Piranhas compete in meet

Posted on 24 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports122216By Gary Curreri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Knights hope for solid season

Posted on 15 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports121516By Gary Curreri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bucks fall in State Semifinal

Posted on 08 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports120816By Gary Curreri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlands Christian Gridiron falls short

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Glenn returns to sidelines

Posted on 01 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports120116By Gary Curreri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bucks prevail; host Atlantic on Friday

Posted on 23 November 2016 by LeslieM

sports112416By Gary Curreri

The Bucks haven’t stopped yet.

Deerfield Beach continued its march to a Class 8A state championship by taking down the defending state champs, Flanagan, 10-7 last Friday night. The victory avenged a 17-0 loss to Flanagan last year in the same round.

The Bucks (9-2) won the Region 3-8A semifinal by jumping out to a 10-0 advantage and then held off the last charge from the Falcons (9-3) to advance to this Friday’s regional final against visiting Delray Beach Atlantic at 7:30 p.m.

Bucks kicker Ledin Rivera connected on a 35-yard field goal late in the first quarter for a 3-0 that held up until senior wide receiver, and Alabama commit, Jerry Jeudy intercepted his second pass in as many playoff games and returned it 41 yards for the Bucks’ lone touchdown early in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 10-0.

It is a good feeling making a big time play,” said Jeudy, who started playing defensive back in the playoffs. “We needed it and I got it…It’s a great chance to get to play both sides of the ball.”

Flanagan senior quarterback Stanford Samuels concluded a short drive with a 1-yard plunge that trimmed the lead to 10-7, and Flanagan got another chance with 4:50 to play, but a fourth down and long pass by Samuels was incomplete.

It’s an honor to play in a game like this with the best talent in South Florida,” Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn said after the game. “It was an awesome experience and an awesome night to play a hard-fought game. You have two of the best coaching staffs in South Florida…I want my team to come out here and chase history and that’s what we are doing.”

Deerfield Beach senior defensive back Kobe Green intercepted two passes, the second coming with nine seconds remaining in the contest to seal the win.

I knew I had to make a play for my team and I did,” Green said. “It is the best feeling ever. It feels wonderful.”

The Bucks defense forced four turnovers and held Flanagan to 74 total yards. Deerfield Beach sophomore linebacker Gemon Eaford recorded a pair of sacks. The Bucks’ offense could only muster 80 total yards in a winning effort.

Nagy steps down

Pompano Beach High School football coach Rick Nagy has stepped down.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to coach at this school and to get to know the many people that help promote the sport,” Nagy said in a statement.

Nagy finished 20-20 during his 4-year stint as coach of the Golden Tornadoes. He won conference titles in 2014 and 2015 in the Southeastern Football Conference American Division and was also named the SFC American Division Coach of the Year in 2015.

Pompano Beach moved to the Gold Coast Conference this season and finished 2-8, including 2-7 in conference play.

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Ranse Jones event: a success

Posted on 17 November 2016 by LeslieM

sports111716By Gary Curreri

Kaitlyn Smith was one of more than 200 players that recently took part in the seventh annual Ranse Jones Classic beach volleyball tournament in Deerfield Beach.

Smith, 20, grew up playing beach volleyball in Deerfield and played a year at nearby Florida Atlantic University last year, but said her engineering studies curtailed her college career.

Still, the 2015 Highlands Christian Academy graduate finds her way out to the sand that is just minutes away from her Deerfield Beach home.

It is great how they celebrate it in a positive way and bring the whole beach (volleyball) family together,” Smith said. “A lot of us are local, but a lot of people come from out of state and that’s awesome. I play here all of the time and I think it is great to see people out here doing the same thing and supporting a great cause … having fun, and the positive energy is great.”

The tournament is staged each year to celebrate the life of the volleyball player and Flagler County firefighter after whom the tournament is named. The tournament generally raises between $20-$30,000 on an annual basis for Ranse Jones Stroke Awareness Fund at the Broward Health North Stroke Center.

In April 2010, Jones suffered a brain aneurysm while playing in the semifinals of the Panama City AVP Young Guns tournament. He died that November. Jones had played in 21 AVP tournaments since 2000. He also spent time on the Extreme Volleyball Professionals tour and competed in the Men’s Open Division of the 2009 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball.

Fort Lauderdale’s Juanita Mendoza, 29, said the tournament was huge.

There are a lot of people that play in this from a lot of different states,” Mendoza said. “(It is very competitive) as well as people who are here to honor the cause.”

Jensen Beach High School junior Jillienne Cangelosi, 16, made the drive from her home in Stuart to play in the tournament.

It is a really big event,” Cangelosi said. “It is really great because people aren’t only here to compete. They are here to have a good time.”

When we had the bagpipes in the morning, you could just feel everybody thinking about him,” she continued. “And the moment of silence, even though there were other noises obviously, it was amazing to think about him and that his memory was still here.”

Bucks in action Friday

Deerfield Beach High School is hoping for redemption this Friday as it visits Flanagan in the Class 8A regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m.

The Bucks (8-2) did its part as it coasted to a 27-13 regional quarterfinal victory over Western as quarterback Nick Holm passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns and added a scoring run to boot. Deerfield Beach is ranked 5th in the state in the AP Football rankings.

We have been on a collision course for a whole year now,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn. “Let the two big dogs go at it and give the people what they want to see. There is a lot of respect for both teams.”

The defending 8A state champion Falcons (9-2) topped down Piper, 21-7, last week to set up a rematch of the same round last year where Flanagan, currently ranked third in the state in the AP Football rankings, won 17-0 en route to Orlando.

Tigers close season on winning note

Stanley Bolden caught two touchdown passes, the second from 27-yards out in overtime, to give Blanche Ely a 13-7 upset victory over Dillard recently in the 47th annual Soul Bowl at Lockhart Stadium.

After Dillard’s George Golden scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers ahead 7-0, the Tigers (3-6) tied the game on a 60-yard pass play from senior quarterback Karinzo Ward to Bolden.

Blanche Ely, which missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012, won the rivalry game for the 7th time in the past eight meetings and led the series 25-20-2. Dillard led (6-4), which won the District 15-6A title in a three-team tiebreaker, went on to lose to Miami Carol City, 47-8, in the regional quarterfinals.

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Bucks lose Senior Night to Cardinal Gibbons

Posted on 10 November 2016 by LeslieM

sports111016By Bryan Hursh

The Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs got redemption Friday night as they beat the Deerfield Beach Bucks, 23-21, in a clutch defensive fashion, after the Bucks defeated them on their own Senior Night last year. This came as a major upset, being the first time the Chiefs had ever beaten the Bucks.

Deerfield Senior quarterback Nick Holm suited up for the game, but did not play due to a sore right (throwing) shoulder, giving senior quarterback Alec Brown the opportunity to start.

Brown started the night by marching the Bucks downfield, tossing an eight-yard touchdown to senior tailback Taletrius Bradley.

Gibbons answered back later in the 1st quarter with Sophomore quarterback Nik Scalzo scrambling and finding Junior wide receiver Lavonte Decius on a 30-yard TD.

The Chiefs would go on to capture the lead, 10-7, with a 45-yard field goal from junior kicker Griffin Cerra with 11:05 remaining in the half.

Brown and the Bucks offense put together a 9-minute drive down the field resulting in a 5-yard screen pass to junior wide receiver Cornelius McCoy for a touchdown, and regained the lead, 14-10, with 1:37 remaining in the 1st half.

Gibbons marched down the field and Cerra drained a 27-yard field goal as time expired, bringing the game to 14-13 Bucks up going into halftime.

During halftime, the Bucks honored 31 senior football players, members of the band and cheerleading team as they walked to midfield, escorted by parents, family members and friends.

The Bucks started the second half kicking off to the Chiefs, who elected to sit Scalzo for senior backup Austin Boyle, with next week’s District 16-5A runner-up playoff game looming.

Gibbons was stopped on 3rd down and punted the ball back to Deerfield. The Chiefs defense held the Bucks, forcing them to punt the ball back to them. Behind good blocking, Junior Tavontae Decius returned the punt 43 yards down to the Bucks 5-yardline, while Sophomore running back Grantis Poole pounded it in for the score, taking a 20-14 lead with 10:01 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

Brown answered right back, tossing a 55 yard touchdown to senior wide receiver and Alabama commit, Jerry Jeudy, with 7:25 left in the 3rd quarter … recapturing the lead 21-20.

The Bucks and Chiefs punted the ball back and forth, as neither could establish a strong run game.

It wasn’t until late in the 4th quarter that the Chiefs would regain the lead. With 4:38 left in the 4th quarter, Boyle tossed a 21-yard pass to Senior wide receiver Daniel Larose, who hauled it in at the 7-yardline. The Bucks defense held the Chiefs and backed them up 4-yards to the 11-yardline. Cerra hit another 27-yard field goal to take the lead, 23-21, barely making it through the uprights.

With under 3:20 remaining in the game, Brown had to march the Bucks 50 yards down the field to the 25-yardline to get within field goal range. Brown found Jeudy on a 10-and-out route where Jeudy was able to break it outside for a 35-yard gain. The Bucks pounded the ball on the ground, getting 20 yards and two first downs to make it to the 30-yardline. In questionable play calling from Bucks Head Coach Jevon Glenn, Brown tried to thread the ball to senior wide receiver Leroy Henley in the end zone but got picked off by Chiefs junior cornerback Ron Hardge III.

The Chiefs wound the clock down to 18 seconds, giving Deerfield one last play to win the game. Brown rolled out to his left and was sacked by the Chiefs defense, sealing the win.

Brown finished the night with 216 passing yards and two touchdowns while throwing three interceptions. Scalzo finished 10 for 17 with 104 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and Boyle 6 for 11 for 83 yards and one interception.

Holm will be back next week as Deerfield will take on Western High School in the first round of the playoffs while Cardinal Gibbons will travel to Riviera Beach to take off Suncoast High School.

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Highlands football team reaches title game

Posted on 03 November 2016 by LeslieM

sports110316By Gary Curreri

The numbers were so sparse that Highlands Christian Academy had one player attending off-season workouts and the school had to cancel its spring football game.

This Friday, the Knights (4-3) will travel to Palmer Trinity (5-0-1) to play for the Florida Independent Football Conference (FIFC) championship at 3:30 p.m.

Highlands Christian, which knocked off Palm Glades Prep Academy, 26-14, in the semifinal game, avenged a 25-22 loss earlier in the season to Palm Glades.

There is always the outside thought that it was possible if everything went well, but, realistically, no,” said Highlands coach Josh Harris, 36, of Boca Raton.

Harris, who is in his first year as head coach after assistant coaching stints at Miami Northwestern, Doral Academy and Somerset Academy started to believe that his team could make a run at a championship when the team played Palmer Trinity in the regular season. The Knights led the host Falcons, 14-13, with five minutes remaining in the game and was halted because of darkness.

I saw that we could compete with the best teams in the conference,” Harris said. The game was never finished because it wouldn’t have affected the standings. The FIFC consists of five teams: Highlands Christian, Palmer Trinity, Palm Glades Prep Academy, Scheck Hillel, and Pinecrest Prep (Miami).

One of the things I had to work with on them was having pride in themselves and pride in the program,” Harris said. “They have something to play for and a chance to leave a legacy where they can come back 40 years from now to the school and see a banner up there for football. Right now, there is nothing up there related to football, but a lot of other sports are there. That’s what they have come out and done. Winning Friday would be huge!”

The Knights, with just 23 players on the roster and seven players going both ways on offense and defense, have been led by 8th grader Christian Opalsky (RB/DB), seniors Carl Schuberth (QB), Noah Camanini (OL/LB), Josiah Ritzer (OL/DL) and sophomore Titus Baggs (TE/DE). Opalsky has rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season in just seven games.

Highlands Christian Academy hasn’t had a winning season since 2011 when the team finished 6-4.

Bucks win district title

While Deerfield Beach head football coach Jevon Glenn was disappointed with his team’s play in a 35-0 victory over host Piper on Friday night, the effort was still good enough to clinch the District 11-8A championship for a second straight year.

I am disappointed as you can be with a 35 point win,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn, whose Bucks improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the district. The team’s lone loss this season came against Grayson (Logansville, GA) on the road, 39-14.

We came out in the first half and got on them,” Glenn said. “With (Nick) Holm going down, that kind of hurt and we could have brought him back but we felt we could do this to this team.”

Nick Holm threw for two touchdowns before leaving with 10:04 remaining in the first half with an injury to his throwing shoulder as the Bucks knocked Piper from the ranks of the unbeaten for the second straight season. Last year Piper entered the game undefeated at 9-0, only to lose 38-0 on the road to the Bucks.

Holm threw TD passes to Daewood Davis for 7 yards and a 29-yarder to Alton Allen to stake the Bucks to a 14-0 lead. Ashtan Pierre returned an interception 41 yards with 5:46 remaining in the first half to extend the lead to 21-0.

Deerfield put the game away late in the fourth quarter when Taletrious Bradley scored on a 67-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and Alec Brown hit Jerry Jeudy for a 28-yard TD to seal the game. Piper fell to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the district.

Deerfield Beach plays host to Cardinal Gibbons Friday at 7 p.m. in a non-district game.

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Bucks wrap up playoff berth

Posted on 27 October 2016 by LeslieM

sports102716By Gary Curreri

The work in progress for the Deerfield Beach High School football team is progressing well.

Bucks coach Jevon Glenn’s team, which dispatched Monarch, 42-7, last week, can clinch the District 11-8A championship with a victory over host Piper (8-0, 4-0) on Friday.

Winning a district title is our first goal,” Glenn said. “We had a string of something like 14 years in a row of winning them and then we let that get away from us for a few years. Last year, we won it again and we don’t want to put the carrot before the horse. The district championship is foremost and most important on our list.”

The Bucks (6-1, 4-0) scored 28 unanswered second-quarter points to rout the visiting Knights to clinch a playoff spot as quarterback Nick Holm was efficient as he completed 12 of 16 passes for 89 yards and three touchdowns. He found senior wide receiver Leroy Henley for TD passes of 4 and 20 yards, and senior Jerry Jeudy on a 2-yard scoring toss.

Senior strong safety Kobe Green had a 15-yard fumble return, while senior running backs Alton Allen (20-yard scoring run) and Lafleur Limprevil (9-yard TD run) also found pay dirt.

Glenn said the reversal of an early season, 22-21 overtime loss against Hallandale for using an ineligible player, really had little effect on his team. In fact, he said the loss was a wake-up call for his team that didn’t play up to expectations in that contest.

That hasn’t really affected us,” Glenn said. “That was a moral victory. You go out and you play the game and I take nothing from Hallandale, they were the best team on the field that night. That was a win on a technicality. It is more for the administration to be happy. I said it that night that, when they beat us, they did a helluva job and I still stick to that.”

We are starting to peak at the right the time,” Glenn said. The team’s lone loss this season came against Grayson (Logansville, GA) on the road, 39-14.

Since then, Deerfield has mauled its competition winning 30-0 against Coral Springs; 61-0 against Taravella; 35-6 against Douglas and 42-7 against Monarch. For the season, it has outscored the opposition, 233-77 (including the 22 points in the season opener against Hallandale.

We are getting a little more balance offensively and defensively,” Glenn said. “We are starting to peak and get that chemistry on both sides of the ball. Even though we are playing a whole lot better, I think we have a ways to go. We just need to continue this path that we are going down and I am excited about it.”

Glenn was disappointed that the team’s game against St. Thomas Aquinas was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew a few weeks ago. However, with Piper this week and a non-district game against Cardinal Gibbons the following week, Glenn believes he will be battle-tested come the playoffs.

We can definitely win the state championship this year,” Glenn said. “We missed out on St. Thomas, but we should get the job done against Piper (5-1, 2-1) this week.

On paper, it looks like a big game, but I think it could be the same thing as last year,” said Glenn, whose team routed the Bengals, 38-0, at home last season. “They (Piper) are big Twitter guys and they are doing a lot of talking. They play a really soft schedule and get off to a good record, but they are not fooling anybody with that anymore.”

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Local skaters compete in South Atlantic Regionals

Posted on 19 October 2016 by LeslieM

sports102016By Gary Curreri

Lighthouse Point’s Arianna Varvoutis and Deerfield Beach’s Lucas Altieri recently returned home after competing in the South Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships at the Ashburn Ice House in Ashburn, VA.

Varvoutis, 13, a 7th grader at Pine Crest in Fort Lauderdale, has skated since she was 7. Her friend had a birthday party and Varvoutis was hooked. She was one of 30 members of the Panthers Figure Skating Club based at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs that competed in the event.

I immediately fell in love with (figure skating),” she said. “It was so much fun. I kept going to practices and group classes and started competing.

It is really fun now,” added Varvoutis, who finished 11th in the Juvenile Girls Group E Division at the competition with a 41.97 score. “I am competitive, so when I go to compete I get nervous, but once I get on the ice I think in my head, ‘put on a show and the judges will give you as many points as they can.’”

Skating is a special place for Varvoutis.

It is a feeling of happiness,” she said. “You get away from school, your parents telling you to do your homework and other family members (a younger brother, two turtles and a cat). I am the one that has to take care of them (pets).”

It is the greatest thing,” Varvoutis continued. “It is my calm zone where I can get away and be happy.”

This was her second trip to regionals. Her goal was to get above 43 and make it to the final round. This is her second straight trip to compete in the Juvenile Division.

Last year, I wasn’t the best,” but this year I have accomplished so much more,” she said. “My double Lutz, my double flip, and my double-double. I think I am going to do great.”

Altieri and fellow Panthers Figure Skating Club member Sophia Chouinard recently returned from the 2016 Novice and Junior Challenge Skate, which took place in Salt Lake City, Utah. The invitation-only competition was based on the International scoring system.

It was huge for them to get the exposure and go,” said Nancy Mariani, the Director of Skating Development at the IceDen. Altieri skated to a fourth place finish with a 39.87 short program and 77.06 long that resulted in a 117.69 total. Chouinard was 11th overall with a 33.13 short; 63.46 long, and 96.59 total.

Altieri, 15, a freshman at North Broward Prep, is in his fifth year skating. He said the trip to Utah wasn’t really different from most competitions.

The altitude made it harder to skate,” he said. “I got to experience that. I did okay at that competition by finishing fourth with my new program.”

It was a good year for Altieri last year and he is hoping for bigger and better things this year.

It was pretty good, but what I get nervous about is that I won’t improve as much as last year,” he said. “Last year, I got like two or three new jumps and this year I have one or two, but I am trying a triple-triple, which is a really hard combination.

After a previous best finish of fifth at regionals, Altieri won a Pewter medal at the nationals in the Intermediate Division. This year he is competing in the Novice Division. Not only has he grown on the ice, he also experienced a growth spurt adding five inches to his now, 5-foot, 8-inch frame.

Not much has changed for him as his goal is to return to nationals this year. He placed second at the regional event in the Novice Men with a 94.03 score.

I want to try and do the same as last year and win a medal at nationals,” Altieri said. “I would rather do well at nationals than at a smaller competition. The difference this year is there are new competitors and the judging is a little bit different in Novice. I have to focus more on my edges and my footwork. I want to compete in the Olympics, but that is far away.

Lucas is one of those skaters that just appears to be even,” Mariani said. “Some kids might be doing things that might be harder, but when you put all of his stuff together, it equals magic and that is why he does so well.”

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