Flegel competes in worlds

Posted on 26 September 2014 by L.Moore

sports092514By Gary Curreri

Noah Flegel’s goal for next year on the pro wakeboard circuit is a Top-10 finish.

My goal for next year is to break into the Top 5,” said Flegel, of Lighthouse Point, who recently turned 17.

Right now, I am No. 11. Next year, I am hoping to get in the Top 5. The top guys make around $500,000 a year.”

The North Broward Prep School junior fell twice during his semifinal run of the Pro Men’s Division to finish second in his heat with a score of 75.67. Only the winners of each heat advanced to the finals of the recent Rockstar WWA Wakeboard World Championships, presented by Supra Boats, at Mills Pond Park in Ft. Lauderdale.

The invitation-only event attracted 200 competitors from 15 countries during a four-day span. An estimated 4,100 spectators turned out for the event.

It was a good season for Flegel, who made two finals and got fourth place in two Nautique events – Nationals in Waco, Texas and the Wake Open – during the year. He entered the Pro Men’s ranks just a few months ago.

I think it is great to be able to do what I do and make a living at it,” Flegel said. “I would also like to start my own company, something within the sport. I have some invention ideas I am trying to pursue so we’ll see.”

Flegel has also won two consecutive National and World Titles in the Junior Pro ranks, as well as winning the overall Junior Pro Series in 2013. He’s also won a World WakeSurf championship.

Flegel said he didn’t really think about a future in the sport when he first started.

When I was young, I didn’t think of the future that much,” Flegel said. “I was just thinking of having fun and going with the fl ow. Not much has changed. I just turned pro. I still live a pretty normal life.”

His brother Keenan recently moved up to Orlando and is a student at UCF. He is on the WakeSurf team. His older brother has won every Wake Surf and Skim Style competition he has entered.

Competing in the Worlds was a huge accomplishment for Flegel, including the fact that he was competing in his hometown.

It is really putting all of your best tricks together, ” Flegel said. “If you miss one trick you won’t be at the podium. You get two tries and eight tricks — all the toughest tricks. It is insane to watch because everybody is throwing their top tricks.”

Flegel is happy to be where he is at right now.

It’s awesome to see what I have been doing,” Flegel said. “To see how it has built up to me being a professional athlete. Now I am in the very beginning stages of being a pro and I am trying to work my way up.”

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Bucks battle back to down Ely, 14-12

Posted on 18 September 2014 by L.Moore

sports091814By Gary Curreri

Cortez Grace started the season as a linebacker and third string quarterback for the Deerfield Beach High School football team; however, he finished Friday night’s game as a hero.

As the song title states, Grace was simply “amazing” in the closing minutes as he overcame two earlier interceptions and capped a 90-yard drive in the final three minutes with a 1-yard TD plunge to lift host Deerfield Beach to a 14-12 victory in the inaugural McDougle Bowl at Deerfield Beach High School.

I just wanted to win the game,” said Grace, who grew up across the street from Blanche Ely High School, and was 5 for 6 on the winning drive for 68 yards on the 13-play, 90-yard drive with 3:01 remaining in the game. “It felt good. I just came through for my team.”

Grace connected on a 30- yard pass to Antonio Cartagena and then hit Simeon Brown for 19 and 11 yards to march the Bucks down the field. With just 24 seconds left, Grace hit Randerick Gervin to the Tigers’ 1 before taking it in himself from a yard out.

I don’t like to lose,” added Grace, who filled in for starting quarterback Jeff Joseph, who was sidelined with an injury. “I was just ready. I wasn’t thinking about nothing. I just put the (interceptions) in my past. I got my mind right. I played against those kids in youth football. This is big for me. It was special. It tugged at my heart. It was meant to happen.”

Blanche Ely’s Robert Williams ran for two first half touchdowns as the Tigers (0-2) rallied from an early deficit to take a 12-7 lead on the 40th anniversary of the series between the two schools. Williams finished the game with 10 carries for 89 yards. Deerfield (2-1) had taken a 7-0 lead on a Kobe Farrish 6-yard scoring run early in the contest.

The kids hung in there,” said Deerfield Beach coach Allen Jackson. “We just had to believe. That’s what the kids did on the sideline. They started believing in themselves and the passes that Cortez threw were huge for us. Oh, my goodness. You couldn’t ask anything more from him. He stepped in and did an awesome job.”

The game was sponsored by brothers Jerome Mc- Dougle (1997 Ely grad) and Stockar McDougle (1996 Deerfield Beach grad), who both went on to play in the NFL.

The brothers, who served as honorary captains for their respective teams, presented the game’s trophy, in addition to awarding scholarships to the game MVPs – Blanche Ely’s Demeterice Bellamy and Deerfield Beach’s Jimmy Harper.

This is awesome,” said Jerome, who played with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants from 2003-2008. “It is great for me and my brother to come back to one of the greatest rivalries in Broward County and we were a part of it. It is just a great atmosphere for football. Both teams have had players go and play in the National Football League so it is good for us to come back.”

This is very cool to give me and my brother a chance to come back here to this game that we actually played in when we were in high school, and to tie it around our foundation,” said Stockar, who has also helped purchase equipment for his alma mater.

The rivalry never dies. Out of the whole household, I am the only one that didn’t go to Blanche Ely. I hear it all the time, no matter how old you get.”

Stockar said the game always represents “bragging rights?”

Yes, it is winner take all,” Stockar added. “But it is all about pouring more resources into the community and getting the two booster clubs involved. We have a lot of athletes who have come out of these two programs and who have gone on and done great things. It was definitely time.”

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Dillard comes out on top; Bucks fall to Panthers, 25-9

Posted on 11 September 2014 by L.Moore

SPORTS091114DBHS stepped out onto the field last Friday night for their first regular-season loss since the 2012 St. Thomas finale.

Photos by Jacob Shendell

After an impressive victory against Northeast of 43-6 the week before, “We still have a lot of work to do; we are young and we are going to struggle. I expect some of our veteran role players such as Montel Jordan, Roodney Leon and Jason Strowbridge to step up as leaders.” said Coach Jackson.

And struggle they did; during the first quarter Deerfield Beach High School (DBHS) Bucks went down 7-0 after Tajue Williams, a Dillard RB, ran the ball up the middle of the field for a 24-yard touchdown. Following this score, Deerfield put up its own points with a 34-yard fieldgoal scored by Jefferson Souza.

It all went down-hill from there; Dillard went on to make the score 13-3. Before the half, the Bucks defense stopped the extra point. In the 2nd half, Dillard’s quarterback Jason Collins connected for two more touch-downs, Jordan Merrell an 8-yard reception, and Basil Spencer a 15-yard reception, to put the score up to 25-3. In the middle of the 4th quarter, Kobe Farrish put a 12-yard run in the end zone for Deerfield, decreasing the margin to 25-9.

This Friday, DBHS plays their cross-town rival Blanche Ely High School from Pompano at home in what is sure to be a sold-out game. Ely is coming off of a 12-42 loss to Clewiston High School. Both teams are sure to be looking for redemption and would have it no other way than to defeat one another.

We need to finish the game, cut down on our mistakes. Ely is our hometown rival and that’s about all it is. We don’t really need to make any changes for them. We have Jefftey coming back out of a two-week injury to fill the quarterback role so we plan on incorporating him back into our offense slowly with Cortez. We need to save him for our district games,” said Jackson.

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Murphy, Fuentes win boxing titles

Posted on 04 September 2014 by L.Moore

sports090414By Gary Curreri

In one short year, Dangelo Fuentes is making quite a name for himself in the boxing ring.

Fuentes, 15, who lives in Delray Beach and is a freshman at Olympic Heights High School in Boca Raton, said he took up the sport to stay out of trouble and he has racked up seven wins in seven bouts and recently captured the 125-lb., 15-16 Novice Division at the Ringside World Tournament at the Independence Events Center in Independence, MO.

I’m very glad,” said Fuentes, who turned to boxing after a stint with the Pompano Tigers youth football program. Fuentes defeated Daniel Fulton (Missouri) by unanimous decision to take the title. “It is amazing. I never thought that I would win the world championship in just one year. I have great people around me with Coach Steve (Collazo) and boxers like Jordon (Murphy).”

Fellow Deerfield Beach Broward Sheriff’s Office PAL boxer Jordon Murphy, 14, also captured the 90-lb., 13-14 Open Division championship in the international tournament that featured more than 1,700 participants from 15 different countries. The completion included six rings, seven sessions and over 1,000 bouts.

Murphy’s win came just six months after winning the National Silver Gloves Tournament, also held in Missouri. It marked the second consecutive Ringside World Tournament title for the Deerfield Beach teenager. He won last year in the 85-lb. Division.

It was cool winning it two years in a row,” said Murphy, a freshman at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek. “There was a lot of pressure on me to win it this year because I had won last year too.”

Murphy won by unanimous decision over Jeremy Adorno (Pennsylvania) in the championship bout. He moved up a weight class this year and won all of his fights by unanimous decisions.

I focused on my training and what my coaches told me,” Murphy said. “It was more difficult this year than it was last year. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. This will help me with my confidence going into my future fights.”

All PAL programs are free of charge. All participants must be currently in a school or home schooled. For more

information, contact BSO Deputy Butch Santy at 954-778-0174.

P I C K L E – BALL SLATED FOR SATURDAY

The City of Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation Dept. invites you to take part in a lively racket game for all ages and abilities called Pickle-ball! The Pickle-ball showcase will be held at the newly constructed Pickle-ball courts at Community Park next to the basketball courts on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. A demonstration will be given so everyone can learn how to play this fast growing sport.

Pickle-ball is a net game that incorporates tennis, badminton, ping pong and racquetball. It is played on a badminton-sized court with special Pickle-ball paddles, made of wood or high-tech aerospace materials. The ball used is similar to a whiffle ball, but slightly smaller.

The lower net and whiffle ball allow the game to be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, while still allowing more competitive players to test their skills. It was designed to be easy to learn and play whether you’re five, 85 or somewhere in between. It is a fun sport that has picked up a lot of popularity in recent years.

For more information call 954-786-4119.

DEERFIELD BEACH GIRL WINS NATIONAL TITLE

Florida juniors won three singles titles and five doubles championships at United States Tennis Association (USTA) Clay Court National tournaments played across the country recently in the 12 through 18 age groups.

Among the winners was Deerfield Beach’s Taylor Russo, who teamed with Miami’s Adriana Reami to capture the Girls’ 16s doubles title in Virginia Beach, VA. The unseeded pair upset the Californian No. 2 seeds Katie Chang and Claire Liu 6-4, 6-4 in the final.

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Bucks pin hopes on rebuilding

Posted on 28 August 2014 by L.Moore

sports082814By Gary Curreri

Not much has changed in the approach that Deerfield Beach football coach Allen Jackson is taking with his team this year.

We want to be excellent,” said Jackson, who has compiled a 20-10 at Deerfield Beach in his four seasons at the school. “Our motto is new team, new faces and the same goal.”

Deerfield Beach had an outstanding season last year as the Bucks had their first undefeated regular season, won the District 11-8A crown and earned its first playoff victory since 2008. After defeating Flanagan in overtime, 14-7, the Bucks fell 43-6 to Miramar in the regional semifinal.

Jackson knows he has his work cut out for his football team this season as the squad graduated its starting backfield from last year including running backs Brandon Powell (University o f Florida) , Aeron McNeil ( University of Alabama- Birmingham), quarterback Denard Graham (Garden City), along with wide receiver Justin Morgan (Lafayette).

We have Alex Pierre back from last year,” Jackson said. “He is going to have to carry the load. We have some other kids that we expect big things out of, including Markel Yarbrough, who transferred from Plantation.”

Deerfield Beach will also rely on senior defensive end/tight end Jason Strowbridge and two-way lineman Montel Jordan, and addition to Antonio Cartagena, Jeffrey Joseph and James Pierre. Junior Aeron Cartagena is also expected to contribute.

Even though we lost 10 starters from our senior-laden team, we are going to focus on the same thing we did last year,” Jackson said. “I think we can; with the additions we have and with what we have coming back, I like what I see as a team. I like the attitude and the work ethic the kids have demonstrated. I am trying to get back to where we were at and get a little further on.”

I see some big things and the goal is going to be the same,” Jackson added. “We are not going to change that.” This is Jackson’s second time around at the school as he served a variety of titles, including D-Line coach, offensive coordinator and linebacker coach from 1990-2003. Before returning to Deerfield Beach, Jackson coached at Monarch for four seasons and at Coconut Creek for three years. He’s been coaching football for 29 years.

It is an intelligent team,” Jackson said. “Losing those guys was a big hurt, but we added to the program and I think it will be a little better. I think the program is heading in the right direction. In a sense, we are rebuilding. We added a lot of kids who are young. I guess it is a rebuilding process of old and new. I think we can get to the playoffs. Time will tell.”

Quarterback Jeffrey Joseph moves up from a JV team that went 7-1. Jackson said he is more of a pocket passer than Graham was.

Strowbridge, a 6-4, 250 lb. senior, said his game really took off after his freshman year. He is hopeful of another strong season this year. He said he studies NFL players and tries to model his game after them.

I don’t know if you can do what they did, but I think we have a lot of young kids who are willing to learn and I think it will be fun this year,” Strowbridge said. “We definitely feel the pressure because last year’s team was the best team I have ever been on. I think there is definitely pressure to do that and do what they did.”

Jordan said the team would need to do what it did last year and be even more aggressive. He said there is a big difference between last year’s squad and this year’s version.

Last year, we had more experience,” Jordan said.

We have a younger team this year, but we are more disciplined. Last year, we had Brandon Powell. We had Aeron and a new quarterback (Graham), so we are going to have to work hard to get back to where we were last year.”

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Pompano swim team fares well in Jos

Posted on 20 August 2014 by L.Moore

sports082114By Gary Curreri

Victoria Miyamoto likes to wear funny hats; but, when it comes to swimming, it is serious business for the Pompano Beach Piranhas swim team member.

Miyamoto, 14, of Boca Raton, competed in seven events for the local swim team in the recent Florida Gold Coast 14-Under Long Course Junior Olympics championship at the Plantation Aquatic Complex and finished in fourth place in the 13-14 girls high point standings. She said she wears the funny hats for good luck.

My parents swam, so I just got into it when soccer and softball didn’t work out,” said Miyamoto, who started swimming when she was 8. She is a freshman at Boca Raton High School. “I like how you swim for yourself and not for a team. If you mess up,it is on yourself, not other people. It is cool to have teammates cheering for you though.”

Miyamoto swam in seven individual races and one relay for the Piranhas.

It is pretty tiring, but my parents do a great job in bringing me everything and taking care of me at home,” added Miyamoto, who has Olympic aspirations. “I get a lot of rest. Swimming is pretty important. I don’t know what I would be doing without it.”

The Junior Olympic swim meet featured more than 50 teams and 700 swimmers in Florida Gold Coast Swimming. The South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) totaled 802 combined points to easily out-distance the runner-up North Palm Beach Swim Club (398 points) and Azura Florida Aquatic (349 points) to win its fifth consecutive Junior Olympics title. The South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) also won both the girls (424) and boys (378) team overall titles.

The Pompano Beach Piranhas placed 14th overall with 133 points. Pompano Beach Piranhas placed 12th in the girls’ standings with 59 points, while the boys’ team tied for 10th in the boys with Plantation with 74 points.

Pompano Beach Piranhas head swim coach Jesse Vasallo brought 26 swimmers to the meet. He had hoped for a Top-10 finish, but knew it would be a difficult proposition.

We have managed to finish 13th, which was our best position,” said Vasallo, who has been with the program for three years. Pompano Beach has been a USA Swim Team program for the past four years. “We knew the Top- 10 was going to be a little hard because we had some kids who couldn’t make the meet due to other commitments with families. We gave it our best shot.”

Pompano Beach has shown steady improvement after going from 33rd place in its first year as a USA Swim team.

I think we are doing alright,” Vasallo said.

The commitment from the kids is bigger. You see them starting to get a little bigger and doing bigger things in the water. Victoria won a couple of events and we had a couple of kids who moved up from 11-12 to 13-14 and they are making finals and scoring.”

Other top performances from the local swim club came from Caroline Makara, Jake Schulte, Christian Henderson, Sloan Sizemore, Mia Marquez, Tyler Zuyus and Mattheus Santos.

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Frankie Foundation tourney a ‘success’

Posted on 14 August 2014 by L.Moore

SPORTS081414By Gary Curreri

Rain failed to dampen the spirits of a sellout crowd of 244 golfers and netted an estimated $25,000 for the 7th annual Frankie Foundation golf tournament recently at the Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac.

The event, which withstood a 40-minute rain delay, raises money and awareness for Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and honors Frankie Speciale, who died of a massive heart attack while playing in a recreational men’s soccer league match in Deerfield Beach in 2007.

Even though the 1982 graduate of Pompano Beach High School was given CPR immediately, his life could not be saved. It is believed an automated external defibrillator might have made the difference in him surviving.

Frankie Foundation President Scott Henratty, 42, of Lighthouse Point, said the popular tournament has grown over the years. The first tournament at Colony West drew a capacity crowd of 144 golfers. It then moved to Palm Aire Country Club in Pompano before ClubLink, owners of both Palm Aire and Woodlands, suggested the tournament move to Woodlands because its banquet facility can accommodate the 244 golfers.

We maxed out,” said Henratty, who gave out five AEDs and four $1,000 scholarships at the tournament. To date, they have given out 25 scholarships and 48 AED units. “We have been sold out for a while. We sell out every year. We believe we put on a quality tournament. The main sponsor is One Beat CPR.”

Henratty also said he can’t understand why there isn’t a statewide law requiring AED in public places.

The idea is, ‘why isn’t that a state-wide law?’” Henratty said. “The frustration is that we can give 5 or 6 AEDs away, and they save lives, but why aren’t they everywhere? If you are in an airport, or a governmental building, you are okay, but if you don’t have one someplace else, you could be in trouble. We are going to draft a bill that basically requires an establishment opening to the public an AED on the premises; that costs less than $1,000 as a safety feature.”

Long ago, they didn’t require fi re extinguishers; now they do,” Henratty added. “Things have progressed where they know they save lives and they should be everywhere. An AED is like a fi re extinguisher or anything else. It is a proven fact that they save lives and they are in most buildings and most airplanes; but they are not in private facilities.”

Coconut Creek’s Jason Cheshire, 42, is a treasurer with Frankie Foundation. He said they are set up with the schools and they know their criteria.

It can go to any athlete and it is a $1,000 scholarship,” Cheshire said. “We have a committee that will review them and we chose our winner from that. Anybody can apply and we look for the person who needs them … the one who needs help.”

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Murphy, Calix following their dreams

Posted on 31 July 2014 by L.Moore

Jordon Murphy boxes in the recent Boxing at the Creek VII card at the StrikeGym in Coconut Creek. Photo by Gary Curreri

Jordon Murphy boxes in the recent Boxing at the Creek VII card at the StrikeGym in Coconut Creek. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Anthony Calix calls boxing the hardest thing he has ever done in his life.

It was just pure energy,” said Calix, 17, of Margate, who recently graduated from Coral Springs High School and is going to Palm Beach State College. “It doesn’t come easy like school and working. Nothing to me gets more intense than this.”

Calix fell to 0-2 in his amateur career after he dropped a Jorge Torres in the recent Boxing at the Creek VII card at the StrikeGym in Coconut Creek. Calix, who fights for the Deerfield Beach BSO PAL, has been boxing since he was 13 and recently started competitive matches.

Calix said it isn’t nervewracking being in the ring.

When you are in there, you get the most powerful feeling ever,” Calix said. “It is like everybody is there to see you work and perform. Most people don’t know what it is like to be an athlete. They just see people doing things that you, yourself, as a normal person, wouldn’t do. It is inspiring. It is more energy for me.”

Boxing presents different challenges for Calix than other sports. Calix used to run track.

Compared to boxing, track is really boring,” Calix said. “It is a really static sport. Somebody is going to run faster than somebody else and that is it. Here, somebody can be losing the whole match and win it back in the last round. Someone might get knocked out of nowhere. It is dynamic. The exciting part about it too is that you could be trailing, and it only takes one punch to win it.”

When Calix first started, he used to take the 2-1/2 hour bus ride from Margate.

It’s good,” Calix said. “That’s all I got. Without them I wouldn’t be here. It kind of is a team sport. We support each other and we make each other better at the end of the day.”

Deerfield Beach’s Jordon Murphy, 14, won his bout in the Coconut Creek event. Murphy, a six-year veteran of boxing, won Ringside World and Nationals and was hopeful of repeating this year.

Murphy, a freshman at Monarch High School, improved to 56-10 with the win.

My coach and I don’t really worry about the local shows,” Murphy said. “It is all about practice. He wants to see what we can do before we go to the big shows. I wanted to work on my footwork and beating him to the punches. I don’t think I did that good. I could have worked on more. I think I could have done better.”

As long as he wins, it’s okay.

If he were to lose at a local show heading into a big competition, it would give me a bad reputation and people would be thinking other stuff about me,” Murphy said. “They would say that I slacked off.”

His favorite fighters are Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez.

I like how they are smart fighters,” Murphy said. “Manny works punches and Canelo hits hard and fast.”

Simply Soccer camp

Local residents have an opportunity to take advantage of World Cup soccer fever this summer as the Simply Soccer camp closes out its 26th year in Coral Springs.

There have been record numbers this year for the camp, which was also previously held in the city of Pompano. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-14, of all skill levels, who will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

Remaining dates are July 28-Aug. 1; August 4-8; August 11-15. 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. For information, call 954-345-2200.

 

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Kenoyer gets first ace

Posted on 16 July 2014 by L.Moore

SPORTS071714By Gary Curreri

Although Lighthouse Point’s Linda Kenoyer doesn’t have an official handicap, she at least shares something in common with her professional golfer daughter Stefanie.

The 64-year-old Kenoyer recently picked up her firstever hole-in-one when she hit a 9-iron, 95 yards to ace the Par-3 hole at the Winding Hills Country Club in Montgomery, NY.

It was pretty crazy,” said Kenoyer, who was visiting family in New York and was able to get away for a round of golf. “I’m not a great golfer, and Stefanie has three hole-in-ones, so, for me to do it, it was such an amazingly fluke thing.”

Kenoyer, who says she plays to about a 22 handicap, called it the “right club for the right distance” on the executive course.

I kind of heard it and we walked up to look and see and I said, ‘I think it is in the hole. How did that happen?” said Kenoyer, who was playing with her husband Steve. “I hit it a little left of the hole and it kind of banked down. It rolled right in. I heard it hit the pin. It was exciting. We found the ball in the cup.”

I didn’t expect myself to get one,” Kenoyer added. “It was a shock really. I hit the ball very cleanly. It was a good shot. It was a perfect connection. I was pretty lucky to get it to bank correctly and fall into the cup. It takes quite a lot of luck and some skill because it has to be the right club and the right distance.”

Stefanie, 24, a professional golfer on the Symetra Tour, and two-time participant on the Golf Channel’s Big Break television series during 2013, started playing golf 12 years ago and took lessons from Bob Loring, the head golf professional at the Pompano Beach Golf Course.

Linda Kenoyer also started playing golf at the same time and took a few lessons from Loring. She found it ironic that her daughter got her first hole-in-one at age 14, while she was 50-years older when she got her first. Stefanie had three career hole-in-ones.

I’ve had very, very few lessons, just a couple of lessons,” Linda Kenoyer said. “I’ve gone out with Stefanie when she has been around and she’s given me some tips. I just never really had the time to take the lessons.”

Following her round, she sent a text to her daughter.

It said, ‘you won’t believe this. I just got my first hole-in-one,’” the elder Kenoyer said. “She was all excited. I think all of my friends were more excited than I was. I guess it is a big deal in a lot of ways because you don’t know if you are going to get another one. That could be it for my whole life.”

She was surprised to find out a short time later that Stefanie made a post on her Facebook page congratulating her mother on her milestone.

That was very nice,” Linda Kenoyer said. “It was very, very touching when she said how proud she was of me. It was very sweet and she wrote a nice post about it. It is so funny because we are always so proud of our kids and the things that they do, and we try and be supportive, so here it was in reverse. I thought it was a very thoughtful thing she did.”

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Beach tennis destined for Olympics

Posted on 03 July 2014 by L.Moore

sports070314By Gary Curreri

Adrienne Cerra believes Pompano Beach can become the mecca of beach tennis and a springboard for an Olympic sport.

Cerra, the International Federation of Beach Tennis- U.S.A. president, said players from all over the U.S.A., as well as Brazil, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Aruba, Peru, Columbia and Germany, represented their countries at the recent 6th annual IFBTUSA Beach Tennis World Cup event on Pompano beach.

We are growing every year and we are really happy,” Cerra said. “We are getting more sponsors and the local business people are very positive. The hotels, restaurants and transportation … it also creates an awareness about the community. We also had food trucks this year, which was new and exciting. People loved it. It added a nice touch to the event.”

The categories included Men’s and Women’s Open Doubles, Men’s and Women’s Open Singles, Women’s and Men’s “A” (advanced) Singles, Women’s and Men’s “A” Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Juniors. Singles matches were held on Friday, Doubles on Saturday and Mixed Doubles on Sunday.

We had more than 100 players in Deerfield and more than 250 players in Pompano from all over the world,” Cerra said. “We had another 200 in Clearwater. There were a lot of international players. The prize money was $5,000 for Pompano, $1,000 in Deerfield Beach and $2,500 in Clearwater. “This was the first time we had the Triple Cup tour and it was a great success.”

Cerra said it was nice to have Pompano Beach as a host. The 10 permanent courts make it the largest beach tennis training center in the United States.

This is what we have been shooting for since we started,” Cerra said. “Finally, we are established. We have courts all over the United States, but not this many.”

They will hold a tournament nearly every month all along Florida, in addition to tournaments throughout the United States in California, St. Louis, New York and internationally in Barcelona, Cancun and Puerto Rico. Cerra said the sport is continuing to grow and that more and more children are starting to play.

There were a total of 25 juniors from the tri-county area who played in the tournament. Among them were Pompano Beach brothers Ryan and Christopher Mays. They have been playing beach tennis for the past two years after their father Jay introduced them to the sport. They finished second in the tournament after dropping the championship match 5-3 to Gaspar Cecchi and Florencia Labellia.

This is so much fun,” said Christopher Mays, 12, who also plays basketball, baseball and soccer. “I like hanging out with your friends and playing around. I don’t mind getting dirty. I just go wash off in the water. It is hard when it accumulates.”

Ryan Mays, 10, said he rides his bike to the beach to practice. He plays soccer, baseball, beach tennis and also swims. He and his brother have played in six tournaments and placed second in the past two tourneys.

I like beach tennis the most,” Ryan Mays said. “It is like tennis, but, in my opinion, it is easier and more enjoyable. I learned that you can’t do everything. Your partner has to do some stuff.”

A lot of these young kids are the ones who could be playing in the Olympics,” Cerra said. “We are hoping it will be an Olympic sport in 2022. How cool would it be if people came from Pompano to represent their country? Good things are coming for sure.”

We are growing every year and we are really happy,” Cerra added. “We are getting more sponsors and the local business people are very positive. The hotels, restaurants and transportation…it also creates an awareness about the community. We also had food trucks this year, which was new and exciting. People loved it. It added a nice touch to the event.”

The next tournament is slated for Pompano Beach on July 20.

For more information, send an e-mail to MyBeachTennis@aol.com.

Ryan Mays looks to return a shot during the 6th annual IFBT-USA Beach Tennis World Cup event on Pompano beach recently. Photo by Gary Curreri

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