Youth Sports

Youth Sports: Orange Bowl YFA honors Hialeah Cougars, Kendall Boys & Girls Club Kolts, South Miami Grey Ghosts, West Kendall Dolphins

The Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, visited the Hialeah Cougars of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League at Milander Park as part of the Orange Bowl YFA Park of the Week Program.
The Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, visited the Hialeah Cougars of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League at Milander Park as part of the Orange Bowl YFA Park of the Week Program. Orange Bowl YFA

Now in its 16th season, the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, visited the home parks of four Miami Xtreme Youth Football teams in Miami-Dade County as part of its 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.

“The community, while they all know about the Orange Bowl game and what a big event that is, the Orange Bowl Committee has things that go on all during the time around the game,” said Orange Bowl Committee Member Nan Markowitz who attended the festivities at Palmer Park, the third stop of the day. “From tennis to these weekly park visits there are just events all the time. That’s what the Orange Bowl Committee is all about, being involved, being a partner in the community and crossing county barriers. It’s not just Miami-Dade County, we go from Monroe to Palm Beach to Broward. It’s everywhere.”

The day began at Milander Park in Hialeah, home of the Hialeah Cougars. Oraneg Bowl YFA then traveled south to recognize the Boys & Girls Club home of the Kendall Boys & Girls Club Kolts. The program’s final two stops of the day were made at Palmer Park to honor the South Miami Grey Ghosts and McMillan Park to acknowledge the West Kendall Dolphins.

“The impact that the Orange Bowl has with the Park of The Week program in our local communities is really something special,” said Orange Bowl Committee Member Alfred Bunge. “It’s a way of giving back to our community, being in our neighborhoods and showing all of the great volunteer work that our organization does.”

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

Kendall Hammocks football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors 100s tackle football team improved to 6-1 with a hard fought 7-6 victory over the West Miramar Patriots in Miami Xtreme Youth Football.

Fullback Sabastian Borges ran for a conversion after touchdown in the first quarter which was the margin of victory. Dylan Puentes, who recorded three tackles for loss, anchored a strong defense.

The Warriors 85s recorded their fourth victory of the season with a 20-6 win over the South Kendall Gators. Kendall Hammocks was led by its offensive line which produced three rushing touchdowns. The defense limited South Kendall to one touchdown.

Other Week 7 Results: PW: West Miramar 19, Kendall Hammocks 7. 115s: Doral 38, KH 7. 145s: South Kendall 20, KH 7.


Cuban national triathlete Yunior Rosete was in Cancun at the 2012 ITU Triathlon World Cup when he decided to separate from his group and defect to the United States. He competed under the Cuban flag for the last time, finishing 32nd, before walking away and leaving his parents and extended family in Cuba.

Less than two years later, the 29-year-old Aventura resident blew away the competition at the 10th annual Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon, finishing nearly four minutes ahead of second-place finisher Anthony Agnello, 26, of Longwood (2:03:58) in the elite Olympic Division presented by Muscle Milk. Thomas Barton of Miami was third in 2:05:38.

More than 2,150 athletes wanting to prove their athleticism participated in the event on an 80-degree humid Sunday morning in downtown Miami. The Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon is part of the 2014 Life Time Tri Series, which includes 12 triathlons across the country between May and October. The series also includes Life Time Tri South Beach held on the southern tip of Miami Beach each April.

University of Miami dual medical and PhD student Ola Besser, 29, won the women's Olympic division in her fifth try at Escape top honors, finishing in 2:21:50. That was almost three minutes better than Cori Burnett of Miami Beach (2:24:34).

The shorter Sprint Distance presented by Mack Cycle and Fitness, was won by Vladimir Casanova, a 38-year-old Miamian who finished in 1:01:52. Jupiter's Rudy Robaina, 34, was second in 1:02:25. Samuel Jumior, 37, of Miami, finished third in 1:04:07.

Crystal Poppell, 41, of Boca Raton won the Women's Sprint in 1:14:58, nine seconds better than runner-up Monica Rossi-Montero of Miami. Julie Lucas of Miami was third in 1:15:29.

Rosete was among the Olympic distance competitors who were ferried to ‘Escape Island’ in Biscayne Bay for a scenic start to the 7 a.m. race. He led from start to finish.

With the sun coming up over the horizon, Rosete established an early lead with a strong one-mile swim across the bay to Margaret Pace Park. Then, he covered the nearly 25-mile mile bike course across the Julia Tuttle Causeway and on to Miami Beach and back in less than an hour. The 6.2-mile round trip run across the MacArthur Causeway to Star Island and back proved to be little more than a training run as he coasted to the finish line with no other runners in sight.

It turns out there was a hidden motive behind his dominance.

“I need a sponsor, so winning is important,” Rosete said. “My dream is to make the Olympics, but it's hard when you have to work also.”

After crossing into the United States from Mexico, a family friend paid for Rosete's plane ticket to Miami. Alone in a city of more than 2.5-million people, Rosete soon met friends who led him to Aventura's City Bikes, a store where he has worked for more than a year.

Besser was happy to finally win the Escape to Miami event. The doctorial candidate wants to one day focus on breast cancer research. But after starting to participate in triathlons as an undergraduate as UC-Santa Barbara, she found it provides a "sane place" from her studies.

“I have such a love-hate relationship with this event,” she said. “I usually don't do that well. It's at the end of the season and the motivation is lacking. The competition is very stiff and the course is difficult. I tend to struggle at this race. Today I was able to put together all my legs to have a great race. It's a real privilege and honor to win this one.”

Top Miami-Dade County finishers:

Women's Olympic Division: 1. Ola Besser, Miami Beach, 2:21:50; 2. Cori Burnett, Miami Beach, 2:24:34; 5. Valeria Rodriguez, Miami, 2:29:44; 6. Marianne Curtis, Miami, 2:29:55; 8. Oriana Bafunno, Miami, 2:32:33; 9. Emilie Ney, Bay Harbor Islands, 2:33:34; 10. Rachel Blechman, Miami, 2:34:42; 12. Denise Cavicchioni, Miami, 2:38:54; 14. Vanessa Hernandez, Key Biscayne, 2:40:36; 19. Christina Mandich, Miami Beach, 2:43:15; 21. Shauna Nelson, Miami, 2:45:28; 23. Veronica Bonilla, Miami, 2:45:35; 24. Stephanie Shumate, Miami, 2:45:43; 25. Courtney Premer, Miami, 2:46:25.

Men's Olympic Division: 1. Yunior Rosete, Aventura, 2:00:04; 3. Thomas Barton, Miami, 2:05:38; 7. Federico Mendoza, Miami, 2:14:59; 10. Roy Liu, Miami, 2:16:11; 15. Timothy Reimink, Miami, 2:18:26; 16. Frank Green, Miami, 2:18:54; 18. Guido Perez, Miami Beach, 2:19:42; 22. Javier Pineda, Miami, 2:20:53; 23. Hector Santaella, Key Biscayne, 2:21:25.

Women's Sprint Division: 2. Monica Rossi-Montero, Miami, 1:15:07; 3. Julie Lucas, Miami, 1:15:29; 8. Lisa Schejola Akin, Miami Beach, 1:20:05; 9. Maggie Rezende, Miami, 1:22:11; 11. Maria Linares, Miami, 1:23:56; 12. Tracy Towle Humphrey, Miami, 1:24:10; 13. Natalie Leslie, Key West, 1:24:20; 14. Jocelyn Mendez, Miami, 1:25:17; 15. Megan Gray, Miami, 1:25:18; 17. Lynn Herald, Miami, 1:25:56; 18. Aube Besset Marche, Miami, 1:26:26; 0. Sarah Haselkorn, Miami, 1:28:47; 24. Ilona Williams, Coral Gables, 1:30:04; 25. Emily Northrop, Miami, 1:30:23.

Men's Sprint Division: 1. Vladimir Casanova, Miami, 1:01:52; 3. Samuel Jumior, Miami, 1:04:07; 5. Carlos Dolabella, Key Biscayne, 1:05:34; 6 Marcel Jane, Miami, 1:05:46; 8 Sharif Kakooza, Miami, 1:07:21; 10. Abraham Cohen, Miami,1:07:58; 13. Santiago Pazos, Miami Beach, 1:18 1:08:40; 16. Miguel Ramos, Miami Lakes, 1:11:38; 19. Agusti Comabella, Miami Beach, 1:12:08; 20. Lincoln Whyte, Miami, 1:12:12; 21. Richard Costa, Miami 1:12:13; 23. Cristiano Piquet III, Miami, 1:12:26; 24. Graham Walsh, Miami Beach, 1:12:55; 25. Juan Lopez, Miami, 1:13:08.

For information about the Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon,


For information and updates on the Life Time Tri series,


"Like" the Life Time Tri Facebook page,

follow @lifetimetri on Twitter.

More information about Life Time Athletic Events is available at,

Twitter @lifetimefitness,

Life Time Athletic Events Facebook page.


South Miami-Dade (Crandon Park, Key Biscayne) advances to USTA League Nationals in 18-Older 9.0 after capturing the Florida state title at the USTA Florida Mixed 18-Older 2.5/7.0/9.0 League Sectional Championships at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

The event drew the Top 30 teams from throughout Florida in the 2.5, 7.0, and 9.0 USTA League Mixed 18-Older divisions. The teams, which represent various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations, finished at the top in local league play.

18-Older Mixed 9.0 Division: Final: South Miami-Dade (Crandon Park, Key Biscayne) d. Pinellas County (St. Petersburg Tennis Center, St. Petersburg) 3-0. No. 1 Doubles: Miguel Fundora/Nastasha Rodriguez (SMD) d. Sean Vickery/Alexandra Gade 6-4, 6-1. No. 2 Doubles: Todd Rubinstein/Corina Kassis (SMD) d. Mike Hooper/Karen Olson 7-6, 3-6, 1-0 (super-tiebreak). No. 3 Doubles: Renzo Velis/Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz (SMD) d. Josh Melton/Lisa Balsera 6-2, 6-4

Champions: Alaina Fotiu-Wojtowicz (captain), Corina Kassis, Frederick Albion, Miguel Fundora, Todd Rubinstein, Nastasha Rodriguez, Colette Kienle, Renzo Velis, Cheryl Hicks, Adam Rosales.

The Mixed 18-Older champions will represent the USTA Florida Section at the 2014 USTA League Mixed 18-Older 2.5, 7.0 & 9.0 National Championships at the El Conquistador Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

For information on NTRP levels go to

More Tennis

JD Redd Park in Homestead, part of USTA Florida’s Hispanic outreach initiative ‘Tenis para Todos,’ is growing the sport of tennis by hosting a free family festival at 1 p.m. Oct. 11 at 550 N. Homestead Blvd., 33030.

The free event will feature games and prizes, on-court games, raffles and competitions for all ages and levels of play. This is the second year of the initiative, designed to increase the participation of the Hispanic community in tennis.

“We hope everyone comes out for these free Tennis Festivals, which are a wonderful way to introduce kids — and their parents — to the lifetime sport of tennis,” says USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Cathy Nordlund. “We like to offer people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn and enjoy the benefits of the game through family events open to all.”

JD Redd Park offers programs for children such as 10 and Under, Junior Tennis for beginners, intermediate and advanced players, Tournament Training, Team Tennis, Camps, After-School Clinics, Home School Tennis, Wheelchair and Special-Needs tennis. For adults, JD Redd offers Round Robin play, Leagues, Ladders, Cardio Tennis, Mixed Doubles, Senior Tennis and socials for all levels.

To register,

A full list of events is at or

For information on Tenis Para Todos visit or


Twelve-year-old Miami native Phoebe Beber-Frankel started the season playing in the girls’ 11-12 age division. Following a few tournaments, Beber-Frankel decided it was time to move to the 13-15 age group.

After a few tournaments learning the ropes of the older division, Beber-Frankel finally found the winning formula, finishing first at Event No.11 of the SFPGA Junior Challenge Tour, presented by The Honda Classic, at Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens.

Beber-Frankel fired an opening round 84 and a final round 74 to win the girls’ overall title by four strokes at 14-over 158.

Cole Castro of Homestead tied for seventh in boys’ overall at 12-over 156 and tied for fifth in boys’ 13-15.

Doral’s Leopoldo Herrera was runner-up in the boys’ 11-12 age group at 2-over 146. Jake Beber-Frankel of Miami was third at 4-over 148. Key Biscayne’s Zachary Buttrick tied for seventh at 16-over 160.

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

Scheck Hillel sports

Scheck Hillel Community School named two cross-country standouts as its Student-Athletes of the Week.

Maya Lalo, a sophomore and first-year runner, has perfect attendance and comes prepared and ready to learn, always giving 100 percent. She picked up the concepts of cross-country very quickly and is proving to be a very important member of the team -- consistently placing in the top 5 for the team.

Uriel Epelbaum, a junior, also has perfect attendance, giving it his all throughout the season. He is a true athlete and strives to be the best by training on his own in addition to school practices, which has led him to become a strong leader of the team.

Conchita Espinosa sports

Conchita Espinosa Academy’s volleyball teams hosted Somerset South Miami.

The Varsity A-team defeated Somerset 25-11 and 25-14. Eighth graders Liana Miguel and Gianella Ore shared top game honors.

The Varsity B-team beat Somerset 27-25 and 25-11. Seventh grader Danielle Ladron de Guevara had her best match of the season.

Barry soccer

Laura Rockel of Miami scored her first goal of the season to help the Barry University women’s soccer team (4-1-1) defeat visiting Lynn University 5-1. It was the most goals ever scored by the Buccaneers against Lynn.

Rockel, a junior, scored in the 82nd minute from three yards off a rebound. A Felix Varela High School graduate, she was a Miami Herald All-Dade second team selection.

More events, leagues, programs


Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School in Miami received national USTA Facility Funding in September for tennis court restorations or improvements.

The school received $5,000 in USTA Facility Funding for six benches and aluminum bleachers to complete the resurfacing project of five existing 78-foot tennis courts.

“A goal of the USTA Facility Funding grant is to provide communities access to safe, appealing and functional tennis environments,” says USTA Senior Director, Market Development & Collegiate Tennis, Virgil Christian. “The essence of this initiative is to assist communities, leveraging their tennis facilities to promote lifelong healthy activity, and to improve their programming by advancing the latest tennis innovations for all program types.”

For information go to

For information on USTA national grants go to

For information on USTA Florida Section grants go to


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


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

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. 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

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.


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 Nteams attended in 2013, and NFilms distributed game film to teams. Fifteen players in the past two years participated in Ncamps, 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 — NAmbassador for Heads Up Football.

The Nand 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 NFoundation.

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 Nplayer mentor. Drayton served as a mentor to a local Heads Up League — the Tamiami Colts of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.


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).

Be honored at Miami Heat game

The Miami Herald and the three-time world champion Miami Heat in partnership with Gatorade are sponsoring the Academic/Sportsmanship Team Player spotlight in Sunday’s youth sports pages in the Neighbors Sunday print section of the Miami Herald and online at

Youth league coaches, team reps, school coaches, administrators, teachers or family members can nominate any South Florida recreational, travel league, elementary school, middle school or junior varsity basketball player from fall, winter, spring or summer seasons who displays sportsmanship and good grades or shows improvement in the classroom.

Include school, grade level and grades or interim report. Each selected academic team player will receive a certificate of achievement, a Heat gift pack, two Heat tickets and will be recognized on the court. Plan accordingly as there are three designated ceremony dates during the regular season, and no make-up dates.

To nominate a Team Player, e-mail (Jim) or call 954-538-7153. Winners will be selected by random drawing from nominees who meet the above requirements.

Be sure to include a contact telephone number and complete mailing address in your correspondence and mail or e-mail a photograph to us. For Heat ticket information, call 786-777-HEAT and log on to