Youth Sports

Red Zone flag football wins national title

The Miami-based Red Zone All Stars 12U flag football team won the NFL Flag Nationals during NFL Pro Bowl Weekend at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex in Kissimmee. The champs are from left, Coach Luis H. Rodriguez, Coach Saaid Mortazavi, Dey Dey Bell, Mark Evans, Rashad Davis, Brandon Inniss, Jaiden Mortazavi, Taron Dickens, Jamari Ford, De’Carlo Donaldson and YulKeith Brown.
The Miami-based Red Zone All Stars 12U flag football team won the NFL Flag Nationals during NFL Pro Bowl Weekend at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex in Kissimmee. The champs are from left, Coach Luis H. Rodriguez, Coach Saaid Mortazavi, Dey Dey Bell, Mark Evans, Rashad Davis, Brandon Inniss, Jaiden Mortazavi, Taron Dickens, Jamari Ford, De’Carlo Donaldson and YulKeith Brown.

The Miami-based Red Zone All Stars 12U flag football team, representing the Minnesota Vikings, won the NFL Flag Nationals during NFL Pro Bowl Weekend at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex in Kissimmee.

The champs are Dey Dey Bell, Mark Evans, Rashad Davis, Brandon Inniss, Jaiden Mortazavi, Taron Dickens, Jamari Ford, De’Carlo Donaldson and YulKeith Brown. The coaches are Luis H. Rodriguez and Saaid Mortazavi.

Anyone interested in being a part of the Red Zone All Stars teams, visit www.redzonesports.org.

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:

March registration fee: $140.

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 khnflflagfootball@aol.com

Visit www.khwarriors.org

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.

Dolphins Landry BankUnited

BankUnited, a proud corporate partner of the Miami Dolphins, recently presented 17-year-old Ali Choueiki of North Miami Beach Senior High School with a $1,000 cash prize and a meeting with Miami Dolphins football player Jarvis Landry as part of BankUnited’s sponsorship of the 4 Downs for Finance financial literacy program.

Choueiki wrote the award-winning essay that earned him a $1,000 cash prize and meet-n-greet. The reception and check presentation occurred recently in the Dolphins locker room at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

In writing about the importance of saving money, Choueiki notes that as a high school senior with numerous financial responsibilities such as senior class events, a phone bill, food and leisure activities, “there are times where I have to dig into my savings account. Also, I am planning on going to college out of state, so whenever I have any financial issues I can use the money I have saved,” Choueiki writes.

4 Downs for Finance encourages Florida students to access age-appropriate money tips throughout the football season and submit an essay on a financial literacy topic.

Rajinder P. Singh, BankUnited president and CEO, was on hand to present the award to Choueiki.

About BankUnited, N.A.

BankUnited, N.A., a national bank and wholly-owned subsidiary of BankUnited, Inc. (NYSE: BKU), is headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida with 94 banking centers in 15 Florida counties and 6 banking centers in the New York metropolitan area at Dec. 31, 2016.

One of the largest independent depository institutions headquartered in Florida by assets, BankUnited provides a wide range of commercial and consumer banking services. For additional information, call 877-779-2265 or visit www.BankUnited.com. BankUnited can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/BankUnited.official and on Twitter @BankUnited.

Suniland football

The Suniland Sundevils are looking for experienced volunteer youth coaches for the 2017 Miami Xtreme Tackle Football Season.

For information contact Jose Regalado at 305-458-1966 or josearegalado@att.net.

North Miami Beach baseball

North Miami Beach Little League baseball at Ives Estates, Pelican and Uleta parks.

Minors-Juniors (7-8 Coach Pitch)

The Giants improved to a league leading 4-2 record following an 11-2 win over the Reds. The Giants offense was powered by impressive home runs from Ben Marks, Ben Warner and Jake Lechner. Giuseppe Ranali and Ethan Scharf each went 3-3. Spencer Kabak provided solid defense.

In the other game, the Yankees topped the Twins 11-3 on great hitting by Justin Prado, Anthony Ortega, Akiva Sherwin, Marco DeFelippo and Gabriel Gamon as each was 3-3. For the Twins, Shlomo Bronstein, Jackson Boucher and Robbie Kramer each went 2-2.

Minors (9-10 Kid Pitch)

The Phillies beat the Marlins 13-6. Preston Boucher started the game, and Noah Salazar closed it, holding the Marlins in check. Axel Fink hit a grand slam to put the Phillies ahead for good.

The Tigers beat the Dodgers 11-0, handing the undefeated Dodgers their first loss of the season. Josh Poletto was strong on the mound and at the plate. Lukas Bolton shut the door on the Dodgers to close the game. For the Dodgers, pitchers Lane Parris, Ross Cotzen and Gabriel Vinderman combined for seven strikeouts in three innings. Evan Seifer made a defensive put-out playing second base.

Majors (11-13 Kid Pitch)

Brandon Luz-Lopez and Josh Krutchik combined on a 2-hitter with 11 strikeouts in five innings to lead the Rockies to a 6-2 victory over the Indians. Dovid Budwick doubled and drove in two, and Noah Bensoussan hit a bases loaded triple to put the Rockies in the lead for good.

The Royals defeated the Pirates 7-4. Royals received clutch hitting from Andrew Hyppolite, who was 2-2, and Angel Fernandez, who had three RBI and the winning hit. Violet Mendez delivered a 2-run home run. Kyle Ratzger went 2-2 with an RBI for the Pirates, and Jonah Handler went 1 for 2 and scored three times.

The Mets beat the Cubs 6-4. The Mets had another strong pitching performance from Jacob Sims and Alex Allocco. Sims pitched 2 2 /3 innings with seven strike outs and no runs allowed. Alex Allocco led the Mets with two hits. Leading he Cubs offense was Jacob Poletto with three hits and Brody Minick with two hits.

MLB Swing for the Fences

Swing for the Fences with MLB Jr. Home Run Derby

Get involved with MLB Jr. Home Run Derby and let the youth in your community show off their hitting power.

Sign up to host a free local competition at JrHRD.com

By hosting this one-day, fun, flexible competition, provide the kids in the area the opportunity to swing all the way to the National Finals during MLB All-Star Week in Miami.

Visit www.JrHRD.com for more information

Also: MLBSwingForFencesInfo

Miami Country Day Middle School soccer

The Miami Country Day Middle School girls’ soccer team finished the season 9-7, reaching the South Florida Middle School Conference semifinals.

The Spartans had key wins against Palmer Trinity, Westminster Christian and South Florida Heat. Throughout the season, they were led by Maya Leoni, Sasha Vaygensberg, Sofia Nelcha and Valentina Oropeza.

Leoni, Vaygensberg and Nelcha moved up at the end of the season to help the high school girls’ varsity team capture another district championship and advance to the regional finals.

The Miami Country Day Middle School boys’ soccer team went 10-4-2, advancing to the SFMSC semifinals. The talented team recorded wins against Divine Savior, Cushman, Riviera Prep, South Florida Heat and more.

Their leaders throughout the season were Itai Arguetty, Lucas Hansen, Alan Bruckstein, Lucas Crespo and Matthew Collins.

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 jgarcia@barry.edu or call 305-899-3135.

Soccer Challenge

Carnaval Soccer 5v5 Challenge is a one-day tournament on April 15 at Kendall Soccer Park. One South Florida’s funnest small sided tournaments. Prizes for all teams that reach the finals. If registered by April 1 the cost is $175, after that date it will be $200. Go to www.copalatina.com.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Allexii Bassette – Tennis - won her high school varsity singles match against American Heritage-Delray and her doubles match against Hillel.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Ricardo Di Giuseppe – Water Polo - made four saves in the Spartans high school varsity team’s win against Miami High.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Kelsey Marshall – Basketball - had 26 points, five rebounds, two assists, and four steals to lead the Spartans to an 81-40 win against Providence High School (Jacksonville) in the FHSAA State Finals. It marked the team’s fourth consecutive state championship.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Harrison Breslow – Tennis - won his singles match and doubles match against Hillel.

Westwood Christian sports

Westwood Christian School named junior Emmanuel Dowuona its Player of the Month for February. Emmanuel is a starter on the boys’ varsity basketball team with a 3.2 GPA. He currently has scholarship offers from University of Miami, Purdue, UConn, Florida Gulf Coast, Rutgers, USC, and more.

Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is excited to announce the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida on Saturday, March 11 at Museum Park in Miami.

The Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida is the latest life-changing movement. Since 2009, more than 55,000 participants have walked in more than 26 states and three countries, raising more than $5 million for Best Buddies International.

“Our Friendship Walks are one of Best Buddies' most celebrated events, bringing communities together where they can experience our mission in action and engage with our program participants,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “It is so inspirational to see so much enthusiasm for the Best Buddies mission in South Florida. The participants significantly impact the lives of those with disabilities, and the employer partners in this community have empowered these individuals, and are actively making not just South Florida, but the world, a more inclusive place.”

The event will bring together some of South Florida’s most notable residents and celebrity supporters. Among those expected to attend this year includes Pop-Artist Romero Britto; Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; WSVN Anchor Craig Stevens, who will MC the walk, Miss Teen Florida and Miss Florida; and many more.

Best Buddies South Florida is proud to have 3,000 (and counting) participants lacing up their shoes to walk for inclusion, all working towards surpassing 2016’s fundraising goal. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk commences at 10 a.m. at Museum Park in Downtown Miami, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard. Following the walk, please join Best Buddies for a day of fun, family, fitness, and friendship.

This year will also feature the inaugural Battle of the Firms Challenge. Several local law firms, including Holland & Knight, Greenberg Traurig, Carlton Fields, and Kirwan Spellacy & Danner, PA., among others, are participating. Thanks to their support, the inaugural Battle of the Firms Challenge is set to become one of the top outreach and fundraising initiatives for this Walk.

During the event, Best Buddies International will recognize supporter Jan Risi as its 2017 honoree with the Spirit of Friendship Award for her many contributions to Best Buddies. She has employed several Best Buddies Jobs participants at Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), and has the largest walk team in the United States. By employing individuals with IDD, Mrs. Risi has proven herself to be a progressive leader in the movement to create a more inclusive work force here in South Florida.

Those interested in volunteering or participating in the Friendship Walk are encouraged to register on the Friendship Walk website:bestbuddiesfriendshipwalk.org/SouthFlorida. Participants can create or join a team to raise awareness and funds with family, friends, and co-workers.

Proceeds from the Friendship Walk are fundamental in supporting state programs that provide one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development. These programs can be found in all 50 states and will create promising opportunities for more than 350,000 people this year.

Walk for inclusion. Walk for friendship. Walk for a better South Florida.

This year’s Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida sponsors include: Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Royal Media Partners, Starwood Property Trust, Holland & Knight, MasterCard, Celebrity Cruises, GrayRobinson, Turnberry Associates, Inktel, Value Store It, Pension Services Inc., City of Hialeah, Willis Towers Watson, TUUCI, FedEx, and Nordstrom.

ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL:

Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 2,100 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide.

Today, Best Buddies’ eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in over 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 1 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships.

For information, visit www.bestbuddies.org, facebook.com/bestbuddies or twitter.com/bestbuddies.

For information about the Walk and sponsorship opportunities, contact Joshua Tessier 305-375-2233, ext. 211 or JoshuaTessier@bestbuddies.org.

Tennis

Youth tennis players, age 8-12, are invited to register for the “2017 Miami Junior Tennis Cup.” The prestigious youth tennis tournament is an opportunity for intermediate and advance level players living in Miami-Dade to realize their dream to play at the world-famous “Miami Open” professional tennis tournament at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne.

The first two rounds will be March 18-19, at the Tamiami Park Tennis Center, 11201 SW 24 St., Miami. The winners of the first round qualifiers will compete in the semifinals and finals, April 1-2, at the Miami Open.

Registration is underway through March 16 at PlayMiami.org. Entry fee is $48.88 per player. For information, contact Chris Evans at 850-384-9033 or ChrisEv@MiamiDade.gov.

The Miami Junior Tennis Cup is sponsored by the Youth Sports Championship Series, an initiative created by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez that aims to increase participation in youth athletics for kids, age 14 and younger. The event is presented in partnership with the USTA-Florida, Penn, Miami-Dade County Parks, and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.

Everyone who participates in the first-round qualifiers will receive a Miami Junior Tennis Cup T-shirt, compliments of USTA FL. Penn will provide tennis balls for the tournament.

For information about the Youth Sports Championship series visit the web page.

For information about USTA Florida, visit the website.

About Miami-Dade Parks

Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 270 parks and 13,573 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. The non-profit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade supports Miami-Dade Parks’ efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.

Hurricanes Jumpers

Hurricane Jumpers are hosting an AAU Jump Rope Qualifying Tournament on May 20 in Miami Springs.

This tournament is for anyone interested in jumping rope for fun or serious competition. It is a qualifier for Junior Olympics, which is in late July in Detroit.

Contact Hurricane Jumpers at moody@hurricanejumpers.com.

Visit www.hurricanejumpers.org.

More events, leagues, programs

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; jason.figorski@ufcgym.com

https://ufcgym.com/kendall

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ufcgymtransformationteam/

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 GYM.com, or follow on Facebook.com/UFCgym, 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 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.

Visit www.orangebowl.org.

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:

www.maxpreps.com/marines.

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.

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.

Backgammon

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 Leo@MiamiBackgammon.com.

www.MiamiBackgammon.com.

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.

http://mlomd.org/

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

Kendall Little League Pro Wrestling Fundraiser

Brain Buster Pro Wrestling presents BaseBrawl, courtesy of Kendall Little League, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 18 at Arnold and Phyllis Grossman Park, 11155 SW 112 Ave., Miami 33176.

This is a fundraiser for Kendall Little League. Tickets $10.

paypal.me/brainbusterpro

https://twitter.com/BrainBusterdojo

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

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