Youth Sports

Kogeki Dojo members shine at USA Karate National Championships

Cesar Leon, Camila Santaella, Sensei Jose Santaella, Bryce Joseph and Blake Joseph of Kogeki Dojo in Miami Shores were outstanding in Pittsburgh at the USA Karate National Championships and Team Trials for the World Games and Pan-American Games.
Cesar Leon, Camila Santaella, Sensei Jose Santaella, Bryce Joseph and Blake Joseph of Kogeki Dojo in Miami Shores were outstanding in Pittsburgh at the USA Karate National Championships and Team Trials for the World Games and Pan-American Games.

Members of Kogeki Dojo in Miami Shores competed in the most important karate competition in the country -- USA Karate National Championships and Team Trials for the World Games and Pan-American Games.

Four athletes from Miami achieved excellent results in Pittsburgh, combining for six medals (two gold, two silver, two bronze).

Camila Santaella won silver in the 8-year-old intermediate kata (individual form) division and bronze in kumite (sparring). This is the third consecutive year that this local hero makes it to the podium at nationals. Last year she won gold (kata) and bronze (kumite), and in 2014, she conquered gold (kata) and silver (kumite) at nationals in Reno, Nevada. She also won gold (kata) at the USA Open and the International Cup in Las Vegas in 2015.

Blake Joseph, 8, won two gold medals (kata and kumite). He won double gold last year as well. In the boys’ 7-year-old category, Cesar Leon took bronze in kata, and Bryce Joseph, 4, won silver in kata.

The tournament is organized by the USA National Karate Do Federation, the national governing body of karate for the United

States Olympic Committee. More than 1,500 athletes from throughout the country participated in an amazing showcase of first class martial arts.

Karate was recently voted by the IOC in Rio de Janeiro to be part of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“This is a terrific result for our Miami Shores dojo,” said Sensei Jose Santaella, chief instructor at Kogeki Dojo. “I am proud of my students for their amazing performance at the most prestigious karate event in the USA. It sets our kids well for other local, national and international tournaments...I hope that this team will inspire many more kids to represent our community in future events.”

About the Kogeki Dojo

Established in Miami Shores in 2013, Kogeki Karate is a family-owned and operated raditional Shotokan karate-Do academy. Kogeki Karate teaches students of all ages from 3-years-old and older. They also train referees and coaches.

Kogeki Karate participates in local, statewide, national and international competitions. The program is taught in a safe and controlled environment with the discipline and philosophy of Traditional Martial Arts. Chief Instructor Jose Santaella, a fifth Dan Black Belt, teaches Japanese karate, self-defense, conditioning, and traditional weapons. Sensei Santaella has more than 30 years experience. He is a three-time USA National Champion, a Pan-American Karate Federation (PKF) Judge and USA National Referee.

For information, Kogeki Karate School, 9717 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores, 33138. Call 786-332-4596. Email:

Palmetto softball

Palmetto High School varsity softball player Hannah Burge of Palmetto Bay joined the U19 British Junior International softball team for the summer.

With Team GB (Great Britain), she played in three tournaments -- two in London and one in Barcelona, Spain, where she helped the team win gold in the European Junior Softball Championships.

She is entering her junior year at Palmetto High School. She was team Rookie of the Year her freshman year and team MVP her sophomore year.

Florida Collegiate Summer League

Miami’s Sergio Lopez of the Sanford River Rats was named to the Florida Collegiate Summer League All-Florida League Team.

For the first time in league history, the FCSL has recognized the top players as voted by the league head coaches and staff, basing nominations off exemplary performance on the field.

The team consists of one player from each infield position, three outfielders, a designated hitter, three starting pitchers and two relief pitchers. Lopez was one of the outfielders chosen for the FCSL All-Florida League Team.

The MVP of the FCSL All-Star Game, Lopez is an outfielder for Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. The 6-0, 235-pound, right-hander is a graduate of South Dade High School.

CrossFit Championship

Shawn Ramirez of Kendall celebrated winning the Reebok CrossFit Masters Championship with Good2Go meals and photos with Sergio’s Restaurants’ mascot Lola La Flaca at Sergio’s Doral location.

Lola La Flaca is the cartoon brand ambassador for Sergio's La Flaca Menu, promoting healthy meals and lifestyle to prevent heart disease.

Ramirez - known as The Ram - won the national CrossFit competition in 2014 and 2015, but after a major injury in November, doctors told him a third win wasn’t possible. With his incredible support system, healthy diet and physical therapy, the 42-year-old father of three is honored to be a CrossFit masters champion once again.

Carlos Gazitua, CEO of Sergio’s Restaurant, is extremely proud of the fittest man on earth.

“It was so great to see my friend Shawn back home – he is such an inspiration to all of us at Sergio’s,” Gazitua said. “His perseverance and commitment to health is something I look up to – especially as a father.”

To stay competitive, Ramirez relied on Sergio’s. He loves the convenience of Sergio’s customizable bowls, with balanced protein and carbs well-proportioned to fuel his his workouts. Ramirez and Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva are spokesmen for Sergio's Restaurants. Leyva, also a Miami resident. is competing in the 2016 Olympics for Team USA in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ramirez is a great example of what you can achieve when you dedicate time to health. As heart disease is the No.1 killer in Florida, fueling your workouts with the right amount of protein and carbs is very important for a healthy lifestyle. Sergio’s Good2Go bowls made it easy for Ramirez to plan meals around his workouts.

“When we’re all watching the Olympics and are so proud of our nation – remember the discipline these athletes go through to get where they are,” Ramirez said. “I've been cheering for my friend [gymnast] Danell Leyva as he competes in Rio.”

Ramirez looks forward to winning his fourth title in 2017.


Sergio’s Restaurants’ freshest ingredients, homemade recipes and authentic cuisine make us America's first Cuban restaurant franchise. The Miami-based restaurant chain has pleased South Florida palates for 40 years under three generations of family leadership and began offering truly unique franchise concepts in 2014 with an eye toward national expansion.

Miami Midnites basketball

The Miami Midnites men’s basketball team won the inaugural Kenny Boynton Celebrity Basketball Tournament, hosted by former World Champion Miami Heat player and current Heat Assistant Coach Josh Howard and Brooklyn Nets player Trevor Booker, at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach.

The Midnites earned the $10,000 cash prize, after defeating Team ‘There They Go’ of South Carolina, 66-62, which featured Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Raymond Felton.

“I'm extremely proud of the way our guys battled throughout the tournament,” said Miami Midnites Head Coach Damon Wilcox. “We came in as a huge underdog, but we stuck together and proved everyone wrong.”

Miami (5-0) went undefeated in the two-day tournament, which hosted 20 teams from Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In the double-elimination format, the Midnites also defeated ‘There they Go’ 74-57 in the semifinals.

The Midnites were paced by former Miami Norland guard Amir Celestin, averaging 16.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in five games. Former Barry University guard Deric Hill averaged 11 points per game, and former West Virginia University forward Jonathan Holton added 9.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

Born in Pompano Beach, Boynton starred at American Heritage High School in Plantation and the University of Florida in Gainesville. He now competes for a pro team in Russia.

About Miami Midnites

The Miami Midnites, established in 2014, are the official Minor League affiliate of the 2012-13 Israeli Super League champions Maccabi Haifa basketball team. In their first season of existence, the Miami Midnites won the 2014 Florida Basketball Association (FBA) championship, and followed up with back-to-back FBA titles after winning the 2015 FBA title.

The Midnites joined the American Basketball Association for the 2014-15 season and finished runner-up out of 90+ teams across the country. 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

Palmer Trinity volleyball

Palmer Trinity School alum Paulina Prieto Cerame, who was a two-time Miami Herald All-Dade Volleyball Player of the Year, is representing Puerto Rico at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Puerto Rico was one of 12 volleyball teams to qualify for the Olympics.

Prieto Cerame, a 6-2 outside hitter, played collegiately at Penn State and then transferred in 2014 to the University of Texas, where she is a senior entering the 2016 season.

Barry rowing

Former Barry University rower Anna Boada and her partner Aina Cid finished third in the semifinals of the coxless pairs at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Boada (bow) and Cid (stroke), representing Spain, was clocked at 7:30.79 to collect the last qualifying spot for the finals of the 2,000-meter race at Lagoa Stadium. Americans Felice Mueller and Grace Luczak also qualified for the finals with the third fastest time at 7:20.93.

Prior, Boada and Cid placed second in the coxless pair heat race in 7:12.00. They were behind Luczak and Mueller, who won the opening heat in 7:05.14, but they were ahead of pairs from Poland, Italy and Romania.

Boada rowed for Barry's Varsity 8 in 2013 when the Buccaneers finished second at the NCAA Division II Championships.

Big Show in Miami

About 200 fans met WWE Superstar Big Show during a free meet-n-greet on last month at Walmart in Miami Gardens. The event was part of the Smackdown Your Hunger with Hungry-Man & WWE promotion, which the Big Show plays a big part.

That promotion kicked off in Las Vegas with WWE champ Dean Ambrose, made a stop in Orlando with up-n-comer Apollo Crews and then headed south to Miami where the legendary Big Show calls home.

Many, especially kids, were in awe of this larger than life sports entertainer. When 7-0, 440-pound Big Show stood up, the crowd gasped. After meeting him, they had a different reaction as Big Show put a lot of smiles on faces.

About 200 fans, all ages, left happy after receiving autographs and taking photos with the gentle giant. He was awesome interacting with them, also greeting them and answering questions.

Some fans brought action figures, artwork, books, DVDs, shirts, unique photos and replica belts to get signed. When one fan asked which belt he liked most, Big Show said the WCW belt, the ginormous one Ric Flair made famous.

Representatives from Acosta Marketing, Pinnacle Foods, Walmart and WWE did a very good job coordinating and running the event. After setting up the area, they took photos for fans and handed out Hungry-Man coupons and a very cool Hungry-Man chicken leg keychain.

Wrestling Night at Marlins Park

Wrestling Night at Marlins Park is Saturday, Aug. 27 when the Miami Marlins face the San Diego Padres.

Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs is coordinating the talent for the event. There will be autograph and photo ops throughout the game.

Scheduled are WWE Hall of Famer Booker T, The Warlord of the Powers of Pain and the Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) and Brutus the Barber Beefcake who replaces Jimmy Hart. They will also be involved in the ceremonial first pitch, interviews on Marlins Vision and other in-game fun.

There is a Wrestling Night package. If fans purchase tickets through this special event link on, they can sit together and receive the special Marlins-themed luchador mask...while supplies last.

Fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite wrestlers, too.

First pitch is 7:10 p.m.


More events, leagues, programs

Ali Boxing Center

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier D. Souto and the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department celebrated the renaming of Tropical Park’s Boxing Center to the “Muhammad Ali Boxing Center” at Tropical Park Boxing Center, 7900 SW 40 St., Miami.

“Back in September 2015, the Board of County Commissioners adopted my resolution for the Tropical Park Boxing Center to be named after the great Muhammad Ali, since I was privileged to have met the man in person and behold his many boxing victories,” said Commissioner Souto. “He was bigger than life and an inspiration to all. His memory will live on at this center as it grooms future generations of boxers.”

In honor of Ali – the late three-time heavyweight boxing champ - dignitaries joined members of the local boxing community.

Ali, born Cassius Clay, died on June 3 at age 74, following a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Considered one of the greatest boxing legends of all-time, Ali was famous in and out of the ring for his strength, power, speed, stamina, flamboyant personality and global presence.

Beyond The Game

Sports and history intertwine in HistoryMiami Museum’s new exhibition Beyond the Game: Sports and the Evolution of South Florida.

The exhibition -- open now thru Jan. 15, 2017 -- highlights the way South Florida sports have shaped and reflected the cultural growth of South Florida.

Since the 1920s, sports events and teams have both mirrored and molded the development of the area. Miami Jai-Alai, featuring the “world’s fastest” ballgame, and Hialeah Park, showcasing horse racing, were two early sporting attractions that lured northern tourists and fueled the public’s growing fascination with the area.

By the early 1960s, the Fifth Street Gym in Miami Beach, home to champion boxers like Muhammad Ali, emerged as an island of democracy amid the realities of Jim Crow segregation. Meanwhile, the newly opened Miami Marine Stadium was gaining popularity, and the sport of powerboat racing symbolized “sun and fun.” The Professional sports franchises followed, as did the rise of the University of Miami’s football program, confirming Miami’s status as a modern metropolis.

“From a historical perspective, the thing that is most striking is how central South Florida’s sporting scene has been to its identity almost from the very beginning. Hialeah Park and Miami Jai-Alai date to the mid-1920s, and both were not only important tourist destinations, but really shaped the way that people understood South Florida,” said exhibition curator Gaspar Gonzalez. “These kinds of attractions conveyed a sense of South Florida as a unique place.”

Curated by HistoryMiami and Gaspar González, a Yale-trained historian known for creating Emmy-winning documentary programming that has been featured on PBS, ESPN and others, the exhibition tells this story of evolution through photographs, trophies, uniforms, and never before seen items related to South Florida’s sport scene. In addition, two short films -- one on Hialeah Park, the other on the Marine Stadium, as well as a series of short video interviews with some of South Florida's most iconic former athletes -- will be played throughout the exhibition.

Presented by Hialeah Park and HistoryMiami, the exhibition will be displayed in more than 5,000 square feet of space in the Museum’s third floor gallery and will showcase artifacts from HistoryMiami's own collection, individuals in the community, as well as the area's professional sports teams and venues.

Notable items include:

Original Miami Heat floor from the Miami Arena; Dan Marino’s contract; Don Shula Play Sheet; Footage Muhammad Ali at 5th Street Gym; Orange Bowl trophy from University of Miami; Memorabilia from Marlins’ inaugural year; Hialeah Park infield sign; Video interviews with local sports icons Mike Lowell, Mercury Morris, Randal Hill

“The exhibition appeals to a diverse audience,” said Stuart Chase, President and CEO of HistoryMiami. “From the days of horseracing to the players who graced the grid iron Beyond the Game not only celebrates sports history, but offers a fresh perspective on the impact it had on Miami becoming the world-class city it is today.”

For information on becoming a member of HistoryMiami Museum contact Hilda Masip at 305-675-1618 or visit

About HistoryMiami Museum

HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is the premier cultural institution committed to gathering, organizing, preserving and celebrating Miami’s history as the unique crossroads of the Americas. It accomplishes this through education, collections, research, exhibitions, publications and city tours.

Located in the heart of downtown Miami, HistoryMiami Museum is a 70,000 square foot facility and home to more than one million historic images and 30,000 three-dimensional artifacts, including a 1920’s trolley car, artifacts from Pan American World Airways, and rafts that brought refugees to Miami.

For more information, call 305-375-1492 or visit

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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)