Youth Sports

Nautilus flag football goes undefeated in regular season

The Nautilus Middle School girls’ flag football team went undefeated during the regular season and reached the North Division semifinals. The talented team features front from left, Julieta Fernandez, Kimberly Castro, Giuliana Suarez, Gisel Hernandez, Crystal Ramos; back, Alyshia Polo, Isabelle Mathe, Coach Divens, Victoria Paniagua, Jada Vaughn, Chloe Marmol, Jafreysi Hernandez, Sophie Zequira, Nicole Vicente, and Janin Rivera. Not Pictured Ana Leon, Jayleen Santiago, Belen Toyloy.
The Nautilus Middle School girls’ flag football team went undefeated during the regular season and reached the North Division semifinals. The talented team features front from left, Julieta Fernandez, Kimberly Castro, Giuliana Suarez, Gisel Hernandez, Crystal Ramos; back, Alyshia Polo, Isabelle Mathe, Coach Divens, Victoria Paniagua, Jada Vaughn, Chloe Marmol, Jafreysi Hernandez, Sophie Zequira, Nicole Vicente, and Janin Rivera. Not Pictured Ana Leon, Jayleen Santiago, Belen Toyloy.

The Nautilus Middle School girls’ flag football team went undefeated during the regular season and reached the North Division semifinals. The Sharks won the first round of the playoffs, beating Filer 27-0, before dropping their first game of the season.

Nautilus was led offensively by quarterback Janin Rivera, Gisel Hernandez, Jafreysi Hernandez, Chloe Marmol, Ana Leon, Jayleen Santiago and Crystal Ramos. Gisel and Crystal catching a deep pass for a touchdown, Ana making a long running play, Chloe running the ball or catching the ball, Jayleen with the incredible catches, or Jafreysi making crucial catches.

Defensively, the Sharks were strong with Alyshia Polo and Crystal totaling double digit sacks throughout the season. Ana and Chloe also recorded three interceptions, including one for a touchdown by Chloe. Sophie Zequira had two interceptions. Everyone contributed to the team’s success.

GMACFOA/SFFOA Football Officials

Greater Miami Athletic Conference Football Officials Association and also the South Florida Football Officials Association -- the latter which provides officials for Greater Miami Pop Warner and Miami Xtreme youth football leagues -- requires meeting attendance.

Members who do not attend are fined.

So what happens to that money?

The GMACFOA puts it to good use. Every year they seek back-to-school sales and buy boxes of school supplies. It is their Tools for Schools initiative.

Just before the testing window for schools, they hold a pep rally of sorts for the kids and give each child in the school a bag of school supplies.

Kids recognize many of them from their youth league games and appreciate the restocking of their school supplies before the end of the year. Recently, they distributed to their 10th school in seven years -- Paschal/Olinda Park Elementary -- and gave away just under 500 bags of supplies.

La Salle softball

Catcher Beatriz Triay slammed her glove to the ground like an exclamation point on a fantastic season, just after winning pitcher Arianna Arroyo recorded a strikeout to end the game, as the Immaculata LaSalle High School girls’ varsity softball team defeated host Miami Country Day 11-4 to win the South Florida Conference Tournament.

It was Arianna’s 101st strikeout of the season for the Royal Lions (15-3). She also helped her cause on offense with three hits, a run and two RBI. That helped her earn Conference Player of the Year and Tournament MVP honors.

Kiki Maribona had a three-hit game including a double. She scored three times and had four RBI. Seniors Niki Maribona and Karina Santin were emotional playing in their final high school softball game. Niki used her exceptional speed to score twice, and she had a hit. Karina added a hit and an RBI. Their offensive and defensive contributions this season were key components to the team’s success.

Amanda Santin delivered a hit and an RBI, and Triay was outstanding behind the plate and had a key RBI hit. Alex Rodriguez made a stellar play to highlight the defense.

La Salle was the regular season and tournament conference champs. The conference consists of Archbishop Curley, Immaculata-La Salle, Miami Country Day, Palmer Trinity and SLAM high schools.

The head coach is Rick Hernandez, and the assistant coaches are Genevieve Roberts and Sister Clare Kenelly.

Arianna Arroyo, Kimberly Montesi, Beatriz Triay, Tiffany Regueira, Laura Sardinas, and Amanda Moreno return next season as seniors for the Royal Lions. Up-n-coming talent include Alex Rodriiguez, Jennifer Yanes, Amanda Santin, Kiki Maribona, Yasmine Regurira, Alex Tsotsos, Alyssa Martinez, and Sofia Sousa.

The team thanks Sister Claire, the parents and the school for their continued support of a fast developing softball program.

First Team All-Conference: Arianna Arroyo, Beatriz Triay, Nicole Maribona, Yasmine Reguiera. Second Team All-Conference: Karina Santin, Alexandra Tsotsos. Third Team All-Conference: Kristina Maribona, Kimberly Montesi. Conference Scholar-Athlete: Karina Santin.

Belen tennis

The Belen Jesuit School boys’ varsity tennis team won the district championship. It marks the Wolverines’ fourth district title in seven years.

Belen accumulated 17 of 21 points to win the district title.

“I’m very proud of the team, especially the seniors, who get to finish their high school careers as district champs,” said JD Barbosa, the Belen head tennis coach. “We made it a goal to bring this championship back to Belen and are excited to have made that happen.”

Charlie Grande, a junior, qualified for the state tournament by winning district championships at No.1 singles and No.1 doubles. Grande teamed with senior Danny Martinez to win the district title at No.1 doubles.

The champs also feature junior Sebastian Dueñas and seniors Juan Rodriguez, Eduardo Scheuren and Lucas Venegas.

Youth tennis

Young tennis players, age 8-12, received a chance to see some of their tennis heroes up close during the Miami Junior Tennis Cup, played concurrently with the Miami Open at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne.

Players competed using the USTA youth tennis format in 10-under orange ball and 12-under green ball divisions. The first two rounds of the tournament were held at Tamiami Park Tennis Center in Miami, and the semifinals and finals played at Crandon Park before the men’s and women’s finals.

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.

Division finals:

10-Under Orange Ball: Jario Duran d. Samuel Rosales

Consolation Winner: Linkai Li

Boys’ 12-Under Green Ball: Jay Nemec d. Daniel Arrango

Consolation Winner: Conor Reeser

Girls’ 12-Under Green Ball: Aileen Vargas d. Maya Quintero

Consolation Winner: Maria De La O

It marked the fourth year of the event that was initiated by USTA Florida Miami-area Tennis Program Coordinator Cathy Nordlund. For information on the tennis in the Youth Sports Championship Series go to

For information on junior tennis play opportunities in Florida go to

Miami County Day sports

Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Amadeo Raffy – Tennis - won his singles match against Doral Academy and his doubles match against Westminster Christian.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Gabriela Martinez – Tennis - won her singles and doubles matches in wins against Westminster Christian and Doral Academy.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Maria Alvarez – Basketball - helped lead the Spartans to the Dicks National Championship by scoring 26 points with 8 of 10 three-pointers en route to being named the tournament Most Valuable Player.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Eric Bernstein – Water Polo - helped lead the Spartans to their third consecutive district championship by combining for 20 goals, 7 assists and 10 steals in the Ransom Everglades Tournament and districts at Mast Academy.

Miami Premier soccer tryouts

Miami Premier Soccer Club tryouts for the 2017-18 season and open practice information.

For players born in the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, tryouts are 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 17 and April 19 at Flagler Grove Park, 7551 SW 104 St., Miami, 33156.

Open practice and information appointments for those ages and younger are ongoing and will run until the end of the 2017 season.

Contact for times, location, info and open spot availability: email Michael Stewart


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, 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.

Miami Gardens sports

The City of Miami Gardens presents new youth sports programs for boys and girls, age 5-17.

Bowling, Soccer, Tennis, Baseball, and Swimming.

Register at City Hall, Parks and Recreation Department, 18605 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens 33056.

For fees and info, call 305-622-8080.


Hurricanes Jumpers

Hurricane Jumpers are hosting an AAU Jump Rope Qualifying Tournament from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 20 at Miami Springs Recreation, 1401 Westward Dr., in Miami Springs 33166.

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

Registration forms, fees and music are due by April 20.

Spectators free admission.

Contact Hurricane Jumpers at


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

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 for more information

Also: MLBSwingForFencesInfo

Kendall Hammocks football/cheerleading

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors program announces the registration dates and times in April and May for the 2017 Football & Cheerleading season.

Kendall Hammocks is part of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

Tackle season starts Wednesday July 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.


11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 22.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 6, May 13

6:30-8:30 p.m. May 19, May 26

Teams will close once the team roster limit is reached.


Registration fee includes: rental of helmet, shoulder pads, game uniform, secondary insurance, participation awards, referee cost, county and optimist fees.

Free one day Rookie Camp for all new registered players.

All issued equipment is to be returned at end of season.



Registration fee break down: $200 initial deposit includes practice T-shirt, shorts, game day socks, hair bow, cheer brief, shoes, secondary Insurance, and participation awards.

The remaining $200 is for three competitions and includes body liner, shoes, socks, warm-up set, cheer bag, uniform rental and all competition fees.

Cheerleading starts on Tuesday, July 11.


11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 22

11 a.m.-3 p.m. May 6, May 13

6:30-8:30 p.m. May 19, May 20

Requirements to play tackle football and cheer for the Kendall Hammocks Warriors.

• 1) Current Color Photo (2x2 face picture-passport size)

• 2) Copy of Birth Certificate

• 3) Current 2017 PHYSICAL- Must be administered from Jan-July 2017-Office stamped

And obtained By your Pediatrician- yellow HRS form, or CVS Minute Clinic- Obtain after you have secured a roster spot.

• 4) Copy of 2017 FINAL Report Card (with the 4 grading periods)

All registrations and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., Miami.

For added information email Football Commissioner Mike Pintado at

For Cheerleading email Cheer Commissioner Meylin Castro at


The Warriors 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 30 years.


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

Dolphins Cancer Challenge golf tournament

The Dolphins Cancer Challenge will hold the second annual DCC Celebrity Golf Tournament at 11 a.m. April 21 on Turnberry Isle Miami’s two 18-hole championship courses with partners BBVA Compass and BMW South Florida.

The tournament will offer cancer fighters a chance to golf and interact with athletes and other celebrity guests. Funds raised from the golf tournament will benefit Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.

Golfers will tee off for a round of scramble-golf on the world-famous Soffer and Miller Courses, home to a number of LPGA and PGA events.

For additional information, visit

Miami Dolphins Draft Party

The Miami Dolphins 2017 NFL Draft Party powered by South Florida Ford is a free event that is open to the public. The event is 7:30-11:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens 33056.

The party features live insider analysis, current and former player autographs, interactive games, photo opportunities, Dolphins cheerleaders, concessions and areas to watch the 2017 NFL Draft.

All guests are encouraged to RSVP to be eligible to win great prizes throughout the event. Register by visiting

The NFL Clear Bag Policy will be in effect.

Parking is free. Pre-registration for free tickets is available at

Fins Weekend

The Miami Dolphins Foundation will host its 21st annual Fins Weekend on May 19-20 with golf at Miami Beach Golf Club and fishing starting at Rickenbacker Marina.

Proceeds from the event weekend, through the educational pillar of the Miami Dolphins Foundation, will benefit City Year Miami, an education-focused nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students on track to graduate.

The festivities feature appearances by Dolphins players, coaches, alumni, and cheerleaders as well as entertainment.

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;

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 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:


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

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.

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

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.

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)

Send nominations to recognize student athletes at Miami Marlins games

In an effort to recognize deserving South Florida youth baseball and softball players for doing well in school and displaying sportsmanship on the diamond, the two-time champion Miami Marlins have once again partnered with The Miami Herald to co-sponsor the Team Player spotlight on the Sunday Youth Sports pages in the Neighbors section of The Miami Herald in print and online.

Youth league coaches, team representatives, teachers, schools, friends or family members can nominate youth baseball or softball players, who display sportsmanship and good grades or academic improvements. Eligible nominees are from the recreational in-house league, travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school aged) from any season of the year.

Honored players – selected by random drawing – will be invited to a Marlins game where they will receive a certificate of achievement and a Marlins item during a recognition ceremony at Marlins Park.

There are three ceremonies - June 2, July 18, Aug. 15.

To nominate someone, e-mail Miami Herald Youth Sports Editor Jim Varsallone at or call 305-376-3621.