Javen Harris (Florida International Academy), Rocco Nappi (Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School), Adrien J. Reina (Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard School), Francisco Soto (St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School) and David Tamen (North Beach Elementary School) are the Miami Marlins/Miami Herald Team Players for July.
These standout student athletes, who also display community involvement and sportsmanship, were congratulated by Marlins reliever Bryan Morris and lovable mascot Billy the Marlin near home plate during a ceremony before the Marlins game against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park.
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 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.
Each honoree received a certificate of achievement, two tickets, complimentary parking and an autographed Bryan Morris card.
About The Honorees
Javen Harris, a shortstop with the San Francisco Giants of Claude Pepper Park in North Miami, is not only a good baseball player, but he displays sportsmanship on and off the field.
Javen, who recently completed sixth grade at Florida International Academy in Opa-locka, maintains an A-B-plus average. As a 12-year-old, he is very wise and a great student of the game of baseball, which he eats, sleeps and breathes.
Lucas H. Bailey Sr., president of North Miami Little League, said: “Javen has been a part of our program for four years now. He has come up the ranks from T-ball to Majors. Javen is also a joy to instruct as he always takes coaching advice and excels and makes necessary corrections.”
Rocco Nappi, 12, was one of the top students in sixth grade at Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School.
He not only made the Principal’s Honor Roll, but he is very respectful on and off the baseball field.
Ms. Soliman, sixth grade science teacher, Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School-Central Campus, said: “Rocco is a young man who has a way about him that just lightens up anyone's day. Caring and hardworking, he is the first one to help a classmate in need. With his kind heart and positive attitude, Rocco is going to impact so many lives, of that I'm sure.”
Rocco wants to be a Miami Marlins baseball player.
West Pines Coach Robert Pineyro said: “Heart, passion, and the love for the game make Rocco a pleasure to coach.”
Adrien J. Reina, 10, who started playing baseball at age 4 in T-ball, continued with the Perrine Khoury League for five years.
He also competes in baseball and all sports for the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard School in Cutler Bay under the guidance of Bryan Darias, a first grade teacher and athletic director. In soccer at school, he scored 24 goals during the 2014-15 season.
Darias said: “Adrien J. Reina is a outstanding multi-sport athlete at our school. He plays basketball, baseball, soccer, cross-country and track & field both in his age group and in higher age groups. Adrien not only displays leadership on the court/field but in the classroom. He is in the top 5 percent of his grade level in academics. He is really becoming a great kid on and off the field.”
Adrien has excelled at all positions on the field and is an A-B student in school.
Francisco Soto is a stellar student athlete, recognized for his academic achievements and his sportsmanship.
Francisco recently completed fourth grader at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School in Miami. He maintains excellent grades despite the rigors of attending sports practices and games throughout the season. He recently received an Accelerated Reader award.
Ceci Guara, fourth grade teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School, said: “As a student. Francisco is a very bright boy who is a hard worker in the classroom. He is very kind and well-liked by his peers. He always walks in the room with a smile on his face and ready to give the day his best.”
Michael Malzacher, athletic director and coach at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School, said: “Francisco Soto is everything that you want in a student and an athlete. Francisco is athletic, coachable, well-mannered, and hardworking.”
David Tamen, 11, who completed fifth grade at North Beach Elementary School in Miami Beach, played baseball in the city’s program, but he elevated his game to become a true player under the leadership of Coach Brett Cummins with Danny Berry Little League Baseball.
David has learned baseball skills, teamwork and sportsmanship from Cummins, who volunteers his time with the boys. It’s been amazing to see him blossom through Cummins’ direction.
Cummins said: “David was an absolute joy to coach. He showed up to practice eager to get better at baseball, never complained during practice and was very supportive of his teammates.”
Learning and playing baseball has not been detrimental to his grades. He is a ‘Straight A’ student in the gifted program.
Under Armour baseball
Under Armour Inc. (NYSE:UA), the Baltimore, MD-based leader in sports performance apparel, footwear and equipment, hosted the 2015 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, powered by Baseball Factory, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. This marked the eighth year of the Under Armour All-America Game, which aired on MLB Network and MLB.com and showcased 40 of the best high school baseball players from around the world.
The players are selected by a committee of Baseball Factory scouts and will compete in an American vs. National team match-up. The Under Armour All-America Baseball Game is the culmination of a three-day baseball celebration, which included a formal workout for Major League Baseball scouts, a homerun derby along with local Chicago community service showcasing Under Armour’s commitment to giving back. Additionally, Bowman Trading Cards took photos of each player participating in the game to create official Under Armour All-America Game baseball cards. MLB veterans Bill Ripken and Wes Helms were the managers.
“Eight years ago, we created the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game because we believe the world's most elite high school baseball players deserve an experience of a lifetime to showcase their talent and learn the necessary skills to help them compete at their best,” said Jim Bel Bruno, Senior Category Director of Baseball, Under Armour. “This game has proven to be a significant step in the overall preparation to play at the collegiate level. We believe that what these athletes learn as Under Armour All-Americans will continue to resonate throughout their careers and make them better athletes both on and off the field.”
Chicago Cubs star Addison Russell who participated in the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game and went on to become the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Oakland Athletics, said: “The Under Armour All-America Game is a world-class event. As a high school athlete, the opportunity to learn from players like Billy and Cal. Ripken Jr. pulling you aside and teaching you one-on-one is an incredible experience. Under Armour is first class in everything that they do and this game truly helped prepare me for where I am today.”
Local players selected include:
Alek Manoah, RHP, 6'6, 245, South Dade High School, Homestead.
Greg Veliz, RHP/IF, 6'2, 205, Key West High School.
Steve Bernhardt, Executive VP of Baseball Factory and Chairman of the Under Armour All-America Game Selection Committee, said: “At Baseball Factory, we are constantly evaluating players worldwide to identify the top high school athletes for selection to the event. The 2015 All-Americans are an impressive group of talented players who will continue the tradition of greatness at the Under Armour All-America Game.”
For more information on the 2015 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, powered by Baseball Factory, visit
About Under Armour Inc.
Under Armour (NYSE: UA), the originator of performance footwear, apparel and equipment, revolutionized how athletes across the world dress. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand's innovative products are sold worldwide to athletes at all levels.
The Under Armour Connected Fitness platform powers the world’s largest digital health and fitness community through a suite of applications: UA Record, MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. For information, visit the Company's website at
About Baseball Factory Inc.
Baseball Factory has developed programs to provide players with world-class instruction and life-changing experiences, which when combined, lead to future success both on and off the field. Baseball Factory holds over 500 events nationwide each year in more than 40 states and 100 cities.
Baseball Factory prides itself on giving families an unbiased assessment of where they stand against other players nationwide. Baseball Factory events have featured more than 320 players who have played or are currently playing in the Majors and over 40,000 players have gone on to play at the college level. 98 percent of Division I, 70 percent of Division II and 60 percent of Division III programs have at least one Baseball Factory alumnus on their roster. Learn more at
The Florida Region announces three of its six Team Florida Indoor HP All-Star volleyball teams brought home medals from the 2015 USA HP Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. The medal winning teams included players from Miami.
The two gold medals went to the Girls National Youth (age 15-16) and Girls National Select Red (age 14U) teams. The silver medal went to the Girls International Youth (age 17-19) team.
High Performance has made a positive impact on the Florida Region by bringing all-star athletes, college coaches and club volleyball coaches together from all areas of the state. Team Florida was sponsored and outfitted by ASICS and 1st Place Volleyball.
Every year, the USA HP Championships showcase some of the best athletes from across the globe. They combine to compete against one another in a week-long tournament. Team Florida was represented by six teams this year; four girls’ teams and two boys’ teams.
The event was at the Iowa Events Center with 15 courts and 97 teams from the United States, Australia, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Canada and New Zealand.
Each Team Florida all-star team was assigned three coaches, with the majority of them being former or current college coaches. The medal winners are:
Gold: Girls National Select Red: Head Coach: Flavia Siqueira (College of Central Florida); 1st Assistant Coach: Giovanny Delevry (FIT); 2nd Assistant Coach: Ore Pablos (Lynn University). Miami players: Valeria Castro, Isabella Lamus.
Gold: Girls National Youth: Head Coach: Adis Imamovic (JJVA); 1st Assistant Coach: Tony Cothron (Manatee Area VBC); 2nd Assistant Coach: Candace Lunford (JJVA). Miami players: Gabriela Beverly, Jocelyn Garcia.
Silver: Girls International Youth: Head Coach: Brian Imperiale (University of Tampa/ Florida WAVE); 1st Assistant Coach: Travers Green (University of South Florida/Florida WAVE); 2nd Assistant Coach: Jonathan Wong (University of Tennessee). Miami players: Nikkia Benitez, Alejandra Rodriguez-Lopez.
“We are very proud of our athletes and coaches that participated this year and very appreciative to our program sponsors,” said Steve Bishop, Executive Director and President of the Florida Region of USA Volleyball. “While all of the teams exceptionally represented our state, it is worth a mention that this is the third year in a row that a Girls National Select team has won the gold medal for Team Florida. Of those three years, the past two were led by Head Coach Flavia Siqueria. This team also went undefeated throughout the entire tournament, which is a huge accomplishment for our delegation. As the third oldest HP program in the U.S., our talent level continues to grow, and we look forward to many continued years of success.”
The High Performance Championship runs under Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) protocols which governs and manages all forms of volleyball across the globe. The FIVB promotes competitions and satisfies sponsors’ needs. It aims to develop Volleyball as a major world media and entertainment sport, while giving athletes the exposure they need to further their careers in volleyball.
About USA Volleyball:
USA Volleyball is the National Governing Body for the sport of volleyball in the United States and is recognized by the Federation Internationale de Volleyball and the United States Olympic Committee. Additional information on USA Volleyball can be found at:
About Florida Region of USA Volleyball:
The Florida Region of USA Volleyball is a 501c3 non-profit that began operations in the 1960’s and was officially incorporated in 1982 to promote the sport of volleyball and to create competitive playing opportunities for volleyball enthusiasts of all ages throughout the State of Florida. The Florida Region is one of the 40 regional volleyball associations under the umbrella of USA Volleyball and currently serves approximately 13,500 members. Indoor and outdoor programming is available for adults, juniors, coaches and officials. The Florida Region of USA Volleyball headquarters is located in Eustis. Additional information on the Florida Region can be found at
Joseph Zaccheo is a well-known name in South Florida high school football.
As the head coach of the Monsignor Edward Pace High School football team, he led the Spartans to their first football state championship in 2003. In 2005, Zaccheo was named Pace Athletic Director and retired from coaching until the 2015-16 season. He has returned as head coach of the Pace football team.
His goal is to make Pace a major player in Florida high school football once again.
“We want to be competitive at the highest level in the state,” said Zaccheo.
Even as he continues working as Pace’s athletic director, Zaccheo has been making moves and reinventing the team with young players. His coaching staff is a mix of veteran and new coaches that include former professional and college football players. Fifty-three student athletes participated in pre-season conditioning.
For the upcoming season, Zaccheo expects the starting varsity team to be 80-percent freshmen and sophomores.
Full training began Aug. 3, but the team has been working on pre-season conditioning for weeks. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, players arrive in the morning to the school’s newly renovated weight room to build their strength by following a regimented system. Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, the team builds on its speed, agility and explosiveness on the field.
“We’re getting kids to be consistent: to do things the same way, the same time, every time they do it,” said Zaccheo.
One of these new players is Khwan Mickens, an incoming freshman from Masters Prep who will be playing safety and receiver. He had heard that Zaccheo was an outstanding coach and a father figure and said that the group was already working more as a team.
Kory Fleming, a Pace senior entering his fourth year playing for the Spartan football team, said: “Our team’s attitude toward the season is much more serious.”
He added that Zaccheo has been instilling in his team that “hard work gets you to where you want to be.”
The pre-season Kick-Off Classic is at Pace against Coral Reef High School at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 with $5 admission.
Inspired by his students, Larry DeSario, 61, of Miami won a silver medal at the USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships in Rock Hill, S.C.
DeSario is a physical education teacher at Claude Pepper Elementary School. Knowing that he once was a competitive cyclist, his students implored him to compete at this year’s masters nationals. He last participated in masters nationals in 1999, winning gold and silver medals.
At the 2015 version, he earned the silver medal in Match Sprint on a 42-degree, 250-meter velodrome. The bikes they compete now are brakeless, and their feet are strapped into the pedals. Admittedly, he was rusty, but he became more familiar with the racing strategies as the week continued. The weather proved to be the most challenging aspect as the thermometer on the infield reached 118 degrees.
DeSario trained at the Brian Piccolo Velodrome in Cooper City and the Miccosukee Golf Course in southwest Miami.
Thirty golfers participated in the 36th Palmetto Junior Open at Palmetto Golf Course.
Results: BOYS: 16-17: 1. Rafael Martinez 72-71-74--217; 2. Tomas Nieves 76-75-72--223; 3. Jordan Laklak 71-74-79--224. 14-15: 1. Bryan Wiyang 76-70-73--219; 2. Jean-Philippe Mehu 73-77-72--222; 3. Roberto Nieves 74-75-84--233. GIRLS: 13-17: 1. Daniela Spillert 80-77-74--231; 2. Abigail Chai-Onn 84-80-79--243; 3. Lauren Eustace 87-92-95--274.
Miami Country Day basketball
Jenna Kochen, sssociate in the Miami office of Allen Norton & Blue, is no stranger in the courtroom – or on the basketball court. She has spent the last six years as assistant coach of the Miami Country Day School girls’ varsity basketball team, helping the team climb to the top by winning the Florida Class 3A State Championship for the second consecutive year and the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Championship at Madison Square Garden last month in New York.
“I love seeing the student athletes mature both on and off the court,” said Kochen, who played basketball with current head coach Ochiel Swaby when she was a student at Miami Country Day. “It is an incredible experience to be a mentor to these young women. It is quite rewarding to be able to be there to support them in school, basketball and life.”
During her “9-to-5” job, Kochen practices labor and employment law with Allen Norton & Blue, where she has been working since graduating from the University of Miami School of Law in 2012. The Miami native received her undergraduate degree from Babson College.
Allen Norton & Blue fosters a culture of giving back to the community. Associates are encouraged to volunteer with their organizations of choice – and their affinity for sports runs deep. Susan Potter Norton, Senior Partner at the firm, was the first female president of the Orange Bowl Committee and served on the executive committee of the Super Bowl Host committee, as well as a numerous other community organizations.
“Allen Norton & Blue has been very supportive of my coaching,” said Kochen. “The season runs from October to February, and all the coaches volunteer their time during the off season to really help improve the girls’ skill set and allow them to develop their basketball game.”
About Allen Norton & Blue
Allen, Norton & Blue, P.A. was established in 1969 and has offices in Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Tallahassee. The Firm serves public and private sector management in the practice areas of Labor and Employment Law, which includes practice before the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal and State Courts v, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor and various administrative agencies on matters such as union avoidance, unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage & hour laws, FMLA, and American with Disabilities Access issues.
Carolyn Gibson of Miami is the USTA Florida July Volunteer of the Month for her dedication to assisting with tennis programs across the spectrum in the Miami area.
Gibson has volunteered her time and efforts with Special Olympics tennis, USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenges and 10 and Under Tennis clinics, spreading the word of the 10 and Under Tennis format at special events and assisting at the Jr. Orange Bowl International Tournament.
Prior to her volunteer work, Gibson worked with USTA Florida to implement the 10 and Under Tennis format throughout Miami. As the North Region manager for the Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation Department, she oversaw a $10,000 grant from USTA Florida to implement the format and programming in after-school programs, giving many children a first introduction to tennis.
More events, leagues, programs
2 Seam Dream Foundation
Rick Greene has lived the boyhood dream of professional baseball success. It was a dream that took root in Coral Gables, as the 1989 graduate was a star for the Cavaliers.
Drafted by the New York Yankees, Greene chose to attend Louisiana State University before going pro. A pitcher, he helped the Tigers win three conference titles and recorded the final out to help LSU win the 1991 College Baseball World Series. Rick was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1992 in the first round (16th overall) of the Major League Baseball draft and made the 1993 Olympic Baseball team.
In 2011, years after his baseball career ended, his life was turned upside down. His father (a 1964 Coral Gables H.S. grad ) and stepfather were diagnosed with cancer.
“When that happened, I just decided to do something worthwhile to fight cancer” says Greene.
He brought the fight to the surroundings where he saw the most success, the baseball field.
In 2012, Rick started the 2 Seam Dream Foundation
www.2seamdreamfoundation.org/ which aims to raise awareness for cancer research and aid in the support of patient recovery activities. The Foundation promotes health living through disease awareness, the funding of high quality life programs and the promotion of activities to enhance lives. Rick, who lives in Louisiana, has been supported by famous athletes from around the sports world.
On Thursday, Sept. 10, the Foundation will hold its first Miami event. “Throwing Cancer a Curve” will be at Marlins Park and will benefit Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
Sponsors and guests will have an opportunity to spend time with pro athletes and celebrities.
For additional event and sponsorship information, visit
www.2seamdream.org or contact Rick Greene 225-603-8217 or Bekki Haggard 305-519-3539.
The Back 2 School Basketball Camp, presented by WNBA Rookie of the Year Tracy Reid and Crate Hoop Dreamz LLC, is 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 21 at Miami Central High School, 1781 NW 95th St., 33147.
Boys and girls, age 9-18, are eligible. Cost is $30 per person which includes lunch. Call 305-769-8210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Special Olympics Florida - Miami-Dade County 2015 Sponsor an Athlete Awards Dinner is Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Mandarin Oriental.
This annual event is an opportunity to recognize the group’s most deserving athletes, coaches, volunteers, community partners and sponsors while raising awareness and funds to support more than 4,000 athletes that we serve in Miami-Dade County.
Purchase tickets on its website or at a kick-off event, hosted by Piripi Restaurant on Aug. 28 at Smith and Wollensky.
If unable to attend the Awards Dinner or kick-off event, consider making a donation to Sponsor an Athlete here.
St. Jude Run/Walk
South Florida walkers and runners are lacing up their sneakers to join participants in nearly 60 communities nationwide for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during September's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital continue to find cures and save the lives of children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
The Walk/Run begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at Zoo Miami. The event will feature a scenic 5K, family friendly activities and live entertainment. Participants are encouraged to form teams and raise funds to help support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude, where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food, so that families can focus on helping their child live.
Registration for the event is $10 for adults and children ages 6 and up. Participants who raise $100 will earn an official event T-shirt, and participants who raise $250 will become members of the St. Jude Fearless Fundraiser Club and earn additional St. Jude gear as they fundraise.
All South Florida community members are invited to participate. National series sponsors for the event include: Target and America Airlines. National Walk/Run teams include: Tri Delta, NYCO, Brooks Brothers, Delta Sigma Theta, Autotrader.com, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Chili’s Bar & Grill, The Limited, Westfield and Destination XL Group.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Thanks to fundraisers like St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation.
To make a donation, volunteer or register, visit
Palmetto Bay cheerleading/football
Registration for Palmetto Bay Broncos cheerleading and tackle football is 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays at the Football Shed at Coral Reef Park.
The Broncos are members of the Greater Miami South Florida Pop Warner League.
Visit www.GoPurpleGetGold.com for information.
Palmetto Bay Broncos Football implemented USA Football Head’s Up Football Safety Program.
For information visit www.MomstackleBetter.com
The Bronco football program from its youngest players, age 4 and 5, in the intramural division through age 15 in the Varsity travel program will begin the season implementing the USA Football Heads Up teaching techniques.
Park Commissioner Frank Gowin and Coach Fred Farrington completed the USA Football Player Safety Coach training course at Columbus High School taught by Columbus Head Coach Chris Merritt. The techniques and fundamentals demonstrated at this program proved to significantly reduce the injury rate for young players.
Gowin, who has been associated with the Broncos since 1990, said: “Coach Fred and I were extremely impressed when certifying with the USA Football ‘Player Safety Coach’ course. The detailed instruction on proper head and body placement is groundbreaking and a safety breakthrough for the game of football.”
The 2015 Bronco season will emphasize basic safety fundamentals and proper tackling and blocking techniques across all age divisions. All practices will employ special drills to ensure players know how to get into a proper three-point stance, and to keep the head in appropriate position throughout the play to reduce the risk of injury.
Football has changed dramatically in the way it is taught and practiced, according to Gowin.
“In the old days, the helmet was used as a weapon especially when tackling. Those days are gone.”
The amount of time devoted in practice to full-contact action has been strictly limited as to minutes per practice and number of days per week. Most of practice is devoted to proper technique using tackling dummies and fundamentals of football.
The Broncos Intramural program is three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) at Coral Reef Park in Palmetto Bay.
For information visit the Broncos website at
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 email@example.com
or visit the web site at www.khwarriors.org
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.
USTA Florida is bringing tennis to Miami parks through a new partnership with the City of Miami as part of the USTA Florida Section’s Diversity Outreach initiative in 2015. The initiative is designed to bring programming to diverse populations and provide the opportunity to learn and play the sport of tennis for a lifetime.
As part of the partnership, the USTA Florida Foundation has provided an equipment grant to the city for $5,606 to be distributed among 16 parks. The equipment will allow children to learn the sport of tennis with right-sized equipment for their age and ability, including smaller racquets, reduced-bounce balls, mini nets, and Tennis Skillastics games.
“Tennis is a great way for folks of all ages to stay fit, socialize and have fun,” Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Miami Kevin Kirwin said in a release. “The Parks and Recreation Department with the help of a generous grant from the USTA Florida Foundation has embraced tennis as a lifetime sport that will be incorporated into their summer and after-school program curriculum.”
USTA Florida Diversity Outreach efforts are specifically targeting Henderson and Armbrister parks in Miami for 2015 — facilities do not currently offer tennis, but will be introducing tennis basics this summer as part of their program activities, including an after-school program to be launched in September. Along with these two parks, 14 other City of Miami parks will also include an after-school program that will serve more than 500 children. City of Miami staff attended Kids Tennis Clubs training offered by USTA Florida earlier this year to learn the skills and tools necessary.
“I am excited about this new partnership and the City of Miami dedication to bring this lifetime sport to the community,” said Cathy Nordlund, USTA Florida tennis program coordinator. “Most tennis is played on public park courts, and this is giving so many children a chance to be introduced to this amazing sport.”
Armbrister and Henderson parks are part of the target markets USTA Florida is working with to grow tennis participation among diverse populations in Central and South Florida. As part these efforts, USTA Florida will be hosting events throughout the year, including free festivals, USTA Play Days, round robins, and USTA Florida will also offer scholarships for tennis providers to attend PTR Ace workshops and obtain teaching certifications.
A full list of events is posted at
For information about programs and places to play, visit
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 www.USTAFlorida.com/10UPathway
USTA Florida is offering a 10 and Under Tennis Workshop in Miami.
The on-court 10 and Under Tennis Workshop consists of six on-line courses, and is an essential tool for tennis professionals and volunteers involved in coaching youth tennis, and a requirement for the teaching professional certification through PTR and the USPTA. It also assists camp staff and volunteers with fun activities to engage children and teach them the basics of tennis. Attendees receive credit for continuing education.
The workshop fee is $15 and participants are encouraged to take online courses 1-4 prior to attending the workshop. All workshops are non-refundable and non-transferrable once you are registered. Attendees must come dressed appropriately to participate in on-court workshops and bring a racquet.
10 and Under Tennis workshop (on-court)
Sept. 19 — Crandon Park Tennis Facility, Key Biscayne, Workshop #2067
To register, create a profile and sign-in at
then click on the “workshops” tab and filter by state to select your workshop and purchase your spot.
For information about upcoming workshops and a complete list of events visit:
Miami received a community tennis grant in July from the USTA Florida Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association-Florida Section.
USTA Florida Foundation grants offer funding for youth tennis programs, adaptive tennis programs for those with special needs, community tennis programs in economically challenged areas, along with facility assistance in the renovation, refurbishment and building of quality public tennis facilities.
Since 2010, USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Foundation have awarded more than $1,000,000 in grants for tennis programs serving people of all ages and abilities throughout Florida.
USTA Florida Foundation grant in July:
Miami — Creative Works LLC
Grant: Equipment grant for the Fun Kid Fit – Kids 10 and Under Tennis program to provide beginner tennis lessons to under-served children in the Miami area.
The USTA Florida Foundation’s mission is “Changing Lives Through Tennis,” providing financial support through organizational grants that help Floridians of all ages and abilities improve their health and quality of life through the game of tennis. It is the USTA Florida Foundation’s belief that tennis provides opportunities for healthy social, emotional, physical and educational development, and encourages peer and family participation.
For information on individual grants or for information on the USTA Florida Foundation, go to
Kendall Hammocks baseball
The Kendall Hammocks Optimist baseball program has registration for the upcoming fall season from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Aug. 22 and 29 at Hammocks Community Park, 9885 Hammocks Blvd.
Registration is $190 per player or $1,600 for a team with a maximum 12 players. Registration includes games, participation trophy and secondary insurance.
The Kendall Hammocks baseball program is sponsored by the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammock, providing youth sports in the community since 1987.
For information, visit
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.
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.
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 marlins.com/gsquad.
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:
www.FuelUpToPlay60.com 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.
About NFL FLAG
NFL FLAG powered by USA Football (http://www.nflflag.com/) 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 FuelUpToPlay60.com 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
www.genyouthfoundation.org or contact
About USA Football
Indianapolis-based USA Football (www.usafootball.com) 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
www.facebook.com/usafootball 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 www.shapeamerica.org.
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 www.facebook.com/usafootball
or on Twitter @USAFootball
NFL Football Matters
The National Football Foundation announced the launch of FootballMatters.org, a powerful new addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it.
“Football makes a positive impact on so many levels, and we realized that we needed a centralized resource for capturing and subsequently promoting all the great football stories out there,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “FootballMatters.org provides us a potent platform for addressing that void and delivering compelling content directly to audiences who can help us amplify our messages about the value of football in producing leaders and creating educational opportunities.”
NFF Chairman Archie Manning added: “It’s just gratifying to be part of something that does so much good for our young people. The stories are out there, including the thousands of young kids who could not have gone to college but got some aid because of football, and their lives have been changed for the better. FootballMatters.org will enable us to directly capture those stories and inspire the next generation to further their educations.”
The NFF has linked with Arkleus Broadcasting, a Dallas-based full-service media company, to create the platform, which also encompasses a strong social media component to gain traction for the campaign.
“Arkleus is honored and thrilled to be chosen by such a prestigious American institution as the NFF to build and market an exciting new sports media property,” said Arkleus Broadcasting President Joe Shults. “We are passionately committed to helping the NFF in every way to protect, enhance, and ensure the future of football for generations to come.”
The site focuses on stories, videos, and franchises highlighting the very best in high school and college football, such as: Football Moms, Special Teams, Hook & Corporate Ladder, Man-to-Man, the Quote of the Day and many more. The site will also be the home to exclusive profiles of Campbell Trophy finalists, Leadership Award Winners, Courage Award Winners and all the honors associated with the NFF.
“We are really excited about the Football Matters initiative,” said Hatchell. “I want to thank everybody at Arkleus for their passion for the project. They have done a marvelous job of getting it up and running in a short amount of time, and we have already received great feedback.”
The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.
You can learn more about the site and watch a video featuring NFF Chairman Archie Manning and NFF Board Members Jack Ford, Archie Griffin, Kevin Plank and Rod West by clicking here.
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 www.floridachristian.org.
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,
For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit www.braingymnasium.org or call 305-788-7339.
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 www.jointhunder.com
Registration is open.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 786-505-5585.
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 youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys ages 5 to 16.
Email Tamiamibasketball@gmail.com 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 www.USTAFloridaFoundation.com.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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 www.hofball.net or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.
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 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 www.miamisoccer5.com.
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.
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 admanUSA@aol.com or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.
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)