Sailsmen win Final Sail! Doing it All/Hardway wins the Jacket!

Posted on 15 April 2014 by JimLusk


April 12th concluded the last leg in the near 2 Million dollar Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series. In pursuit of the esteemed burgundy jacket, teams have been competing since December to claim the title of world’s best. With a total of 92 points, Doing it All/Team Hardway landed that honor at the awards ceremony for the Final Sail championship tournament. They fish out of a 35 foot ST Contender as opposed to their competitors with much larger sport fishing type of boats. Triple 300 mercury out boards, custom Blue Water folding tower.


They fished four seasons, averaging 8 tournaments per season. They placed in the top 10 % with each tournament.


Daryl Deka – Owns a Landscaping Company (Palm Beach Broward Landscaping)


Mark Lamb – Owns a Roofing Company (Storm Roofing Inc)


Rick Burton – Owns a Roofing Company (Native Roofng Inc)


Jimmy Dalrymple – Tarpon Guide Islamorada


Billy Vanderhorn – Sign Company


Alex Burgess – Fishing Charters


Boat Team photo


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Knights down Calvary Christian, 5-0 for Spring Break diamond title

Posted on 03 April 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

Junior pitcher Mitchell Carroll pitched a complete game, no-hitter, as Highlands Christian Academy’s baseball team topped host Calvary Christian, 6-0, in the championship game of the 4Him Classic during Spring Break.

I don’t remember if I have thrown a no-hitter before,” said Carroll, 17, of Coral Springs, who received the tournament’s Outstanding Pitcher award. “I just compete against the execution of the pitch and control the things I can control. It is always nice to win a championship.”

Carroll ran his season record to 4-1 as he finished with 11 strikeouts in the contest in which he faced just three batters over the minimum. The victory avenged a 5-3 loss to the Eagles earlier in the season.

Senior second baseman Quinsley Balentine, 18, of Deerfield Beach, was awarded the MVP Award as he batted .500 for the tourney. Balentine went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs to lead the eight hit attack in the championship game.

We became more disciplined mid-game at the plate and more patient,” said Highlands Christian Academy coach Bruce Charlebois, who is in his eighth year at the school. “We laid off the breaking ball out of the zone and let the game come to us.”

Charlebois said the bottom of his lineup also came through in the clutch, which was key to the title. Aryton Barbolina, James McGrath and Kyle Bombardier all had solid production in the tournament from the 7, 8 and 9 spots in the lineup.

Highlands Christian got the only run it needed in the top of the sixth when Drexler Macaay and Balentine reached on an error. After Macaay was caught stealing, Saul Velez doubled to left to score Balentine for a 1-0 lead.

The Knights put the game away with five runs with one out in the top of the seventh. Bombardier reached on a third strike passed ball and Kirvin Moesquit had a RBI double to score Bombardier for a 2- 0.

Moesquit stole third and both Bernedley Martina and Macaay both walked.

Balentine followed with a single to center to score Moesquit and Martina, and Macaay moved to third on the hit. Macaay scored and Balentine advanced to second on a wild pitch. Balentine stole third and scored on a groundout.

Highlands Christian opened the tournament with a 13-1 victory over Dade Christian and followed that up with a 6-1 win over Northeast in the second contest.

We are exactly where we need to be at this point of the season, sitting 11-5 and gaining ground on our character, conditioning and chemistry,” Charlebois said. “It was the first goal of four goals we set for a championship season. We wanted to win the Spring Break tournament and the next three are districts, regionals and states. I am confident that we will make our annual strong run at the end.”

Highlands Christian Academy is currently 11-5 overall and 4-2 in the highly competitive District 14-3A, which includes Coral Springs Christian, Jupiter Christian, Lake Worth Christian, Oxbridge Academy, Trinity Christian and Westminster Academy.

This is by far the toughest district that we have faced and I have to believe one of the strongest divisions in the state,” said Charlebois, whose team lost in the Class 1A regional finals in 2010 to state runnerup Miami Brito and in 2008 to the eventual state Class 2A champion, Westminster Christian, also in the regional final.

Coral Springs Christian will host the district tournament beginning on April 24.

If we win this (district) and get home field advantage,” Charlebois added, “I like our chances to take care of the unfinished business from 2008 and 2010.”

Highlands Christian will travel to play Pope John Paul II on Saturday at 4 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s regional quarterfinal.

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Piranhas finish 13th in Junior Olympic swim meet

Posted on 27 March 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

Mattheus Santos has been swimming since he was 4 years old and loves everything about it. It could be because he is very good at it as well.

The 12-year-old Santos recently finished 7th in the Boys 11-12 Division for high point with 48 points in the Florida Gold Coast 14 and Under Junior Olympics at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions in Coral Springs.

His performance helped his Pompano Beach Piranhas Swim Team take 13th overall with a combined total of 216 points. The boys finished 11th with 101 points, while the girls took 10th overall with 115 points.

It’s fun racing and it depends how much effort you put into it,” said Santos, a Sunrise Middle School 7th grader. “My goal coming into the meet was to go as fast as I could and I hoped to make finals.”

Mission accomplished. Santos made finals in six events and finished in the top four in most of them.

I want to go as far as swimming will take me … college and maybe the Olympics,” Santos said. “I have to put in a lot of effort in training and lots of pain.”

Santos estimated he would do 8,000 to 10,000 yards of swimming during a normal week of practice. It certainly paid off.

I’m really happy with how I did in the meet,” Santos said. “On a scale from 1-10, I’d have to say a 9.”

Another Piranhas swim team member, Victoria Miyamoto, had a solid meet, as she also placed in the top five in the high points in her division. Miyamoto, 14, took fifth in the Girls 13-14 Division with 49 points.

South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) won its fourth consecutive combined team championship. SOFLO dominated the three-day meet at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions in Coral Springs with 1,165.50 points as the only team to break the 1,000- point barrier. Their closest rival was Metro Aquatics (617.50 points).

Pine Crest (608.50) was third, while Azura Florida Aquatic (584.50) and Coral Springs Swim Club (324) rounded out the top 10 for Broward programs in the combined race with a fourth and eighth place finish, respectively. The 14 and Under Junior Olympics followed up another event that the local swim team hosted weeks earlier. The Pompano Piranhas held its annual Friendship Invitational, which attracted more than 300 swimmers from 10 swim clubs in the tri-county area.

Pompano Piranhas head coach Jesse Vassallo, a former Olympian and multi-world record holder in the sport, said the meet serves as a showcase for swimming skills and the cultural diversity of the swimmers.

Here in South Florida,” Vassallo noted, “we have swimmers from every culture imaginable, and everyone gets along no matter where they’re from. This sport helps you make friends from everywhere.”

We want to see the event grow to around 700 swimmers and become a real international swim meet,” Vassallo said. “This is a threeday event, and it takes a whole team to pull this off.”

Miyamoto and Santos were also high point winners in that meet. Miyamoto won the Girls 13-14 Division with 133 points, while Santos topped the Boys 11-12 Division with 132 points.

Metro Aquatic Club of Miami took top honors in the combined team scoring with 5,166 points, while the Piranhas were runner-up with 2,613.50. Swim Fort Lauderdale (1,381.50) was third, while St. Andrew’s Swim Club (1,077.50) and the Miami Beach Seahawks (543.- 50) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

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Bucks flag football team begins 1-2

Posted on 20 March 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

Cam Thomas hopes to build on the history his flag football team made last season.

The fourth-year Deerfield Beach flag football coach led the Bucks to its first-ever district championship before it fell 14-12 to Atlantic in the first round play-in game of the post season. Thomas, who returns 10 of 14 players from last year’s team, is gunning for another trip to the postseason.

My main thing is making it to the district playoffs,” said Thomas, whose team is 1-2 following Tuesday’s 21-20 overtime loss to host Monarch. The Bucks needed four overtimes to defeat Monarch 12-6 in last year’s district championship.

Deerfield Beach opened the season with a 36-6 victory over Coral Springs and lost another heartbreaker, 13-6, to Hollywood Hills.

The team is in a totally different district this season. Monarch and North Broward Prep, two perennial county powers, remain in the district; however, Coconut Creek, Pompano and Blanche Ely have been added. The top four teams make the district playoffs.

Thomas is counting on big seasons from junior Stefaterra Boykins, seniors Courtney Lee, Darrion Cowart, Justice Thomas (no relation).

Teams prepare for one person, but they might get a different person who’s hot,” Thomas said. “We have athletes who can all play quarterback or different positions on the field.”

One of the things we have to fix is the intensity,” Thomas said. “Some of the girls are a little too relaxed when we play. Last year, I had a ‘blue collar’ team that would grind, get bloody, dirty, and this team is a little too relaxed. We make plays, but they are too relaxed at times.”

Thomas was pleased with his team’s effort against Monarch as it rallied from a 14-6 deficit heading into the fourth quarter to force overtime. Lee, Cowart and Boykins all scored in the game.

With three games down in the 11-game regular season, Thomas gives his team a grade of C-plus.

Today, they didn’t give up and, against Hollywood Hills, they didn’t give up,” Thomas said. “They’ve got fight, which is good. If you add in a little more intensity, they’ll be fine.”

Thomas said the early season losses would help his team get better.

They don’t like the feeling now,” Thomas said. “They know they are much better than what they are showing on the field. We just have to put it together.”

This whole team is athletic, and I wouldn’t be taking them to Orlando if they weren’t good,” Thomas said of his team’s upcoming April 4 game against state powerhouse, Dr. Phillips. “They are one of the top teams in the state. We want to get exposure for the girls. We want everybody in Florida to know that South Florida has good teams behind the Seminole Ridge’s and the Miramar’s.”

Bucks take second

The Deerfield Beach High School softball team finished second in last Saturday’s consolation finals at the Gulliver Prep Slamfest in Pinecrest. The Bucks advanced to the finals by beating Lourdes High 13-12 in a come-from-behind thriller during which the lead changed 10 times. The Lady Bucks racked up 13 hits including a bases-loaded double by Coral Galpine in the fourth inning.

Sarah Strothman, Karli Shoop, Vika Chursina, Coral Galpine and Annalissa Silva all hit over .500 in the tournament.

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Murphy wins national boxing title

Posted on 06 March 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 01-08 newBy Gary Curreri

Jordan Murphy loves fighting.

The Deerfield Beach teenager recently won his third national Silver Gloves boxing championship and said he plans to join the military when he turns 18 and fight for his country.

Murphy, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Lyons Creek Middle School in Coconut Creek, and a member of the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s Police Athletic League (PAL) boxing program, recently won top honors as in the 80-lb., 14/ 15 age division at the National Silver Gloves boxing tournament in Independence, Missouri when he defeated Patrick Fair (Ohio) by unanimous decision.

Murphy has three national titles (2010 National Junior Golden Gloves, 2013 Ringside World and now 2014 National Silver Gloves), in addition to four state and four regional titles just for the silver gloves tournaments. He has also accumulated several Junior Olympic state titles and Police Athletic League titles.

I absolutely believed I would win the championship,” said Murphy, who will compete in the upcoming State Golden Gloves competition on March 27-29 in West Palm Beach and the State Junior Olympics competition in Boca Raton on April 12.

I knew that I worked hard and that I worked hard for a reason and that was to win,” said Murphy, who has been boxing in the PAL program in Deerfield Beach for the past six years. “Boxing has taught me to behave in school and not to let anything get to you. It has also taught me to work hard to achieve what you want.”

Murphy trains three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for 1-1/2 hours each day. He said the rigorous training gives him confidence when he is about to go one-on-one with his opponent.

When I walk in the ring I am a little nervous at first,” said Murphy, who has compiled a 52-8 record. “As soon as the bell rings, I know that I have confidence in myself that I am going to win the fight most of the time.”

It was redemption of sorts for Murphy who fought a close fight last year in the finals of the 75-lb., 12/13 age division, but dropped a split decision to Malik Nelson (New Jersey).

Murphy competed in a series of national boxing competitions and came out as the national champ for his class. Murphy trained extensively with his coach, Steve Collazo, and had to win several local and regional boxing matches in order to make it to the nationals.

Jordan has worked long and hard to achieve one goal, to be the best,” said his coach, Collazo. “He was very determined to win this year, especially after falling short in the finals last year.”

In order to reach the nationals, Murphy captured the Silver Gloves State Tournament in early December 2013 in Ft. Pierce, making him the Florida State Silver Glove 80 lb., 14- 15 years-of-age champ. Murphy then won the Regional Silver Gloves competition in early January in Maryland, making him the Region 3 champ to advance to the Silver Gloves Nationals held in Independence, Missouri.

When he turns 18, Murphy is going to be fighting a bigger cause.

I am going to join the military and box in the military before I go pro,” Murphy said. “I want to help our country out and fight for freedom and our rights. I kind of think about that when I go into the ring now.”

Murphy also plays baseball in the Junior Division of the Deerfield Beach Little League. He is a pitcher and shortstop for the White Sox and has been on the diamond for the past seven years.

I like boxing more,” Murphy said.

Collazo said BSO’s Police Athletic League provides youths an opportunity to stay out of trouble by participating in sports and other activities after school or during the summer.

The activities are structured to attract all youths regardless of their previous athletic abilities. PAL’s goal is to provide them with activities that build character and self-esteem, foster positive relationships, enhance self-awareness and promote good citizenship.

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.

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Fiers ‘back home’ at DBHS

Posted on 27 February 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

While Deerfield Beach High School’s baseball team is still searching for its first win of the season, it already scored a victory of sorts during the offseason.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers, a 2003 graduate of Deerfield Beach High, spent a few weeks at his alma mater helping coach the players before he left for spring training. The Pompano native worked with both the pitcher and position players on the varsity and junior varsity programs.

Fiers said he came back to help players reach the next level. He is good friends with Bucks assistant coach Mike Dobre and asked to come out and help.

I wanted to help them out with everything whether it is baseball or life in general,” said Fiers, who is 10-14 for his major league career. “I came out every day before I left for spring training and I loved being out there.”

After graduating from Deerfield Beach, Fiers went on to Broward College, spent a year at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky for one year and finished as an All-American at Nova Southeastern University. He was drafted in 2009 in the 22nd round by Milwaukee and reached the big leagues in 2011.

Fiers said he always had a dream to pitch in the major leagues. He played with another major leaguer in Mickey Storey, who is a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays, for three years at Deerfield.

It’s definitely a tough game and takes a lot of hard work,” said Fiers, 28, of Pompano Beach. “I pride myself on that. I always had that dream and I wanted it. I’ve had setbacks. I’ve had success. It was a long journey. I had the mindset of knowing I was going to make it and staying positive.”

Fiers said he was impressed by the work ethic the players displayed at DBHS. He worked on the fundamentals of baseball with many of the players. In his senior year at Deerfield Beach, they lost in the regional final to Hialeah High.

It was his second visit to Deerfield Beach High since he graduated. Fiers went while he was at Broward College and also volunteered at nearby Zion Lutheran when Dobre was a coach there.

I like coaching and helping out kids,” Fiers said. “They have to take it as a game, because it is a game. You want to go out and have fun and that makes it easier. Some guys maybe take it as a job, but it is not a job yet. You want to get good grades and that will help you out.”

I graduated 10 years ago and it feels the same,” Fiers continued. “It is good to come back and help them get where they want to go. I just want them to compete and, hopefully, their mindset is to want to win. I just wanted to try and make the game as simple as possible.”

Deerfield Beach High School junior Kyle Miller said it was a bonus to have Fiers around.

It was great to have coach Fiers around,” Miller said. “He’s been through this program before and he knows the ins and outs of baseball. He is somebody you can listen to because he is at the top level of baseball right now.

He is not just some guy that puts on a hat and calls himself a coach,” Miller added. “He lives it every day. It was good to have him around teaching us.”

Miller said among the things that Fiers helped him with was his approach to pitching.

He is a right-handed pitcher who doesn’t throw 98 (mph), but he knows how to pitch and get outs,” Miller said. “He relies on good off speed pitches and good location. You really learn good pitching from a guy like Mike Fiers. It’s cool that he volunteered to give back to the program, a program that gave him so much as a kid.”

This definitely gives you hope to see a guy who came out of Deerfield and has had great success playing the sport,” Miller said. “It shows a lot of kids that if you work hard every day and you want it bad enough, even if you don’t throw a 106-mph fastball, you can still have success.”

Mike was like the Pied Piper with the players following him and picking his brain,” said first year Bucks coach Angelo Latrento. “He’s a homegrown kid who gave the kids hope and motivation.”

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Tigers fall in regional semifinal

Posted on 20 February 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

And just like that, Blanche Ely’s hopes for a boys’ basketball three-peat were squashed by a team that had its number all season. The Blanche Ely boys’ basketball team dropped a 61-54 decision in the Class 7A regional semifinal to host Boyd Anderson on Tuesday night, and, with it, vanished a spot in history.

Blanche Ely (21-5), which last season became the first boys’ basketball team to win back-to-back titles as it joined Dillard (2000-03) and Pine Crest (2008-09). They came up short in their bid to become the 12th in state history to win three consecutive titles.

Cobras’ guard Pitchon Pierre sank eight free throws in the fourth quarter as host Boyd Anderson (24-5) held off a late charge by the two-time defending Class 7A state champion to pull out the win. Pierre finished with 12 points, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds.

Blanche Ely (21-5), which had won 11 consecutive playoff games, closed to within two points at 45-43 with 6:24 left in the game, but struggled at the line and fell for the fourth consecutive time in five meetings against Boyd Anderson this season. The Cobras were 19 of 24 from the line, while Ely converted just 14 of 24 from the charity stripe.

It was a well-fought game, and what killed us was we lost it at the free throw line,” said Tigers coach Melvin Randall. “We missed double digits at the line.

You have to get to the line and knock them down and we didn’t. That was an important factor in the game. We have been shooting like that off and on the entire season. We had a couple of games this season where we shot 70-plus percent, but we made it hard in games this year by missing what we did at the line.”

Boyd Anderson’s Rodney Simeon had 17 points, while Nick Eubanks added 14 points and eight rebounds. Lance Tejada led Blanche Ely with 18 points, while Therell Gosier and Javon Heastie each had 11.

Boyd Anderson jumped out to a 12-8 lead in the first quarter as Simeon scored seven of his team-high 17 points and Dondre Duffus hit a 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining in the period.

Blanche Ely battled back to take a 15-14 lead as it scored the first four points of the second quarter on two free throws by Javon Heastie and a basket off a steal by Gosier.

The host Cobras then went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good at 22-15 on two free throws by Diondre Wilson. Boyd Anderson led 27-21 at halftime and extended the advantage to 29-21 on a rebound and layup by Nick Eubanks. Tejada then got hot as he made a free throw and a short jumper and found Gosier cutting to the basket for a layup to trim the lead to 26-29 with six minutes left in the third quarter.

The Tigers were also dealt a blow in the third quarter when Gosier was whistled for two fouls in a 38-second span and had to sit with four fouls and Boyd Anderson leading 30- 28. Gosier had scored eight points, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots until then and didn’t re-enter the game until there was 3:02 remaining and the Cobras leading 51-46.

The game seesawed back and forth; however, the Tigers, which had won 11 consecutive playoff games, could get no closer than two points at 45-43 with 6:24 left.

I am disappointed, but I am not upset or mad that we lost,” said Tigers coach Melvin Randall. “It would be selfish for me to bicker. Of course, I wanted to win; but, in looking back, I have been there six times and won five.”

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Local soccer teams fall in postseason

Posted on 06 February 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

The Highlands Christian Academy and Deerfield Beach high school boys’ soccer teams reached the postseason this season with high expectations.

Highlands Christian (13-6) won the district title and made it to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2006 when it fell to Palmer Trinity, 3-1. The Knights were ousted in the regional quarters in the five appearances since then.

Unfortunately for the Knights, Sagemont (18-7-1) advanced to the regional finals with a 4-0 victory over host Highlands Christian on Tuesday night.

Sophomore Carlos Pan gave the Lions a 1-0 halftime lead when he scored on a header in the 21st minute. Freshman Karl Ackermann scored the first of three second half goals for Sagemont off a cross by junior Marco Wehrhahn in the 53rd minute. Sagemont added its own goal and a final tally by freshman Braedon Villano to end Highlands’ season. Ryan Theimer recorded 13 saves in his sixth shutout of the year.

Highlands Christian Academy coach Darryl Mauro said he was pleased with his team’s performance, especially considering his team had just three full time soccer players. He was also happy to coach with his son Daniel, an HCA graduate, who won national titles while at Clearwater Christian College.

We had two players, Lucas Almeida and Caleb Bien- Aime finish with 17 goals and double figures with assists and our goalkeeper, Zach Mueller finished with nine clean sheets (shutouts),” Mauro said. “Sophomores Elijah Kerr, Evan Henderson, and Vitor Lima both improved on both sides of the ball and newcomers Brandly Martina, Ayrton Barbolinea, Ray Melfor all played a big role in our postseason run.”

Deerfield Beach made its fourth appearance in the playoffs in school history under Coach Frantz Edouard – 2009, 2012, 2013 were the others – and fell to Boca Raton last Thursday night in the regional quarterfinals thanks to a topflight performance by the Bobcats’ Sebastian Elney, who spent last year with the U.S. Soccer Under-17 residency program in Bradenton.

Elney had three goals in the contest to lead host Boca Raton (21-1-2) to a 3-0 victory over Deerfield Beach in the Class 5A boys’ soccer regional quarterfinal. Boca Raton advanced to this Friday’s regional final after defeating Douglas, 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Deerfield Beach (18-3-4) had the better play in the early going with nothing to show for it. Boca Raton goalkeeper Collin Foody made three saves for his 11th shutout of the season.

The Bucks’ best chance to score came in the 68th minute when Matheus Pereira took a free kick that Foody got a hand on. The ball deflected to Romilaire Ambrose, whose shot was headed off the goal line by defender Aaron Kleinert.

We are disappointed,” said Deerfield Beach soccer coach Frantz Edouard. “The first goal hurt, but the second one broke our back. We had a great season. The number 23 (Elney) was the difference maker for them.”

Edouard’s team had the harder road in the playoffs as it finished runner-up in the district to Douglas.

It didn’t work out,” Edouard said. “Obviously, we had a good season, not a great season, because we wanted to advance far in the playoffs. We have been here before, but we haven’t been able to get over the hump. It’s a bit of a disappointing season for us.”

Edouard, who is in his eighth year at the school, believes his team will be in the postseason again and expects his team to go far.

We graduate about four or five players, but honestly the core of the team will be back again next year,” Edouard said. “Hopefully, we will be back … and be victorious.”

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Ely boys ranked 3rd in State

Posted on 30 January 2014 by L.Moore

Classified (nothing on pasteboard)By Gary Curreri

If Blanche Ely’s boys’ basketball team is to win its third consecutive Class 7A state championship, the road may lead through Lauderdale Lakes and District 14-7A rival Boyd Anderson.

Blanche Ely (18-2), the state’s third-ranked team in the latest Florida Association of Basketball Coaches (FABC)-Source Hoops state rankings, has dropped just two games all season – both to the Cobras (17-3), who are ranked second in the state. Apopka’s Wekiva High School (19-3) holds down the top state ranking in Class 7A.

Blanche Ely opened the season with 13 consecutive wins including the prestigious Chick-Fil-A Classic in Columbia, South Carolina. Junior Therrell Gosier led his team to the Chick-Fil-A Classic II Championship with 24 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. The Tigers won 81-75 in overtime over South Pointe (Rock Hill, SC).

Less than a week later, Blanche Ely dropped its first contest of the year to Boyd Anderson in overtime at the D-Hop Classic at Palm Beach Lakes High School. The Cobras rallied from a 63-59 deficit with 49 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime. That loss ended a Blanche Ely streak of 46 wins in a row against Broward County opponents and 52 wins in a row against Florida teams.

There were some great teams in the D-Hop with Boyd Anderson, and Palm Beach Lakes in our region,” said Blanche Ely coach Melvin Randall. “I think there are some pretty good teams in Central Florida, but the best teams reside down here in South Florida.”

The state rankings bear that out with Palm Beach Lakes (16-5) fifth in the poll and Dwyer (18-5) sixth in the FABC-Source Hoops state rankings.

Just three weeks later, Boyd Anderson handed the Tigers its second loss of the season as it battled back from a ninepoint deficit in the third quarter to pull out a 65-57 victory.

Randall said he expects his team to improve for the stretch run and credited the leadership of seniors Lance Tejada II and Joshua Floyd, in addition to Gozier.

Their leadership is helping raise these young ones to William Nightingale get to where we need to be,” said Randall, whose team defeated Boyd Anderson, 78- 75, in overtime on Nov. 30. “I think they are doing a tremendous job.”

Floyd was at Westminster Academy last year, while Javon Heastie transferred in from Dillard. Boyd Anderson has two transfers of its own in Rodney Simeon from Miami Central and Dondre Duffus from Wellington High School.

Both teams were competing in the BCAA Big 8 tournament where Blanche Ely is the defending champion. Results of Wednesday night’s games were unavailable at press time. The District playoffs begin next week.

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Knights, Lions hope for postseason run

Posted on 23 January 2014 by L.Moore

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

If either Highlands Christian Academy or Zion Lutheran School is going to make a run at the postseason, both local schools will need to get past the top-seeded Westminster Academy in the District 13-1A tournament which began this week.

Highlands Christian Academy coach Darryl Mauro has returned to the sidelines after helping with the team last year. Mauro is in his sixth year at the school and has entered the year at 79-24-11 during that span.

We are trying to get them to play good soccer,” said Mauro, who previously coached the team from 2004- 09. The Knights are 10-5 this season and in second place behind Westminster Academy in the district. “We only have two or three kids that play more than high school soccer, on travel teams. Our four losses have come against Westminster (one) and three against bigger schools.”

Mauro’s title hopes were bolstered by the return of senior forward Kirvin Moesquit from an early season knee injury. Moesquit, who has an offer to play baseball at the University of Miami, is one of the team’s top offensive threats. He plays shortstop for the school’s baseball team. Senior forward Lucas Almeida provided most of the punch with Moesquit out.

We missed him,” Mauro said. “It was a major disappointment that he was out because he has a lot of speed. Our guys are starting to click. You have to have that magic dust and they have to show up to play.”

Sophomore defenders Evan Henderson and Elijah Kerr anchor the Knights’ defense and the team is also counting on sophomore midfielder Caleb Bien-Aime, senior goalkeeper Zach Muller and freshman forward Alex Felicetta.

Zion Lutheran coach Kelly Elrod has been at the school for nine years and returned two starters from last year’s team including German Curci (midfielder, sr.) and Noah Craven (defender, sr.). A third starter, the team’s junior goalkeeper, Don-Andrew Hanson broke three bones in his hand in the second to last football game of the season and has been out for the year.

Elrod said senior Frankel Alexis, a first-year soccer player, has filled in admirably for Hanson in goals for the Lions (2-5-4), which opened the tournament against the fifth-seeded South Florida Heat. Results of the tournament were unavailable at press time.

What (Frankel) has done has been eye-opening,” said Elrod, whose team was 6-9-1 last year. “He has no fear and his communication with the defense is actually getting better. I wish I had him as a freshman. The last game we had against Highlands, he had 14 saves. He’s been a Godsend. He’s physically capable.”

The Lions added three Brazilians, all juniors, including Tiago Santos (central defender), Rodrigo DeOliveira (forward) and Thiago Silva (midfielder), along with freshman Malik Murphy (forward).

Those guys have definitely helped elevate our game,” Elrod said. “I really want to make a strong, solid run into the playoffs.”

Elrod also singled out the play of defender Noah Craven, German Curci and Courtney Whiteaker, who, along with Noelle Gans, is one of two girls on the team. Whiteaker, a senior, is starting as an outside defender. She was on the girls’ team last year; however, the school wasn’t able to field a girls’ soccer team this year.

Courtney has been really well accepted,” Elrod said. “Her positioning awareness is very, very good. She’s been solid. I told her I wasn’t going to treat her any differently. Now that she’s starting, nobody has said a peep about it. The guys acknowledge she’s an asset. She and the other girl, Noelle (sophomore), have done well. This is the first time in my nine years there that I have had a girl on the team. They both fit in pretty well.”

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