Junior volleyball players “dig” the beach

Posted on 18 August 2016 by LeslieM

sports081816By Gary Curreri

In the past five years, there has been an explosion of collegiate opportunities for playing beach volleyball.

Two sisters from Deerfield Beach – Alanna and Audrey Hodge – recently placed third in the AVPFirst Girls 14-Under volleyball championship on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Alanna, age 14, is a freshman at Monarch High School and has played beach volleyball for five years.

I like beach volleyball more than indoor because you get more touches on the ball and it is fun to play with new partners to see how you do with other people,” she said.

Audrey, age 12, a seventh-grader at Boca Christian, also played beach volleyball for five years.

There is a lot of pressure because I am playing in a higher division than I normally would,” Audrey said. “I like it because it is mostly all on you. You are responsible for half of the court.”

Shawn Taylor, of the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) and the coach at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL, said with more juniors playing the game, more and more schools are offering scholarships.

For years it was just the pro beach tour and there was no avenue to get there, and with colleges coming in as a player, it gave juniors something to shoot for,” Taylor said. “Now with more juniors playing the game, it has provided us with an avenue to create a pipeline and a clear path for them to go from playing junior recreational to, hopefully, playing at the collegiate level and then carrying on past that to the professional level.”

Taylor said there are schools adding the sport “everyday” and estimated there were about 65 schools offering beach volleyball.

They anticipate being at 100 (schools) in a year or two,” Taylor said. “They were at zero (schools) five years ago. It was a pipe dream and a myth. It was like crazy talk going around.”

Florida Beach Volleyball Tour tournament director Gino Ferraro is in his 27th year and hosted eight events this year – including stops in Pompano Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Siesta Key, Hollywood, and plans to hold one in Delray Beach next year.

The season starts at the beginning of May and runs through the second week of August,” Ferraro said. “Because of the size of the field, it is hard to find beaches that will hold us anymore.”

Jeudy commits to Alabama

Deerfield Beach High School senior wideout Jerry Jeudy is taking his talents to the University of Alabama next season.

Ranked the fourth-best receiver in the nation by ESPN, Jeudy earned a spot on the all-offense team in July at Nike’s The Opening, one of the top camps in the country in Beaverton, OR It helped parlay him into a good spot to choose his next destination.

I’m excited,” said Jeudy, who chose the Crimson Tide over Florida, Miami, Florida State University and Tennessee. The four-star recruit had offers from more than 20 different schools. “It was the best fit for me. It’s a great program with great coaches, great players and that’s a winning team. I feel like I can go there and do what I have to do and step on the field and make plays.”

It was a very hard decision for me,” added Jeudy, who caught 41 passes for 496 yards and 10 scores last season for the Bucks. “I prayed a lot and felt that Alabama was more of a home.”

Deerfield teammate Daewood Davis, who transferred from Stranahan in the spring, previously announced he was committing to the University of South Florida.

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Tornadoes hope for successful season

Posted on 04 August 2016 by LeslieM

sports080416By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach High School’s Jalal Jean-Charles exchanged his sneakers for football cleats.

I used to play basketball and this is more physical,” said Charles, 15, who will be a junior at Pompano this fall. This is his first year playing football. “The biggest adjustment I had was getting into a big team. In basketball, there are only 15 players and in football there could be anywhere from 30 to 50 players playing with you and it is more of a brotherhood.”

The Tornadoes were among 50 teams from the tri-county area (Broward, Palm and Miami-Dade) that played in the 9th annual Dolphins Academy Youth and High School 7-on-7 tournament at Plantation Central Park.

I like playing with pads,” he said. “I like to be physical. We had a lot of good competition, but we were hoping to win. Tournaments like this helps us get better as a team. We run routes and it lets the quarterback adjust to our play style and we adjust to the quarterback’s play style.”

The high school football tournament consisted of round robin play and then moved into a single elimination format. The high school teams competed in the championship round with Carol City defending its title with a 35-31 victory over Miami Northwestern. Pompano lost both of its games in the tournament (Miami Northwestern, 35-17, and Spanish River, 24-10, but it was good competition for coach Rick Nagy, who was missing several of his top players, including John Padgett Jr. who was on vacation.

Pompano Beach capped the 2015 season with a 28-12 victory over St. Andrew’s School in the Southeastern Football Conference and will move to the Gold Coast Football Conference this upcoming season.

It’s a grind,” said Nagy, who is in his fourth year as coach. “We coach from February through November so there is not much down time. This is an important part of football because it gives those young kids an opportunity to show their skills. We are a small school and we don’t have those tremendous athletes. We are missing like three or four starters today. It’s the summer and they are out and away on vacation.”

Pompano plays in five 7-on-7s this summer. They finished fourth out of 20 teams in a BCAA event, and said the Dolphins event helps them with their skill positions and he liked what he saw.

I think we will be okay this year,” Nagy said. “The top four teams make the playoffs and I think we will make the playoffs. I am not much into predicting. I am a coach who doesn’t even go week by week. I like to go play by play. I don’t try to think too far ahead. I think we will be okay in the new conference.”

Pompano Beach senior quarterback Logan Good said his team benefitted from the competition. The 17-year-old said it helped him work on his timing with his receivers.

You learn that not every play matters,” Good said. “It’s pretty cool to have the Dolphins do something like this. We are running the same offense as last year so we came into this hoping to get better. I am kind of trying to find the open man and get it to him.”

Tornadoes’ 6-foot, 4-inch junior receiver Andre Francis also enjoyed the experience.

This was pretty fun and it is good competition,” Francis said. “We learned a lot about each other in this. This is the most organized 7-on-7 I have been a part of.”

Our mission is to be the stewards of the game of football in South Florida and we were excited to host athletes and coaches at our symposium and tournament,” Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Community Affairs Twan Russell said. “We were able to engage students not only on the field, but had the opportunity to develop their character beyond sports, which is equally important.”

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Pompano forms water polo program

Posted on 28 July 2016 by LeslieM

sports072816By Gary Curreri

In a little more than six months, Pompano Beach’s Samantha Finazzo has found a sport she loves.

Finazzo, 15, who will enter her sophomore year at Pompano Beach High School next month, joined the newly-formed Pompano Beach Piranhas water polo program and it has been an enjoyable experience.

This was a lot of fun,” said Finazzo, who plays goalie for the Girls 18-Under team. “It was a good experience to meet new people and get a variety of players and teams we were playing against.

I expected it to be a lot harder, but I improved my skills over the past couple of months and it came a lot easier than I thought it would be,” she said. “I just wanted to become a better overall athlete. It wasn’t anything that I expected. It was really fun and I loved it.”

The Pompano Beach Piranhas made their club water polo debut in the Sunshine State Games recently at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Both teams played in the 18-Under Division. The boys went 1-3, while the girls were winless in four games.

Teammate Christine Bergamini, 17, of Lighthouse Point, is normally a swimmer, but has found water polo to be more enjoyable.

I like water polo because it is a team sport,” said Bergamini, who will be a senior at Cardinal Gibbons. “The difference is you have to think more about how you are going to swim or who you are going to pass to. It’s been a lot of fun. Even though we lost, I learned a lot. I think we definitely improved each game.”

Pompano Beach coach Scott Moore used to coach in the 1990s and early 2000s, but took some time off. He returned to the pool deck when his son started playing water polo in high school and was looking for a team to play on.

They have been playing a month together and we had a great time,” Moore said. “We have a set of twins, Victoria and Alicja Zielinski, and triplets — Megan, Brooke and Kelly Gest — on the girls team, so that makes it interesting. The Zielinski’s attend Northeast High School, while the Guess girls attend Cardinal Gibbons.

This is new to me,” said Victoria Zielinski, 16, of Oakland Park. “I have never played club before. I have only played high school, so it is good to experience other high school people on a team together. Hopefully, we can do great things together. I knew some of the other water polo players, so I knew that if we all worked together that we would click. It was good getting new water polo players too.”

Zielinski, who will be a junior at Northeast next month, said water polo is a lot different than swimming. She’s played the sport for two years.

It is totally different than an individual sport like swimming,” she said. “There is a lot of adrenaline getting into you. It is a lot of fun. There are girls trying to attack you and you are trying to get away and shoot.”

Zielinski said playing in the Sunshine State Games was a lot of pressure.

I have never played two games in one day or four games in a weekend,” Zielinski said. “We only play once or twice a week in high school. I have only played with this team for two weeks, so there was a lot of pressure going in from not playing water polo in a month or so (since high school season ended).”

Her sister, Alicja, agreed: “The girls here are more intense than high school. I pretty much know most of the girls from high school. They are pretty friendly and it is a good team environment.”

Alicja is more of the swimmer and Victoria is the water polo player. Alicja competed in the 100-yard breaststroke at the state meet and finished 24th.

It is fun to play with her,” Alicja said. “We just have to find each other and yell, ‘twin.’ I would like to play water polo in high school and then maybe college.”

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HCA camp a success

Posted on 21 July 2016 by LeslieM

sports072116By Gary Curreri

For more than three decades, the Highlands Christian Academy basketball camp has brought smiles to its participants and this year was no different.

Former athletic director and head boys basketball coach Reg Cook began the camp in 1986 with 19 players and this year there were more than 100 participants in the 31st annual camp.

It is the most popular athletic camp we offer here at Highlands,” said Jim Good, who succeeded Cook in both capacities at the school. They also offer gymnastics, softball, indoor soccer, track, volleyball, and golf during the summer.

The camp was split into two weeks – one for 2nd through 6th graders and the other for 7th through 12th graders. The first week attracted 45 campers; while the second week had 60 campers.

We had an amazing group of coaches work the camp this summer,” said Good, who has been involved in the program for the past 20 years. He was assisted by Luke Still (Boys Junior Varsity), Josh Good (Boys Junior High), John Wilson (Girls Varsity) and two Highlands Christian School alumni – Jeff Sullivan and Caris Everette. Also in attendance was North Broward Prep School head coach and Ball by Design Director Casey Wohlleb.

Our philosophy has always been to create a safe and competitive environment, to have fun by working hard, and to teach basketball as well as life skills,” Good said. “Each morning, our coaches had the opportunity to share a devotion and personal testimony emphasizing that God needs to be at the top of our priority list.”

The morning session included warm-up runs, stretching, ball handling, dribbling and agility/speed stations. Each day, there was a trophy contest that included 1-on-1, 2-on-2, foul shooting and hot shots.

We would go off campus every day for lunch eating at Chick-Fil-A and CiCi’s Pizza,” Good said. “Coach Casey came in every afternoon with our 7th-12th grade camp and did a tremendous job on breaking down footwork and proper mechanics on shooting. He provided several quality drills each afternoon.”

The group then ended the day by playing 5-on-5 full court games.

Good believes the biggest reason the camp has been able to thrive as long as it has because of the quality of the coaching staff.

Our coaches are extremely committed in focusing their attention on the campers and really giving 100 percent to help each player improve,” Good said. “We have done a pretty good job with being consistent but also relevant. Our camp is very organized with a specific agenda each day.

We focus a lot on encouragement and motivation; there’s always a great “vibe” and interaction with the campers and coaching staff,” he added. “Also, I really feel we have gained the trust of so many of the parents that they feel their kids are involved in a safe environment where learning the game of basketball is happening but also learning the game of life.”

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Lace Up Football Camp

Posted on 15 July 2016 by LeslieM

sports071416Denard “Shoelace” Robinson gives back to his community

By Rachel Galvin

Two hundred and thirty kids from age 5 to 18 came out on the field at Deerfield Beach High School (DBHS) last Saturday, July 9, to be a part of the Lace Up Football Camp, put together by the Shoelace Foundation.

The kids all ran drills, did ladders and other circuit training in their T-shirts provided by the organization. They split up into age categories and ran races to see who was the fastest. They battled the hot sun, but they were all smiles.

This was the second year for the event created by Jacksonville Jaguars football player Denard “Shoelace” Robinson, a running back and wide receiver. Robinson knows this school. He knows this community. He grew up here, and started school at Park Ridge Elementary and eventually graduated from Deerfield High. For him, this event is all about giving back.

I love my community,” he said. “I want to be the change I want to see.”

Shoelace Foundation board member Jerry Jasmin added, “Denard always wants to give back. He is in a unique situation in that he plays in the same state he is from. He wants to empower underprivileged children to become better citizens.”

Besides local kids, children and teens from other cities, like Lauderhill came out to participate. Coach T. Anderson coaches youth football in the 7U category there. Two of his grandchildren, age 7 and 8, participated in the camp and he sat with other parents on the sidelines beneath tents in the shade.

I love it,” he said of the event. This is a great thing for our youth … to have a positive role model. We need more of this all the time.”

DBHS student 16-year-old Joell hopes to play football in college. He is a linebacker right now for the school. He loved doing the drills.

[My favorite part is] we had to run inside the box [ladder] and outside of it and do burpies,” he said as he described some of the drills.

Nine-year-old Mickeelah, who was one of the few girls in the group, came out because Denard is her cousin. She normally gets to see him only on holidays so this day was special.

Racing is my favorite part. I did some drills. Some of them were hard for me,” she said, adding, “[For lunch], we had a hot dog, Pringles, a granola [bar] and some juice [among other items available].”

Volunteer Bruny Colquhour felt the event went well.

Everything is very organized. The kids look forward to it every year. Shoelace is doing great for the community. It inspires the kids to dream big,” she said.

Besides Denard, there were other well-known players who attended either the event this day or the 1st annual basketball event that happened the night before. They included Robinson’s teammates from the Jaguars, including wide receivers Tony Washington and Rashad Lawrence; J.T. Thomas from the New York Giants; Rashard Robinson from the San Francisco 49ers, Adrian Witty from the Cincinnati Bearcats and rapper Ace Hood.

Denard not only helped kids to improve their skills, but taught them the importance of education.

He explained to one student who did not like to read, “In order for you to play football, you have to have your education first. You have to use school to get you there. If I could do all this work in football, I can do it in school.”

Besides doing football drills and having lunch, students got to enjoy themselves jumping in bounce houses.

He didn’t let students leave without delivering one last powerful message, saying, “Always have a role model. My role model was my dad. I want to be that person [for you all]. If I see somebody I look up to, I always want to be better than them. You all can do whatever you want. You can be president; you can be an astronaut; you can be a football player … It is here for the taking. Never do it for the haters. Every time I step on the field, I do it for love. I do it for people who support me. Do it for the people who support you.”

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

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McKenna wins 10 medals at Transplant Games

Posted on 07 July 2016 by LeslieM

SPORTS070716By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Jackson McKenna got a head start on this summer’s Olympics.

McKenna, 15, who will be a sophomore at Pompano Beach High School in the fall, cleaned up at the recent Transplant Games in Cleveland, Ohio by winning 10 medals for Team Florida.

He also earned the Youth Athlete of the Year award for the entire country for participants ages 3 to 17. Australia and Puerto Rico also had representation at the competition in addition to athletes from around the country.

I didn’t expect it whatsoever,” said McKenna, who as an infant needed a life-saving liver transplant. “It was very surprising to say the least. I was shocked at first. I thought it was a joke. It was really a lot of work and I was grateful they selected me.”

McKenna captured gold medals in four events – 100-meter dash, long jump, high jump and darts (cricket) and five silver medals in softball throw, discus, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash and darts (501). He picked up a bronze medal in the shot put – all in the 14 to 17 age group.

The efforts in shot and discus were surprising given the fact that he had never competed in either event and watched YouTube videos to learn the technique. He had also never competed in darts.

At 5 months old, he was diagnosed with biliary (tract) ectasia and needed a life-saving liver transplant. McKenna received his liver on Feb. 17, 2001, has been healthy ever since, and, every two years, he competes in the Transplant Games of America.

The Transplant Games of America include track and field events, swimming, table tennis, cycling, long jump, table tennis and the softball throw.

The 10 medals this year easily surpassed his previous record high of six that he earned in Michigan four years ago and the five he won in Texas two years ago. Yet, McKenna said winning is not the driving force.

I just tried my best to see what I could do,” said Jackson, who has turned from sports to a new interest – playing the guitar. “I just wanted to win one medal. I had no idea I would do this well. The last few years have been pretty great. It is really fun. It is great to see the old friends you met from all around the world and then to meet new people.”

He took up the guitar two years ago and is in a music program in Boca Raton. He hopes to be a marine biologist or a guitar player when he gets older.

When you are competing, you are trying to prove whatever it is,” McKenna said. “Through guitar you can let out your emotions. How you feel is how you are going to play.”

The Transplant Games showcase the success of transplantation and calls attention to the life saving importance of organ donation, and honors organ donors and their families.

Health-wise he’s been doing great the past couple of years,” said his mother Jina McKenna. “We weren’t sure how he would do this year because he didn’t really put in as much time training for this as he had done in the past, but he really brought it when it came time for the Games. Winning the Youth Athlete of the Year was really special. It was really cool. We were shocked and surprised. We were happy and really honored.”

He won it because of the medals, but also his participation with Team Florida and his fundraising,” she added. “It also went to his helping create awareness and his longevity in the Games since he has been competing since before he was 2.”

McKenna was the youngest participant in his first Transplant Games in Orlando in 2002 at 18 months as he competed in the softball throw.

This experience has just shown me that you also go as hard as you can and you always try,” McKenna said. “Even if you think you can’t do something, you always try.”

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Broward AM next week

Posted on 30 June 2016 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Broward County Men’s Amateur Golf Tournament is around the corner. The tournament, which will feature the top players from throughout Broward County, is slated for the Jacaranda Golf Club in Plantation and will be played the weekend of July 9-10.

After receiving valuable feedback in efforts to increase numbers, we have consolidated the tournament into a two-day, 36-hole championship,” said Andrew Michael, director of golf at the Jacaranda Golf Club.

The event was originally slated to be played last December; however, poor weather forced the cancellation of the tournament for the first time in its 48-year history. Michael added some tweaks to the tournament format that he hopes will attract a large field.

Obviously, with the cancellation of December’s tournament, we found an opportunity to see if the two-day series would be better than the three (days) from a participation standpoint,” Michael said. “We are going to test it out and go from there. We are about 80 percent sure that this will be the time frame of the tournament moving forward.”

Michael will also introduce two additional flights. They will have a Super Senior Flight for players 70-Over and a Junior Flight for golfers 13-17. Should they want to play in the open divisions, they would have to declare ahead of time.

We are trying to create more interest and attract more players to participate,” said Michael, who took over as Director of Golf in December 2014. “We are limiting registration to the first 80 players and we would like to get to that number. As long as we keep increasing the mark from the previous year, we will be happy. Our goal is achieve a full course field.”

Michael said the tournament was reduced from three days to two, allowing for players with busy work schedules the opportunity to participate and will give all participants the opportunity to compete regardless of age with the addition of the Super Senior and Junior flights. Golfers also don’t have to be Broward County residents to play.

The tournament was forced to cancel in December because the club received five inches of rain over a 36-hour period. There was four inches of rain on the first day leaving standing water, which washed out the majority of the bunkers. Michael said at the time that the course was unplayable.

The field will offer opportunity to compete for net and gross positions for the Open, Senior (50 and up) and Super Senior (70 and up). The Championship and Junior flights will award gross only positions.

The Broward County Amateur Championship has a storied past and past winners include Chris Couch, Rick Woulfe, Pete and John Wegmann, Ty Strafaci and defending champion T.J. Shuart.

To register for the 2016 event, visit www.Jacarandagolfclub.com or contact the golf shop at 954-472-5836. The final day to register is July 1.

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Williams helps Bengals to 2nd place finish in county meet

Posted on 23 June 2016 by LeslieM

SPORTS062316By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach’s Jevon Williams was in familiar territory recently as he successfully defended his 100-meter boys hurdles championship at the Broward County Middle School track and field championships at Coral Springs High School.

I didn’t expect it,” said Williams, who recently graduated from Pompano Beach Middle School. “It is kind of like winning a super bowl, but it is better because it was for my school.”

The 14-year-old Williams would know about winning Super Bowls as he won a youth football championship with the Pompano Eagles 13-Under team.

In addition to defending his hurdles title in 14.24, he also won the high jump with a personal best leap of 5-10. His previous best was 5-8. He barely clipped the bar as he attempted to top 6-0.

Williams put in a dominating performance in the boys hurdles as he won by nearly a second over Seminole Middle School’s Cody Brown (15.22). The Bengals finished second in the meet with 62 points, just nine points behind four-time defending county champion Lauderdale Lakes Middle School.

I did good,” said Williams, who has been running track for three years. “It was pretty hard to repeat in the hurdles, but I had the experience.”

Other top local finishes with Pompano Beach Middle School athletes in the championships included Robert Floyd, who finished eighth in high jump (5-4); Darnell Deas, who placed third in the boys 100-meter dash (11.84), and Jeremiah Mathieu, who placed third in the boys 800 (2:12.18).

Pompano Beach kept the meet interesting as it went 2-3 in the 200-meter dash as Shamari Lawrence was second (23.25), while Williams was third (23.74). Pompano Beach also had two standout relay performances as their 4×100 relay took first (44.44), while the 4×400 relay was fourth.

Not to be outdone, the girls also turned in some solid efforts as they tied for ninth in the county with Sawgrass Middle School with 18 points. Lauderdale Lakes’ girls won the championship with 94 points.

Jaleah Williams was one of three girls to break the 1-minute barrier as she was third in the girls 400-meter dash (59.73). K’Nyah Isaac of Pembroke Pines Charter won the girls 400 (56.43). Williams also took third in the 200-meter dash (26.41).

The Bengals girls relays teams also earned points as the 4×400 relay team was fourth in 4:42.17, while the 4×100 relay clocked 55.37 to place eighth.

Simply Soccer Camp offered

Area residents are headed to the Simply Soccer camp that is in its 28th year in nearby Coral Springs. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-15, of all skill levels, who will be 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 remaining dates are June 27-July 1, July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-29, Aug. 1-5, Aug. 8-12 and Aug. 15-19.

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

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Drayton wins state figure skating title

Posted on 16 June 2016 by LeslieM

SPORTS061616By Gary Curreri

With more than 350 figure skaters from around Florida participating in the Sunshine State Games Figure Skating competition at the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, one local girl stood tall.

Pompano Beach’s Katya Drayton, 12, won the Pre Juvenile Free Skating Division recently and punched her ticket to the national games later this year.

When you see that your hard work has paid off, it is just so rewarding,” said Drayton, 12, who just completed her 7th-grade year at Somerset Pines Academy. “It’s just the best. I want to at least get to sectionals this year and then maybe nationals.”

Drayton got her start in the sport when she went to her sister’s friend’s birthday party. She took third at last year’s Sunshine State Games and trains at Glacier Ice and Snow Arena in Pompano Beach.

I just really liked it and I asked my mom if I could have lessons and that’s just how it began,” Drayton said. “The feeling on the ice compares to happiness. The memories … you will never forget that moment that you are out there on the ice.”

I wouldn’t say you are flying unless you are doing a flying camel or a jump,” she added. “I think it is more like you are gliding. Everything is loose. You can do whatever you want.”

Drayton said there is pressure when you take the ice for your program.

It depends on what competition it is,” she said. “If it is a smaller one, there are nerves, but if it is a big one where you are competing against so many people from the state, you will have some nerves because you don’t know how good some people are.”

Drayton, who practices six days a week – usually skating 2-1/2 hours every day, will train before and after school to prepare. She likes what the sport brings.

There is actually a lot of freedom,” she said. “You get to choose your music, unless you have a really strict coach. You get to do your program and, if you feel like some things are not right, you could change it to something that you are better at.”

Drayton is more confident in her jumps and always is looking to make a good impression with the judges.

I tried to smile as much as I can because I do love it, but you are focused in that moment, so if you are hooked in the moment, you don’t really smile,” Drayton said. “I love it, so I tried to smile and show how much I loved it. I am really happy with what I did.”

The Sunshine State Games is Florida’s Olympic-style Sports Festival that has provided amateur sports opportunities for residents of the state for 37 years. The Figure Skating competition was in its 30th year and was held on two rinks over three days at the IceDen. A total of 127 gold medals were awarded during the competition.

Betty Stark, who has served as the Figure Skating Director for all 30 years in the Games, was recognized for her service to the Sunshine State Games and amateur sports in the State of Florida. The competition drew more than 350 skaters from around the state

This is our largest number,” Stark said. “This is a big event especially because this is the start of the seasonal year for the skaters and they get to put their programs out, get it tested and get feedback back from the technical panel at the different levels. It is very encouraging because the little ones look up to the big ones who skate.”

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Grandmother gets ace on Mother’s Day

Posted on 02 June 2016 by LeslieM

sports060216By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Roz Lagges spent Mother’s Day playing golf with her daughter, Cheryl DeNoia and it was a memorable occasion.

The 76-year-old great grandmother of nine celebrated the day by getting a hole-in-one at the Crystal Lake Golf Club in Deerfield Beach. She used her 5 Hybrid to ace the Par-3, 103-yard 12th hole.

Cheryl doesn’t golf with us that often because she works so much,” Lagges said. “My husband (Nick) had eye surgery and he hasn’t been able to play.”

Lagges said she thought it might have gone over the green since she lost track of the ball after it flew by the trap at the front of the green.

I thought, ‘Oh boy, here we go again,’” she said. “I thought it went over the green. [Cheryl] said, ‘No mom, you got it in the hole.’”

This was so exciting,” Lagges said. “I was with my daughter and she saw it go in the hole. I insisted it must have rolled off the green and that is why she didn’t see the ball on the green. She got in the golf cart and flew to the green and said, ‘yep, it’s in the hole!’ It was great! It was the best Mother’s Day I ever had.”

Her husband has four hole-in-ones and she is closing in on him. She got her first at the Deerfield Country Club on Nov. 23, 2011 when she aced the 120-yard, 17th hole with a 7-iron. They play together about 4 to 5 times a week.

It was a great thrill,” she said. “It compares to getting a 300 game in bowling. No I have to catch up (to Nick).”

Simply Soccer Camp offered

The Simply Soccer camp returns for its 28th year in Coral Springs. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-15, and of all skill levels, who will be 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. with 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 dates are: June 13-17; June 20-24; June 27-July 1; July 11-15; July 18-22; July 25-29; August 1-5; August 8-12; August 15-19.

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

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