Highlands camp draws record numbers

Posted on 02 July 2015 by L.Moore

sports070215By Gary Curreri

Former Highlands Christian Academy basketball coach and athletic director Reg Cook first staged a summer basketball camp at the school 30 years ago.

It was attended by 19 athletes and not only is it still ongoing, but it is still going strong. The two weeks brought in 60 campers in the first week (7th-12th graders) and 50 in the second week (2nd-6th grade).

It was one of our most successful camps in the past 10 years,” said current Highlands Academy basketball coach and athletic director Jim Good. “We had a great group of coaches who provided energy, enthusiasm and quality instruction.”

The high school student/ athletes attended the first week of camp and then acted as assistant coaches for the second week of camp with the elementary school campers and earned community service hours.

There were also two guest speakers – Andrew Smith, a 2011 HCA alum, and Casey Wohleb, who is the head coach at North Broward Prep and also the founder of Ball by Design.

Smith attended both the elementary and high school camp sessions while he attended Highlands Christian, and recently graduated from Liberty University (Big South) where he played for the past years.

Smith is currently in China playing with an All-Star team and will then be traveling to Europe in July to pursue playing professionally in Latvia.

Andrew’s a great role model for our athletes and did a great job explaining the importance of hard work and sacrifice while trying to achieve your goals,” Good said. “Andrew uses basketball as his platform to proclaim the name of Christ.”

Good was also impressed with Wohleb, who played locally at Westminster Academy where he helped the team win a state title in 2002 as a junior and then transferred to North Broward Prep for his senior year. He went on to play at Florida Gulf Coast University and also professionally overseas.

Casey was able to come in the afternoon,” Good said. “He provided and led several quality and productive shooting drills.”

A typical morning always started off with a devotion in which several of the coaches were able to provide a spiritual thought and Scripture for the day.

The basketball activities included warm-up runs, stretching, ball handling, dribbling, and speed and agility stations.

The campers were then broken up into specific age groups to work on layups, “cone” drills and shooting. Several Gatorade contests were done throughout the day.

The trophy contests included a 1-on-1 tournament, 2-on-2 tourney, free throw shooting and a Hot Shots Competition.

Campers enjoyed lunch at Chick-Fil-A and CiCi’s Pizza. The day concluded with 5-on-5 full court games in the afternoon.

The coaches included John Wilson (boys elementary head coach/girls varsity assistant), Jim Good (Athletic Director/Boys Varsity Head Coach), Kyle Lassen (11th grade), Josh Good (boys JH head coach), Luke Still (Boys JV head coach), Matt Veynovich (10th grade), Herman Robinson (11th grade), Caris Everette (HCA alumnus 2014) and Danielle Domino (11th grade).

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Wyatt Wins; Hopes for more

Posted on 25 June 2015 by L.Moore

sports062515By Gary Curreri

A chance encounter with Phil Mickelson as a 10-year-old helped launch Wyatt Rubin’s golfing career.

I was just starting out in golf in 2007 and me and my dad went to Doral and we followed Phil Mickelson during his round,” said the 18-year-old Rubin, who lives in Pompano Beach. “He had just finished the 13th hole and flipped his golf ball to me. He said, ‘here you go kid.’ I still have that ball today. It was the Holy Grail for me.”

Rubin recently won the Junior Golf Association of Broward County’s Boys Championship Flight by firing an even par, 72 (35-37) at the Plantation Preserve Golf Club. Fellow Pompano Beach resident Isak Nilsson tied for sixth just four shots back after shooting 38- 38-76.

Rubin hit 13 of 18 greens for his win and putted well as he totaled six birdies in his round. He recorded birdies on 1, 7, 9, 11, 15 and 17 and came back from a double bogey on 10.

He started playing in the Junior Golf Association (JGA) of Broward County when he was 10 and was in the lower flights as he worked his way up. The best he had done in the JGA of Broward was tying for third at Plantation Preserve last year.

The recent Calvary Christian Academy graduate is in the process of walking on at Florida Atlantic University. He is preparing for a September tournament staged by the school for walk-on golfers.

It would be amazing to play college golf,” said Rubin, who helped his high school team win district and regional titles in golf. “Just like going to states in high school was a big deal, to be able to say I played a Division 1 sport in college would be a really good accomplishment. I am going to try my best and we’ll see.”

Golf almost wasn’t in his future. He made the Calvary Christian school team as a seventh grader, but gave up the sport in the eighth grade.

I was sick of golf,” Rubin said. “I played in a lot of tournaments that required me driving like two hours when I was younger. I played both days on the weekends and it took all of my time. I wasn’t playing very well. It was just so time consuming and it was frustrating.”

Rubin didn’t even watch golf on TV and didn’t play the sport at all for a year.

When I came back for my freshman year, I was refreshed and from then on I kept getting better and better,” Rubin said. “It was exciting because I got to hang out with all of my friends and my coach Marty Fanning, who was my teacher in the third grade and is like a mentor of mine.”

He said the JGA of Broward County has been the majority of his competitive golf experience. He likes the players and the organizers.

It is such a cool thing to wake up on a Monday morning and go play some competitive golf,” Rubin said. “Competitive golf is a feeling you can’t replicate anywhere else.”

Knowing he won a tournament that a current PGA golfer has probably won in their history is also exciting.

I was thinking the whole week after I won I was like the big man on campus for one week,” Rubin said. “I am sure there have been some really good golfers who have won the boys championship in the past.

Every time I won a lower flight tournament in the past, it felt good, but it wasn’t the Championship Flight,” he added. “And to finally pull off a championship where all the best players were in and to call myself the best in the entire JGA for that week, really felt good.”

In other divisions involving local golfers at Plantation Preserve, Pompano Beach’s Daria Korovina shot a 30 to place fourth in the Girls B Division. Weston’s Polina Anisimova carded a 25 to win the division.

Two Pompano Beach golfers finished fourth and sixth respectively in the Boys Junior Division. Dylan Glatt shot a 42-41-83 to finish fourth, while Nicklaus O’Bryan was sixth just three shots back with a 43-43-86.

Deerfield Beach’s Justin Danzansky carded a 48 to finish seventh in the Boys A Division. He was seven shots back of Sunrise’s Orangel Machado. In the Boys E Division, Daniel Melnick of Pompano Beach shot a 24 to finish four shots behind winner Evan Kuperman of Parkland.

Pompano Beach’s Mateo Desmond carded a 14 to tie for second with Lauderhill’s Israel Bailey in the Boys F Division. Pembroke Pines’ Jose Esteras also shot a 2-over par, 14 and won the division on a tiebreaker.

There are five more weeks left in the JGA of Broward season, including the three-day final tournament to be held at the end of July at Jacaranda Golf Club, Woodlands Country Club and Ft. Lauderdale Country Club.

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Oceans234 unveils plan for remodeling

Posted on 25 June 2015 by L.Moore

society062515By Rachel Galvin

After their first step of launching the sale of their engraved brick pavers on June 11, which will wind along from the front of the restaurant to the beach, Oceans234 held another event to unveil the rest of the plans for a million dollar renovation that will take place in August.

The renovations, by A.W. Rosse & Associates, will take place over 8 weeks. On June 23, Media was invited to see renderings of the new look and try samples of some of their new flavors. They will have a new logo and the interior and exterior will be completely revamped, including the bar area.

They are not adding to their square footage, said owner Danielle Rosse, but being more efficient in their use of space. The indoor will extend onto the patio, a perfect locale for private occasions, seating 40 people.

The fresh new look is accompanied by new flavors. For starters, you will be able to try fried calamari, chicken lettuce wraps, seared pork belly, crab cake or more. “Land and Sea” will offer plenty of entrée options from grilled bronzino, tuna or Mahi Mahi to filet mignon, skirt steak, free range chicken or even Lobster mac and cheese.

Rather grab a sandwich? You can try a burger or get more exotic with a dolphin sandwich or blackened snapper reuben. They will have plenty of salad selections, like Thai Chicken, Poached Pear or Shrimp and Crab salad, and many sushi options too.

There will be a “Renovation Unveiling” for the general public at a happy hour Friday, June 26 at 5 to 7 p.m. at the restaurant. There are plenty of events summer-long as well.

Brick pavers, which can be engraved with name or logo, benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, Deerfield Chamber of Commerce and Broward Health Foundation’s KIDS Campaign. They are still for sale online or at the restaurant. Their goal is to raise $50,000 and they have already raised $18,000.

For more details on all of the above and upcoming events, visit www.oceans234. com.

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Teen arrested in Deerfield Park Elementary school burglary

Posted on 22 June 2015 by JimLusk

pic18-year-old Solomon Shiver was arrested June 14 for stealing 10 laptops and a $23,000 video conferencing system from Deerfield Park Elementary.

Shiver had trespassed on the school twice and he could be seen on video walking around the school and also stealing items.

His arrest came about due to an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers.

He faces charges of grand theft and burglary.



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Pompano Beach Middle takes third in county

Posted on 18 June 2015 by L.Moore

sports061815By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach Middle School eighth-grader Shariff Rodriguez couldn’t have picked a better time to perform his best.

Rodriguez, 14, bettered his previous best throw by nearly 11-ft. in winning the discus event (109-02.50) to take first place in the recent Broward County Middle School Track and Field championships at Coral Springs High School.

His performance helped the boys’ team place third with 30 points.

It was my greatest throw I made in track ever,” said Rodriguez, of Pompano Beach, whose previous best was 98-ft., 6-in. “When I heard the total, my heart was just pounding. I was happy they had to get another measuring tape because the first one had run out.”

My nerves struck, threw me, and my right arm just felt like Superman,” Rodriguez said. “I just got in the circle and all my nerves filled me up while I was throwing and all of a sudden I just let the disc go and it did its job. That surprised me a lot. This is really big. It is a blessing to be here.”

It was redemption for Rodriguez, who thought he had won the regional competition last year; however, his throw of 87- ft., 9-in. didn’t count because he was disqualified.

I threw the game-winning throw and stepped out the front (of the ring) and got disqualified so I couldn’t get to county’s last year,” Rodriguez said. “So, this year, I kept reminding myself to go through the back.”

Rodriguez, who hopes to throw in college, said he is unsure why he was able to better his mark so substantially this year.

I don’t really know,” Rodriguez said. “Every sport I do, the nerves fill in my stomach before I compete. I was about to fall apart because it was county meet and the nerves just went through me, and I just threw and went as far as I could.”

Other top performers for the Bengals included: Pompano Beach Middle’s Joshua Scott, who was fourth in the high jump (5-04); Jovan Williams, who took fifth in the 100-meter hurdles (15.92); Tosheum Meade, who was fifth in the boys 200-meter dash (24.48), and Brian McClain, who captured seventh in the boys 800-meter run (2:20.39).

The Pompano boys’ 4×100- meter relay took third with a time of 46.41, while the Bengals’ 4×400-meter boys’ relay was fourth with a time of 3:52.81.

The girls team took sixth with 20 points led by Jaleah Williams, who finished third in the girls’ 400-meter dash (59.81). The girls’ 4×100-meter relay was second with a time of 51.27, while the girls’ 4×400- meter relay was third with a time of 4:23.88.


For the first time ever, the Broward County Middle School Athletic Association (MSAA) handed out Scholar/Athlete Awards. Every MSAA middle school was eligible to select students to receive this award.

The awards ceremony was held at the Plantation High School Auditorium on May 28. Each student named by a middle school was recognized and presented with a scholar athlete medallion.

Local middle school scholar athlete award winners included: Rodriguez from Pompano Beach Middle for the boys and Allegra Allen (girls). Deerfield Beach was represented by Claire Ries (girls) and Zacharie Saint Victor (boys).

Each member school was eligible to select a male and female from their school to receive this award,” said Michael Roland, student activities liaison for Broward County Public Schools.

To be eligible, a student must have an unweighted 3.0 GPA, have no ‘U’s for the entire year and have participated in two sports.”

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FLICKS: Jurassic World

Posted on 18 June 2015 by L.Moore

flicks061815By Dave Montalbano

Those who have been reading my column for over 15 years know that I am not going to give Jurassic World a bad review. It has everything a summer blockbuster movie is supposed to have: action, adventure, romance and humor. I am certain when I see the film again, I will get really annoyed by some of the story flaws (Really- two Afghanistan Veterans would entrust their lives to a pilot without an aviation license?),but, overall, I am pleased that this film has been breaking box office records. It offers something for everyone.

It has been 22 years since visionary John Hammond opened Jurassic Park. The designer flaws were minimized and the dinosaur park has expanded into Jurassic World. As entertainment parks become more competitive, so does the need to draw new customers, thus creating a new exhibit – the Indominus Rex – a genetic Frankenstein monster made of predatory dinosaur DNA. When things go chaotic,animal expert Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is called upon to tame the creature. Despite being an animal expert, the administrative brain trust ignore Grady’s wisdom and the situation gets worse.

The dinosaurs are the stars; yet,actors Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins and Judy Greer keep the human element interesting. The special effects extravaganza delivers first rate action sequences.

One standout scene involves Pratt’s battle with a pteranodon. While the scope of the scene is epic, it is the small details that make this scene nerve racking and dangerous.

Even the night time climax is presented with visual clarity,depending on where one sits. I was fortunate enough to see it at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science IMAX Theater (MODS) where the dinosaurs were actual size on a five-storey movie screen. The film will be showing at IMAX until June 30. I’ve heard reports that, at some screenings, people could not see the dinosaur’s heads on smaller screens.

While best known for portraying“Marty” in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, actor/stuntman Martin Klebba portrayed “the pteranodon” in Jurassic World. Wearing “motion capture pajamas,” Klebba was injured when actor Chris Pratt threw him down during a fight scene. Shaking it off, Klebba repeatedly performed the same stunt again in what became a very memorable scene from the movie.

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Detectives ID Early-Morning Bank Robber

Posted on 12 June 2015 by JimLusk

A bank robbery suspect was shot and killed Thursday morning (6/11/15) in Pompano Beach after he reached under the seat and pulled out a gun as deputies tried to take him into custody.

Detectives with the Broward Sheriff’s Office Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response team received information about a bank robber sought by the Port St. Lucie Police Department and the FBI. BSO detectives provided assistance in the investigation by conducting surveillance at the last known address of the suspect, Charles Ziegler, 40, which was in the city of Pompano Beach. Deputies confirmed the vehicle parked in front of the residence, a white Lexus, belonged to Ziegler. After about 15 minutes, Ziegler and an older female exited the home and got into the Lexus. They drove a short distance, pulling into a parking spot at a commercial strip mall at 1347 E. Sample Rd.

BSO detectives boxed in the suspect’s vehicle and approached on foot from both sides. Detectives grabbed the woman and pulled her out. At the same time, detectives approaching the driver side of the vehicle were met with resistance by Ziegler. He broke free from the deputy’s grip, reached under the passenger seat and pulled out a .44 Magnum revolver. Four BSO deputies fired their weapons simultaneously, fatally wounding the suspect.

No BSO deputies were injured. The female passenger was taken to a nearby district office to be interviewed, though detectives do not believe she was involved in the suspect’s criminal activity.

Per standard protocol, the four deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative duty for at least three days while the investigation is being conducted.

BSO homicide, internal affairs and crime scene detectives continue the investigation.

Anyone with information or who witnessed this morning’s incident should contact BSO Homicide Detective Bryan Tutler  at 954-321-4281.

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Rapa Nui Reef sinking

Posted on 07 June 2015 by JimLusk


Before sinking, June 7, off Deerfield’s pier.

By Rachel Galvin

On Sunday, June 7, a large crowd gathered on Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier to get a glimpse of the Rapa Nui Reef being sunk. This public art project consisting of 15 Moai heads, molded after the statues found in Easter Island made by the ancient Polynesian people, had made its trek from Stuart, FL and found its way down the Intracoastal Waterway on Friday to dock at Two Georges before heading to the Atlantic for the sinking.

The Rapa Nui Reef was created by artist Dennis MacDonald following the vision of benefactor Margaret Blume.


After sinking, June 7, off Deerfield’s pier.

When the reef went down, with the barge it sat upon, it appeared to tip over. It appears to have ended up upside down at the bottom with some of the statues breaking off. It is unknown what type of repairs will be attempted at this time.

Boats surrounded the barge to capture the excitement and divers videotaped below. (To find out more about how the barge was sunk, read Nautical Views in this week’s paper).

The event on the end of the pier was emceed by Jim “Chiefy” Mathie and several dignitaries spoke, including Mayor Jean Robb, who declared it Margaret Blume day, Commissioners Joe Miller (Dist. 1), Gloria Battle (Dist. 2), Richard Rosenzweig (Dist. 3) and Vice Mayor Bill Ganz (Dist. 4), as well as County Commissioner Chip LaMarca and Marti McGeary, 2nd vice president  of The Woman’s Club.


The Rapa Nui Reef comes down the Intracoastal, Friday, June 5, toward Two Georges in Deerfield Beach.


Steve Scaggs, owner of Two Georges, stands next to Arlinton Pavan, owner of Dixie Divers (seated), at fundraiser at Two Georges Saturday, June 6.


Artist Dennis MacDonald with his Rapa Nui Reef, Friday, June 5.


Special themed drink–Naked Moai, was available this weekend at Two Georges and other local locales.

The weekend was filled with activities, including a Pier Clean-Up by Dixie Divers (and Arlinton Pavan, who was instrumental in finding the barge, as well as supervising, coordinating and videotaping the sinking), a fundraiser for Public Art at Two Georges on Saturday night, including a silent auction and dinner, as well as a Moai ice sculpture. The restaurant even served a special drink for the occasion, the Naked Moai, with Naked Turtle Rum, Mango, Pineapple and Coconut Water. Their Happy Hour on Friday was also popular. The Woman’s Club, who sponsored the event, also sold T-Shirts to benefit Public Art.

SEE MORE PICS in this week’s paper.


Jim “Chiefy” Mathie emcees at sinking event Sunday, June 7.


Marti McGeary, president of The Woman’s Club, presents benefactor Margaret Blume with a thank you and a plaque, Saturday, June 6.

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Beach Tennis event attracts 250 competitors

Posted on 04 June 2015 by L.Moore

sports060415By Gary Curreri

Gaspar Cecchi can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon.

The 12-year-old from Miami Beach has been playing beach tennis for the past two years and he was one of an estimated 250 competitors who took part in the 7th annual Deerfield Beach World Cup Beach Tennis event this past weekend in Deerfield Beach.

It is my type of game, my type of sport,” Cecchi said. “It is a racquet and a ball. There is no bounce. It is outside on the beach and I get a tan. You are diving and I get to be with my friends and family. It is better than just spending time sitting on a couch watching TV and playing video games inside.”

Cecchi views winning as being important.

In tournaments, it is very important for me to win because later on you get better,” Cecchi said. “You play harder opponents and learn from it. When I play A Division or Open Divisions, I get pro points. You get higher (rankings) and maybe you get as high as the pros.”

In this tournament, he played in both the Men’s Open and Junior Division.

I like playing against the men,” Cecchi said. “There are some people who are tough. They play better or they are tall. They can also run more. The hardest to me are the lefties because you don’t know where to shoot the ball. If you are a righty, you know where to put it. If you are a righty against a lefty or a lefty against a righty it is harder because you don’t know where to put it.”

The International Beach Tennis-USA event was cosponsored this year by Frank Congemi and SEXY Beach Tennis as a co-title sponsor, along with Dos Equis Beer. The three sponsors put up the $5,000 winners purse that was handed out to the various divisions.

Adrienne Cerra, president of the International Beach Tennis-USA, said the event doubled in size this year to 250 competitors.

We used a lot of social media and the word is getting around how awesome Deerfield Beach is,” Cerra said. “We were very pleased with the turnout. This is going to be in the Olympics. We just have to continue to grow the sport. There are people playing all over the world. There are thousands and we are going to continue to try and get the support of the sponsors, and the media and TV will help.”

Simply Soccer Camp

Area residents are invited to attend the Simply Soccer camp at Mullins Park in Coral Springs.

Simply Soccer seeks boys and girls, ages 5-14, of all skill levels, for its 27th annual summer camp series that begins this week in Coral Springs.

This summer’s camp dates are: June 8-12, 15-19, 22-26; July 6-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27- 31; Aug. 3-7, 10-14, 17-21.

There are three sessions ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program from 9 a.m. to noon. Players will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

It is the longest running soccer camp offered by the city. Campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. For information on the Coral Springs camp, call 954-345-2200.

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Crocketts return with camp

Posted on 28 May 2015 by L.Moore

sports052815By Gary Curreri

Former National Football League players Henri Crockett and his brother Zachary Crockett returned to their hometown roots this past Saturday and put on their annual football clinic at the Four Fields Complex in Pompano Beach.

Henri Crockett, 40, who played linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings, along with his brother Zachary, 42, a former fullback for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys, treated nearly 300 local children to football drills and lunches during a USA Football FUNdamentals clinic.

Both men grew up in Pompano Beach, and graduated from Blanche Ely High School, before they both played at Florida State University in their path to the NFL.

The free, one-day clinic is designed to introduce children, ages 6-16, to football by teaching basic skills in a fun and energetic environment and is supported through a grant from the NFL Foundation.

FUNdamentals incorporates a series of drills to teach passing, catching and running skills in a non-contact setting. All skills and drills selected are based on USA Football’s Player Progression Development Model, ensuring children are learning in an age-appropriate manner, based on their cognitive and physical maturity.

The event marked the 10th time that the Crockett Foundation hosted its annual Life Skills & Football Camp in partnership with USA Football FUNdamentals. USA Football is the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.

We took a couple of years off because we were competing with the camps by Clint Sessions and Patrick Peterson,” said Henri Crockett, who lives in Cooper City. “My brother and I had been doing this so long that we just wanted to step back and give the guys that are playing in the NFL now a chance to give back and do their thing.

The city asked us if we could do one of these this year and it was important for us to do this because they are the future,” Henri said. “It is important for us to come out here and show them that we care. This is really important. They are not all going to make it to the NFL or the NBA and we understand that. That’s why we call this a life skills camp and not just a football camp. We talk to them about life. It is important for them to not only have a back-up plan, but to have a plan.”

Zachary Crockett, of Miami Shores, agreed: “We are teaching them the fundamentals about life skills, telling the kids to stay away from conflict and to be able to get it done in both the classroom and the field.

You have to have a foundation in everything you do. We took some time off to let the other guys get their camps established and now we are doing things with our reading center. We want kids to know it is going to take more than football to get to the next level. We (Henri and I) had to get it done in the classroom too, and your character is also important. At the end of the day, there is no ‘I’ in team and the game is bigger than you.”

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