Pompano Jr. lifeguard program ends for summer

Posted on 17 August 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

With the start of school this week in Broward County, that generally signals the end of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard program for the summer.

The Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguards recently closed out the year by competing in the regional competition in Delray Beach; state competition in Ft. Lauderdale and about 35 competitors and coaches that went to the 2017 USLA Nationals Championship in Daytona Beach.

This year, we had a very strong group of competitors representing Team Pompano not only in depth, but also in attitude,” said Nemia Schulte, president of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Association. “We also have quite a few of our competitors in the U-19 Division vying for a spot on the Youth Team USA to represent the United States at the 2017 Worlds Competition in New Zealand in a couple of months.”

Team Pompano also held its end-of-year team banquet on Aug. 4 at the Skolnick Center.

Pompano Beach’s Christian Quinones was one of the program’s standout competitors this summer as he won the Boys Rescue Board Race and the Beach Flags competition in the Boys B Division at the James P. “Mac” McCarthy Memorial Regional Lifesaving Championships in Delray Beach. More than 200 competitors from around the state turned out for the competition in Delray.

I like the program because it is fun,” said Quinones, 13, of Pompano Beach, who is an 8th grader at Pompano Beach Middle. “It gets your adrenaline going. It is fun competing against your friends and at other beaches.”

I have made a lot of friends over the years,” he added. “It is really hard to compete against them every year. As you get older, the competition gets tougher.”

Jo Wagenhals, an Ocean Rescue Captain/EMT for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, served as master of ceremonies for the regionals. She is also the treasurer for the United States Lifesaving Association’s Southeast Region.

This program teaches team building, obviously athleticism, about the environment, safety,” Wagenhals said. “Flagler County is one county that brings in non-swimmers, kids who have never swam before, so they just get kids comfortable in the water, which is a huge step.”

Pompano Beach’s Gwen Bencie, 16, of the Ft. Lauderdale Ocean Rescue Junior Lifeguards program, won three individual events in the Girls 19-Under Division – Distance Swim, Rescue Board Race and the Surfski.

Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Mattheus Santos, 16, of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, took first place in the Distance Swim; Run Swim Run, and was also a member of the winning Surf Rescue Relay.

Other local female winners at regionals included: Junior Ironguard: Girls A: Isabella Taylor, Pompano. Girls C: Reese Andres, Pompano. Distance Swim: Girls A: Isabella Taylor. Girls C: Reese Andres, Pompano. Rescue Board Race: Girls A: Summer Schulte, Pompano. Girls C: Reese Andres. Beach Flags: Girls A: Victoria Scarpinito, Pompano. Girls B: 2. Jennifer Johnson, Deerfield Beach. Run Swim Run: Girls 19-Under: Summer Schulte. Girls C: Reese Andres.

Other local male winners at regionals included: Junior Ironguard: Boys Under-19: Alejandro Quiones, Pompano. Boys A: Rafael Santos, Pompano. Distance Swim: Boys A: Rafael Santos. Rescue Board Race: Boys B: Christian Quinones, Pompano. Boys C: 2. Peter Roca, Hollywood. Beach Flags: Boys B: Christian Quinones. Boys C: 2. Yuri DeFranco, Deerfield Beach. Surf Rescue Relay Race: Boys 19-Under: Ronald Haehe, Mattheus Santos, Pompano; Boys A: Alex Marquez, Rafael Santos, Pompano. Run Swim Run: Boys 19-Under: Mattheus Santos. Boys A: Rafael Santos.

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Highlands adds two coaches

Posted on 02 August 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy (HCA) has added two coaches – Dwayne Marcum (Girls Varsity Basketball) and Taylor Townsend (Girls Varsity Soccer) to their coaching staff for the upcoming high school year.

HCA Athletic Director Jim Good was raving over his team recent hires saying they were exactly what he was looking for to lead his students both on and off the field.

I am so excited to welcome Taylor as our new girls soccer coach,” Good said. “Taylor has learned to use her talents to spread the love of Christ. I know our girls will enjoy her passionate style of coaching and look up to her as a role model. HCA is grateful and excited to welcome Taylor to the HCA coaching family.”

I am very grateful for this opportunity to be the head girls soccer coach at Highlands Christian Academy,” Townsend said. “Highlands is an amazing school and I am looking forward to a great season with the girls.”

Townsend is a Florida Atlantic University graduate with a degree in communications. She played two years at the University of Central Florida before transferring to Florida Atlantic University (FAU). While at the University of Central Florida, she made the Top 100 Freshman list. 

She then helped lead FAU to the Conference USA Tournament and has been a member of the Women’s Premier Soccer League Team Boca Blast semi-professional squad from 2012-16 and is that team’s leading goal scorer.

Most recently, she played with Club Universitario de Deportes, a Peruvian professional team. 

Townsend was an assistant coach for West Boca High School, as well as American Heritage-Delray and is currently working as an individual trainer.

Marcum has experience coaching both male and female basketball teams.

Marcum began his coaching career in 2000 at Pompano Lighthouse Christian Academy, where he coached until 2004. He then took over as the Boys Varsity Coach at Green Acres Christian Academy and coached there from 2005-2008.

Coach Marcum then began coaching at Hope Bible College in 2009 and stayed until 2012. He then coached one season of Boys Varsity Basketball at Hollywood Christian in 2014-2015 and then one year of Girls Varsity at Berean Christian from 2015-2016.

We are very excited to welcome Coach Marcum to the HCA Coaching family,” Good added. “He brings experience, knowledge and passion, and I am confident he will do a great job with our girls. He loves the Lord and will be a great role model to our young ladies as we represent HCA and, ultimately, Christ.”

Marcum is married to Denise and has three grown children — Joshua, Jordann and Christian.  

On to college

Two local football players have verbally committed to play college football.

Deerfield Beach High School tight end Daniel Barker committed to Illinois and Blanche Ely High linebacker Carlton Cleophat committed to Central Michigan.

Barker is the second Buck to pledge with the Fighting Illini this summer, following in the footsteps of senior running back Jakari Norwood, who committed to Champaign-Urbana. 

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Highlands holds successful hoops camps

Posted on 26 July 2017 by LeslieM

Highlands holds successful hoops camps

By Gary Curreri

For more than two decades, Highlands Christian Academy (HCA) has hosted an annual summer basketball camp at the school.

Jim Good, who serves as the school athletic director and boys’ varsity basketball coach, has been there for most of those camps as he just completed his 20th year. Good’s predecessor, Reg Cook, the former AD and boys varsity basketball coach, started the camp in 1986 with 19 campers in attendance.

I am always grateful and excited that we are able to offer basketball camp here at HCA,” said Good, who has worked the camps since 1998. “It is by far our most successful athletic camp we do in the summer. I am extremely thankful for our coaches who do a tremendous job leading, working stations, sharing devotions and officiating games.”

 This year’s staff included several of the HCA Basketball coaches: Luke Still (Boys JV), Josh Good (Boys JH), Jeff Sullivan (Boys 6th grade), John Wilson (Girls Varsity) and Caris Everette (Girls Elementary).

Also, Max Spinner, head coach at Boca High and former Bobcats player, came every morning in our older group to lead our “Defensive Session,” Jim Good added. “Coach Spinner created and provided quality instruction and drills on defense. 

I have always been impressed with his teaching and coaching style and have watched his teams really buy into defense,” Good continued. “It was great to have an outside voice who provided energy and enthusiasm in implementing some new defensive drills.”

Also, Max Spinner, head coach at Boca High and former Bobcats player, came every morning in our older group to lead our “Defensive Session,” Jim Good added. “Coach Spinner created and provided quality instruction and drills on defense. 

Good said the camp theme was from Philippians 2:13 which reads, “In humility, consider others better than yourselves.”

Our typical morning included a devotion from one of our coaches as they shared a spiritual truth for the day,” he said. “We then focused the entire group on warm-up runs, dribbling, ball-handling and stretching.”

Every morning, the campers performed several speed and agility drills led by the coaches in a station format. The group was then divided up to work on individual skill and development with lay-ups, cone drills and shooting. The first week consisted of 35 elementary school students, while the second week consisted of 50 children in the junior high and high school age groups. 

Each day a specific skill was broken down for the campers to focus on. Every day, the campers competed in a different trophy competition, which included one on one, two on two, free throws and hot shots. Lunch was off campus at Chick-fil-A and CiCi’s Pizza, while the afternoon consisted of full court five on five games.

The school also held camps for softball, track and field, and indoor soccer. The remaining camps offered at the school next week (July 31-Aug. 4) include golf and girls volleyball. Please visit the website at www.highlandsknights.org for more information.

Simply Soccer camps offered

The Simply Soccer camp is winding up its 29th year of summer camps in nearby Coral Springs. 

The camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-15, and of all skill levels, which are taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

There are three sessions each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program for kids ages 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

Full day campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. You do not have to be a city resident to attend.

The camp has just three sessions left this summer including July 31 to Aug. 4; Aug. 7 to 11, and Aug. 14 to 18.

You can register daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. For information on the Coral Springs camp, call 954-345-2200.

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Deerfield little league ‘stars’ shine

Posted on 19 July 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach Little League President Kathleen Williams was pleased with her program’s postseason results in the District 10 All-Star competition as the 50/70, Junior and Senior Division squads all finished as runner-up in the District 10 All-Star competition.

The Deerfield Beach Little League is in their 60th year and still going strong,” Williams said. “This is the first time in 10 years that our 9/10s have gone more than two games in the district playoffs, so that shows growth.”

Deerfield Beach 9/10 manager Warren Fronte knew from the start that his group had a chance to reach the title game against North Springs; and, despite the defeat, he said the team battled during postseason play.

Listen, they haven’t won anything in 13 years so to bring this to five wins and second place, we are more than happy,” Fronte said. “We are more than ecstatic. These kids are all champions in my book.”

From Day 1, right from the get go, these kids put their hearts out and dominated our first team 25-8 and it was totally amazing,” Fronte said. “It was like, wow, we got a team.”

Selections of the 8-9-10 and 9-10-11 Deerfield Beach Little League All-Star teams came from eight teams in the league to pick from.

It was a little tough with what we had to play with, but we got us some winners,” Fronte said.

There will be lasting memories for the group,” Fronte noted.

Hopefully, they learned to be a professional player as far as their age league goes,” Fronte said. “Hopefully, their parents see it the same. These are players. They are not just little kids playing little league. They are athletes.

You could tell right off the bat which children pushed themselves to the max and a lot of them have,” he concluded. “They have their teammates backing them up and pushing them the rest of the way.”

The Deerfield Beach Little League fielded 25 teams during the regular season this year and 270 players.

We limited the teams to 11 players so everybody got more playing time,” Williams said. “Next year, we are discussing going back to the Major Division, instead of just the 50/70 Division.”

In the in-house divisions, the River Bandits won the Farm Division; the White Caps won the Minor Division; Cubs won the 50/70 Division and Mets won the Junior Division.

Brown wins PBMGA Tourney

Chuck Brown carded a 65 and won a match of cards to take the Class A Division title in the Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association tournament on the Pines Course at Pompano Beach Golf Course on July 12.

Brown was closest to the pin on the 15th hole when his tee shot wound up 12 ft., 11 in. from the hole.

Jim DeCicco, who also shot a net 65, was second in the Individual Class Play, while Tom Breur shot a 69 and won on a match of cards for that spot. In the Class B Division, Joe Patchen won with a 66, while Scott Feinman shot a 70 for second place and George Torres carded a 72 for third.

Richard Bell edged Dave Dowling by one shot in winning the Class C Division with a 68, while Bob Bridgman had a 71 for third. 

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3rd Annual Lace Up Shoelace Foundation’s Football & Fun Day

Posted on 12 July 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Only lightning could stop little feet from rushing down the field on Saturday following a series of “fastest man” races. This was just one of the many activities kids participated in, which included agility drills, tube tug o’ war and more, for the Shoelace Foundation’s 3rd Annual Football & Fun Day at Deerfield Beach High School (DBHS). The kids only stopped activities when the storm began brewing overhead.

Run by former DBHS student and current wide receiver/ running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denard “Shoelace” Robinson, this event brings kids together to not only have fun, but to learn the sport of football, as well receive inspirational messages from someone who understands where they have been and can motivate them to go as far as he has gone, and beyond.

No matter where you come from you can always come home. It’s a blessing where I’m at now so I want to show them,” said Robinson.

We did different drills than last year. We have to switch it up,” said Tevin Allen, who runs local camps of his own, which Robinson has attended, so he wanted to help him out with his as well. “The kids are training, but they are having fun at the same time. It is more exciting than regular camps.”

We have had way more kids this year than last year, about 100 more. This year, we have had 340,” said Kurt Haralson, who also helped out at the event. “We had eight stations for the kids, 15 to 20 minutes each. Last night, we had basketball in the gym.”

(The 2nd annual Ball for a Cause charity basketball game brought in NBA players and other well known athletes to participate).

DBHS Head Coach Jevon Glenn was impressed with the people Robinson was able to get involved. He said he comes out yearly to be a part of Robinson’s event.

You can see how highly regarded he is,” said Glenn. “I am honored and proud …to see Denard go from being a student to seeing the things he does for the community… Not many guys give back as much as he gives.”

Many DBHS players helped out at the event, including Rosendo Louis, a linebacker, who says he is No. 6 in the country right now.

I helped kids with the drills. I love being here and working with the kids. I grew up in the same neighborhood as them. I think it is great giving back to the community,” he said.

Jakari Norwood, who is a DBHS running back, added, “It is a good experience. It’s my second year here. I like to be around Shoelace. Maybe, someday, I will come back and do the same thing.”

Whidlyne St. Simon brought out her two boys, age 7 and 11, to the event.

I have come the past three years. It is awesome and amazing. I think it gives kids something to look forward to. For the older ones, it is inspirational … someone who comes from here coming back…”

After a day of sports in the hot sun on Saturday, kids came inside to eat lunch provided by the Shoelace Foundation. They also had breakfast provided by Kellogg’s. In addition, kids got to take home a T-shirt.

For more on the Shoelace Foundation, visit www.theshoelacefoundation.org.

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Tigers use tournament to get ready

Posted on 06 July 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely High School quarterback Noel Wilson said events like the recent Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 tournament are crucial to the Tigers’ success in the fall.

It is really important because we are out here getting the experience,” said the 15-year-old who lives in Pompano Beach, who will be a sophomore in the fall. “I love the experience of playing football. This will showcase my talent.”

Wilson was on the junior varsity last year and hopes to make the varsity team this season. Events like the 7-on7s will get him that experience by getting the repetitions with the skill position players. Playing against some of the top teams in the Tri-County area, Blanche Ely reached the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Our main (team) goal is to win the state championship,” Wilson said. “These events are also important because you always want to be the best. These tournaments will show you the things you need to work on.”

Blanche Ely’s Nick Ricks, who coaches the linebackers on the varsity team, said the Tigers have a mix of older and younger players so they put two teams in the tournament.

Sometimes, when you go to 7-on-7s, the young guys don’t get a chance to play,” Ricks said. “The older guys want to play because they have already put in the work. I think it was a good idea by (new head coach Calvin) Davis to enter two teams so the young guys can get some experience. Obviously, it paid off.

These events build confidence and camaraderie,” Ricks added. “We take most of the skill guys. Since it is the summer, some guys are away, but we bring the guys who are committed. We even have some kids who are going into the ninth grade and haven’t experienced anything like this and they didn’t even look shell-shocked. Those are the kind of things we were looking for.”

For the 10th consecutive year, the Miami Dolphins hosted the three-day event, which also consisted of a life skills symposium at Hard Rock Stadium that preceded the tourney. The symposium focused on character development, practical life lessons and specific skill training.

The event was followed by two days of 7-on-7 action on the gridiron at Plantation’s Central Park. There were 44 high school teams from the Tri-County area and an additional 23 teams that also competed in the youth tournament, which consisted of three age groups (10U, 12U and 14U).

Palmer released from hospital

Deerfield Beach High School cornerback Demetrius Palmer was back at practice this week after being released from Broward Health Medical Center last Wednesday.

Palmer, who will be a senior in the fall, was injured in a car accident on May 28 that killed teammate T.J. Bradley. He hasn’t participated in the offseason conditioning workouts and said he is a few weeks way from returning to the field.

He has a doctor’s appointment coming up to determine if his dislocated shoulder from the accident needs surgery. He also had injuries to his left arm, his face and head were scraped up when he slid 65 ft. into a pole.

Bradley’s mother had rented a red 2017 Corvette for an after-prom party and the 19-year-old teen reportedly lost control under wet conditions on State Road 7 north of Sunrise Boulevard. The car hit a curb and flipped several times and ejected both teens. Palmer was in a coma for eight days after the accident, according to Bucks coach Jevon Glenn.

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Katzmark killed in tragic accident

Posted on 29 June 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach lifeguard community lost one of its most decorated competitors in a tragic car accident on Sunday morning.

According to reports, it appeared Konnor Katzmark, 22, was bait fishing on the bridge near Atlantic Blvd and US-1, and was struck and killed by a driver as he attempted to cross the road. There is a blind spot near the top of the bridge located near St. Coleman Church.

Katzmark started with the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Program when he was 9 years old, and in the nine years he was in the Juniors Program, he won numerous National Titles in both the paddleboard race and the distance run.

Oftentimes while watching him compete in the paddleboard races, I would think to myself that he was truly “one with the ocean,” said Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Association President Nemia Schulte. “His style and speed on the paddleboard were truly a beautiful sight to watch.”

Katzmark was also one of the “founding competitors” for Youth Team USA in the U18 Worlds Competition in Australia in 2012. He, along with Schulte’s daughter, Julia, and Coach Chris Nowviskie, were the first representatives of Team Pompano to represent the United States in the coveted international competition simply known as “Worlds.”

Afterwards, they were all honored with a proclamation from the City of Pompano Beach, along with being chosen as the Grand Marshals for the Yuletide Parade, due to their international representations of Team Pompano.

To many of us who had the privilege and honor of knowing him, Konnor was more than just a great waterman and competitor,” Schulte said. “Yes, he was a phenomenal surfer as well and he often embodied that typical “surfer dude” stance.”

Katzmark served as a professional lifeguard for both Deerfield Beach and Hollywood and was a multiple-time regional and national champion in the Rescue Board Race, 2K Beach Run, and Ironguard events.

But to those who really knew him,” she continued, “Konnor was a great friend, sibling, brother and son. He was one of the most generous persons with his time and help for others. He had an infectious ready-made smile on his face, and his charismatic prose often led many of us in fits of giggles.”

Schulte called Katzmark an “overall good guy” and even though he graduated from the Juniors Program three years ago, Katzmark still touched many of the younger Juniors’ lives, oftentimes going surfing, fishing or learning to skateboard with him.

In honor of Konnor, we request that everyone wear beach attire to both Friday and Saturday’s services,” said Schulte, who added there would be a Paddleboard Swim Out for Katzmark in the upcoming weeks as a tribute. “Beach attire would be considered board shorts and T-Shirts for the men and sundresses for the women.”

There will be a funeral visitation at Kraeer Funeral Home, 200 N. Federal Hwy., in Pompano Beach on Friday, June 30 from 4 to 8 p.m. Services will be held on Saturday, July 1 at 10 a.m. at St. Coleman Catholic Church, 1200 S. Federal Hwy., in Pompano Beach.

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Pompano Beach Middle Tracksters complete season

Posted on 22 June 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach Middle School boys and girls track teams closed out the school year with some outstanding performances in the season-ending county championships at Coral Springs High School.

Ja’leah Williams had one goal at the Broward County Middle School track and field championship meet, and that was to defeat someone from Lauderdale Lakes. So, in her final middle school meet, she did just that and more in defeating everyone from the county to win the 800-meter run with a time of 2:23.21, she successfully defended her title.

This is very big because it was my last year and I finally beat someone from Lauderdale Lakes in an individual event,” said Williams, 14, of Pompano Beach. “That was my goal.”

This is her third year in the sport and she took also third in the 400-meter dash last year.

I was very tired and I didn’t have any water, Gatorade or anything,” Williams added. “I just had to breathe in and breathe out. My friends want me to play flag football at Blanche Ely, so I might not do track next year.”

Williams was also a member of the 4×100 and the 4×400 relay teams. The 4×100 relay was third (51.89); the 4×200 relay was fourth (1:51.28), while the 4×400 team won the county title with a clocking of 4:08.34.

We came in second in the 4×100,” Williams said, “so I really wanted to win the 4×400 and we did.”

Pompano Beach’s De’Wante Deas clocked a 14.64 to finish second in the 100-meter hurdles. The 15-year-old Pompano Beach Middle School eighth grader also was third in the 400-meter dash (52.32).

I didn’t run the hurdles last year, just the 400,” said Deas, who was fourth in the 400 a year ago. It was his first year on a track team. “I ran them this year because my school needed it. I like to run. I am pretty fast and I like the competition.”

Two other Pompano Bengals competed in the finals. Kaleese Smith was fourth in the girls long jump with a 14-04.00, while Elijah Mohorne threw 35-05.00 to place seven in the boys shot put.

Deerfield Beach Middle School also had a couple of strong performances from Nate Metellus, who clocked a time of 11.99 to finish fourth in the 100-meter dash. The boys 4×400 relay finished fifth with a time of 4:00.51.

The Pompano girls team finished fourth with 36 points. Lauderdale Lakes was the runaway winner with 83 points. The Pompano Middle School boys team finished 11th with 18 points, while the Deerfield boys scored 9 and finished in a tie for 17th with Pioneer Middle School.

Simply Soccer camps offered

The Simply Soccer camp has entered their 29th year of camps in nearby Coral Springs. The camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-15, of all skill levels, who are taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

There are three sessions each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program for kids ages 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. Full day campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. You do not have to be a city resident to attend.

The camp just concluded its second week and there are seven sessions left this summer including June 26-30; July 10-14; July 17-21; July 24-28; July 31-Aug. 4; Aug. 7-11 and Aug. 14-18.

Register daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. For information, call 954-345-2200.

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Tornadoes fall in state semifinal

Posted on 15 June 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach baseball coach Joe Giummule said pitching and defense was his team’s strong suit as they advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Golden Tornadoes’ junior pitcher Trevor Kniskern took the mound against defending state champion Jacksonville Bolles and allowed the first two batters to score before settling down and pitched a gem.

Unfortunately for Kniskern and his teammates, Bolles went on to secure a 2-1 victory over Pompano Beach and then dispatched Bishop Moore, 7-2 in the title game the following day at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers to capture their second straight state championship. It was also Kniskern’s first setback in 12 decisions.

They gave us a good right jab in the first inning,” Giummule said. “We weathered the storm, and I guess we just ran out of gas.”

Kniskern gave up all three of his hits to the first five batters he faced – good for two Bolles runs – but retired 14 consecutive batters from the end of the first to the sixth inning.

Bolles’ Max Ferguson and Austin Knight, both Tennessee commits, reached on a single and double, respectively. Ferguson scored on an RBI groundout by Brendon O’Neil, and a ground rule double by University of Virginia commit Hunter Barco double drove in Knight.

I felt a little awkward [in the first inning],” said Kniskern, a Pepperdine commit. “Their whole lineup is pretty decent. I just had to work through the count, start off strong – changeup, fastball – work ahead. That first inning was a little bumpy, and after that I was settling in.”

The Tornadoes (24-4) got a run back in the second when senior left fielder Austin Carney doubled down the left field line to score junior shortstop Chase Costello.

Giummule said his team practiced coming from behind and winning a state championship since the first day of practice, so when the Tornadoes came up in the bottom of the seventh, he was confident.

The Tornadoes threatened in the bottom of the seventh as pinch hitter Alex Skirvin walked and senior catcher Jeremy Davis singled down the left field line and advanced to second on the throw to third base putting the potential tying and winning runs in scoring position.

Pompano junior center fielder Mike Schuler, who earlier in the game made a diving catch in center field to keep the game close, hit a slow chopper up the middle that Ferguson handled and threw to first to get him by a step and end the game.

The second baseman made a helluva play and he was out by half a step,” Giummule said. “Sometimes baseball isn’t fair. We deserved to win the game. We made tremendous play after tremendous play, as did they. We were just on the short end of the stick today.”

The Tornadoes reached states for the first time by knocking off powerhouse Miami Pace 9-0 in a regional final before other regional wins over Cardinal Gibbons and LaBelle. Pompano Beach is only three years removed from a stretch of four consecutive losing seasons.

Giummule believes his team can reach the state championship game next year.

If things go as they have in the past, we should be right back in this spot next year,” he said. “From that starting line-up, we lose two starters, our catcher and our left fielder and we return our juniors and a lot of our pitching staff. You got to have some breaks and you got to stay healthy and there is no doubt in my mind that we will be back in this position. We just have to stay healthy.”

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Over 50 Softball

Posted on 08 June 2017 by LeslieM

For over 30 years, softball enthusiasts have been coming out to play in the Deerfield Over 50 Softball games. For 22 years, their home was Pioneer Park and then they moved to Westside Park, now called Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex. Right now, they have 92 players, ranging in age from 50 to 87 years old.

Dr. Arnold Elkind, one of the players, said teams are made up depending on how many people show up for these pick up games. They play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. They modify the game in order to ensure safety. It is slow pitch as well.

We play three days a week and we have beer on Fridays,” said Elkind, adding that they tend to do more for someone’s birthday and also have a yearly Valentine’s Day dance at Century Village.

They also get sponsors for their tournaments. They just had a one-pitch tournament on May 17 with the Kraeer-Becker team coming in first, Duffy’s coming in 2nd and Advanced Auto Parts coming in third.

Interested in playing? It is only $45 a year. For more information, call Commissioner Denis Tranchida at 954-647-1621.

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