Bucks pin hopes on rebuilding

Posted on 28 August 2014 by L.Moore

sports082814By Gary Curreri

Not much has changed in the approach that Deerfield Beach football coach Allen Jackson is taking with his team this year.

We want to be excellent,” said Jackson, who has compiled a 20-10 at Deerfield Beach in his four seasons at the school. “Our motto is new team, new faces and the same goal.”

Deerfield Beach had an outstanding season last year as the Bucks had their first undefeated regular season, won the District 11-8A crown and earned its first playoff victory since 2008. After defeating Flanagan in overtime, 14-7, the Bucks fell 43-6 to Miramar in the regional semifinal.

Jackson knows he has his work cut out for his football team this season as the squad graduated its starting backfield from last year including running backs Brandon Powell (University o f Florida) , Aeron McNeil ( University of Alabama- Birmingham), quarterback Denard Graham (Garden City), along with wide receiver Justin Morgan (Lafayette).

We have Alex Pierre back from last year,” Jackson said. “He is going to have to carry the load. We have some other kids that we expect big things out of, including Markel Yarbrough, who transferred from Plantation.”

Deerfield Beach will also rely on senior defensive end/tight end Jason Strowbridge and two-way lineman Montel Jordan, and addition to Antonio Cartagena, Jeffrey Joseph and James Pierre. Junior Aeron Cartagena is also expected to contribute.

Even though we lost 10 starters from our senior-laden team, we are going to focus on the same thing we did last year,” Jackson said. “I think we can; with the additions we have and with what we have coming back, I like what I see as a team. I like the attitude and the work ethic the kids have demonstrated. I am trying to get back to where we were at and get a little further on.”

I see some big things and the goal is going to be the same,” Jackson added. “We are not going to change that.” This is Jackson’s second time around at the school as he served a variety of titles, including D-Line coach, offensive coordinator and linebacker coach from 1990-2003. Before returning to Deerfield Beach, Jackson coached at Monarch for four seasons and at Coconut Creek for three years. He’s been coaching football for 29 years.

It is an intelligent team,” Jackson said. “Losing those guys was a big hurt, but we added to the program and I think it will be a little better. I think the program is heading in the right direction. In a sense, we are rebuilding. We added a lot of kids who are young. I guess it is a rebuilding process of old and new. I think we can get to the playoffs. Time will tell.”

Quarterback Jeffrey Joseph moves up from a JV team that went 7-1. Jackson said he is more of a pocket passer than Graham was.

Strowbridge, a 6-4, 250 lb. senior, said his game really took off after his freshman year. He is hopeful of another strong season this year. He said he studies NFL players and tries to model his game after them.

I don’t know if you can do what they did, but I think we have a lot of young kids who are willing to learn and I think it will be fun this year,” Strowbridge said. “We definitely feel the pressure because last year’s team was the best team I have ever been on. I think there is definitely pressure to do that and do what they did.”

Jordan said the team would need to do what it did last year and be even more aggressive. He said there is a big difference between last year’s squad and this year’s version.

Last year, we had more experience,” Jordan said.

We have a younger team this year, but we are more disciplined. Last year, we had Brandon Powell. We had Aeron and a new quarterback (Graham), so we are going to have to work hard to get back to where we were last year.”

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Pompano swim team fares well in Jos

Posted on 20 August 2014 by L.Moore

sports082114By Gary Curreri

Victoria Miyamoto likes to wear funny hats; but, when it comes to swimming, it is serious business for the Pompano Beach Piranhas swim team member.

Miyamoto, 14, of Boca Raton, competed in seven events for the local swim team in the recent Florida Gold Coast 14-Under Long Course Junior Olympics championship at the Plantation Aquatic Complex and finished in fourth place in the 13-14 girls high point standings. She said she wears the funny hats for good luck.

My parents swam, so I just got into it when soccer and softball didn’t work out,” said Miyamoto, who started swimming when she was 8. She is a freshman at Boca Raton High School. “I like how you swim for yourself and not for a team. If you mess up,it is on yourself, not other people. It is cool to have teammates cheering for you though.”

Miyamoto swam in seven individual races and one relay for the Piranhas.

It is pretty tiring, but my parents do a great job in bringing me everything and taking care of me at home,” added Miyamoto, who has Olympic aspirations. “I get a lot of rest. Swimming is pretty important. I don’t know what I would be doing without it.”

The Junior Olympic swim meet featured more than 50 teams and 700 swimmers in Florida Gold Coast Swimming. The South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) totaled 802 combined points to easily out-distance the runner-up North Palm Beach Swim Club (398 points) and Azura Florida Aquatic (349 points) to win its fifth consecutive Junior Olympics title. The South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) also won both the girls (424) and boys (378) team overall titles.

The Pompano Beach Piranhas placed 14th overall with 133 points. Pompano Beach Piranhas placed 12th in the girls’ standings with 59 points, while the boys’ team tied for 10th in the boys with Plantation with 74 points.

Pompano Beach Piranhas head swim coach Jesse Vasallo brought 26 swimmers to the meet. He had hoped for a Top-10 finish, but knew it would be a difficult proposition.

We have managed to finish 13th, which was our best position,” said Vasallo, who has been with the program for three years. Pompano Beach has been a USA Swim Team program for the past four years. “We knew the Top- 10 was going to be a little hard because we had some kids who couldn’t make the meet due to other commitments with families. We gave it our best shot.”

Pompano Beach has shown steady improvement after going from 33rd place in its first year as a USA Swim team.

I think we are doing alright,” Vasallo said.

The commitment from the kids is bigger. You see them starting to get a little bigger and doing bigger things in the water. Victoria won a couple of events and we had a couple of kids who moved up from 11-12 to 13-14 and they are making finals and scoring.”

Other top performances from the local swim club came from Caroline Makara, Jake Schulte, Christian Henderson, Sloan Sizemore, Mia Marquez, Tyler Zuyus and Mattheus Santos.

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FLICKS: The Expendables 3, The Discoverers, Robin Williams & Danny Murphy

Posted on 14 August 2014 by L.Moore

FLICKS081414By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The Expendables 3 opens tomorrow with a sense it’s the last hurrah for the old action stars.

Four years ago, it was a novelty to see Stallone and Schwarzenegger in the same scene at the same time; but the couple has made four movies together and the novelty has worn thin. The good news is that the film does hold up as an action movie with sly Hollywood humor. Bruce Willis is out; Harrison Ford replaces him with double entendres about Willis’ missing character.

The Expendables team (Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Jason Statham) rescue Wesley Snipes from a runaway train and blow up a prison.

After The Expendables are tricked by the master villain (Mel Gibson), Stallone decides it’s time to retire the team and reboot with a young team of mercenaries. Taking a page out of The Dirty Dozen, Stallone uses Kelsey Grammer to recruit the young talent. The mission is a failure and Gibson gloats.

The action scenes are as overwhelming as one expects, but tongue-in-cheek humor keeps the filmed glued in reality. Of the three Expendables, Gibson is the best antagonist to match Stallone. Both are cold professionals whose staring contest is scarier than blowing up a building or flying into a helicopter blade.

For those seeking action entertainment minus loud explosions, check out The Discoverers. In this film, a 21st Century family reunite with a quirky grandfather (Stuart Margolin), who likes to reenact 18th Century history. The family learns to cope with the great outdoors without cell phones and the Internet. As the father, Griffin Dunne is getting his best notice in two decades.

I could not wrap up this column without mentioning the loss of Robin Williams. For 37 years, Williams has been a household name and managed to reinvent himself to the point that no one could take him for granted. My generation knows him as “Mork,” current college graduates know him as the “Genie” and today’s young people know him as “Teddy Roosevelt.” He made us feel good; but nothing is more poignant than the tears of a clown — when no one is around.

We have also lost actor Danny Murphy, who lived in Florida. Paralyzed for over 30 years from a diving accident, Danny rose above his disabilities and lived an adventuresome life. He began his acting career in his early 40s with cameo roles in films like Something about Mary, Shallow Hal and Fever Pitch. Last autumn, Danny premiered CinemaAbility, an award-winning documentary about how Hollywood perceives people with disabilities. He was an inspiration to everybody who ever met him.

[This week, we also lost legendary actress Lauren Bacall, known for films like “To Have and Have Not.”]

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“The Prancercise ® Lady” has a new video & DVD

Posted on 06 August 2014 by JimLusk

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By Rachel Galvin

She’s back! Local sensation Joanna Rohrback a.k.a. “The Prancercise ® Lady” has already wowed the world with her unique approach to fitness. Now she is back with a new YouTube video http://youtu.be/cIXIZ_8aGM8, “Official Prancercise ®Fitness with Passion.” In this video, which also features horses, she works with a partner to demonstrate the additional depths and possibilities that her Prancercise ® program is worthy of.

In addition, she is offering a Director’s Cut DVD in which she also offers her fitness tips, to stretch what her program can do to whole new heights. She offers a sneak peek behind the scenes of the production of her uber-popular YouTube videos. The work put into the videos and the passion behind the program are evident, as well as the sense of fun. Joanna has even included bloopers.

The liberating movement is certainly a break from the ordinary fitness scene. This Director’s Cut DVD will be offered via her website www.prancercise.com. You can watch the DVD streaming or it can be shipped as a disc.

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Murphy, Calix following their dreams

Posted on 31 July 2014 by L.Moore

Jordon Murphy boxes in the recent Boxing at the Creek VII card at the StrikeGym in Coconut Creek. Photo by Gary Curreri

Jordon Murphy boxes in the recent Boxing at the Creek VII card at the StrikeGym in Coconut Creek. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Anthony Calix calls boxing the hardest thing he has ever done in his life.

It was just pure energy,” said Calix, 17, of Margate, who recently graduated from Coral Springs High School and is going to Palm Beach State College. “It doesn’t come easy like school and working. Nothing to me gets more intense than this.”

Calix fell to 0-2 in his amateur career after he dropped a Jorge Torres in the recent Boxing at the Creek VII card at the StrikeGym in Coconut Creek. Calix, who fights for the Deerfield Beach BSO PAL, has been boxing since he was 13 and recently started competitive matches.

Calix said it isn’t nervewracking being in the ring.

When you are in there, you get the most powerful feeling ever,” Calix said. “It is like everybody is there to see you work and perform. Most people don’t know what it is like to be an athlete. They just see people doing things that you, yourself, as a normal person, wouldn’t do. It is inspiring. It is more energy for me.”

Boxing presents different challenges for Calix than other sports. Calix used to run track.

Compared to boxing, track is really boring,” Calix said. “It is a really static sport. Somebody is going to run faster than somebody else and that is it. Here, somebody can be losing the whole match and win it back in the last round. Someone might get knocked out of nowhere. It is dynamic. The exciting part about it too is that you could be trailing, and it only takes one punch to win it.”

When Calix first started, he used to take the 2-1/2 hour bus ride from Margate.

It’s good,” Calix said. “That’s all I got. Without them I wouldn’t be here. It kind of is a team sport. We support each other and we make each other better at the end of the day.”

Deerfield Beach’s Jordon Murphy, 14, won his bout in the Coconut Creek event. Murphy, a six-year veteran of boxing, won Ringside World and Nationals and was hopeful of repeating this year.

Murphy, a freshman at Monarch High School, improved to 56-10 with the win.

My coach and I don’t really worry about the local shows,” Murphy said. “It is all about practice. He wants to see what we can do before we go to the big shows. I wanted to work on my footwork and beating him to the punches. I don’t think I did that good. I could have worked on more. I think I could have done better.”

As long as he wins, it’s okay.

If he were to lose at a local show heading into a big competition, it would give me a bad reputation and people would be thinking other stuff about me,” Murphy said. “They would say that I slacked off.”

His favorite fighters are Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez.

I like how they are smart fighters,” Murphy said. “Manny works punches and Canelo hits hard and fast.”

Simply Soccer camp

Local residents have an opportunity to take advantage of World Cup soccer fever this summer as the Simply Soccer camp closes out its 26th year in Coral Springs.

There have been record numbers this year for the camp, which was also previously held in the city of Pompano. The soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-14, of all skill levels, who will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

Remaining dates are July 28-Aug. 1; August 4-8; August 11-15. There are three sessions each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours camp from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a Tiny Tot program for kids ages 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to noon. Full day campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. For information, call 954-345-2200.

 

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FLICKS: Hercules & Master Sang

Posted on 30 July 2014 by L.Moore

flicks073114By Dave Montalbano

http://cinemadave.livejournal.

Born in Seoul, South Korea in 1966, Sang Koo Kang immigrated to the United States and has lived the American Dream. His family settled in Miami and Sang drew attention for kicking field goals in High School. While Hurricane Coach Jimmy Johnson took notice of this young talent, Sang impressed the legendary Bobby Bowden and became the Florida State Seminole field goal kicker for four years. With his interest in martial arts, Sang Koo Kang earned the designation “Master Sang.”

Upon graduation in 1990, Master Sang opened a small martial arts studio in Miami Beach on Collins Avenue. Sang’s Academy has grown to several schools in Miami- Dade area and expansion into Coconut Creek. As for success, Sang says, “1. Make sure you have the right attitude, you are special and different from others. 2. Everything must be consistent, you have to find something and be the best at it.”

Director Brett Ratner cast Master Sang in Rush Hour 2 and 3 and, more recently, Sang was flown to Budapest, Hungary to contribute his expertise for Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson. Sang is philosophical about his involvement with the motion picture.

Brett Ratner is a genius, so smart with a good eye. Ratner gets his family involved and works with good action people. Going to Budapest and working with Brett Ratner helps set a good example for my children that they can do it.”

With $30 million in the box office treasure chest, Hercules is proving to be formidable summer blockbuster. Marketed as another “sword & sandals special effects extravaganza,” this film contains a good story with strong character development and clear action-packed visuals.

Based on the graphic novel The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, this Hercules debunks the “son of Zeus legend” with a story about a mortal mercenary and his team of myth-makers. The King of Thrace (John Hurt) recruits Team Hercules to train his country of farmers to become soldiers. After accomplishing this task, Thrace gains an empire.

Despite his box office success, Ratner is an under-rated filmmaker. Hercules tells an old story with a modern twist and is perfect for a matinee.

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15 Years of FLICKS; congrats, “Cinema” Dave

Posted on 30 July 2014 by JimLusk

Dave 2

“Cinema” Dave Montalbano Photo by Barbara McCormick

The Observer’s Flicks columnist celebrates 15 years

Congratulations to “Cinema” Dave Montalbano for successfully completing 15 years of coverage with his Flicks column. Steadfastly relaying information on current films playing at a theater near you, Montalbano, a 1981 Deerfield High School graduate and Florida State University alum, incorporates film history into every piece. His knowledge of the classics is evident and his love for cinema keeps him writing year after year. When not writing and watching movies, this former teacher and WAXY radio promotions coordinator spends time at local film festivals and Spooky Empire events, and dining with his mother, who just celebrated a 90th birthday not long ago. His “mortgage-paying job,” as he terms it, is with Broward County libraries. In addition, he is just finishing up his third novel. This one, still untitled, is themed Christian Horror, whereas his last, “Davy Jones & the Heart of Darkness” was set on the high seas. His first book, “The Adventures of Cinema Dave and the Florida Motion Picture World” includes many of his columns from The Observer as well as other historical tidbits and essays. What’s next in the world of Cinema Dave? Visit his blog to find out: http://cinemadave.livejournal.com.

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BOMB THREAT in Deerfield

Posted on 29 July 2014 by JimLusk

USE THIS ONE

Photo by Jacob Shendell

 A Bomb Threat was reported at: 685 E. Hillsboro Blvd., Deerfield Beach. : BSO’s deputies and the Bomb Squad are responding to a report of a possible explosive device in a car near the above address. Deputies have closed road traffic on East Hillsboro Boulevard from the 800 block to the 500 block. Homes and businesses in that area have been evacuated.

UPDATE:  4:49 P.M. At 2:15 pm a 911 call came in that a explosive device was set in a car at 685 E. Hillsboro, possibly by a party involved in a recent separation and a suspect that was arrested for domestic violence. He called a family member of the female involved in the domestic case at her place of work and told here it was in her car outside. BSO and Homeland Security responded and checked for a device. The suspect has a military background and that concerned everyone and which made his threat was credible. No device was located and they are looking for the suspect.

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Boca Burger Battle

Posted on 18 July 2014 by JimLusk

Marilyn Wilson is one of the volunteers serving judges

By Rachel Galvin

Sanborn Square was packed with people for the Boca Burger Battle on July 12. Nineteen contenders showed off their grilling prowess for the judges. But the victor was Salt 7, located in Delray, with its Motley Burger. Classic Rock Therapy entertained with rock rhythms. Meanwhile, others strutted to their own sounds doing Zumba. Guests strolled through vendor booths and left satisfied after indulging in plenty of burger varieties and gourmet sides. Besides wine, there were also plenty of craft beers, rumored to be a taste of a new event to come, from the BocaRaton.com crew.

Find out more about Boca Burger Battle at www.bocaburgerbattle.com.

Craft beer was prominent this year–a taste of a new event to come…

Potions in Motion created a tasty combo –

Salt7 wins!

Judges ate until they could eat no more…

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BocaRaton.com’s Russell Spadaccini, who put on Boca Burger Battle, with Tom Leeman, one of the principals of BirthdayComp.com.

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Classic Rock Therapy rocked it out.

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They even had a food truck giving out French fries!

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Potions in Motion preps.

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7-11 keeps freebes going all week

Posted on 13 July 2014 by JimLusk

slurpee1

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