Youth Sports

Miami teams beat Broward 4-2 in Dolphins youth all-star football games

Miami-Dade County defeated Broward County in the 9U Division of the Dade vs. Broward Youth All-Star Football Games presented by Broward College at Traz-Powell Stadium in Miami. The event was hosted by Miami Dolphins Youth Programs in partnership with the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) and the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA).
Miami-Dade County defeated Broward County in the 9U Division of the Dade vs. Broward Youth All-Star Football Games presented by Broward College at Traz-Powell Stadium in Miami. The event was hosted by Miami Dolphins Youth Programs in partnership with the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) and the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA). Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Youth Programs -- in partnership with the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) and the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA) -- hosted Dade vs. Broward Youth All-Star Football Games presented by Broward College at Nathaniel Traz-Powell Stadium in Miami.

The top youth football players from Miami-Dade and Broward County that play in the AYFL, FYFL, Great Miami Pop Warner, Gold Coast Pop Warner, Miami Xtreme as well as NYFL and YASL in age groups 7U-14U participated in games throughout the day. High school coaches from around the area coached the youth all-star teams, creating the opportunity for mentorship and development of the youth coaches.

“Following the success of the sixth Dade vs. Broward High School All-Star game, we were excited to continue the competition with extremely talented youth players from across South Florida,” said Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Youth Programs Twan Russell. “Having high school coaches leading today’s games continued to nurture the bond between the local high school and youth programs as well.”

Following each game, the winning team was awarded with a trophy, and players from both teams kept their game jerseys and were given a 2017 Dade vs. Broward All-Star T-shirt to commemorate their efforts.

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 its Junior Training Camps (JTC), Youth Football Clinics and Youth Football Camps.

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

Dolphins Dade vs. Broward All-Star Game Results

8U: Miami-Dade 12, Broward 6. 9U: Miami-Dade 6, Broward 0. 10U: Miami-Dade 13, Broward 6. 11U: Broward 39, Miami-Dade 13. 12U: Broward 18, Miami-Dade 12. 13U/14U: Miami-Dade 36, Broward 8.

Suniland Sundevils

Jose Regalado, founder of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League and current Park Commissioner of the Suniland Sundevils, received the Commissioner of the Year award from Miami Xtreme League President Rich Raphael.

Regalado said: “It means a lot because the award came from my fellow Park Commissioners.”

Suniland features about 100 football players on four solid teams (7U, 9U, 11U, 12U). The successful cheerleading program has about 45 girls.

There are 19 parks/programs in Miami Xtreme, with an average of 125 football players per park/program. The league also includes about 800 cheerleaders.

Palmer Trinity football

Palmer Trinity School offensive lineman Santiago Messmacher helped the U.S. Under-17 national team defeat Japan 44-7 at International Bowl VIII at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Messmacher was one of 50 high school football players selected to represent Team USA in the sport’s greatest annual international competition. Team USA is managed by USA Football, the sport’s national governing body and a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Chris Merritt of Christopher Columbus High School was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for Team USA.

About USA Football

USA Football designs and delivers premier educational, developmental and competitive programs to advance and grow the sport. As the sport’s national governing body, member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and organizer of the U.S. National Team for international competition, USA Football partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and athletics to support positive football experiences for youth, high school and other amateur players Facebook or on Twitter.

FIU football

Florida International University center Michael Montero (Christopher Columbus High School/Miami) was named Honorable Mention at the FBS All Americans Tropical Bowl at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium.

The Tropical Bowl showcased the top college football seniors to NFL scouts and general managers who traveled from around the country to the event. The weekend focused on scouting, teaching and football.

Montero started in all 12 FIU games on an offensive line that helped produce 4,503 yards of total offense (No. 4 all-time for yards in a season at FIU) in 2016. The Panthers rushed for 1,783 yards (third-most in school history) and produced 2,720 yards through the air.

Montero blocked for the school’s all-time leading rusher (Alex Gardner – 2,272 yards) and FIU’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (Alex McGough – 48); both marks set this past season. Under the watch of Montero, FIU’s offense gained more than 200 yards on the ground five times, including a 270-yard performance versus Florida Atlantic (Oct. 1), and gained more than 500 yards of total offense twice.

Montero, an Honorable Mention All-C-USA selection in 2016, was recognized by Athlon and Phil Steele (preseason Second-Team All-C-USA) and was named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List.

Southwest wrestling

The Southwest High School wrestling team won the Tri-County Invitational at Olympic Heights School in Boca Raton.

Besting the runner-up team by 100 points, it marked the Eagles second championship in three years.

At the Tri-County Invitational, Southwest had 12 wrestlers place including six finalists and five champions.

Champions: Julian Hernandez 113 lbs, Alex Urquiza 132 lbs, Franco Valdés 138 lbs, Adrian Vidaud 160 lbs, Angel Delcueto 170 lbs. Runner-up: Noel Fuentes 152 lbs. 3rd place: Jorge Benitez 182, Michael Mireles 220 lbs. 4th place: Zack Luis 120 lbs, Ulyses Fernandez 195 lbs. 5th place: Andy Dematas 126 lbs, Chris Sanchez hwt.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Maya Leoni – Soccer - scored four goals and added an assist in the Spartans’ win against Palmer-Trinity in the South Florida Middle School Conference Quarterfinals.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Aden Karp – Basketball - had nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Spartans’ win against Ransom Everglades.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Mary Elizabeth Allen – Soccer - scored a goal and added an assist in her ‘Senior Game” against Carrollton.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Aaron Dillworth – Soccer - scored four goals in the Spartans’ 5-0 win against Sagemont in their “Senior Game.”

Miami Half Marathon/Kids Run

Early Sunday morning on Jan. 29, Miami seventh grader Mariana Alvarado will line up with the adults at the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon start line to tackle the Half Marathon portion of the race.

It will be a tough challenge. She has run 1.2 miles on Marathon Sunday the past two years as part of the annual Kids Run Miami. Now she is graduating to 13.1 miles, one of the big races, which she will try to complete in less than 2 1 /2 hours alongside her father.

But no matter how exhausted she might be when she reaches the finish, Alvarado will immediately race to the start line of Kids Run Miami to make sure she is in place at 11 a.m. to run the 1.2 miles to the Marathon finish line with her classmates. Kids Run Miami has become a tradition for local middle school and elementary school students since it was added to the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon festivities in 2006.

“We have been training together to do the run,” said Alvarado, who attends Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center where she is an honor roll student. “I like running with my friends.”

Alvarado is a textbook example of the successful mission of Kids Run Miami, to introduce local kids to the physical benefits of running and hope it has carryover effects as they become older. The tradition began with a few hundred kids and now includes 5,000 youngsters who execute a 15-week training program at their respective schools, running a minimum of 25 miles over that period. The 1.2 mile finale is a celebration run of their participation in the program. While there are 5,000 kids running the final mile on race day, more than 11,000 students annually participate in the program at their schools.

Alvarado began running with her parents when she was six. Kids Run Miami gave her a chance to experience the activity with her classmates as she got older.

“I like that there are people on the street cheering you up,” she said. “It is exciting and it gives you motivation. It feels like another goal completed when you cross the finish line.”

The run will begin at N.W. 2nd St. and N.W. 2nd Ave. at 11 a.m. and wind down Flagler Street to the Marathon finish line, where the kids will enjoy the experience of finishing through the half-marathon chute.

Hope Jacobson, who works with Special Olympics athletes at Cutler Bay Middle School and has run in all 15 Miami Marathons and Half Marathons, will also be rushing from the Marathon finish line to the Kids Run to complete the final mile with her students.

“I'm getting weepy thinking about bringing Jasmine, who is vision impaired; through the finish line chute; chasing Bezi, who has Down Syndrome, down the final mile; getting Frankie (race founder Frankie Ruiz) to administer first aide to Pharoah, who has Autism, after he turned his ankle at the starting line,” Jacobson said, reflecting on past Kids Runs.

Dr. Jayne Greenberg, District Director for Physical Education and Health Literacy for Dade County, will have the widest smile as the Kids Run unfolds.

“Through Physical Education, students train for the Kids Run Miami program,” Greenberg said. “The program began as a goal-setting program. It not only teaches you about the importance of being physically active, but also how to set a goal, work hard toward your goal and to achieve your goal.

“If you can set a goal to be physically active every day, you can take that same goal-setting and apply it to everything that you do. We are developing a culture of health and wellness in our schools to engage all students, teachers, administrators, clerical, custodians, cafeteria workers and other staff to adopt a healthy lifestyle. We want everybody in Miami-Dade County Public Schools to be healthy and physically active.”

The schools participating in 2017 Kids Run Miami include A.I.E. Charter, Ada Merritt k-8, American High, Andover Middle, Charles Drew K-8, Coral Gables Prep Academy, Country Club Middle, Cutler Bay Middle, Downtown Miami Charter, Dr. Rolando Espinosa K-8, Eugenia B. Thomas K-8, Everglades K-8, Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center, Georgia Jones Ayers Middle, GW Carver Middle, Hammocks Middle, Henry H. Filer Middle, Hialeah Gardens Middle, Highland Oaks Middle, Mater Beach Academy, Mater Gardens Academy, Howard D. McMillan Middle, Miami Community Charter, Irving & Beatrice Peskoe K-8, Jose de Diego Middle, Lake Stevens Middle, Miami Lakes K-8, Miami Lakes Middle, Palm Springs Middle, Pinecrest Academy Charter, Redland Middle, Rockway Middle, Ruben Dario Middle, Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8, Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School, St. Theresa School, Sunny Isles K-8, Vineland K-8, West Miami Middle, WR Thomas Middle.

About the Miami Marathon

The Miami Marathon is Florida's elite distance race with 25,000 runners representing all 50 states and more than 80 countries converging on Miami and South Beach to experience one of the most unique courses in the world. The race has come a long way since 3,400 runners participated in the first Miami Marathon in 2003.

Now proudly celebrating its 15th year, race participants include elite runners, top age-group competitors, and many thousands who run for charity and to achieve their own personal goals. Together they enjoy the tropical views and the sounds of South Florida, with a diverse array of entertainment blended into the experience, and generate more than $50 million in total economic impact for the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.

About Life Time, The Healthy Way of Life Company

Life Time is a privately held, comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment lifestyle company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life Company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments.

As of January 2017, the company operates 122 centers in 26 states and 36 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information is available at

Miami Marathon/Half Marathon

When the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon begins at 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 29, more than 75 athletes with disabilities will be the first across the start line representing Achilles International, a worldwide organization that encourages people with disabilities to participate in running with the general public.

The group will include a large contingent of international athletes as the Achilles organization has chapters in more than 70 countries.

Domestic Achilles athletes come from eastern seaboard states such as New York, Connecticut, North Carolina and Georgia, while international participants hail from as close as Cuba and as far away as France and Germany. There is also a large South American group from Colombia and Ecuador. They are lured by a picturesque course that is largely flat and first-timer friendly and a race committed to the experience for disabled athletes.

A disabled athlete was actually directly responsible for the creation of the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon. A 12-year-old double amputee from California named Rudy Garcia-Tolson, in town visiting Co-Founder Frankie Ruiz and his high school cross country team in 2002, said something in a meeting with former Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas about wanting to return to Miami to run in a marathon some day.

There was just one problem. There wasn’t a marathon in Miami.

So the Mayor's office collaborated with Ruiz to start one, which led Ruiz to contact future partner Robert and Gaby Pozo, who had been trying to get an elite South Florida distance race off the ground. The Miami-Dade County Mayor’s office, along with Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, helped them work through all the red tape and civic cooperation they needed and the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon was born a year later. Garcia-Tolson is returning to Miami this year for the 15th Miami Marathon and Half Marathon to shoot the starters gun.

Each of the local disabled athletes from Miami-Dade and Broward counties have heartwarming stories to tell of their trek to the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon start line.

"It doesn't matter if you come in first, second, third. If you complete it, you are a winner," said Francisco Abreu, a Miami Gardens resident who will be hand-cycling his seventh Miami Marathon.

Here are the stories of six Achilles athletes from South Florida who will be among the first group to take off from the start line at 5:45 am. More information is available upon request..

Lance Benson - Benson, a 43-year-old married and father-of-three corporate real estate executive, will "run" the Miami Marathon on a skateboard -- the veteran marathoner was born without legs. Benson has been an athlete from birth despite his disability. As a youngster growing up in Raleigh, NC, he wrestled for his high school varsity team and competed in weightlifting. At 118 pounds, he could bench press 336 pounds.

Helman Roman - Helman Roman is a part of the Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, a program that brings hand cycling and other forms of racing to disabled veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most Americans will never forget September 11, but for 48-year old Miami Beach resident Roman, the day has added significance. On September 11, 2009, while commanding an Army IED vehicle in Afghanistan, a roadside bomb under his vehicle took his legs below his knees.

Jimmy Crews - It was raining heavily on the night of August 12, 2008, and young Jimmy Crews was on his way to the movies. When his car hit a puddle and hydroplaned, he lost control, spun and rear-ended a tree. When he regained consciousness, the teenager learned he was no longer in life's fast lane. Now, he faced a traumatic brain injury to his cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls the integration and coordination of movements. He met a former Achilles regional coordinator at a rehabilitation center several years after his accident and was encouraged to try hand-cycling.

Francisco Abreu - Abreu, 63, was paralyzed in 1988 when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a Miami-Dade County Florida Turnpike booth. A staff member at the Federal Corrections Institute in Miami, Abreu had departed the prison at 9:30 pm, stopped to eat and had a couple of drinks. It took 45 days for Abreu to be upgraded from critical to stable condition, and another two months of rehabilitation before he could leave the hospital. He was drawn into the Achilles group in 2009 by one of its quadriplegics. Now he's anticipating hand cycling his seventh Miami Marathon. He has also competed in the New York and Los Angeles Marathons.

Raphael Martinez - Raphael Martinez' life changed abruptly on Feb. 11, 1995, when he flipped his car while running late for work in Hesperia, Ca. He has not walked since. Martinez trains at the Homestead Air Reserve Base with Achilles athletes. He will be racing in his second Miami Marathon.

Jacqui Kapinowski - Jacqui Kapinowski has run, walked and competed in marathons in a racing chair. An elite runner before a double dose of bacterial meningitis in her 20s led to a rare neurological disorder that took away her ability to walk, Kapinowski is one of the most successful parathletes on the planet. As her health declined in 2005 to the point where she could no longer run, Kapinowski used a walker to slowly navigate the entire 26.2 miles of the final three marathons she "ran. In Miami, she will compete in her 81st career marathon- all but 20 have been in a race chair.

About the Miami Marathon

The Miami Marathon is Florida's elite distance race with 25,000 runners representing all 50 states and more than 80 countries converging on Miami and South Beach to experience one of the most unique courses in the world. The race has come a long way since 3,400 runners participated in the first Miami Marathon in 2003.

Now proudly celebrating its 15th year, race participants include elite runners, top age-group competitors, and many thousands who run for charity and to achieve their own personal goals. Together they enjoy the tropical views and the sounds of South Florida, with a diverse array of entertainment blended into the experience, and generate more than $50 million in total economic impact for the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.

About Life Time, The Healthy Way of Life Company

Life Time is a privately held, comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment lifestyle company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness.

Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life Company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments. As of January 2017, the company operates 122 centers in 26 states and 36 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information is available at

Kendall Hammocks flag football

The Kendall Hammocks NFL Flag Football program announces the registrations dates and times for the upcoming 2017 NFL Flag Football season.

Registrations are open to boys and girls, age 5-16. Cutoff date is July 1. Copy of birth certificate is required for age verification during the registration process.

Season will include 12 regular season games, two exhibition games and single elimination playoffs. All registrations, practices and games are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., Miami, 33186.

Registrations Dates:

February registration fee: $130.

Feb 4. - Saturday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.); Feb 11. - Saturday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.); Feb 17. - Friday (6:30-8:30 p.m.).

March registration fee: $140.

March 4 - Saturday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.); March 10 - Friday (6:30-8:30 p.m.); March 18 - Saturday (11 a.m.- 3 p.m.); Mar 25th - Saturday (11 a.m.- 3 p.m.).

New player tryouts and draft will be 1-6 p.m. April 2.

Registration fee includes: NFL Team Reversible Jersey, NFL flag belts, secondary Insurance, referee cost, participation awards, trophies for division winners/MVPs.

Discounted rates offered for coaches. All coaches require a USA football registration and a national background check.

For information or if interested in coaching, email


The NFL Flag football program is under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks and is an all volunteer organization, serving the community in youth sports for more than 27 years.

AmericanAirlines Arena

AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the three-time NBA Champion Miami HEAT, climbed to the #4 arena in the United States (previously #7) while maintaining its position as the #1 arena in Florida, and internationally, it placed 15th in the world according to Pollstar’s 2016 year-end rankings of the world’s top arenas.

AmericanAirlines Arena earned its lead ranking by selling 627,026 tickets for the 2016 calendar year for a variety of concerts, family shows and other special events.

“We’re so proud that AmericanAirlines Arena has cracked the top five arenas in the United States and that’s a testament to the diversity of our programming and an incredibly supportive South Florida community,” said Jarred Diamond, Executive Vice President of HEAT Group Enterprises, the marketing and programming arm of the facility. “At every level, AmericanAirlines Arena endeavors to continually provide five star service to our artists and promoters while giving our guests an entertainment experience that is second to none.”

Throughout 2016, AmericanAirlines Arena proudly hosted megastars such as Adele, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Drake, Kanye West, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand, Maroon 5, R. Kelly, Carlos Vives, Sin Bandera, Florence + the Machine, Maxwell, Mary J. Blige, Marc Anthony, Pearl Jam, Maná, Placido Domingo, Ricardo Arjona, Laura Pausini, Nicky Jam, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar and Ellie Goulding, and welcomed recurring events including the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina and the Miami HoopHall Basketball Invitational to name a few. In addition, AmericanAirlines Arena is home to family shows such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Cirque du Soleil, WWE, and Disney on Ice.

Pollstar is an entertainment publication for professionals in the concert industry and is the only publication that covers the business worldwide. Pollstar collects box office reports from almost all of the world’s top-level artists, promoters and venues. Pollstar’s rankings include all figures for tickets sold worldwide as reported to Pollstar on aquarterly basis.

To find out more about upcoming events and to get the latest news at AmericanAirlines Arena, visit or visit the Arena’s social media channels: * *

More events, leagues, programs

Soccer clinic

Barry University men’s soccer hosts an ID Clinic that will provide elite male, high school and club soccer players the opportunity to display their talents for college coaches from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and JUCO schools.

The event is from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, March 25 and Saturday, May 13 at Buccaneer Field at Barry University, 11300 NE 2nd Ave. in Miami Shores.

For information contact Barry University men’s soccer assistant coach Joao Garcia or call 305-899-3135.

UFC GYM Kendall

UFC GYM announced that following the overwhelming success of its 2016 12-Week Body Transformation Challenge, the brand recently launched its next iteration, expanding to 16 signature gym locations throughout the United States, including Kendall in Miami-Dade County.

“Whether your objective is to train with the goal of competing on stage or just living an overall healthier lifestyle, this program is designed to accomplish both,” UFC GYM President Adam Sedlack said. “We experienced some amazing transformations at our Corona and Torrance locations and we’re excited to expand this one in a lifetime challenge to members at all of our signature gyms.”

Inspired by four-time IFBB Figure Olympia Champion Nicole Wilkins, this program consists of one-on-one personal training sessions, tailored nutritional and supplementation plans, educational seminars and group workouts. Enrollment cost is $199 ($1,200 value) for UFC GYM members and $298.99 for non-members, which includes the challenge fee and a 12 week UFC GYM membership. Also, UFC GYM has agreed to pay the participant’s individual entry fee for those that want to compete on stage.

A grand prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the member who wins the “overall weight-loss” portion of the challenge, while both a male and female winner of the “overall muscle gain” portion will each win $1,000. Additional awards and prizes will be awarded at each participating location.

Contact UFC GYM - Kendall

8851 SW 107th Ave., Miami, 33176.

Phone: 305-680-5990

Contact: General Manager Jason Figorski;

Those who register for the Challenge are encouraged to stay connected at

Since debuting in 2009, UFC GYM has opened more than 135 locations throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, South America and the United Arab Emirates. The fitness franchise has continued to grow at a rapid pace with more than 50 locations opening in the past two years and more than 50 gyms expected to open in the next year.

For more information about UFC GYM, visit UFC, or follow on, Twitter or Instagram: @UFCGYM. Subscribe on YouTube at UFCGYM.

Skateboard Supercross

The Michael-Ann Russell JCC reported the first Skateboard Supercross Academy in the country at its facility in North Miami Beach.

The academy is a place to go after-school for a 40-minute lesson in a group setting with friends.

Students participate once or twice a week to take a lesson and may return on Sundays for Race Day.

Race Day provides some extra practice while learning the more competitive side of skateboarding. Learning to race on the pumptracks is a necessary skill, as competition helps to stimulate the sport.

Many young riders want more time on the pumptracks to be ready for the end of the semester Head to Head Races. That event is the grand finale of the semester curriculum, and it is the showcase for parents, family and friends.

The Head to Head Race brackets system determines who is the fastest racer to date and logs their time. Basically, two riders are paired to race and whoever wins goes against the winner of the other head to head race, until the remaining two compete in the finals.

Option #1 - Curriculum Based Learning

Monday: 15 classes (Member $375, Non-Member $565)

Tuesday: 16 classes (Member $400, Non-Member $600)

Wednesday: 19 classes (Member $475, Non-Member $715)

Thursday: 20 classes (Member $500, Non-Member $750)

Sunday: 17 classes (Member $425, Non-Member $640)

Option #2 - Race Packs (Open Ride Sessions)

(Reservations required. Bring a bicycle, scooter or inline skates)

One Class: Member $30, Non-Member $45, Curriculum Special! $15

10 Pack: Member $250, Non-Member $375, Curriculum Special! $125

20 Pack: Member $475, Non-Member $710, Curriculum Special! $240

Call 305-932-4200, ext. 145/146 to register.

For questions, text or call 786-529-8187.

Orange Bowl Leadership Academy

The Orange Bowl Committee launched the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, designed to engage and inspire middle school youth to maximize their potential to become future successful community leaders through access and exposure to career development, personal leadership and life skills.

Previously, the Orange Bowl conducted a pilot program that has now become the basis for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy, with classes of approximately 20 sixth-graders from both Bair Middle School in Sunrise and North Miami Middle School. Those students will continue as seventh-graders this year with a new curriculum, and two new schools will be added with sixth-graders at both Sunrise Middle School in Fort Lauderdale and Georgia Jones-Ayers Middle School in Miami.

The design of the program is eventually to have students follow a three-year curriculum through middle school and expand to other schools in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

“Our vision is to nurture and cultivate the next generation of South Florida community and business leaders,” said Judge Michael Chavies, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee.

Marlon A. Hill Esq, chair of the of the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy committee, added: “The Orange Bowl Leadership Academy will provide South Florida youth the opportunity to dream and develop a plan to achieve those dreams, to set and achieve personal goals and objectives, and to understand their options in life for success at home, their careers and in the community.”

From October through May, students in the program meet twice a month after school with teachers and mentors, who are Orange Bowl Committee members. The curriculum is specifically designed toward fostering character development and responsibility geared to elevating individual empowerment, efficacy and self-esteem.

The students are also exposed to guest speakers, many of whom are Orange Bowl Committee members, and occasional field trips for behind-the-scenes tours of locations such as the Southern District Court of Florida. These sessions are designed to inspire and unleash individual youth potential and leadership, while also creating career development awareness, knowledge and opportunities.

Support for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy is being provided by the College Football Playoff Foundation, whose philanthropic initiatives are directed toward education generally and more specifically teachers, through its Extra Yard for Teachers program.

The Orange Bowl Leadership Academy receives additional support from sponsors Bank of America, Comcast, Deloitte and Florida Blue.

The curriculum for the Orange Bowl Leadership Academy was created by the Pacific Institute specifically for the Orange Bowl Committee.


MaxPreps Top Athletes

Each month of the school year, MaxPreps will name a Male and Female Athlete of the Month, culminating with the Male and Female Athletes of the Year in June. The program is presented by the United States Marines Corps.

“The United States Marine Corps, through the MaxPreps High School Athlete of the Month program, is committed to recognizing students that embody the fighting spirit which enables them to win battles and overcome challenges they face, both on and off the field,” said Captain Sean Pangia. “We’re proud to partner with MaxPreps in this powerful program showcasing student athletes that have a positive influence in their community.”

The program has received more than 7,700 nominations and counting for the year so far. To nominate an athlete, click:

Youth Sports Safety

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association announced that nominations are open now through Dec. 2 for the third annual Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Awards.

The awards recognize individuals and/or entities that have made a significant contribution to advancing athlete safety based on one of two criteria:

· By providing exemplary youth sports safety protocols and care that set a precedent and/or model that others can follow.

· By advancing youth sports safety in one of the following areas: provision of appropriate medical care, research, policy change and/or resource allocation.

“NATA champions the significant contributions of leaders in youth sports safety research, education and legislation,” said NATA president Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “We are proud to honor some of the best in their field with the Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Awards and know their advances can help save lives.”

The awards will be presented at the eighth Youth Sports Safety Summit on March 7, 2017, in Indianapolis. The Summit is hosted annually by NATA and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, which comprises more than 270 organizations committed to keeping young athletes safe.

Anyone can submit a nomination for the Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Awards. For additional information including award eligibility and the online application, visit

Orange Bowl Showcase

The Orange Bowl Committee will host the inaugural Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, a free one day event in association with the National Football Foundation and its local chapters. It will bring together academically qualified high school seniors from Florida and football coaches from NCAA Division II, III and NAIA programs across the country.

The Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase will provide an unprecedented opportunity for young student-athletes to use their athletic and academic skills to earn collegiate scholarships, and ultimately a college degree.

The Showcase will occur 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 25 at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. All NCAA Division II, III, and NAIA athletic directors and head football coaches have been invited to attend the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase. Student-athletes eligible for participation must be graduating high school seniors who have not accepted a scholarship offer from a NCAA Division I (Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision) program. In addition, they must meet one of the three following academic qualifications:

· Earn a 2.3 GPA or higher in 16 Core Courses (please visit for a description of NCAA Eligible Core Courses)

· Earn an SAT score of 820 (math and verbal only) or higher on the old format (SAT exams taken prior to March 2016)

· Earn an ACT sum score of 68 or higher

“Everyone knows Florida is a hotbed of football talent for Division I players, but there are hundreds of academically qualified student-athletes beyond Division I signees who are excellent football players and looking to continue both their academic and athletic careers,” said Judge Michael B. Chavies, president and chair of the Orange Bowl Committee. “The Orange Bowl is excited to provide this opportunity for student-athletes so that coaches from around the country, who may have limited recruiting budgets, can evaluate these football players all in one location.”

The Showcase will consist of a series of tests and drills to best display each player’s various talents at their respective position. The program will allow ample time for coaches to view student-athletes in drills and talk to them individually about their respective football programs. Staffs from university admissions and financial aid departments are also being encouraged to attend the Showcase.

Following the day’s activities, players and university representatives will meet to discuss scholarship opportunities for the participating student-athletes. The Orange Bowl is providing lodging for the first 50 colleges to register, in addition to meals for all coaches and administrators.

The Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase is the third Showcase being conducted nationally in association with the NFF. The original showcase was launched eight years ago behind the leadership of former Milby High School coach Phil Camp of the NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter, and it was later followed by the showcase led by College Football Hall of Fame and former UCLA coach Terry Donahue of the NFF Newport Beach Chapter in Los Angeles.

“We are extremely excited that the Orange Bowl is staging a High School Showcase in South Florida, and I specifically want to thank Bob Epling, who serves on the NFF Board and is a past president of the Orange Bowl Committee, as well as Orange Bowl CEO Eric Poms for their leadership in making this happen,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The High School Showcases are an extremely powerful way for student-athletes to pursue their dream of attending college, and they result in millions of dollars in academic and participation scholarships each year. I had the privilege to serve as the Executive Director of the Orange Bowl from 1987 to 1993, and I know that the Showcase will make a real difference for high school players in South Florida. It’s really great that this is happening.”

The Showcase is a further commitment by Orange Bowl to youth sports, one of the four pillars of its community outreach, which also includes fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts. For more than 80 years, the Orange Bowl has been one of South Florida’s leading civic organizations, promoting championship sporting events, related premier entertainment and other year-round activities to inspire youth, engage our community and enhance the South Florida economy.

For more information about the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase and to register, visit

About the Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl is a 360-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. With its primary mission since being created in 1935 to bring tourism to South Florida through an annual football game and events, it has also maintained a legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. Orange Bowl community outreach efforts are comprised of four pillars: youth sports, fundraising and community events, academic programs and scholarships, and legacy gifts.

The Orange Bowl features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, 2016. For more information on the 2016-17 Orange Bowl events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program presented by Panera Bread, log on to Follow Orange Bowl: @OrangeBowl, Facebook and Instagram.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people.

With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at

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 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


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 and no later than Sept. 30, 2016.

For more information, go to

For information about USA Deaf Sports Federation, visit For information about the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf and the Deaflympics, visit


The Miami Backgammon Club plays 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays 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

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.

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.


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

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

Social Media:,,,

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

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

Gifts in Golf

PGA Certified Pro Philip Argianas, program director of GIG-Gifts In Golf, is proud to bring his expertise to special people with special needs to Coral Gables.

GIG programing -- like Golfing with Autism and Kids Swing Into Golf -- enrich the quality of life for families in the community.

Coach Phil said in a release: “Our fun programing impacts kids by teaching them life skills while providing physical and mental training through learning the game of golf.”

For information about registration including schedules and release forms, go to GIG’s website

To volunteer or for any other questions on the Autism and Down syndrome golf programs, call Coach Phil at 888-909-5709, check the website 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, 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 to view photos, videos and Team Mom tips and tricks. Visit for live streaming of high school events.


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

Connect with us on, and


The NFHS Network ( 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

or on Twitter @USAFootball

NFL Football Matters

The National Football Foundation announced the launch of, 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. “ 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. will enable us to directly capture those stories and inspire the next generation to further their educations.”

The NFF has linked with Arkleus Broadcasting, a Dallas-based full-service media company, to create the platform, which also encompasses a strong social media component to gain traction for the campaign.

“Arkleus is honored and thrilled to be chosen by such a prestigious American institution as the NFF to build and market an exciting new sports media property,” said Arkleus Broadcasting President Joe Shults. “We are passionately committed to helping the NFF in every way to protect, enhance, and ensure the future of football for generations to come.”

The site focuses on stories, videos, and franchises highlighting the very best in high school and college football, such as: Football Moms, Special Teams, Hook & Corporate Ladder, Man-to-Man, the Quote of the Day and many more. The site will also be the home to exclusive profiles of Campbell Trophy finalists, Leadership Award Winners, Courage Award Winners and all the honors associated with the NFF.

“We are really excited about the Football Matters initiative,” said Hatchell. “I want to thank everybody at Arkleus for their passion for the project. They have done a marvelous job of getting it up and running in a short amount of time, and we have already received great feedback.”

The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.

You can learn more about the site and watch a video featuring NFF Chairman Archie Manning and NFF Board Members Jack Ford, Archie Griffin, Kevin Plank and Rod West by clicking here.






The international sport Footgolf is being introduced to the South Miami-Dade community at Killian Greens Golf Club, 9980 SW 104th St.

Footgolf (18 holes) can be played in two hours and is a great source of exercise for those who enjoy kicking a soccer ball. Times are available everyday of the week after 4:30 p.m. to players of all skill levels, families and groups. Balls are available for rent for $5 to those who do not already own one.

Killian Greens is an accredited Footgolf course with the American Footgolf League. Call 305-271-0917.


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

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.


Youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)