Highlands falls in regional quarterfinals

Posted on 09 February 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

For the second consecutive year, Highlands Christian Academy’s (HCA) boys’ soccer season ended on the Lake Worth campus at Trinity Christian Academy.

Junior Rogeni Decaster tallied a golden goal with three minutes remaining in the first overtime to lift the host Warriors to a 1-0 victory over HCA (9-6-3) in the boys Region 3-1A soccer quarterfinals.

Decaster’s 17th goal of the season propelled Trinity Christian (15-2-3) into the regional semifinal where it fell in overtime to Boca Raton Christian. The Warriors won last year in regional semifinal 2-1.

HCA played the final 48 minutes of the game, including overtime, a man down after one of its players, Richard Silva, was hit with two cautions. Trinity Christian was state runner-up in 2014 when it lost 2-0 to First Academy (Orlando).

It was a rebuilding year for us,” said Knights coach Darryl Mauro. “We are a small school where most players join our team for the first game. We average 6-10 players at pre-season training since most are participating in other sports, and all but one or two of our players touch a soccer ball during the off season. They played hard.”

Bucks have 13 move on to college

With three players already enrolled in college – Jerry Jeudy (Alabama), Deslin Alexandre (Pittsburgh) and Leroy Henley (East Carolina) – Deerfield Beach High School added an additional 10 to that haul on National Signing Day last week.

We laid out a very strenuous regimen for those guys to follow,” said Bucks football coach Jevon Glenn. “They’ve dedicated themselves. This is just the fruit of their labor. I am extremely proud … a very proud day for me, a very proud day for our football program.”

Receiver Daewood Davis, who signed with Oregon, and defensive lineman Lamonte McDougle, who chose West Virginia, were among the 10 college signees in this year’s draft class. Also signing were defensive back Eldine Dorvil (Albany State), DL Jamari Rouse (Bowling Green), quarterback Nick Holm (Florida Tech), DB Kobe Green (Buffalo), lineman Jose Jeanty and LB Branden Bailey (N.C. Central) and linebackers Brion Byrd and Cortez Grace (Virginia Union).

Ely falls to Dillard in Big 8

When it comes to the BCAA Big 8 boys’ basketball tournament, it appears that rival Dillard has Blanche Ely’s number.

Dillard’s Raiquan Gray and Robert Johnson helped key a 21-6 run early in the third quarter to break open a tight game and led the Panthers to a 72-61 victory over Blanche Ely at Ft. Lauderdale High School. Dillard won last year’s Big 8 championship with a 68-62 victory over the Tigers. Both teams won state titles in their respective classifications.

Johnson threw down a two-handed dunk off a look-away pass from Gray to push the lead to 52-35 with 1:09 left in the third quarter. Johnson finished with 17 points, Gray had 11 points and Bryce Oliver added 12.

Jordan Wright, a prized football recruit for Kentucky, finished with 18 points for the Panthers and helped Dillard seize a 28-27 halftime lead with a buzzer-beating 3-point basket.

Ely’s Geremy Taylor scored 13 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter to pull the Tigers close before Wright converted a three-point play with 1:16 left to give Dillard a 68-57 lead to seal the game. Michael Forrest added 14 points for Blanche Ely.

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Crystal Lake Golf Club celebrates 52 years

Posted on 02 February 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Crystal Lake Golf Club kicked off its 52 year anniversary recently as Crystal Lake staff members fired up the grill, local craft beer flowed and live music played for everyone to enjoy.

We’ve been told by some of our most loyal players that ‘Crystal Lake is back,’ – and we couldn’t be more excited about it,” said Crystal Lake Golf Club General Manager David Kandel. “We are confident in saying we have been the home of South Florida’s best value golf for more than five decades, and we invite everyone to come on out and experience it for themselves!”

Kandel, who took over as General Manager last January, is inviting players to “Re-Discover Crystal Lake” and its revamped playing experience.

We’ve got a golf course here that is constantly described as a lot of fun to play,” said Kandel, who worked different roles at the club since 2010 including Pro Shop attendant and Golf Operations Manager.

Built in 1965, Crystal Lake Golf Club is a 6,953-yard championship par 72 golf course that was re-designed by Rees Jones in 1981. An older course with tall pines, scattered palm trees and native flora, it was renovated in 2000 with new tees and tifdwarf USGA-designed greens. The slight doglegs left and right combined with undulating greens present a challenge to golfers of all skill levels.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable round of golf with some great people, there’s no better place than Crystal Lake Golf Club,” Kandel said. “It was wonderful celebrating the history of Crystal Lake with our amazing golf family. We are lucky to have the best customer base in the industry and it was great celebrating our anniversary with them.”

Kandel said the club is home to perfect golfing weather year-round for snowbirds in colder regions, in addition to those in the local community.

Tee times this season start at $30 and can be booked by calling 954-943-2902, or by visiting the website at www.crystallakegc.com.

Pompano pledges $1,000 donation to Jr. Lifeguards

The city of Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher recently donated $1,000 to the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard/Grommets Program.

Nemia Schulte, president of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Association, said Fisher had excess money from his campaign fund, so he donated it to the city program.

Mayor Fisher has always been a big supporter of the Junior Lifeguard Program,” Schulte said. “In the past, when we had some of our kids selected to Worlds or do well at Nationals, he would issue a City Proclamation for our athletes and team before the Commissioner’s meeting.

When my eldest daughter Julia was selected to represent the U.S. Youth National Team at Worlds in Australia in 2012, he had presented her with a proclamation,” she continued. “The commissioners also donated money to her to help her to defray some of the cost of the trip. It was really awesome to have them donate to our organization.”

Schulte said it is one of the city’s most popular and successful programs. There are approximately 300 Juniors and Grommets who participate in the program each summer.

It is not only an educational opportunity for our children, but also one filled with many team-bonding social events,” Schulte said. “It appears that someone knows someone whose family is or has been involved with the program over the past 20-plus years of its existence.

Also, we are proud to say that the program,” she continued, “has also reached national and international recognition for being one of the most successful junior lifeguard programs in the world.”

There are camps planned for this summer and the United States Lifeguard Association National competition will be held on Aug. 9 in Daytona Beach for Junior Lifeguards.

For more information, send an email to Schulte at nemia2000@aol.com.

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Bengals win county middle school title

Posted on 26 January 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach Middle School girls basketball coach Brittany Harvard knows firsthand what it means to put together a perfect season and in the process be MVP for county champion.

Harvard recently guided her team to a 14-0 season and the Broward County Middle School championship with a convincing 65-29 victory over Pembroke Pines Charter at Stranahan High School.

It was a sense of déjà vu for Harvard who was MVP in 2003 for the Bengals when they finished 13-0 and won the county championship.

The focus level was unbelievable,” said Harvard, who went on to star at Blanche Ely High School and then play at Benedict College in Colombia, SC. “To see a middle school team focus like that was unbelievable. The year we won, the whole team wasn’t focused – maybe a couple, maybe the starting five. To have a strong 10 girls just lock in and focus on one goal, it was amazing.”

Bengals eighth-grader Ja’Leah Williams scored a game-high 34 points as Pompano Beach handed Pembroke Pines Charter its only loss of the season in 14 games.

Along the way, Pompano Beach abruptly halted two-time defending county champion Dillard Middle School’s 41-game win streak in the semifinals, 60-17. Dillard had lost just once to Westglades in the county semifinals the year the school opened three years ago. They are 53-2 during that span. The victory over Dillard this year avenged a 33-32 setback in last year’s semifinals that ended Pompano’s season.

Pompano Beach lost to William Dandy three years ago in the second round of the playoffs and is 37-2 during that span.

We beat Dillard this year so they knew how we felt last year, but worse,” said Williams, 14, of Pompano Beach, who has been on the team all three years. She averaged 36 points a game this year.

We were thinking about that one point loss all season, since the first practice,” said Williams, who averaged 36 points a game this year. “At the beginning of the championship game I knew we had it. We had more skill than they did.”

Williams scored five of her game-high 34 points in the first quarter and dropped in another 13 in the second quarter as the Bengals led 33-12 in the title game. Williams added nine in the third and seven in the final quarter to earn MVP honors for the game. She also dished out five assists, had six steals and five rebounds in the contest.

Bengals’ eighth-grader Mikihia Lumsdon and seventh grader Mya Kone each added 10 points, while seventh graders Michiyah Simmons and Zaria Blake had 6 and 4 points, respectively.

Pompano Beach also went 12-0 in 1993, this season marking the third time in school history that they were perfect.

The one thing that stood out was their dedication and their working hard,” Harvard said as she reflected on the season. “They were always determined to learn, even what they already knew. They stayed determined to work on their craft – both strengths and weaknesses – from the time we lost last year all the way up to now.”

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Pompano teams shine in youth football

Posted on 19 January 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

When Pompano Cowboys Mitey Mites coach Ronnie McDougle began their inaugural season in the Gold Coast Pop Warner Conference, he had a vision. McDougle said the season started off with many new players, and the coaches put together a staff that helped players that needed guidance and new goal setting.

The goal was to teach the kids to play for more than just themselves,” said McDougle, a Recreation Supervisor with the city of Pompano Beach. “We played for Collier City, our neighborhood. When the Super Bowl game arrived, the kids already had a full season of lesson, and domination was the only thing they had on their mind.”

“‘We’ve come too far to let up now,’ was the chant the entire week of practice,” said McDougle, whose team rolled to a 42-14 win over the Pompano Eagles in the Pop Warner Super Bowl game.

Ja’cari Barnes and Antonio Nuwry combined for five scores, while Terrell Loray added the final TD. “So for the biggest game of the year, the kids put on the biggest show for the fans.”

McDougle led his team to a perfect 11-0 season, which also included a win in the Miami Dolphins Championship Series (DCS). The Pompano Cowboys Mitey Mites 9U team recorded a 6-0 championship win in overtime over the Northwest Boys & Girls Club Falcons at the Miramar Asin Center. Barnes scored on a fourth down, 10-yard run for the win.

Gary Hadley scored as the Pompano Eagles 8U team also topped the Northwest Boys & Girls Club Falcons, 6-0.

The Miami Dolphins Youth Programs featured the league champions of six South Florida youth football organizations as part of the Dolphins Championship Series (DCS). Kids ages 5-15 years old from the American Youth Football League, Gold Coast Pop Warner, Greater Miami Pop Warner, Miami Xtreme, National Youth Football League and Youth Academic Sports League participated in the competition.

The Dolphins Champion game was just one for the old bragging rights book,” McDougle said. “Anytime a Broward team plays against a Dade team is always guaranteed to be a good one.

Northwest Boys Club is a very well-respected program,” he continued. “Both teams were missing players and played in the worst weather condition of that day. Our coaches watched and made great adjustments as the game went on and our kids, like they did all year, responded well to the match-up that we put them in to get the win in overtime.”

It’s an honor for the Miami Dolphins to celebrate youth football in South Florida by hosting the Dolphins Championship Series,” said Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Youth Programs Twan Russell. “The DCS games provide another opportunity for student-athletes to compete and showcase their skills after another remarkable season of play.”

Two Pompano Chiefs’ squads also went far in the Pop Warner postseason playoffs as the JV team lost in the regionals to the Riviera Beach Chargers, 26-20, in double overtime, and the Varsity made it all the way to Nationals where they fell, 33-8, to the Harvey Colts (Chicago, IL.)

Jerold Smith, president of Football Operations for the City of Pompano, said he was proud of what his teams were able to accomplish this season. The Pompano squads broke away from the Miami Chapter of Pop Warner and joined with other teams from Broward County to form their own Pop Warner Chapter called Gold Coast Pop Warner.

The Pompano Eagles had two teams – 75-lb. and 85-lb. teams – that won the Superbowl in their division; Pompano Cowboys (100-lb. championship); Pompano Chiefs (155-lb. and 180-lb.) Superbowl championships.

We had five teams from Pompano Beach win the Gold Coast Pop Warner Superbowl this year,” Smith said. “That was a great feat to do in our first year in Gold Coast as a founding member.

The season went off without any problems and in our first year we had a team make it to the National Championship in Disney World, Wide World of Sports,” Smith added. “Our kids got to play two games on ESPN on National TV. It was a great experience for our kids and coaches as well.”

 

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Bucks hoping for good news

Posted on 05 January 2017 by LeslieM

sports010517By Gary Curreri

What started out as a promising season for the Deerfield Beach High School girls basketball team could have turned sour following an injury to a key player.

Sophomore 5-ft., 6-in. shooting guard DenAsia Mitchell came down wrong on her knee during practice last week and Bucks coach Portia Williams fears the worst.

The Bucks got out of the gate at 14-2 with losses coming to Flanagan, 38-31, and South Broward, 56-44, and owned a 65-57 victory over district rival Douglas. The team also won all three of their games in a tournament in Atlanta.

After opening its own Deerfield Blitz Holiday tournament with wins over Piper and Cooper City, disaster struck in the practice leading up to the title game against Douglas.

At this time we don’t know,” Williams said. “It was just a freak accident at practice. She was going up for a loose ball and just came down wrong on it. She has to get some tests run. She is getting an MRI (this week).

We have the capabilities and that shouldn’t have stopped us from what we need to do,” Williams said after the Eagles (18-1) jumped out to a 30-10 halftime lead and coasted to a 63-42 victory over the host Bucks in the championship game.

We have to regroup and go over some things that were a problem.”

Williams said the team needed to do several things better, including rebounding, boxing out better on defense and running their offense. It hurt not having Mitchell, who was averaging nearly 20 points per game. The team also gave up a lot of baskets on fast breaks and in transition and allowed 22 offensive rebounds to Douglas.

We knew she was out, but we didn’t execute,” Williams said. “We didn’t come out to play and that was the bottom line. We talked to the girls and told them we have to get back to the basics and regroup from there.

We have to get ready for the second half of the season,” added Williams, who has been coaching for nearly two decades at Deerfield Beach. “We have some things to fix and we have to continue to work hard.”

Williams said the team is more of a family this year and has survived the “tough times.”

We may get down on one another, but then we pick each other up,” she said. “I think there are some things that we can do. Even though it is a Christmas tournament, we did well on the road in Atlanta, and now we just have to regroup.”

Williams wasn’t surprised with the start to the season and also cited sophomore guard Kayla Burrows and senior guard G’Torria Swinton for their play this season.

We saw them play really well at a camp this summer and they haven’t played their best yet this season,” Williams said. “We have to learn to stay focused. Some of them still have maturity problems, and we need to be able to take toughness and that will have to start with our seniors.”

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Bucks off to a quick start

Posted on 29 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports122916By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach coach Kenny Brown is a firm believer that his team can make it past the first round of the district tournament this season.

The Bucks finished 12-13 last year including a first round exit in the District 11-9A tournament. Deerfield Beach has gotten off to a 10-5 start this season with four losses coming in the Kreul Showcase and Kreul Classic tournaments. The Bucks also suffered a 61-57 loss to Dillard in the regular season.

Brown entered the season with a 258-121 record with more than 100 players who have gone off and played in college, including Terrence Johnson (South Alabama) and Josh Huntley (Stephen F. Austin). He returns six players from last year’s squad.

Toughness will be the team’s mantra this season and Brown cited junior point guard Corey Carpenter, along with senior guards Marcus Brave and Calvin Davis to take the team to the next level.

(Senior) Edwin Louis is a talented point guard with D1 ability,” Brown said. “(Junior) Hansley Senatus is a wing player that will bring versatility and has the ability to stretch the floor with shooting.

We expect to improve everyday and peak at right time,” Brown said. “We are looking to play faster and use our depth on wings. I think our depth will be key to our style, which will be to wear teams down and pressure for 32 minutes.”

The team’s most lopsided defeat came against Class 5A power St. Andrew’s School, 86-65 in the Kreul Classic. The Scots (12-0) won the tournament and are undefeated on the season.

In that game, we got into a little foul trouble and a few loose balls that we normally get, we didn’t get,” Brown said. “Usually, we play with a lot of energy and we play with our feet a lot better.

That game was a wakeup call,” Brown added. “There was some point where the guys started to believe that they were better than they really were and a good old- fashioned butt whipping is always a good teacher. We will bottle that up and remember that feeling and we won’t have that feeling too many more times.

Coming into the season, Brown was confident that his team had put in the work during the offseason.

I work these kids really hard,” Brown said. “I know that, with the energy and how hard these kids play and how hard they worked in practice, we would have a tough team.

I thought we would have a harder time with rebounding, but so far, so good. We are right in their battling.

I am okay with our start,” he continued. “Our experience has really helped. I have four kids who are in their third year of varsity basketball. Experience is the best teacher as you know.”

Brown believes they can make a deep run in the playoffs.

As long as we trust each other, believe in each other, play off each other and share the ball,” Brown said, “we have a chance. We can go out and fight and hustle and give it all we got and we can always shuffle kids in and out…with this start, the confidence came and now the expectations come.”

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Piranhas compete in meet

Posted on 24 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports122216By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach Piranhas swim coach Jesse Vassallo is looking forward to the future of his program.

Vassallo, a member of the 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, is a former World Record holder in the 200 and 400 meter individual medleys. He points to the success of Raphael Santos and Tyler Zuyus at the 26th annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Championships recently at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Santos, 14, was third in the high point standings in the boys 13-14 division, while teammate Tyler Zuyus, 16, was second in the high point standings in the 15-16 boys division.

Santos won the Boys 13-14 100-free; the 100-IM; the 400-IM, the 200-free; and placed third in the 500-free; the 200-IM; the 1,650-free and fourth in the 50-free.

Zuyus captured the Boys 15-16 50-free; the 50-fly; 50-back; the 100-free; the 100-fly; and was second in the 100-back and third in the 500-free.

Tyler and Raphael swam really well,” Vassallo said. “We brought 21 swimmers to the Winter Champs. Our team is a little bit smaller. We have some younger kids coming up.”

We are doing well,” added Vassallo, who has nearly 180 swimmers in the program. “I am very proud of them. They sacrifice a lot and the commitment is huge. I would still like more (swimmers to come out).

Azura Florida Aquatics successfully defended its Winter Champs team titles in combined (1,390 points) and men’s (908.5 points), while Pine Crest defended its girls’ title (701.5 points). The Pompano Beach Piranhas placed 11th overall with 306 points and eighth in the men’s competition with 237 points.

Other top performers for Pompano included Lilia Blanco (6th in the Girls 10-Under 200-free; 5th in the 200-IM; 6th in the 100-free) and Marcus Sazbo (10th in the 10-Under 50-free; 8th in the 200-IM; 9th in the 50-fly; 9th in the 100-free).

Emilio Barrantes, 13, was ninth in the Boys 13-14 500-free; 7th in the 1,650-free; sixth in the 13-14 100-fly; ninth in the 200-free; Alex Marquez, 14, was 10th in the Boys 13-14 500-free; 10th in the 1,650-free; fifth in the 200-back; eighth in the 100-back; Jake Schulte, 12, was fifth in the Boys 11-12 500-free; sixth in the 200-IM; third in the 200-fly; third in the 400-IM; Shane Schulte, 15, was 10th in the Boys 15-16 100-breast; Summer Schulte, 13, was seventh in the Girls 13-14 50-free, 10th in the 50-back; 10th in the 100-back; Kelly Gest, 17, was 10th in the Women’s 50-breast; was sixth in the 200-free; and Alicja Zielinski, 16, was sixth in the Girls 15-16 50-breast.

Pompano Beach had several teams in the top 10 in the relays, including the Women’s 200-free relay (Summer Schulte, Adriana Rodriguez, Alicja Zielinski, Kelly Gest), which placed seventh; the same group made up the 200-medley relay that placed sixth; the Women’s 400-free relay (composed of Alicja Zielinski, Summer Schulte, Brooke Gest, Kelly Gest) was seventh; the Women’s 400-medley relay (composed of Summer Schulte, Mia Marquez, Alicja Zielinski, Kelly Gest) placed sixth.

The Boys 13-14 200-free relay (Emilio Barrantes, Paul Spada, Alex Marquez, Raphael Santos) placed fifth; and the same group made up the eighth place team in the 13-14 200-medley relay.

The men’s 200-medley relay composed of Tyler Zuyus, Alejandro Quinones, Kelly Schulte and Taylor Barton took ninth; the Men’s 400-free relay composed of Kelly Schulte, Shane Schulte, Taylor Barton and Tyler Zuyus took seventh; and the men’s 400-medley team (Tyler Zuyus, Raphael Santos, Kelly Schulte, Taylor Barton took ninth.

Meet Director Jimmy Parmenter, who is also the head coach of the host Plantation Swim team, said there were a little more than 1,100 competitors in the meet.

This has probably been the best one yet,” Parmenter said. “We are trying to put on a good show for the kids. That’s what it is all about.”

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Knights hope for solid season

Posted on 15 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports121516By Gary Curreri

If Highlands Christian Academy is going to make a deep run in the postseason, it will have to find a way to get past nemesis Jupiter Christian.

Highlands Christian is 6-2 this season, with its only two blemishes coming at the hands of the Eagles by a combined nine points. The Knights dropped a 73-68 decision in the 39th annual Highlands Holiday Classic and then fell 69-65 to Jupiter Christian in a District 7-3A game on Tuesday night. On Friday, the Knights will host district leader Boca Christian (5-3, 3-0 in the District) at 7 p.m.

Senior point guard Herman Robinson has been a member of the varsity team at the school since he was in the seventh grade. He averaged 15.0 points and 6.2 assists per game last year.

Basketball means everything to me,” said Robinson, 18, of Deerfield Beach, who hasn’t decided on a college yet. “It’s my life. It has taken me through a great journey and taught me a lot of life’s lessons. It’s shown me no matter what I can do anything in life if I put my mind to it. The hard work is making me a better person.”

I think we have a great team this year,” Robinson added. “We didn’t have a great year last year by our standards, but we have been working hard in the gym and preparing. It’s my senior year, so it is important for me to end my (long) career here on a good note. We have room up there for another banner.”

Highlands Christian has won 12 district championships in school history, however, none since winning in 2011. The Knights made it to the state final four in 1979 and 1994.

Herman has been the face of Highlands basketball for about six years now,” said Knights head coach and athletic director Jim Good, whose team last season finished at 10-13. They finished third in the Holiday Classic. “He gets the guys to do things that I can’t do and has an incredible work ethic. I never question his intensity or his passion for the game. He is definitely going to be missed next year.”

Our expectations and goals for the season is to compete for a district championship,” Good added. “We should be a little deeper, so we are trying to play more up tempo and press. We have placed much more of an emphasis on defense.”

It is an experienced group with seven seniors and several returners. Junior guard Matt Veynovich (8.9 ppg, made 60 3-pointers) improved during the offseason and Good called him the team’s sleeper player. Veynovich was the lone Highland’s Christian Academy selection to the All-Tournament team in the Holiday Classic.

Another top player back from last season that Good and the Knights will count on is senior forward Kyle Lassen (11.6 points per game, 5.5 rebounds).

Matt has really worked on his game and gives us a lot of options,” Good said. “Herman is our leader and the focal point of the team, but he has a lot of help this year. The players have put in the time and we are going to be a little more balanced I think.”

Good knows this is a difficult district to get by. In addition to Jupiter Christian and Boca Christian, the Knights will also face stiff challenges from Village Academy and non-district foes like Canterbury (St. Petersburg), the opening round opponent in the Keswick Christmas Tournament.

We play a tough schedule and tough district, so all of those games will prepare us for the postseason,” Good said. “It is a wide open district with very competitive teams. I am happy with where we are as a team and I see improvement in all of our players. I think they want to do something special this season. I am excited about the progress that we’ve made.”

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Bucks fall in State Semifinal

Posted on 08 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports120816By Gary Curreri

A week of heartbreak for the Deerfield Beach High School football team ended abruptly with a 26-7 loss to visiting Miami Southridge in the Class 8A state semifinal on Friday.

Despite forcing six turnovers, including five in the first half alone, the host Bucks were unable to generate much offense and fell to the Spartans in its first trip to the state semifinals since Denard “Shoelace” Robinson was the team’s quarterback a decade ago.

I am proud of my team,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn, who was back on the sidelines after spending last week in the hospital and missing the team’s regional final win over Atlantic. “We came back. The program had slipped a little bit and we definitely got the program back – last year to the regional quarterfinals and this year to the state semifinals.”

Deerfield Beach sophomore linebacker Gemon Eafford returned a fumble by Southridge’s Bentavious Thompson 5 yards for an early 7-0 lead, however Mark Pope struck for a 98-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff to cut the Bucks’ lead to 7-6. Keyon Martin blocked the extra point attempt.

The Bucks missed a field goal, hurt themselves with costly penalties and were unable to protect quarterback Nick Holm, who was sacked 10 times in the game.

After Antwan Collier scored on a 19-yard TD to give Southridge a 12-7 lead, Holm was driving the Bucks to the end zone to retake the lead. Southridge’s Shawn Davis intercepted Holm at his own 1 and returned it 99 yards for the clinching touchdown with 8:51 remaining in the game that put the Spartans up 20-7 after a two-point conversion. Collier added a late score for the final margin.

We left plays on the field,” Glenn added. “It was tough. They are one of the best defenses in Florida…My hat goes off to them.”

For Alabama commit and senior Bucks wide out Jerry Jeudy, the game marked his final contest in a Bucks football jersey. It also ended a hard week personally as he had to cope with the passing of his 7-year-old sister Aaliyah to a lengthy illness. Jeudy finished the game with nine catches for 91 yards.

Highlands Christian Gridiron falls short

The Highlands Christian Academy football team recently lost the Florida Independent Football Conference (FIFC) championship contest to host Palmer Trinity Prep (Miami) 28-6 to close out its season.

The Knights (4-4) went down 14-0 in the second quarter and then was outscored 14-6 in the final quarter. The lone score came from eighth-grader Christian Opalsky, who finished the season with more than 1,000 yards on the ground.

Senior quarterback Dylan DiBello ran for 108 yards and two scores and completed 6 of 14 passes for 113 yards and one score to lead the Falcons (6-0-1) to the title. Sophomore running back Jalen Sloan also broke the century barrier on the ground with 101 yards and one score.

Highlands Christian coach Josh Harris, who completed his first year as head coach after assistant coaching stints at Miami Northwestern, Doral Academy and Somerset Academy was proud of his team’s season. The team finished 2-7 the previous two seasons.

Last year, they really didn’t have a coach,” Harris said. “They had two former players who pitched in and helped out and (Highlands) was actually thinking about shutting the program down. The kids this year were scrappy and always found a way.

I told the kids if they looked at the trophy case in the school, there was not a lot of representation of football in the gym,” Harris said. “Forty years from now, people will come back to the school and see their name or their accomplishment in there. Your kids will see your name or your legacy represented. You will live forever at the school. It is really cool. I think we’re starting to feel like we are accomplishing something here.”

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Glenn returns to sidelines

Posted on 01 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports120116By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Beach High School football team is whole again as head coach Jevon Glenn returned to practice this week after being hospitalized last week after missing his team’s 28-21 victory over visiting Atlantic in the Region 3-8A final on Friday night.

Jakari Norwood took a screen pass from Nick Holm and went 44 yards for the winning score with 2:20 remaining to send the Bucks (10-2) to the state semi-final game for the first time since 2006 when it lost a heartbreaker to the eventual state champion Miami Northwestern.

An emotional Norwood said after the game that he and his team rallied around Glenn, who had been hospitalized two days earlier and missed the game. Former Piper High coach Matthew Lewis, the team’s running back coach, filled in as head coach for the game. Deerfield Beach will host Miami Southridge (10-2) in the state semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

This was hard, but we did it for him (Glenn),” said Norwood, a 5-10, 175-pound junior running back who also scored on a 7-yard run earlier in the game to give the Bucks a 14-7 lead. “We prayed hard and we came through. This is very big. We are trying to do something we have never done. We want to beat Southridge and go to state.”

My number was called and I just did what I do,” Norwood said. He had 57 yards rushing and another 51 yards receiving.

I saw the end zone and I just took advantage of it.”

I am feeling much better,” Glenn said on Wednesday morning. He was released from the hospital on Sunday and back at practice on Monday. “I am back in the saddle.”

I’m good now,” said Glenn, who was diagnosed with ‘some digestive issues.’

I am most definitely proud of the team, and the staff, and what they accomplished Friday,” he continued.

The last time Deerfield Beach played in a regional final before Friday night was in 2008 when they lost to Miramar. A victory Friday would send the Bucks to the state championship game for only the second time in school history. Deerfield reached the state final in 2005 losing to Palm Beach Gardens.

Deerfield Beach lost to the eventual state champion Flanagan in the regional semifinals last season, while Atlantic lost to Flanagan in the regional final.

The Bucks opened the scoring with 6:41 remaining in the first quarter when senior defensive end Deslin Alexandre blocked Brian Litang’s punt and Bucks senior Jerry Jeudy scooped up the loose ball and raced 31 yards for the 7-0 lead.

Atlantic tied the game at 7-7 on a 3-yard scoring run by Lamar Brewster with 7:46 remaining in the half. The score capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive.

Holm, who finished the game 18 of 26 for 262 yards, also threw a 42-yard pass to Daewood Davis to give the Bucks a 21-7 halftime lead before the Eagles started to mount a comeback.

The teams traded turnovers to start the third quarter and the Eagles cashed in with 7:42 left in the period on a 17-yard run up the middle by Marquis Waters. The extra point failed and the Bucks led 21-13.

Atlantic pulled to within 21-20 on a quarterback sneak by Thompson from a 1-yard out with 11:10 left to cap a 67-yard, 12 play drive. The big play in the drive was a 29 yard toss from Thompson to Corey Gammage to the Bucks’ 1. Thompson and Gammage teamed up for the 2-point conversion on a slant play to tie the game at 21-21 setting up Norwood’s late game heroics.

Lewis said the team only has a state championship in mind. Lewis was the head coach for Piper in 2008-09 and finished 6-4.

This is just another step,” Lewis said. “Deerfield Beach has been to the playoffs and deep into the playoffs and amongst all of the school with the winningest records in the state of Florida and we are the only one that has not captured a state championship. Until we get that, we are not done. We are not finished.”

Lewis said Glenn was brought in for a stomach virus and was hospitalized for the game, but the team rallied around him Friday and got him the victory.

Before the game, we made sure we laid it on the line for our leader,” Lewis said. “Coach Glenn has turned this program around and the kids fought hard for him tonight.”

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