Youth Sports

Miami Marlins honor student athletes at Marlins Park

Miami Marlins pitcher Scott McGough and lovable mascot Billy the Marlin congratulate the August honorees of the Miami Marlins/Miami Herald Team Player Program at Marlins Park. The standout student athletes are Alessandro Fernandez (St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School), Hudson Koczwara (Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center), Mario Menendez (Island Christian School), Ryan Mittleman (Nova High School) and Eva Sirlin (Miami Country Day School).
Miami Marlins pitcher Scott McGough and lovable mascot Billy the Marlin congratulate the August honorees of the Miami Marlins/Miami Herald Team Player Program at Marlins Park. The standout student athletes are Alessandro Fernandez (St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School), Hudson Koczwara (Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center), Mario Menendez (Island Christian School), Ryan Mittleman (Nova High School) and Eva Sirlin (Miami Country Day School).

Alessandro Fernandez (St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School), Hudson Koczwara (Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center), Mario Menendez (Island Christian School), Ryan Mittleman (Nova High School) and Eva Sirlin (Miami Country Day School) are the Miami Marlins/Miami Herald Team Players for August.

These standout student athletes, who also display community involvement and sportsmanship, were congratulated by Marlins pitcher Scott McGough and lovable mascot Billy the Marlin near home plate during a ceremony before the Marlins game against the Philadelphia Phillies 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 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 nominated 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 an autographed certificate of achievement, two tickets and complimentary parking.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

Alessandro Fernandez, 10, is in fifth grade at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School in Miami. He is recognized for his sportsmanship and scholastic achievements as well as baseball acumen.

This year he decided to join the South Miami Youth Baseball 10U travel team playing various positions. With his efforts, he helped his team reach the finals.

Solomon Frieder, physical education teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School, said: “Alessandro was a pleasure to coach this year. He is a great competitor and follows all of the rules. Alessandro is always willing to help others even if it is a player from the opposing team. He is an asset to any team. I would love for all of my players to have his attitude, work ethic and determination.”

His grades were outstanding, and he earned a vocabulary award. He also plays the piano.

Hudson Koczwara, 8, a third grader at Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center in Bay Harbor Islands, competes for the Miami Marlins in North Miami Beach Little League.

Hudson shows a tremendous amount of sportsmanship on and off the field. He never complains. He is a great athletes but also great student. He has made the honor roll all year and has also been involved in services through the community. He has worked tremendously hard on and off the field.

Leslie Fernandez, second grade teacher at Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center in Bay Harbor Islands, said: “Hudson Koczwara is a highly intelligent student and is able to apply his knowledge in the classroom setting, as well as in his daily life. In addition, Hudson is thoughtful and kind toward others and is very much liked by his peers and his other teachers alike.”

Mario Menendez, 12, is a pitcher, catcher, utility player, and switch hitter for the Upper Keys Storm 12U travel baseball team.

Upper Keys Storm Manager Brian Tiedemann said: “Mario is that kid every coach wants on his team. The kid that is out there to get better every day he hits the field and the kids always asking the coaches if they need any help. He is one that will make sure his teammates, when down or upset, pick themselves up. Mario is also that kid who will do anything asked no matter what as long as it is to help his team succeed.”

During the summer, Mario played a pivotal role in the Upper Keys Storm’s success as he was the off-speed pitcher who threw an unhittable curve ball. He helped The Storm place 42nd of 104 teams at the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Mario is a seventh grader at Island Christian School in Islamorada. During the 2014-15 school term, he earned As and Bs.

Ryan Mittleman, 15, has been playing baseball for nine years. He began with T-ball at Rotary Park in Hollywood with his dad as his coach and mentor.

Ryan has steadily progressed from the early T-ball years to most recently playing elite travel baseball. Currently, he is playing with the Box Elite Travel Team in Sunrise and hopes to have to a successful first year of junior varsity baseball at Nova High School in Davie.

Ryan’s academics, leadership and citizenship have been outstanding. At Nova Eisenhower Elementary School and Nova Middle School, he continuously earned straight A’s and was honored for outstanding academic achievement.

He spent two weeks in the summer volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Broward County. Ryan already has a weighted GPA of 4.875 in high school. He just entered ninth grade, but he completed several high school courses while in middle school.

Eva Sirlin, 14, was a starter as an eighth grader on the Miami Country Day High School varsity softball team. Playing right field, she helped the Spartans go 13-4 and win their second consecutive district title.

Former Miami Country Day Assistant Varsity Softball Coach B.J. Teltsher said: “Eva is a tough, determined student-athlete. She went from only getting two at bats last season to being a full time starting outfielder this season. Her outstanding play as an eighth grader helped the Lady Spartans win the district championship for a second season in a row.

“She balanced school, club volleyball and softball masterfully as a middle school student-athlete. She is determined to get better in all she does and is willing to stay longer at practice to achieve her goals.”

Eva is also an excellent student. In 2014-15: Honors English 96-95-98; Integrated Math 95-90-95; Social Studies 86-92-89; Physical Science 94-96-90; Honors Spanish 97-97-95; Intermediate Instruments 96-100-94; Physical Education 93-90-92.

Orange Bowl Parks of the Week

Now in its 17th season, the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, visited five sites in Miami-Dade County. The program recognizes select youth football parks across South Florida each Saturday during the fall to show its continued support of the community.

The day began with a trip to Doral Meadows Park for Miami-Dade Xtreme Youth Football League action featuring the Doral Broncos. The program continued with two more MDXYFL teams, the Hialeah Cougars and the Shore Spartans. The day concluded with two Florida Youth Football League teams. First, the program traveled to North Miami Sr. High School, home of the Oak Grove Raiders, followed by a trip to Carol City Park, home of the Miami Gardens Ravens.

At each stop during the program, OBIE, the Orange Bowl mascot, was joined by Orange Bowl members, ambassadors and staff in distributing promotional items and discounts from Orange Bowl YFA sponsors and presenting each park with a commemorative plaque.

The Orange Bowl continues to positively impact the community with programs such as the Orange Bowl YFA and the Orange Bowl “Drive for Excellence” Girls Golf program in conjunction with the First Tee of Miami. This is the Orange Bowl’s first girls sports initiative, designed to empower young South Florida women through golf to develop academic, life and athletic skills, resulting in opportunities for collegiate golf scholarships.

The Orange Bowl YFA, which is presented by Sports Authority, is also supported by associate sponsors American Airlines, Clutch Insurance, Comcast, Florida Prepaid College Board, Frito-Lay, Hampton Farms, Marathon Petroleum Company, MetroPCS, Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, Nike, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, The Miami Herald, Toyota, and Wells Fargo.

For more than 82 years, the Orange Bowl has been one of South Florida’s leading civic organizations, driving tourism and economic development, while supporting scholarships and community athletic facilities. Inspiring thousands of student athletes every year, the Orange Bowl’s activities help foster youth confidence, celebrate student achievement, engage the community and enhance the South Florida economy.

For information about the Orange Bowl Committee and the Orange Bowl YFA, presented by Sports Authority, visit

www.orangebowl.org.

Miami Dolphins Financial Help

Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry and BankUnited, a proud corporate partner of the Miami Dolphins, teamed to promote the 4 Downs for Finance financial literacy contest for high school students, designed to foster financial literacy at an age when many students are beginning to earn their first paychecks.

Full-time Florida students, age 13 to 18, are encouraged to register online at www.4downsforfinance.com now through December 20th to access age-appropriate money tips throughout the football season, and submit an essay on a financial literacy topic. Everyone who enters will have a chance to win a football autographed by Landry and have his or her name read live on the radio during a game broadcast. One student will win a $1,000 cash prize and a visit with Landry.

“BankUnited is honored to partner with Jarvis and the Miami Dolphins to promote the importance of learning about money from an early age,” said BankUnited State President of Florida Thomas M. Cornish. “Jarvis has worked incredibly hard for everything he has accomplished both on and off the field, and his story of perseverance will inspire fans and young people everywhere.”

Landry surprised students at Nova High School and engaged them in lessons and games to introduce the importance of financial literacy. He shared personal stories of how growing up in Louisiana influenced his outlook on budgeting and saving, and conveyed helpful money tips:

• Earn money by getting a part-time job or helping mom and dad around the house.

• Make a budget; spend less than you earn and make sure there is enough left over to cover unexpected expenses.

• Save part of what you earn, at least 10 percent.

• Save a portion of monetary gifts you receive for holidays and birthday gifts, at least 10 percent.

• Set a savings goal. Be ambitious enough that you have to work for it but realistic enough that the goal is achievable.

“In football, you get a jump start on life in the financial world. But it’s so much more important to know that you have the opportunity to save; to learn a little bit more how to keep money instead of how to spend money,” Landry said. “For me to come out and be able to inspire these kids to follow the right financial footsteps is what I’m here for.”

For more money tips or to register for 4 Downs for Finance, visit

www.4downsforfinance.com

Gulliver cross-country

Gulliver announced the return of Coach Tomas Esquijarosa Jr. to its athletic department, where he leads the coaching efforts for the boys’ cross-country team at the Preparatory School campus and serves as the assistant coach for the boys’ track and field team.

“Coach Tomas Esquijarosa has always been a great asset to Gulliver’s athletic program,” said Mark Schusterman, Gulliver’s athletic director. “We are confident that in his new roles, his passion and dedication will take Gulliver Preparatory School student-athletes to new levels.”

Referred to as “Coach T,” Esquijarosa is well-known in South Florida’s track and field community. From 2007-08, he worked at Gulliver as the boys’ track and cross-country head coach and track and field coach. After stepping away for a few years, he rejoined Gulliver for the 2013-14 school year, at which time he served as head cross-country coach at the Academy - Marian C. Krutulis Campus, and also worked as the associate track and field coach at the Prep campus. Last year, Esquijarosa once again took a break from his responsibilities at Gulliver and made his return for the 2015-16 school year.

During his successful career, Esquijarosa also coached at Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami Killian Senior High School and Westminster Christian School. He has created and participated in well-regarded running clubs and track invitationals, including the USA Track & Field USATF Junior Olympics at the University of South Florida. During the past decade, he has mentored numerous student-athletes and coached two high school cross-country teams to the state finals.

Coach Esquijarosa’s personal accolades include The Miami Herald and Miami News all-city honors in the mile run, winning district and regional championships in 1970 for Miami Senior High. After his high-school track career at Miami Senior High, Esquijarosa attended Miami-Dade College on a track scholarship; he was a member of the cross-country and track state championship teams of 1971 and 1972.

About Gulliver Schools

Gulliver Schools is a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit, independent, coeducational, nonsectarian day school with the mission of providing a superior, personalized college-preparatory education fostering well-rounded, successful, lifelong learners. Gulliver is committed to developing the unique gifts and talents of each student in a nurturing environment that promotes academic excellence, innovation, global understanding and character.

For more information about Gulliver, visit

www.gulliverschools.org.

Westminster Christian cross-country

The Westminster Christian girls’ cross-country team won the Class 1A /2A race at the University of Florida Mountain Dew Invitational.

Claire Kennedy (20:01) was fourth overall to lead the Warriors. Teammates Kyra Wells (20:27) and Andrea Zumpano (21:25), the team captain, also finished in the top 15.

Elizabeth lundgren (26:59), Kara Matthews (28:03), Kennedy and Wells recorded personal bests. With Megan Brais, Hailey Mira, Samantha Nasr and Zumpano running season bests.

The Warriors are coming off a fifth place finish at state in 2014 and is looking to improve on that this year, seeking to win their fifth consecutive district title and fourth consecutive region title.

Tennis

Two Miami players reached the finals of the American Collegiate Invitational during the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

In the women’s final No.2 seed and recent UCLA graduate Robin Anderson beat Miami native and recent UCLA player Chanelle Van Nguyen 6-4, 6-4. Van Nguyen is a graduate of K-12 International Academy.

In the men’s final, No.2 seed and UCLA junior Mackenzie McDonald beat Miami native and No.4 seed Gonzales Austin, a recent Vanderbilt graduate, 6-2, 7-5. Austin is a Ransom Everglades High School graduate.

The winners earned wild cards into next year’s US Open qualifying.

Columbus golf

The Christopher Columbus High School boys’ varsity golf team tied for fourth of nine teams at the Ida Baker Bulldog Invitational at Coral Oaks Golf Club (Yardage 6,623; Par 72) in Cape Coral.

Columbus sharedf fourth with (Sarasota) Riverview at 309. Senior Rafael Martinez led the Explorers, placing fourth at 72. Teammate Jake Moscoso, a junior, tied for seventh at 74. Sophomore Sharif Amastha tied for 23rd at 80. Junior Javi Rodriguez shot 83 (tied for 36th) and sophomore Tyler Whitney tied for 39th at 87.

Miami Country Day sports

Miami Country Day School

Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Sophia Gostfrand (volleyball) led the Spartans with 28 aces and five kills in the SLAM Tournament and in a match against Cushman School.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Griffin Steutel (golf) led the Spartans’ varsity team with a 38 against University School.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Madisyn Jones (swimming) won the 50 and 100 freestyle races and was part of the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Alessandro Marchesani (swimming) won the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke and was part of the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.

Special Olympics tennis

Join USTA Florida, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Special Olympics Florida on Oct. 8 in a day of community, volunteerism, and tennis in service to Special Olympics Tennis athletes.

The event will be 9:30 a.m. to noon at the University of Miami’s Wellness Center on campus in Coral Gables.

“30-Love is a debut initiative from USTA Florida where Millennial-age tennis supporters perform service initiatives,” says USTA Florida Event & Sponsorship Coordinator Alex Gold. “Learn how you can get involved with each participating organization, and play more tennis.”

USTA Florida will provide the easier-to-use USTA 10 and Under Tennis equipment for athletes at the event, which is co-coordinated by Special Olympics of Miami-Dade County.

“The 30-Love initiative is a great way for young adults to exercise leadership and organize tennis events to give back to their communities and individuals with disabilities,” Gold said. “The event is open to all and we’re looking forward to a lot of community participation.”

The 30-Love initiative debuted in April of this year when Florida State University hosted Millennial-age tennis supporters and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity headlining a clinic for Special Olympics Tennis athletes. They were joined by volunteers from USTA Florida staff and the USTA Florida Foundation, and the event was previewed by ESPN ahead of their FSU men’s NCAA television coverage.

“Because of USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Foundation, we grew our tennis program by 65 percent last year,” said Special Olympics Florida President & CEO Sherry Wheelock. “However, we know there are more athletes that could benefit from this incredible sport and we do have the capacity. We are so thankful for USTA Florida’s involvement and support.”

For information on the USTA Florida 30-Love initiative or the Miami event contact Alex Gold at gold@ustaflorida.com.

Wendy’s High School Hesiman

Help spread the word! High school seniors have until Friday, Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. EST to apply for Wendy’s High School Heisman.

This Award is built in partnership with Wendy’s and the Heisman Memorial Trophy to recognize outstanding high school seniors who exhibit academic excellence, a strong commitment to their communities and athletic talent. Every year Wendy’s High School Heisman recognizes thousands of the best high school seniors and rewards $120,000 to schools across the country.

“Every high school has outstanding student-athletes that can be recognized with the prestigious Heisman name,” says Archie Griffin, two-time collegiate Heisman Memorial Trophy winner. “I’m honored to help Wendy’s highlight the achievements of these exceptional high school seniors on the field, in the classroom and within their communities.”

For the past 22 years, this highly acclaimed program has received more than 600,000 applications and honored more than 250 National Finalists and 42 National Winners.

Students seeking to become National Winners will need to advance through the following phases of the award program:

· School Winners – One senior male and one senior female from every school will be selected as a “School Winner” and receive a school winner certificate and Heisman patch.

· State Finalists – 10 senior males and senior females from every state and the District of Columbia will advance to “State Finalists.” Each State Finalist will receive a bronze medal, a “State Finalist” patch and a $25 Wendy’s Gift Card.

· State Winners – One senior male and one senior female from each state and the District of Columbia will be selected as “State Winners” and receive a silver medal, a “State Winner” patch and a $50 Wendy’s Gift Card. Each winners’ high school will receive a $1,000 donation in the students’ names – applies only to the 92 State Winners who do not go on to become National Finalists.

· National Finalists – A judging panel will select “10 National Finalists” from the 102 State Winners across the fiveWendy’s High School Heisman Regions. These finalists will receive an invitation to the Wendy’s High School Heisman program and ceremony in New York City, a gold medal, a “National Finalist” patch and a $100 Wendy’s Gift Card. Additionally, each finalists’ high school will receive a $2,000 donation in their name – applies only to the 8 National Finalists who do not go on to become the National Winners.

· National Winners – A judging panel will select one senior male and one senior female to be named the National Wendy’s High School Heisman Winners. The winners will receive a personally engraved Wendy’s High School Heisman Trophy, a “National Winner” patch, a $500 Wendy’s Gift Card and a $5,000 donation to their high school in their names – not to mention an appearance on national television during ESPN’s presentation of the Heisman Memorial Trophy ceremony.

For information, students can visit

https://www.wendyshighschoolheisman.com/

or call 800-205-6367. Participants can also “Like” Wendy’s Heisman on Facebook at

http://www.facebook.com/WendysHighSchoolHeisman

or “Follow” the organization on Twitter at

https://twitter.com/WendysHeisman for additional program details.

About Wendy's

The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) is the world's third largest quick-service hamburger restaurant chain. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 restaurants in 29 countries and U.S. territories.

For information, visit www.wendys.com

Hockey scholarships

The Florida Panthers announced that Florida Panthers Alumni Association has awarded new youth hockey scholarships for the Fall youth hockey travel season, supporting four local travel hockey players.

The Panthers Alumni Association has donated more than $300,000 to youth hockey players and programs who could not afford the ice time and equipment required to otherwise play the game.

The awardees come from travel programs around the South Florida area and were granted based on academic merit, financial need and community involvement rather than their skills or talent on the ice.

“The Alumni Association believes it is important to support youth hockey in South Florida and create the next generation of community leaders whose first lessons in leadership will come at the hockey rink,” said Alumni Association President Randy Moller. “We hope that these scholarships will help in growing the players’ love for the game both on and off the ice.”

The Panthers Alumni Association grants scholarships twice a year, in August and December. For the August grant period, scholarships were awarded to players with the Florida JR. Panthers, the Golden Wolves and the Palm Beach Blackhawks.

Another initiative the Florida Panthers Alumni Association will be participating in this Fall is the Coral Springs Community Chest Pucks for Bucks charity hockey game. Panthers alumni will join the Coral Springs first responders in the game at 5 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs. Florida Panthers alum Radek Dvorak, Ed Jovanovski, Bill Lindsay, Serge Payer, Marco Sturm, Tomas Vokoun and more will round out the police and fire department rosters.

VIP tickets, which include a private buffet dinner sponsored by Doris Italian Market & Bakery and wine courtesy of EPICA by Vino San Pedro, are $50 per person and are only available for purchase at the Florida Panthers IceDen. General admission tickets to the event are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children under age 5 receive free admission.

Tickets are available at PanthersIceDen.com and at Florida Panthers IceDen, while tickets can also be purchased via cash payment at City Hall in the Mall, Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce and BankUnited in Coral Springs. Proceeds from the game will benefit the Coral Springs Community Chest.

The Florida Panthers will face the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener at the BB&T Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. Full and partial Panthers season ticket packages are now available that include the best prices, access to team events, an interest-free payment plan option and more. Call 954-835-7825 or visit FloridaPanthers.com/TicketCentral to purchase a ticket plan.

Home to the Florida Panthers Hockey Club and leading international concerts and events, the Broward County-owned BB&T Center is one of the top ranked venues of its kind in the world, servicing Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties.

Florida Panthers Social Media is powered by Ford - follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

WWW.FLORIDAPANTHERS.COM

Miami Dolphins

USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, and the Miami Dolphins recently awarded football equipment and uniform grants to youth and high school football programs throughout South Florida based on merit and need.

USA Football partners with the Dolphins and all NFL clubs to annually distribute more than $2 million in equipment and uniform grants to youth and high school football programs across the United States. The grant program has supported youth organizations and high schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., since 2006. USA Football equipment and uniform grants are made possible through support from the NFL Foundation.

Grants are valued up to $1,500 for youth organizations and $2,500 for high school programs, offering new equipment, uniforms, equipment reconditioning and flag football equipment to provide young athletes greater access as well as the fun and fitness benefits of the sport. Grants are fulfilled by USA Football and its equipment and uniform partner Riddell.

USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the Dolphins, the NFL and each of the league’s other 31 teams.

“We are pleased to work with USA Football and our teams to donate much-needed equipment to youth football leagues and high school football programs nationwide,” said Alexia Gallagher, director of the NFL Foundation. “These equipment grants will help ensure that youngsters who share our love of the game are able to play it safely.”

“The health and safety of every young football player is our No. 1 priority,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “Having proper equipment is an important step toward that goal. Even with fundraising and strict attention to budgets, many leagues and school districts need help to properly outfit their young athletes who love to play football and enjoy the fun and fitness that comes with it. We are proud to lead this important program with support from the NFL Foundation and Riddell.”

South Florida youth and high school programs awarded a 2015 USA Football Equipment Grant:

Abundant Living Citi Church, Boyd H. Anderson High School, Daytona Falcons, Kendall Boys & Girls Club, Liberty City Optimist Club, Miami Beach Senior High School, Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Police Athletic League, PAL of Hallandale Beach, Palm Beach County Youth Football League, Somerset Academy Canyons, Tamiami Colts, The Optimist Foundation of Greater Goulds Florida, West Boca Tackle Football, and West Palm Beach Police Athletic League.

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 advances 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

@USAFootball.

About NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football, and the communities which support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit:

www.NFLFoundation.org.

Team Moms

Olive Garden and the NFHS Network, the nation’s leading high school sports media company, are teaming up to recognize Team Moms and the high school athletes they support. This partnership includes the launch of GoTeamMoms.com, which will serve as a resource and destination to recognize Team Moms.

Team Moms volunteer to assist coaches and often lead team communications, fundraising, travel coordination and more. The website will feature Team Mom’s Best-Kept Secrets and game day highlights from high schools around the nation. In addition, coaches, athletes, family members and the community are invited to contribute shout-outs or photos of their favorite Team Mom using #GoTeamMoms on Twitter and Instagram to be featured on the website.

“The goal of the NFHS Network is to serve and support both the athletes and their fans,” said Christopher Young, senior vice president of sales for the NFHS Network. “There’s no bigger fan than a Team Mom and no better partner for the NFHS Network than Olive Garden, which resonates so deeply with our audience and shares our same commitment to families and the local community.”

To further assist Team Moms, each Olive Garden restaurant in the U.S. will be paired with a local high school to support through two national fundraising nights and Olive Garden VIP Passes that give teams access to exclusive discounts. With dining options that include ToGo and catering, Olive Garden is often the choice for feeding an entire team.

"Our restaurants are excited to support their hometown high schools and give back to their communities," said Jose Duenas, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “This partnership allows us to thank Team Moms nationwide as well as give families and teams chances to connect over meals and create memories during the busy sports season.”

Visit GoTeamMoms.com to view photos, videos and Team Mom tips and tricks. To find your nearest Olive Garden restaurant and to order your meal online ToGo, visit OliveGarden.com. VisitNFHSNetwork.com for live streaming of high school events.

ABOUT OLIVE GARDEN

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.8 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.8 billion in annual sales.

Headquartered in Orlando, and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated more than 33 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com.

Connect with us on Facebook.com/OliveGarden, Twitter.com/OliveGardenand Instagram.com/OliveGarden.

ABOUT THE NFHS NETWORK

The NFHS Network (www.nfhsnetwork.com) captures the passion, pride, and energy of the high school experience by delivering live high school sports and events to family members and fans whenever they want, wherever they are.

The NFHS Network celebrates and showcases the unique accomplishments of high schools students, including the student-athletes participating in 27 different sporting events and the student broadcasters from schools around the country that produce events through the School Broadcast Program. The NFHS Network also broadcasts state playoff and championship events in 46 states.

The NFHS Network is a joint venture among the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), its member state associations and PlayOn! Sports. The NFHS is located in Indianapolis, Indiana and is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. PlayOn! Sports is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is the nation’s largest high school sports media company.

Follow the NFHS Network on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram at @NFHSnetwork for the latest news and event information.

Tennis

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

www.ustaflorida.com/events.

For information about programs and places to play, visit

www.ustaflorida.com.

Tennis

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

Maccabi Haifa basketball

The Maccabi Haifa professional basketball team announced the team will embark on a two-team NBA tour in the United States against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on Thursday, Oct. 8 as well as the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday, Oct. 11.

Maccabi Haifa’s trip to the United States will mark the fifth time in six years the team will travel to North America to play against NBA competition. Maccabi Haifa played against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 13, 2013, falling 116-70 at FedExForum.

In four tours to North America, Maccabi Haifa has faced 10 NBA opponents (New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors). Maccabi Haifa ranks second all-time among international basketball teams in games played against NBA opponents.

As one of the original eight teams to form the Israeli Premier League for the 1954 season, Maccabi Haifa has a long and storied legacy in Israeli basketball. Under the ownership of American businessman Jeffrey Rosen, Maccabi Haifa won their first Israeli League championship in franchise history during the 2012-13 season and were an Israeli League Finalist in the 2013-14 season.

Maccabi Haifa’s charity program, “Haifa Hoops for Kids”, a joint initiative between Maccabi Haifa and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey, has hosted over 25,000 underprivileged and special needs children in Israel at Maccabi Haifa home games. The team will hold charity basketball clinics for children in both the Memphis and Greater Los Angeles area during the NBA preseason tour.

“We are thrilled to have the Grizzlies invite us back to the great city of Memphis, and we're looking forward to matching up against one of the most talented teams in the NBA,” said Maccabi Haifa team owner Jeffrey Rosen. “The Los Angeles Lakers are arguably the most prestigious team in the NBA, and bringing Maccabi Haifa to play in front of such a passionate and Israel-centric fan base only continues to grow our brand globally.”

About Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Haifa, an Israeli Basketball Super League team, has a long and storied legacy as they were one of the original eight teams to form the Premier League for the 1953-54 season. Under the ownership of American businessman, Jeffrey Rosen, the team earned its first title in franchise history after being crowned the 2012-13 Israeli League champion. The team was purchased by Jeffrey Rosen in July 2007. For more information about Maccabi Haifa, visit

www.mhbasket.co.il.

Footgolf

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.

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:

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

info@genyouthfoundation.org.

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

@USAFootball.

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.

Visit www.footballfoundation.org.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NFFNetwork

Twitter https://twitter.com/NFFNetwork

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/NFFOnDemand

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.

ThunderPlex

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 www.jointhunder.com ; contact@jointhunder.com or call 786-505-5585.

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit www.braingymnasium.org 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 www.jointhunder.com

Registration is open.

Email contact@jointhunder.com 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 Tamiamibasketball@gmail.com or call 305 -273-1145.

Tennis

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, 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 tours@marlins.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.

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 www.hofball.net 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.

Visit www.miamirugbykids.com.

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 www.miamisoccer5.com.

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.

Visit www.rebelleathletics.com.

Jai-Alai

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 admanUSA@aol.com 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.

Email sportsscene@MiamiHerald.com.

Youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth/miami-dade

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

www.youtube.com/user/jvarsallone/videos

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