Dolphins swim team dominates again

Posted on 27 August 2015 by L.Moore

sports082715By Gary Curreri

Meghan Robenhymer said swimming has taken her pretty far.

The 14-year-old Coconut Creek teenager took third in the Girls 13-14 50-yard breaststroke, second in the Girls 13-18 100-yard breaststroke, and was on two winning relays to help the Deerfield Beach Dolphins win its eighth consecutive South Florida Recreational Swim League Summer Championships recently at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. The two-day meet was held in the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions.

This is my entire life,” said Robenhymer, a freshman at Monarch High School and nine-year veteran of sport. “I was average when I first started. The work I bring to it made myself better.”

Robenhymer started swimming at a preschool program and was told she had really good form.

They said I should tryout for the recreation league,” Robenhymer added. “I was on that team for a couple of years and then I switched to Dolphins. It’s great to be winning races. It shows that all the hard work paid off.”

Parkland’s Emily Chen also turned in a strong performance for Deerfield Beach as she won three individual events and was on two winning relays at the event.

Chen, 14, who holds 12 individual league records dating back to when she was 7, added the Girls 13- 14 100-yard freestyle and the Girls 13-14 100-yard IM records to her credit. The Deerfield Beach High School freshman started swimming when she 7.

It has just been fun,” Chen said. “It has been a really great venture. I’ve been with the same coaches the whole time and it is just a great atmosphere. The sport means almost everything to me. It is practically my life now.”

Chen hopes for a long swimming career, first high school and then college.

It is definitely a dream to think of the Olympics,” Chen said. “It is always fun to watch. From afar, whatever is best for me in the long run. The sport definitely shaped my personality — from teamwork and how to support each other to learning how to lose. I learned not to be a sore loser.”

Chen said it has helped her stay determined.

You just keep trying,” Chen said. “You just keep going. If you never try, you are never going to go anywhere.”

The Deerfield Beach Dolphins won the Large Division with 4,455 points, while the Tsunami Swim Team based in Coconut Creek won the Medium Division with 2,219 points. The Margate Motion Swim Team was fourth in the Medium Division with 1,346 points.

The victory marked the eighth consecutive summer championship victory for the Dolphins since 2007, and 20th overall during the same span when counting the fall and spring seasons.

Ninth year Deerfield Beach Dolphins coach Rafael DaSilva said the victory was huge for the program. The Dolphins have 90 swimmers on its roster and had 83 swimmers compete.

This meet is the most important meet of the year,” DaSilva said. “It is the biggest championship of all three. This is where it started. The fall and the spring championships were added later.”

There are always more people because, in the fall, you have high school swimming and, in the spring, you have water polo and some do middle school swimming,” DaSilva added. “There is a lot of competition per se to get the kids involved. The summer is where you prepare the kids for high school swimming and you have the bigger number and more quality swimmers returning. You have more teams and this is the only meet where you make the divisions based on sizes from team to team.”

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Posted on 27 August 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

After retiring from the NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Superbowl Champion Simeon Rice attended a New York film school to prepare to become a filmmaker.

After directing his first short subject, When I was King, Simeon poured his energies into writing Unsullied, a gritty thriller that follows Reagan Farrow (Murray Gray), a track star, who is kidnapped by a pair of sociopaths after her car breaks down on a deserted road.

Being a student of Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Quentin Tarantino, Rice’s latest film feels like a cross between The Most Dangerous Game, Apocalypto and Deliverance.

Seeing Deliverance, I was on edge. Time is standing on its own high sense of tension and anxiety. With film, once you see an image, you cannot un-see it!” said Rice.

Deliverance shares the same rural landscape as Unsullied.

Rice and his crew spent more time scouting rural locations near Tampa Bay than the actual production of the film, which was shot in 23 days last autumn. Simeon has high praise for his production crew and he acknowledges the contributions of his leading actors.

Murray Gray is a deep thinker and is wise beyond her years.

Rusty Joiner, who plays Noah Evans, is the consummate Southern gentleman, often holding the door for a lady. On screen, he entered another dimension and created Satan personified, the kind of church boy you do not trust,” he explained.

Given that he chose to film Unsullied in Florida and had a good experience with the community, perhaps he can become an advocate for the Florida film industry; he defiantly has a streak of independence about him.

But Rice did not come from Florida originally. He grew up in the South Side of Chicago in the worst part of town.

Of his youth, he said, “Being a kid on the street with gang violence, you have to think. You become a straight shooter. It prepared me to make quick decisions on the set.”

Rice has already completed another script titled Full Tilt, a tense drama about backroom poker.

Although he has delved now into film, he still thinks about his previous career.

When asked if he misses football, he said, “Yes! Maybe not a preseason game, but I miss the game itself. It is something that is hotwired in me.”

The film will be shown at selected locations on August 28. To find out more about the film and where film is shown, visit

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CLERGY CORNER: Hope for a turnaround

Posted on 27 August 2015 by L.Moore

The city of Newark, NJ has the distinction of being one of America’s oldest cities, behind Boston and New York.

During the early 19th Century, it thrived as an industrial giant; but, after WWII, it suffered a fate similar to other urban cities that saw a loss of manufacturing jobs. As residents left to find work in other places, urban decay and societal decline set in, culminating in the riots of the 1960s.

What was once a thriving city was reduced to an urban wasteland and a dilapidated relic of a bygone era.

Things slowly began to turn around, however, as city planners and officials sought to adapt to the changing times by refocusing and rebuilding the city.

Today, Newark boasts a reduced crime rate, a vibrant downtown area with hotels and entertainment venues, an arena home for an NHL hockey team, a major league baseball stadium and gleaming office skyscrapers.

Unlike some other cities across the country that have failed to emerge from a ghost-like existence, Newark has demonstrated that an environment once deemed to be dead can be reanimated and experience new life.

What is true for turnaround cities is true for people as well.

I recently heard the inspiring story of a young man who wandered into a church several years ago. He had been in and out of jail and was trying to turn his life around. No one would hire him because of his criminal record but he was determined not to end up a statistic.

The pastor encouraged him to give his life to God and to trust Him for his future, which the young man did.

What skills do you have?” the pastor inquired.

I’ll do anything,” he responded.

Would you be willing to try your hand at a property cleaning business?”

The young man agreed to do it, and the pastor helped him to produce dozens of flyers advertising his services and placed them all over the town.

Within weeks, he had his first cleaning job, and soon other calls began to come in. The young man partnered with a friend in a similar situation, and they soon saw their business grow. They were now able to comfortably take care of their families and were making more money than when they were hustling in the streets.

There is always hope for a turnaround from the failures and setbacks in our lives.

Opportunities are always lurking behind the obstacles that confront us. We must be prepared to make adjustments and adapt to new realities or we may find ourselves mired in stagnation.

To His ancient people, who were suffering in captivity and oppression, God gave a powerful promise: “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).

Those who trust in God today can count on Him to be of similar assistance in their lives.

He can show you a way through the wilderness, and He can sustain you in the desert.

What challenges are you facing that appear to be hopeless? What deteriorating situation are you desperate to break free from?

Invite God into your life and trust Him for direction. Examine all the options around you and prayerfully pursue the opportunities that emerge.

Remember that any difficulty that is lasting does not have to be everlasting. There is always hope for a turnaround.

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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Senior-laden team spurs Ely

Posted on 20 August 2015 by L.Moore

sports082015tigersBy Gary Curreri

With 20 senior players returning from last year’s squad, Blanche Ely football coach Nakia Jenkins believes that his team will fix last year’s late-game woes.

Jenkins, in his second season at the helm of the Tigers football team, said his team has a wealth of experience.

Last year, we had a lot of talent, but we were young,” said Jenkins, whose team finished 6-4 with three losses in the closing moments of games. “We are returning about 20 seniors this year that played last year so we are really senior heavy this year with a lot of experience. That should be our plus this year. We should know how to finish ball games.”

The Tigers reached the first round of the FHSAA Class 7A state playoffs where it fell to visiting Atlantic, 21-13, in the closing moments, much like two other losses during the season to Miami Northwestern (23-20) and Plantation (31-23).

Last year, we lost three games in the last minute and a half that we were winning,” Jenkins said. “We should have easily been 9-1 last year instead of 6-4.”

It still stings,” Jenkins added. “It is going to sting probably until our first regular season game. We have about 15-20 players who contributed last year and helped us out.”

Jenkins will need to get some rapid growth from an inexperienced offensive line; however, they will have three strong running backs to run behind them, including Arthur Forest, Demeterice Bellamy and Robert Williams. Quarterback Zackery Purdue also returns and has talented wide out Thomas Geddis to throw to.

The offense is going to be loaded,” Jenkins said. “A couple of other wide receivers who are going to help us are Jeremy Taylor and Leonard Williams.”

Defensively, look for senior David Francis to lead the way.

He’s a leader, captain and three-year starter,” Jenkins said. “He knows where everybody should be.”

Purdue is looking forward to the season.

This year, I am more confident,” he said. “Last year, I didn’t really read my coverages and go through my progressions. This year, we are loaded with seniors and we are going to be a better team.”

Bellamy, 17, a senior in his fourth year at the school, said he’s excited for the season.

I have to prove a lot of people wrong,” said the 5-ft., 6-in., 165 lb. running back. “They underestimate me. They say I am too small and not fast enough, and not strong enough. I have been doing two-a-days, and sometimes three times on weekends.”

The 18-year-old Geddis agreed and said the seniors could make the difference.

We have a lot of guys who are going to go out there and compete and go hard, and are very experienced,” Geddis said. “Being seniors, it makes you want to go harder. Our coach says you only got one game and you have to take every game like it is your last high school game.”

Geddis, who received 18 college offers during the spring, said last year’s tight losses were frustrating and they will look to change that this season.

You don’t have the time to come back and redo the mistakes you made,” Geddis said. “You have to go 110 (percent) on every play and just know that you are putting everything on the line.”

Jenkins said the team would have to fight through adversity.

What I am teaching my guys now is football in four quarters,” Jenkins said. “It is not three quarters and we have to finish until the last whistle blows. That is the one thing that we are teaching day in and day out. It is fighting to the last whistle. If we do that this year, we should be in the thick of things this year.”

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Beach Tennis Series on Pompano beach

Posted on 20 August 2015 by L.Moore

sports082015beachPhotos by David Volz

Laryssa Booth has a passion for Beach Tennis. She excels in this sport that is growing in popularity.

I love to play Beach Tennis. It is a lot of fun and we are winning today,” said Booth.

She was among about 100 men and women who participated in the Pompano Beach Summer Series Beach Tennis Tournament on Pompano beach, on Sunday, August 16. The game is similar to tennis. It is played in a beach environment and on sand.

Beach Tennis is a game I love to play,” said Rachel McGinnis. “It is a fun game and there is a great group of people here.”

Adrienne Cerra Simeon is a leader of the Beach Tennis sport and is president of IFBT-USA. The sport is very popular in Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach. There is a large permanent Beach Tennis training facility right on the beach in Pompano, with eight courts. People can play singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

We have a tournament about once a month. A lot of the people who participate have played volleyball and tennis,” said Cerra Simeon.

And Beach Tennis offers a fun atmosphere. Steve Culver, a Beach Tennis player said he loves the atmosphere and the camaraderie of the tournaments.

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FLICKS: Marshland

Posted on 20 August 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

In Spanish Language with English subtitles, Marshland (La isla mínima) opens tomorrow in area theaters. It is a gritty crime procedural that is simplistically presented with static cinematography. This simplicity is deceptive.

The setting is a marshland near Villafranco, Spain, circa 1980. Though Generalissimo Francisco Franco had been dead for five years, the ghost of his dictatorship remains. There seems to be a seasonal crime wave during harvest season. During an annual festival, two teenage girls disappear.

Two detectives are called in to investigate. While both detectives have different political views about law enforcement, both individuals also have unrelated skeletons in their closet. However, when the two girls are found brutally and shamefully murdered, the two detectives put aside their differences to catch the killer.

Is this the work of a singular serial killer or a systematic ritual from organized crime? These two plot threads unravel into a logical climax. Like any good mystery, multiple clues and red herrings are placed within the storyline. The two detectives propel the narrative, but part of the fun of this film is the quirky characters that detour the investigation.

The world of Marshland feels like the south of the border version of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Writer/Director Alberto Rodriquez makes this his personal film noir, filled with gothic detail. One can see the nightmarish visualization of Spanish Master Francisco Goya in Marshland’s visualization.

This film is definitely a vacation from the dog days of the August box office releases. This simple film will create haunted memories.

Javier Gutiérrez, one of the actors who played one of the detectives, is expected to visit the Movies at Lake Worth and Cinema Paradiso this weekend.

For more details, contact Cinema Paradiso at 954-525- FILM (3456) and the Movies at Lake Worth 561-968-4545.

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CLERGY CORNER: We have been there

Posted on 20 August 2015 by L.Moore

Everybody needs a change once in a while. It might be something as simple as a change in hair color. It might be a change of attitude or lifestyle. And even if you don’t want to change, we all know there are times we have to adjust to change whether we want to or not.

Try and imagine the changes the Children of Israel had to go through after being freed from slavery, wandering around in a strange new land.

Not only were they in an unknown place, but they had no idea how long they were going to be there.

When someone is admitted to a health center, they are coming to a strange place and they have no idea how long they will be there.

In the wilderness, the Children of Israel had to learn to sleep under very different conditions. And those of us who have had to go through a medical ordeal face a similar issue as we find ourselves having to sleep in a strange bed, with pillows that are not as fluffy as we are used to. We may have an injury or a surgical area that makes it impossible for us to sleep in the position that we are most comfortable in.

In the wilderness, The Children of Israel had to adjust to different sights and different sounds.

Those of us who have spent time in the hospital can relate.

There are the constant beeps of medical equipment, the lights on all night long, the noise coming from the staff and from those who cannot help but moan in pain. And there is the waiting.

The Children of Israel did not know how long they would be stuck in the desert and, as patients, we have no idea how long we will have to wait for the aide, the nurse, the doctor or our pain pills.

And then there was the Manna, the food that fell from the heavens.

They had to get used to the Manna, as it was simply not the food they were used to. And, one thing I can tell you for sure, no matter how good the food in a health center or hospital might be, it sure as shootin’ is not the food we are accustomed too.

And, depending on your illness or injury, you might have to get used to using a special utensil to eat with or you might need to be fed. The Israelites were told to gather a double portion on Fridays as they were not permitted to gather food on the Sabbath and, if they tried to do so, the food would be rotten.

Who among us hasn’t faced a test or procedure where we are told that we better eat or drink a little more on this day because, as of midnight, we will not be able to have anything to eat or drink.

G-d gave the Children of Israel a list of rules to live by. The medical care providers (though they are certainly not gods) tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat, what kind of exercise we should do and for how long, and when to take our meds. They tell us what rules we should follow to live what will hopefully be a longer and healthier life.

The question is, Will we make those changes? Will we comply?

Shalom my friends,

Rabbi Craig H. Ezring

Rabbi Ezring is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Beth Israel of Deerfield Beach (201 S. Military Tr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442). Regular Shabbat services are open to everyone on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

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FLICKS: Shaun the Sheep & Cinema Paradiso offerings

Posted on 13 August 2015 by L.Moore

By Dave Montalbano

We have truly reached the dog days of August with the Motion Picture Box Office as Hollywood releases overhyped financial bombs like the Fantastic Four. This August echoes last August when The Expendables 3 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For were released to pathetic box office returns.

Shaun the Sheep Movie opened poorly in the United States last weekend, but has achieved respectable gross overseas. This film is another stop-motion animation with British charm and humor. Unlike their other films Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit or Chicken Run, this film features no dialogue. The only words that are heard are from the thematic original songs heard on the soundtrack.

The film opens in the 1970s (You can tell by the farmer’s disco clothing and his cassette tapes) in which the farmer takes pictures of his prize sheep. The years fast forward and we see that the farmer has aged, but his clothing has not changed. He, his sheep dog and sheep live a structured and routine life.

Though a series of unfortunate events, the farmer is knocked out in his trailer. The farm animals party too hard, the trailer becomes unhitched, careens down the hill and lands in the big city. The animals follow their master and it is chaos.

To enjoy this film, you have to enter the state of mind that you use to watch a baseball game or golf tournament. This film is a visual feast of sophisticated humor, but has a warm heart and a gentle spirit. I just don’t know why Shaun the Sheep was singled out because this movie is really an ensemble piece.

Cinema Paradiso features the opening of two new movies this weekend: People Places Things and 10,000 Saints.

10,000 Saints features an actor’s ensemble best known for their contributions to independent cinema: Asa Butterfield, Ethan Hawke and Hailee Steinfeld.

People Places Things is a light comedy set in New York City. It is the story of a graphic novelist and college professor who must balance his job between the demands of work and being the single father of two 5-year-old twins.

For more information, visit

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CLERGY CORNER: Shattering the Holy Grail of Academia

Posted on 13 August 2015 by L.Moore

To say that I was an excellent middle school football player would be a lie. Frankly, I stank. But I kept trying — mostly because scorching summer afternoon practices were followed with a refreshing ice cold carbonated beverage: the Slurpee.

I can remember one day, having been completely consumed with my Slurpee that I hopped in the wrong car, going so far as to buckle my seatbelt! It wasn’t until I heard from the driver, “Well, who are you?” before I realized my embarrassing mistake. I quickly unbuckled my seatbelt, tucked my tail between my legs and dashed back to my actual ride.

I suppose we all have similar mesmerizing Slurpee moments. In fact, I believe there is a pandemic of such infatuation moments happening today. Kids’ eyes are affixed to screens, teens to themselves via the selfie-stick (don’t get me started on that one) and adults to their work. At best, children are quiet, teens look their best and adults are efficient; at worst, children lack time-management, teens mask insecurities and adults neglect their responsibilities. But amidst such duplicity, I’d like to focus on one particular affixation as we prepare for back-to-school: grades.

It’s Cameron Dallas’ character Felix, in the movie Expelled, who says it best about grades, “Straight As, [they’re] the Holy Grail of Academia … catnip for parents” and the “reward for properly raising your kid.” But is it? Should it be? Will high marks keep your child from living in a van down by the river? Hardly.

As a former high school teacher, I’m not implying parents abandon their concern for the report card. All I’m suggesting is that we re-evaluate our obsession or, dare I say, all-consuming search for the “Holy Grail of Academia.” Here’s why: because grades (the end), have increasingly become more valuable than the effort to obtain said grades (the means), which has opened the door for grade inflation in both the high school and college realms.

It’s become a simple business transaction. The academic institution is looked upon favorably due to a booming population of students with high GPAs and parents are satisfied because of their child’s seemingly exceptional performance. Win-win, right? Except that such an emphasis drives students to judge their self-worth based on a letter (rationalizing whatever means necessary, like cheating, to achieve those high marks — the worldly standard by which they are measured.) I’m sorry to say, but straight As might mean nothing more than your child knows how to work the system.

I don’t mean to imply that all students with straight As are system manipulators. It’s this: Straight As or not, stop measuring your student solely by four letters. Understand that not all students are “A” students, and that’s okay. I can’t tell you how many times I watched academically-gifted students “earn” high grades with little effort and be praised, whereas students who busted their butt only achieved a “C” accompanied by little to no recognition (now that’s a tragedy).

And understand that when we receive something, like high letter grades, for something we didn’t work hard to obtain, that’s when entitlement rears its ugly head. So let’s change the paradigm.

Here’s my professional recommendation: Praise your student’s effort and help them understand their identity in Christ, because in all honesty, does anything else really matter? You can personalize Matthew 16:26 to read “And what [does your child] benefit if [they get straight As] but lose [their] soul?”

You know why being a terrible football player didn’t matter to me? Because I knew God had a different path for me — an awesome one and something only He could equip me to begin. So, this school year, let’s go #BeyondTheLetter when evaluating growth.

Look to Galatians 5:22-23 for the standard: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law.”

Is your student understanding what it means to love unconditionally? Finding joy during trials? Developing patience? Kind to others? Seeking a deeper understanding of faith? Gentle and exhibiting self-control?

If so, rest assured that no letter grade is going to stop the plans God has for your child — even should they fail a course or two along the way.

CJ Wetzler is the NextGen Pastor at First Baptist Church of Deerfield Beach. Before transitioning into full-time ministry, CJ was a commercial airline captain, and high school leadership and science teacher. For questions or comments, he can be reached at

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Crockett Foundation gets kids ready for Back-To-School

Posted on 13 August 2015 by L.Moore

sports081315By David Volz

Children who are getting ready to start school received some help from the Crockett Foundation on Saturday.

Both Henri and Zack were football stars at Blanche Ely High School and Florida State University. They later played in the National Football League (NFL).

Many families came to the Community Health Festival that took place at the Pompano Citi Centre on August 8. The Crockett Foundation partnered with Broward Health to hold the event. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals performed health checks, vision care, dental care and immunizations. Families received other social services as well.

Members of Zeta Rho Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority also participated in the program.

Children who participated in the health physicals received a backpack filled with school supplies.

Henri Crockett, CEO of the Crockett Foundation, enjoyed the program and seeing young people receiving healthcare and getting ready for school.

I like this event because it has a positive impact on families. I want to lighten the load on parents. It is important to make sure that these kids are ready for the first day of school.”

Henri Crockett and his brother Zack Crockett, who is vice president of the Crockett Foundation, know the struggles many families face. They believe it is important to give back to the community and do what they can to help families in the area.

JoeAnn Fletcher, president of the Zeta Rho Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, loved the opportunity to help out at the event. Many of the chapter members distributed backpacks to the families. “Our purpose is to serve others,” said Fletcher.

Nabil El Sanadi, M.D., President and CEO of Broward Health, offered his medical services at the Community Health Festival. He said he loved the opportunity to help children in the community.

Stephanie Buquo brought her children, Matthew and Michael, to the event. She said she was glad that her sons could each receive a backpack and school supplies for the upcoming year.

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