Youth Sports

Miami Country Day Middle School baseball completes one of its strongest seasons

IMPROVING SPARTANS: The Miami Country Day Middle School baseball team finished one of its strongest seasons in years, going 11-6. The improved Spartans are front from left, Dylan Gostfrand, Griffin Steutel, Daniel Saydkhuzhin, Michael McPherson, Nandan Aggarwal, William Seiden; back, Coach Alex Sosa, Zac Wyka, Alex McMillan, Coach John Broderick, Myles Berlowitz, Sean Finny, Joseph Weider, Jacob White, and Coach Jimmy Simpson.
IMPROVING SPARTANS: The Miami Country Day Middle School baseball team finished one of its strongest seasons in years, going 11-6. The improved Spartans are front from left, Dylan Gostfrand, Griffin Steutel, Daniel Saydkhuzhin, Michael McPherson, Nandan Aggarwal, William Seiden; back, Coach Alex Sosa, Zac Wyka, Alex McMillan, Coach John Broderick, Myles Berlowitz, Sean Finny, Joseph Weider, Jacob White, and Coach Jimmy Simpson.

The Miami Country Day Middle School baseball team finished one of its strongest seasons in years, going 11-6.

The Spartans were led by the power of eighth-grade co-captains Michael McPherson, Myles Berlowitz and William Seiden.

McPherson and Seiden topped the team in batting, and Zac Wyka, Jacob White, Dylan Gostfrand along with McPherson and Berlowitz controlled the mound. Watch for the up-n-coming Wyka, the team’s lone sixth grader.

Papa John’s baseball

The Papa John’s Youth Baseball Invitational is a 12-and-under baseball tournament debuting June 11-14 in conjunction with the City of Hialeah at Babcock Park.

Twelve teams from South Florida, including Kendall Hammocks Optimist, will have the opportunity to compete for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity: an expenses-paid trip to Dyersville, Iowa to compete in a baseball tournament at All-Star Ballpark Heaven, including a skills competition at the iconic “Field of Dreams” movie site.

Kendall Hammocks Optimist features Jazz Blaya, Justin Estevez, Christian Estevez, Jose Pages, Brandon Andrade, Adrain Falcon, Cahron Rackley, Ian Lima, Eric Don, Kelvin Bencosme and Aaron Carvajal.

Players, families and fans can enjoy a variety of on-site activities, games each day and can follow the fun on social media by using the hashtag #PJBetterBaseball.

Papa John’s is passionate about the value of community partnership and preservation.

Miami Country Day softball

The Miami Country Day School varsity softball team (13-4) captured its second consecutive district championship, behind the stellar pitching of junior Taylor Sennett.

Sophomore Mary Elizabeth Allen was solid at third base, and senior co-captains Liz Finny (shortstop) and Jackie Lash (catcher) provided leadership and defensive stability. Sophomore Sierra Mathis and eighth grader Eva Sirlin were two of the most improved players giving the Spartans a boost offensively and on the field.

Newcomer Michelle Yakobi, a freshman second baseman, had a fantastic debut season, capped off with a key, bases loaded, two-out double in the bottom of the sixth inning in the district championship game against SLAM Academy. Seniors Dani Saad, Alicia Cherem, Margaux Walker and Micaela Mlikota also did a good job.

Pinecrest soccer

By winning the recent US Youth Soccer Florida State Championships, the Pinecrest Premier 98/99 under-16 boys’ travel soccer team qualified for the 2015 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships.

The team will be among the more than 200 top US Youth Soccer boys and girls’ teams from the 12 US Youth Soccer State Associations competing for the regional title June 19-25 at the US Youth Soccer Region III Championships at the Burns Park Soccer Complex in North Little Rock, Ark.

Daily reports and complete results from the tournament will be available at

The Region III Championships feature top teams in the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups beginning Thursday, June 18, with opening ceremonies at the Little Rock River Market. Round robin games are Friday, June 19, through Sunday, June 21. Quarterfinal matches are Monday, June 22 for the U14-U16 age groups and June 23 for the U-17 and U-18 age groups. Semifinals are Tuesday, June 23 for the U-13 and U-19 age groups and Wednesday, June 24 for U14-U18. The Region III Champions will be crowned following final games on Wednesday, June 24 for U-13 and U-19 and Thursday, June 25 for U14-U18.

US Youth Soccer State Cup Champions and select runners-up from 12 US Youth Soccer State Associations in Region III, including host Arkansas State Soccer Association will participate. The other State Associations represented are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Texas and Tennessee.

Regional winners of the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups earn a berth to the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Championships July 20-26 at the Mohawk Soccer Complex in Tulsa, Okla. One of the 14 national crowns awarded is the James P. McGuire Cup, the oldest trophy in youth sports, dating to 1935 with the inaugural youth championships.

For information, visit

Cushman soccer

Two Cushman Athletic Department soccer teams from the Cushman School competed in the Disney Memorial Day Soccer Shootout at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.

The Cushman School designed its CAD program to expose its younger student athletes (second grade to fourth grade) to competitive sports while developing critical skills and preparing them for the school’s athletic program, which begins in fifth grade.

Miami Heat scholarships

The Miami HEAT announced the five recipients of the 2015 HEAT Scholarships presented by BankUnited and The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund: The Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship, the Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship and three HEAT Scholarships.

In its 19th year, the HEAT Scholarships offer $25,000 in funds to high school seniors attending school in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties. The scholarships, valued at $5,000 each, are awarded based on excellent academic performance, outstanding community service, and unmet financial need.

The scholarship recipients include:

Loana Nardoni, recipient of the Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship, will graduate from Mater Academy High School with an impressive 6.5 weighted District GPA and a 3.9 unweighted State GPA. Throughout high school, she was involved in several clubs including Spanish Honor Society, The Bible Club, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, The Gay-Straight Alliance, and the Social Justice League. Nardoni also served as the captain of the MAHS Swim Team. Throughout high school, she was active in her community and served as the Assistant Swim Instructor at the Milander Aquatic Center in Hialeah. In the fall, Nardoni will attend Florida State University to begin studying Criminology.

The first recipient of the Miami HEAT Scholarship is Monica Tunez. She will graduate from Coral Reef Senior High School with an incredible 6.8 weighted District GPA and a 3.9 unweighted State GPA. Throughout her high school career, she has been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, such as National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Music Honor Society, and the Quill and Scroll Honor Society. A talented flutist, Tunez participated in the Visual and Performing Arts Academy and the CRSHS Band. She devoted over 1,600 community service hours during her high school tenure, mainly working with charitable organizations such as No Paw Left Behind, His House Children’s Home, The Miami Project To Cure Paralysis, and Glades Middle School, assisting their band students with flute lessons. Tunez also participated in a Neurosurgery research internship at the University of Miami. Rounding out her accomplished high school career, she was recently named the 2015 Miami-Dade Silver Knight Award winner for Music & Dance. In the fall, Tunez will attend Yale University.

The third recipient of the Miami HEAT Scholarship is Marielle Panizales from Miami Beach Senior High School. She will graduate with a 6.5 weighted District GPA and an 3.9 unweighted State GPA. Panizales was involved in the Tri-M Honor Society, Phi Beta Chi, Mu Alpha Theta and English Honor Society. She dedicated over 1,000 community service hours to a variety of medical centers, helped students in a local orchestra and created a student-baking program at Feinberg Fisher K-8 Center. Panizales will study Mathematics at Florida International University.

About The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund

Established in 1997, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund supports programs for the betterment of at-risk families in South Florida. Beneficiaries include SafeSpace, a domestic violence shelter for women and children, the Jackson Memorial Foundation’s Guardian Angels and Holtz Children’s Hospital, and the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Community.

The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund also provides educational scholarships for high school seniors and partners with inner-city elementary schools to fund the HEAT Academy, which provides after-school tutoring and mentoring programs. Through these initiatives, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund continues to inspire the youth of South Florida to envision their dreams and achieve their goals.

Mo Steel flag football

Mo Steel Flag Football, representing the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach, competed in the Beast of the East Tournament in Philadelphia. The tournament hosted more than 100 teams from throughout the East coast.

The Mo Steel Program entered three teams (10U, 12U, 14U) with two winning championships. The Mo Steel Seniors (12U) and Mo Steel Vets (14U) brought home top trophies, each going 5-0. The Mo Steel Juniors (10U) were third.

Mo Steel Vets 14U: Matteo Marcato, David Egozi, Will Poses, Jesse Scharfer, Noah Hickey, Presley Pomeranc, Tyronn Streeter, Robert Moret, Jamaree Jackson, Kevin Foo, Tywan Cash and coaches Yossi Behar and Todd Poses.

Mo Steel Seniors 12U: Tyler Gale, Johnny Fishman, Aaron Felder, Robert Behar, Hakeem Sturrup, Ryan Mendelson, Ethan Negas, Tyriq Streeter, Zach Zibelli and coaches Joseph Behar and Belochi Lacombe.

Mo Steel Juniors 10U: Marc Wendrow, Jonathan Bacal, Samual Attias, Carson Orlinsky, Brody Minnick, Allan Strimber, T’kari Donaldson, Jake Manasse, Symarri Williams, Nolan Senker, and coaches Joseph Behar and Isaac Halberstein.

If interested in joining a world premier flag football travel program, an eight-time NFL national champion, contact David Fried at

St. Brendan sports

St. Brendan High School senior Gaby Vazquez signed to play soccer for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. He will join Coach Scott Hartwig’s Hornets in the NAIA.

St. Brendan senior Stephanie Parrilla signed to play softball for the Miami Dade College Sharks, which finished the season ranked No.1 in the Southern Conference. She will join Coach Gina DeAguero, a St. Brendan alum.

Miami Country Day lacrosse

The Miami Country Day Middle School JV lacrosse team completed its season 5-3. The team was led by captains Nicholas Gohill, Joel Cohen and Stevie Port.

The offense was anchored by Tyler Gale (12 goals, 5 assists), Ryan Mendelson (7 goals, 6 assists) and Elliot Surnamer (7 goals). Jovan Joseph, Jack Russakoff and Sasha Carrillo keyed the defense. Watch for Romain Vinois next season.

Kendall Hammocks flag football

Brandon Collins (U12 Eagles) and Ruby Sabater (U8 Falcons) were top performers in Week 2 of Kendall Hammocks NFL Flag Football.

Standings: U6: 49ers 4-0; Giants 2-2; Dolphins 0-4. U8: Raiders 4-0; Cardinals 2-0; Dolphins 3-1; Giants 3-1; Falcons 1-3; Panthers 0-4; Cowboys 0-4. U10: Rams 4-0; Dolphins 3-1; Bengals 2-2; Broncos 2-2; 49ers 2-2; Seahawks 1-3; Jets 0-4. U12: Falcons 4-0; Seahawks 3-1; Cowboys 2-2; 49ers 2-2; Dolphins 2-2; Eagles 2-2; Patriots 1-2; Vikings 1-2; Colts 0-2; Broncos 0-2. U14: Ravens 4-0; Seahawks 4-0; Cowboys 3-1; Dolphins 1-1; Raiders 1-3; Colts 0-4; Eagles 0-4.

Miami Country Day water polo

The Miami Country Day Middle School girls’ water polo team worked hard this season. Gaby Marchesani was the team’s leading goal scorer with four goals. Isabella Pedraza and Patrizia Puppin each had three goals.

Goalie Olivia Borchers, in her first season, made an impressive 41 saves in six games. She also recorded an amazing 60 steals, and Puppin had 47. Newcomers Sophia Paredes and Zeina Bazzi improved, and the Spartans look forward to seeing what Hannah Palmisano and captain Lauryn Russell can bring to the varsity team next year.

Barry rowing

Barry University’s Jensen Rayburn of Miami Shores made the 2015 Sunshine State Conference Rowing All-Freshman/Novice Team. She is a graduate of Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School.

Orange Bowl YFA clinics

The Orange Bowl Committee is inviting South Florida youth football players and area youth football league coaches and representatives to participate in the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance Youth and Coaches Clinics presented by Sports Authority on Sunday, June 14 at Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium on the campus of Florida International University, 11310 SW 17th St., Miami 33199.

The FIU football coaching staff, led by head coach Ron Turner, will lead both clinics which are free of charge for all participants. The registration deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday, June 11. The youth clinic is limited to the first 400 players who register.

Youth Football Clinic

All area boys and girls, age 5-14, may participate. Students entering ninth grade classes are excluded from participation because of NCAA regulations.

Coach Turner, his assistant coaches and student athletes will run participants through offensive, defensive and agility drills, proper techniques to promote on-field football safety and talk about the importance of character development and good sportsmanship.

The goal is to provide youth the opportunity to be successful on and off the field and reduce the number of injuries due to improper techniques and safety equipment.

Coaches Clinic

Youth football league coaches and representatives are invited to this free clinic and will receive education and instruction on practice drills, coaching strategies, precautions and safety measures from Coach Turner and his assistant coaches. Additionally, Heads up Football components, equipment fitting, concussion recognition and response and on-field instruction will be provided by USA Football Master Trainers, including Chris Merritt, head coach at Miami Columbus High School.

All coaches in attendance will receive a free USA Football Membership for one year paid for by the Orange Bowl.

As part of the mission to serve the South Florida community, the Orange Bowl has hosted youth football clinics for youth football players and coaches for nearly a decade.

The Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority will enter its 17th season and serves more than 16,000 young football players and cheerleaders in 10 football leagues across eight counties. Since its inception in 1999, the Orange Bowl has invested approximately $5 million in youth sports in South Florida.

For information or to register online click



More events, leagues, programs

Kendall Hammocks cheer, football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle program announces the registrations dates and times for the 2015 football and cheerleading season.

Tackle fee $185 which includes home game jersey that players keep, secondary insurance, participation awards, and the rental of helmet, shoulder pads, game pants. Issued equipment to be returned at season’s end. Also, the NFL’s Stephen Tulloch Football Camp as well as the Rookie Camp.

Cheer registration fee $385 which includes $185 initial deposit for practice T-shirt, shorts, game day socks, hair bow, cheer brief, and shoes, secondary insurance, and participation awards. The remaining $200 is for competition, body liner, shoes, socks, warm up, cheer bag, and uniform rental.

Register 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 13.

Registrations and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave. Tackle season starts July 6.

For information email Football Commissioner Mike Pintado at

or visit the web site at

The Warriors Football program, under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks, is an all volunteer organization, serving the community in sports for more than 28 years. The Warriors compete in the Miami Xtreme Football League.

Play Action Sports cheer, football

Play Action Sports bought the Coral Gables Cavaliers Youth Football & Cheer Program and is re-rebuilding it.

The group seeks a cheer director and cheer coaches as well as football coaches, volunteers and team moms and dads to assist with the 2015 season in the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League. Home games will be played at Coral Gables High School.





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.

MLB Bat Girl contest

Nominate someone who is Going to Bat Against breast cancer.

Winners will receive MLB game tickets and the opportunity to be recognized on-field during the game. Vote for nominees affected by the disease.

Nominate at



Jose’s Heroes

To support Miami Marlins star pitcher José Fernández on his road to recovery, the Marlins announce the return of the José’s Heroes season ticket package for the 2015 season.

For $499, José’s Heroes receive:

-A ticket to all 81 Marlins regular season home games. That’s about $6 a seat.

-A special edition José’s Heroes T-shirt each month.

-A complimentary ‘K’ Card!

-A meet-and-greet event with the man himself, José Fernández.

-Purchase the José’s Heroes season ticket package and travel to Marlins Park to support the Fish, 25 men strong.

For information, visit, email or call 305-480-2521.

Giancarlo Stanton’s G-Squad

To support Miami Marlins powerhitter Giancarlo Stanton, join Giancarlo Stanton’s All-New G-Squad.

For $27, you can be a member of the G-Squad, which will unite during five Saturday games.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Sunshine State Games

Florida’s Sunshine State Games online registration is open for select sports of its 2015 Calendar of Events.

Now in its 36th year, the Sunshine State Games has become an amateur sports tradition in Florida and nationwide. All Floridians are welcome to compete in any of the more than 25 sports offered in 10 different Florida communities between April and November.

SSG strives to provide first-class facilities, a family-friendly atmosphere and professionally organized, yet affordable competition, for more than 10,000 athletes of all ages.

Online registration is open for select events, including three multi-sport festivals in Broward, Sarasota and Palm Beach counties at

Since making its debut in 1980, Florida’s Sunshine State Games has established itself as the Nation’s Longest-Running State Games.

SSG Palm Beach County Festival, June 13-14

SSG Table Tennis Championships, June 20-21, Lakeland

SSG Water Polo Championships, June 26-28, Coral Springs

Entry fees vary by sport and registration deadlines are approximately two weeks prior to the competition date.

The Broward County Festival includes three sports: Figure Skating, Lacrosse, rugby.

The Sarasota County Festival features competition in seven sports; Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Disc Golf, Racquetball, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming and Ultimate.

The Sunshine State Games returns to West Palm Beach for the first time since 2002 when the Palm Beach County Festival offers eight sports; BMX Cycling, Fencing, Judo, Karate, Powerlifting, Taekwondo, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

“We look forward to working with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to present the eight sports of the Palm Beach County Festival,” said Florida Sports Foundation Senior Vice President, Stephen Rodriguez. “The Palm Beach Convention Center will come alive the weekend of June 13-14 with seven sports being held in the building and over 1,000 athletes competing.”

Look for upcoming information about the 2015 Sunshine State Games events at

NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth

NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 today announced the expansion of their commitment to youth health and wellness by giving NFL FLAG Essentials Kits to one million students across 2,500 schools nationwide, including 10 focus cities: Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The expansion is made possible by a $1 million commitment from NFL Foundation.

The announcement was made by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CEO of GENYOUth Alexis Glick and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the 2015 NFL Draft Youth Football Clinic in Chicago’s Grant Park.

During 2014 Kickoff, NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth and Fuel Up to Play 60 announced a commitment to providing children in elementary schools and after-school programs nationwide with NFL FLAG Essentials Kits enabling kids and communities to “Play 60.” The kits which include footballs, flag belts, posters and a PE curriculum designed for elementary and middle school students, garnered enthusiasm, reaching 1,800 schools nationwide, resulting in 500,000 kids getting more active, and the demand for NFL FLAG powered by USA Football to be played before, during and after school.

The goal of the partnership between the NFL and Fuel Up to Play 60 is to give children more opportunities to be physically active and to "Play 60" by offering PE teachers and school administrators the equipment, curriculum, training and recognition they need to uplift and support physical education. This extension of the program provides a million more students across the country with the tools to play NFL FLAG, which combines the strategy of football with the lessons of teamwork, resiliency and respect.

“We want all kids to have the chance to get active and flag football is a fun way to play 60 and learn the fundamentals of football,” said Commissioner Goodell. “We know many children are physically inactive and the critical need in schools and communities for equipment and ways to increase participation in physical education. We want to make this a positive experience by offering NFL FLAG Kits to inspire kids to play football and be active today and in years to come.”

Results from the program’s first year include:

· 98% of teachers reporting using the Kits in PE class for more than one semester

· 47% using Kits after school

· 28% using Kits during recess

· 21% using Kits weekend activity and/or sporting activities

· 12% using Kits before school, leading to an increased number of physically activity kids

NFL FLAG provides children of all ages with the opportunity to be active and learn the basics of football in a fun environment. With the tremendous reach of Fuel Up to Play 60, the nation’s largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program, an additional 1,000,000 children in more than 2,500 schools will be able to participate in the coming 2015-16 school year via the new Kits. The program will culminate with the NFL FLAG National Championships at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

“GENYOUth is proud to support this partnership by bringing this fresh and exciting sport to schools nationwide through our flagship program, Fuel Up to Play 60,” said Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth. “Flag football is a fun, fast-paced, skills-based and strategy-driven game that inspires more kids to get active. It allows physical education teachers and communities to introduce a new curriculum that has already inspired more physical activity among both boys and girls during and outside of the school day.”

Schools can apply for the Kits starting in early May via the Fuel Up to Play 60 website: and will be provided at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year while supplies last. Additionally, in-person FLAG trainings using the curriculum developed by USA Football and SHAPE America will be held in the 10 NFL markets this fall.


NFL FLAG powered by USA Football ( provides opportunities for children ages 5-17 to enjoy America's favorite sport.

With more than 250,000 participants nationwide, players benefit by being physically active through non-contact, continuous action while learning the fundamentals of football, lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. NFL FLAG is a program of PLAY 60, the NFL’s campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.

About Fuel Up to Play 60

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Football League (NFL) and National Dairy Council (NDC), which was founded by America’s dairy farmers, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Fuel Up to Play 60 is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools.

The program additionally encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. As a result of the program, last year 14 million students made better food choices and are getting more physically active during the school day. Fuel Up to Play 60 is further supported by several health and nutrition organizations: Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association/Foundation, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association and School Nutrition Association.

Visit to learn more.

About GENYOUth Foundation

A leading nonprofit, GENYOUth brings leaders in health and wellness, education, government and business together in a movement to empower America’s youth to achieve a healthier future by uniting partners, raising funds and uplifting the student voice.

GENYOUth has established itself as a thought leader in youth health and wellness and collaborates with its partners to convene experts, conduct research, publish perspective reports, and build programs that make a lasting difference in the pursuit of healthy, high-achieving youth. Founded in 2010 through a public-private partnership with the National Dairy Council and the NFL, GENYOUth has raised funds, increased visibility and commitment to school wellness among health and wellness leaders, educators, students, parents, community leaders and businesses.

Learn more about GENYOUth partnership, volunteer and donation opportunities at or contact

About USA Football

Indianapolis-based USA Football ( is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit partners with leaders in medicine, child advocacy and sport to establish important standards rooted in education. USA Football trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the U.S., advancing coaching education and player skill development for safer play and positive experiences through athletics.

Follow USA Football at or on Twitter


About SHAPE America

SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs.

For information, visit

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 in 2015.

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.





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


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.


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.

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.


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.

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).

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)

Nominate youth baseball, softball players to be honored for academics, sportsmanship at Miami Marlins game

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 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, 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 or travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school aged) for 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.

To nominate someone, e-mail Miami Herald Youth Sports Editor Jim Varsallone at or call 954-538-7153.