Tornadoes playing well

Posted on 23 October 2014 by L.Moore

sports102314By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach High School girls’ volleyball team coach William Strachan said the only opponent that can knock off the Tornadoes is themselves.

Pompano Beach (20-5) will look to win its fourth district championship on Thursday, when his team takes on Cardinal Gibbons (17-6) in the District 16-5A championship at 6 p.m.

To win states, we have to take care of the ball,” Strachan said. “In volleyball, you have to do two things — one is to make your serves, [the other is} to get that first contact on serves. We have to execute. I believe the girls, especially the seniors, are stepping up at the right time.”

Pompano Beach dropped the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA) girls’ volleyball championship last Saturday to St. Thomas Aquinas in the title game, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18 at Cardinal Gibbons High School.

I felt pretty happy about the BCAA Final,” said Strachan. “I am glad we are playing at a high level. We missed some serves down the road and St. Thomas capitalized on it. I told them our service team had to do better than their servers and that wasn’t the case in that match.”

Heading into districts, Pompano Beach ended Cypress Bay’s bid of an undefeated season and then dropped two tough matches to St. Thomas Aquinas. The Tornados have also played Chaminade, Pine Crest, Calvary Christian, Cardinal Gibbons, and Jupiter.

It prepares us,” Strachan added. “If you look at our schedule all year, we basically handpicked the top teams in South Florida to play. Playing Cypress Bay or St. Thomas is just another game for us. It’s good because if you play the top teams you hope you improve. You find out what you need to work on and right now I think we are playing at a very high level.”

The team’s losses were to St. Thomas (twice), Pine Crest, Chaminade and Jupiter.

In our losses, it is just that our team will make an error and the other team capitalizes on it and goes on a run,” Strachan said. “I think that the only team that can beat us, really, is ourselves.”

Junior Cassidy Bonito transferred from West Broward and has helped the team.

In the past, Pompano Beach has had sisters Nina and Stephanie Pellitteri (FSU), Brittany Pellitteri (FAU) and Savannah Davis (FIU) who have contributed; however this year’s squad has a different dynamic.

This is the first year where we have two big middles, where, in years past, we have always been staying on the outsides,” Strachan said. “I felt good this year because we have Paige (Alsten) in the middle and I think she is the best middle in the county. Our second middle Jasmine (Souverein-Reisert), even though she doesn’t have the touches or the experience, she is 6-ft. 4-in. and that makes her a factor.

We have Nikki (Esposito) and Tara (Brannen) on the outsides and they are good players,” Strachan said. “Both of my setters like to hit too, so that is helpful. Our worst opponent is ourselves sometimes. We have to execute and play at a top level. If we do that, we’ll win. We have got to work better on finishing strong and we’ll do that in the next week or two. If we can execute, I don’t think there is a team that will beat us.”

Alsten, a senior middle blocker and the team’s most dominant hitter, is committed to Webber College in Georgia. Esposito, a senior outside hitter, is committed to play sand volleyball at FSU. Other top players for the Tornados include Casey Calhoun (senior setter), Cassidy Bonito (junior setter), Tara Brannen (junior outside hitter), Cori Smothers (junior libero).

HOOPS FOR A CURE

The City of Pompano Beach and Blanche Ely High School are going to duke it out on the court in a Hoops For a Cure Basketball Challenge to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month next Wednesday, [Oct. 29] at 5 p.m. in the school’s gym.

As part of the city’s wellness program, employees from Pompano’s public works and utilities departments formed a Hoops For Health basketball team that has been playing basketball every week after hours as part of the wellness initiative.

They challenged the Blanche Ely High School varsity basketball team, teachers and staff to a basketball competition to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both teams will be wearing pink for the game.

Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher will take part in the basketball game for this worthy cause.

The Blanche Ely High School Marching Band, teachers and city employees will also be in attendance to cheer on their team and show their support.

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FLICKS: Vincent Price Returns

Posted on 23 October 2014 by L.Moore

FrightAsylum FrankieBust (2)By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Though he has been gone 21 years ago this Halloween Season, Vincent Price makes a return to the big screen in The Last Man on Earth Halloween night at Cinema Paradiso.

While the film begins at 9 p.m., “Happy Hour” begins at 8 p.m. when Michelle Fresita’s signature “Vampire Wine,” “Bloody Marys” and succulent chocolates will be served. The evening will also feature a costume contest and prizes include: annual memberships for Cinema Paradiso, Fright Asylum coffee mugs, autographed copies of Davy Jones & the Heart of Darkness and The Querulous Nights of Athena Minerva.

A Vincent Price horror film is an appropriate way to kick off is what we hope will be an ongoing partnership between Fright Asylum and Cinema Paradiso, home of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FliFF).

FLiFF honored Vincent Price in 1991 with a Lifetime Achievement Award, one year after the actor’s last screen appearance in Edward Scissorhands, starring Johnny Depp. Price also narrated the documentary The Devil’s Triangle, which explored the mysteries involving the missing ships and airplanes off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale. Like many a conspiracy, this documentary seems to have disappeared from public consumption, but has resurfaced in four parts on YouTube.

Vincent Price has remained a cultural figure in popular culture. His voice can be heard on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the best selling album of all time. Seven years before Thriller, Price lent his voice to Alice Cooper’s first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare. Price’s vocal tones have inspired many actors and actresses. At the recent Spooky Empire Convention, Pat Carroll discussed how Vincent Price influenced her reading of Madame Leota in The Haunted Mansion ride in Disneyworld.

By the time he did The Last Man on Earth, Vincent Price had been cementing his image as the new “King of Horror” for his work in William Castle movies (The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill) and his Edgar Allen Poe/Roger Corman series (The Masque of Red Death, The House of Usher, The Tomb of Ligeia). The Last Man on Earth will be celebrating its 50th anniversary screening Halloween night.

The Last Man on Earth is based on Richard Matheson’s horror fiction novel I Am Legend. His book was adapted for film twice more as The Omega Man (1971) with Charlton Heston in the Vincent Price role and, most recently, as I Am Legend (2007) with Will Smith. Of the three films, the Vincent Price version has been the most influential.

While attending Carnegie Mellon University, George Romero talked with two of his Pittsburgh friends, John Russo and Gary Streiner about directing a movie that “… had a taste for the bizarre.” The film was Night of the Living Dead, which begat the current zombie-craze currently fueled by AMC Television series The Walking Dead. Romero has long admitted that The Last Man on Earth was a direct influence on his work.

Despite portraying despicable villains and cultural maniacs, the real Vincent Price was a dedicated professional and likeable movie star who always had time for his fans. One month before his passing in 1993, I received a letter that just might be Vincent Price’s last autograph. Fright Asylum and I are honored to return Vincent Price to the Big Screen this Halloween night at Cinema Paradiso. (For more information, visit www.fliff.com/Film/1798/Fright_Asylum_Halloween_Special

Vincent Price's last autograph (2)

Cinema Dave had a response from Vincent Price himself!

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CLERGY CORNER: Changing seasons

Posted on 23 October 2014 by L.Moore

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

King Solomon’s observation of life and human behavior resulted in numerous conclusions which are undeniably true. This particular truth relates to the fluid nature of the human experience. Nothing remains the same, everything changes and there is an appointed time or season when change will occur. In nature, we identify the progression of time through the changing of the seasons from Spring to Summer, from Summer to Fall and from Fall to Winter. Each comes with its own unique personality and characteristics (colorful flowers, hot sun, falling leaves, frigid temperatures).

Depending upon where one lives in this country, or on this planet, some seasons are more readily seen and experienced than others. South Florida tends to be a perpetual summer experience with a brief autumn respite (in my opinion).

An awareness of the coming change in a season enables us to prepare for it and adjust to its uniqueness. As we age, we also go through seasons of life with characteristics, expectations and responsibilities that are unique to each phase. The one constant, however, is that there will be change. Nothing lasts for too long, and each season fulfills some purpose.

The varying experiences that we face (challenge, struggle, satisfaction, success etc. …) also tend to be seasonal. We would love to park at the particularly pleasant and rewarding experiences of life and live the remainder of our days there, in peace and tranquility. The inevitability of change, though, indicates that we’d do well to be prepared when our situation undergoes a transition to something else. Though we may not appreciate change, especially when it involves moving from something good to something bad, Solomon’s wisdom indicates that each season serves a purpose.

If you are favored with good circumstances (a good season), celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy your life. Be mindful, however, that things may soon change. If you are in a bad situation (season), seek to understand what lessons it may offer for your future benefit, or for others who are around you. Know that it will not last forever, and that you may well come out the better for it. Sometimes the challenges and difficulties of life are necessary to release the hidden greatness, brilliance and potential that lies in all of us. Consider that the caterpillar must go through a period (season) of isolation, darkness and struggle before it emerges as a beautiful butterfly. And oysters must endure a season of agitation and discomfort in order to produce the costly pearl.

Whatever season you may find yourself in, make the most of it by adjusting to its demands and facing it with confidence. Thank God for bringing you to it, or trust Him knowing that He will see you through it. You have not arrived at it by accident. Though you may be incapable of controlling what happens to you, the power to manage your response is all yours. Be grateful to God for His blessing or His mercy in each circumstance. He has brought you to this for a season and for a purpose.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302. The church celebrated its 90th anniversary over Labor Day weekend. 1924-2014.

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Plantation’s last second win spoils Tigers’ hoopla

Posted on 16 October 2014 by L.Moore

sports101614By Gary Curreri

For the third time this season, host Blanche Ely had a bad taste of déjà vu.

It was the first home game for the Tigers after spending the first five weeks on the road. It also marked the debut of a new, state-of-the-art scoreboard that was donated by 2008 Ely grad Patrick Peterson, now with the Arizona Cardinals, former head coach William Facteau and other community leaders.

The product on the field was competitive, but, for the third time this season, Blanche Ely let a late lead slip away and lost in the closing minute of the contest.

Maurquice Flowers rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns, including a 2-yard run, with 57 seconds remaining, to propel Plantation to a 31-23 victory over Blanche Ely in a non-district game last Friday night that also marked the return of former Tigers coach Steve Davis.

Davis, who spent 10 years at Blanche Ely and won the Class 5A state title at the school in 2002, won for the second consecutive season at his former school. He is 2-2 in regular season games, not including a kickoff classic win during that span. Plantation won 32-26 last season.

Flowers’ second score capped an 8-play, 93-yard drive to hand the Tigers its third loss in the closing minute this season. It also dropped games to Deerfield Beach and Miami Northwestern in the waning seconds earlier this year. Flowers and Antwuan Haynes each broke the century mark on the ground for the Colonels (4-2). Haynes finished with 101 yards on 14 carries.

That’s really cool,” Davis said of the scoreboard. “I am a big time Ely guy. I spent a lot of years here. I really think the new scoreboard and all of the other stuff is well deserved. Hopefully, it was a little distraction for them. This was a real important game. It is not a district game, but ,when you look at the power rankings for Broward County, it lets you know where you stand.”

Blanche Ely (2-4) christened its new $100,000 scoreboard on a 38-yard field goal by Carmeley Charite with 3 minutes left in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead.

Plantation took the ensuing kickoff and marched 80 yards in nine plays to take a 7-3 lead on a 4-yard scoring toss from Archie Banton to Yvon St. Louis with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Blanche Ely, which also debuted new uniforms, capitalized on an interception by Terrance Henley to grab a 10-7 lead on a 5-yard scoring run by Demeterice Bellamy with 2:54 remaining in the first half. The Colonels took the lead shortly before halftime when Banton broke three tackles and bulled in from 10-yards out on a quarterback keeper.

The Tigers capitalized on another turnover deep in Plantation territory and converted it into another score. Zackery Purdue found Therrell Gosier for a 13-yard scoring play with 2:30 left in the third quarter for a 17-14 lead.

Plantation took the ensuing kickoff and moved 80 yards in 11 plays capped by a 7-yard scoring run by Flowers for a 21-17 lead. The Tigers answered on a 33-yard scoring toss from Perdue to Thomas Geddis to seize a 23-21 lead before the visiting Colonels battled back.

I think we had to eliminate the big play because Ely is a big play team,” Davis added. “We were able to control the ground game and the corner backs played well. I think a win over a good team like Ely will really catapult our season tonight. We have to keep moving forward.”

Blanche Ely coach Nakia Jenkins admitted his team is young, but needs to play four quarters of football.

We need to learn to finish,” said Jenkins, who is in his first year at the school as head coach. “We should be easily 5-1 right now. We have to put teams away early. It is definitely motivation. I tell these guys all of the time they don’t know how good they can be. We are going to be really good once we put it all together.”

If he were doling out mid-season grades, Jenkins said he would give his team a C-plus.

We are very young,” Jenkins said. “We are about 80 percent of our JV team from last year. We are get- ting better. Hopefully, at the back end of the season, we can put a lot of things together … We have to keep building and stay healthy. We have to get them together, rally, work on technique and we are at the back end of the season … and get district champs. We just have to take it one game at a time.”

Blanche Ely Athletic Director Andrea Johnson was thrilled with the new scoreboard.

It is really cool,” Johnson said. “It really goes with the state-of-the-art field that we have here. The community fought really hard to get it. They just beat the ground getting the donations so we could have this for our school, for our kids and for our community.

Patrick Peterson and Bill Facteau were the major donors,” Johnson added. “The installation took a week. It’s amazing. The capabilities it has, the clarity of the screen … it is a wonderful addition to the stadium. We are still working out the kinks and figuring out all of the wonderful technology, but we will be able to show replays, advertisements and a lot of other cool stuff. We have cameras and all of that.”

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FLICKS: Rudderless

Posted on 16 October 2014 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As advertised, Rudderless looks like a film along the lines of Coal Miner’s Daughter, Walk the Line and Almost Famous. With Billy Crudup’s participation, this film feels like a spiritual sequel to Almost Famous, as if we are meeting Crudup’s character 14 years later.

Crudup portrays Sam, an advertising rep who closes a big deal. He calls his college- aged son in an effort to celebrate his success, but the phone only takes messages. While watching television at a bar, Sam sees that his son’s college has become the location of work-place violence.

A few years later, Sam has become a recluse, living alone on a sailboat and estranged from his wife, Emily (Felicity Huffman), who openly grieves for the loss of their son. Negligent from domestic responsibilities, Sam will have nothing to do with cleaning out their son’s room. One day, Emily brings their son’s stuff to Sam’s garbage bin. Ignoring it at first, Sam finds his son’s guitar and music tracks for songs that he has written.

While attending an open mic contest, Sam meets Quentin (Anton Yelchin). The two form a band and start playing the dead son’s music. Things seem redemptive until the son’s girlfriend (Selena Gomez) shows up, disgusted by Sam’s playlist. Thus Rudderless becomes a film with much more depth than advertised.

Making his directorial debut, character actor William H. Macy directs with a confident ebb and flow. The drama is real, but not over the top. The comedy is laugh out loud funny with echoes from previous movies.

Despite the sunny cinematography, there is a darkness beyond the theme of grief; Sam and Emily’s son was the shooter who killed the university students. Thus, the beautiful music takes on sinister attributes.

Rudderless is a film that makes one look beyond the obvious.

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CLERGY CORNER: A Sukkah of peace a year of joy

Posted on 16 October 2014 by L.Moore

By Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

I don’t know about you, but I love to people watch. In between the holidays, I had to take a trip to Whole Foods. Whole foods is all about things that are healthy for you and I love shopping there, but, I know people who will not keep kosher because they say it’s too expensive, and yet, I see them shopping at Whole Foods regularly, and in case you don’t know it, the foods there are not exactly cheap.

While there, three different people, not employees, just fellow shoppers, approached me to tell me why I shouldn’t buy this or that product that I had in my cart. One of the three was massively obese, another was so thin that I expect she was anorexic and the third ran through a litany of medical conditions that they suffer from. Yet, there they all were, telling me what I should and should not be eating in order to stay healthy.

I’ve been dealing with a bad back, but, even bent over, I looked more robust than all three of them combined.

It is so easy for us to look at someone else and decide what’s good for them. We are so sure of ourselves when deciding what’s right for someone else.

We are in the midst of the Festival of Sukkot where we build a Sukkah. Our sages teach us that Chupah rhymes with Sukkah. A Chupah is a wedding canopy. On Friday evenings, we chant prayer that tells us to greet the Sabbath bride. With this being Sukkot, I want to teach you something about this particular prayer.

You see, I run into a lot of people contemplating marriage. As I meet with them, especially during individual counsel, one partner may go over a series of reasons why they are concerned that the person they are thinking of getting married to may not be good enough for them. They are concerned that they might just be settling.

I worry about such fears. But imagine this — imagine if, instead of focusing on whether the person you’re with is good enough for you, what if you spend some time reversing the question. Maybe what you should be concerned about is … are you good enough for them?

After all, if you really love them, you don’t want them to just settle? You wouldn’t want that for yourself; so why on earth would you want that for them? There is an old saying among our people; when love is strong, a couple can sleep on the edge of the sword, but when love is soured even a bit of 60 miles does not give enough room.

I am a big fan of small Sukkot. If the family can eat together in peace, in a small flimsy hut in the backyard, if the family can invite guests to join them and break bread together in peace in that very same hut, there must be an awful lot of love there.

Each one there has to take the time to make sure that they are not infringing on another person’s space. Each person there must be careful with the words they speak. Each person there must think of what they can do to add to everyone else’s joy.

And that is my wish for each and every one of you dear readers; in the midst of Sukkot, may we all be blessed to live together in peace with ourselves, with our family and with each other; and, with that, we will indeed be filled with much joy in the year ahead.

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach, which is inviting Community Leaders and Residents to join on Oct. 22 at 1 p.m. to help them “Think Out of The Box” as they plan for the next 5 years of programs and projects that will enable them to continue to be part of the very heart and soul of our beloved Deerfield Beach. All Are Welcome! They need your creativity, wisdom and originality. They need the gift of your presence.

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Bucks’ keep playoff hopes alive

Posted on 09 October 2014 by L.Moore

sports100914By Jacob Shendell

Deerfield Beach comes out on top defeating Taravella High School, winning their first District 11-8A game to the score of 14-7 last Thursday night.

Both teams needed a district win — Deerfield (3-3) coming off of a 24-21 loss to Coral Springs High School and Taravella (1-4) with a 45-7 win over Coral Glades High School the week before.

Deerfield came out guns blazing. Quarterback Jefftey Joseph, combined with offensive weapons Antonio Cartagena and Giavante Evans, marched down the field to the Taravella 20-yard line before running into trouble. Deerfield Beach fumbled the ball with the Trojans recovering it on the 3rd down, having no gain, stopped after the fumble.

Deerfield stopped the Trojans on their drive, forcing them to punt the ball on 4th down, starting their drive at their own 36 yard-line. Kobe Farrish led the drive, carrying the ball on five of the six plays. He ended the drive with a 1-yard gain; he punched into the end zone to give the Bucks the lead 7-0 with 2:15 left in the 1st quarter.

Taravella responded right back with a touchdown in the second quarter with an 80-yard drive by Tyler Hunter tying the game up 7-7. The tie was short lived as the Bucks’ WR Antonio Cartagena caught a huge pass from Joseph running it down the field for an 80-yard touchdown play to put the Bucks’ up 14-7 to close out the third quarter.

In the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Trojans were making a huge effort toward the Deerfield Beach end zone only to be stopped by a lightning delay on the Deerfield Beach 21-yard line. Play resumed 40 minutes after the delay. Deerfield stopped the Trojans on 3rd down at the end of the drive.

The score remained the same throughout the rest of the game. Deerfield won 14-7.

Tomorrow night, Deerfield is in Sunrise playing Piper High School (2-3). The last time these two teams met was on the Deerfield Beach Homecoming night, where Piper lost (53-8).

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FLICKS: Gone Girl

Posted on 09 October 2014 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal.

Literary Cinema” began 10 years ago in the Broward County Main Library with a screening of Masque of the Red Death starring Jane Asher and Vincent Price.

From the written word to the moving image, “Literary Cinema” lasted for five years and presented 49 movies with an emphasis on stories from Edgar Allen Poe, Harper Lee, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Glendon Swarthout.

In the past five years, best-selling titles like Twilight, The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson have met audience expectations with mixed results. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl has been on the best-seller’s list less than two years and has already become a box office success. Gone Girl opens with an ambiguous Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) roaming around small town, Missouri. It is his 5th wedding anniversary, but Nick seems more interested in playing board games with his twin sister, Margo (Carrie Coon). When a nosy neighbor interrupts Nick to tell him that his cat is outside the house, Nick returns home to find that his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) is gone.

If you have read the book jacket or have seen the television commercials, you know that Amy’s disappearance causes a media sensation. Yet, there is more to the story than just a routine thriller and there is a reason why reliable character actors such as Missi Pyle, Sela Ward and Tyler Perry have major supporting roles in this film.

Best known for his noir work in films like Se7en, The Game, Zodiac and The Social Network, David Fincher is the perfect director for this flick. His camera work is not showy or flashy, but he draws the audience into this uneven world of Nick and Amy. Pay attention to many visual cues that involve closing doors and the symbolic critique of privacy.

At 2 ½ hours, Gone Girl drags a bit before reaching its conclusion. While I was told that the movie is true to the book, I felt that if I read the book , I would not really need to pay and go see the movie.

Of note, Annabelle almost matched Gone Girl for last weekend’s box office crown. A spin off from last year’s sleeper hit, The Conjuring, Annabelle was produced for less than $10 million and has already turned a profit. It will be fascinating to see how this new horror movie franchise progresses with their Chrisitian/Horror themes.

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CLERGY CORNER: Change is not easy

Posted on 09 October 2014 by L.Moore

Have you ever tried to quit doing something that you thought was a bad habit or maybe bad manners? Have you ever tried to change these things yourself without any help? If you have an issue with anger, you may have at some point just said, ‘I will stop getting mad all the time and stop yelling.’ How is that working out for you?

You may have that special gift that you think was straight from heaven, and you can find the fault in any situation or circumstance. You know who you are because you can look at any situation and see only what needs to be fixed or what can be better. Maybe at some point you say, ‘Well I just won’t say anything anymore and I will just mind my own business and keep my mouth shut.’ How is that working out for you?

In order for most to really change, they need help and assistance. We want to change and we need to change, but we do not have the ability to change on our own and we need help. Because God is great, He can help us change. Because of the greatness of His love, He will defend us and also help us to change.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.

NKJV

God uses love as an action word. When God uses love, it is a verb. They say that love is not love until you give it away. The Bible says that God loved us while we were sinners. There are no conditions on God’s love for us; he chose to love us at our worst. Not only did God love us when we were a total mess, but God will never quit loving you because He is very patient with us. When I was much younger, I remember looking in the paper and asking for something for Christmas over and over. When I would open that present on Christmas day, I remember being so excited about getting that toy. Then, six weeks later, I would forget I even had that toy.

God will never quit loving you no matter what you did or what you do. God’s love even includes acceptance. God says, ‘I love you, come as you are;’ but we say, ‘I love you if you do this for me.’ Our love has conditions on it, but God’s love is unconditional. Not only will God accept you just the way you are, but He will give you room to grow.

We always seem to accuse others of not being able to change and staying the same way, but God loves us so much He not only helps us to change, but He gives us room to grow and change at our own pace. We should never compare our lives to anyone or anything but God’s Holy Word. God loves us so much it makes us want to change and not only can we change, but God will help us to change. Just be yourself with God and let Him change you into the person that He wants.

Tony Guadagnino is a pastor at Christian Love Fellowship of Deerfield Beach.

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Beach tennis event draws 84 competitors

Posted on 02 October 2014 by L.Moore

Chelsea Hall (Sarasota), left, and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa), reached the final of the Women’s A Division in the tournament where they lost to Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas. Photo by Gary Curreri

Chelsea Hall (Sarasota), left, and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa), reached the final of the Women’s A Division in the tournament where they lost to Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Adrienne Cerra knows what it is like to put on a successful beach tennis event and she also found her way onto the winner’s podium at the September Beach Tennis G-4 Tournament on Pompano Beach Sept. 21.

Cerra, the International Federation of Beach Tennis- USA president, teamed with Miramar’s Christy Garzon to win the Women’s Pro Division of the tournament with a win over teenagers Megan Horwitz (Pembroke Pines) and Erika Ponce (Miramar).

The tournament featured 84 players who competed in Men’s and Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Juniors Doubles (12 and under) in both pro and amateur divisions.

The IFBT-USA held a World Cup Triple Crown tournament during the summer that featured top players from all over the U.S.A., as well as Brazil, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Aruba, Peru, Columbia and Germany, who represented their countries.

They will hold a tournament nearly every month all along Florida, in addition to tournaments throughout the United States in California, St. Louis, New York and internationally in Barcelona, Cancun

and Puerto Rico. Cerra said the sport is continuing to grow and that more and more children are starting to play. This event served as a warm-up for a G-1 tournament in Cancun, Mexico. It was more of a local one so there were medals and ranking points.

We try and do one every month, so it is a monthly event,” Cerra said. “It is called a Grade 4, which is pretty much a local tournament. A G-3 tournament gets more people from out of the town. A G-2 is more of a national and a G-1 is an international tournament. These local tournaments are a way for us to introduce the sport. Some people come by out of curiosity, or they heard of it and they come out to play.”

Cerra said they also have free weekly practices at the beach to help introduce the sport to players.

There are beginners and we also leave a court for people to try and come out and play with us,” Cerra said. “We give people paddles and balls and we will demo the sport. They can try it and, if they like it, they are welcome to play. They can play right away. The learning curve is pretty small. We are always there every weekend, and then, once a month, we try and have a local tournament.”

Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas captured the Women’s A Division with a win over Chelsea Hall (Sarasota) and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa). Ponce, who picked up her first ever win on the beach, said she likes the competitive attitude and camaraderie among the players.

It is nice because you can still be friends with someone knowing that they have given you their A game,” Ponce said. “I know my friends would not like it if I didn’t give them my all in my game. It is a sign of respect. If they beat me, they beat me fair and square. It is more passion and competitiveness and always trying to improve and get better.”

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