Portable Pool Makes Swimming Lessons Possible In Hicks Bay

Miami Heat star forward Udonis Haslem, a Miami Senior High School and University of Florida graduate, congratulated the Mo Steel Girls’ 6th Grade basketball team from the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach for winning the USSSA Battle of Boca.

Mo Steel went 4-0 including two wins over D3 Explosion, the No.2 ranked state team. Daniella Aronsky was named Tournament MVP, and Mia Ohana and Lauryn Hornstein earned All-Tournament honors. The champs also feature Yael Tawil, Lielle Morr, Tatiana Wainer, Lindsey Weingard, Lauren White and coaches Sean Newman and Jeff Fogel.

More Mo Steel basketball

The Mo Steel Girls’ 7th Grade basketball team won the AAU Florida Gold Coast District Championship. It marked the first AAU championship by the Mo Steel program.

Representing the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach, the Mo Steel 7th Grade girls went 4-0 with stellar team play, capped off by a 34-33 victory in the finals against Team MVP.

In the semifinal with Mo Steel trailing by one point against the Lady Shottas, Ariel Fishman made the front end of a one-and-one to tie the score. On the second shot, teammate Ahava Greenbaum grabbed the rebound and made the put-back with 7.7 seconds left to win the game.

In the finals and Mo Steel again down by one point, Lindsey Weingard made two foul shots with 2.8 seconds remaining to clinch the championship.

The champs also feature Trinity Delancy, Jamie Levy, Daniella Aronsky, Lauryn Hornstein, and Tatiana Wainer and coaches Sean Newman and Jeff Fogel.

Miami Heat scholarship

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside visited Coral Reef High School to surprise senior Monica Tunez with a $5,000 HEAT Scholarship, presented by BankUnited.

Whiteside, along with Heat mascot Burnie and the Heat Dancers delivered the check during a student-body assembly in the school’s auditorium. Heat/Sun Sports Courtside Reporter Jason Jackson emceed the event.

Tunez is one of five Heat Scholarships winners. She will graduate in June with an astonishing 6.78 GPA and attend Yale University in the Fall.

Throughout high school, Tunez was involved in many extracurricular and community outreach activities having volunteered more than 1,600 hours at her school and at His House Children’s Home, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Glades Middle School, The Cat Network and No Paw Left Behind.

Also attending the ceremony included Steve Stowe, Executive Director, Miami Heat Charitable Fund; Gerry Litrento, Senior Executive Vice President of Retail and Business Banking, BankUnited; and Mary Harris, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Relations, BankUnited.

This is the 19th year that the Miami Heat Charitable Fund offers $25,000 in scholarship funds to high school seniors at schools in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties and the second year that BankUnited sponsored the scholarship program.

Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and outstanding community service. They include three $5,000 Heat scholarships, one $5,000 Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship and one $5,000 Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship.

St. Brendan sports

Four hundred student athletes were recognized at the St. Brendan High School Sports Banquet.

The evening opened with a motivational speech by retired Major League Baseball player Placido Polanco, who played second base and third base for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, and Miami Marlins.

Top Award Winners

Male Athlete of the Year – Zuhayr Pigot – state champion swimmer – 50 freestyle.

Female Athlete of the Year – Katerina Alvarez –cross country, girls soccer, and track & field.

Coach of the Year – Arlenee Suarez – cheerleading

Most Valuable Athlete in each sport: Katerina Alvarez (Track & Field), Andreya Alvarado (Tennis), Ashley Campis (Cross-Country), Chantel Peiter (Swimming), Anh Hoang (Tennis), Alexandra Guixens (Soccer), Sofia Fernandez (Track and Field), Tristen Fernandez (Lacrosse), Jessica Hernandez (Cheerleading), Stephanie Parilla (Softball), Raquel Murillo (Basketball), Zuhayr Pigot (Swimming), Jahn Lozada (Volleyball), Anthony Ore (Soccer), Benito Varela (Baseball), Carolina Caram (Volleyball), Alexa Lorenzo (Dance).

Riviera Preparatory sports

Riviera Preparatory School awarded its 2015 Athletes of the Year.

The Female Athlete of the Year is Nicole Katzarkov. She's a two sport letter athlete (cross-country and tennis). She was the cross-country team MVP and a state qualifier. Her statistics ranked amongst the top throughout the year. Her academic and athletic successes are a result of her personal discipline and dedication.

The Male Athlete of the Year is Andrew Johnson. He was not only the best athlete on the swimming and water polo teams but also the team leader on both. He was team MVP for each, lettering in both. He displayed heart, dedication and a tremendous work ethic and desire.

Doctors Charter baseball

In its inaugural season, the Doctors Charter School middle school baseball team was thrown into the deep end of the South Florida baseball competition pool.

The Miami-Dade County public school system does not offer middle school baseball so the Miami Shores-based Hawks scheduled all private schools save one game. Their 18 game schedule included baseball powerhouses Palmer Trinity, Gulliver Prep, Ransom Everglades, Miami Country Day School, and Florida Christian Academy.

The Hawks embraced a ‘barnstorming’ philosophy, playing teams from Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, including Marathon in the Keys and Hollywood Christian, Somerset Academy and Sagemont School from Broward.

The only co-educational team, starting a female scholar athlete at first base, Doctors Charter featured seven players who had never played organized baseball. Competing against teams stacked with eight graders who had been playing together for years, the Hawks had no eighth graders and instead took the field starting sixth and seventh graders.

After only two weeks of practice, Doctors Charter opened against baseball-rich Gulliver Prep. It took the Hawks 13 games to get their first win in program history, a 5-3 victory on the road against Ransom Everglades - a team that had beat them by more than 10 runs one month earlier.

The following day Doctors Charter traveled north to Broward County and defeated Hollywood Christian for their second win in two days in two counties. The Hawks went .500 in their last six games, winning the last game of the season against St. Rose of Lima, a private Catholic School one mile from DCS.

The Hawks are Carlos Matos, Michael Michot, Loren Kretzschmar, Anthony Sinclair, Amaya Harris, Jonas Essington, Mia Amezola, Ryan Indorf, Ken Brown, Dominic Tirado, Camrin Thompson, Sidney Gustinger, Manager Sam Gallo, Kai Kawachika, Liam Magee, Charles Calli, assistant coaches Carlos Brown and Michael Shephard, and Head Coach Paul Calli.

Barry golf

Barry University men’s golfer Nico Cavero of Doral was named to the NCAA Division II Ping All-South Region Team, as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

Cavero, a Ronald Reagan High School grad, had 73.76 scoring average. He had three Top 10 and six Top 20 finishes. He also had 95 birdies, led the Bucs with a .649 fairways hit percentage and had a .600 greens in regulation percentage.

Barry advanced to the NCAA Championships for an unprecedented seventh straight year.

Miami-Dade Sports Commission

The Florida Sports Foundation, the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization, presented five awards during FSF’s annual Sports Summit in Fort Lauderdale to recognize Florida communities and sports commissions for their outstanding efforts in sports tourism in Florida.

The awards presented included:

Venue of the Year: Nathan Benderson Park – Sarasota County Sports Commission

Best Event of the Year – Small Market: HITS Ocala Winter Horse Show Jumping Circuit – Ocala/Marion County Sports Commission

Best Event of the Year – Mid Market: United States Fastpitch Association (USFA) World Series – Visit Panama City Beach

Best Event of the Year – Large Market: 2014 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Girls Junior National Volleyball Championship – Central Florida Sports Commission, Orlando

Best Awarded Event of the Year – Large Market –

2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game Week – Miami-Dade Sorts Commission

The Miami Marlins were awarded the 2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game in what will be the 25th Anniversary Year of the Club. The full event (July 7-11, 2017) includes the Futures Game, and Home Run Derby. MLB also will have a FanFest, which will occur in Miami Beach. The 88th Annual Major League Baseball All Star Game is expected to bring more than $36 million in economic impact and 70,000 room nights to Miami-Dade County.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred cited Miami’s global reach as a plus for the community. “I believe this event will be an excellent way for Major League Baseball to emphasize the global nature of our game. We understand that Miami is the gateway to Latin America, and we’re going to be here to celebrate our global reach.”

George Washington soccer

Miami’s Jack Hudson of Ransom Everglades High School will join the NCAA Division I George Washington University men’s soccer team in the Fall.

Houston, a 6-0, 170-pound defender, was a Miami Herald All-Dade Third Team selection. He led the Raiders to back-to-back district championships in 2013 and 2014.

George Washington Coach Craig Jones said in a release: “Jack is a great leader and versatile defender who we will rely on to play in several defensive positions throughout the season.”

Miami-Dade track & field

The inaugural “USATF Future Stars” Track & Field Meet, presented by USA Track and Field and the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 6 at Dade Christian School, 6601 NW 167th, Hialeah.

The youth sporting event is a new addition to the Youth Sports Championship Series, an initiative of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez aimed at increasing participation in youth athletics.

The meet is open to area youth, age 18 and younger. The cost to participate is $5 per athlete.

Participants must register online at www.PlayMiami.org

For information, contact Chris Evans at 305-755-7885 or ChrisEv@MiamiDade.gov.

More events, leagues, programs

Kendall Hammocks cheer, football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle program announces the registrations dates and times for the 2015 football and cheerleading season.

Tackle fee $185 which includes home game jersey that players keep, secondary insurance, participation awards, and the rental of helmet, shoulder pads, game pants. Issued equipment to be returned at season’s end. Also, the NFL’s Stephen Tulloch Football Camp as well as the Rookie Camp.

Cheer registration fee $385 which includes $185 initial deposit for practice T-shirt, shorts, game day socks, hair bow, cheer brief, and shoes, secondary insurance, and participation awards. The remaining $200 is for competition, body liner, shoes, socks, warm up, cheer bag, and uniform rental.

Register 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 6 and 13.

Registrations and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave. Tackle season starts July 6.

For information email Football Commissioner Mike Pintado at khwfootball@aol.com

or visit the web site at www.khwarriors.org

The Warriors Football program, under the Optimist Club of Kendall Hammocks, is an all volunteer organization, serving the community in sports for more than 28 years. The Warriors compete in the Miami Xtreme Football League.

Play Action Sports cheer, football

Play Action Sports bought the Coral Gables Cavaliers Youth Football & Cheer Program and is re-rebuilding it.

The group seeks a cheer director and cheer coaches as well as football coaches, volunteers and team moms and dads to assist with the 2015 season in the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League. Home games will be played at Coral Gables High School.

Contact:

Ozzie@playactionsports.org

305-796-6642

Jon@playactionsports.org

305-923-7656

www.playactionsports.org

Suniland flag football

Registration for the Suniland 5-on-5 Flag Football Summer Season is open until June for boys and girls, age 5-15.

Registration is at Suniland Park, 12855 S. Dixie Hwy., Pinecrest, every weeknight 6 to 8 and every Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. Fee is $125 and covers reversible shirt, shorts, flags, secondary insurance and high school certified referees. Full Teams accepted at a discounted rate. Every team makes playoffs. Coaches and team sponsors needed.

For information, contact Flag Commissioner Ken Hanna 305-992-2991 or Club President Jose Regalado 305-458-1966 or josearegalado@att.net.

The Optimist Club of Suniland is an organization entirely made up of volunteers who have been providing community service thru sports in South Florida since 1968.

Palmetto Bay flag football

Palmetto Bay Broncos Flag Football is at Coral Reef Park.

Open to boys and girls, age 4-18. Register as an individual for $100 or as a team of 10 with a coach for $800.

Practices and games are weekdays either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.

In its 39 years, the Broncos have provided more than 7,000 children the opportunity to participate in an organized football and cheerleading program. Tackle football and cheerleading are under the Greater Miami South Florida Pop Warner League banner.

Visit Palmetto Bay Broncos

Email info@palmettobaybroncos.org

Footgolf

The international sport Footgolf is being introduced to the South Miami-Dade community at Killian Greens Golf Club, 9980 SW 104th St.

Footgolf (18 holes) can be played in two hours and is a great source of exercise for those who enjoy kicking a soccer ball. Times are available everyday of the week after 4:30 p.m. to players of all skill levels, families and groups. Balls are available for rent for $5 to those who do not already own one.

Killian Greens is an accredited Footgolf course with the American Footgolf League. Call 305-271-0917.

MLB Bat Girl contest

Nominate someone who is Going to Bat Against breast cancer.

Winners will receive MLB game tickets and the opportunity to be recognized on-field during the game. Vote for nominees affected by the disease.

Nominate at

BatGirl

Visit mlb.com.

Jose’s Heroes

To support Miami Marlins star pitcher José Fernández on his road to recovery, the Marlins announce the return of the José’s Heroes season ticket package for the 2015 season.

For $499, José’s Heroes receive:

-A ticket to all 81 Marlins regular season home games. That’s about $6 a seat.

-A special edition José’s Heroes T-shirt each month.

-A complimentary ‘K’ Card!

-A meet-and-greet event with the man himself, José Fernández.

-Purchase the José’s Heroes season ticket package and travel to Marlins Park to support the Fish, 25 men strong.

For information, visit marlins.com/josesheroes, email SeasonTickets@marlins.com or call 305-480-2521.

Giancarlo Stanton’s G-Squad

To support Miami Marlins powerhitter Giancarlo Stanton, join Giancarlo Stanton’s All-New G-Squad.

For $27, you can be a member of the G-Squad, which will unite during five Saturday games.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit marlins.com/gsquad.

Sunshine State Games

Florida’s Sunshine State Games online registration is open for select sports of its 2015 Calendar of Events.

Now in its 36th year, the Sunshine State Games has become an amateur sports tradition in Florida and nationwide. All Floridians are welcome to compete in any of the more than 25 sports offered in 10 different Florida communities between April and November.

SSG strives to provide first-class facilities, a family-friendly atmosphere and professionally organized, yet affordable competition, for more than 10,000 athletes of all ages.

Online registration is open for select events, including three multi-sport festivals in Broward, Sarasota and Palm Beach counties at

www.flasports.com.

Since making its debut in 1980, Florida’s Sunshine State Games has established itself as the Nation’s Longest-Running State Games.

SSG Sarasota County Festival, June 6-8

SSG Palm Beach County Festival, June 13-14

SSG Table Tennis Championships, June 20-21, Lakeland

SSG Water Polo Championships, June 26-28, Coral Springs

Entry fees vary by sport and registration deadlines are approximately two weeks prior to the competition date.

The Broward County Festival includes three sports: Figure Skating, Lacrosse, rugby.

The Sarasota County Festival features competition in seven sports; Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Disc Golf, Racquetball, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming and Ultimate.

The Sunshine State Games returns to West Palm Beach for the first time since 2002 when the Palm Beach County Festival offers eight sports; BMX Cycling, Fencing, Judo, Karate, Powerlifting, Taekwondo, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

“We look forward to working with the Palm Beach County Sports Commission to present the eight sports of the Palm Beach County Festival,” said Florida Sports Foundation Senior Vice President, Stephen Rodriguez. “The Palm Beach Convention Center will come alive the weekend of June 13-14 with seven sports being held in the building and over 1,000 athletes competing.”

Look for upcoming information about the 2015 Sunshine State Games events at

www.flasports.com.

NFL, USA Football, GENYOUth

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

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

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

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

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

Results from the program’s first year include:

·

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

·

47% using Kits after school

·

28% using Kits during recess

·

21% using Kits weekend activity and/or sporting activities

·

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

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

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

Schools can apply for the Kits starting in early May via the Fuel Up to Play 60 website:

www.FuelUpToPlay60.com and will be provided at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year while supplies last. Additionally, in-person FLAG trainings using the curriculum developed by USA Football and SHAPE America will be held in the 10 NFL markets this fall.

About NFL FLAG

NFL FLAG powered by USA Football (http://www.nflflag.com/) provides opportunities for children ages 5-17 to enjoy America's favorite sport.

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

About Fuel Up to Play 60

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

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

Visit FuelUpToPlay60.com to learn more.

About GENYOUth Foundation

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

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

Learn more about GENYOUth partnership, volunteer and donation opportunities at

www.genyouthfoundation.org or contact

info@genyouthfoundation.org.

About USA Football

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

Follow USA Football at

www.facebook.com/usafootball or on Twitter

@USAFootball.

About SHAPE America

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

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

For information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.

Heads Up Football

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow USA Football at www.facebook.com/usafootball

or on Twitter @USAFootball

NFL Football Matters

The National Football Foundation announced the launch of

FootballMatters.org, a powerful new addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it.

“Football makes a positive impact on so many levels, and we realized that we needed a centralized resource for capturing and subsequently promoting all the great football stories out there,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “

FootballMatters.org provides us a potent platform for addressing that void and delivering compelling content directly to audiences who can help us amplify our messages about the value of football in producing leaders and creating educational opportunities.”

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

FootballMatters.org will enable us to directly capture those stories and inspire the next generation to further their educations.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit www.footballfoundation.org.

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/NFFNetwork

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

Florida Christian lacrosse

Florida Christian School Athletic Director Ed Riggan, announced that FCS Athletics will offer lacrosse at the JV level for the spring of the 2014-15 school year. For information call 305-226-8152 or visit www.floridachristian.org.

ThunderPlex

Thunder Athletix

and Brain Gymnasium LLC teamed to offer a complete fitness program of body and mind at the new ThunderPlex, 1440 NW 82 Ave. in Doral.

Students can improve their basketball skills and physical fitness, as well as strengthen their academic skills through specialized tutoring programs. They can have fun and finish their homework.

The mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game to children age 5-17.

Brain Gymnasium offers specialized tutoring, homework help, FCAT Prep, SAT/ACT Prep, and Entrance Exam Prep. Their degreed, professional and experienced teachers provide a simple and exciting approach to learning.

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

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

For information on Brain Gymnasium, visit >www.braingymnasium.org or call 305-788-7339.

Thunder basketball

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

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

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

For information visit

www.jointhunder.com

Registration is open.

Email contact@jointhunder.com

or call 786-505-5585.

Miami Lady Express basketball

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

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

Tamiami basketball

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

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

Tennis

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

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

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

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

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

Tennis classes, programs

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

Marlins Tours

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

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

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

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

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

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

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

Youth Rugby South Miami

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

Visit

www.miamirugbykids.com

.

Soccer 5 Academy

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

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

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

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

For more information or to register, visit www.miamisoccer5.com.

Rebelle volleyball

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

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

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

Visit

www.rebelleathletics.com

.

Jai-Alai

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

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

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

Jai-Alai for women

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

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

Physically Challenged

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

Submit info to Sports Scene

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

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

Email sportsscene@MiamiHerald.com.

Youth sports online

For more area sports photos, go to

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

YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)

www.youtube.com/user/jvarsallone/videos

Nominate youth baseball, softball players to 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 or travel league or school league (elementary school or middle school aged) for 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

jvarsallone@miamiherald.com or call 954-538-7153.

Source : http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth-sports/article22733022.html

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