Youth Sports

Miami Rowing Club does well at US Youth Championships

The Miami Rowing Club lightweight girls four placed third to earn a bronze medal during the US Youth Rowing Championships in Mercer Lake in New Jersey. With Coach Yohan Uribarri, they are from left, Alexandra Duffy, Haleigh Prindle, Natasha Murcia, Isa de Vengochea and Lisa Ray.
The Miami Rowing Club lightweight girls four placed third to earn a bronze medal during the US Youth Rowing Championships in Mercer Lake in New Jersey. With Coach Yohan Uribarri, they are from left, Alexandra Duffy, Haleigh Prindle, Natasha Murcia, Isa de Vengochea and Lisa Ray.

The US Youth Rowing Championships were in Mercer Lake in New Jersey. With 471 clubs/schools participating, it was the largest youth championship.

The Miami Rowing Club lightweight girls four succeeded for the second consecutive year, finishing third to earn a bronze medal. They are Elizabeth Ray, Isabel de Vengochea, Haleigh Prindle and Alexandra Duffy with Natasha Murcia coxing.

Other MRC crews finishing in the Top 10 were: Anastasia Ray and Gabriella Morrison on the girls lightweight double (seventh) and Viking Mayor and Jacob Sorensen on the boys heavyweight double (eighth).

MRC youth crews continue preparing for the National Club Championships in mid-July in Cincinnati.

MO STEEL basketball

The MO STEEL Basketball Program had three teams in the final four in Florida state tournaments.

The 5th grade boys’ team showed heart and determination in rallying for a late comeback win against the Thunder Elite to place third at the Florida YBOA Boys’ State Tournament in Fort Myers.

The 7th and 8th grade girls’ teams each reached the final four in the USSSA Girls’ State Tournament in Palm Beach Gardens. They were widely regarded as two of the best teams in the state.

The three teams are based at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach.

For information on how to be a part of this travel basketball experience, contact Noah Feldman,

Hall of Fame honoree

The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford Motor Company paid tribute to former Miami Dolphins standout lineman Larry Little at his high school alma mater, Booker T. Washinton High School in Miami, as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer program.

An audience of 500 attended the ceremony at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami. The crowd included his 96-year-old mother, other family members, students, teachers, and the school’s marching band. Also on hand were fellow Hall of Famer Dwight Stephenson and several other Dolphins legends Nat Moore, Eugene Milton, Larry Ball and Mercury Morris.

“To share this occasion with Booker T. Washington gives me a feeling similar to how I felt when I was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Little said.

Hometown Hall of Famer is a national program that honors the hometown roots of the greatest heroes of the game with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.

“I am honored, privileged and humbled to give something back by presenting the Hometown Hall of Famer plaque to Booker T. Washington High School, that will stay with the school forever and for Booker T. Washington High School to become the 102nd to become an official high school of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Little aid after being presented with the plaque by his friend Roberta Daniels.

“Let me say how proud Ford is to participate in Larry Little’s return to his hometown. Ford and the Pro Football Hall of Fame share a commitment to excellence and an appreciation for legacies,” said Patrick O’Neill, Regional Manager of Sales and Service for Ford Motor Company Miami.

It marked the 102nd Hometown Hall of Famer ceremony.

Little signed as a free agent with the San Diego Chargers in 1967 and was traded two years later to the Miami Dolphins. Little immediately won the starting right guard job and was the epitome of a powerful Dolphins rushing game of the 1970s. He was All-Pro six years, a five-time Pro Bowl pick and a three-time NFLPA pick as AFC Offensive Lineman of Year. Little started in three Super Bowls, winning two, and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

For more information about the Pro Football Hall of Fame, visit; @ProFootballHOF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Columbus sports

The Columbus High School Explorers celebrated several athletes signing their letters of intent to play college athletics.

Baseball: (Alex Acevedo-Loyola Univ. New Orleans). Football: (Daniel Courtney-Univ. of Colorado, Kevin Householder-John Carroll Univ. Ohio, Nick John-Milford Academy N.Y., Anthony Lopez-Adrian College Mich., Eddy Pozo-Kenyon College Ohio, Alex Ros-Catholic Univ. Washington D.C., Julian Williams-Wesminster College Pa.). Track/Cross-Country: (Danny Areces-Florida International Univ., Humberto Freire-Florida State Univ.). Swimming: (Alex Sejas-Rollins College).


Antonio Justo of Miami Shores was seventh at 6-over par at the Future Masters in Dothan, Ala.

Justo competed with 40 other golfers in the 10-and-younger tournament field, shooting 40 and 36, respectively. By placing in the Top 10, he made the winner’s circle.

Since its inception in 1950, the tournament is one of the most traditionally rich junior tournaments in the world and has become a proving ground for future PGA Champions.

Justo, 10, was the tour champion of the Spring Tour for the First Tee Miami-Dade 2016. He’s also been the US Kids Golf Miami Summer Tour Series Champion. He finished in the Top 5 in US Kids golf regional events and placed 13th of 140 entrants in US Kids Golf World Championships last summer in Pinehurst, N.C.

Justo was introduced to golf at age 5 by the Dapper Adonis Golf Pro, Al Besselink, the winner of the first Tournament of Champions in 1953. He trains under golf pro coach, Ricardo Ronderos, at Miami Shores Country Club and will be attend Miami Country Day School in the fall.

Barry golf

Barry University men's golf coach Jimmy Stobs announced the signing of Mattias Wettergren of Biscayne Park.

Wettergren, a graduate of Monsignor Pace High School in Miami, shot 74-76 -- 150 to tie for seventh at a Florida Junior Tour event at Duran Golf Club in Viera. He tied for 21st at a FJT event at Timacuan Golf & Country Club in Lake Mary. He tied for 22nd at another FJT event at Old Corkscrew Golf Club in Estero.

“Mattias has only been playing golf a few years,” Stobs said. “He has a strong work ethic and natural talent.”

Wettergren's father, Jan, is a Barry graduate.

The Bucs, who tied for fifth in the country at the NCAA Division II Championships, will begin the fall season in September.

Dolphins Cancer Challenge

The Miami Dolphins announced the Dolphins Cancer Challenge VI raised $5,064,381 for innovative cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, bringing the event’s six-year total to more than $16 million.

“Cancer impacts us all and we at the Miami Dolphins are committed to fighting this disease at every turn,” Miami Dolphins President & CEO and DCC Chair Tom Garfinkel said. “With the expansion of this year’s Dolphins Cancer Challenge to include two new Fall Family Fests, a concert and golf tournament, we were able to give Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center our biggest donation yet in our fight against cancer.”

Started in 2010 by the Miami Dolphins as the signature initiative of the Miami Dolphins Foundation’s health pillar, the DCC is dedicated to improving people’s lives through the financial support of innovative cancer research at Sylvester.

“We are so grateful to the Dolphins organization and to every rider, walker, runner and fundraiser for continuing to support groundbreaking cancer research at Sylvester,” Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., said. “On behalf of our team of more than 250 cancer specialists and researchers at Sylvester – and our cancer patients and their families – thank you! It is a truly remarkable achievement as every dollar raised has a tangible impact on cancer research and advancing precision cancer care at Sylvester.”

DCC funds are used to support truly innovative research, helping recruit and retain some of the world’s best minds in cancer research and care and investing in cutting-edge technologies to bring the latest in discoveries for detection, diagnosis and treatment to cancer patients in South Florida and beyond. In just six years, more than $16 million dollars has gone to fund research that leads to more effective targeted therapies for each patient’s cancer, including:

Precision medicine – discovering, developing and delivering the next generation of precision cancer medicine.

Immunotherapies – investing in the fast-growing field of cancer immunotherapies that boost the patient’s own immune system to attack and eradicate cancer cells.

Clinical trials – offering the latest clinical cancer trials to patients, allowing them to receive some of the most promising new therapies targeting the drivers of their particular cancers.

Radiation oncology research – developing new ways to more precisely deliver radiation therapy in a variety of cancers, concentrating the dosage on cancer cells and leaving healthy tissue unaffected.

Cancer diagnostics – investing in the newest technologies and best talent to better understand each individual’s cancer and its genetic drivers.

About Dolphins Cancer Challenge

The Dolphins Cancer Challenge (DCC) was founded in 2010 by the Miami Dolphins organization as the signature initiative of the Foundation’s health pillar. In part inspired by Dolphins alumnus and long-time radio voice Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich’s courageous battle with cancer, the DCC’s mission is to improve people’s lives through financial support for innovative cancer research at South Florida’s only academic-based cancer center – Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami.

Since its inception, the DCC has raised more than $16 million, donating 100 percent of participant-raised funds to Sylvester. For additional information, call 305-943-6799 or visit www. DCC can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TackleCancer.

Barry tennis

Barry University assistant men's tennis coach Fred Bonal is hosting a tennis camp through the end of July at Buccaneer Tennis Center.

The camp is open to girls and boys, age 6-18. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. The camp includes drills, competition and training tactics.

Bonal completed his fourth year as assistant coach of the Buccaneers. He helped lead the Bucs to a 29-0 record and NCAA Division II National Championship in 2013. Bonal helped guide the Bucs to a 26-0 record and national title in 2015.

During his time at Barry, he’s helped mentor eight All-Americans.

For more details or to sign up for the camp, call Bonal at 954-292-4156.

More events, leagues, programs


The countdown to summer is on, and the city of North Miami is providing a fresh way to cool off with free swim lessons at the Thomas Sasso Pool & Playground, 1100 NW 125 St.

North Miami residents, age 3 and older, can register for beginner, intermediate and advanced swim lessons at no cost. Classes will be administered on a first come, first serve basis. Residents may register for one free session. Space is limited. To register, visit the Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Office at 12300 NE 8 Ave. in North Miami, 33161.

For more information about swimming lessons, summer camps and programs offered in the city of North Miami for residents and non-residents call 305-895-9840 or view the 2016 Summer Program Guide online at


USTA Florida will be hosting four Development Camps for Diverse Backgrounds in 2016 in different areas of the state, for junior tennis players, age 12-18, who are currently participating in USTA tournaments, are looking to improve their game and learn about college scholarship opportunities and the latest in sports science and physical training.

“This will be the second year we are hosting more than one Diversity Camp to give more players around the state the opportunity to participate in this great learning experience,” said USTA Florida Player Development Coordinator Andy Gladstone. “The more players we can impact through the camps, the better it is for our sport and for the participants to improve in areas such as match play, strategy, and learning the amazing experiences they can have as college players.”

Pros and college stand-outs that have attended USTA Florida Diversity Camps in the past include Sloane Stephens, Victoria Duval, Sachia Vickery, and former University of Florida star Sekou Bangoura.

The cost for the one-day camp is $50. The fee includes drills, match play, a camp t-shirt, classroom improvement sessions for parents and players, and lunch.

South Florida - Oct. 29

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

William H. Kerdyk Biltmore Tennis Center

1150 Anastasia Ave.

Coral Gables 33134

To register visit:


For more information visit:

Warrior Basketball

The Warrior Basketball Pre-Travel Team Program in Miami is intense training for boys and girls, age 8-15, to prepare athletes for a travel team level.

The athletes will train two times a week in a two-hour practice. To gain experience, scrimmages will be set up, and tournament like situations will slowly be introduced to the team.

Practice days are Wednesdays, Fridays and/or Sundays. Kids will receive a Warrior basketball jersey and shorts.

Call 305-777-7077.

SSAC sports

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

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 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.

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. 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.

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

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.


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.

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 for academics, sportsmanship at Miami Marlins game

In an effort to recognize deserving South Florida youth baseball and softball players for doing well in school and displaying sportsmanship on the diamond, the Miami Marlins have once again partnered with The Miami Herald to co-sponsor the Team Player spotlight on the Sunday Youth Sports pages in the Neighbors section of The Miami Herald in print and online.

Youth league coaches, team representatives, teachers, friends or family members can nominate youth baseball or softball players, who display sportsmanship and good grades or academic improvements. Eligible nominees are from the recreational in-house league, travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school aged) from any season of the year.

Honored players – selected by random drawing – will be invited to a Marlins game where they will receive a certificate of achievement and a Marlins item during a recognition ceremony at Marlins Park.

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