Youth Sports

Stellar seasons for St. Brendan, Saint Louis Covenant softball

The Saint Louis Covenant School girls’ varsity softball team (5th-8th grade), based in Pinecrest, completed an undefeated season to finish first in the All Catholic Conference. The champs are front from left, Natalia Ortiz, Jia Tabe-Santurio, Julia Perez-Abreu, Marley Nielson, Isabella Astudillo, Anastasia Gonzalez, Samantha Pro, Anabel Perez; back, Assistant Coach Nicole Nielson, Victoria Hernandez, Lexi Escandell, Kelsey Perdomo, Kaitlyn Perdomo, Lia Sarria, Adriana Perez, and Head Coach Luis Perdomo at their home field -- Field No.1 at Coral Reef Park in Palmetto Bay.
The Saint Louis Covenant School girls’ varsity softball team (5th-8th grade), based in Pinecrest, completed an undefeated season to finish first in the All Catholic Conference. The champs are front from left, Natalia Ortiz, Jia Tabe-Santurio, Julia Perez-Abreu, Marley Nielson, Isabella Astudillo, Anastasia Gonzalez, Samantha Pro, Anabel Perez; back, Assistant Coach Nicole Nielson, Victoria Hernandez, Lexi Escandell, Kelsey Perdomo, Kaitlyn Perdomo, Lia Sarria, Adriana Perez, and Head Coach Luis Perdomo at their home field -- Field No.1 at Coral Reef Park in Palmetto Bay.

The Saint Louis Covenant School girls’ varsity softball team (5th-8th grade), based in Pinecrest, completed an undefeated season to finish first in the All Catholic Conference.

They reached the 10-0 mark with 67 strikeouts by 8th grade pitcher Kelsey Perdomo, who was backed by a solid team defense and outstanding hitting.

The champs also feature Natalia Ortiz, Jia Tabe-Santurio, Julia Perez-Abreu, Marley Nielson, Isabella Astudillo, Anastasia Gonzalez, Samantha Pro, Anabel Perez, Victoria Hernandez, Lexi Escandell, Kaitlyn Perdomo, Lia Sarria, and Adriana Perez.

The head coach is Luis Perdomo, and the assistant coach is Nicole Nielson. Their home field is Field No.1 at Coral Reef Park in Palmetto Bay.

St. Brendan softball

The St. Brendan School girls’ varsity softball team edged Mater Lakes 5-4 to win the District 15-5A Championship at Monsignor Pace High School in Miami.

In the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs and the count 3-0 on the Mater Lakes batter, St. Brendan recorded three consecutive outs to win in dramatic fashion

Pitcher Susana Perez threw two consecutive strikes to make the count full at 3-2. Then the batter hit a shot to right field, and outfielder Alexis Pozo made the catch for the first out and threw home to prevent the runner on third base from tagging up.

The next batter bunted, and the alert Perez got the force out at home for the second out. The following batter hit a line drive past Perez, but second baseman Vicky Lara dove to make a shoe string scoop catch before the ball hit the ground to record the third out and end the game.

The champion Sabres are Bianca Hernandez, Eliza Artiles, Andrea Blasco, Autumn Lopez, Vicky Lara, Katie Martinez; back, Andrea Córdoba, Alexis Pozo, Mariana Albaracin, Alyssa Soublette, Eileen Adames, Susana Perez, Julianne Noguera, Christin Lopez, and Emily Diaz. The head coach is Angel Torres and the assistant coach Luis Soublette.

Barry softball

Barry University softball player Jasmine Harris (Mater Lakes Academy HS) was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America/Conference Commissioners Association Second Team All-South Region.

Harris, a senior first basemen, led the Buccaneers in batting average (.391), hits (61), doubles (17), home runs (11), RBI (48) and slugging percentage (.712). She had a .424 on-base percentage and scored 34 runs while starting in 48 of the 50 games she appeared in. Harris had a .964 fielding percentage.

The Miami native led the Bucs with 16 multi-hit games, including a pair of four-hit performances. She also led the team with 10 multi-RBI games. She drove in six runs in a 4-for-5 day at the plate at Florida Tech in the second game of a doubleheader on March 11.

Harris ended the season on an eight-game hitting streak -- the second longest on the team. During that season-ending hit streak, she hit two home runs and went 3-for-6 with four RBI in a 13-12 win over Rollins on April 22.

Barry is an NCAA Division II affiliate.

Miami Country Day baseball

The Miami Country Day School varsity baseball team finished the season 10-15. The Spartans were third in the South Florida Baseball Conference at 7-3.

Offensively, they were led by Griffin Sennett (.394 batting average, 23 runs, 16 stolen bases, 9 doubles), Austin Pollak (.393 batting average, 19 runs, 26 RBI, 2 home runs), Connor Goodman (.365 average, 17 stolen bases, 24 runs, 22 RBI), Jordan Sale (.352 average, 15 stolen bases, 22 runs , 17 RBI, 2 home runs), and Kian Andersen (.347 average, 28 runs, 5 home runs, 14 stolen bases).

The starting rotation consisted of Jorden Gross (4-4, 5 complete games, 52 strikeouts), Griffin Sennett (5-2, 41 strikeouts, 2.96 ERA), and Jordan Sale (10 appearance, 2.56 ERA). Kenny Byers, Lee Iaslovits and Andre Rodrigues played well throughout the season.

The Miami Country Day Middle School baseball team had a very young and dedicated team. About half the team sixth or seventh graders.

The Spartans had two big wins against Marathon and Doctors Charter. Zac Wyka struck out 12 batters in the 6-0 win against Marathon. They defeated Doctors Charter 12-5 later in the season.

Throughout the season MCD was led by Eric Germeus, Zac Wyka, Alex McMillan and Dhillon Murphy. Sixth grader Timmy Houser made an impact this season. Jake Wyka, Lukas Peterson, Jeff Jeffries and Dario Martin were also key contributors.

Barry baseball

Barry University centerfielder Julian Abreu (Florida Christian HS) was named to the 2017 All-Sunshine State Conference First Team and the 2017 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division II All-South Region Second Team.

The Miami native led the Bucs in multiple offensive categories for the 2017 season, nearly doubling his numbers from his junior year, as well as a few top finishes in the league (SSC): Batting Average .381, Doubles 23, Hits 82, Slugging .600, OBP .415, Stolen Bases 16.

Abreu, a senior having played in 79 games throughout his two-year career with Barry, finishes up his playing eligibility with 78 hits, 30 doubles, 10 home runs, 57 RBI, 78 runs and 20 stolen bases.

Thirty-seven baseball student-athletes earn All-Sunshine State Conference accolades in 2017. Voting for the All-SSC baseball awards was conducted among the league’s baseball coaches.

Barry is an NCAA Division II affiliate.

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

Kendall Little League

Information on Danny Berry Baseball/Kendall Little League programs, go to http://www.dannyberry.com/.

Guilford College lacrosse

Guilford College senior midfielder David Felipe (Killian High School grad) was named to the Ray Rostan Men’s Lacrosse Sportsmanship Team in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

The players were selected and nominated by the league’s men’s lacrosse coaches.

A team captain, Felipe played in 15 games with 13 starts this spring. The long-stick midfielder stood third on the team with 34 ground balls and also contributed one goal, one assist and seven caused turnovers.

Felipe picked up a personal-best seven ground balls in a win over Greensboro and had five pickups in a 6-4 setback at league-rival Randolph-Macon College. Felipe is an accomplished student who has made six dean’s list appearances as an exercise and sport sciences and health sciences double major. A 2015-16 Academic All-ODAC honoree, he also served on Guilford’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Felipe helped Coach Tom Carmean’s Quakers record an 8-8 overall record (3-6 ODAC). Guilford, an NCAA Division III affiliate, is based in Greensboro, N.C.

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.

TACKLE REGISTRATION INFORMATION:

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

Teams will close once the team roster limit is reached.

TACKLE REGISTRATION FEE: $190

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.

WARRIORS CHEERLEADING INFORMATION:

CHEER REGISTRATION FEE: $400

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.

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 khwfootball@aol.com

For Cheerleading email Cheer Commissioner Meylin Castro at cheer.4warriors@aol.com

Visit http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=khwarriors

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.

Visit www.khwarriors.org

Suniland football

The Suniland Sundevils Tackle Football Registration starts Tuesday, May 23 and continues every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m. thru August at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy., Village of Pinecrest.

Kids, age 5-13, are eligible. Fee $150 for the season. Suniland is a member of the Miami Xtreme Youth Tackle Football League.

The Suniland Sundevils are looking for experienced volunteer youth coaches.

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

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.

Visit https://apm.activecommunities.com/miamigardens.

More events, leagues, programs

Knights of Columbus

The Coral Gables Knights of Columbus Council 3274 will hold its annual gala fundraiser on June 10 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 270 Catalonia Ave., Coral Gables.

The Gala event will feature a tri-content culinary experience where attendees can enjoy delicacies from Asia, Europe and South America, including an open bar with premium liquors. The dining and entertainment experiences will include a Zenn Lounge with exotic drinks and dim sum; an Argentine Café featuring a parrillada and a live tango show in the Hall courtyard; and a Roma Trattoria offering familiar Italian dishes. Guests at the Gala are also invited to participate in a silent charity auction to acquire attractive items such as vacation getaways, hotel stays, dinner gift certificates, spa sessions, artwork and entertainment activities for the family and products for the home.

Another highlight of the event will be the presence of Guest of Honor Jim Larrañaga, head coach of the University of Miami basketball team. In his six seasons at The U, Larrañaga has led the Hurricanes to a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances, including two trips to the Sweet 16. They also won the 2013 ACC regular season and ACC Tournament titles. He has been named the AP, Naismith, USBWA and Henry Iba National Coach of the Year, twice was the ACC and USBWA District Coach of the Year and was the 2013 NABC District Coach of the Year.

Individual ticket price is $80 per person. Corporate sponsorships are also available for the following (tax deductible) donations: 2 persons - $500; 4 persons - $800; 6 persons - $1,050; 10 persons - $1,500. Corporate sponsors will be featured at the event and recognized on the Knights Council website.

Tickets may be obtained by contacting the Knights of Columbus in Coral Gables, 786-306-2126 or visit the Coral Gables Knights of Columbus website.

This major, once-a-year event is designed to raise general funding for all of the multiple charitable activities conducted by the Coral Gables Knights of Columbus for the entire year, including: Special Olympics -organize and help with soccer matches and skills competition in West Kendall Soccer Complex; Habitat for Humanity - Participating in various home building projects; Down Syndrome Walk - Coordination, logistics and food preparation; Support for humanitarian missions in Africa, Ecuador and Honduras; Provide fundraising support to feed the homeless in Miami; Turkey Drive - Distributing turkeys and canned goods to needy families; Christmas Toy Drive - Distributing toys to needy children; Redlands Migrants Christmas Party, Food and Toy Distribution; Dodge City Christmas Party for low income families; and Chili Cook Off supporting the United Way Mission United for Veterans.

Visit http://www.kofcknights.org/CouncilSite/index.asp?CNO=3274

FC Miami Media Students

FC Miami City, Miami's official soccer team, and Miami Media School’s technology teams, resources, students, media and interest groups will feature collaboration and resource sharing. This will significantly enhance the coverage of soccer and the Premier Development League in Miami while providing students with access to unique sports media facilities.

The partnership is created in an effort to develop open sources for Miami Media School students and provide career experiences that will prepare students for sports media careers. Within six months, the students will learn how to write, produce and call games.

“Our goal at Miami Media School is to build a world-class sports media program” according to Nancy Rodriguez, CEO at Miami Media School. “Students in sports media are as likely to be applying for jobs with college athletic departments, professional franchises or entities like PDL, USL or MLS entities as they are with traditional media outlets, like local television stations and newspapers.”

FC Miami City GM Youri Vaisse said. “Helping to provide real-world opportunities for the many talented students of the Miami Media School is consistent with one of our top priorities. We cannot thank [Miami Media School CEO] Nancy Rodriguez and the Media School enough for helping make this historic and unique partnership possible.”

The opportunities offered to sports journalism students through the partnership will help students adjust to changes in the field. It will help to give students valuable experience in media areas that don’t fall under traditional journalism, and it’s a great fit alongside the wonderful student journalism opportunities already in Miami’s metro.

It will surely strengthen FC Miami City’s reputation as a national center for excellence in sports communication.

About Miami Media School

The Miami Media School is an American Private Institution that instructs students in all areas of the broadcast media industry. It is a comprehensive, hands-on program, where students are trained by broadcast media professionals currently working in the field.

The Media schools possess a unique mix of broadcasting leadership and experience, educational excellence then combines this with industry technology and equipment that effectively replicates what students and graduates will see when they enter the workforce. These tools and methods of training and educating our students solidifies the Media Schools position at the forefront of broadcasting education.

Swimming

May is National Water Safety Month. In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities, the month brings attention to best practices for being safe in and around the water.

In Miami-Dade County and Florida, drowning is the number one cause of death of children under age five. Swimming experts, such as the American Red Cross, advocate water safety education and swimming lessons, as one of the best way to prevent drowning incidents.

To help spread awareness of water safety and the urgency of learning to swim to children and their families, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department together with Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade Drowning Prevention Coalition (DPC) and its partnering municipalities, schools, non-profit and private learn-to-swim providers county-wide, are joining forces to get Miami-Dade youth water-ready.

May 2017 kicks-off the “Every Lesson Counts” lean-to-swim water safety campaign in Miami-Dade County, with the goal of teaching and ‘counting’ one million swim lessons annually in the County. The campaign brings together county-wide resources for swim lessons and highlights the importance that every child learns to swim.

Help your child be safer at the beach and the pool this summer. Enroll them in Miami-Dade Learn-to-Swim classes, offered at all Miami-Dade County public pools and taught by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors. Learn-to-Swim classes include Parent and Tot (Ages 2-3), Preschool Aquatics (Ages 4-5), Levels 1-6 (Ages 6-18), and Adults.

For more information or to register, contact your desired pool site from the list on the Miami-Dade Parks Learn-to-Swim web page.

On average, Miami-Dade Parks registers approximately 12,000 patrons for its Learn-to-Swim program each year.

The Miami-Dade DPC, housed under the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, provides a centralized resource for the coordination of information and programs related to water safety awareness, education and advocacy to reduce drowning, non-fatal drowning, and other water related injuries in Miami-Dade.

The non-profit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade provides scholarships for free swimming lessons to children.

For more information or to donate, visit the web page.

For more information about the Every Swim Lesson Counts learn-to-swim lessons and water safety campaign and partner events, visit the DCP web page.

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 and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness and Conservation and Stewardship. 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.

Arthritis Program

In observance of Older Americans Month, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department teamed up with the National Recreation and Parks Association to encourage Miami-Dade’s older adults who suffer from arthritis to make regular exercise a priority in their healthy-living routine and start enjoying the proven benefits.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, exercise is key to reducing joint pain and fatigue associated with arthritis and it can help to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and boost mood and overall sense of well-being.

Starting May 1st, Miami-Dade Parks will kick off its new Arthritis Intervention Program, offering a trio of free leader-led activity classes, especially for arthritis patients:

Walk With Ease - Walking group; meets three times a week, for six weeks.

Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program - Water exercise class; meets twice a week, for six weeks.

Active Living Every Day - Personalized healthy-lifestyle planning; meets once per week, for 12 weeks.

Classes will occur at select Active Older Adults Recreation Hubs and pools. See class locations, schedules and full descriptions here. Must register in advance at class location selected.

For additional information, call Allan Tavss, Active Older Adults Program Coordinator at 786-372-9701 or visit the Miami-Dade Parks’ Rx4Health Program web page.

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 and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness and Conservation and Stewardship. 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.

NBA 2K esports league

The Miami HEAT announced they will be one of 17 National Basketball Association franchises participating in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K esports league, set to debut in 2018.

Along with the HEAT, other participating organizations include:

Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.

“This is the first step in what promises to be an extraordinary league, bringing together the world's best gamers and showcasing elite competition on an international stage,” said NBA 2K esports league Managing Director, Brendan Donohue. “Our teams have expressed tremendous enthusiasm for esports, and we are looking forward to forming something truly unique for basketball and gaming fans around the globe.”

In February 2017, the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) announced plans to launch a new, professional competitive gaming league that will bring together the best basketball gamers in the world. In the coming months, the league and its teams will make a variety of announcements related to participating players, league structure and business updates.

The NBA 2K league is the latest move in esports for the HEAT. In January 2017, the franchise announced a partnership with esports expansion team Misfits. The partnership calls for the HEAT to assist in all duties including marketing, branding, promotion, retail, digital and sponsorship activation while cross-promoting the two franchises. Misfits compete in League of Legends, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Super Smash Brothers and Heatherstone: Heroes of Warcraft.

“We are thrilled to be working alongside 16 other NBA teams on this innovative esports league,” said The HEAT Group President of Business Operations, Eric Woolworth. “Given our unique integration into the esports community through our relationship with Misfits, we feel confident in our ability to reach Miami HEAT and Misfits fans alike, as we help create a new and exciting league from scratch.”

Summer camps

Summer is just around the corner.

Do you have a budding artist or a child that loves to learn about nature or science? What about a basketball player or cheerleader?

No matter what your child's interests, the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department will put a smile on their face with their fun and exciting summer camp options, saying “We have a camp for that.”

Located at 42 parks throughout the County, Miami-Dade Parks Summer Camps will run from June 12 through Aug. 11 (select sites open through Aug. 19). The camps will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and offer 7:30 a.m. early drop-off and 6 p.m. late pick-up options.

Unlike traditional day camps, parents can mix-and-match their preferred options; so their children experience a new adventure each week throughout the summer. There are camps for those who enjoy outdoor sports challenges, like golf and fishing, as well as nature-based camps with eco excursions, art camps and Learn-to-Swim lessons — the list goes on and on.

Summer Camps are also inclusive and managed by Miami-Dade Parks' Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists.

Learn more about accessibility at Miami-Dade Parks.

Parents can now register their kid for most of Miami-Dade County Parks’ exciting Summer Camps online and at all hosting parks.

Families in need of financial assistance must register and apply for assistance in person at their selected park.

For more information, patrons are encouraged to visit the Miami-Dade Parks Summer Camps web page

http://www.miamidade.gov/parks/activities-summer-camps.asp, call their local park or call 3-1-1 for Miami-Dade County information.

“Miami-Dade Parks Summer Camps provide kids with active recreation experiences in the great outdoors that are designed to enrich their summer off from school experience. Utilizing our world-renowned parks and attractions, these camp provide a positive place to build friendships and enjoy fun, organized activities that help them discover and explore their interests, outdoor skills and the value of belonging to a community and becoming environmental stewards,” said Miami-Dade Parks Director George Navarrete.

Launch Trampoline Park

Launch Franchising, LLC. is pleased to announce a Launch Trampoline Park will be opening in Doral. The new park will be owned and operated by Jonas P. Roter and scheduled to begin construction later this spring.

Launch Trampoline Park was founded in 2012 by Rhode Island entrepreneur Robert Arnold and retired New England Patriot cornerback and three-time Super Bowl Champion Ty Law. Arnold embarked on the vision for Launch in 2011 after he visited his first trampoline park with his wife and kids. Seeing the combination of family, fun and fitness and using his knack for entrepreneurship, Launch came to life.

The parks provide kids of all ages with endless fun of whether it is bouncing on trampolines, playing dodgeball in mid-air or falling into a massive foam pit. Launch Doral will be available for birthday parties, fundraisers, fitness classes, toddler time, teen nights, private events and more! The park has a full-redemption arcade, Launch Restaurant and private party rooms. Additionally, Launch Trampoline Park has its own mascot – “Joey,” a 7-foot tall green kangaroo mascot – who is in charge of fun at the park, assisting with birthdays and special events.

“The Launch Doral franchisees are excited to bring family fun to the area and are ecstatic to be a part of the Launch team. We can’t wait for the community to enjoy all the fun and action that Launch has to offer,” stated Robert Arnold, president and co-owner of Launch Franchising, LLC.

About Launch Franchising

Ty Law and Robert Arnold are co-owners of Launch Franchising, LLC, with two corporate locations in Warwick, R.I. and Hartford, Conn., and franchise locations along the East Coast. The company is expanding its franchise nationwide and utilizing the strength of positive branding, turn-key operational systems and proven marketing programs as attractive benefits to potential franchisees. For additional information, visit

www.launchtrampolinepark.com.

Heads Up Football

Nineteen football leaders (including Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Youth development Twan Russell) have been selected to take a leading role within USA Football’s Heads Up Football program, promoting a better and safer game on youth and high school levels nationwide.

The new Master Trainers join more than 100 others to educate high school and youth football programs on Heads Up Football principles.

Represeting 15 states, the group of individuals – which includes youth, high school and college football coaches, as well as former NFL players – actively participated in a USA Football-led workshop earlier this year that educated them on the core fundamentals of the Heads Up Football program.

After completing the workshop, Master Trainers will instruct youth and high school coaches in their regions on Heads Up Football principles and teach youth league- and high school-appointed Player Safety Coaches, who will oversee their programs’ implementation of the highest national coaching standards for football.

“We’re proud to welcome the expertise our new Master Trainers bring to an already strong roster of knowledgeable, committed football experts who help us advance and grow the game alongside the youth and high school football community,” USA Football CEO and Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “Master Trainers are leaders and educators, and work nationwide to implement important standards for parents, administrators, and coaches to ensure proper health and safety protocols are in place and to unify the approach to teaching football-specific techniques for the well-being of our athletes.”

Russell played football for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, the University of Maimi and the Miami Dolphins.

Created and administered by independent non-profit USA Football, Heads Up Football is a comprehensive way to teach and play the sport, encompassing coaching education, equipment fitting, shoulder tackling and blocking fundamentals, CDC-approved concussion recognition/response, sudden cardiac arrest protocols and heat preparedness/hydration. It’s supported by the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, among other leading associations spanning medicine and sport.

More than 2,200 high schools and nearly 75 percent of all U.S. youth leagues enrolled in Heads Up Football in 2016 for the betterment of student-athletes. The program is endorsed by a combined total of 32 state high school athletic associations and high school football coaches associations spanning 26 states. USA Football, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is the sport’s national governing body and certifies more high school and youth coaches combined than any organization in the U.S

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. Follow USA Football on Facebook or on Twitter.

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.

Backgammon

The Miami Backgammon Club plays 7 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.

Free live play. Tournament entry fee $10.

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

www.MiamiBackgammon.com.

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).

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

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

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

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