Local skaters compete in South Atlantic Regionals

Posted on 19 October 2016 by LeslieM

sports102016By Gary Curreri

Lighthouse Point’s Arianna Varvoutis and Deerfield Beach’s Lucas Altieri recently returned home after competing in the South Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships at the Ashburn Ice House in Ashburn, VA.

Varvoutis, 13, a 7th grader at Pine Crest in Fort Lauderdale, has skated since she was 7. Her friend had a birthday party and Varvoutis was hooked. She was one of 30 members of the Panthers Figure Skating Club based at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs that competed in the event.

I immediately fell in love with (figure skating),” she said. “It was so much fun. I kept going to practices and group classes and started competing.

It is really fun now,” added Varvoutis, who finished 11th in the Juvenile Girls Group E Division at the competition with a 41.97 score. “I am competitive, so when I go to compete I get nervous, but once I get on the ice I think in my head, ‘put on a show and the judges will give you as many points as they can.’”

Skating is a special place for Varvoutis.

It is a feeling of happiness,” she said. “You get away from school, your parents telling you to do your homework and other family members (a younger brother, two turtles and a cat). I am the one that has to take care of them (pets).”

It is the greatest thing,” Varvoutis continued. “It is my calm zone where I can get away and be happy.”

This was her second trip to regionals. Her goal was to get above 43 and make it to the final round. This is her second straight trip to compete in the Juvenile Division.

Last year, I wasn’t the best,” but this year I have accomplished so much more,” she said. “My double Lutz, my double flip, and my double-double. I think I am going to do great.”

Altieri and fellow Panthers Figure Skating Club member Sophia Chouinard recently returned from the 2016 Novice and Junior Challenge Skate, which took place in Salt Lake City, Utah. The invitation-only competition was based on the International scoring system.

It was huge for them to get the exposure and go,” said Nancy Mariani, the Director of Skating Development at the IceDen. Altieri skated to a fourth place finish with a 39.87 short program and 77.06 long that resulted in a 117.69 total. Chouinard was 11th overall with a 33.13 short; 63.46 long, and 96.59 total.

Altieri, 15, a freshman at North Broward Prep, is in his fifth year skating. He said the trip to Utah wasn’t really different from most competitions.

The altitude made it harder to skate,” he said. “I got to experience that. I did okay at that competition by finishing fourth with my new program.”

It was a good year for Altieri last year and he is hoping for bigger and better things this year.

It was pretty good, but what I get nervous about is that I won’t improve as much as last year,” he said. “Last year, I got like two or three new jumps and this year I have one or two, but I am trying a triple-triple, which is a really hard combination.

After a previous best finish of fifth at regionals, Altieri won a Pewter medal at the nationals in the Intermediate Division. This year he is competing in the Novice Division. Not only has he grown on the ice, he also experienced a growth spurt adding five inches to his now, 5-foot, 8-inch frame.

Not much has changed for him as his goal is to return to nationals this year. He placed second at the regional event in the Novice Men with a 94.03 score.

I want to try and do the same as last year and win a medal at nationals,” Altieri said. “I would rather do well at nationals than at a smaller competition. The difference this year is there are new competitors and the judging is a little bit different in Novice. I have to focus more on my edges and my footwork. I want to compete in the Olympics, but that is far away.

Lucas is one of those skaters that just appears to be even,” Mariani said. “Some kids might be doing things that might be harder, but when you put all of his stuff together, it equals magic and that is why he does so well.”

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FLICKS: Once in a Lifetime & The Girl on the Train

Posted on 19 October 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


It has been 21 years since I produced A Tribute to the Men and Women of the World War II Generation with 133 6th graders at Loggers’ Run Community Middle School. The presentation featured big band numbers, a chorus inspired by the Andrew Sisters and testimonials that induced a few tears from some very hardened middle-aged teachers and 12-year-olds. I’m proud of this program and the fact that some of my former students have remained in touch with me via Facebook. A French film with English subtitles, Once in a Lifetime took me back to my experiences from two decades ago.

Based on a true story and filmed at the actual high school where the movie was originally filmed, Once in a Lifetime introduces us to Anne Gueguen (Ariane Ascaride), a history teacher. Talking to her diverse student body, Ms. Gueguen informs her jaded students that she is entering them into a contest. The subject is the Holocaust and students balk about learning “ancient history.”

Co-written by Ahmed Dramé (who portrays one of the students), the French high school looks and sounds like an American classroom. There is multiple rivalry between the diverse cultures that create tension. Gueguen allows her students their moments to speak, but she carefully crafts their arguments into understanding. Once the boundaries of mutual respect are established, Gueguen brings in a guest speaker, Léon Zyguel, a Holocaust survivor.

In an age when educational socialization is emphasizing pressing the buttons on the latest technology (that may be obsolete in five years), Once in a Lifetime is a reminder of the importance of classroom debate and discussion. This is a riveting motion picture for nearly two hours.

Last week, I mentioned Haley Bennett’s earthy performance in The Magnificent Seven. Proving to be a chameleon, the actress portrays an opposite role as Megan in The Girl on the Train, based on the best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins.

Emily Blunt portrays Rachel as the girl in The Girl on the Train. She is an alcoholic who suffers from blackouts. As she commutes to the city via railroad, she spies a suburban couple living Rachel’s ideal life. With a pang of jealousy, Rachel finds relief in drinking vodka from her water bottle.

The Girl on the Train is an interesting thriller until it reaches its climax, which stumbles into unintentional humor. However, this film will be remembered for Blunt’s vulnerable performance, which has received some Oscar buzz.

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CLERGY CORNER: Does being human mean being different?

Posted on 19 October 2016 by LeslieM

We have different names, different colors, different shapes and different sizes. We eat different foods and enjoy different sports. We have different houses of prayer and we have different books of prayers.

Are we really that different? There seems to be a never-ending cycle of hate and war throughout the world based on these differences. There also seems to be an ever-growing divisiveness within our own communities. How do we change that? Are humans really just different, separate beings that will always clash? Does being human mean being different? What is it that divides us and what is it that can unite us?

I propose we go back to the beginning …

When G-d created the first human being, the Bible describes it like this: “And the Lord, G-d formed man of dust from the ground, and He breathed into his nostrils the soul of life, and man became a living soul.” [Genesis 2:7]

So what divides us is the physical body. We are different people with different histories. Let me explain what unites us with a story: The story is told of an opera singer who was known for his readings and recitations from the Classics. He always ended his performance with a dramatic recital of Psalm 23. Each night, without exception, as the actor began his recitation, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” The crowd would listen attentively and then rise with thunderous applause, in appreciation of the actor’s ability to bring the psalm to life.

One night, just before the singer was to offer his customary recital of Psalm 23, an old man from the audience spoke up. “Sir, would you mind, if tonight, I recite Psalm 23?”

The actor was surprised by this unusual request. However, he invited the old man to come onto the stage to recite the psalm, curious to see how the ability of this man weighed against his own talent.

Softly, the old man began to recite the words of the psalm. His voice was parched and weak, and his tune pretty lousy.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want … Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff-they will comfort me. Only goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord for many long years.”

When he was finished, there was no applause. There was no standing ovation as on other nights. All that could be heard was the sound of weeping. The audience had been so moved by the man’s recitation that every eye was tearful.

Amazed by what he had experienced, the opera star queried, “I don’t understand. I have been performing Psalm 23 for years. I have a lifetime of experience and training —but I have never been able to move an audience as you have tonight. And frankly, you have a horrible voice and can barely carry a tune. Tell me, what is your secret?”

The old man humbly replied, “Well, sir, you know the psalm … but I know the Shepherd.”

My dear friends, get to know the Shepherd within each and every one of us!

What unites us is our Creator, our Shepherd, our G-d. Get to know the shepherd and you will get to know the song of life. When we sing the Psalm, it will bring unity — peace, love and tolerance!

We humans were created with a body and a soul. The soul was given in order to bring unity, not to divide us! So, if we see another human, we must realize his uniqueness, which is his soul, is a part of G-d, our G-d, and that’s exactly what unites us!

So, next time you want to hate or divide, just stop and think that what makes us human is not the body, but the soul!

[Malachi 2:10]Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why should we betray, each one his brother, to profane the covenant of our forefathers?

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the Director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches located at 2025 E Sample Rd in Lighthouse Point.For all upcoming events, visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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FLICKS: The Magnificent Seven

Posted on 12 October 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


When The Hateful Eight was released last year, one hoped for a revival for the wide open spaces of the Western genre. Instead, we were given a claustrophobic drama with eight people screaming tedious Quentin Tarantino dialogue at each other.

Whereas the story of The Hateful Eight was weak, the story of The Magnificent Seven is as strong as ever. The current version of The Magnificent Seven is the second interpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, the Japanese movie that inspired the American Western starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen.

The 1960 American version features a classic musical score composed by Elmer Bernstein. The late James Horner and Simon Franglen composed current version of The Magnificent Seven theme song, which features a few notes from Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti westerns. These aural elements enhance the viewing experience on the big screen.

All three movies share a similar narrative, but all three movies provide a fresh perspective of seven gunfighters who unite for a common principle. This current version of The Magnificent Seven opens with a town hall meeting inside a church. Robber Baron Bart Boque (Peter Sarsgaard) tells the community to get off of his land. The community rebels and Bogue’s henchmen kill the townfolk, making Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) a widow.

Seeking justice, Mrs. Cullen rides into a neighboring town and catches the eye of Chisolm (Denzel Washington), a certified bounty hunter. Hearing Mrs. Cullen’s story and being offered a modest stipend, Chisolm starts recruiting fellow gunfighters to defend the town.

Gambler and amateur magician Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt) is the first recruit. Chilsom reunites with an old friend, Goodnight (Ethan Hawke) who brings along a new partner, Billy Rocks (Byung-hun Lee), a knife-wielding prodigy. While on the trail, Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia Rulfo) and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) join the merry band and become The Magnificent Seven.

Full of great one-liners and cowboy proverbs, The Magnificent Seven deserves a better fate at the box office. Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun) knows how to direct action movies with human empathy. This film touches everybody’s nobler side.

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CLERGY CORNER: Everything speaks

Posted on 12 October 2016 by LeslieM

Years ago, while visiting my airline’s corporate office, I witnessed what must have been the quickest rejection of a job applicant. A young, shaggy-haired man with baggy clothes, hanging low around his rear, approached the front desk and requested a job application. The secretary asked if he would like to complete the form and submit it immediately. He declined and moped toward the exit. Before he could step outside, the secretary shot me the “not in a million years” look about this young man.

This young man’s dress and demeanor reminded me of a conversation I had with a teen around the same time. This teen felt that individual expression should trump societal norms, but there is a reason you pass the rolls and not throw them, unless you’re at Lambert’s Cafe in Missouri where it’s expected. While I do believe in expression of individuality, my flight kit had a comic with people floating in the water with a plane sinking; the caption read: “Bad day at work.” Things like dress or table manners transcend the individual. They say something about what you believe about yourself and others.

I’ve met with many parents who desire that their children learn to respect authority yet think nothing about speeding, which is a subtle (or sometimes blatant) disregard for authority. Little do these parents realize that they are undermining their own authority. (Dear Alanis Morissette, that’s real irony).

This line of thinking inspired me to develop the Everything Speaks message series. As a professional speaker, I learned many years ago — like our appearance and driving — that everything speaks; everything communicates something about what we believe, even if unintentionally. It’s why we value things like punctuality, firm handshakes and grace.

During the message series, we discovered that how we pray, how we surrender and how we serve each say something about what we believe about God’s power, sovereignty and our own depth of love for our neighbor.

If we have a weak prayer life, it can communicate to others that we believe our God is weak and unable. A hesitant surrender can expose a lack of trust in God. And a torpid level of serving might broadcast a lack of concern for others. Everything speaks. So I challenged my congregation to pray some risky prayers. I say risky because if you pray them earnestly, prepare to never be the same, again.

Pray: Search me; Psalm 139:23 — “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” Ask God to reveal the sins and fears in your life that are keeping you from the plan He has for your life.

Pray: Break me; Job 17:1 “My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out.” Pray for a brokenness that requires a dependency solely on God, which fosters intimacy, clarity of purpose, and your God-given identity.

Pray: Use me; Luke 22:42 — “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Pray that, because of you, others would come to know Christ and your actions would bring glory to God.

Pray: To desire the world less and Him more — downward mobility versus upward mobility. (My prayer growing up: Lord, help. Please help me to want to love You, to know You and to serve You.)

Pray: To be rich in the things that matter — invite family into a better story: prayer and reading the Word, serving together; be known more for what you give than what you have; seek intimate and purposeful relationships; view school/work/career as a mission field not a paycheck, etc.

Pray: To be fully surrendered to His will — trusting in His provision and strength to die to old habits that keep you at anything less than full surrender. His Word: learn it, love it, live it.

Referencing John 13: Pray: To get up — to leave a place of comfort and familiarity. (Jesus left the table); free up your schedule by setting your priorities and living them. Pray: to open up—to not only be more trusting/vulnerable, trusting ultimately in yourself and God’s voice in your life, but also about being someone that is trustworthy. Pray: To do it — Put your purpose (and redemptive story) into action with empathy and mercy in a way that brings God glory through serving your neighbor … loving them as you love yourself.

C.J. Wetzler is the Next-Gen 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 cj@deerfieldfirst.com.

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Caro scores TD, lifts Panthers

Posted on 05 October 2016 by LeslieM

sports100616By Gary Curreri

Lighthouse Point’s Sofia Caro can cross one thing off her sports bucket list.

The 17-year-old senior at Pine Crest scored her first varsity touchdown as the Panthers defeated visiting St. Andrew’s School, 28-8, in front of a raucous homecoming crowd at Best Field in Fort Lauderdale.

I can’t really describe how I’m feeling,” said Caro, who scored on a fourth quarter, 2-yard run to seal the game. “All I can say is that I haven’t stopped smiling since … There’s nothing like it!”

Taking the handoff, Caro followed senior fullback Arjun Sandhu and junior offensive guard Robbie Fatovic 2 yards into the end zone.

It was an amazing feeling,” Caro said. “My teammates, Arjun and Robbie (and others), cleared the way on the right side of the line. I spotted grass and hit the hole.”

Caro, who sports a 4.72 GPA in the classroom, also won the Clara Coleman Prize at her school last year which goes out to the rising senior who demonstrates versatility and merit as a scholar and student at Pine Crest School. Caro is a three-sport star at Pine Crest where she also excels in lacrosse and weightlifting.

As a sophomore, she was the only Broward competitor to make it to states in girls’ weightlifting placing 17th in her 139-pound weight class and last spring she was an all-county selection in lacrosse.

Caro, who played on JV for two seasons and took last year off to concentrate on lacrosse, is happy to be back. The 5-ft., 6 in., 140 lb. tailback said she had two goals. One was to score a touchdown, and the second was to win a championship with the football team. She can cross one of those off her list.

Pine Crest coach Troy Harrison said it was a special moment.

She did a great job of following her lead blocker, finding the hole and crossing the goal line,” Harrison said. “The crowd went crazy, the team went crazy.”

Hearing the announcer call her name on Friday nights gets her pumped. The cheers from the crowd are reminiscent of the 1993 movie, Rudy, about a walk-on player at the University of Notre Dame.

I’m on top of the world,” said Caro, who also plays linebacker in defense. “Hearing your name called is something special and it is something I haven’t really experienced in any other sport that I have played.”

Caro is the second female football player to play varsity football at Pine Crest. The other, Anna Lakovitch, was a placekicker and soccer star at the school from 1995-98 and attended Harvard University. South Plantation’s Erin DiMeglio became the first female quarterback in Florida high school history to play in a game in 2012.

Pine Crest, which won for the fourth consecutive week and improved to 4-1, faces King’s Academy in West Palm Beach this week.

Bucks roll again; top Taravella, 61-0

Deerfield Beach must enjoy the turf at Coral Springs High School as for the second consecutive week it rolled to a shutout victory over a District 11-8A foe.

Deerfield, which improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in District 11-8A, scored nine touchdowns and wrapped up the game in the first half as it cruised past Taravella, 61-0, last Thursday night. The team defeated Coral Springs at James Caldwell Field the previous week, 30-0.

Bucks senior quarterback Nick Holm returned from a concussion after sitting out the win over the Colts and threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns, including a 65-yard pass to junior receiver Cornelius McCoy on the game’s first play from scrimmage.

Holm also completed a 14-yard scoring pass to senior Jerry Jeudy and a 6-yarder to senior Leroy Henley. Backup QB Alec Brown, who threw for three TDs in the victory over Coral Springs filling in for Holm, picked up where he left off and passed for 146 yards and two TDs.

Junior tailback Jakari Norwood rushed for 87 yards on eight carries and three TDs, while senior Lafleur Limprevil tacked on 95 yards rushing.

The point total was two short of the team record for Deerfield, which leads in the season series between the two teams, 23-6.

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FLIFF & Silver Skies

Posted on 05 October 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


The 31st Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) unveiled its poster at Oceans 234 in Deerfield last Wednesday night, Sept. 28. At the poster dedication, President and CEO Gregory Von Hausch announced the premier of over 100 films in 17 days in November.

Besides turning sweet 16, actress Bailee Madison returns to FLIFF with Annabelle Hooper & The Ghosts of Nantucket, Bailee’s debut film as a producer. While most of the films will be screened at the Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale (formerly Cinema Paradiso, at 503 SE 6 St., Ft. Lauderdale), Dreamland will open the festival at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino (1 Seminole Way, Hollywood) on Friday, Nov. 4. Directed by Robert Schwartzman, Dreamland features performances by his brother Jason Schwartzman and his mother Talia Shire (known from performances like Rocky and The Godfather), who will be in attendance that evening.

Having earned an Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, Martin Landau will accept the FLIFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Along with co-stars Armand Assante and Michael Pare, Landau is expected to attend the screening of The Red Maple Leaf, the official closing night FLIFF film. In addition, Foster Hirsch returns to interview stage and screen legend, Arlene Dahl. These are just a few of the events and films planned for the film festival. Find out more and get tickets at www.fliff.com.

While the stalwart George Hamilton is not expected to attend this year’s festival, his film from last year’s FLiFF opens tomorrow, Silver Skies. This film is an ensemble comedy about seasoned citizens who are facing the foreclosure of their rental community.

Hamilton portrays Phil, an Alzheimer patient who thinks he is Dean Martin sometimes. Phil’s roommate, Nick (Jack McGee) sells programs at the racetrack. Each morning, they share breakfast with Eve (Barbara Bain) and Mickey (Jack Betts) who often gossip about the reclusive Harriet (Mariette Hartley), especially when a young, well dressed, black man visits her apartment three times a week.

While the foreclosure is the serious narrative, Silver Skies features comedic behavior from the main protagonists. There are also neighborhood romances featuring the [hussy] next door, Ethel (Valerie Perrine) and a recent widower, Frank (Alex Rocco), which is actually quite touching.

Not all of Silver Skies works. There is a scene involving sexual assault that is too graphic for the tone of this movie. However, the scene does set up a Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky joke that redeems it.

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CLERGY CORNER: Strive first for the Kingdom of God

Posted on 05 October 2016 by LeslieM

And his righteousness

But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Pastor Jeff Gross and I am the new pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Deerfield Beach. I am grateful to serve the people of Zion, Deerfield Beach and the surrounding area. I moved here from Lakewood Ranch, Florida (outside of Bradenton). Moving from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic has transformed me into a morning person. The sunrises inspire the soul.

I have been a pastor for 22 years and, as a matter of fact, I celebrated my 22nd anniversary on the first day I preached at Zion. I cannot think of a better place to launch my 23rd year of ministry than in Deerfield Beach. And 22 years is a short period of time. I certainly do not pretend to be an expert, but I have learned a few things on this journey and, perhaps, some wisdom that has helped me not only become a better pastor but a more faithful person.

As a young pastor, I complained that seminary didn’t prepare me well enough. The older I get, the more I realize that seminary cannot possibly teach you everything you need to know in order to be a pastor. I began my career in rural North Dakota, 35 miles north and west of Fargo. I befriended an older and wiser colleague, something I highly recommend, and he told me: “Seminary taught me how to be a theologian. My parishioners taught me how to be a pastor.” I took those words to heart and, to this day, I believe that.

Continuing education is also encouraged and this is a great opportunity to learn more things that are not necessarily taught at seminary or even brush up on those lessons that were learned years ago. I have also read many great books recommended to me by fellow pastors. Many of these books were about the mechanics of running a church. There are “how to” books on just about everything from Youth Ministry to Multicultural Ministry to Stewardship. There are inspiring biographies written by successful pastors who brought in thousands of members to their congregation, the method used to attract new members. I have read several books addressing the post-modern age and the challenges that face the ministry as a result in this cultural shift. And I would categorize this material as “the mechanics of how to run a church.” And, I want to make it clear, this is good reading.

But here is what I discovered in my journey … I was starting to feel some burnout. The joy that once filled my soul was starting to dwindle and I kept comparing my ministry to the models within these many books, and I would get discouraged. I recalled Matthew 6:33 from a Sunday-School song “Seek ye first the kingdom of God….” The simple melody and the profound words took me back to my childhood and childlike faith. But it also re-oriented me because I discovered that my continuing education was in pursuit of “and all these things” and not “the Kingdom of God.”

The problem was, I wasn’t reading my Bible first. There was just too much material to read, but Scripture came second. I discovered, the hard way of course, I was filling my mind with knowledge while my heart was running on empty. That simple shift, reading the Bible first and seeking God’s Kingdom first made all the difference in the world. And “all these things,” as Jesus promised, they do come in good time.

Christian education is a lifelong journey, regardless of whether you are trying to become a better pastor or just a better person. There are a lot of good books out there. Read them. But first, read the Bible. That simple shift can make all the difference.

Pastor Gross is a pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, contact 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Wake up — It’s October — and I don’t have any rants

Posted on 05 October 2016 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen



School is routine already. Vacation picture albums are stashed with the others which, after you’ve flashed them umpteen times on your smartphone, some will morph into hard copies, and you won’t look at them again until the next time you move.

You might take one last trip to see the turning of the leaves, but most likely you won’t. Instead, you will remember the last time you did. You might marvel at the fact that the ocean water is still warm and wonder if it has always been warm in October; and, if not, what’s up with that?

You might smile initially at the ubiquitous orange and black wherever you go, but will get sick and tired of it before Oct. 31. If you are planning to indulge in Halloween festivities for adults or kids, your creative brain has been cooking for a while. And somewhere within your soul, you have become aware that 2016 is on its last legs and that what you have to look forward to for the rest of this year is serious shopping, holiday parties, and, in some cases, the loneliness of being far away from family, and a few reflections on the overall quality of your life choices.

Maybe you’ll purchase some new spiffy seasonal clothes. Or, you will go into the back of your closet and, voila, come out with some “OMG, I forgot I had this. I haven’t worn it for 100 years.”

You are happy that daylight-savings time, which usually terminates in October, doesn’t end until the first week in November. Sunshine and light, after all, are one of the reasons for being in Florida.

You will be happily ensconced in your favorite chair for the return of Sunday and Monday night football, unless, of course, you’re like me, an aberrant, and couldn’t care less about football.

And you are prepared for the every four-year October political surprise that will emerge at the end of the month, but you won’t change your mind, no matter what about how you plan to vote. You are registered to vote, right? It’s not too late to request an absentee ballot in case you have an aversion to standing in line. In Broward County, call 954-712-1903. In Palm Beach County, call 561-656-6200 to have your ballot sent to you. Do it NOW.

And here’s the big event for which you will need to make preparations. It’s the post-election let-down. Well, sure there will be some immediate chatter about what happened and why, but the high theatrics are likely to subside. We’ll go back to murders, car crashes, rape, corruption, predictions about the holiday, retail economy and political grand-standing (and most likely paralysis) regardless of who wins. But the big question is – what will happen to the Donald Trump show, if he wins or if he loses? Will we face serious withdrawal symptoms if he becomes presidential? Or, if he slinks back into limited notoriety, what will we do for entertainment?

Yes, I know. This is serious stuff, folks, but if we lose our sense of humor, then all is lost.

Hail to October, the beginning of the end of another year and a good time for reflection on the year, so far.

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Bucks roll to 30-0 district win

Posted on 29 September 2016 by LeslieM

sports092916By Gary Curreri

It is hard to believe after a 30-0 victory over a district foe that Deerfield Beach head football coach Jevon Glenn would be unhappy, but he was.

This wasn’t a good showing at all,” said Glenn, whose Bucks evened their record at 2-2 and opened District 11-8A play with a 1-0 record. Host Coral Springs, which entered the game undefeated in three games, fell to 3-1 and 0-1 in the district. “After our showing last week in Georgia and not [having] excitement and enthusiasm and be dominant tonight, it was really disappointing for me.”

The Bucks were coming off a 39-14 defeat against nationally-ranked Grayson (Georgia) last week. Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn said his team needed the win. Starting quarterback Nick Holm suffered a concussion in that game and was cleared to play; however, Glenn held him out as a precaution.

Backup quarterback Alec Brown filled in nicely as he threw three touchdown passes – two to Jerry Jeudy covering 4 and 57 yards and a 5-yarder to Leroy Henley. Broward had 160 yards passing for the evening.

Jakari Norwood, who finished the contest with 103 yards, added a 55-yard TD run and Ledin Rivera added a 34-yard field goal in the win for the Bucks.

We won the game,” Glenn said. “Alec did manage the game. The guys didn’t play well around him and he (Brown) did have to fight through some things. He didn’t get the support that really enabled him to show his skills.”

We are a work in progress and I think we are nowhere as good as we will be at the end of the year,” Glenn continued. “People say it is better to win ugly, than lose pretty, but I am disappointed. It wasn’t a good showing.”

Highlands picks up first win

After opening the season with a 14-0 loss to Jupiter Christian, Highlands Christian Academy recorded a 26-12 win over Scheck Hillel Community School. The team dropped a 43-6 decision to St. John Paul II Academy last week.

Knights first-year head coach Josh Harris, who will lead the Knights on Friday in a game against at Palmer Trinity at 4 p.m., has drawn praise from HCA Athletic Director Jim Good. The team is 1-2 overall, but 1-0 in the IFC (Independent Football Conference).

The IFC consists of Highlands Christian, Hillel, Palmer Trinity, Pine Crest Prep and Palm Glades. The Knights finished 2-6 last year and made the playoffs as the No. 4 seed. However, the goal this year is to be competing for the championship title.

Coach Harris is the right man for the job,” Good said. “I’m so grateful and thankful for him, his testimony for the Lord, and his time and commitment. Josh is a full time teacher at Somerset Canyons up in Boynton Beach and sacrifices a lot of time to be here for practices and games. He brings energy, passion and excitement along with organization, structure and discipline. “

In the win over Scheck Hillel, eighth grader running back Christian Opalaky led the team in rushing and had three touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Justin Corn found fellow sophomore Titus Baags, a tight end, for an 18-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter that sealed the win for the Knights.

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