Youth Sports

Kendall Hammocks Warriors giving back during Homecoming

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle Football & Cheer program presented a $6,000 check to the Live Like Bella Foundation at Devonaire Park. The foundation, named in memory of 10-year-old Bella Rodriguez-Torres, supports the fight against pediatric cancer. Pictured include from left, Shannah Rodriguez-Torres, Raymond Rodriguez-Torres, Lisa Riadigos, Shirley Pintado, Kendall Hammocks Commissioner Mike Pintado, and Rayna Rodriguez-Torres.
The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle Football & Cheer program presented a $6,000 check to the Live Like Bella Foundation at Devonaire Park. The foundation, named in memory of 10-year-old Bella Rodriguez-Torres, supports the fight against pediatric cancer. Pictured include from left, Shannah Rodriguez-Torres, Raymond Rodriguez-Torres, Lisa Riadigos, Shirley Pintado, Kendall Hammocks Commissioner Mike Pintado, and Rayna Rodriguez-Torres.

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle Football & Cheer program hosted its annual Homecoming, dedicated to the Live Like Bella Foundation, at Devonaire Park.

The Live Like Bella​ Foundation supports the fight against pediatric cancer. It is named in memory of 10-year-old Bella Rodriguez-Torres.

Each year the Warriors select a worthy cause, and in September they started by selling the Live Like Bella socks, collecting cash donations toward the cause.

At Homecoming, Kendall Hammocks welcomed the Rodriguez-Torres Family -- Bella’s family -- with more than 250 parents, players and cheerleaders attending and wearing the Live Like Bella socks.

Kendall Hammocks then named Field No.1 the Bella Rodriguez-Torres Field. They also presented a check -- a $6,000 donation -- to Raymond, Shannah and Rayna Rodriguez-Torres for the Live Like Bella Foundation.

The program not only prides itself with the former Warriors who excel at the next level, but also by what’s instilled in current players and cheerleaders to give back to the community.

It’s not about the game results. It’s about helping others.

The Live Like Bella​ Foundation supports the fight against pediatric cancer in three important ways:

Research, In Treatment Support, Memorial Support.


For information or to donate, email

More Kendall Hammocks football

The Kendall Hammocks 7U tackle football team beat the Hialeah Cougars 43-19 in the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

The Warriors (5-3) were led by a strong offensive line (David Godrich, Mikey Vilmenay, Ale Thomas, DJ McGuire, Angel Orozco).

In 8U action, Kendall Hammocks shut out the Suniland Sundevils 20-0. Bernard Oliva and Jose Lopez keyed an impressive defense en route to that shutout. Jose Lopez, Cortez Mills and Dylan Gonzalez each scored a touchdown to ignite the Warriors rushing attack.

The Warriors 13U team defeated Modelo Park 38-13 behind Mikkel Laraque, who had 152 yards rushing and a 90-yard kick-off return.

Other scores: PW: KH 19, Modelo 18 (OT). 9U: KH 19, Miami Shores 12. 10U: South Miami 24, KH 0. 11U: Miami Shores 22, KH 20 (OT). 12U: Miami Shores 19, KH 12.

Orange Bowl Parks of the Week

Now in its 17th season, the Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance, presented by Sports Authority, visited five sites across Miami-Dade and Broward counties as part of its Park of the Week program.

The program recognizes select youth football parks across South Florida each Saturday during the fall to show its continued support of the community.

Included, a visit to Ives Estates Park, home of the Ives Estates Thunder of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League. An Orange Bowl Legacy Gift provided the necessary funding for a new state-of-the-art turf field and scoreboard to be debuted later this season at Ives Estates Park.

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.

Furthermore, 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, which launched in September 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.


Miami Dolphins ribbon cutting

Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas, along with mascot TD, cheerleaders and Miami Dolphins Women’s Organization members, presented Mae E. Walters Elementary School students and Principal Milko Brito an autographed jersey during a ribbon cutting celebration of the team service project where Dolphins players, coaches and staff worked to create a better learning environment for the students.

“The kids were so happy to come and see a brand new building,” Principal Brito said. “They couldn’t believe that this was the same school they left last school year because this was a surprise. During the summer we did the work, and they didn’t know what happened until they finally came out and saw the beautiful school. They’re very, very excited. The kids today are all going crazy, yelling and happy to have the Dolphins here and thankful. We’re very happy that the Dolphins did this for us and for our students, they’re the ones who benefit.”

The ribbon cutting and jersey presentation was followed by a pep rally, highlighting the importance of education, physical fitness and positive choices.

“Today was a blast. This summer we did landscaping, painting; just gave the school a makeover and it was great to see our work benefiting these kids,” Thomas said. “The kids – to see the smiles on their faces was tremendous. Anytime you can give back to the community, and just see how much they really enjoy meeting you, that’s how you want to use your platform.”

Miami Figure Skating Club

Ten of Miami’s top figure skaters will compete in the U.S. Figure Skating Regional Championships in Philadelphia.

These Miami Figure Skating Club athletes from Kendall Ice Arena will compete in the South Atlantic Regional Championships, which is the first step to the U.S. National Championships for skaters from Pennsylvania south through Florida.

Competing in regionals championships is a major milestone in any competitive figure skater’s career. Very few skaters progress through the challenging series of skills tests and competitions to reach this event.

More than 350 skaters will compete in Philadelphia, which is one of nine regional qualifying competitions. There are five competitive levels for male and female skaters: Senior, Junior, Novice, Intermediate, and Juvenile. At each competitive level, the top four competitors advance to one of three sectional championships, and the top four at sectionals advance to the national championships in January in St. Paul, Minn.

The 10 Miami Figure Skating Club members recently performed an exhibition and enjoyed a big send-off party at Kendall Ice Arena. Each athlete presented a solo performance, dazzling the large crowd with intricate footwork, dizzying spins, and breathtaking jumps.

The 10 Miami Figure Skating Club regional competitors are:

Novice Ladies: Dania Fernandez, 14, Gulliver Preparatory School; Melissa Gonzalez, 14, Coral Reef Senior HS IB program. Intermediate Ladies: Sarah Arana, 14, Killian Senior HS; Isabella Martin, 14, Coral Reef Senior HS IB program; Camilla Vazquez, 14, Ronald Reagan Doral Senior HS. Juvenile Girls: Danielle Cooner, 13, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish School; Veronica Manes, 13, St. Kevin Catholic School; Ariana Silva-Falcon, 12, Somerset Academy South Miami; Maia Snyder, 12, Southwood Middle School; Ana Sophia Rodriguez, 11, Good Shepherd Catholic School.

For information on any type of ice fun – recreational skating, learn-to-skate, birthday parties, competitive figure skating, holiday shows, hockey, or broomball – contact the Kendall Ice Arena at 305-386-8288.

Highland Oaks cross-country

The Highland Oaks Middle School cross-country team opened its season by competing in the 305 Classic at Larry and Penny Thompson Park.

The JV girls finished second of 15 teams. Anissa Lespinase-Casimir (15:15), Aneth Castaneda (15:23) and Destiny Desrivieres (15:37) placed third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, of 142 runners on the 2.1-mile course. Also finishing in the Top 50 for HOM were Zayni Jones (38th, 18:39) and Sophia Warsing (49th, 19:47). Brianna Easy (20:58), Karina Lee (22:54) and Sophie Rier (26:50) also completed the race.

The JV boys placed eighth of 23 teams. They were led by Lorenzo Moreno (14:09), who was fifth of 199 runners. Rounding out HOM’s Top 5 scorers were Christian Veltchev (16:30), Andres Teixeira (16:46) , Benjamin Bronstein (16:50), and Antonio Podrug (17:26). Foster Zelaya (18:23), Alexander Valderrama (19:17), Tiago Martinez (19:22), Noah Zarlenga (20:10), and Jaden Foy (20:54) also ran well.

Amaya Strange was 22 of 117 runners in the girls’ varsity race. Teammate Giuliana Moreno ran 22:20. Kevin Castor set a personal best (18:35) in the varsity boys, and Bryan Darucand followed in 21:45.

305 Cross Country Classic

Daesha Rogers, a junior at North Miami High School, won the girls’ varsity race, and senior Guilherme Pereira of Divine Savior Academy was the boys’ varsity champion during the 305 High School Cross Country Classic at Larry & Penny Thompson Park.

Rogers completed the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes 44.61 seconds, leading a field of 162 runners. Pereira’s winning time was 17:04.96, first of 203 entrants.

St. Brendan HS won the girls’ team title, besting 19 teams with 37 points, and Homestead HS topped the boys’ team division, placing first of 27 schools with 87 points.

Miami’s Best: Girls: Team: 1. St. Brendan HS 37 points; 2. Northwestern HS 61; 3. Coral Gables HS 146; 4. Terra Environmental Research 152; 6. Ronald Reagan HS 192.

Individuals: 1. Daesha Rogers (North Miami) 20:44.61; 2. Mariana Gonzalez (LaSalle) 20:54.18; 3. Alejandra Moros (St. Brendan) 21:31.62; 5. Shiree Hinds (Northwestern) 21:52.89; 6. Megan Moussa (Terra) 21:54.78; 7. Javenique McDowell (North Miami) 22:00.53; 8. Ayoola Gbolade (Northwestern) 21:52.89; 9. Sofia Fernandez (St. Brendan) 22:15.48; 10. Ashley Campis (St. Brendan) 22:41.06; 11. Gabriela Gutierrez (St. Brendan) 22:47.25; 13. Lauren Garcia (Lourdes) 22:50.13; 14. Victoria Rodriguez (Lourdes) 22:50.68; 15. Nicole Martinez (St. Brendan) 22:54.52. 16. Tenka Stringer (Killian) 23:05.22; 17. Susana Gutierrez (St. Brendan) 23:06.62; 18. Nicole Katzarkov (Riviera Prep) 23:07.30; 19. A’sja Baker (Northwestern) 23:19.34; 20. Lauren Lavernia (St. Brendan) 23:20.12; 21. Andrea Gongora (Lourdes) 23:25.68; 22. Paloma Pimental (Sunset) 23:41.84; 23. Delilah Ayan (Terra) 23:43.69; 24. Nina Harvison (Palmetto) 24:06.33; 25. Amanda Rodriguez (Dade Christian) 24:06.97; 26. Andrea Peterson (St. Brendan) 24:14.71; 27. Kathryn Boylan (Coral Gables) 24:17.30; 28. Timetria Mitchell (Northwestern) 24:18.27; 30. Antravia Snow (Northwestern) 24:34.47.

Boys: Team: 1. Homestead HS 87 points; 2. Coral Park HS 106; 3. Coral Gables HS 155; 4. Mast Academy 162; 5. Dr. Krop HS 168.

Individuals: 1. Guilherme Pereira (Divine Savior) 17:04.96; 2. Jamir Ferguson (American) 17:36.33; 4. Darren Lavina (Killian) 17:42.67; 5. Royer Baez (Homestead) 17:57.60; 6. Nick Cummings (Mast) 18:04.48; 7. Manuel Lecayo (Coral Park) 18:10.27; 8. Welby Francis (North Miami) 18:16.34; 9. Spencer Tate (Krop) 18:16.94; 10. Malik Watson (Krop) 18:28.67; 11. Ross McAfee (South Dade) 18:40.42; 12. Deiondre Williams (Homestead) 18:41.48; 13. Raul Belarezo (Felix Varela) 18:42.05; 14. Alexander Elortegui (Coral Gables) 18:43.84; 15. Luke Rivera (Sunset) 18:44.44; 16. Cesar Mariaca (Felix Varela) 18:49.29; 17. Cavan Wilson (Coral Gables) 18:50.35; 18.Eduardo Reyes (Homestead) 18:59.02; 19. Daniel Matos (American) 19:06.89; 20. Derrick Spicer (Krop) 19:07.86; 21. Carmine Tei (Coral Park) 19:12.60; 22. Lucas Batista (Coral Park) 19:18.98; 23. Brando Mena (LaSalle) 19:22.51; 24. Fabian Puig (Coral Park) 19:23.70; 25. Baldomero Esquivel (Homstead) 19:25.22; 26. Gabriel Caceres (Terra) 19:28.67; 28. Brannon Brisbane (Terra) 19:32.61; 30. Joseph Johnson (Homestead) 19:33.94.

Miami Country Day Sports

Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Ananda Naves (volleyball) helped the high school JV team win the Spartan Invitational Championship with 10 assists and 15 digs.

Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Connor Batchelder (football) was 9 of 15 passing for 222 yards and four touchdowns against Marathon.

Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Amelia Gregorio (swimming) won the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle and was a part of the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams in wins against Hialeah Educational Academy and Pace.

Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Jacob Strouse (cross-country) finished 15 overall in 17 minutes 44 seconds at the Florida Runners Invitational in Titusville and second in 17:48 at the Spartan Invitational at Greynolds Park.

Archbishop Curley Sports

Coach Greg Magner, athletic director at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep, announced the Athletes of the Week:

Male Athlete of the Week: Senior running back Aaron Ashe, a team captain, led the Knights to 29-3 victory over Ransom Everglades. Ashe rushed 11 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a 49-yard touchdown pass. Defensively, he made six tackles.

Female Athlete of the Week: Volleyball middle blocker Gianni Domond, a sophomore, is very agile, has an impressive vertical, is willing to work hard, and listens. Overall she has great potential, working toward being an even greater asset in the future.

Mack Cycle Escape to Miami

Former Cuban national triathlete Yunior Rosete knew the course in the Mack Cycle Escape to Miami Triathlon from his 2014 victory in the unique South Florida endurance test. So amid picture-perfect conditions at Margaret Pace Park, Miami’s Rosete not only repeated as champion but improved his time by nearly a minute.

The 31-year-old Rosete raced to a 1:59:20 finish in the International Division of the 11th annual event, nearly five minutes faster than Gustavo Slaib, who traveled from Rio De Janiero, Brazil.

A pair of transplanted Venezuelan athletes won the shorter Sprint Division race. Coral Gables’ Leonardo Solorzano, 25, was the overall winner in 1:02:13, while the women's title was won by Key Biscayne resident Vanessa Soulavy, who covered the course in 1:13:48.

More than 2,100 competitors participated in the race produced by Life Time - The Healthy Way of Life Company, and part of the 11-event nationwide Life Time Tri Series that runs from April through October. The series also includes the South Beach Triathlon held in April on Miami Beach's southern tip.

The International race, which kicked off at 7:08 am as the sun was rising above Miami Beach, included a unique 0.9 mile-long swim from Escape Island to Margaret Pace Park, a challenging 24.8-mile bike course over the Julia Tuttle Causeway to Miami Beach and a 6.2-mile loop over the MacArthur Causeway to Star Island and back.





About Mack Cycle and Fitness

Mack Cycle'’ Miami store at 5995 Sunset Drive is known around the world as a place for cyclists to find the ultimate selection of quality products and values. Mack Cycle has been named a Five-Star Top 100 Bike Store in the country by the cycling industry as well as one of the Top 50 Triathlon stores in the country as rated by Slow Twitch.

Red Zone Sports

The Red Zone Sports Youth NFL Flag Football League season runs from Jan. 16 to April.

Registration is Noon-2 p.m. Oct. 31, Nov. 21 and Dec. 5 at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St., Miami, 33165.

Divisions: U6, U8, U10, U12, U14 and U17. Registration fee $135. Volunteer coaches, team and sibling discounts available. NFL jersey or dry-fit jerseys for teams with sonic flag belts.

Visit or call Jorge at 305-986-9084 for information.

More events, leagues, programs

NCSAA academics honors

The NSCAA annually recognizes high school soccer programs that have excelled in the classroom, in addition to their work on the field.

Three hundred and eight nine soccer teams (243 girls, 146 boys) from throughout the United States have earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award for exemplary performance in the classroom as a team during the 2014-15 academic year.

To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players.

For information about the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, visit

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 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 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.



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


USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a landmark three-way agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide more tennis playing opportunities to athletes in Florida.

The formal agreement builds on the existing support that USTA Florida and its charitable arm have provided to local Special Olympics programs by offering free 10 and Under Tennis workshops, grants and other resources to providers that offer tennis programs to Special Olympics athletes.

Likewise, Special Olympics Florida will encourage their athletes to participate in USTA Florida programs and events.

To get a program started, Special Olympics coaches may apply for a USTA Florida Section Foundation equipment grant for adaptive tennis equipment and other program needs by contacting Jessica Flynn at Special Olympics Florida.

For additional training opportunities and training resources, contact Linda Curtis at the USTA Florida Section Foundation at

Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

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 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 or on Twitter


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:

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, 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 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 for live streaming of high school events.


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

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The NFHS Network ( 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.

Boys & Girls Club Football

Miami area kids, age 5-15, can “get ready for football season,” thanks to Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s tackle football and cheerleading programs. Registration for the fall 2015 season (August-December) will remain open until all teams are filled.

The sports programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade are designed to provide a safe and healthy environment so that children can learn team skills, increase self-esteem, build character, become positive role models, and increase motivation as well as specific skills related to the sport. With training provided by volunteer coaches, sport programs are available during the afternoon to the early hours of the night, and are offered Monday through Friday. This is the time of day when children, especially teens, are more likely to engage in harmful activities.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade’s Gwen Cherry, Northwest, and Kendall clubs are conducting registration for the tackle football and cheerleading season.

Register 2-7 p.m. Monday-Friday at either:

Gwen Cherry Club, 7090 NW 22 Ave., Miami, 33147

Northwest Club, 10915 NW 14 Ave., Miami, 33167

Kendall Club, 9475 N Kendall Dr., Miami, 33176

Cost: Gwen Cherry Club: $70 for football; $50 for cheerleading. Fee includes equipment and uniform.

Northwest Club: $90 for football; $60 for cheerleading. Fee includes equipment and uniform.

Kendall Club: $140 for football; $130 for cheerleading. Fee includes equipment and uniform.

Visit your nearest club to complete a membership application. With questions or to inquire about coaching, contact the Gwen Cherry Club at 304-694-4889 ext. 227, the Kendall Club at 305-279-3019, or the Northwest Club at 305-758-5753.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade has been serving youth in the community since 1940. What once was a single building and site for boys has grown to five Clubs serving thousands of boys and girls year round, providing programs in the areas of character and leadership development, educational enhancement, career preparation, health and life skills, cultural arts and sports, fitness and recreation. Club staffing, initiatives, and programs are designed to inspire and enable young people and provide them with the resources to succeed and share in the American Dream.

For information, visit

NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth

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

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

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

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

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

Results from the program’s first year include:

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

· 47% using Kits after school

· 28% using Kits during recess

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

About Fuel Up to Play 60

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

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

Visit to learn more.

About GENYOUth Foundation

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

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

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

About USA Football

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

Follow USA Football at or on Twitter


About SHAPE America

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

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

For information, visit

Heads Up Football

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program for high schools and youth organizations will include sudden cardiac arrest protocols andHeads Up Blocking fundamentals in 2015.

Both topics are now included in USA Football’s Level 1 coaching education course and its high school certification course.

USA Football is the national governing body of the sport and educates more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the United States.

USA Football’s Heads Up Football program is supported by more than two dozen medical and football partners.

“Coaches should be prepared to respond to a life-threatening emergency if needed,” said Dr. Jonathan Drezner, past president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and a member of USA Football’s Medical Advisory Committee.

“With prompt recognition, early CPR and use of an AED, sudden cardiac arrest is largely a survivable event if treated quickly. USA Football is committed to the safety of young athletes, and I am proud that a sudden cardiac arrest training module is being added to the Heads Up Football program. The module provides coaches the information they need to be prepared for sudden cardiac arrest.”

“Blocking is one of football’s basic skills that every player needs to be taught,” said Jeff Saturday, a former NFL All-Pro center and ESPN analyst. Saturday is a member of USA Football’s Football Advisory Committee.

“USA Football’s Heads Up Blocking technique helps coaches teach this fundamental – properly engaging with a defender, driving with the legs and maintaining the correct body position for effective and safer play. This is how blocking should be taught.”

Heads Up Football is a comprehensive collection of resources and medically approved protocols to establish important standards rooted in education to change behavior for the better.

In addition to sudden cardiac arrest and Heads Up Blocking, the program covers concussion awareness and recognition, heat and hydration protocols, proper tackling fundamentals and equipment fitting. More than 5,500 youth leagues and 750 high schools in 2014 participated in the program this past fall, benefiting nearly 1-million players.

Follow USA Football at

or on Twitter @USAFootball

NFL Football Matters

The National Football Foundation announced the launch of, a powerful new addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it.

“Football makes a positive impact on so many levels, and we realized that we needed a centralized resource for capturing and subsequently promoting all the great football stories out there,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “ provides us a potent platform for addressing that void and delivering compelling content directly to audiences who can help us amplify our messages about the value of football in producing leaders and creating educational opportunities.”

NFF Chairman Archie Manning added: “It’s just gratifying to be part of something that does so much good for our young people. The stories are out there, including the thousands of young kids who could not have gone to college but got some aid because of football, and their lives have been changed for the better. will enable us to directly capture those stories and inspire the next generation to further their educations.”

The NFF has linked with Arkleus Broadcasting, a Dallas-based full-service media company, to create the platform, which also encompasses a strong social media component to gain traction for the campaign.

“Arkleus is honored and thrilled to be chosen by such a prestigious American institution as the NFF to build and market an exciting new sports media property,” said Arkleus Broadcasting President Joe Shults. “We are passionately committed to helping the NFF in every way to protect, enhance, and ensure the future of football for generations to come.”

The site focuses on stories, videos, and franchises highlighting the very best in high school and college football, such as: Football Moms, Special Teams, Hook & Corporate Ladder, Man-to-Man, the Quote of the Day and many more. The site will also be the home to exclusive profiles of Campbell Trophy finalists, Leadership Award Winners, Courage Award Winners and all the honors associated with the NFF.

“We are really excited about the Football Matters initiative,” said Hatchell. “I want to thank everybody at Arkleus for their passion for the project. They have done a marvelous job of getting it up and running in a short amount of time, and we have already received great feedback.”

The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.

You can learn more about the site and watch a video featuring NFF Chairman Archie Manning and NFF Board Members Jack Ford, Archie Griffin, Kevin Plank and Rod West by clicking here.






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.


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 experienced and professional teachers provide a simple and exciting approach to learning.

For information on special packages, after school programs and summer programs,

visit ; or call 786-505-5585.

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit or call 305-788-7339.

Thunder basketball

Thunder Basketball opened its new year-round facility at ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82th Ave., Doral.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game. It stresses the importance of team and sportsmanship.

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life.

For information visit

Registration is open.

Email or call 786-505-5585.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been raising funds.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School, where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys ages 5 to 16.

Email or call 305 -273-1145.

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

Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind-the-scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 per person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas, including the suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours of 10 to 25 people are available by appointment.

For more information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (Northwest Sixth Street between 14th and 15th avenues) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school) players.

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams, which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, for boys ages 6-18, practices from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101.


Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, is at three Miami-Dade County-owned parks — Tropical Park (7900 Bird Rd.), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127th Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St., Hialeah).

Headed by Soccer 5’s Director of Coaching Development Alan Georgeson, who has more than 15 years of experience in Europe in mini/small-sided soccer, kids 3 to 12 years old will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in “3v3” to “7v7” matches.

The three locations make mini/small-sided soccer available across the county, providing a greater opportunity for children and families to access the proper 4G turf game fields specifically designed for “5v5,” “6v6” and “7v7” games.

With smaller fields, mini soccer is much easier for young children or children who have never played. In addition, mini soccer is designed for competition among teams with fewer players, providing more opportunity for pick-up games, as well as more opportunity to play the ball making mini soccer popular with older players, too.

For more information or to register, visit

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE Second Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at the Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School Biscayne Bay Campus.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.



Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Call Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

Jai-Alai for women

Who said you have to be a male to play jai-alai? Just as females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, women can play it in South Florida at the amateur indoor, air-conditioned fronton at 1935 NE 150 St., North Miami, near FIU’s North Campus.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls are used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls are also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open every day. Email or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).

Submit info to Sports Scene

Sports Scene spotlights news and notes from youth sports activities in your neighborhood. The aim is to feature game notes and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.

We rely on the directors and coaches of each league, as well as community members, parents and schools to submit information. We accept photos but ask that everyone pictured be identified with a first and last name and the name of the team or park they represent.


Youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

Be honored at Miami Heat game

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

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

Include school, grade level and grades or interim report. Each selected academic team player will receive a certificate of achievement, a Heat gift pack, two Heat tickets and will be recognized on the court. Plan accordingly as there are three designated ceremony dates during the regular season (Jan. 19, Feb. 22, March 25), and no make-up dates.

To nominate a Team Player, e-mail Miami Herald Youth Sports Editor Jim Varsallone at or call 305-376-3621.

Winners will be selected by random drawing from nominees who meet the above requirements.

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