Ely falls 21-13 in regional playoff game

Posted on 20 November 2014 by L.Moore

sports112014By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely first year football coach Nakia Jenkins left the field Friday night following his team’s Class 7A regional quarterfinal loss to Atlantic convinced he had the better team.

The problem was Atlantic is moving on in the postseason following the 21-13 win and the Tigers will have to wait another year to see if it can reach the same heights it did in 2002 when it won the Class 5A state championship and finished the year 14-1.

Jenkins, the school’s sixth coach since 2006, cited the team’s inexperience as a key factor in the loss. The Tigers have only won more than seven games three times since former coach Steve Davis left the school and went to Plantation in 2003.

I’ve been telling my guys all season that you guys have to make the best of every opportunity and dropped balls killed us again,” Jenkins said. “Dropped balls and blown opportunities … Early in the game we are down in the red zone and we don’t capitalize … just miscues and it shows that we are a young team. We learn from experience and I am proud of them. We will just get ready for next year.”

Atlantic High junior quarterback Edwin Hernandez threw two touchdowns within a 2-minute and 48 second span of the third quarter to give the Eagles (9-2) the victory. Hernandez tossed touchdown passes of 19 yards to Markinson Ripert and 30 yards to Lamar Washington to stake the Eagles to a 14-0 lead.

Blanche Ely (6-5) cut the deficit in half to 14-7 on an 8-yard scamper by Teddrick Moffett with 11:49 left in the game; however, the Eagles wasted little time in answering as Davan Cleckley returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a 21-7 lead.

Blanche Ely closed the gap to 21-13 on a 23-yard scoring pass from Moffett to Laderrick Smith with 2:19 remaining in the game, but the Tigers couldn’t tie the contest after it got the ball back with just 45 seconds left on its own 9-yard line.

Blanche Ely also had a chance to take the lead at 3-0 with 8:15 remaining in the third quarter when Carmeley Charite’s 30-yard field goal attempt was wide right. Demeterice Bellamy finished the game with 11 carries for 54 yards for the Tigers, while Laderrick Smith caught 5 passes for 94 yards.

Atlantic won the contest despite committing 18 penalties for 187 yards that nearly wiped out its 260 yards of offense in the game.

Jenkins’ team featured 80 percent of its roster with players in their first year on varsity. Three of the team’s five losses came in the closing minutes to Deerfield Beach, Miami Northwestern and Plantation.

We just got to learn how to finish ball games, man,” Jenkins said. “It shows. We had opportunities. We should have beaten this team tonight, hands down. We just didn’t capitalize on the opportunities that we had and that has haunted us all year. We’ll take it. We’ll learn from it and just get ready for next year.”

Jenkins said the most important thing the team should bring away from the season is to play a complete game.

They need to learn to play four quarters,” Jenkins said. “They need to learn to fight through adversity. They need to learn from mistakes. Dropped balls killed us all year and we probably had seven to eight dropped balls tonight and that could have helped us. We got away with it early in the season, but playing a good, solid team like that which runs the ball well and chews up a lot of clock, that’s what happens.”

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Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in Delray next weekend

Posted on 13 November 2014 by JimLusk

2013 Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic

Chris Evert and Kevin McKidd, 2013.

By Rachel Galvin

Since 1989, the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic has been bringing in professional tennis players and celebrities in to play together in the spirit of philanthropy.

Besides the pro-celebrity tennis at the Delray Beach Tennis Center and Boca Raton Resort & Club, there also are plenty of opportunities to meet the stars and pros at the Classic Cocktail Party, at the Pro-Celebrity Gala and at Tennis with Chrissie and Friends at the Pro-Am. The event will be held Nov. 21-23.

According to the public relations staff at the event, this year with bring in plenty of celebs, including TV personalities Gayle King, Hoda Kotb and Rob Marciano, singers Gavin Rossdale and David Cook, and actors Kevin McKidd Timothy Olyphant, Maeve Quinlan and Jon Lovitz. They will play against former tennis pros Martina Navratilova, 

The first event was held in October 1989, one month after Ms. Evert’s final U.S. Open.

1989 Program Cover

The program from the first event in 1989.

Her personal assistant, Tami Starr, said, “The first year was held at the Polo Club. Whitney Houston performed. For a couple of years, we built stands at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, then the Boca Country Club. [Now, the Delray Beach Tennis Center].”

Through the years, the event has stayed pretty much the same, said Starr, adding that it brings the celebs, pros and vendors back year after year.

The camaraderie on the court seems to keep onlookers entertained every year.

Ms. Evert’s sister, Jeannie Dubin, explained, “There is a lot of joking around. Jon Lovitz keeps the score. The players and celebs. wear mics on the court. It is a great event.”

The number of people who attend not only benefit the charities that Ms. Evert supports, but also the local area. Ms. Dubin said that people stop by on Atlantic Avenue to have a drink (or get something to eat) in between matches.

Rick Vach, the communications and marketing coordinator of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said, “Celebrities come to the event year after year. It is fun to watch. The Delray Beach Tennis Center does a wonderful job. It is an incredible boon to the community.”

The steady attendance could be attributed to the popularity of the sport, according to Vach.

2013 Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic

Jon Lovitz, Mats Wilander, Chrissie, Elisabeth Shue, Kevin McKidd.

He said, “Tennis is the top growing recreational sport in the last 10 years. The number of people playing is on a constant upswing.”

Besides sponsoring the Pro-Celebrity Classic, local businesses can also set up booths and showcase their products and services yearly as well.

The Tri-County Humane Society goes every year to show off their dogs that are up for adoption.

Co-founder Susie Goldsmith said, “We go back because the people who put it on are wonderful friends of the animals. They gave us this opportunity to have the animals there “taking center court.” People can see these beautiful dogs and come over and adopt; don’t shop. It is a win-win all the way around.”

The Humane Society dogs will receive a “Bow-to-Wow” makeover before being paraded in front of everyone in the stadium, escorted by event celebs.

But this is not the only animal-friendly event.

Dog lovers can get some love at the puppy kissing booth for only $1. The money helps the Humane Society.

In addition, man’s best friend shows off some skills at a special K-9 demonstration. Former Navy Seal Mike Ritland, who trains dogs for the military and law enforcement, will bring along his 3-year old Dutch Shepherd to do the demonstrations in between matches.

There is never a dull moment at the event, as there is plenty of entertainment to be enjoyed.

GISELLA - CHRIS EVERT EVENT - GARY GOODMAN'S ASSISTANT - BASKET ILLUSION (3)

Illusionist Gary Goodman will perform at half-time.

Illusionist Gary Goodman looks forward to performing again this year. He has been part of the center court half-time entertainment for 10 years. He is familiar with performing at athletic functions; he also has worked for the Miami Heat for eight seasons.

I will be doing grand illusions like you see in Las Vegas,” said Goodman, who performs magic full-time around the country. “I will be working with my female assistant. It will be six or seven minutes of fast-paced illusions.”

Kids can stop by the Festival du Soleil where they will find plenty of fun and games. They can event get their face-painted. Children 10 years and under receive free admission (must be accompanied by an adult).

Although the event is filled with fun, it all comes down to giving back to charity. Since its inception, the event has provided over $21.2 million toward fighting against drug abuse and child neglect in the state.

When asked why she started the event, Chris Evert said, “I wanted to give back as I have been so fortunate. I want to give people a second chance.”

She wanted to give back earlier in her career, but did not feel she could give enough time, opting instead to wait until she was able to devote more of herself to the cause and to oversee it.

Her first event helped The Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County open drug treatment facilities. She later joined with The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, a non-profit who helps to prevent issues like drug abuse by pregnant women and mothers. The governor at the time of the event’s inception, Governor Martinez, matched the funds Ms. Evert received, which doubled the funds afterward.

Last year, the event raised $600,000 dollars.

Lonnie Parizek, director of communications at Ounce of Prevention, said that Ms. Evert is “an outspoken advocate for something that affects the most vulnerable populations, such as children who are abused.”

She added that Ms. Evert also gives back through a scholarship [the Vitas Gerulaitis scholarship] for women and girls.

Ms. Parizek said, “It helps women to better themselves and get an education. Thirty-eight scholarships have been given. This year is the 39th. There are one to two [recipients] per year. Once or twice, it was three. [In order to apply for the scholarship], girls write an essay on their experiences, their goals and dreams.”

If you are ready to watch the matches, meet the celebrities and pros and enjoy the fun, buy your tickets quickly. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 561-394-2400, or visit www.chrisevert.org.

IN BOX:

Event at a glance:

Tennis Pro-Am and Classic Cocktail Reception

Where: Boca Raton Resort & Club

When: Friday, Nov. 21

What: Mingle poolside with participants, enjoy music and sample the hors d’oeuvres while sipping on cocktails in style.

Pro-Celebrity Tennis

Where: Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center

When: Saturday, Nov. 22 & Sunday, Nov. 23

What: Play tennis with the pros and enjoy lunch with the participants.

Tickets: $20 general admission; $40 to $90, premium seating

Charity Gala

Where: Boca Resort & Club

When: Saturday, Nov. 22

What: Dinner, dancing, live entertainment, as well as live and silent auctions.

Tickets: $750; sponsorship packets with other events available.

 

 

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Annunziata headed to sectional skating event

Posted on 30 October 2014 by L.Moore

sports103014By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach’s Lara Annunziata recently placed third in the Ladies Final and qualified for the 2015 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships, which will be held in Raleigh, NC from Nov. 19-23.

It marked the second consecutive year that Annunziata, 11, a Shepherd of the Coast sixth grader, finished third at the regional competition. Annunziata was one of 29 skaters from the Panthers Figure Skating Club (PFSC) that went to competition.

I am happy I made it to sectionals again,” said Annunziata, who moved up to a higher division this year. “It’s a little longer program and has an extra jump. It is a little more tiring.”

Annunziata said it is important to make eye contact with the judges and the sectional qualification is a culmination of her hard work throughout the year.

I really don’t think of anything when I am out on the ice,” she said. “I kind of go with the flow. I clear my mind. It is really important to go to sectionals in my first time at this level.”

Deerfield Beach’s Rachel Metzner placed 11th in the Novice Ladies Division. The 15-year-old North Broward Prep sophomore also moved up a division this year and has been skating for the past nine years.

I love everything about it,” Metzner said. “It is the way I feel on the ice. It is indescribable. I really enjoy being out on the ice. I feel free. I can do whatever I want. My friends always ask me why I do a sport that takes so much time. My answer is because I love it and it is what I want to do. I want to continue on with it in the future.”

When she first started, she had no idea it was going to morph into what it has become.

I first started taking group lessons with my friend because she was having a birthday party and I did Stanley C. Classes here,” Metzner recalled. “When I finished, I cried because I didn’t want to get off the ice so my mom signed me up for private lessons.”

She is pleased with the effort she has put into the sport. This was her fifth trip to regionals and she made it to the finals in juvenile two years ago.

I am most proud of all of the obstacles I have overcome,” Metzner said. “I have had a lot of injuries. I have had knee injuries, a broken collarbone, torn rotator cuff, collapsed lung and, right now, I have a cracked rib cage.

For me, it is cool to see how I have been able to come back from all of my injuries and still compete,” Metzner added. “I still stay motivated, which I think is really important. When I was injured, it was really hard for me for me to do. I sat at home and got ahead in my homework and got to see my friends. I wasn’t happy. My life felt incomplete when I wasn’t on the ice. I am happy I am back.”

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Tornadoes playing well

Posted on 23 October 2014 by L.Moore

sports102314By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach High School girls’ volleyball team coach William Strachan said the only opponent that can knock off the Tornadoes is themselves.

Pompano Beach (20-5) will look to win its fourth district championship on Thursday, when his team takes on Cardinal Gibbons (17-6) in the District 16-5A championship at 6 p.m.

To win states, we have to take care of the ball,” Strachan said. “In volleyball, you have to do two things — one is to make your serves, [the other is} to get that first contact on serves. We have to execute. I believe the girls, especially the seniors, are stepping up at the right time.”

Pompano Beach dropped the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA) girls’ volleyball championship last Saturday to St. Thomas Aquinas in the title game, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18 at Cardinal Gibbons High School.

I felt pretty happy about the BCAA Final,” said Strachan. “I am glad we are playing at a high level. We missed some serves down the road and St. Thomas capitalized on it. I told them our service team had to do better than their servers and that wasn’t the case in that match.”

Heading into districts, Pompano Beach ended Cypress Bay’s bid of an undefeated season and then dropped two tough matches to St. Thomas Aquinas. The Tornados have also played Chaminade, Pine Crest, Calvary Christian, Cardinal Gibbons, and Jupiter.

It prepares us,” Strachan added. “If you look at our schedule all year, we basically handpicked the top teams in South Florida to play. Playing Cypress Bay or St. Thomas is just another game for us. It’s good because if you play the top teams you hope you improve. You find out what you need to work on and right now I think we are playing at a very high level.”

The team’s losses were to St. Thomas (twice), Pine Crest, Chaminade and Jupiter.

In our losses, it is just that our team will make an error and the other team capitalizes on it and goes on a run,” Strachan said. “I think that the only team that can beat us, really, is ourselves.”

Junior Cassidy Bonito transferred from West Broward and has helped the team.

In the past, Pompano Beach has had sisters Nina and Stephanie Pellitteri (FSU), Brittany Pellitteri (FAU) and Savannah Davis (FIU) who have contributed; however this year’s squad has a different dynamic.

This is the first year where we have two big middles, where, in years past, we have always been staying on the outsides,” Strachan said. “I felt good this year because we have Paige (Alsten) in the middle and I think she is the best middle in the county. Our second middle Jasmine (Souverein-Reisert), even though she doesn’t have the touches or the experience, she is 6-ft. 4-in. and that makes her a factor.

We have Nikki (Esposito) and Tara (Brannen) on the outsides and they are good players,” Strachan said. “Both of my setters like to hit too, so that is helpful. Our worst opponent is ourselves sometimes. We have to execute and play at a top level. If we do that, we’ll win. We have got to work better on finishing strong and we’ll do that in the next week or two. If we can execute, I don’t think there is a team that will beat us.”

Alsten, a senior middle blocker and the team’s most dominant hitter, is committed to Webber College in Georgia. Esposito, a senior outside hitter, is committed to play sand volleyball at FSU. Other top players for the Tornados include Casey Calhoun (senior setter), Cassidy Bonito (junior setter), Tara Brannen (junior outside hitter), Cori Smothers (junior libero).

HOOPS FOR A CURE

The City of Pompano Beach and Blanche Ely High School are going to duke it out on the court in a Hoops For a Cure Basketball Challenge to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month next Wednesday, [Oct. 29] at 5 p.m. in the school’s gym.

As part of the city’s wellness program, employees from Pompano’s public works and utilities departments formed a Hoops For Health basketball team that has been playing basketball every week after hours as part of the wellness initiative.

They challenged the Blanche Ely High School varsity basketball team, teachers and staff to a basketball competition to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both teams will be wearing pink for the game.

Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher will take part in the basketball game for this worthy cause.

The Blanche Ely High School Marching Band, teachers and city employees will also be in attendance to cheer on their team and show their support.

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Plantation’s last second win spoils Tigers’ hoopla

Posted on 16 October 2014 by L.Moore

sports101614By Gary Curreri

For the third time this season, host Blanche Ely had a bad taste of déjà vu.

It was the first home game for the Tigers after spending the first five weeks on the road. It also marked the debut of a new, state-of-the-art scoreboard that was donated by 2008 Ely grad Patrick Peterson, now with the Arizona Cardinals, former head coach William Facteau and other community leaders.

The product on the field was competitive, but, for the third time this season, Blanche Ely let a late lead slip away and lost in the closing minute of the contest.

Maurquice Flowers rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns, including a 2-yard run, with 57 seconds remaining, to propel Plantation to a 31-23 victory over Blanche Ely in a non-district game last Friday night that also marked the return of former Tigers coach Steve Davis.

Davis, who spent 10 years at Blanche Ely and won the Class 5A state title at the school in 2002, won for the second consecutive season at his former school. He is 2-2 in regular season games, not including a kickoff classic win during that span. Plantation won 32-26 last season.

Flowers’ second score capped an 8-play, 93-yard drive to hand the Tigers its third loss in the closing minute this season. It also dropped games to Deerfield Beach and Miami Northwestern in the waning seconds earlier this year. Flowers and Antwuan Haynes each broke the century mark on the ground for the Colonels (4-2). Haynes finished with 101 yards on 14 carries.

That’s really cool,” Davis said of the scoreboard. “I am a big time Ely guy. I spent a lot of years here. I really think the new scoreboard and all of the other stuff is well deserved. Hopefully, it was a little distraction for them. This was a real important game. It is not a district game, but ,when you look at the power rankings for Broward County, it lets you know where you stand.”

Blanche Ely (2-4) christened its new $100,000 scoreboard on a 38-yard field goal by Carmeley Charite with 3 minutes left in the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead.

Plantation took the ensuing kickoff and marched 80 yards in nine plays to take a 7-3 lead on a 4-yard scoring toss from Archie Banton to Yvon St. Louis with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Blanche Ely, which also debuted new uniforms, capitalized on an interception by Terrance Henley to grab a 10-7 lead on a 5-yard scoring run by Demeterice Bellamy with 2:54 remaining in the first half. The Colonels took the lead shortly before halftime when Banton broke three tackles and bulled in from 10-yards out on a quarterback keeper.

The Tigers capitalized on another turnover deep in Plantation territory and converted it into another score. Zackery Purdue found Therrell Gosier for a 13-yard scoring play with 2:30 left in the third quarter for a 17-14 lead.

Plantation took the ensuing kickoff and moved 80 yards in 11 plays capped by a 7-yard scoring run by Flowers for a 21-17 lead. The Tigers answered on a 33-yard scoring toss from Perdue to Thomas Geddis to seize a 23-21 lead before the visiting Colonels battled back.

I think we had to eliminate the big play because Ely is a big play team,” Davis added. “We were able to control the ground game and the corner backs played well. I think a win over a good team like Ely will really catapult our season tonight. We have to keep moving forward.”

Blanche Ely coach Nakia Jenkins admitted his team is young, but needs to play four quarters of football.

We need to learn to finish,” said Jenkins, who is in his first year at the school as head coach. “We should be easily 5-1 right now. We have to put teams away early. It is definitely motivation. I tell these guys all of the time they don’t know how good they can be. We are going to be really good once we put it all together.”

If he were doling out mid-season grades, Jenkins said he would give his team a C-plus.

We are very young,” Jenkins said. “We are about 80 percent of our JV team from last year. We are get- ting better. Hopefully, at the back end of the season, we can put a lot of things together … We have to keep building and stay healthy. We have to get them together, rally, work on technique and we are at the back end of the season … and get district champs. We just have to take it one game at a time.”

Blanche Ely Athletic Director Andrea Johnson was thrilled with the new scoreboard.

It is really cool,” Johnson said. “It really goes with the state-of-the-art field that we have here. The community fought really hard to get it. They just beat the ground getting the donations so we could have this for our school, for our kids and for our community.

Patrick Peterson and Bill Facteau were the major donors,” Johnson added. “The installation took a week. It’s amazing. The capabilities it has, the clarity of the screen … it is a wonderful addition to the stadium. We are still working out the kinks and figuring out all of the wonderful technology, but we will be able to show replays, advertisements and a lot of other cool stuff. We have cameras and all of that.”

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Bucks’ keep playoff hopes alive

Posted on 09 October 2014 by L.Moore

sports100914By Jacob Shendell

Deerfield Beach comes out on top defeating Taravella High School, winning their first District 11-8A game to the score of 14-7 last Thursday night.

Both teams needed a district win — Deerfield (3-3) coming off of a 24-21 loss to Coral Springs High School and Taravella (1-4) with a 45-7 win over Coral Glades High School the week before.

Deerfield came out guns blazing. Quarterback Jefftey Joseph, combined with offensive weapons Antonio Cartagena and Giavante Evans, marched down the field to the Taravella 20-yard line before running into trouble. Deerfield Beach fumbled the ball with the Trojans recovering it on the 3rd down, having no gain, stopped after the fumble.

Deerfield stopped the Trojans on their drive, forcing them to punt the ball on 4th down, starting their drive at their own 36 yard-line. Kobe Farrish led the drive, carrying the ball on five of the six plays. He ended the drive with a 1-yard gain; he punched into the end zone to give the Bucks the lead 7-0 with 2:15 left in the 1st quarter.

Taravella responded right back with a touchdown in the second quarter with an 80-yard drive by Tyler Hunter tying the game up 7-7. The tie was short lived as the Bucks’ WR Antonio Cartagena caught a huge pass from Joseph running it down the field for an 80-yard touchdown play to put the Bucks’ up 14-7 to close out the third quarter.

In the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Trojans were making a huge effort toward the Deerfield Beach end zone only to be stopped by a lightning delay on the Deerfield Beach 21-yard line. Play resumed 40 minutes after the delay. Deerfield stopped the Trojans on 3rd down at the end of the drive.

The score remained the same throughout the rest of the game. Deerfield won 14-7.

Tomorrow night, Deerfield is in Sunrise playing Piper High School (2-3). The last time these two teams met was on the Deerfield Beach Homecoming night, where Piper lost (53-8).

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18th Annual Dunn’s Run

Posted on 05 October 2014 by JimLusk

IMG_9012

 

 

By Rachel Galvin

The cooler weather was a refreshing change for the participants of this year’s Dunn’s Run.

For the 18th year, the large crowd lined up behind the starting line for the 5K walk/ run and 5 mile run benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.

With a time of 16:59, Gabe Leitz was the first to cross the finish line. A winner last year as well, Leitz was barely breathing hard after the race, although he said, “I sound better than I feel.”

IMG_9022

Gabe Leitz, winner of 5K race, was the first across the finish line.

The first woman across was Valerie Mebane with a time of 20:17. She had to walk it off following the run, but had her training partner with her to cheer her on.

The five mile winners came in at 26:21 and 29:39, respectively, Chris Miller and Alice Henley, who easily got lost among the crowd, which gradually took over the street to welcome the runners and walkers.

Besides the race, there also were plenty of vendor booths to peruse and several types of auctions conducted following, as well as the awards ceremony.

To see all the results, visit www.splitsecondtiming.com.

See more pictures in the October 9 issue of Observer Newspaper. SEE VIDEO ON OBSERVER TV!

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Beach tennis event draws 84 competitors

Posted on 02 October 2014 by L.Moore

Chelsea Hall (Sarasota), left, and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa), reached the final of the Women’s A Division in the tournament where they lost to Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas. Photo by Gary Curreri

Chelsea Hall (Sarasota), left, and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa), reached the final of the Women’s A Division in the tournament where they lost to Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Adrienne Cerra knows what it is like to put on a successful beach tennis event and she also found her way onto the winner’s podium at the September Beach Tennis G-4 Tournament on Pompano Beach Sept. 21.

Cerra, the International Federation of Beach Tennis- USA president, teamed with Miramar’s Christy Garzon to win the Women’s Pro Division of the tournament with a win over teenagers Megan Horwitz (Pembroke Pines) and Erika Ponce (Miramar).

The tournament featured 84 players who competed in Men’s and Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Juniors Doubles (12 and under) in both pro and amateur divisions.

The IFBT-USA held a World Cup Triple Crown tournament during the summer that featured top players from all over the U.S.A., as well as Brazil, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Aruba, Peru, Columbia and Germany, who represented their countries.

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. This event served as a warm-up for a G-1 tournament in Cancun, Mexico. It was more of a local one so there were medals and ranking points.

We try and do one every month, so it is a monthly event,” Cerra said. “It is called a Grade 4, which is pretty much a local tournament. A G-3 tournament gets more people from out of the town. A G-2 is more of a national and a G-1 is an international tournament. These local tournaments are a way for us to introduce the sport. Some people come by out of curiosity, or they heard of it and they come out to play.”

Cerra said they also have free weekly practices at the beach to help introduce the sport to players.

There are beginners and we also leave a court for people to try and come out and play with us,” Cerra said. “We give people paddles and balls and we will demo the sport. They can try it and, if they like it, they are welcome to play. They can play right away. The learning curve is pretty small. We are always there every weekend, and then, once a month, we try and have a local tournament.”

Miramar residents Sofia Ponce and Marisela Sardinas captured the Women’s A Division with a win over Chelsea Hall (Sarasota) and her partner Michelle Guidicessi (Tampa). Ponce, who picked up her first ever win on the beach, said she likes the competitive attitude and camaraderie among the players.

It is nice because you can still be friends with someone knowing that they have given you their A game,” Ponce said. “I know my friends would not like it if I didn’t give them my all in my game. It is a sign of respect. If they beat me, they beat me fair and square. It is more passion and competitiveness and always trying to improve and get better.”

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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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FLICKS: A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Skeleton Twins & FLIFF

Posted on 26 September 2014 by L.Moore

flicks092514

By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal.Com

For over 30 years, Liam Neeson has been a consistent character actor in support of actors like Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, and the Batman.

In his recent film releases, such as Taken, The Grey and Non Stop, Neeson has taken on the role as the iconic leading man in American movies. With A Walk Among the Tombstones, Neeson gives a simple performance, but with nuanced moments of vulnerability and nobility.

Former New York cop turned private investigator Matthew Scudder (Neeson) is hired by a shabby character that he meets at an AA meeting.

The shabby character reveals that his brother is a drug kingpin who needs a private investigator. It turns out that the wife of the drug kingpin has been murdered and the crime lord wants revenge.

However, revenge is not easy because the motives seem convoluted. Could the killers be from a rival gang? Could this be a conspiracy grown from the incompetency of the DEA?

Scudder unravels this mystery while confronting a personal demon of his own, alcoholism.

The best part about this film is the relationship between Scudder and TJ (Brian “Astro” Bradley), a homeless boy with sickle cell anemia. The relationship grows out of respect for great detective literature from Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, with life lessons about the importance of maintaining good pistol maintenance.

The biggest flaw in this film is the climatic ending. As Scudder takes matters into his own hands, we heard a narration expressing the 12 Steps of alcohol recovery. While the intention may have been noble, the juxtaposition between audio and the visual is jarring.

On a lighter note, The Skeleton Twins starring Saturday Night Live alumnus Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig opens this weekend. It is a story about estranged twins who decide to come to grips with maturity.

The 2014 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival has announced their celebrity line-up for the season, featuring veterans Jason Alexander and George Hamilton. The daughters of David Mamet and Robert Carradine, Clara Mamet and Ever Carradine, respectively, will be in attendance to promote their independent projects.

For more information about dates, times and ticket sales, call 954-252- FILM (3456) or visit www.fliff.com.

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