 4-0 lead. Alex Doyle scored when Francisco Aguirre (Hialeah/American HS) received the ball from Frank Lustig toward the middle of the field and carried the ball most of the left flank of the pitch, to where he laid the ball off to Doyle just outside the six yard line.

The Buccaneers improved to 7-3.

Barry, based in Miami Shores, is an NCAA Division II affiliate.

Tennis

USTA Florida will be hosting four Development Camps for Diverse Backgrounds in 2016 in different areas of the state, for junior tennis players, age 12-18, who are currently participating in USTA tournaments, are looking to improve their game and learn about college scholarship opportunities and the latest in sports science and physical training.

“This will be the second year we are hosting more than one Diversity Camp to give more players around the state the opportunity to participate in this great learning experience,” said USTA Florida Player Development Coordinator Andy Gladstone. “The more players we can impact through the camps, the better it is for our sport and for the participants to improve in areas such as match play, strategy, and learning the amazing experiences they can have as college players.”

Pros and college stand-outs that have attended USTA Florida Diversity Camps in the past include Sloane Stephens, Victoria Duval, Sachia Vickery, and former University of Florida star Sekou Bangoura.

The cost for the one-day camp is $50. The fee includes drills, match play, a camp t-shirt, classroom improvement sessions for parents and players, and lunch.

South Florida - Oct. 29

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

William H. Kerdyk Biltmore Tennis Center

1150 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables 33134

To register visit:

TennisRegistration

For more information visit:

www.USTAFlorida.com/events

More events, leagues, programs

Tennis

The Tennis Committee of the USA Deaf Sports Federation is currently recruiting players with hearing disability to represent the U.S. at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey on July 18-30, 2017.

As United States citizens, players may be deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, cochlear implanted, late deafened, hearing challenged, or hearing disabled to qualify. However, to be eligible a player must have a hearing loss of 55 decibels (dBs) or greater in the better ear over an average of 500/1000/2000 Hertz.

Participants can be either orally oriented or sign language users.

Tennis players looking to qualify can e-mail karlpatreddy@gmail.com and HowardGorrell@aol.com no later than Sept. 30, 2016.

For more information, go to

http://bit.ly/2cNXKKW.

For information about USA Deaf Sports Federation, visit

www.usdeafsports.org. For information about the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf and the Deaflympics, visit

www.deaflympics.com.

Miami Dolphins/Bank United

Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry and BankUnited, a proud corporate partner of the Miami Dolphins, are giving full-time Florida students, age 13-18, a chance to kick-start their own personal savings with a $1,000 grand prize for submitting the winning essay in the 4 Downs for Finance financial literacy contest, open now.

Full-time Florida high school students are encouraged to register online at

www.4downsforfinance.com now through Dec. 19 to access age-appropriate money tips throughout the football season, and submit an essay on a financial literacy topic. Everyone who enters will have a chance to win a football autographed by Landry and have his or her name read live on the radio during a game broadcast. One student will win a $1,000 cash prize and a visit with Landry.

“Together with Jarvis and the Miami Dolphins, it is our goal to inspire young people to take an interest in learning about finances early on,” said BankUnited President, Florida Region Thomas M. Cornish. “At an age when many students are beginning to earn their first paychecks, 4 Downs for Finance teaches them the importance of getting a head start on learning about money.”

For more money tips or to register for 4 Downs for Finance visit

www.4downsforfinance.com.

Belen/Pace football

A football rivalry between two local Catholic High School teams, the Wolverines of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and the Spartans of Monsignor Edward Pace High School, will turn points scored on the football field into turkeys in the homes of poor families on Thanksgiving.

The competitors participating in “Turkey Bowl 2016,” an annual charity event sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Coral Gables Council 3274, to help fund the council's Thanksgiving Food Drive for needy families.

“We are delighted that both schools are again pledging $10 per point scored in this year’s game towards our Council’s Thanksgiving food drive,” said Grand Knight, Manuel J. Gonzalez.

“Turkey Bowl 2016” kicks off 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens.

After the game, the Knights of Columbus will present the winning team with the game's traveling trophy, a silver turkey platter engraved with the helmet designs of both teams. Also engraved on the trophy are the scores and winners of previous Turkey Bowls and a message that reads: “This traveling trophy, symbolic of the many empty platters that both schools help to fill through their generous support of the Knights of Columbus Coral Gables Council #3274 Thanksgiving Food Drive, is awarded to the winner of the varsity football game between Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and Monsignor Edward Pace High School.”

“Turkey Bowl 2016” charitable football competition is the continuation of a tradition started in 2007 by Knights of Columbus Coral Gables Council members who are alumni of the competing schools; Pace alumni Douglas Austin and Belen alumni Jorge Varela.

Knights of Columbus: The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization with more than 15,300 Councils and 1.9 million members worldwide. It provides members and their families with a wide variety of volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church and their communities.

Coral Gables Council #3274, established in 1950, is one of South Florida's oldest, largest, and most active Knights of Columbus Councils. In addition to its holiday food and toy drives, Council #3274 organizes numerous charitable activities throughout the year for area youth, the needy, and handicapped, and provides scholarships to Catholic High Schools.

For information on the Knights of Columbus Coral Gables Council call 305 445-7365 or go to

www.kofc3274.org.

For general information on the Knights of Columbus visit

kofc.org.

Belen Jesuit Preparatory School: Since 1854, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School has provided young men with the intellectual and moral foundation necessary for a college education. It is an institution rich in tradition, where students become "men for others"; individuals who care for their fellow human beings. At Belen Jesuit, students achieve excellence in academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Contact 305 223-8600.

http://www.belenjesuit.org/

Monsignor Edward Pace High School: Founded in 1961, Monsignor Edward Pace High School offers dynamic and challenging academics, broad and inclusive programs in athletics, and a host of extracurricular activities. The students come from different backgrounds, bringing a rich diversity of experiences to the campus community. Contact 305 623-7223.

http://www.pacehs.com/

Backgammon

After an 18-month hiatus, the Miami Backgammon Club resumes play 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 26 at The 19th Hole Bar & Grill, Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables, 33134.

The Miami Backgammon Club is a friendly group of South Florida Backgammon players. Players of all levels welcome. No membership fees.

Tournaments start promptly at 7 p.m.

Free live play. Tournament entry fee $10.

Contact Leo at 305-669-5260 or Leo@MiamiBackgammon.com.

www.MiamiBackgammon.com.

Howard Palmetto Baseball/Softball

Registration has started for the 2017 season of Howard Palmetto Baseball and Softball.

Divisions are available for girls and boys from high school ages through T-Ball, age 4 and 5. The league is open to all residents of Miami-Dade County, and the games are played at parks in Suniland, Greer, Coral Reef and Palmetto Bay.

Go to www.howardpalmetto.com for more information and to access the online registration link.

Player evaluations begin in December, and the season starts in January continuing through April/May.

Howard Palmetto Baseball Softball is beginning its 55th year as a not-for-profit community association dedicated to the enjoyment of organizing baseball and softball for all kids and their families. Howard Palmetto is a league where the beginning player improves and the improved player excels. It grows relationships and friendships for a stronger and healthier community.

Florida Panthers Learn to Play

The Florida Panthers in conjunction with the NHL, NHLPA and USA Hockey will be hosting “Florida Panthers Learn To Play” for boys and girls, age 4-8, who are new, first time ice hockey participants who have never registered with USA Hockey.

The program was developed in an effort to reduce cost barriers to ice hockey participation by providing free equipment. The Learn To Play program primary goal is to create the next generation of hockey players and fans who will remain engaged with the game throughout the rest of their lives.

Cost of entry is $100. Every participant will receive six weeks of on-ice training with Florida Panthers Alumni and USA Hockey Certified Coaches, as well as free registration into USA Hockey for the 2016-17 season. Each participant will also be custom fitted for a full set of brand new Florida Panthers branded CCM hockey equipment, including skates that they will use during the program and keep at the conclusion of the six weeks.

Finally, each participant will receive a voucher for two free tickets to a select Florida Panthers weekend home game with the opportunity to purchase additional tickets at a discounted rate.

The Florida Panthers Learn To Play curriculum is designed in conjunction with USA Hockey’s “Gold Standard” which utilizes an age appropriate Long Term Athlete Development structure known as the American Development Model. This model ensures that the program structure is both fun AND effective.

Visit https://learntoplay.nhl.com/panthers

Ali Boxing Center

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier D. Souto and the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department celebrated the renaming of Tropical Park’s Boxing Center to the “Muhammad Ali Boxing Center” at Tropical Park Boxing Center, 7900 SW 40 St., Miami.

“Back in September 2015, the Board of County Commissioners adopted my resolution for the Tropical Park Boxing Center to be named after the great Muhammad Ali, since I was privileged to have met the man in person and behold his many boxing victories,” said Commissioner Souto. “He was bigger than life and an inspiration to all. His memory will live on at this center as it grooms future generations of boxers.”

In honor of Ali – the late three-time heavyweight boxing champ - dignitaries joined members of the local boxing community.

Ali, born Cassius Clay, died on June 3 at age 74, following a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Considered one of the greatest boxing legends of all-time, Ali was famous in and out of the ring for his strength, power, speed, stamina, flamboyant personality and global presence.

Beyond The Game

Sports and history intertwine in HistoryMiami Museum’s new exhibition Beyond the Game: Sports and the Evolution of South Florida.

The exhibition -- open now thru Jan. 15, 2017 -- highlights the way South Florida sports have shaped and reflected the cultural growth of South Florida.

Since the 1920s, sports events and teams have both mirrored and molded the development of the area. Miami Jai-Alai, featuring the “world’s fastest” ballgame, and Hialeah Park, showcasing horse racing, were two early sporting attractions that lured northern tourists and fueled the public’s growing fascination with the area.

By the early 1960s, the Fifth Street Gym in Miami Beach, home to champion boxers like Muhammad Ali, emerged as an island of democracy amid the realities of Jim Crow segregation. Meanwhile, the newly opened Miami Marine Stadium was gaining popularity, and the sport of powerboat racing symbolized “sun and fun.” The Professional sports franchises followed, as did the rise of the University of Miami’s football program, confirming Miami’s status as a modern metropolis.

“From a historical perspective, the thing that is most striking is how central South Florida’s sporting scene has been to its identity almost from the very beginning. Hialeah Park and Miami Jai-Alai date to the mid-1920s, and both were not only important tourist destinations, but really shaped the way that people understood South Florida,” said exhibition curator Gaspar Gonzalez. “These kinds of attractions conveyed a sense of South Florida as a unique place.”

Curated by HistoryMiami and Gaspar González, a Yale-trained historian known for creating Emmy-winning documentary programming that has been featured on PBS, ESPN and others, the exhibition tells this story of evolution through photographs, trophies, uniforms, and never before seen items related to South Florida’s sport scene. In addition, two short films -- one on Hialeah Park, the other on the Marine Stadium, as well as a series of short video interviews with some of South Florida's most iconic former athletes -- will be played throughout the exhibition.

Presented by Hialeah Park and HistoryMiami, the exhibition will be displayed in more than 5,000 square feet of space in the Museum’s third floor gallery and will showcase artifacts from HistoryMiami's own collection, individuals in the community, as well as the area's professional sports teams and venues.

Notable items include:

Original Miami Heat floor from the Miami Arena; Dan Marino’s contract; Don Shula Play Sheet; Footage Muhammad Ali at 5th Street Gym; Orange Bowl trophy from University of Miami; Memorabilia from Marlins’ inaugural year; Hialeah Park infield sign; Video interviews with local sports icons Mike Lowell, Mercury Morris, Randal Hill

“The exhibition appeals to a diverse audience,” said Stuart Chase, President and CEO of HistoryMiami. “From the days of horseracing to the players who graced the grid iron Beyond the Game not only celebrates sports history, but offers a fresh perspective on the impact it had on Miami becoming the world-class city it is today.”

For information on becoming a member of HistoryMiami Museum contact Hilda Masip at 305-675-1618 or visit

www.historymiami.org.

About HistoryMiami Museum

HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is the premier cultural institution committed to gathering, organizing, preserving and celebrating Miami’s history as the unique crossroads of the Americas. It accomplishes this through education, collections, research, exhibitions, publications and city tours.

Located in the heart of downtown Miami, HistoryMiami Museum is a 70,000 square foot facility and home to more than one million historic images and 30,000 three-dimensional artifacts, including a 1920’s trolley car, artifacts from Pan American World Airways, and rafts that brought refugees to Miami.

For more information, call 305-375-1492 or visit

historymiami.org.

Social Media: twitter.com/historymiami, facebook.com/historymiami360, Instagram.com/historymiami,

Miracle League Ballpark

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade in partnership with the Miracle League of Miami-Dade County (MLOMD) and the Marlins Foundation are making way to bring a new Miracle League ballpark complex to Miami-Dade County.

The new development broke ground at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St., Miami. It will be the first ballpark of its kind for the county -- specifically designed for use by youth with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The facility will consist of an outdoor ballpark complex with specialized rubber fields, dugouts, a playground, a concession building, restrooms, and “quiet rooms” for parents and children. The entire site, including recessed drop-off and pick-up areas will be 100 percent accessible with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Funding for this project will be provided by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, together with the Marlins Foundation.

“I want to thank the Miracle League of Miami-Dade and the Marlins Foundation for coming together to expand athletic opportunities for our community’s children with disabilities,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “This new ballpark will give even more children and families in Miami-Dade County a place to enjoy America’s favorite pastime. I look forward to seeing this project come to life and watching our youngest residents play ball.”

Miracle League of Miami-Dade Co-Chairman Ray Rocha said: “There are over 276 specialized Miracle League parks across the nation and in Puerto Rico. This field at Tamiami Park would never have been possible without the unwavering support from the Miami Marlins organization along with the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. This first of its kind field in Miami-Dade County will provide the over 69,000 special needs children and young adults residing in our area, a safe and obstacle free environment to participate in America's favorite pass time. Every child deserves a chance to play baseball.”

Alfredo Mesa, Executive Director of the Marlins Foundation, added: “The Marlins Foundation proudly supports our charity sponsor the Miracle League of Miami-Dade in building this one-of-a-kind all-inclusive ballpark complex. The funds we have raised together with the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade are aligned with the mission of bettering the lives of our youth through recreational sports like baseball.”

Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys said: “Miami-Dade Parks has long been committed to providing accessible sports and recreation opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities. A ballpark like this will further encourage them to get outdoors and be active.”

MLOMD was founded in 2010 by Sturge and his partner Keith Reilly in 2010, marking it as the county’s first Miracle League and the 236th member joining the nationwide initiative that enables children with disabilities, such as Autism, Down syndrome, Cancer and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), to play the game of baseball and be part of a team.

In 2012, the MLOMD approached the County with plans for constructing a custom-designed accessible ballpark at a Miami-Dade Parks facility. Tamiami Park was selected for as the ballpark site because of its central location, accessibility and large youth baseball program.

To date, the League has been busy planning, preparing and fund-raising on behalf of the MLOMD ballpark development plan. A rendering of the ballpark and more information can be found at the MLOMD website.

For directions to Tamiami Park visit the web page or call 786-315-5295.

Miami-Dade Parks is a world-class parks system supported by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness, and Conservation and Stewardship.

Warrior Basketball

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.

Call 305-777-7077.

SSAC sports

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

www.sunshinestateathletics.com.

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

NSCAA.com.

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

http://giftsingolf.org/schedules-and-forms/

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.

Team Moms

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.”

Visit GoTeamMoms.com to view photos, videos and Team Mom tips and tricks. Visit NFHSNetwork.com for live streaming of high school events.

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.

Connect with us on Facebook.com/OliveGarden, Twitter.com/OliveGarden and Instagram.com/OliveGarden.

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.

Visit www.footballfoundation.org.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NFFNetwork

Twitter https://twitter.com/NFFNetwork

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/NFFOnDemand

Footgolf

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.

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.

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).

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.

Email sportsscene@MiamiHerald.com.

Youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth/miami-dade

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

www.youtube.com/user/jvarsallone/videos

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 Miami-Dade Sunday Neighbors 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 at a designated Heat game. Plan accordingly as there are three ceremony dates during the regular season at the AmericanAirlines Arena, and no make-up dates.

Jan. 19 (Thursday) vs. Dallas Mavericks

Feb. 13 (Monday) vs. Orlando Magic

March 1 (Wednesday) vs. Philadelphia 76ers

To nominate a Team Player, e-mail Miami Herald Youth Sports Editor Jim Varsallone at

jvarsallone@miamiherald.com or call 305-376-3621.

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.

For Heat ticket information, call 786-777-HEAT and log on to HEAT.com.

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