Jack Dillon (Aventura Charter School), Ariel Fishman (Hochberg Prep), Brian Orosa (Devon Aire K-8 Center), Amanda Ramos (Pinecrest Preparatory) and Anise Wooten (Cushman School) were honored on the court as the Miami Heat/Miami Herald January Academic/Sportsmanship Team Players in conjunction with Gatorade at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Youth league coaches, team reps, school coaches, administrators, teachers and family members nominated South Florida recreational, travel league, elementary school, middle school or junior varsity basketball players who exhibit sportsmanship and display good grades or improvement in the classroom.
They were congratulated by Miami Heat forwards Luol Deng and Gerald Green during warm-ups before the Heat's game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Miami Heat star guard Dwyane Wade made a surprise quick visit at the end of the ceremony on the court.
Each honoree received two game tickets, a Heat T-shirt, an award certificate.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
About the honorees
Acknowledged by his teacher, Jack Dillon, 11, is a sixth grader at the Aventura Charter School. In his first quarter as a middle school student with seven teachers, he balanced his school workload with playing not only for his school’s ACES flag football team, but also a JCC recreational basketball team (Wildcats) and a travel basketball team (Miami Lightning). With all that, he still managed to attain all A’s and one B in the first quarter.
Stacy Mogull, gifted language arts teacher at Aventura Charter School, said: “Jack is an asset to any classroom. He critically thinks about a topic given and can provide evidence to support his reasoning. In addition, because he absorbs constructive criticism and feedback so well, he consistently makes progress to excel at a given task.”
Nominated by the school’s athletic director, Ariel Fishman, 14, is an eighth grader at Hochberg Prep. She stars on the school’s basketball team where she is the team captain. Away from school, she is a starter on Mo Steel travel basketball team at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach.
Andy Degen, head coach of the Hochberg Prep girls’ basketball team, said: “Ariel is a true leader as a captain and a senior. She was injured for most of our basketball season this year but came to every practice and helped coach some of our younger and beginner players.”
Her assistance, leadership and play helped Hochberg Prep win the IAL Tri County Championship for the second consecutive season. She also led the school’s volleyball team and is one of the school’s top soccer players.
Nominated by his former teacher, Brian Orosa, 13, is an eighth grader at Devon Aire K-8 School. He is doing well in the classroom, earning four A’s and two B’s.
Julie Hardy, intensive math teacher at Devon Aire K-8, said: “Brian was one of my students last year who went from a Low Level 2 on the FCAT to the 93rd percentile on the FSA State test that was recently released. He is an excellent student, athlete and person overall. He strives to be a role model in the classroom and on the basketball court. He is health conscious, making sure he eats well and exercises as much as he can. He is the best student that I would ever recommend for this award.”
Nominated by her former teacher, Amanda Ramos, 12, is a seventh grader at Pinecrest Preparatory Middle School.
Larry DeSario, physical education teacher at Claude Pepper Elementary School, said: “I had Amanda in my class from the second grade thru the fifth. Even at a young age Amanda had a passion for the sport of basketball. Amanda represented our school in the Elks Hoop Shoot competition. The Elks Hoop Shoot is the largest youth tournament in the nation. Amanda garnered numerous awards in local competitions. She also ran on the school's cross-country team.
“Presently, Amanda plays on her new school's basketball team. Amanda always had a basketball in her hand, and she developed extraordinary ball skills. Her ability to spin a ball on her finger was uncanny. Even at a young age, she could do this to a degree of profound capacity. Overall, she was a pleasure to have in class.”
Nominated by her school, Anise Wooten, 13, is an eighth grader at the Cushman School. She competes on the school’s girls’ varsity basketball team. She plays all sports for the school and is a straight A student.
Pablo Gentile, director of athletics at Cushman School, said: “Anise has been a model student-athlete for the past four years. She has excelled in basketball, volleyball and track . Her work ethic, character and dedication to excellence in the classroom as much as out on the field is worthy of recognition. Cushman is honored to have Anise represent what we stand for in terms of a well rounded, determined individual striving to do their personal best.”
The Miami Midnites earned their 13th victory of the ABA season after defeating the Native Pride 143-101 at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie.
Miami was paced by former Florida Memorial University and Miami Northwestern High School guard George Gray who had 27 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Power forward Antonio Hester notched his 12th double-double of the season on 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Jonathan Ocasio came off the bench to score 18 points with seven rebounds.
The Midnites (13-3) shot 55.9 percent (61-of-109) from the field and blocked nine shots.
About Miami Midnites
The Miami Midnites, established in 2014, are the official Minor League affiliate of the reining Israeli Basketball Super League runner-up and 2012-13 champions Maccabi Haifa basketball team.
In their first season of existence, the Miami Midnites won the 2014 and 2015 Florida Basketball Association championships and finished as the 2015 ABA runner-up. The Midnites compete year-round, playing their home games at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie.
For information on the Miami Midnites, visit the team's official website at
Riviera Prep basketball
After amassing an impressive 20-1 record, the Riviera Preparatory School boys’ basketball team won the South Florida Middle School Conference Championship at Westminster Christian School.
David Perez and Frank Gore Jr. played exceptionally well leading the team to a 50-45 win in the finals against Cushman. Perez was named tournament MVP, and Gore made the All Tournament team. The team was led by coaches Gardy Brun and John Pierre.
Highland Oaks track
The Highland Oaks Middle School girls’ track team won its third consecutive meet as the Panthers bested 16 other teams to win the Larry Wooten Invitational at Ferguson Sr. High.
Jadae Joseph was named the meet's top female athlete by winning the triple jump and finishing second in the long jump. Captain Vashti Claybrook also had an outstanding performance by winning the 200-meter dash and taking second in the 400. Jada Joseph was second in the high jump and fifth in the 100.
Amaya Strange was fourth in the 400 and fifth in the 200. Jadae Barrett was fourth in the discus and seventh in the 800. Paris Baker finished sixth in the 100. Jada Saint-Louis placed seventh in the 1,600-meter run. The 1,600 relay (Destiny Desrivieres, Jadae Joseph, Baker, Claybrook) was first. The 3,200 relay (Saint-Louis, Desrivieres, Anissa Lespinase-Casimir, Barrett) was runner-up, and the 400 relay (Jada Joseph, Jadae Joseph, Annika Grosfeld, Kyara Walters) was third.
The boys’ team was third of 16 teams. Ghana Oboh was second in the shot put, fifth in the 200 and seventh in the 100. Kemani Brown was third in the triple jump, fourth in the 400 and seventh in the high jump.
Ezekiel Figueroa was fourth in the shot and sixth in the discus. Giovanny Davis placed fourth in the discus. Bradley Mesa took third in the triple jump, and Cawa Fernades was fifth in the long jump. Julian Davis was sixth in the 400, and Bryan Darucaud was eighth in the 200. The boys 400 relay (Deandre Rcihards, Darucaud, Julian Davis, and Oboh) and the 1,600 relay (Maleek Saint Louis, Giovanny Davis, Julian Davis, Brown) were fifth. The 3,200 relay (Zachary Henry, Braxton Lee, Saint-Louis, Elliot Keaton) finished seventh.
Monsignor Edward Pace High School was recently named to the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll by the NFL.
The NFL presented the school and its principal, Ana Garcia, with a commemorative Golden Football in honor of Pace Class of 2009 alum Kayvon Webster, who played with the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48 and Super Bowl 50.
The Super High School Honor Roll was created to mark the 50th Super Bowl and to recognize high schools that aided in the development of NFL players who were a part of an active roster in a past Super Bowl.
As part of being honored by the NFL, Pace will received an NFL Character Education Curriculum and are eligible to apply for grants from the NFL Foundation to help with its football program.
Kendall Hammocks NFL flag football
The Kendall Hammocks NFL Flag Football program announces the registrations dates and times for the upcoming season.
Registration is open to boys and girls, age 5-16. Can not turn 17 in 2016. Copy of birth certificate is requested for age verification only during the registration process.
No weight requirements for Flag. Teams are based by age only. Regular season is 12 games with season running April 25-June 25.
Fee includes NFL Flag Jersey, flag belts, secondary insurance, participation trophy and referee cost.
Registration: Feb. 12 (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.); Feb. 20 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.); March 4 (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.); March 19 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.).
Tryouts and draft will be Sunday, April 17.
Registrations, practices and games are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave., Kendall.
Discounted rates for head coaches.
The NFL Flag football program is under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks and is an all volunteer organization, serving the community in sports for more than 28 years.
Miami Country Day sports
Miami Country Day School: Middle School Female Athlete of the Week: Jordan Fishman (basketball) combined for 26 points, 14 steals, eight assists in leading her team to the South Florida Middle School Championship. She was also named Tournament MVP and helped her Spartans team finish undefeated at 20-0.
Middle School Male Athlete of the Week: Noah Markofsky (basketball) was named to the South Florida Middle School All-Conference Team, leading the Spartans with seven points and 11 rebounds against Riviera Prep.
Upper School Female Athlete of the Week: Marsha Edwards (basketball) combined for 19 points and 13 rebounds in wins against Monteverde Academy and Doctors Charter.
Upper School Male Athlete of the Week: Corey Friedman (basketball) had 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals to lead the Spartans to an exciting 67-65 win over Calvary Christian.
Archbishop Curley sports
Coach Greg Magner, athletic director at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep, announced the school’s Athletes of the Week.
Female Athlete of the Week: Senior Ashley Savain, a guard on the girls’ basketball team, scored a career high of 27 points in her last home game. Her performance guided the Knights to a victory over Somerset Charter and concluded a successful regular season at 12-6.
Male Athlete of the Week: Senior David Anilus, a point guard on the boys’ basketball team, averaged 18 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. His 24-point scoring effort against Doctor's Charter propelled the Knights to an impressive 20-point victory.
Miami Marathon and Half Marathon
The Miami Marathon And Half Marathon featured a diverse field of nearly 24,000 runners from all 50 states and 81 countries including nearly 1,000 from Colombia.
They enjoyed the tropical views in brisk conditions offered by a unique course and a rare cold spell that brought temperatures down to a race-record low 46 degrees for the 6 a.m. start outside the AmericanAirlines Arena.
The runners found a challenge in a subtle change necessitated by construction closings on the Venetian Causeway that connects Miami Beach with the mainland. As they have for the past 13 years, runners negotiated the MacArthur Causeway bridge on their way to Miami Beach as the first part of their journey. But on Sunday they also returned to the mainland via the MacArthur with the additional inclines providing a fresh challenge between miles 7 and 10.
The course then wound south through the lush Coconut Grove community before heading north through the Brickell Avenue financial district on the way to the finish line in front of Bayfront Park and the gleaming high rise buildings of downtown Miami.
Top local finishers: Marathon: Men: 7. Jimmy Calero, Miami, 2:44:02; 10. Robert Forte, Miami, 2:47:54; 12. Sergio Fernandez, Miami, 2:49:23; 24. Freddy Soto, Miami, 2:57:40; 25. Jose F Gonzalez, Miami, 2:58:09; 27. Ignacio Lopez-Mancisidor, Key Biscayne, 2:58:33. Women: 7. Sonia Manrique, Miami, 3:07:11; 10. Joyce Silveira, Miami, 3:08:52; 12. Mariajose Arias, Homestead, 3:12:46; 14. Renee Humphreys Zike, Miami, 3:14:57; 15. Kaile Stewart, Miami, 3:17:53; 19. Carolina Ponce, Miami, 3:23:44.
Half Marathon: Men: 8. Ethan Clary, Miami, 1:10:32; 14. Norbert Gutierrez, Hialeah, FL, 1:13:26; 15. Elliott Mason, Miami, 1:13:33; 16. Bryan Huberty, Miami Beach, 1:13:40; 17. Scott Byers, Miami, 1:14:02; 19. Russell Baker, North Miami Beach, 1:14:22. Women: 10. Jennifer Coyle, Miami, 1:25:47; 13. Emilie Ney, Miami Beach, 1:27:55; 15. Ana Villegas, Miami, 1:28:53; 16. Kenya Goncalves, North Miami Beach, 1:28:56; 18. Stephanie Godfrey, Hialeah, 1:29:32; 21. Larisa Sidorovich, Miami, 1:29:45; 22. Rachelle Ginsberg, Miami, 1:29:47; 23. Nathaly Mogollon, Miami, 1:30:00; 29. Guadalupe Merlos, Miami, 1:31:13; 30. Theresa Ascheman, Miami, 1:31:28.
About the Miami Marathon
The Miami Marathon is Florida's elite distance race weekend with over 24,000 runners representing all 50 states and more than 81 countries converging on Miami and South Beach to experience one of the most unique courses in the world. The race has come a long way since 3,400 runners participated in the first Miami Marathon in 2003.
Participants include elite runners, top age-group competitors, and many thousands who run for charity and to achieve their own personal goals. Together they enjoy the tropical views and the sounds of South Florida, with a diverse array of entertainment blended into the experience, and generate more than $50 million in total economic impact for the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County. http://www.themiamimarathon.com
Katerina Stewart of Coral Gables reached the semifinals of the Saddlebrook USTA Pro Circuit Women’s $25,000 tennis event. She was seeded second.
The Legends for Youth Kids Clinics, presented by Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, is a free youth clinic conducted by former Major League Baseball players at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 at Theodore Gibson Park, 401 NW 12th St., Miami, 33128.
The MLB legends will teach fundamentals of the game and life skills.
Click here to register.
Online registration will be limited to the first 200 respondents. Age range for participants is 6-16 (boys and girls). Confirmation will occur via email within 48 hours after registration information is received.
Legends for Youth Clinic Series
Legends for Youth is a charitable program running more than 85 free events a year nationwide, with the mission of promoting the game of baseball to America's youth using positive sports images and personalities.
Danny Berry/Kendall Little League
Danny Berry/Kendall Little League seeks players, age 11-12, to compete in Kendall Little League. The top 14 players will represent Kendall Little League and work toward qualifying for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Players must be evaluated at 10 a.m. Sunday Feb. 7 at the Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center Ballfields, 11155 SW 112 Ave. Games are 10 a.m. or noon Sundays only. No practice.
Players must live in Kendall Little Leagues boundaries (South to 184 Street, North to 8 Street, West to Krome Avenue and East to the water)
For information call Danny Berry at 305-281-0961.
Suniland Sports Camp
The Suniland Sundevils Sports Conditioning Camp is Feb. 7-May 29 at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy.
The fee is $75 for boys and girls, age 5-15. That Includes:T-shirt, awards and secondary insurance.
Registration open 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For information, contact Jose Regalado 305-458-1966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More events, leagues, programs
Gridiron Cooking Challenge
The Dairy Council of Florida is hosting its third annual Gridiron Cooking Challenge, a fun-filled food competition for elementary and middle school students throughout Florida.
The initiative is created and supported by the Florida Dairy Farmers and is part of Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council and NFL to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.
Elementary and middle school students in groups of four are encouraged to create and submit an original recipe that features dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 29.
The top four student teams in each Florida NFL market – represented by the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars – will compete for the grand prize at the Gridiron Cooking Challenge as they create their recipe on-site in under 60 minutes. The students’ creations will be judged by a select group of distinguished professionals including NFL players, local celebrity chefs, Florida Dairy Farmers and Fuel Up to Play 60 student ambassadors.
The winning team in each NFL market will receive a prize pack for their school valued at up to $2,500. Each student on the team will receive an iPad mini 2, among other prizes.
“The Gridiron Cooking Challenge was developed to highlight the health benefits of dairy products and to emphasize the importance of an active lifestyle,” said Vanessa Hodak, VP School Health & Wellness for the Dairy Council of Florida. “Each year, we look forward to reviewing the recipes submitted and interacting with the students during the competitions in Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville.”
Recipe entry forms can be found on the Florida Dairy Farmers website and can be submitted via mail or email.
For more information, visit
Miami-Dade County Fair sports
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition has released the schedule for its 2016 winter-spring middle school sports invitational meets.
The middle school golf and tennis invitational meets will occur at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County in April.
Students competing in the tournaments must be officially enrolled in the school they are representing. If a school is not represented at a Youth Fair sports activity, parents may enter their children with written approval from the school principal.
Golf - Briar Bay Golf Course: Wednesday, April 6 at 10 a.m.
Tennis - Tropical Tennis Center: Saturday, April 9 at 8:30 a.m.
or call 305-223-7060.
Miami-Dade Fair sports
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition has released the schedule for its 2016 winter-spring middle school sports invitational meets.
The middle school golf and tennis tournaments are in April. All events will occur at various locations throughout Miami-Dade County.
The Middle School Golf Invitational is 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 6 at the Briar Bay Golf Course, 9373 SW 134th St., in Miami. The nine-hole tournament will accept a four-player team or a maximum of four individuals.
Matches for the 2016 tennis invitational begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9 at the Tropical Tennis Center, 7900 SW 40 St., in Miami. Team entries must include one boys’ team and one girls’ team for singles competition, one co-ed doubles team, one girls’ doubles team and one boys’ doubles team. Individual competitors are permitted to enter in one event only.
Students competing in the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and Exposition sports program must be officially enrolled in the school they are representing. If a school is not represented at a Youth Fair sports activity, parents may enter their children with written approval from the school principal.
Participants must complete a school certified field trip form and be accompanied by a school coach or a school approved chaperone. All Miami-Dade County Youth Fair activities within the department of athletics will be held in accordance with the official rules of the National Federation of State High School Association, Florida High School Activities Association and G.M.A.C. All events are open to students in grades 6-8. Middle school students who participate on high school teams are not allowed to participate in these events.
The Youth Fair and the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department work together to promote a year-round athletic program. Annually, there are more than 6,000 public and private school students who participate in the various sporting events: swimming and diving, cross country, tennis, track, golf, bowling, wrestling and badminton. The events are open to middle and high school students.
The Miami-Dade County Youth Fair & Exposition (The Youth Fair) is the largest charity event in South Florida. The not-for-profit association is dedicated to promoting education and agriculture while showcasing and rewarding youth achievement and providing quality family entertainment, all without taxpayer dollars.
The annual Youth Fair exhibits more than 53,000 student projects to more than 650,000 Youth Fair guests and awards more than $300,000 annually in college scholarships, cash premiums and awards to students. To date, The Youth Fair has presented well above $10 million to the Miami-Dade community. It was recognized in 2015 as the Leisure & Entertainment Services Firm of the Year by the Latin Builder's Association, the Non-Profit Organization of the Year by the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and was the Diamond Award Winner for Outstanding Hospitality Entity by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.
The Fair Exposition Center, which is the second largest convention center in Miami-Dade County, hosts an additional 70 community events each year.
or call 305-223-7060.
Panthers hockey clinics
The Florida Panthers announced as part of promoting youth hockey in South Florida, they are holding “Try Hockey for Free” clinics in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
Try Hockey for Free clinics are at the Florida Panthers IceDen (Broward County), Palm Beach Skate Zone and Palm Beach Ice Works (Palm Beach County) and Kendall Ice Arena (Miami-Dade County). Boys and girls, age 4-9, are encouraged to learn the game of hockey for the first time free of charge. All equipment including skates will be provided.
To register for one of the clinics or for information, visit
The schedule includes:
Kendall Ice Arena, 10355 Hammocks Blvd., Miami, 33196.
March 6: Noon-2 p.m. March 13: Noon-1 p.m. March 20: Noon-1 p.m. March 26: 1-2 p.m. April 10: Noon-1 p.m.
The Sunshine State Athletic Conference, a multiple sport athletic organization made up of 35 private and charter schools created in 2008, announced that two additional sporting opportunities are being introduced for the 2016-17 school year.
SSAC currently offers four sports, including football and basketball at the middle and high school levels, but in keeping with its pledge to student-athletes and their families, the conference will grow to offer a second football classification and the formation of girls’ beach volleyball.
The second football classification of a Developmental Football League, debuting next fall, will provide member schools that are starting, growing or rebuilding programs with a competitive, but level, playing field in which to compete. This will not replace nor negate the highly successful championship Florida Bowl Series but will instead compliment all football programs and schools in the SSAC. The only criteria for schools to participate in the new Developmental Football League is for teams to have less than 23 players, and the championship Florida Bowl Series will be open to them, if they desire to participate.
The second addition to SSAC athletics is an exciting opportunity that perfectly captures the spirit of Florida’s athletic environment. Starting in spring of 2017, the SSAC will debut girls’ beach volleyball. This up-and-coming sport is quickly spreading around the nation and will undoubtedly be a natural fit for Florida student-athletes. This addition will help build exposure and opportunity for female student-athletes and will add value to SSAC’s independent athletic conference.
“Including girls’ beach volleyball was a decision that just made sense; it only requires a few players and we are blessed with an abundance of sun and sand,” said Stuart Weiss, president of Sunshine State Athletics Conference. “We believe that by adding these two new opportunities for Florida high schools, we are continuing to provide more choice and control to our partner schools addressing the need for a level playing field in high school athletics.”
Visit the SSAC website at
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
The FIU baseball program announced that former Major League pitcher and current Detroit Tigers color commentator Jack Morris will serve as the featured speaker at the annual Diamond Dinner on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Graham Center Ballroom.
Morris -- who played for the Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians -- was a five-time all-star and four-time World Series Champion during his 18-year career.
Tickets to the Diamond Dinner cost $120 for an individual and $1,200 for a table of 10.
For information on the Diamond Dinner, contact Carla Garcia by email at email@example.com or phone at 305-348-7297.
Fans can follow the Panthers on Twitter (@FIUBaseball) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUBaseball) for all the latest FIU Baseball news. Follow all of FIU's 18 athletic teams on Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUSports), YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).
Join new Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly and 2003 World Series Champion Jack McKeon at the third annual Jack McKeon Celebrity Golf Classic on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne.
Enjoy a day on the links with your favorite Marlins players, coaches and alumni. Guests will participate in a variety of hole contests, a silent auction, enjoy various food and cocktail stations, and win great prizes throughout the day.
Learn more at:
Proceeds from the third annual Jack McKeon Celebrity Golf Classic will benefit the Marlins Foundation.
Pitch, Hit & Run
Scotts Major League Baseball Pitch Hit & Run is a free, exciting skills event providing boys and girls the opportunity to compete in four levels of competition including Team Championship events at all 30 Major League ballparks and the National Finals at the MLB All-Star Game.
To host a local competition for your community and be involved in the official skills competition of Major League Baseball, go to
North Miami Beach baseball
North Miami Beach Little League is a sound organization run by volunteers to help keep children off the streets and on the fields.
Registration is open for boys and girls, age 4-14. Scholarships are available.
For information go to www.NMBLL.org.
Gifts in Golf
PGA Certified Pro Philip Argianas, program director of GIG-Gifts In Golf, is proud to bring his expertise to special people with special needs to Coral Gables.
GIG programing -- like Golfing with Autism and Kids Swing Into Golf -- enrich the quality of life for families in the community.
Coach Phil said in a release: “Our fun programing impacts kids by teaching them life skills while providing physical and mental training through learning the game of golf.”
For information about registration including schedules and release forms, go to GIG’s website
To volunteer or for any other questions on the Autism and Down syndrome golf programs, call Coach Phil at 888-909-5709, check the website http://www.giftsingolf.org and Facebook page for updates.
GIG was founded in 2009 and has been serving several communities in Miami-Dade County. The organization provides fun instruction and mentoring while empowering special people with special needs. Integrating families and community, it provides all the benefits that golfing delivers with a focus on a person’s ability.
Florida continues a new era of tennis development for tournament players, age 10 and younger, with the introduction of the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway, a graduated development path with established benchmarks at each level to guide parents and coaches through junior tennis.
From beginning “red ball” play on 36-foot courts, youth progress through “orange ball” and “green ball” at various tournament levels before graduating to full-court “yellow ball” tennis. Each level contains appropriate kids-sized racquets, balls and court sizes, along with participation or achievement benchmarks to progress between age groups or tournament levels.
The Pathway contains a “Grandfather Clause” for players that turn age 11 during 2015 who currently have the skill set to play full-court yellow ball tournaments.
The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway roll-out is in partnership with the USPTA-Florida Division (United States Professional Teaching Association) and PTR (Professional Tennis Registry), the two largest tennis teaching professional certifying organizations in the U.S.
The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was also developed with solicited input from coaches and parents throughout Florida.
The red, orange and green ball levels correspond on the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway with tournaments beginning at Level 9 (beginner) up to the start of advanced tournaments at Level 6 and higher.
The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was recently implemented in Florida tournaments.
For information on the Pathway, go to www.USTAFlorida.com/10UPathway
USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a landmark three-way agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide more tennis playing opportunities to athletes in Florida.
The formal agreement builds on the existing support that USTA Florida and its charitable arm have provided to local Special Olympics programs by offering free 10 and Under Tennis workshops, grants and other resources to providers that offer tennis programs to Special Olympics athletes.
Likewise, Special Olympics Florida will encourage their athletes to participate in USTA Florida programs and events.
To get a program started, Special Olympics coaches may apply for a USTA Florida Section Foundation equipment grant for adaptive tennis equipment and other program needs by contacting Jessica Flynn at Special Olympics Florida.
For additional training opportunities and training resources, contact Linda Curtis at the USTA Florida Section Foundation at www.USTAFloridaFoundation.com.
Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.