Posted on 22 January 2015 by L.Moore
Posted on 22 January 2015 by L.Moore
What a difference a few years makes.
After being cut from the middle school team as an eighth-grader at Zion Lutheran, senior Keith Stone is making up for lost time.
The 6’8”, 230 lb. senior who averaged 28 points and six rebounds last season has the Lions primed for another postseason run. Zion Lutheran entered the week at 15-5 with narrow defeats to Cardinal Gibbons, Dillard, First Academy (Orlando), and Spring Valley and Dreher (both Columbia, SC).
“When I got cut from middle school, I really didn’t feel like doing it then, and coach Francis (Bornelous) came and got me,” Stone, 17, of Deerfield Beach, said. “I worked real hard, spent the summer with him. He helped me out. He trained me every day for free, so I owe him the world. Look at me today. I am just doing my thing, getting better at basketball and learning the game.”
Stone, who played goalkeeper in a recreational soccer league and baseball before giving basketball a try when he enrolled at Zion Lutheran, has come full circle. He recently signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Florida next fall. His future college coach, Billy Donovan, was in attendance watching Stone play at the Kreul Classic holiday tournament in Coral Springs.
“My old coach who cut me was proud of me and didn’t know I would turn out this way,” said Stone. “It helped me because it is the way my work ethic is set up. I like to work and I ain’t scared to work.”
It was hard in the beginning for Stone, who chose University of Florida over South Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech and Alabama. Stone is rated a four-star prospect and the nation’s 100th best (No. 9 in Florida) prospect for 2015 by ESPN and a three-star (No. 127 overall) by Rivals.
“At first, I didn’t want to play basketball anymore,” Stone said. “I didn’t want to do nothing. I stayed home, played my video games and just sulked. Then, I thought to myself that this man (Bornelous) wanted me to become better in basketball and I might as well take that chance because I didn’t get that chance in middle school. I went with him.”
Stone believes he has improved in his ball handling and stretching the defense in the last couple of years. He can step out and knock down 3s. He also believes his supporting cast is better.
“Our team is much better this year,” Stone said. “We have been, as a whole, since our 9th grade year. We all know each other. We all love each other and, since we are together almost every day, the communication is great on the court.”
Zion Lutheran boys’ basketball coach John Guion said the Kreul Classic helped his team.
“We had three great tests,” Guion said. “We played different kinds of teams and I just think it does a great job preparing us for what we are going to see in the playoffs and down the road.
“The whole key right now for us is to continue to get better,” Guion added. “We continue to see different things so we are continually learning from those mistakes that we make and the success that we have. We had a considerable amount of success this weekend.”
Guion said the team has also shown that it has more than Stone.
“Coming in, we know we have Brandon Bornelous ,who is a great shooter, and we know we have Keith, who is a dynamic weapon,” Guion said. “I wasn’t sure what the others around him were going to do. The best thing that I have seen is that we have a lot of people stepping up like Kevin Dailey, Rashad Witty and Edwin Louis. This is just a better collective team than we had last year. They are really good with each other.”
Stone is looking forward to the future.
“Winning state this year would be the icing on the cake,” Stone said. “I’d love to finish out my senior season with a state ring and then I head off to Florida.”
Posted on 15 January 2015 by L.Moore
Blanche Ely High School senior Therell Gosier is headed to the University of Miami next year to play football. He still has a few items to cross off his bucket list before he graduates.
Gosier, 19, of Pompano Beach, is hoping to keep the Tigers boys’ basketball team on track for an undefeated season. Blanche Ely entered this week’s action at 15-0.
“I knew we would be this good, but I didn’t think we’d be this good early,” said the 6-7, 210-lb. center. “We still have a couple of kinks we still have to work out.
“We are trying to do something special,” added Gosier, who averages 14.6 points and 8.5 rebounds a game. “We have a chance to be the first Blanche Ely team to go undefeated and win state this year so mainly that’s our goal to go to state and try to be undefeated. That’s our little edge going into every game.”
Gosier, a two-sport athlete at the school, welcomes the pressure of being undefeated.
“It helps us a lot having a target on our back because we know we have to bring it every night,” Gosier said. “Everyone wants to be that first team to knock us off and give us that first ‘L’. So we bring it every game to make sure that no team gives us that first loss.”
Blanche Ely coach Melvin Randall is in his 21st year, including the past 14 at Ely. Randall won state titles in 1997 with Deerfield (Class 5A) and his win in 1999 (Class 6A) came at the expense of his current school Ely, 77-69. After moving over to Ely, Randall won state titles in 2007 (Class 6A), 2012 (Class 7A) and 2013 (Class 7A).
Randall, who has compiled a 489-141 record at the school during that 14-year span, believes this year’s team could be one of the best ever.
“This is a special team,” Randall said. “Definitely at the guard play, I haven’t had a team with strong guard play in a while. I have had some good guards, but, with this team, you are talking about four or five that I can put out there. I have the flexibility to do that with this team.”
Randall said the team has played well since the summer when they showed promise during AAU play.
“They played on the AAU teams and they did great on the AAU circuit,” Randall said. “Now we have come together and we are keeping it family based.”
Even though the team graduated Lance Tejada (East Carolina) and Josh Floyd (Florida State College at Jacksonville) and Richard Lee went back to Northeast High School, the Tigers have still found a way to win. The team benefited from senior guard senior LaQuincy Rideau, a transfer from Palm Beach Lakes, who lives with his aunt in Pompano Beach.
Senior Javon Heastie, along with juniors Mark Houston and Trevor Goodrum, have all stepped up their games, according to Randall.
The Tigers finished 21-5 last season, i n c l u d i n g four losses to Boyd Anderson and once to Cardinal Gibbons in the Big 8. The team has been undefeated during the season before as it ran off 27 consecutive wins until it lost to Dwyer 70-57 in the regional semifinal in the 2009-2010 season.
“We are all coming together,” Randall said. “From the outside looking in, the fans and the spectators, we know we are not there yet. We still have a ways to go. We are better off now than we were a couple of weeks ago. We are still having problems with the rotation. I think they have been rotating well. These people have to understand to see those hard traps and to shift and rotate players. I think, once we get that down pat, it is going to prove that it will be pretty hard for a team to score easily.”
Gosier hopes the team finishes the year the way they started.
“ I t would be great,” Gosier said. “We would go down in history as probably the best basketball team ever to play at Blanche Ely. Going undefeated and winning states would be a great feeling.”
Posted on 15 January 2015 by L.Moore
Despite a modest $11 million opening weekend box office, Selma is expected to become a box office juggernaut this weekend and by the time the Oscar statues are distributed Feb. 22.
Selma deals with Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.
Five years previously, Alabama citizen Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, her only published book. Told from the perspective of an elementary school aged little girl named Scout, this book presents the fine line between imagined and real terror.
The first part of the book deals with Scout, her big brother – Jem, their best friend Dil (inspired by Harper Lee’s childhood buddy — Truman Capote) and their curiosity about the mysterious “Boo” Radley, a reclusive neighbor who is never seen in daylight.
The second part of the book deals with Scout’s father – Atticus Finch, a lawyer who must defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman.
Both stories intersect and provide a satisfying conclusion that best explains why it is a sin “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
A best-seller for 41 weeks, this book earned Harper Lee the Pulitzer award in 1961. Hollywood came a calling and a film was produced in 1962, garnering an Oscar for Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch. (It lost the Best Picture Award to Lawrence of Arabia.) Peck and Lee became lifelong friends. One must wonder how Harper Lee’s words influenced the actions of Martin Luther King and the civil rights march a few years after the book’s publication.
Starting this weekend, continuing through Feb. 28, the Broward County Libraries Division will be celebrating To Kill a Mockingbird as part of “The Big Read.” A program created by the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Libraries, “The Big Read” is designed to unite communities through great literature to discover the transformative joys of reading. All 40 Broward County libraries will be creating special programming for “The Big Read.” For a listing of programs, visit www.broward. org/Library/read.
On Monday, Jan. 26 at 12:30 p.m., Deerfield Beach Percy White Library will be hosting a special program. Copies of To Kill a Mockingbird will be distributed during the discussion, as well as other special surprises.
Enjoy a good read, enjoy an Oscar-nominated film this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Take the time to reflect how far we have come in a
Posted on 08 January 2015 by L.Moore
Rakeem Cato performed as advertised Tuesday night, Dec. 23, leading Marshall to a resounding 52-23 shellacking of Northern Illinois in the inaugural Boca Raton Bowl.
Cato completed 25 of 37 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns, and the Thundering Herd handed NIU its third consecutive bowl defeat.
“That’s what great quarterbacks do, they put it on the dime,” NIU coach Rod Carey said. “He did and we didn’t get it out. We had a chance to battle for those balls and get ‘em out and make them line up again.”
Marshall (13-1) flirted with a perfect regular-season record. Marshall’s lone defeat — 67-66 to Western Kentucky in double overtime came on Nov. 28.
“One game isn’t going to take away what a great season we had,” Carey said. “We just won the fourth MAC championship in school history … the third in four years. And they can’t take that away from this senior class.” Marshall receiver Tommy Shuler caught 18 of Cato’s passes for 185 yards and a touchdown.
“Cato did a good job of making plays when he needed to,” NIU cornerback Dechane Durante said. “They were just staying on the field and wearing our defense down. Quick throws … gashing us up the gut. He did a good job.”
The Huskies’ big failure was not taking advantage of red-zone opportunities, settling for three field goals from freshman Christian Hagan. NIU quarterback Drew Hare was off his game, completing 15 of 27 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked three times. “We have to do a better job of protecting Drew, and that’s on us,” tackle Ryan Brown said. NIU took a 7-0 lead with 7 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first quarter on a 19-yard pass from Hare to Juwan Brescacin. Marshall’s Deandre Reaves returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for the tying touchdown.
Cato scored a go-ahead touchdown from 5 yards out to make it 14-7 after the first quarter. NIU missed a scoring opportunity when Hagan missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt wide right. Marshall extended its lead to 17-7 when Justin Haig booted a 28-yarder. At the end of a 64-yard drive, NIU had to settle for a 19-yard Hagan field goal. A 2-yard TD run by Marshall’s Devon Johnson made it 24-10. Hagan’s second field goal of the night, this one from 30 yards, pulled NIU within 24-13 at the half.
NIU recovered an onside kick to start the second half but could not convert a first down on a fourth-down run by Cameron Stingily. “I thought we ran the ball well at times, but not when we needed to,” Carey said. “There were a lot of tears. There’s a lot of heartache in there. And that’s because these guys care. And they poured their whole selves into this thing. But when the dust settles, the first thing they are going to think of is MAC championships and things like that they have been a part of.”
Posted on 01 January 2015 by L.Moore
Sixth-year Highlands Christian Academy girls soccer coach Shelly Wik knew there was no way to go but up after last year’s 2-15 campaign.
“I knew we were going to have a little bit better of a team this year than last year because I have 10 seniors on the team and most of them had played before,” said Wik, whose team is 8-5-2, having quadrupled last year’s win total, and looks forward to playing in the District 13-1A tournament on Jan. 13.
“Our underclassmen are all new,” Wik said. “Of the remaining seven players, I have six of them who had never played before. It is definitely more promising. I have won districts in the past; my second year coaching, and this year’s team is just as good as that team.”
The Knights will face tough district opposition in Westminster Academy, Coral Springs Christian and South Florida Heat.
Wik’s fortunes this year at the school have come from the addition of senior Keisha Nahr and sophomore Sara Carroll.
“To win districts,” Wik said. “We will have to play so much better as a team. Our seniors and some of our key players are going to have to step up. We are getting there. We are getting better and better.”
Wik’s daughter, Kealey, is a senior captain on the squad despite limited experience. She is an outstanding volleyball player.
“We definitely have more heart, said Wik, 17, of Lighthouse Point. “As a team, we have more skill and that always helps. We have gotten a lot better. We had new people who came and they are amazing and that always helps. From the first practice, we were always playing with the team and everyone was trying their best.”
She said transitioning from volleyball to soccer took an adjustment.
“It is very different going from hands all of the time to just playing with my feet,” Wik said, “but I kick the ball pretty far so that is always good.”
Sophomore Sara Carroll, 15, of Coral Springs, said there is a big difference between high school soccer and club soccer.
“In high school, you have a lot more kicking and running,” Carroll said. “It is fun to represent your school. There is pride. We definitely play more as a team the girls who are still here and we have a few new ones that help out a lot.”
Carroll said there is work to do; however, her teammates are willing to learn.
“We have a lot of girls on the team who have never played before, so they take any advice,” Carroll said. “We have a pretty hard district, but I think we can get through if we put our minds to it. It is going to take hard work, people showing up on time to practice and fewer injuries.”
Senior newcomer Keisha Nahr, 18, of Boca Raton, has also provided a lift since moving to Florida in August. She played for the Curacao U20 National team when she was 15.
“I love it,” Nahr said. “The players are great. Everyone works well on the field and, at the end, we all enjoy it. I think we have a pretty good team here. Every team has something they have to work on. At this point in the season, we have done some wins that were pretty much impossible last year, and I think this year we have a good chance to win districts and maybe regionals.”
Pompano Beach High School sophomore Carly Ehrlich overcame a nearly 30-point deficit on her final three dives to capture the Class 2A girls’ 1-meter diving competition at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart recently.
The 15-year-old Ehrlich scored 432.20 points to win the girls’ 1-meter diving competition as she overtook Megan Galbreath, a junior from Cape Coral High School, who placed second with 425.80 points.
“There are just no words to describe it,” said Ehrlich, who finished fourth at the state meet as a freshman. “I was going into one of the last rounds behind one of my good friends Megan (Galbreath) and, to come out with the win, I have never been so happy in my life. It was amazing.”
Ehrlich, who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, has trained with the Pine Crest Diving team for the past five years. She entered the state competition confident of winning a medal.
“I did think I had a chance to win due to the fact that the girls who beat me last year (Stanton High School’s Carol Gerhardt and Elizabeth Tillo) were seniors, but I knew I really had to be on my game that day to win.”
Ehrlich has won two district titles and a regional crown previously; however, this was her best finish ever. She also became the school’s first state champion in any sport since 1974.
“A win like this is definitely a boost to my confidence,” Ehrlich said. “It also makes me determined to win the next two years.”
Posted on 25 December 2014 by L.Moore
Since Pompano Beach Piranhas head swim coach Jesse Vassallo arrived three years ago, the USA Swim program has shown steady progress in major swim meets.
Vassallo, who brought 25 athletes to the recent 24th annual Speedo Winter Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex, was pleased as his program finally reached the Top 10.
“We wanted to get in the top 10 this year,” said Vassallo, of the meet that hosted a record 1,382 competitors representing 75 teams from around the country, as well as internationally and from South Florida. “The kids all swam and we got about 70 percent of the kids into the finals.”
The Pompano Beach Piranhas placed 10th overall in the combined standings with 522.20 points. It was eighth in the men’s team standings with 303.50 points and 12th in the women’s standings with 219 points.
This is the fourth year that Pompano Beach has been a USA swim program, and it was Vassallo’s third year heading the program.
“We went from 33rd to 19th to 13th before this year,” Vassallo said. “We didn’t bring any bonuses. These are guys who made their cuts. I am excited because it has taken time.”
Vassallo said development of the program has been noticeable.
“This is a lot more competitive than the rec swimming they had before I got there,” Vassallo said. “This is more serious swimming than where they were with recreational. You would come and go as you please and, to be here, you are pretty much swimming every day. Here, it is a big commitment. It is a pretty tough level. I have a very solid core group of swimmers.”
Oakland Park’s Raphael Santos, 12, a Sunrise Middle 6th grader, trains twice a day for four hours.
“It’s pretty fun,” Santos said. “I am good at it and my friends are here. This is pretty important because you get to show how good you are. I want to go pretty far, maybe the Olympics. It is going to take hard training … I don’t get nervous because I know I am going to score (in my event).”
The South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) won its second consecutive Winter Championships with a combined total of 2,097 points to easily outdistance runner-up Azura Florida Aquatics (1,412 points) and the Pine Crest Swim Team (1,240 points). They were the only teams to top the 1,000-point mark.
Top finishers for the Pompano Beach Piranhas included: No. 5 — Victoria Miyamoto (14-year-old women); No. 8 — Sloan Sizemore (14-yearold women); No. 8 — Fatimah Westbrook (15-16 year-old women); No. 15 — Jake Schulte (10-Under men); No. 13 — Emilio Barrantes (11-year-old men); No. 13 — Raphael Santos (12-yearold men); No. 7 — Mattheus Santos (13-year-old men); No. 5 — (tie) Tyler Zuyus (14-year-old men) and No. 21 — Victor Vassallo (17 & Over men)
Posted on 18 December 2014 by L.Moore
Highlands Christian Academy (HCA) showed there is reason to be optimistic as two elementary school and two junior high programs finished on top in their respective leagues.
Daniel Copeland Del Toro and David Jesus each scored a goal as the Knights Elementary School soccer team defeated defending league champion St. Paul Lutheran, 2-0, in the Elementary Soccer League (ESL) championship game to finish the season at 7-1-1. Cameron Brooks earned the shutout.
The 2014 Elementary Soccer League consisted of Abundant Life, Highlands Christian, Sagemont, St. Paul and Trinity.
The Knights of Highlands Christian defeated all the schools during the season except their long-time rival, the Falcons of St. Paul. The first meeting between the two teams ended in an exciting 4-4 tie. The second meeting was for the League Shield and for home field advantage in the playoffs. The two teams battled throughout the regular time with a score of 1-1. After the overtime play, the result was the same, and St. Paul eventually prevailed in penalty kicks.
The Knights defeated the Falcons with a score of 2-0 earning the Champions for the second time of the Elementary Soccer League.
The Junior High School volleyball team ended the year at 11-5 and swept Westminster Academy (WA), 25-20; 25-20 in the finals to take the South Atlantic Coast Conference (SACC) title.
“The Junior High volleyball team of Highlands Christian Academy had a great season,” said Coach Shannon Ratzlaff. “With some big wins over Boca Christian and The King’s Academy, the girls improved significantly throughout the course of the season. It was nice to play WA in the championship game this year as they defeated us for last year’s SACC Championship.”
Knights’ eighth-grader Aiyana Garcia had 12 service points in the second game of the championship to seal the win.
The Junior High School football team completed a perfect season by winning all six of its games, while the HCA Elementary School volleyball team downed Sheridan Hills to win the SACC Championship. The team finished 6-2.
Posted on 12 December 2014 by JimLusk
The store was allegedly selling up to 10,000 packets of the stuff weekly. Going by names like K2, Spice, Cloud 9, WTF and Diablo, this product consists of chemicals that mimic the effect of THC, which the people allegedly bought from China and sprayed on something like potpourri.
This product is a chemical and can be very harmful, especially because the potency is not necessarily consistent, so it’s hard for the user to know how much or how little is being used and how the body will react to it. It can be extremely dangerous.
Fifteen people were reported as being arrested after undercovers discovered they were using it as a distribution center, selling it only to people who used a code word or who seemed trustworthy, but telling others that they did not sell the product.
Synthetic marijuana is not a new product. In fact, it has been rampant in the area and there was even a movie made about it. Back in February of this year, the movie “Not For Human Consumption, directed by Chris Alonso, hit the theater, outlining a story based on the synthetic marijuana trade that emerged in West Palm Beach. To see the film, visit http://notforhumanconsumptionthemovie.com.
Posted on 11 December 2014 by L.Moore
By Jacob Shendell
Old Dominion defeated Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the final minutes last Saturday on a 27-yard field goal 31-28. Much like FAU’s other losses this year, they could do nothing but watch as Old Dominion held onto the ball for the last five minutes of the game, much like four of the other games the Owls played this season.
FAU recognized 19 players in a pre-game ceremony who were playing their final game at FAU Stadium.
In the midst of what looks to be another failure of a season, the Owls did land a $16 million donation from Richard Schmidt to help build a new athletic facility to boost the football program, and, hopefully, propel them to the next level.