Highlands camp draws record numbers

Posted on 02 July 2015 by L.Moore

sports070215By Gary Curreri

Former Highlands Christian Academy basketball coach and athletic director Reg Cook first staged a summer basketball camp at the school 30 years ago.

It was attended by 19 athletes and not only is it still ongoing, but it is still going strong. The two weeks brought in 60 campers in the first week (7th-12th graders) and 50 in the second week (2nd-6th grade).

It was one of our most successful camps in the past 10 years,” said current Highlands Academy basketball coach and athletic director Jim Good. “We had a great group of coaches who provided energy, enthusiasm and quality instruction.”

The high school student/ athletes attended the first week of camp and then acted as assistant coaches for the second week of camp with the elementary school campers and earned community service hours.

There were also two guest speakers – Andrew Smith, a 2011 HCA alum, and Casey Wohleb, who is the head coach at North Broward Prep and also the founder of Ball by Design.

Smith attended both the elementary and high school camp sessions while he attended Highlands Christian, and recently graduated from Liberty University (Big South) where he played for the past years.

Smith is currently in China playing with an All-Star team and will then be traveling to Europe in July to pursue playing professionally in Latvia.

Andrew’s a great role model for our athletes and did a great job explaining the importance of hard work and sacrifice while trying to achieve your goals,” Good said. “Andrew uses basketball as his platform to proclaim the name of Christ.”

Good was also impressed with Wohleb, who played locally at Westminster Academy where he helped the team win a state title in 2002 as a junior and then transferred to North Broward Prep for his senior year. He went on to play at Florida Gulf Coast University and also professionally overseas.

Casey was able to come in the afternoon,” Good said. “He provided and led several quality and productive shooting drills.”

A typical morning always started off with a devotion in which several of the coaches were able to provide a spiritual thought and Scripture for the day.

The basketball activities included warm-up runs, stretching, ball handling, dribbling, and speed and agility stations.

The campers were then broken up into specific age groups to work on layups, “cone” drills and shooting. Several Gatorade contests were done throughout the day.

The trophy contests included a 1-on-1 tournament, 2-on-2 tourney, free throw shooting and a Hot Shots Competition.

Campers enjoyed lunch at Chick-Fil-A and CiCi’s Pizza. The day concluded with 5-on-5 full court games in the afternoon.

The coaches included John Wilson (boys elementary head coach/girls varsity assistant), Jim Good (Athletic Director/Boys Varsity Head Coach), Kyle Lassen (11th grade), Josh Good (boys JH head coach), Luke Still (Boys JV head coach), Matt Veynovich (10th grade), Herman Robinson (11th grade), Caris Everette (HCA alumnus 2014) and Danielle Domino (11th grade).

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Wyatt Wins; Hopes for more

Posted on 25 June 2015 by L.Moore

sports062515By Gary Curreri

A chance encounter with Phil Mickelson as a 10-year-old helped launch Wyatt Rubin’s golfing career.

I was just starting out in golf in 2007 and me and my dad went to Doral and we followed Phil Mickelson during his round,” said the 18-year-old Rubin, who lives in Pompano Beach. “He had just finished the 13th hole and flipped his golf ball to me. He said, ‘here you go kid.’ I still have that ball today. It was the Holy Grail for me.”

Rubin recently won the Junior Golf Association of Broward County’s Boys Championship Flight by firing an even par, 72 (35-37) at the Plantation Preserve Golf Club. Fellow Pompano Beach resident Isak Nilsson tied for sixth just four shots back after shooting 38- 38-76.

Rubin hit 13 of 18 greens for his win and putted well as he totaled six birdies in his round. He recorded birdies on 1, 7, 9, 11, 15 and 17 and came back from a double bogey on 10.

He started playing in the Junior Golf Association (JGA) of Broward County when he was 10 and was in the lower flights as he worked his way up. The best he had done in the JGA of Broward was tying for third at Plantation Preserve last year.

The recent Calvary Christian Academy graduate is in the process of walking on at Florida Atlantic University. He is preparing for a September tournament staged by the school for walk-on golfers.

It would be amazing to play college golf,” said Rubin, who helped his high school team win district and regional titles in golf. “Just like going to states in high school was a big deal, to be able to say I played a Division 1 sport in college would be a really good accomplishment. I am going to try my best and we’ll see.”

Golf almost wasn’t in his future. He made the Calvary Christian school team as a seventh grader, but gave up the sport in the eighth grade.

I was sick of golf,” Rubin said. “I played in a lot of tournaments that required me driving like two hours when I was younger. I played both days on the weekends and it took all of my time. I wasn’t playing very well. It was just so time consuming and it was frustrating.”

Rubin didn’t even watch golf on TV and didn’t play the sport at all for a year.

When I came back for my freshman year, I was refreshed and from then on I kept getting better and better,” Rubin said. “It was exciting because I got to hang out with all of my friends and my coach Marty Fanning, who was my teacher in the third grade and is like a mentor of mine.”

He said the JGA of Broward County has been the majority of his competitive golf experience. He likes the players and the organizers.

It is such a cool thing to wake up on a Monday morning and go play some competitive golf,” Rubin said. “Competitive golf is a feeling you can’t replicate anywhere else.”

Knowing he won a tournament that a current PGA golfer has probably won in their history is also exciting.

I was thinking the whole week after I won I was like the big man on campus for one week,” Rubin said. “I am sure there have been some really good golfers who have won the boys championship in the past.

Every time I won a lower flight tournament in the past, it felt good, but it wasn’t the Championship Flight,” he added. “And to finally pull off a championship where all the best players were in and to call myself the best in the entire JGA for that week, really felt good.”

In other divisions involving local golfers at Plantation Preserve, Pompano Beach’s Daria Korovina shot a 30 to place fourth in the Girls B Division. Weston’s Polina Anisimova carded a 25 to win the division.

Two Pompano Beach golfers finished fourth and sixth respectively in the Boys Junior Division. Dylan Glatt shot a 42-41-83 to finish fourth, while Nicklaus O’Bryan was sixth just three shots back with a 43-43-86.

Deerfield Beach’s Justin Danzansky carded a 48 to finish seventh in the Boys A Division. He was seven shots back of Sunrise’s Orangel Machado. In the Boys E Division, Daniel Melnick of Pompano Beach shot a 24 to finish four shots behind winner Evan Kuperman of Parkland.

Pompano Beach’s Mateo Desmond carded a 14 to tie for second with Lauderhill’s Israel Bailey in the Boys F Division. Pembroke Pines’ Jose Esteras also shot a 2-over par, 14 and won the division on a tiebreaker.

There are five more weeks left in the JGA of Broward season, including the three-day final tournament to be held at the end of July at Jacaranda Golf Club, Woodlands Country Club and Ft. Lauderdale Country Club.

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Pompano Beach Middle takes third in county

Posted on 18 June 2015 by L.Moore

sports061815By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach Middle School eighth-grader Shariff Rodriguez couldn’t have picked a better time to perform his best.

Rodriguez, 14, bettered his previous best throw by nearly 11-ft. in winning the discus event (109-02.50) to take first place in the recent Broward County Middle School Track and Field championships at Coral Springs High School.

His performance helped the boys’ team place third with 30 points.

It was my greatest throw I made in track ever,” said Rodriguez, of Pompano Beach, whose previous best was 98-ft., 6-in. “When I heard the total, my heart was just pounding. I was happy they had to get another measuring tape because the first one had run out.”

My nerves struck, threw me, and my right arm just felt like Superman,” Rodriguez said. “I just got in the circle and all my nerves filled me up while I was throwing and all of a sudden I just let the disc go and it did its job. That surprised me a lot. This is really big. It is a blessing to be here.”

It was redemption for Rodriguez, who thought he had won the regional competition last year; however, his throw of 87- ft., 9-in. didn’t count because he was disqualified.

I threw the game-winning throw and stepped out the front (of the ring) and got disqualified so I couldn’t get to county’s last year,” Rodriguez said. “So, this year, I kept reminding myself to go through the back.”

Rodriguez, who hopes to throw in college, said he is unsure why he was able to better his mark so substantially this year.

I don’t really know,” Rodriguez said. “Every sport I do, the nerves fill in my stomach before I compete. I was about to fall apart because it was county meet and the nerves just went through me, and I just threw and went as far as I could.”

Other top performers for the Bengals included: Pompano Beach Middle’s Joshua Scott, who was fourth in the high jump (5-04); Jovan Williams, who took fifth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.92); Tosheum Meade, who was fifth in the boys 200-meter dash (24.48), and Brian McClain, who captured seventh in the boys 800-meter run (2:20.39).

The Pompano boys’ 4×100- meter relay took third with a time of 46.41, while the Bengals’ 4×400-meter boys’ relay was fourth with a time of 3:52.81.

The girls team took sixth with 20 points led by Jaleah Williams, who finished third in the girls’ 400-meter dash (59.81). The girls’ 4×100-meter relay was second with a time of 51.27, while the girls’ 4×400- meter relay was third with a time of 4:23.88.

MIDDLE SCHOLAR ATHLETES

For the first time ever, the Broward County Middle School Athletic Association (MSAA) handed out Scholar/Athlete Awards. Every MSAA middle school was eligible to select students to receive this award.

The awards ceremony was held at the Plantation High School Auditorium on May 28. Each student named by a middle school was recognized and presented with a scholar athlete medallion.

Local middle school scholar athlete award winners included: Rodriguez from Pompano Beach Middle for the boys and Allegra Allen (girls). Deerfield Beach was represented by Claire Ries (girls) and Zacharie Saint Victor (boys).

Each member school was eligible to select a male and female from their school to receive this award,” said Michael Roland, student activities liaison for Broward County Public Schools.

To be eligible, a student must have an unweighted 3.0 GPA, have no ‘U’s for the entire year and have participated in two sports.”

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Beach Tennis event attracts 250 competitors

Posted on 04 June 2015 by L.Moore

sports060415By Gary Curreri

Gaspar Cecchi can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

The 12-year-old from Miami Beach has been playing beach tennis for the past two years and he was one of an estimated 250 competitors who took part in the 7th annual Deerfield Beach World Cup Beach Tennis event this past weekend in Deerfield Beach.

It is my type of game, my type of sport,” Cecchi said. “It is a racquet and a ball. There is no bounce. It is outside on the beach and I get a tan. You are diving and I get to be with my friends and family. It is better than just spending time sitting on a couch watching TV and playing video games inside.”

Cecchi views winning as being important.

In tournaments, it is very important for me to win because later on you get better,” Cecchi said. “You play harder opponents and learn from it. When I play A Division or Open Divisions, I get pro points. You get higher (rankings) and maybe you get as high as the pros.”

In this tournament, he played in both the Men’s Open and Junior Division.

I like playing against the men,” Cecchi said. “There are some people who are tough. They play better or they are tall. They can also run more. The hardest to me are the lefties because you don’t know where to shoot the ball. If you are a righty, you know where to put it. If you are a righty against a lefty or a lefty against a righty it is harder because you don’t know where to put it.”

The International Beach Tennis-USA event was cosponsored this year by Frank Congemi and SEXY Beach Tennis as a co-title sponsor, along with Dos Equis Beer. The three sponsors put up the $5,000 winners purse that was handed out to the various divisions.

Adrienne Cerra, president of the International Beach Tennis-USA, said the event doubled in size this year to 250 competitors.

We used a lot of social media and the word is getting around how awesome Deerfield Beach is,” Cerra said. “We were very pleased with the turnout. This is going to be in the Olympics. We just have to continue to grow the sport. There are people playing all over the world. There are thousands and we are going to continue to try and get the support of the sponsors, and the media and TV will help.”

Simply Soccer Camp

Area residents are invited to attend the Simply Soccer camp at Mullins Park in Coral Springs.

Simply Soccer seeks boys and girls, ages 5-14, of all skill levels, for its 27th annual summer camp series that begins this week in Coral Springs.

This summer’s camp dates are: June 8-12, 15-19, 22-26; July 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27- 31; Aug. 3-7, 10-14, 17-21.

There are three sessions ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program from 9 a.m. to noon. Players will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

It is the longest running soccer camp offered by the city. Campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. For information on the Coral Springs camp, call 954-345-2200.

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Crocketts return with camp

Posted on 28 May 2015 by L.Moore

sports052815By Gary Curreri

Former National Football League players Henri Crockett and his brother Zachary Crockett returned to their hometown roots this past Saturday and put on their annual football clinic at the Four Fields Complex in Pompano Beach.

Henri Crockett, 40, who played linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings, along with his brother Zachary, 42, a former fullback for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys, treated nearly 300 local children to football drills and lunches during a USA Football FUNdamentals clinic.

Both men grew up in Pompano Beach, and graduated from Blanche Ely High School, before they both played at Florida State University in their path to the NFL.

The free, one-day clinic is designed to introduce children, ages 6-16, to football by teaching basic skills in a fun and energetic environment and is supported through a grant from the NFL Foundation.

FUNdamentals incorporates a series of drills to teach passing, catching and running skills in a non-contact setting. All skills and drills selected are based on USA Football’s Player Progression Development Model, ensuring children are learning in an age-appropriate manner, based on their cognitive and physical maturity.

The event marked the 10th time that the Crockett Foundation hosted its annual Life Skills & Football Camp in partnership with USA Football FUNdamentals. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.

We took a couple of years off because we were competing with the camps by Clint Sessions and Patrick Peterson,” said Henri Crockett, who lives in Cooper City. “My brother and I had been doing this so long that we just wanted to step back and give the guys that are playing in the NFL now a chance to give back and do their thing.

The city asked us if we could do one of these this year and it was important for us to do this because they are the future,” Henri said. “It is important for us to come out here and show them that we care. This is really important. They are not all going to make it to the NFL or the NBA and we understand that. That’s why we call this a life skills camp and not just a football camp. We talk to them about life. It is important for them to not only have a back-up plan, but to have a plan.”

Zachary Crockett, of Miami Shores, agreed: “We are teaching them the fundamentals about life skills, telling the kids to stay away from conflict and to be able to get it done in both the classroom and the field.

You have to have a foundation in everything you do. We took some time off to let the other guys get their camps established and now we are doing things with our reading center. We want kids to know it is going to take more than football to get to the next level. We (Henri and I) had to get it done in the classroom too, and your character is also important. At the end of the day, there is no ‘I’ in team and the game is bigger than you.”

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Reising takes sixth at state meet

Posted on 21 May 2015 by L.Moore

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach High School senior Andrew Reising is hoping to extend his pole vaulting career into college.

The 18-year-old Pompano Beach resident won the Broward County Athletic Association Championship this year as he tied his personal best effort with a 14-ft. jump. Reising plans on attending the University of South Florida and was waiting on their coaching staff to offer a spot on the team.

Reising took second in the districts and regionals en route to a sixth place finish in the Class 2A state track and field meet at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. His 13 ft., 6 in. jump at state was just short of his personal best.

I did cross country and I liked it so I went out for track,” said Reising, who has competed in track and field since the sixth grade. “I just saw them doing (pole vault) when I was running around the track and wanted to try it. I did it one day and I liked it.

I don’t like running events as much so I got bored and pole vault was always the next thing to perfect in a jump,” added Reising, who spent the first two high school years at Western High School before transferring to Pompano Beach for his last two years.”

A sixth place finish was satisfactory to Reising.

I am happy with it,” Reising said. “I was able to jump 14 both years. It would be pretty awesome to compete in college.

Admittedly, the first two years of pole vaulting were difficult.

It was kind of rough because I didn’t have a coach,” Reising said. “The swimming coach would show up like once or twice a week, and I didn’t have good poles so it was rough. I still did good.”

Reising said his pole vaulting career took off in his sophomore year. He believes he could have done better this year.

In my sophomore year, I thought how practical it would be when I got 13-6,” Reising said. “After the first week or two, I was pretty good and got past the fear.”

Reising said he jumped 8-ft. his first time as an eighth grade middle school competitor and, after a few weeks of practice, was able to get 9-6 at the state meet.

Winning the BCAA meet was a pretty cool feeling,” Reising said. “I tied my PR from the year before. I went into the meet feeling good, and the weather was good and everything just turned out perfect.”

Pompano Junior Lifeguard program nears

The Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Summer Camp is coming up in a few weeks.

It is a unique aquatic experience for boys and girls ages 9 to 17 and will be held from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. There will be three sessions in addition to a competition camp.

Session One is slated from June 8 to June 19. Two is June 22 to July 3. Three is July 13 to July 24. The competition camp will be from July 27 to July 31, and all sessions have a maximum capacity of 125 athletes.

Costs are $150 for Pompano Beach residents and $200 for non-residents. Junior Lifeguards returning from the previous year are not required to test, while new applicants must try out and be able to complete a 150-yd. swim, tread water and swim under water for 5 yds. while holding their breath.

There are two testing days remaining: This Saturday (May 23) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and the following Saturday (May 30) at the same time. Registration and testing is held at the Pompano Beach Aquatics Center.

For more information, contact juniorguards@copbfl.com

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Bengals win county flag football championship

Posted on 07 May 2015 by L.Moore

sports050715By Gary Curreri

It didn’t take long for Pompano Beach Middle School to flex its muscle in the Broward County Middle School boys’ flag football championship game against Plantation Middle School recently.

Just 10 plays into the game, the Bengals were able to put the game away early as it scored on its first three possessions to take a 20-0 lead. It held off a late charge by Plantation and hung on for a 20-13 win.

Pompano Middle School boys flag football coach Khristopher Ramsey said some players quit the team during the season and the rest remained a “family” and stuck it out.

The most gratifying thing is to see the kid win in life, so if we can win a championship here, it’s awesome, but I think my coaching job is not complete until I see those kids move on and move forward in their lives,” Ramsey said. “We felt confident. We planned on coming out here today and winning this game.”

The Bengals (9-2) held Plantation on its first drive and scored on its second play from scrimmage on a 16-yard scoring run by Jervon Williams for a 6-0 lead.

Plantation Middle School quarterback Benjamin Hernandez was intercepted on the next play from scrimmage by Jerico Wilson and his 15-yard return set up a 2-yard scoring run by Keven Walker. LaDarius Queen caught the 2-point conversion pass from tournament MVP James Wallace for a 14-0 advantage. Wallace, 15, of Pompano Beach, said winning was important for the players.

We were looking forward to winning everything,” said Wallace, an eighth-grader. “We just had to play as a team and execute the plays we needed to execute and we would come out with the victory.”

Pompano Beach Middle School stretched the cushion to 20-0 on a 30-yard TD scamper by first-year player Sean Martin, of Pompano Beach, midway through the first quarter.

I didn’t think we would be playing for the title,” said Martin, 15, of Pompano Beach. He is also an eighth-grader and this was his first year playing flag football. “I knew we had it in us to play for the championship. I wasn’t sure we’d make it all of the way.”

Plantation Middle School (9-2-1) cut the deficit to 20-7 on a 25-yard interception return for a TD by David McFadden and a conversion pass from Hernandez to Daniel Carter. The Patriots cut the lead to 20-13 on a 31-yard scoring toss from Hernandez to McFadden with 1:30 remaining in the game, but could get no closer.

Pompano Beach Middle School won four consecutive county titles in flag football from 2003-06 before the sport was among the sports trimmed by Broward County because of budget cuts.

Martin said the team’s two late losses helped the team focus for the playoffs.

Losing the last game of the regular season to Crystal Lake was a good lesson,” Martin said. “It showed that winning all of our games didn’t mean nothing. We had to play as a team and not argue with each other and stuff like that.”

Pompano Middle School eighth grader Keavan Walker said teams around the county doubted the Bengals’ ability.

It is a big opportunity to play for a county championship,” said the Pompano Beach eighth grader. “You have other schools and people think that a school from Pompano couldn’t make it like this, so it is an opportunity for us to have a team and make it here. We learned from the losses. We learned we had to play as a team.”

Walker said the school will put a picture up on the gym wall for winning the county title.

This is great!” Walker said. “We can take it back to our school. It is a huge accomplishment because they haven’t won this in seven years. Now, we can come back and see our picture up there and everything.”

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Moroney named top swimmer in state; headed to UVA

Posted on 30 April 2015 by L.Moore

sports043015By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Megan Moroney is looking forward to the next chapter of her career.

The 17-year-old senior at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, who was recently named the Florida High School Dairy Association’s Female Swimmer of the Year, captured 13 state high school championships during the past four seasons.

This is such a great honor,” said Moroney, who won seven individual titles including four consecutive in the 100-yd. butterfly and three championships in the 200-yd. freestyle. She was also on three relays. “It’s definitely a great note to end my high school swimming on.”

Moroney, the top-ranked recruit in Florida and 16th overall nationally, is headed to the University of Virginia after signing her national letter of intent in the fall.

I loved everything about it,” Moroney said. “The campus, the coaches, the team, the academics …. it was exactly everything I could want in a school.”

She also considered Stanford and Duke. She said knowing where she was going helped take some of the pressure off her for her senior year.

It was a tough decision,” said Moroney, whose winning time in the 200-yd. freestyle (1:45.89) was the fastest time in the state in all four classifications. “Every school I was looking at was a really great school. I knew Virginia gave me the best combination of everything. I felt that would be where I would be.

One thing I liked about Virginia was they had a lot of help with the academics,” Moroney said. “They have tutors on hand whenever you need one. People are always checking on you to make sure your grades are good. They won’t let you do poorly.”

Moroney has also already qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials in the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles. She was one of the youngest swimmers in the 100-meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympic trials in Omaha, NE.

It was kind of hard to expect a best time at such a huge event with so much pressure,” said Moroney, who started attending St. Andrew’s in the sixth grade. She swam on the club team in the fourth grade after beginning her swim career for the Boca Barracudas Y team in the recreational league. “That was probably the scariest moment of my life and, looking out at an arena pool, it was cool, but it was totally scary. I was a lot younger, so I really wasn’t surprised that I didn’t do as well.”

St. Andrew’s School swim coach Sid Cassidy called Moroney Palm Beach County’s most dominant swimmer ever.

In addition to everything she accomplished in the pool, she has remained true to herself,” said Cassidy, who began coaching Moroney as a sixth grader. “She leads a well-balanced family life and is a top student at St. Andrew’s School.”

She was rightly recruited by every one of this nation’s top collegiate swimming programs and has selected the University of Virginia as her next stop on her journey,” Cassidy added. “No doubt the coaching staff in Charlottesville has to be smiling over the acquisition of this Golden Girl from Palm Beach County. We may never see another one quite like her.”

Stone named All-State

Zion Lutheran School senior Keith Stone was recently named to the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches and Source Hoops Class 2A All-State team.

The 6-ft., 8-in., 240-lb. forward, who recently signed his national letter of intent with the University of Florida, averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Lions. Stone committed to play for the Gators two days after his official visit last October.

It is close to home,” Stone said of his college choice. “My whole family loves them. Coach Billy (Donovan) is a Hall of Fame coach. He runs NBA style plays and that works for me.”

The four-year starter helped the Lions (20-8) advance to the Class 2A regional semifinals where it fell to Grandview Prep, 88-80.

Stone said he improved in his ball handling and stretching the defense in the last couple of years at the school and the four-star prospect was rated as the No. 97 player in the nation and 11th in the state of Florida, according to 247 Sports.

No. 1, he’s very selfless, so nothing’s ever been about himself,” Zion Lutheran coach John Guion said. “He’s a great passer and a great shooter. He has a solid post game, and he’s got a great perimeter game as well. His game will translate well to the next level.”

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Ely flag football team Hopes for playoff run

Posted on 23 April 2015 by L.Moore

sports042315By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely High School senior quarterback Faitia Irving has seen a noticeable improvement in this year’s flag football team.

We are more experienced this year,” said Irving, who has guided the team to an 8-2 record this year. “The starting seven have played together for a while. In the past, everybody wanted to be a leader and that didn’t work. I had to step up as a leader.”

This is a lot of fun,” Irving said. “I like having the ball in my hand and making decisions. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I like that role. I have a lot of options on the team. I like to run or throw and, either way, we are going to score.”

Irving said she doesn’t feel any pressure playing football.

It comes easy to me,” said Irving, who started playing flag football as a sixth grader at Crystal Lake Middle School. “It is more fun to play flag football now because the team has gelled together. It is like a sisterhood.”

Irving said the team’s experience is carrying it this year. The team will open play in the District 27 tournament on April 27 at Deerfield Beach High School.

We have six seniors in the starting seven and the underclassmen look up to us and we have to lead by example,” Irving said. “I think we can go to states and win it. We hope to be as good as the (state champion) boys’ basketball team. It gives us motivation to go do it.”

In addition to Irving, the other seniors on the team being counted on are Latearia Perkins, Christa Vedrine, Stephanie Altidort, Brianna Lebrun, Ta’Marla Thorpe and Marie Lafosse. The team has already bettered last year’s record of 7-5 when it finished runner-up to Coconut Creek in the district.

We seem better than last year’s team,” said Tigers’ fourth year coach Clenner Goodman. “The team is more focused and they are taking things a little more seriously. I don’t have to work as hard. I don’t have to fuss as much. They are pulling themselves together.

My returners are taking more of a leadership role now,” Goodwin added. “They are more cohesive and playing more as a unit now. That is what was lacking last year. When I tell them to be someplace at a certain time, all of them are there. They are ready to play ball and they are enjoying winning.”

Bucks hire new gridiron coach

Jevon Glenn will be the new football coach at Deerfield Beach High School next season.

Glenn, a 1996 graduate of Blanche Ely, where he played football and basketball, replaces Allen Jackson, who resigned in December after four seasons.

The new Bucks coach will have his work cut out for him as the team is coming off of a 4-6 season in which the Bucks missed the playoffs. It was only the sixth time in school history, dating back to 1974, the Bucks finished with a losing record. It is Glenn’s first varsity head coaching job; he spent eight seasons coaching Deerfield’s junior varsity squad.

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Pompano swimmers making a name for themselves in water

Posted on 16 April 2015 by L.Moore

sports041615By Gary Curreri

Swimmers from the Pompano Beach Piranhas USA swim program have enjoyed success in recent months and the recent Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics swim meet at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex was no exception.

Several Piranhas turned in strong efforts in the high point awards for their respective divisions led by Tyler Zuyus, who took fourth in the 13-14 Boys Division, while Jake Schulte was 10th in the 10-Under Boys. Pompano’s Boys were fifth in the Boys 13-14 team race, while the 10-Under Boys were ninth overall.

Two swimmers are happy with the progress of the program, which is in its fourth year as a USA swim program, and Piranhas head swim coach Jesse Vassallo is entering his fourth year heading the program.

Pompano Beach’s Shane Schulte, 14, is one of five members of his family that swim. He has two brothers (Kelly, 16, and Jake, 10) and two sisters (Julia, 18, and Summer, 12).

It is very competitive between us,” Shane Schulte said. “We always try and do the best in every sport. It is really cool because all five of us have spent all of our lives competing. My brothers and me play rugby for the Pompano Storm and we are always fighting and aspiring to be the best out there. We have been playing rugby for two years.”

In the Junior Olympics (JOs), I was hoping to do the best I could and go up a few spots from where I was ranked in the beginning,” he added. “I went up in my rankings and dropped times in all seven of my events. I was pretty psyched about it.”

Schulte, an eighth-grader at Pompano Beach Middle School, said the local program is starting to make waves in the swimming community.

Over the past couple of years, we have grown drastically,” he said. “We started off going to JOs and we would be one of the last teams. In the winter champs, we finished Top 10 and that was a pretty good feat for us. We are starting to get a lot stronger and form one of those big teams and big names that everyone wants to be on.

Schulte said the best part of swimming is that it is a social event.

You are not just competing against your friends,” he said. “The practices are fun. It is not just all about hard work. You can enjoy it and that’s what makes it better than most other sports. It is not always about the placement. When you accomplish something that you have never done before like dropping a time or reaching a certain goal, you are still very satisfied in the end. I want to go very far in swimming.”

Teammate Alicja Zielinski, 14, of Oakland Park, came very close to dropping all of her times in the meet. The Northeast High School freshman has been swimming for Pompano for the past four years.

I like how it is like an individual sport and it focuses on yourselves and your team,” Zielinski said. “To be honest, it is better than any other sport because it is the best workout for your body. You get this rush of adrenaline and you speed your way through. I am in love with competing.”

She has seen improvement and confidence as she has progressed through the past Junior Olympic competitions.

It is a tough sport,” said Zielinski, who hopes to swim in college. “It really is. It is tougher mentally than physically. You have to motivate yourself to achieve your goal. When you get up on the block and you race, it is like you are in a different world. It is about you and how you want to achieve your goals. That is more important to me than winning medals.”

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