Portable Pool Makes Swimming Lessons Possible In Hicks Bay

Miami Marlins RBI won the Senior Division Championship of the 2015 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities World Series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers.

It marked the Marlins fourth RBI World Series Baseball Championship and first in the Senior Division (age 16-18) since 2004. Last season they won the championship in the Junior Division (age 13-15).

Miami Marlins RBI edged Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) RBI 5-4 in the finals to avenge its only loss of the tournament.

Miami shortstop Bryan Lavastida, 17,

was named the Most Valuable Player of the Senior Division Championship Game. He had two base hits, an RBI, a stolen base and scored the winning run. He finished the RBI World Series with a .450 batting average (within the top 5 in the tournament), 1.172 OPS (also within the top 5 in the tournament), six RBI and seven runs.

Miami scored two runs in the third and three runs in the fifth. Trailing 5-0, Harrisburg scored four times in the sixth to make things close. Giovanni Arriera pitched five shutout innings for Miami, allowing one hit and one walk and striking out five. Cleveland Westbrook tossed one shutout inning.

James Spatafora went 2 for 3 with two runs and a walk. Panama Mendez had an RBI, and Carlos Reyes doubled, drove in one and scored. Gianlucca Borelly doubled with an RBI. Robert Robinson was 1 for 2 with a run, and Kenneth Prado singled.

In the semifinals, the second seeded Miami Marlins RBI defeated top seeded Paterson (New Jersey) RBI 8-0.

Miami starting pitcher Cleveland Westbrook delivered a masterpiece. In his complete-game shutout win, he allowed two base hits, walked one and struck out nine.

Every Miami batter had at least one base hit. Carlos Reyes was 2 for 4 with an RBI, a run and two doubles. Brandon Nayor went 3 for 4 with a double, three runs, an RBI and a stolen base.

Robert Robinson was 2 for 3 with two RBI. James Spatafora went 3 for 5 with a run and a double, and Brett Marks was 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Miami went 5-1 during the four-day tournament. Harrisburg was 4-1-1.

The champs are Giovanni Arriera, Gianlucca Borelly, Victor Cabrera, Luis Chipi, Bryan Lavastida, Brett Marks, Jose Mendez, Panama Mendez, Brandon Nayor, Kenneth Prado, Carlos Reyes, Robert Robinson, James Spatafora, Cleveland Westbrook, Philip Ximinies. The manager is Andre Payne, and the assistant coaches are Reggie Williams, George Barber, and Edwin Bonilla.

Miami boasts 28 appearances (seventh most) at the RBI World Series.

The RBI World Series was hosted by the Rangers for the second consecutive year. It is the international baseball and softball championship tournament of the RBI program -- the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities with the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success, and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.

A 30-minute documentary that gives an inside look into the baseball portion of the 2015 RBI World Series will air on MLB Network at 11:30 a.m. EST on Sunday, Aug. 30.

To earn a spot in the RBI World Series (baseball and softball), teams from 27 states, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela competed in RBI Regional Tournaments. Historically, 10 countries and U.S. territories around the world have competed in the RBI World Series, including the United States, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

The RBI program has provided a path for many players to enter the college and professional game. More than 200 RBI participants have been drafted by MLB Clubs throughout the program’s 27-year history, and many others were given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. There have been 55 RBI players selected in the 2012-2015 MLB Drafts, nearly 30 of whom have played in the RBI World Series (between 2009 and 2014).

Since the inception of the RBI program in 1989, MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants, and more than 80 players since 2008. Alumni on MLB rosters during the 2014 regular season include Michael Bourn (Atlanta Braves), Carl Crawford (Los Angeles Dodgers), Coco Crisp (Oakland Athletics), Yovani Gallardo (Texas Rangers), Chris Iannetta (Los Angeles Angels) James Loney

(Tampa Bay Rays), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), CC Sabathia

(New York Yankees), Hector Santiago (Los Angeles Angels), Justin Upton (San Diego Padres) and Chris Young

(New York Yankees). Crawford (Houston RBI – ‘97), Loney (Houston RBI – ‘99), Crisp (LA RBI – ‘95, ‘96) and Gallardo (Fort Worth RBI – ‘03) have each played in the RBI World Series.

The RBI program, which has served approximately 2-million young people since its inception, is administered by Major League Baseball and is designed to give young people from under-served and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.

RBI currently serves more than 230,000 young men and women in more than 300 programs established in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues.

For information about the RBI World Series, visit


MLB RBI scholarship

Major League Baseball announced that MLB Charities awarded college scholarships, each valued at $5,000 per year, to 11 graduating high school seniors who participated in Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, the MLB youth baseball and softball initiative.

Two of the recipients are from the Miami Marlins RBI program. They are Craig Campbell of Champagnat High School and Jason Dubon of Miami Central High School.

Campbell will attend Barry University to study criminal justice. He is an eight-year member of the Salvation Army as a Corps Cadet, an Adventure Corps member and a member of the youth band.

Dubon will attend Florida to study computer science. He tutors students in math and held several leadership roles in various clubs, including CodeNow Computer Sciences Club, Take Stock in Children Program, Future Business Leaders of America, Ignorance Isn't Bliss and A.A.P.P. Foundation. Dubon was the team captain of his varsity baseball team.

They are receiving grants through the "RBI for RBI" Scholarship Fund, an initiative created in 2008 to provide financial support for select college-bound student-athletes who are selected based on academic record, leadership, participation in school and community activities, and financial need.

The recipients were recognized at the 2015 RBI World Series, hosted by the Rangers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. The 2015 class of “RBI for RBI” Scholarship Fund recipients brings the total to 87 college scholarships awarded since the fund was established.

RBI serves about 230,000 young men and women in more than 300 programs established in about 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its clubs have designated more than $30 million worth of resources to RBI, and all 30 clubs support RBI leagues.

Visit MLB.com/rbi for more information.

Gulliver swim

The Gulliver Swim Club won its first overall team title at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Championships. During the competition, two Gulliver students delivered performances that earned them the opportunity to compete in the USA Swimming Olympic Trials.

Sixteen Gulliver students competed in the three-day championship event at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions in Coral Springs. Gulliver finished with 1,532.50 points.

Kelly Fertel (Class of 2016) earned an Olympic Trials qualifying time in the girls’ 400-meter individual medley and was the senior girls' high point winner.

Other high-ranking swimmers who helped Gulliver win the team title included Miguel Cancel (2018), who was the boys' ages 15-16 high point winner; Brooke Ellis (2017), the girls' ages 15-16 high point runner-up; and Andrea Santander (2020), the high point runner-up for senior girls. Alicia Mancilla (2018) and Namilla Sanchez (2016) each won the 1,500-meter freestyle races for their respective age groups, and Niki Urquidi (2016_ was a double winner -- first in the 200 and 400 freestyle events for senior girls.

Jeff Poppell, the school's aquatics director and head swimming director, has consistently led Gulliver's Swim Club to victory. Before joining Gulliver's Athletic Department three years ago, he was the head coach at the University of Arkansas, and before that, he coached the Jacksonville-Bolles Sharks, one of the nation's top high school and club teams at the Bolles School in Jacksonville for 13 years. During his short time at Gulliver, he has helped student-athletes thrive and has brought Gulliver further recognition and honors in high school and competitive swimming.

“This historic win is a tribute to our coaches, swimmers and parents who believe in our swim philosophy and program,” Poppell said. “We started from scratch in 2012, and it’s amazing to think where we are now.”

Fertel and Urquidi qualified to compete in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, with performances at the USA Swimming Junior National Championships in San Antonio, earlier this summer. Fertel punched her ticket to the Olympic Trials in the 400-meter individual medley, and Urquidi earned her Olympic Trial qualifying time in the 400-meter freestyle.

The USA Swimming 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials will occur at the CenturyLink Center June 26-July 3, 2016 in Omaha, Neb.

About the Gulliver Swim Club

The Gulliver Swim Club offers various levels of training and competition for swimmers from young ages to adult masters. For additional information about the swim club, visit


About Gulliver Schools

Gulliver Schools is a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit, independent, coeducational, nonsectarian day school with the mission of providing a superior, personalized college-preparatory education fostering well-rounded, successful, lifelong learners.

Gulliver is committed to developing the unique gifts and talents of each student in a nurturing environment that promotes academic excellence, innovation, global understanding and character. For more information about Gulliver, visit


St. Brendan swimming

Zuhayr Pigot, a 2015 St. Brendan High School graduate and University of North Carolina freshman swimmer, competed at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Representing his home country, Suriname, Pigot was 43rd of 80 swimmers in the 50-meter butterfly. He also entered the 100-meter butterfly, placing 42nd of 73 in a personal best 54.20 seconds.


Miami-Dade County South (Ron Ehmann Park) successfully defended its title in the 18 & Over Men’s 4.0 Division during the USTA Florida Adult 18 & Over 3.0/4.0/5.0 League Sectional Championships in Altamonte Springs and Daytona Beach.

In the finals, Miami-Dade County-South (Ron Ehmann Park) beat Broward County (Jimmy Evert Tennis Center, Fort Lauderdale) 3-2.

Championship Match Results:

No. 1 Singles: Andres Velasquez (M-D) d. Michael Costanzo 7-6, 6-1.

No. 2 Singles: Jorge Ramirez (M-D) d. Mark Maceda 6-1, 6-3

No. 1 Doubles: Rick Stone/Daniel Young (Broward) d. Jorge Caballero/Dante Viggiano 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (super-tiebreak).

No. 2 Doubles: Manuel Valdez/Carlos Portillo (M-D) d. Andrew Pelski/Weston Donehower 6-1, 6-4.

No. 3 Doubles: William Behn/Garnett Byrd (Broward) d. Isidro Gomez/Wilfredo Figueroa 6-3, 1-6, 1-0 (super-tiebreak).

Champions: Ed Moran (captain), Wilfredo Figueroa, Jorge Ramirez, Oscar Quinonez, Manuel Valdez, Andres Velasquez, Jorge Caballero, Isidro Gomez, Dante Viggiano, Harly Sequeira, Andres Cortazar, Carlos Portillo.

The Florida 4.0 men’s champions advance to the 2015 USTA League Adult 18 & Over 4.0 National Championships on Oct. 2-4 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

For information on NTRP levels go to


More Tennis

Your tennis facility can sign-up to host a Tennis Play Day or Tennis Play Event in September in partnership with the USTA and Nickelodeon, celebrating the 2015 Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play.

Tennis promotions on the Nickelodeon network in the coming months will drive millions of new families to the Youth Tennis website. Register your event at


Miami: Sept. 12: Wild about Sports: Back 2 School Tournament, contact: Pablo@wildaboutsports.org.

Other Florida Play Events with modest fees are in September and are listed along with free events at


Kendall Hammocks football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Pee Wees edged Hollywood PAL 32-28 in the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League at Devonaire Park. Tony Brown scored three touchdowns, and Ronald Gonzales Jr. made a gave-saving tackle on the final play.

In 9U action, the Warriors shut out Hollywood PAL 18-0. Tyler James, Peyton Soto and Ryan Castro each had a touchdown, and the Warriors defense did not allow a first down.

In 10U play, the Warriors (2-0) defeated the Miami PAL Jest 25-6, behind 198 rushing yards. Jaden Outar led the ground game with 82 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Gonzalez had 67 yards rushing and caught three passes. Keno Dempsey scored twice, and Allan Arrellano was 4-of-7 passing for 63 yards.

In other games: 8U: Miami PAL 13, KH 0.

11U: Miami PAL 25, KH 0.

Miami Dolphins

USA Football, the sport’s national governing body in the United States, and the Miami Dolphins recently awarded football equipment and uniform grants to youth and high school football programs throughout South Florida based on merit and need.

USA Football partners with the Dolphins and all NFL clubs to annually distribute more than $2 million in equipment and uniform grants to youth and high school football programs across the United States. The grant program has supported youth organizations and high schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., since 2006. USA Football equipment and uniform grants are made possible through support from the NFL Foundation.

Grants are valued up to $1,500 for youth organizations and $2,500 for high school programs, offering new equipment, uniforms, equipment reconditioning and flag football equipment to provide young athletes greater access as well as the fun and fitness benefits of the sport. Grants are fulfilled by USA Football and its equipment and uniform partner Riddell.

USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the Dolphins, the NFL and each of the league’s other 31 teams.

“We are pleased to work with USA Football and our teams to donate much-needed equipment to youth football leagues and high school football programs nationwide,” said Alexia Gallagher, director of the NFL Foundation. “These equipment grants will help ensure that youngsters who share our love of the game are able to play it safely.”

“The health and safety of every young football player is our No. 1 priority,” USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck said. “Having proper equipment is an important step toward that goal. Even with fundraising and strict attention to budgets, many leagues and school districts need help to properly outfit their young athletes who love to play football and enjoy the fun and fitness that comes with it. We are proud to lead this important program with support from the NFL Foundation and Riddell.”

South Florida youth and high school programs awarded a 2015 USA Football Equipment Grant:

Abundant Living Citi Church, Boyd H. Anderson High School, Daytona Falcons, Kendall Boys & Girls Club, Liberty City Optimist Club, Miami Beach Senior High School, Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Police Athletic League, PAL of Hallandale Beach, Palm Beach County Youth Football League, Somerset Academy Canyons, Tamiami Colts, The Optimist Foundation of Greater Goulds Florida, West Boca Tackle Football, and West Palm Beach Police Athletic League.

About USA Football: Indianapolis-based USA Football 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 advances 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


About NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football, and the communities which support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit:


Boys & Girls Club Football

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

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

For information, visit


Maccabi Haifa basketball

The Maccabi Haifa professional basketball team announced the team will embark on a two-team NBA tour in the United States against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on Thursday, Oct. 8 as well as the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday, Oct. 11.

Maccabi Haifa’s trip to the United States will mark the fifth time in six years the team will travel to North America to play against NBA competition. Maccabi Haifa played against the Memphis Grizzlies on Oct. 13, 2013, falling 116-70 at FedExForum.

In four tours to North America, Maccabi Haifa has faced 10 NBA opponents (New Jersey Nets, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors). Maccabi Haifa ranks second all-time among international basketball teams in games played against NBA opponents.

As one of the original eight teams to form the Israeli Premier League for the 1954 season, Maccabi Haifa has a long and storied legacy in Israeli basketball. Under the ownership of American businessman Jeffrey Rosen, Maccabi Haifa won their first Israeli League championship in franchise history during the 2012-13 season and were an Israeli League Finalist in the 2013-14 season.

Maccabi Haifa’s charity program, “Haifa Hoops for Kids”, a joint initiative between Maccabi Haifa and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey, has hosted over 25,000 underprivileged and special needs children in Israel at Maccabi Haifa home games. The team will hold charity basketball clinics for children in both the Memphis and Greater Los Angeles area during the NBA preseason tour.

“We are thrilled to have the Grizzlies invite us back to the great city of Memphis, and we're looking forward to matching up against one of the most talented teams in the NBA,” said Maccabi Haifa team owner Jeffrey Rosen. “The Los Angeles Lakers are arguably the most prestigious team in the NBA, and bringing Maccabi Haifa to play in front of such a passionate and Israel-centric fan base only continues to grow our brand globally.”

About Maccabi Haifa

Maccabi Haifa, an Israeli Basketball Super League team, has a long and storied legacy as they were one of the original eight teams to form the Premier League for the 1953-54 season. Under the ownership of American businessman, Jeffrey Rosen, the team earned its first title in franchise history after being crowned the 2012-13 Israeli League champion. The team was purchased by Jeffrey Rosen in July 2007. For more information about Maccabi Haifa, visit


ESPNU basketball

ESPNU televised the 10th annual Under Armour Elite 24 featuring more than 20 elite college basketball recruits from Pier 2 in Brooklyn with New York City’s iconic skyline as the backdrop.

The two-night, outdoor event began with the slam dunk contest and concluded with the showcase game. The summer showcase is comprised of 16 recruits ranked in the ESPN 100 (Class of 2016), seven in the ESPN 60 (Class of 2017) and Thon Maker, one of the top international recruits from Canada.

ESPN 100 (Class of 2016)

Elite 24 featured four of the top 10 players in the ESPN 100 and nine in the top 20 including 18th ranked Dewan Huell (6-10, 215, power forward) from Miami Central High School.

Twitter @ESPNU

Nova academic athletes

Fifty-seven Nova Southeastern University student-athletes have been named recipients of the Division II Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award.

In order for a student-athlete to receive an Academic Achievement Award, the athletic director of the DII institution must be a current dues paying member of the D2ADA.

Also, a student-athlete must: have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, have attended a minimum of two years (four semesters) of college-level work and have been an active member of an intercollegiate team during his/her last academic year.

Nova recipients from Miami are Roberto Baroniel, Baseball; Ian Facey, Men’s Golf; Cheyenne Rodriguez, Men’s Swimming and Diving; Maegan Lee, Softball; Yandy Viera, Baseball.

Visit www.NSUSharks.com.

Barry volleyball

Barry University volleyball coach Steve Hendricks announced the signing of several players for the upcoming season including two with Miami ties.

Silvia Galeano, a 5-foot-10 transfer from Miami Dade College, was a National Junior College Athletic Association Division I All-American in 2014. She led the Sharks to NJCAA championship match, where they finished runner-up to Blinn College.

Galeano had 314 kills, 383 digs and 49 blocks in 30 matches as a sophomore at Miami Dade. She had 16 kills and 11 digs in the national title match, earning NJCAA All-Tournament honors.

Katherine Espinosa, a defensive specialist who prepped at Miami Sunset High School, was a Second Team All-Dade selection by the Miami Herald as a senior. She earned her team's most valuable player award as a senior and was the team’s best offensive player as a junior.

Martial arts

OIS Krav Maga (Israeli Operative Martial Art) is an effective hand-to-hand fighting survival system and is used by military, police forces and civilians in many different countries.

Combining some of the instinctive elements of other martial art styles, OIS Krav Maga teaches combat techniques that can be used in real situations and all participants learn how to defend themselves against grabs, strikes, chokes and a range of weapons and hostage situations.

There is a free sample class, taught by master instructor Philippe Glikman, on Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 5-6 p.m. for children and 6-7:30 p.m. for adults at Temple Bet Shira, 7500 SW 120 St., Pinecrest, 33156. To register, email oismiami@gmail.com or call 305-570-7222.

Visit www.oiskravmaga.com

Special Olympics

The Special Olympics Florida - Miami-Dade County 2015 Sponsor an Athlete Awards Dinner is Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Mandarin Oriental.

This annual event is an opportunity to recognize the group’s most deserving athletes, coaches, volunteers, community partners and sponsors while raising awareness and funds to support more than 4,000 athletes that we serve in Miami-Dade County.

Purchase tickets on its website.

If unable to attend the Awards Dinner or kick-off event, consider making a donation to Sponsor an Athlete here.

St. Jude Run/Walk

South Florida walkers and runners are lacing up their sneakers to join participants in nearly 60 communities nationwide for the >St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during September's Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital continue to find cures and save the lives of children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The Walk/Run begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 at Zoo Miami. The event will feature a scenic 5K, family friendly activities and live entertainment. Participants are encouraged to form teams and raise funds to help support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude, where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food, so that families can focus on helping their child live.

Registration for the event is $10 for adults and children ages 6 and up. Participants who raise $100 will earn an official event T-shirt, and participants who raise $250 will become members of the St. Jude Fearless Fundraiser Club and earn additional St. Jude gear as they fundraise.

All South Florida community members are invited to participate. National series sponsors for the event include: Target and America Airlines. National Walk/Run teams include: Tri Delta, NYCO, Brooks Brothers, Delta Sigma Theta, Autotrader.com, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, Chili’s Bar & Grill, The Limited, Westfield and Destination XL Group.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Thanks to fundraisers like St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation.

To make a donation, volunteer or register, visit


More events, leagues, programs

FIU soccer

The FIU men's soccer program officially announced its 2015 schedule. The 16-game slate features seven home contests and games against six teams that participated in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

“We have put together a very challenging schedule that will really test our team from day one,” Head Coach Scott Calabrese said in a release. “We jump right in by opening up at UNC-Chapel Hill, who advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight last season. We follow up this game with another big test against a talented Wake Forest team who was also a Top 25 team and NCAA participant in 2014.

“Ultimately we believe that this strong non-conference schedule will prepare us to perform against our conference opponents. Conference USA featured five teams in the Top 25 last season with four teams being drawn into the NCAA tournament. C-USA is one of the premier soccer conferences in college soccer and elevating our program in C-USA will be our focus. I am very much looking forward to our season.”

The schedule will kick off at the end of August as the Panthers will spend the weekend in the state of North Carolina to take on two ACC powers. FIU will first face off with North Carolina on Aug. 28 in Chapel Hill, followed by a trip to Winston-Salem on Aug. 30 to battle Wake Forest. The Tar Heels reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament in 2014, and the Demon Deacons were also a participant.

The Panthers will open the month of September playing three of their first four games at the friendly confines of the FIU Soccer Stadium. FIU’s home opener comes on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. against Fairfield. Following the Fairfield matchup, the Panthers will head to Deland on Sept. 7 to meet the Stetson Hatters before returning to Miami to face Penn on Sept. 10 and Princeton on Sept. 12.

Conference USA action will begin on Sept. 18 as fans can make the easy drive to Boca Raton to watch the Panthers play Florida Atlantic. Following an eight-day turnaround, FIU will encounter its first C-USA home game against Marshall on Sept. 26. The Panthers will close the month of September with a non-conference game at UCF on the 29th.

During October, FIU will total six games, with three at home and three on the road. The Panthers will host the Charlotte 49ers on Oct. 3 before heading on the road on Oct. 10 at UAB. With FIU hosting Old Dominion on Oct. 17, it will close a stretch of three-straight opponents that participated in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Following back-to-back road games at FGCU (Oct. 20) and at South Carolina (Oct. 27), FIU finishes October on Halloween as it hosts New Mexico.

Just one regular season game will be featured in November, at Kentucky, on the seventh. The C-USA Tournament will occur from Nov. 11-15 in Charlotte.

Fans are encouraged to follow the Panthers on Twitter (@FIUMensSoccer) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUMensSoccer) for all the latest men’s soccer news.

Follow all of FIU's 18 athletic teams on Twitter (@FIUAthletics), Facebook (Facebook.com/FIUSports), YouTube (FIUPanthers), and Instagram (FIUathletics).

2 Seam Dream Foundation

Rick Greene has lived the boyhood dream of professional baseball success. It was a dream that took root in Coral Gables, as the 1989 graduate was a star for the Cavaliers.

Drafted by the New York Yankees, Greene chose to attend Louisiana State University before going pro. A pitcher, he helped the Tigers win three conference titles and recorded the final out to help LSU win the 1991 College Baseball World Series. Rick was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1992 in the first round (16th overall) of the Major League Baseball draft and made the 1993 Olympic Baseball team.

In 2011, years after his baseball career ended, his life was turned upside down. His father (a 1964 Coral Gables H.S. grad ) and stepfather were diagnosed with cancer.

“When that happened, I just decided to do something worthwhile to fight cancer” says Greene.

He brought the fight to the surroundings where he saw the most success, the baseball field.

In 2012, Rick started the

2 Seam Dream Foundation

www.2seamdreamfoundation.org/ which aims to raise awareness for cancer research and aid in the support of patient recovery activities. The Foundation promotes health living through disease awareness, the funding of high quality life programs and the promotion of activities to enhance lives. Rick, who lives in Louisiana, has been supported by famous athletes from around the sports world.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, the Foundation will hold its first Miami event. “Throwing Cancer a Curve” will be at Marlins Park and will benefit Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

Sponsors and guests will have an opportunity to spend time with pro athletes and celebrities.

For additional event and sponsorship information, visit

www.2seamdream.org or contact Rick Greene 225-603-8217 or Bekki Haggard 305-519-3539.

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.

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.


USTA Florida is bringing tennis to Miami parks through a new partnership with the City of Miami as part of the USTA Florida Section’s Diversity Outreach initiative in 2015. The initiative is designed to bring programming to diverse populations and provide the opportunity to learn and play the sport of tennis for a lifetime.

As part of the partnership, the USTA Florida Foundation has provided an equipment grant to the city for $5,606 to be distributed among 16 parks. The equipment will allow children to learn the sport of tennis with right-sized equipment for their age and ability, including smaller racquets, reduced-bounce balls, mini nets, and Tennis Skillastics games.

“Tennis is a great way for folks of all ages to stay fit, socialize and have fun,” Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Miami Kevin Kirwin said in a release. “The Parks and Recreation Department with the help of a generous grant from the USTA Florida Foundation has embraced tennis as a lifetime sport that will be incorporated into their summer and after-school program curriculum.”

USTA Florida Diversity Outreach efforts are specifically targeting Henderson and Armbrister parks in Miami for 2015 — facilities do not currently offer tennis, but will be introducing tennis basics this summer as part of their program activities, including an after-school program to be launched in September. Along with these two parks, 14 other City of Miami parks will also include an after-school program that will serve more than 500 children. City of Miami staff attended Kids Tennis Clubs training offered by USTA Florida earlier this year to learn the skills and tools necessary.

“I am excited about this new partnership and the City of Miami dedication to bring this lifetime sport to the community,” said Cathy Nordlund, USTA Florida tennis program coordinator. “Most tennis is played on public park courts, and this is giving so many children a chance to be introduced to this amazing sport.”

Armbrister and Henderson parks are part of the target markets USTA Florida is working with to grow tennis participation among diverse populations in Central and South Florida. As part these efforts, USTA Florida will be hosting events throughout the year, including free festivals, USTA Play Days, round robins, and USTA Florida will also offer scholarships for tennis providers to attend PTR Ace workshops and obtain teaching certifications.

A full list of events is posted at


For information about programs and places to play, visit



Florida ushered in a new era of tennis development for tournament players, age 10 and younger, with the introduction of the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway, a graduated development path with established benchmarks at each level to guide parents and coaches through junior tennis.

From beginning “red ball” play on 36-foot courts, youth progress through “orange ball” and “green ball” at various tournament levels before graduating to full-court “yellow ball” tennis. Each level contains appropriate kids-sized racquets, balls and court sizes, along with participation or achievement benchmarks to progress between age groups or tournament levels.

The Pathway contains a “Grandfather Clause” for players that turn age 11 during 2015 who currently have the skill set to play full-court yellow ball tournaments.

The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway roll-out is in partnership with the USPTA-Florida Division (United States Professional Teaching Association) and PTR (Professional Tennis Registry), the two largest tennis teaching professional certifying organizations in the U.S.

The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was also developed with solicited input from coaches and parents throughout Florida.

The red, orange and green ball levels correspond on the USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway with tournaments beginning at Level 9 (beginner) up to the start of advanced tournaments at Level 6 and higher.

The USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Youth Tournament Pathway was recently implemented in Florida tournaments.

For information on the Pathway, go to www.USTAFlorida.com/10UPathway


USTA Florida is offering a 10 and Under Tennis Workshop in Miami.

The on-court 10 and Under Tennis Workshop consists of six on-line courses, and is an essential tool for tennis professionals and volunteers involved in coaching youth tennis, and a requirement for the teaching professional certification through PTR and the USPTA. It also assists camp staff and volunteers with fun activities to engage children and teach them the basics of tennis. Attendees receive credit for continuing education.

The workshop fee is $15 and participants are encouraged to take online courses 1-4 prior to attending the workshop. All workshops are non-refundable and non-transferrable once you are registered. Attendees must come dressed appropriately to participate in on-court workshops and bring a racquet.

10 and Under Tennis workshop (on-court)

Sept. 19 — Crandon Park Tennis Facility, Key Biscayne, Workshop #2067

To register, create a profile and sign-in at


then click on the “workshops” tab and filter by state to select your workshop and purchase your spot.

For information about upcoming workshops and a complete list of events visit:



Miami received a community tennis grant in July from the USTA Florida Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association-Florida Section.

USTA Florida Foundation grants offer funding for youth tennis programs, adaptive tennis programs for those with special needs, community tennis programs in economically challenged areas, along with facility assistance in the renovation, refurbishment and building of quality public tennis facilities.

Since 2010, USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Foundation have awarded more than $1,000,000 in grants for tennis programs serving people of all ages and abilities throughout Florida.

USTA Florida Foundation grant in July:

Miami — Creative Works LLC

Grant: Equipment grant for the Fun Kid Fit – Kids 10 and Under Tennis program to provide beginner tennis lessons to under-served children in the Miami area.

The USTA Florida Foundation’s mission is “Changing Lives Through Tennis,” providing financial support through organizational grants that help Floridians of all ages and abilities improve their health and quality of life through the game of tennis. It is the USTA Florida Foundation’s belief that tennis provides opportunities for healthy social, emotional, physical and educational development, and encourages peer and family participation.

For information on individual grants or for information on the USTA Florida Foundation, go to



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

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

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

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

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

Palmetto Bay cheerleading/football

Registration for Palmetto Bay Broncos cheerleading and tackle football is 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays at the Football Shed at Coral Reef Park.

The Broncos are members of the Greater Miami South Florida Pop Warner League.

Visit www.GoPurpleGetGold.com for information.

Safety First

Palmetto Bay Broncos Football implemented USA Football Head’s Up Football Safety Program.

For information visit www.MomstackleBetter.com

More safety

The Bronco football program from its youngest players, age 4 and 5, in the intramural division through age 15 in the Varsity travel program will begin the season implementing the USA Football Heads Up teaching techniques.

Park Commissioner Frank Gowin and Coach Fred Farrington completed the USA Football Player Safety Coach training course at Columbus High School taught by Columbus Head Coach Chris Merritt. The techniques and fundamentals demonstrated at this program proved to significantly reduce the injury rate for young players.

Gowin, who has been associated with the Broncos since 1990, said: “Coach Fred and I were extremely impressed when certifying with the USA Football ‘Player Safety Coach’ course. The detailed instruction on proper head and body placement is groundbreaking and a safety breakthrough for the game of football.”

The 2015 Bronco season will emphasize basic safety fundamentals and proper tackling and blocking techniques across all age divisions. All practices will employ special drills to ensure players know how to get into a proper three-point stance, and to keep the head in appropriate position throughout the play to reduce the risk of injury.

Football has changed dramatically in the way it is taught and practiced, according to Gowin.

“In the old days, the helmet was used as a weapon especially when tackling. Those days are gone.”

The amount of time devoted in practice to full-contact action has been strictly limited as to minutes per practice and number of days per week. Most of practice is devoted to proper technique using tackling dummies and fundamentals of football.

The Broncos Intramural program is three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) at Coral Reef Park in Palmetto Bay.

For information visit the Broncos website at


Kendall Hammocks cheer, football

The Kendall Hammocks Warriors Tackle program offers registration 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.

Registrations and practices are at Devonaire Park, 10411 SW 122 Ave.

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.








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.

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.


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


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


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.


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


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.

Youth Rugby South Miami

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




Soccer 5 Academy

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

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

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

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

For more information or to register, visit 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.





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


YouTube youth sports and more

YouTube at the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)


Source : http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/youth-sports/article32785449.html

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