Youth Sports

Sports Scene: Orange Bowl honors Miami Gardens Chiefs, Oak Grove Raiders, Opa-locka Hurricanes

The Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance visited Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, home of the Florida Youth Football League’s Miami Gardens Chiefs, as part of the Orange Bowl YFA Park of the Week Program. Pictured from left, Miami Gardens Chiefs Cheer Commissioner Monica Perry, OBC member Gerald Grant Jr., Orange Bowl mascot Obie, Sports Authority Community Marketing Representative Emily Perez, OBC member Ronald Albert Jr., Miami Gardens Chiefs Football Commissioner Rich Jospitre, Miami Gardens Chiefs 14U Coach Toro Rolle, OBC ambassador Gary Smith and OBC member Melissa Gracey.
The Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance visited Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, home of the Florida Youth Football League’s Miami Gardens Chiefs, as part of the Orange Bowl YFA Park of the Week Program. Pictured from left, Miami Gardens Chiefs Cheer Commissioner Monica Perry, OBC member Gerald Grant Jr., Orange Bowl mascot Obie, Sports Authority Community Marketing Representative Emily Perez, OBC member Ronald Albert Jr., Miami Gardens Chiefs Football Commissioner Rich Jospitre, Miami Gardens Chiefs 14U Coach Toro Rolle, OBC ambassador Gary Smith and OBC member Melissa Gracey. Photo Courtesy Orange Bowl YFA

Orange Bowl Parks of Week

Now in its 16th season, the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, visited five sites in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, including Carter Park, one of the Orange Bowl’s legacy gift parks, as part of the Orange Bowl YFA Park of the Week Program.

The program recognizes select youth football parks across South Florida each Saturday during the fall to show its continued support of the community.

“Youth football is one of the primary ways that Orange Bowl gives back to the community,” said Orange Bowl Committee Member Ronald Albert Jr. “We make financial donations to the parks but we also show our support by going out to the parks, meeting the commissioners and the coaches, giving coaches kits to the Coach of the Week, passing out giveaways to the fans there just to let them know that Orange Bowl is here and Orange Bowl supports them.”

The day began in Miami-Dade County with stops at the Florida Youth Football League’s Miami Gardens Chiefs at Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex in Miami Gardens followed by visits to two National Youth Football League teams: the Opa-locka Hurricanes at Sherbondy Park in Opa-locka and the Oak Grove Raiders at North Miami High School in North Miami.

The program then traveled to Broward County and visited Carter Park, home of the NYFL’s Western Tigers. Carter Park, in Fort Lauderdale, was renovated by the Orange Bowl in partnership with Fort Lauderdale in 2013. The second of the Orange Bowl’s three Legacy Gift projects, the $3 million Carter Park project included the installation of a new synthetic turf football field, eight lane track, enhanced spectator area and new scoreboard.

“It’s great to come out here and support the kids and see how they’re developing and transforming their lives in the community,” said Orange Bowl Committee Member and Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance Chair Gerald Grant Jr. “I’m glad to see that the Orange Bowl is contributing back to our community.”

This was the second Legacy Gift park visited by the program this youth football season. The OBYFA visited Ives Estates Park, the site of the Orange Bowl’s third Legacy Gift. In less than a decade, the Orange Bowl legacy projects have provided approximately $10 million worth of improvements toward the beautification of the South Florida community and recreational park activities for residents and their families.

The OBYFA concluded Saturday’s activities with a fifth stop in Palm Beach County at Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton, home of the NYFL’s Boca Jets.

At each stop during the program, Orange Bowl members, ambassadors and staff distributed promotional items and discounts from OBYFA sponsors and presented each park with a commemorative plaque.

This year’s Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance is presented by Sports Authority and supported by associate sponsors American Airlines, Doctors Hospital, Florida Prepaid College Board, FOX Sports Florida / Sun Sports, Hampton Farms, Marathon Petroleum, MetroPCS, Nike, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, Sparkling ICE, The Miami Herald, Toyota, and Wells Fargo. The OBYFA presented by Sports Authority continues to positively impact the South Florida community.

For more than 80 years, the Orange Bowl has been one of South Florida’s leading civic organizations, driving tourism and economic development, while supporting scholarships and community athletic facilities. Inspiring thousands of student athletes every year, the Orange Bowl’s activities help foster youth confidence, celebrate student achievement, engage the community and enhance the South Florida economy.

For information about the Orange Bowl Committee and the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, visit

Warriors Helping Warriors

Each year the Kendall Hammocks Warriors select a project as part of their giving back to the community initiative. Kendall Hammocks not only teaches players about football and the importance of academics but also pride from its giving back to the community efforts.

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors chose the Wounded Warrior Project this year, starting with its NFL Flag program in June and continuing with its tackle football division.

The motto is “Warriors Helping Warriors,” and their tackle football uniforms were designed to support the cause.

Throughout the season, a tip collection jar was filled by players and parents who visited concessions at the park. They also sold T-shirts with proceeds, too, for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The donation will honor all servicemen and women including SPC Andrew Evan Lara (1985-2011). It will be presented to Wounded Warrior Project reps from Wounded Warriors of South Florida on Sept. 24 during a special Homecoming event at Devonaire Park. The Young Marines Color Guard will lead a flag ceremony, and Sport Grill off Kendall Drive will be donating food to feed special guests.

Kendall football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors hosted their fifth annual NFL Punt Pass & Kick Competition at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave.

Registered boys and girls competed in punting, passing and kicking. Scores were tallied to award a winner in each age bracket. Each division winner advances to the NFL Sectional Competition in October.

They are: Girls 10-11: Ashley Cid. Boys 8-9: Michael Arnold. 10-11: Jonathan Krogh. 12-13: Colin Jacobson. 14-15: Mario Rodriguez.

Miami Country Day School top athletes

Miami Country Day School

Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Isabella Allen (cross-country) placed 12th overall and first for the Spartans in the King of the Hill Invitational at Tropical Park.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Zach Charalambides (swimming) won the 100 freestyle and was second in the 200 freestyle in a meet against Gulliver Prep.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Megan Tate (golf) led her team to its first two wins in 30 years by shooting a 46 against LaSalle and a 43 against Calvary Christian.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Sam Cohen (football) led the defense with nine tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in the Spartan's 17-14 win against Marathon High School.

Spartan Super Fan: Eric "Pops" Pearson (grandfather).

Scheck Hillel top student athletes

Scheck Hillel Community School named cross-country stars Sandra Feld and Ariel Gelrud as its Student Athletes of the Week.

Feld, a sophomore and first-year runner for the cross-country team, gave her all in a meet. She isn’t letting her inexperience slow her, starting the season very strong by placing fifth of more than 60 girls in a 5K (3.1-mile) race in 28 minutes 16 seconds.

Gelrud, a senior and captain of the cross-country team, is recognized for not only his individual success at a meet where he placed third in a personal best 21:18, but also for stepping up as captain to provide leadership and motivation.

Our Lady of Lakes sports

The Our Lady of the Lakes girls’ varsity volleyball team is off to a good start, defeating Immaculate Conception in two straight sets 25-16 and 25-18.

Victoria Herrera (8th grade), Kristen Fleitas (8th grade) and Maylizze Santos (7th grade) demonstrated solid serving and helped anchor a strong defense.

The JV boys’ basketball team beat St. Agatha Catholic School 41-7. Leading 6-2, the Cheetahs went on an 18-0 run. Nicholas Pombo (6th grade), who came off the bench, led the scoring with 11 points, and Michael Martely (5th grade) had 13 rebounds and four points.

Miami Red Dogs

The Miami Red Dogs 8U travel baseball team earned a bronze medal at the Turn Back The Clock Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.

The Red Dogs were led offensively by Carmani Boozer, Marcus Sanchez, AJ Garica and Cameron Boozer. Gaby Lopez, Robert Romeo and Orlando Estevez keyed the defense, and Daniel Castillo made a game-saving, diving catch in the outfield to start a double play that ended a game. They practiced at Atlantis Academy during their trip.


The SFPGA Junior Championship Tour, presented by The Honda Classic, held event No.8 at the Normandy Shores Golf Club in Miami Beach.

With excellent course conditions and perfect weather, many of South Florida’s top junior golfers played very well.

In the boys’ division, Wellington native Anthony Gabriele opened round one with 2-under-par 69 to take the lead. Entering round two, there were 10 players within four strokes of Gabriele. Miami native Rafael Martinez shot an impressive 5-under-par 66 during round two to post a tournament total 3-under-par 139 and put the pressure on Gabriele.

Despite Martinez’s best efforts, Gabriele managed to fire a 5-under-par 66 in round two to win the Boys’ Overall Division by four strokes.

Palm Beach Gardens native Andrew Kozan took top honors in boys’ 13-15 with a 2-under-par 140. Martinez, who was second overall, took top honors in the boys’ 16-18 age group. Christian Nido of Palmetto Bay was fourth overall at 1-over 143. Homestead’s Cole Castro placed sixth overall at 145, followed by Scott Martinez of Pinecrest at 146. Miami’s Tomas Nieves was ninth at 147.

In the girls’ division, Wellington native Mary Janiga and Naples native Sydney Shrader each opened round one with a 1-under-par 70. Janiga shot an even par 71 in round two to win the Girls’ Overall Division by four strokes.

Hallandale Beach native Valeria Pacheco wo the girls 13-15 age division after shooting 74-71 for a 145 tournament total. Shrader captured the girls’16-18 age division. Sara Ciliberto of Coral Gables was sixth overall at 156. Miami’s Alexa Rivas was seventh at 158.

The South Florida PGA Junior Tour is proudly presented by The Honda Classic and supported by Allianz Championship, Chiquita, Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company, Stack and Tilt Golf Academy at Club Med, Johnson & Wales University, Don Law Golf Academy, Palm Beach County Sports Commission, The Men’s Fun Group at Mirasol, and Titleist.

For information on the Junior Tour and its respective Championship and Challenge tours, visit the new South Florida PGA Junior Tour website


More events, leagues, programs

Senior Games

Amateur athletes, age 50 and older, can register for the 2014 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships which are Dec. 6-14 in Lee County and Cape Coral.

Visit to register.

The event is a qualifier for the 2015 National Senior Games in Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, Minn. in the summer 2015.

Entry fees begin at $11 per event and vary by sport. Sports with multiple events carry additional charges per event. Team sports have a team entry fee. The deadline for online registration is Nov. 21.

The state championships feature 24 sports and events over nine days of competition. Some sports and events require a qualifying performance at a local Senior Games to participate at the state championships. Those sports include; 3-on-3 basketball, basketball shooting, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, tennis and track & field.

Sports that are open to all athletes without a qualifying performance at a local Senior Games include archery, bag toss, billiards, bocce, croquet, fencing, powerlifting, power walk, race walk, racquetball, road race (5K and 10K) and volleyball.

For information about the 2014 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships, visit or call toll-free 1-866-FLGAMES (354-2637).


Children, adults and veterans with disabilities will have an opportunity to escape gravity for a brief time and discover the weightless world of scuba diving, as part of the free “Diveheart Scuba Experience” on Oct. 4 and 25 at AD Barnes Pool, 3401 SW 72 Ave., Miami.

The event is being presented by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s Disability Services Division in partnership with the Diveheart Foundation and Ortho Pro Associates. The event will include scuba demonstrations, rides on a mechanical dolphin and on-site registration for the Diveheart Scuba Experience scuba diving classes.

Individuals must be at least 10-years-old to participate in the scuba diving sessions. Participants will receive an introduction to scuba diving and scuba equipment. All scuba gear will be provided. Pre-registration is required, as each participant is paired with a certified dive instructor and volunteer.

For information, contact Terri Bukacheski at 305-598-9688 or

Florida Christian lacrosse

Florida Christian School Athletic Director Ed Riggan, announced that FCS Athletics will offer lacrosse at the JV level for the spring of the 2014-15 school year. For information call 305-226-8152 or visit


The FBU National Championship kicks off Dec. 6 at 16 venues across America, with the winners advancing to round 2 on Dec. 7.

The structure of the Football University National Championship is a combination of the Little League World Series and the NCAA March Madness. The single-elimination tournament, features 192-region-based teams (64-teams in each age bracket – 6th, 7th and 8th grade) comprised of the top 30 all-star athletes from their area who had to try out to earn a roster spot.

The first four rounds will occur at regional sites, with the semifinals and championship weekend Dec. 20-21 in Naples for the final four teams in each age bracket.

Miami-Dade County youth athletes have been given the extraordinary honor of participating in the tournament beginning Dec. 6. Sixth graders, seventh graders, and eighth graders were selected to play for the FBU Miami-Dade County Team in each of their grade levels. Each team, comprised of top football players from through the county, will be competing in full contact football games with the ultimate goal of advancing to the championship in Naples.

The Miami-Dade County team, led by State Director Damian Sosa, will begin the tournament on Dec. 6 in West Palm Beach.

This year’s tournament marks the fourth year of the biggest youth football event to date, with 192 teams nationwide, including more than 250 games, 6,000 athletes and 1,200 coaches. The tournament will showcase 250 games through a three-week period, resulting in more than 1,000 hours of play.



The fifth annual National Bowl, featuring some of the best FCS (NCAA Division I-AA) players in the country, is Dec 5-7 at Florida International University at Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium in Miami.

Representatives from 10 NFL teams attended in 2013, and NFL Films distributed game film to teams. Fifteen players in the past two years participated in NFL camps, seven in 2013.



Heads Up

Former tight end Troy Drayton played nine seasons in the NFL, including 1996-99 with the Miami Dolphins, and he is the Dolphins’ youth program coordinator.

Drayton added a new title to his résumé — NFL Ambassador for Heads Up Football.

The NFL and USA Football jointly announced the national launch of Heads Up Football, a youth football program aimed at making football better and safer for all who play it. The program is being supported with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation.

Three million kids already play tackle football, and the game can be even safer. Heads Up Football includes a tackling model that removes the head from the game.

Heads Up Football has five core elements: The use of the Heads Up Tackling model; coaching certification; Player Safety Coaches; concussion education; and proper equipment-fitting.

The program was launched in three test markets last year. This year, it expanded to more than 600 youth leagues in 50 states. Of these leagues, 100 were assigned a former NFL player mentor. Drayton served as a mentor to a local Heads Up League — the Tamiami Colts of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.


The Maccabi Haifa professional basketball team, the 2013-14 Israeli Super League runner-up, announced the team will participate in a four-team NBA exhibition tour in North America, becoming only the second international team ever to play four NBA teams in the same trip.

Maccabi Haifa will face the Washington Wizards on Oct. 15 at the Verizon Center, the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 17 at the Moda Center, the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 18 at the Sleep Train Arena, and the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 22 at the Air Canada Centre.

Maccabi Haifa’s trip to the United States will mark the fourth time in five years the team will travel to North America to play against NBA competition. In three trips to the United States, Maccabi Haifa has faced six NBA opponents (New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies). At the conclusion of the North American tour, Maccabi Haifa will rank second all-time among international basketball teams in games played (10) against NBA opponents.

Maccabi Haifa has a long and storied legacy as it was one of the original eight teams to form the Israeli Premier League for the 1954 season. Under the ownership of Aventura businessman Jeffrey Rosen, Maccabi Haifa won its first Israeli League championship in the franchise’s 60-year history during the 2012-13 season and were an Israeli League Finalist in the 2013-14 season.

Maccabi Haifa’s charity program, “Haifa Hoops for Kids”, a joint initiative between Maccabi Haifa and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey, has hosted more than 20,000 underprivileged and special needs children in Israel at Maccabi Haifa home games. The team will hold charity basketball clinics for children in each city during the NBA preseason tour.

“Maccabi Haifa is proud to continue our tradition of playing against NBA opponents, as our fan base in North America is one of the largest among all international basketball teams,” said Maccabi Haifa Owner Jeff Rosen. “We are thrilled to be competing against the Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and the Toronto Raptors.”

For information about Maccabi Haifa, visit


Thunder Athletix and Brain Gymnasium LLC teamed to offer a complete fitness program of body and mind at the new ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82 Ave. in Doral.

Students can improve their basketball skills and physical fitness, as well as strengthen their academic skills through specialized tutoring programs. They can have fun and finish their homework.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game to children age 5-17.

Brain Gymnasium offers specialized tutoring, homework help, FCAT Prep, SAT/ACT Prep, and Entrance Exam Prep. Their degreed, professional and experienced teachers provide a simple and exciting approach to learning.

For information on special packages, after school programs and summer programs,

visit ; or call 786-505-5585.

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit or call 305-788-7339.

Thunder basketball

Thunder Basketball opened its new year-round facility at ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82th Ave., Doral.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game. It stresses the importance of team and sportsmanship.

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life.

For information visit

Registration is open.

Email or call 786-505-5585.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been raising funds.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School, where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys ages 5 to 16.

Email or call 305 -273-1145.

Park upgrade

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County District 13 Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr., announce the completion of new amenities at the 20-acre Norman and Jean Reach Park, 7901 NW 176 St., Miami.

The improvements include a new six-foot perimeter asphalt walkway with wayside shaded benches, expanded concrete patio space around the recreation center and concession building, and a new portable bleacher.

Miami-Dade County and The School Board of Miami-Dade County have entered into agreements to provide for the joint use of their respectively owned public properties for recreational purposes. Palm Springs North Elementary School is adjacent to the park, and the walking path will be built on both properties to provide a safe route for walking activities. This project was made possible with the assistance of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, the School Board and the School Board Chair, Perla Taberas Hantman, District 4, where Palm Springs North Elementary School is located.

“Amenities such as these will provide residents and visitors with more opportunities to enjoy nature and recreation at Norman and Jean Reach Park,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I want to thank the Parks Department for its great work in helping us build a healthier and more livable community.”

Commissioner Bovo said: “I am very pleased to see this completed development at Norman and Jean Reach Park. I highly encourage neighbors to come out for a walk in the park and to take full advantage of these improved recreational spaces.”

Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys added: “Norman and Jean Reach Park offers active recreation for people of all ages. These new amenities have enhanced this beautiful park and all that it has to offer.”

Miami-Dade County Parks completed this project together with Sagua Construction Inc. Funding of $154,000 was provided by the Quality Neighborhood Improvement Program (QNIP), Capital Outlay Reserve Funds (CORF), Impact Fees, and the Miami-Dade County District 13 Commission Office.

Norman and Jean Reach Park also contains two-lighted basketball courts, four-lighted softball fields, two-tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a picnic shelter.

For directions and information about the recreational facilities and programs offered at this park

visit or call 305-823-2414.

Crandon Park

Crandon Park Marina at 4000 Crandon Boulevard in Key Biscayne has undergone a major facelift, which includes new charter boat docks, a new seawall and new state-of-the-art marina amenities that offer better access and security for boaters.

The new development is the result of an extensive shoreline restoration effort led by the Florida Inland Navigation District, the state’s sponsor of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

“The improvements to Crandon Marina have preserved a vital Miami-Dade County waterfront treasure and served to enhance the Marina as a world-class boating destination for visitors and residents,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We commend the Parks Department for their collaborations and shared vision, which is helping us to restore and beautify the recreational treasures of our community.”

As part of the marina restoration project, a total of 515 linear feet of existing concrete seawall (built circa 1950) was replaced with a newly designed ‘sheet pile seawall’ that consists of deep in ground galvanized steel piles encased in concrete. A new five-foot-wide cap was installed atop the new seawall, which added three more feet of boardwalk.

The charter boat area received new fender and mooring piles, a new concrete walk with integrated light bollards and planters, and 10 new boat slips, each with its own new power/water pedestal and fish-cleaning station. The two original scales used for weighing-in fish were renovated and reinstalled on the docks, for a touch of nostalgia. There is also a new transient boat slip just south of the site.

The marina restorations were completed through the collaborative efforts of FIND, working with Neville/Steffens Architects LLP; Ports and Coastal Engineering Practice - Atkins; SDM Consulting Engineers, Inc.; and Construction Contractors - Shoreline Foundation, Inc.

Miami-Dade County District 7 Commissioner Xavier Suarez said: “We are happy to provide this boating community with a fresher and new looking marina. This renewed facility is more accessible than ever, easier to use and will continue to meet the recreational needs of boaters for many years to come.”

The marina has also added a new entrance and several new security features, such as eight-foot-high fencing around the perimeter and dry boat storage and wet slip areas, electronic gates that open and close via a key card, and non-motorized pedestrian gates that allow for emergency or occasional egress. The dry boat storage area also has new inside lighting fixtures and new HD security cameras and lamp posts for its parking lot.

All parking areas were re-surfaced and re-striped and have new wheel stops and traffic signage. The grounds have a new automatic irrigation system and new landscaping throughout that includes Emerald sod (a top golf course turf known as Zoysia) and an assortment of native trees, such as Palms, Oaks, Royal Poincianas, and Gumbo Limbos. There are also new concrete walkways throughout the site, creating a seamless connection to marina facilities.

Miami-Dade County Parks worked in conjunction with KVH Architects, Laura Llerena and Associates, Inc., and ABC Construction, Inc. to complete the improvements.

Miami-Dade County Parks Department Director Jack Kardys added: “Miami-Dade Parks is committed to meeting the needs of the boaters that use our marina facilities. These enhancements will enable us to provide the boating public with a better overall boating experience.”

The total cost for the marina restorations and improvements was $8,060,000. Funding was provided by the Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program, Capital Outlay Reserve Funds, FIND, and the Marina Capital Improvements Fund.

Crandon Park Marina is near some of the most spectacular fishing and diving opportunities in the United States. The marina features a dock master complex with a bait-and-tackle and shower and laundry facilities, 425 wet slips, 10 commercial slips, moorings, and dry dock storage. Boat rentals and charter fishing excursions are available.

The facility is conveniently situated on the Intercoastal Waterway (at Mile Marker 73) and nearby Miami-Dade Parks’ Crandon Park Beach, Crandon Park Golf Course and the Crandon Park Tennis Center.

For information about Crandon Park Marina, call 305-361-1281, or visit


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.

“We are absolutely committed to changing lives through tennis,” said Linda Curtis, executive director of the USTA Florida Section Foundation. “This agreement is a prime example of how USTA Florida and our Foundation work together to impact communities each and every day. These athletes play tennis for the pure joy of the sport. It’s inspiring to see, and I’m proud to know that we will be able to provide even more opportunities for them to play through this partnership.”

Sherry Wheelock, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Florida, said: “At Special Olympics Florida, we embrace the transformative power of sports. USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation will help us bring first-rate trainings and competitive experiences to our athletes throughout the state. We are excited for this new partnership and are confident that it will further ignite a passion in our athletes for tennis.”

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.

Marlins Jose’s Heroes

Tickets to the José's Heroes Fan Zone are available each time Miami Marlins star pitcher José Fernandez takes the mound at Marlins Park.

For $16, fans receive:

A ticket in the José's Heroes Fan Zone (Left Field Bullpen Reserved)

A José's Heroes T-shirt

A 'K' Card to wave when José records a strikeout

Go to

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind-the-scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 per person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas, including the suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours of 10 to 25 people are available by appointment.

For more information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (Northwest Sixth Street between 14th and 15th avenues) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school) players.

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams, which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, for boys ages 6-18, practices from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101.



The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, as host of Miami-Dade County’s year round Mayor’s Cup Youth Sports Championship Series fostering sports development activities for local youth, announces sponsorship, partnership and volunteer opportunities for the popular Miami Soccer Festival returning to Kendall Soccer Park, Nov. 1-2.

This is the fourth year for this two-day signature event, which features consecutive FYSA-sanctioned tournaments for boys and girls, age 12 and younger, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and free admission for spectators. More than 2,000 people of all ages are expected to watch the tournaments and enjoy the festivities that include entertainment, music, food vendors, a soccer retail village, soccer tricks, juggling demonstrations.

As a father, grandfather and lifetime advocate of the long-term health benefits of regular exercise for children, Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez knows first-hand the esteemed values developed from continuous involvement in athletics.

“The Mayor’s Youth Sports Championship Series allows our youth to learn the value of how working together can build character through organized sporting events,” Mayor Gimenez said in a release. “These lessons on the field, the resilience and leadership skills, combined with teamwork can then be used off the field for future success in life. This is why I ask local businesses and organizations to join us in our commitment to make youth sports available for all children in our community.”

Teams will participate in three elimination games – two on Nov. 1 and one Nov. 2. The finals will follow. Team registration costs are between $70 for younger teams (U5) and $170 for older teams (U12).

For information on the Miami Soccer Festival, visit

or contact Scott Georgeson at 305-965-9855 or

To become a sponsor, partner or volunteer, contact Alan Georgeson at 305-393-5230 or

Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, is at three Miami-Dade County-owned parks — Tropical Park (7900 Bird Rd.), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127th Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St., Hialeah).

Headed by Soccer 5’s Director of Coaching Development Alan Georgeson, who has more than 15 years of experience in Europe in mini/small-sided soccer, kids 3 to 12 years old will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in “3v3” to “7v7” matches.

The three locations make mini/small-sided soccer available across the county, providing a greater opportunity for children and families to access the proper 4G turf game fields specifically designed for “5v5,” “6v6” and “7v7” games.

With smaller fields, mini soccer is much easier for young children or children who have never played. In addition, mini soccer is designed for competition among teams with fewer players, providing more opportunity for pick-up games, as well as more opportunity to play the ball making mini soccer popular with older players, too.

Soccer 5 Tropical Park is open 3 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and Sundays.

“I cannot thank Miami-Dade Parks and our Soccer 5 coaching staff enough for making our dream of developing small-sided soccer for kids in the Greater Miami area a reality,” Georgeson said. “It is an exciting time for us at Soccer 5 as we continue to expand our Kids Academy in South Florida built on the success of our public/private partnership with Miami-Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.”

Allison Diego, director of business development, fundraising and advocacy for Miami-Dade Parks’ Recreation and Open Spaces Department, added: “The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is delighted to partner with The Soccer 5 vision to provide an outstanding experience for this community through soccer. We are happy to be a part of this important child sports development.”

For more information or to register, visit

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE Second Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at the Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School Biscayne Bay Campus.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.



Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Call Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

Jai-Alai for women

Who said you have to be a male to play jai-alai? Just as females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, women can play it in South Florida at the amateur indoor, air-conditioned fronton at 1935 NE 150 St., North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls are used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls are also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open every day. Email or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

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).

How to recognize player or team in Sports Scene

Sports Scene spotlights news and notes from youth sports and adult league activities with the aim to feature game notes and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.

We rely on league directors and coaches, 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.

All sports are welcome as long as the team, individual or league is Miami-based.