Youth Sports

Champions crowned in Kendall Hammocks Optimist NFL Flag Football

COWBOY UP: The Cowboys won the U14 Division of Kendall Hammock Optimist NFL Flag Football at Devonaire Park.
COWBOY UP: The Cowboys won the U14 Division of Kendall Hammock Optimist NFL Flag Football at Devonaire Park.

The Kendall Hammock Optimist NFL Flag Football season concluded with champions and special awards in each division at Devonaire Park.

U6 Division: MVP: Noah Muniz (49ers). Champion: 49ers: Josiah Perez, Christian Lois, Harvel Jackson, Marcus Mesa, Noah Muniz, Giovanni Pineda, Alek Diaz, Ethan Hernandez, Enzo Zeledon, Maddox Toruno. Coaches Jorge Cespon and Carlos Perez.

U8 Division: MVP: Shawn James (Dolphins). Champion: Raiders: Ryan Garcia, Marcus Garcia, Daniel Prieto, Nicholas Prieto, Jordan Cordero, Justin Parson, Mario Mangana, Tyler Bourland, Aiden De Olivera. Coaches Marcus Garcia and Angel Cordero.

U10 Division: MVP: Marc Quarrie (49ers). Champion: Rams: Ryan Gonzalez, AJ Arellano, Mark Cohen, Jason Demetrius, Daniel Serralta, Anthony Castillo, Robert Perera, Aiden Seara, Gabriel Cifuentes, Amanda Jackson, Sidney Bisek-Seeber. Coach Raul Gonzalez.

U12 Division: MVP: Tedarius Strowbridge (Dolphins). Champion: Falcons: Pedro Casanova, Bryan Jacobson, Abel Carvajal, Sebastian Borges, Keylon Leno, Juston Jarro, Andrea Protti, Ryan Dominquez, Christian Ortiz, Zachary Hernandez. Coaches Pedro Casanova and Sean Morris.

U14 Division: MVP: Zach Chavez (Seahawks). Champion: Cowboys: Brandon Leon, Zeth Leon, David Serralta, Robert Swett, Daniel Pupiro, Aidan Chacon, Adrian Diaz, David Castillo, Brian De Zayas, Shaun Barrow, Marco Lopez, Max Villar. Coaches Doc Serralta and Pablo Leon.

Kendall Hammocks Optimist NFL Coach of the Year: Laz Corrales. Rookie Coach of the Year: Neil Vaughan.

Gwen Cherry Park

The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime, District 2, and representatives from the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony on the new facility improvements at the NFL Y.E.T. at Gwen Cherry Park, 7090 NW 22 Ave.

They were joined by Liberty City residents, Miami Dolphins players and cheerleaders and dozens of youth enrolled in the park’s summer camp program.

The improvements include a resurfaced gymnasium floor known as the “NFL Hops Exercise Floor” and a new floor covering that allows it to alternate use for non-athletic activities, such as banquets and awards presentations. In addition, the former game room has been re-purposed as the new Miami Dolphins Weight and Fitness Room. The Miami Dolphins Arcade Fitness Game Room has been restored, and the existing exercise equipment was refurbished. The project was made possible by a $15,000-grant from the NFL Foundation to the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation.

The game room walls are also freshly painted in the Miami Dolphins’ colors and logos, courtesy of the Miami Dolphins Special Team and other volunteers who painted them, as part of the park’s annual MLK Day of Service activities in January.

One of 260 parks within the Miami-Dade County parks system, Gwen Cherry Park is named after the first African-American woman elected to the Florida Legislature, the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Cherry. It has been a popular gathering space for the Liberty City community, since it first opened as the park’s recreation center in 1970 and its opening as NFL Y.E.T in 1996.

The 38.5-acre Gwen Cherry Park contains three lighted multi-purpose athletic fields; two lighted basketball courts; a lighted 400-meter track; lighted baseball and softball fields; a swimming pool; an outdoor fitness gym; an outdoor fitness court; an amphitheater; a picnic area; a tot-lot; and the NFL Y.E.T. Center—also known as the National Football League (NFL) Youth Educational Town (Y.E.T.) Center—where children engage in recreational and sports programs, and after-school activities in its air-conditioned library, computer and arts-and-crafts rooms, game room, and 9,000-square-foot gymnasium for cultural, recreational and special events.

The new enhancements of a shade structure for the fitness court and new field lighting add to its list of quality amenities for the community to benefit from.

For information about activities at this park, call 305-694-4889 and visit the Gwen Cherry Park web page.

For information on the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation Inc., visit its website.

National Senior Games

Florida continues its tradition of being well represented at the National Senior Games. More than 400 Florida senior athletes, age 50 and older, will compete at the 2015 National Senior Games in Bloomington/Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

The biennial event began July 4 and concludes July 16 with more than 10,000 athletes competing in 19 sports. Two sports, disc golf and judo, will be contested as demonstration sports.

Of the more than 400 athletes, 31 are from South Florida. Among the 31 is Adam Goldstein of Coral Gables. A Florida State Games gold medalist in the 1,500 meter run, he is the President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. He will run the 800-meter and 1,500-meter runs in Minneapolis.

Former Athlete of the Year Essie Faria of North Miami will try her hand at Pickleball at the 2015 National Senior Games in mixed doubles and women’s singles. Faria has competed at the National Senior Games in the past in the 5K race walk and track & field. She also plays table tennis at the Florida State Games.

Flordia State Games gold medal winning 3-on-3 Women’s Basketball team, Broward Heat, will compete at nationals. The Heat won bronze at the 2013 National Senior Games. They feature Cordelia Fulmore of Miami Gardens.

Other Miami-Dade locals at nationals include Julio Davila, Hialeah, Basketball, Mens 60+; D. Carlene Jarboe, Key Largo, Horseshoes; Li-Mor Raviv, Miami Beach, Road Race, Womens 5K; Ileana Alverez-Builla, Miami, Table Tennis; Ruben Sanchez, Miami, Track & Field; Pedro Enriquez, Miami, Track & Field; Rolando Cabrera, Miami, Track & Field; Jay Rourke, Homestead, Volleyball, Mens 55+.

The Florida athletes traveling to Minnesota qualified for the 2015 National Senior Games at the 2014 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships in December in Lee County. Since 2001, more than 3,000 Florida athletes have travelled to the National Senior Games.

For information about the 2015 National Senior Games and a complete schedule, visit

Pan American Games

Miami-Dade County will be represented on Team USA at the Pan American Games Toronto 2015, the second largest multinational and multisport event in the world. The Games kicked off July 10 on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

Miami athletes competing for Team USA include: Robin Prendes, rowing; Augie Diaz, sailing; Clara Smiddy, swimming; Jean-Yves Aubone, tennis; Austin Gonzales, tennis.

To support and follow Miami-Dade rising stars, ESPN and ESPN Deportes provides bilingual and multiplatform coverage from Toronto across TV, radio and digital platforms, including social media using the hashtag #PanAmXESPN and #YoDigoPresente throughout the 17-day event.

About the Pan American Games Toronto 2015

The multinational event features 36 Summer Olympic sports, such as soccer, boxing, swimming, gymnastics, volleyball, cycling, judo, etc. More than 6,000 athletes, representing 41 nations from the Americas, are expected to compete in Toronto.

This is the third time that Canada hosts the event, and the first held in the providence of Ontario. ESPN has been the U.S. home of the Pan American Games since 2007; the event is held every four years, and serves as a platform for many athletes looking to participate in the Olympic Games.

Team USA is expected to have 626 athletes competing in 37 sports at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, 10 of which have Olympic qualification implications: canoe/kayak, diving, equestrian, field hockey, modern pentathlon, shooting, synchronized swimming, table tennis, triathlon, water polo.

Coral Gables triathletes

The Wilson brothers (Cavan and Colin) of Coral Gables competed in the 2015 Florida Regional Triathlon Youth Championships in Sebring. The event was part of the 10th annual Heartland Triathlon Weekend which features adult and children’s races.

Representing the AAA Triathlon Club, the brothers each completed a course consisting of a 200-yard swim, 6-mile bike, 1.2-mile run. Cavan, 15, was runner-up in the 15-year-old male division, covering the course in 25 minutes 26 seconds. Younger brother, Colin, 13, garnered the regional championship title for 13-year-olds in 26:37.

The Wilsons qualified for USA Youth Elite F1 Triathlon National Championships, which mirrors the Olympic draft style racing format, in August in Ohio.


First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association

Summer Series Week No.5 Results

BOYS: First Flight (18 Holes, Blue Tees): 1. Logan Bryant, 72; 2. Jake Moscoso, 78; 3. Lisandro Gil, 82.

Second Flight (18 Holes, White Tees): 1 Jean Philippe Mehu, 70; Dax Fontana, 78; 3 Nicholas Rojas, 84

Fourth Flight (9 Holes, Red Tees): 1. Sebastian Chavez, 45; 2. Lorenzo Rodriguez, 48; David Belsham, 48.

Fifth Flight (5 Holes, Green Tees): 1. Hugo Senstrom, 24; 2. Ricardo Pereira, 28; 3. Felipe Jakal, 30

GIRLS: First Flight (18 Holes, Red Tees): 1. Cassandra Chen, 75; 2. Chloe Horton, 79; 3. Michelle Rodriguez, 82.

Second Flight (9 Holes, Red Tees): 1. Giuliana Gomez, 44; 2. Alexandra Delisle, 49; Ayanna Lee, 51.

Third Flight (5 Holes, Green Tees): 1. Isabella Ojeda, 26; 2. Allegra Terramagra, 38.

FIU soccer

The FIU men's soccer program officially announced its 2015 schedule. The 16-game slate features seven home contests and games against six teams that participated in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

“We have put together a very challenging schedule that will really test our team from day one,” Head Coach Scott Calabrese said in a release. “We jump right in by opening up at UNC-Chapel Hill, who advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight last season. We follow up this game with another big test against a talented Wake Forest team who was also a Top 25 team and NCAA participant in 2014.

“Ultimately we believe that this strong non-conference schedule will prepare us to perform against our conference opponents. Conference USA featured five teams in the Top 25 last season with four teams being drawn into the NCAA tournament. C-USA is one of the premier soccer conferences in college soccer and elevating our program in C-USA will be our focus. I am very much looking forward to our season.”

The schedule will kick off at the end of August as the Panthers will spend the weekend in the state of North Carolina to take on two ACC powers. FIU will first face off with North Carolina on Aug. 28 in Chapel Hill, followed by a trip to Winston-Salem on Aug. 30 to battle Wake Forest. The Tar Heels reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament in 2014, and the Demon Deacons were also a participant.

The Panthers will open the month of September playing three of their first four games at the friendly confines of the FIU Soccer Stadium. FIU’s home opener comes on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. against Fairfield. Following the Fairfield matchup, the Panthers will head to Deland on Sept. 7 to meet the Stetson Hatters before returning to Miami to face Penn on Sept. 10 and Princeton on Sept. 12.

Conference USA action will begin on Sept. 18 as fans can make the easy drive to Boca Raton to watch the Panthers play Florida Atlantic. Following an eight-day turnaround, FIU will encounter its first C-USA home game against Marshall on Sept. 26. The Panthers will close the month of September with a non-conference game at UCF on the 29th.

During October, FIU will total six games, with three at home and three on the road. The Panthers will host the Charlotte 49ers on Oct. 3 before heading on the road on Oct. 10 at UAB. With FIU hosting Old Dominion on Oct. 17, it will close a stretch of three-straight opponents that participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Following back-to-back road games at FGCU (Oct. 20) and at South Carolina (Oct. 27), FIU finishes October on Halloween as it hosts New Mexico.

Just one regular season game will be featured in November, at Kentucky, on the seventh. The C-USA Tournament will occur from Nov. 11-15 in Charlotte.

Fans are encouraged to follow the Panthers on Twitter (@FIUMensSoccer) and become a fan on Facebook ( for all the latest men’s soccer news.

Follow all of FIU's 18 athletic teams on Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook (, YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).


Florida ushered in a new era of tennis development for tournament players, age 10 and younger, with the introduction of the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway, a graduated development path with established benchmarks at each level to guide parents and coaches through junior tennis.

From beginning “red ball” play on 36-foot courts, youth progress through “orange ball” and “green ball” at various tournament levels before graduating to full-court “yellow ball” tennis. Each level contains appropriate kids-sized racquets, balls and court sizes, along with participation or achievement benchmarks to progress between age groups or tournament levels.

The Pathway contains a “Grandfather Clause” for players that turn age 11 during 2015 who currently have the skill set to play full-court yellow ball tournaments.

The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway roll-out is in partnership with the USPTA-Florida Division (United States Professional Teaching Association) and PTR (Professional Tennis Registry), the two largest tennis teaching professional certifying organizations in the U.S.

The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was also developed with solicited input from coaches and parents throughout Florida.

The red, orange and green ball levels correspond on the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway with tournaments beginning at Level 9 (beginner) up to the start of advanced tournaments at Level 6 and higher.

The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was recently implemented in Florida tournaments.

For information on the Pathway, go to

Suniland football

Registration for the 2015 Suniland Sundevils youth football season is open, continuing through July, from 6-8 p.m. each weekday and 10 a.m.-noon every Saturday at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy.

Practice starts July 6. Boys and girls ages 5-13, are eligible. Fee $175. For information call Jose Regalado at 305-458-1966 or e-mail

Summer Fun Runs

The 19th annual Summer Fun Runs, hosted by the Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep cross-country team, returns to Miami Shores. Last year, the team welcomed its largest of number of community participants.

Runners and walkers of all abilities meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Miami Shores Recreation Center, 9617 Park Dr., Miami Shores, 33138. The runs are free and continue through July 30.

This school and community tradition has grown from a small following of about seven runners per week to a total record-breaking turnout of 354 runners in 15 gatherings. Athletic experience ranges from a twenty-five time participating marathoner, to a tri-athlete, to someone who had never run recreational before. The age range of the participants is 11-60.

There are three courses of gradually increasing mileage: one for beginner runners or walkers, a second for recreational runners and joggers, and a third for advanced or competitive runners. By the end of July, the distances covered a range from three to seven miles, with no pace ever being set.

For information call the school at 305-751-8367 or visit

Miami Dolphins reading

The Miami-Dade Public Library System kicked off its Summer Reading program with the Miami Dolphins.

Now through Aug. 1, you can participate in the library’s heroic summer reading program by finding your inner hero within an inspiring biography, unmasking a mysterious novel or escaping the ordinary with a marvelous book. No matter your age, everyone is eligible for a chance to win a fabulous prize with the library’s Summer Reading Program by reading or listening for a minimum of two hours, attending a library program or downloading an eBook.

Stop by your neighborhood library to pick up an entry form with official contest rules or visit

The Summer Reading Program is made possible with the generous support of the Miami Dolphins Foundation and the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library.

Kendall Hammocks cheer, football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle program offers registration 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.

Registrations and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave.

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

More events, leagues, programs

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.

WWE NXT in Miami

WWE NXT makes its Miami debut on Friday, July 24 in the Fieldhouse at the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables, 33146. Call 305-284-8686.

See the future of WWE with new NXT champ Finn Balor, NXT women’s champ Sasha Banks, NXT tag champs Blake & Murphy with Alexa Bliss, Enzo Amore & Big Cass with Carmella, Samoa Joe, Tyler Breeze, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, The Vaudevillians (Simon Gotch & Aiden English), Bull Dempsey, Dana Brooke, Uhaa Nation, Tye Dillinger, Bayley, Solomon Crow, Charlotte and more.

Bell time is 7:30 p.m., and ticket prices start at $20.

Go to or

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Legends of Wrestling at Marlins Park

The Miami Marlins baseball team, including Tom Dino Koehler and The Mexicutioner AJ Ramos, is hosting Legends of Wrestling Night, benefiting Up2Us, on Friday, July 31 as the Marlins face the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park.

Entertainment Mogul Louis ‘Uncle Louie’ Gregory, the president of Legends of Wrestling, is bringing Mick Foley (aka Cactus Jack), Big Sexy Kevin Nash, Bushwhacker Luke, Tyrus (Brodus Clay) and the Nasty Boys (Knobbs & Sags) to Marlins Park.

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