Ranse Jones event: a success

Posted on 17 November 2016 by LeslieM

sports111716By Gary Curreri

Kaitlyn Smith was one of more than 200 players that recently took part in the seventh annual Ranse Jones Classic beach volleyball tournament in Deerfield Beach.

Smith, 20, grew up playing beach volleyball in Deerfield and played a year at nearby Florida Atlantic University last year, but said her engineering studies curtailed her college career.

Still, the 2015 Highlands Christian Academy graduate finds her way out to the sand that is just minutes away from her Deerfield Beach home.

It is great how they celebrate it in a positive way and bring the whole beach (volleyball) family together,” Smith said. “A lot of us are local, but a lot of people come from out of state and that’s awesome. I play here all of the time and I think it is great to see people out here doing the same thing and supporting a great cause … having fun, and the positive energy is great.”

The tournament is staged each year to celebrate the life of the volleyball player and Flagler County firefighter after whom the tournament is named. The tournament generally raises between $20-$30,000 on an annual basis for Ranse Jones Stroke Awareness Fund at the Broward Health North Stroke Center.

In April 2010, Jones suffered a brain aneurysm while playing in the semifinals of the Panama City AVP Young Guns tournament. He died that November. Jones had played in 21 AVP tournaments since 2000. He also spent time on the Extreme Volleyball Professionals tour and competed in the Men’s Open Division of the 2009 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball.

Fort Lauderdale’s Juanita Mendoza, 29, said the tournament was huge.

There are a lot of people that play in this from a lot of different states,” Mendoza said. “(It is very competitive) as well as people who are here to honor the cause.”

Jensen Beach High School junior Jillienne Cangelosi, 16, made the drive from her home in Stuart to play in the tournament.

It is a really big event,” Cangelosi said. “It is really great because people aren’t only here to compete. They are here to have a good time.”

When we had the bagpipes in the morning, you could just feel everybody thinking about him,” she continued. “And the moment of silence, even though there were other noises obviously, it was amazing to think about him and that his memory was still here.”

Bucks in action Friday

Deerfield Beach High School is hoping for redemption this Friday as it visits Flanagan in the Class 8A regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m.

The Bucks (8-2) did its part as it coasted to a 27-13 regional quarterfinal victory over Western as quarterback Nick Holm passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns and added a scoring run to boot. Deerfield Beach is ranked 5th in the state in the AP Football rankings.

We have been on a collision course for a whole year now,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn. “Let the two big dogs go at it and give the people what they want to see. There is a lot of respect for both teams.”

The defending 8A state champion Falcons (9-2) topped down Piper, 21-7, last week to set up a rematch of the same round last year where Flanagan, currently ranked third in the state in the AP Football rankings, won 17-0 en route to Orlando.

Tigers close season on winning note

Stanley Bolden caught two touchdown passes, the second from 27-yards out in overtime, to give Blanche Ely a 13-7 upset victory over Dillard recently in the 47th annual Soul Bowl at Lockhart Stadium.

After Dillard’s George Golden scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers ahead 7-0, the Tigers (3-6) tied the game on a 60-yard pass play from senior quarterback Karinzo Ward to Bolden.

Blanche Ely, which missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012, won the rivalry game for the 7th time in the past eight meetings and led the series 25-20-2. Dillard led (6-4), which won the District 15-6A title in a three-team tiebreaker, went on to lose to Miami Carol City, 47-8, in the regional quarterfinals.

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