Locals compete at Spartan games

Posted on 13 June 2019 by LeslieM

Jennifer Roberts, right, and Braden Roberts finish running the Spartan Race at South County Park in Boca Raton. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri
Jennifer Roberts and Braden Roberts went for a little trip in the park that included crawling on their stomachs under wires, climbing ropes and covering 22 other obstacles before finishing the race jumping over a wall of fire.
The mother-son duo from Deerfield Beach competed in their first Spartan Race at South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, and together, they enjoyed every minute of it.
“These races are awesome,” said Jennifer, 40. “This was our first one together because he is just old enough (14-year-old) to run an adult race. It was pretty cool because there were times when I needed a little help; and he was there, and times when he needed some pep talks to get him through. We carried each other for sure.”
Braden had competed in three Spartan Races as a kid.
“This one was much harder,” he said. “It really tests your physical strength on the rope climbs, the monkey bars and stuff like that. Mentally, it is tough because you have to run long distances, and you have to be mentally tough to get through it.
“It was pretty cool running with my mom,” Braden added. “Probably the most exciting part of the race was jumping over the fire at the end.”
Roberts said her family will volunteer ahead of time and then run races. She said they like to give back because Spartan Races is a “great organization.”
“I am so proud and overjoyed to be able to run his first adult race with him,” Jennifer added. “Knowing I have run so many races, but knowing he was there with me, was so cool. We kept high fiving each other. I am so proud of him.”
“In life, you have to be able to push through anything,” she continued. “You wake up in the morning and something hard hits you, you’ve got to get through it. It is the same here. Once you start, you are running and, until you cross the finish line, you have to be able to push through. You have to be able to persevere.”
It was the first Spartan Race held in Boca Raton. The Sprint course was composed of 3 miles and 25 obstacles of fast, mostly-flat running. Since it was a course laid out over flat terrains, there were some back-to-back obstacles and heavy carries. Some competitors challenged themselves by running the Sprint on both Saturday and Sunday. The Sprint is the shortest distance race in the Spartan Race series, but it’s still a favorite amongst both new and returning racers.
Garfield Griffiths produces eight of the 63 Spartan Races in the United States annually and over 200 worldwide. There are three in Florida, one in Orlando and another in Jacksonville in addition to Boca Raton. The two-day event in Boca Raton attracted more than 8,000 people, which included about 1,000 children and spectators. Griffiths said the Spartan Race concept began in 2010 in Vermont with about 200 people and has grown to what it is today.
“From there, it just took off and they started doing 10-12 across the country and other countries jumped it,” Griffiths said. “Last year, we did over one million people worldwide. I think it is one of the best and all-around fitness challenges because it has everything.”
There are several types of Spartan Races – Sprint, which is an entry race consisting of 3-4 miles and about 22 obstacles; a Super, which is 8-10 miles, and then the Beast, which is 15 miles. There is the Ultra, which is 30 miles and more than 65 obstacles.

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Ely’s Williams wins two state track titles

Posted on 06 June 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Jevon Williams proudly shows off his two state championship medals that he won in sweeping the 110 and 300-meter hurdle events at the Class 3A state championships. Photo by Gary Curreri.

Jevon Williams concluded his junior year at Blanche Ely High School with a bang and two state championships in track. Williams, 17, of Pompano Beach, swept the 110-meter hurdles (14.08) and a personal best in the 300-meter hurdles (36.54) for the Tigers at the FHSAA Class 3A state championships at the University of North Florida.

Williams’ fastest time in the 300 (36.54) is the fourth fastest in the nation, while his personal best time of 13.87 in the 110-meter time earlier this season is good enough for 18thin the country.

“My year was pretty big,” said Williams, who is also a wide receiver for the Tigers football team. “I accomplished a lot in winning the 300 hurdles back-to-back and I look forward to next year and doing the same thing. Winning the 110-meter event at state was somewhat unexpected.

“This year, there was a lot of pressure since I was coming from a winning season last season in the 300 hurdles,” Williams said. “Winning the 110 was a blessing. I worked hard for it this season. My mind was set on just coming back and winning the 300, but when I got to state I wanted to win both.

“It wasn’t a surprise,” Williams said. “I knew I could do it. If you put your mind to anything, you can achieve it. I am always going to remember the 300-hurdles at state. It was probably the toughest race I have ever run, to be honest. States 2019 is something I will always remember.”

His college options are open. Williams said he is being recruited by Mississippi State and Texas A&M and has interest in LSU, Texas, University of Miami, Kentucky and Oregon in addition to Mississippi State.

“I am proud of how I improved in my major events and I am now a three-time state champion,” Williams said.

Simply Soccer registration begins

Area residents are invited to take part in the Simply Soccer camp series that is about to begin its 31styear of soccer camps for children 5-15 in nearby Coral Springs.

There are three sessions each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours at camp are 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. You do not have to be a city resident to attend.

The dates are June 10-14; June 17-21; June 24-28; July 1-5 (No camp 7/4); July 8-12; July 15-19; July 22-26; July 29-Aug. 2; Aug. 5-9.

You can register daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. For information on the camp, call 954-345-2200.

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FLICKS: New Godzilla film — not so royal

Posted on 06 June 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


(Seated) Haruo Nakajima – the actor who first played Godzilla and continued the role for two decades. The recent Godzilla film was dedicated to this Japanese Legend.

Based on the box office performance of Aladdin and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the 2019 summer blockbuster season will be filled with action, adventure and a little romance. Unlike the sustainability of an Adventures: Endgame, both Aladdin and Godzilla: King of the Monsters have a noticeable box office drop after the opening weekend.  

After the events of Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the world has learned that Titans are real. On one hand, the Titans are seen as a destructive force. Yet, after the havoc these monsters cause, the earth has become a greener place.

But those meddlesome members of Monarch (the crypto-zoological agency) have created a frequency radio device to track and control Godzilla, a fruitless enterprise.  Greedy environmental terrorists have decided to use the device to unleash dormant Titans and create world havoc. From Mexico to China, from Sedona to the final showdown in Boston, the monsters are unleashed and have stomped upon mankind. 

Unlike the classic Godzilla, where Japan was the scene of constant disaster, this new “King of the Monsters” is a global affair. Like a harem of insects, the human actors (Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown & Charles Dance as the Master villain) deal with the rampaging monsters, who are actually a metaphor for their own domestic concerns.

As a monster maven, there is much to like about Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The creators acknowledge not only the myth of the standup fire-breathing lizard, but acknowledge local cultural myths from the seven continents. (Rodan rising out of a Mexican volcano owes a debt to the Aztec myth of Quetzalcoatl). Besides a cover song of the Blue Oyster Cult classic, there is the original theme from the first Godzilla film produced in 1954.

Cinema Dave with Blue Oyster Cult’s founding members, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and Eric Bloom. A cover version of their hit song, “Godzilla” was used in the new movie.

Yet, many of these tender mercies are lost in this overreaching new film. Eschewing actors wearing monster suits, there are computer-generated giant monsters who wreck havoc upon major cities with historical landmarks. Given that most of the monster battle scenes occur at night, one computerized action sequence looks the same as the other computerized action sequence. There is no sense of character development of the monsters, unlike the character growth of Kong from Kong: Skull Island.

As the closing credits infer, Kong and Godzilla are heading for a showdown next Memorial Day weekend 2020. Hopefully, the action sequences will follow the lead of Kong: Skull Island and will not be mired in darkness.  Writing a good review or a bad review, Cinema Dave will be at a Saturday Matinee with a gallon bucket of popcorn on his lap.

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Precautionary Boil Water Alert Lifted

Posted on 31 May 2019 by LeslieM

Effective immediately, the Tuesday, May 28, “Precautionary Boil Water Alert” which affected the following areas has been lifted: – FAU Research Blvd between SW 15 Street and SW 10 Street – West side of SW 9 Avenue to FAU Research Blvd, between SW 11th Court and SW 15th Street – People’s Trust Insurance Bacteriological tests have confirmed that no contamination entered our drinking water system. Thank you for your patience during this precautionary action to ensure the integrity of our public drinking water supply. If you have any questions, please call the City of Deerfield Beach Water Dept., at 954-480-4370.

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Deerfield Beach Little League concludes season

Posted on 30 May 2019 by LeslieM

The Majors Division champion Demons managed by Neile Thomas, who grew up playing with the Deerfield Beach Little League, and Coach John Cecil. Submitted photo, courtesy of Jason Siracusa.

By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Beach Little League (DBLL) ended the 2019 season with a bang. The local league finished off the season with championship games in all of their divisions. The games started at 10 a.m. following a live singing performance of the National Anthem by longtime Deerfield Beach Little League coach Pete Lash’s daughter Sarah.

“Sarah did a phenomenal job,” said Deerfield Beach Little League President Jason Siracusa. “Overall, our season-ending championship Saturday was a big hit. The Deerfield Beach Parks Department did a phenomenal job getting our fields groomed and ready, and everything looked great. I can’t thank them enough.”

Siracusa said they ran the championship games on all four fields at the same time, something DBLL has never done before. At the end of the games, all players and family members were treated to free food from concession and the day ended with a trophy ceremony for the champions and MVPs.

Championship game results: Minors Red Sox managed by Charlie Silveria beat the Orioles, 10-2; Majors — Demons managed by Neile Thomas beat the Wahoos, 4-2; 50/70 — Yankees managed by Warren Fronte beat the Red Sox, 5-3, and the Juniors — Nationals managed by Bobby Williams beat the Dodgers, 12-2.

Several MVP awards were handed out in the various divisions (Minors) Lucas Pujol, (Majors) Sam Stanley, (50/70, co-winners) Robert and Roman Odierna and (Juniors) Salvatore Saccente. 

“It was a great day, the weather was perfect, the kids had fun, everything went smoothly,” Siracusa concluded. “I can’t think of a better way to end the season and lead us into the upcoming All-Star tournaments. The 2019 season was an incredible success.  Next year will be even bigger and better.”

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association recently held two tournaments at the Palms Course at the Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course.

The first tournament was an Individual Play (Low Gross & Low Net in classes) and the Low Gross winner in the Class A Division was Tom Pawelczyk with a 79. The Low Net winner for the class was Frank Cutrone with a 65 and the runner-up was Roy Wilhoite, who fired a 70 and won on a match of cards.

The Class B Low Gross winner was Tom Breur, who shot an 85, while Don Worrell (68) won the Low Net, followed by Harlen Tyler (71). In the Class C Division, Bart Valerio shot 89 to win the Low Gross honors, while Henry Lesburt shot a 67 and won on a match of cards over Willie Smith. The closest to the pin winner of hole No. 11 was Tom Breur.

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association followed that up with a Two Best Balls of Foursome event. The team of Oscar Aleman, Henry Lesburt, Robert Raser and Roy Wilhoite shot a 114 to win top honors, while the team of Dave Dowling, Jim Greeley, Dennis Sejda and Russ Smith finished second with a 122. The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 17 was Frank Cutrone.

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Precautionary Boil Water Alert for a Small Section of Deerfield Beach

Posted on 28 May 2019 by LeslieM

On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, a water main break occurred after a car crashed into a fire hydrant on the corner of FAU Research Blvd. and SW 10 Street. In order for city workers to isolate the line for repair several valves had to be shut off, causing an interruption in water service.

This Precautionary Boil Water Notice applies to residents and businesses located along FAU Research Blvd between SW 15 Street and SW 10 Street, the West side of SW 9 Avenue to FAU Research Blvd, between SW 11 Court and SW 15 Street, as well as People’s Trust Insurance. If you do not live in this area, this boil water notice does not affect you.

As a precaution, we advise that all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, or washing dishes be boiled. A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient. As an alternative bottled water may be used.

This Precautionary Boil Water Notice will remain in effect until a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink. You will be notified when this order has been rescinded.

Please follow us on social media for all updates.

If you have any questions you may contact Adrian Mocanu at 954-480-4370.

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Ziol named ‘Coach of the Year’

Posted on 23 May 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

T.J. Ziol was recently named 2018 Coach of the Year by the First Tee of Broward County. Ziol, who is a Level II coach and has been involved with the program for the past four years, is headquartered at the Pompano Beach Golf Course.

“The kids are the best part,” Ziol said. “We have such a great group of kids. In the First Tee, we talk about core values, such as respect, honesty and integrity, and I learn as much from them as they do from me. We can’t forget about the parents and volunteers as well. They put in as much time to make every lesson work easily.”

“It was an amazing feeling to receive such an honor,” Ziol added. “The First Tee of Broward is doing great things for junior golf, and, knowing my involvement is helping our mission to grow, the game of golf is the greatest feeling.”

“The First Tee staff makes the decision as to who wins the award each year,” said Jack Bloomfield, director of operations for the First Tee of Broward County. “We have 15 certified coaches.

“The criteria we use is to go over and above serving our participants with professionalism and goodwill,” Bloomfield added. “The coach is always on time, keeps up with his coach certification continuing education, works with our special needs children and more. T.J. is very deserving of the award.”

Pompano golf results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association recently held two tournaments.

The first was a One Best Ball even holes, 2 Best Balls on odd holes and the winners of that event were Nancy Rack, Lori Tarmey, Brenda Joy, and Patty Davis, who recorded an 88. In second place, two shots back were Deb Brown, Lynn Goodman, Roseanna Nixon and Patti Van Zandt (blind draw).

The second event was a One Best Ball for holes 1-6, Two Best Balls for holes 7-12, and Three Best Balls for holes 13-18. In the A & B Combined Classes, Deb Brown, Georgie Wright, Nancy Rack and Sandra Gore shot a winning score of 125, while Deb Ladig, Vonnie Okeefe, Lori Tarmey and Patti VanZandt carded a 127 to take the C & D Combined division.

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association also held a two best ball of foursome tournament on the Pine Course.

The team of Robert Blau, Mike Grimaldi, Tom Joyce and Jim Muschany carded a 117 and won by a single stroke over the team of Scott Feinman, Dave Hall, Joe Patchen and Bob VanZandt, who shot 118. The team of Jim DeCicco, Al DiBenedetto, Tom Pawelczyk and Bob Stawitz shot 123 to finish third.

Winner of the closest to the pin contest on the third hole was Rocco DiZazzo.

Simply soccer registration begins

Area residents are invited to take part in the Simply Soccer camp series that is about to begin its 31styear of soccer camps for children 5-15 in nearby Coral Springs.

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. You do not have to be a city resident to attend.

The dates are June 10-14; June 17-21; June 24-28; July 1-5 (No camp July 4); July 8-12; July 15-19; July 22-26; July 29-Aug. 2; Aug. 5-9.

You can register daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Coral Springs Gymnasium, 2501 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. For information on the camp, call 954-345-2200.

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2019 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

Posted on 23 May 2019 by LeslieM

For more information visit http://floridarevenue.com/DisasterPrep/Pages/default.aspx


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Tornadoes reach the postseason, fall in Class 5A regional semifinal

Posted on 16 May 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach High School girls softball team made a return to the postseason with a dramatic 5-0 win over Cardinal Gibbons in the district semifinals that pushed the team into the postseason.

The Tornadoes finished the season 13-7 after it lost to Coral Springs Charter in the Class 5A regional semifinals. Coral Springs Charter (26-1), ranked No. 4 in the state by MaxPreps and No. 8 in the nation by Xcellent 25, won for the 25th straight game. The lone blemish was a 5-4 loss to Western in the second game of the season.

“They are a great hitting team,” said Pompano Beach coach John McGuire, whose team downed Lincoln Park Academy, 10-3, in the regional quarters to advance. “Coral Springs Charter are nationally ranked, so the bloop hits were even harder to defend and it was deflating. You just try to work through it.”

With the game out of reach in the second inning, McGuire called time and emptied his bench replacing his six seniors on the diamond for one last curtain call for their families.

“I wanted to give one last hurrah,” McGuire said. “It has been four long years and they deserve it. I try and do it every year if the game allows it for the parents to say goodbye.”

McGuire said the win over Cardinal Gibbons was the highlight of the season since it helped them reach their goal of the postseason.

“Every year, we seem to finish second in the district and our challenging game is Cardinal Gibbons,” McGuire said. “We win that game and we make it back to here (regional competition). It was a good feeling. It was 0-0 for a long time and then we scored one in the fifth and four in the sixth inning to win.”

“I am going to miss this quite a bit,” said Jeritza Montero, 18, of Ft. Lauderdale, who played all four seasons for the Tornadoes and was one of six seniors on the squad. “They are my family. They grew up being my family and friends.”

“Beating Cardinal Gibbons this year was probably the highlight of my career at the school,” added Montero, who is headed to the College of Central Florida.

“They are our rival and we wound up coming out on top. Last year, they knocked us out of the district tournament, and we came back for revenge and we got it.”

Teammate Sophia Akrouk, 18, of Coral Springs will miss the camaraderie of her friends.

“When I was 8, I started playing with Jeritza and now we are graduating together,” said Akrouk, who was taken back when McGuire emptied the bench. “I really didn’t think I would be so emotional, but it was a thing to remember. It was shocking, but I felt great giving the baton down to the next generation of players.”

Deerfield Beach’s Claire Finzel, 18, will continue her career at Keiser University and said she will always remember the emotion of beating Cardinal Gibbons to qualify for the postseason.

“I have never seen us act like that before after we won,” Finzel said. “This was probably my best year because there was never any drama this year. Usually, there is a little bit of drama each year; but, this year, we were all best friends and we have all just come together. This is my life basically, every day.

“I will miss the friendships I guess,” she continued. “These are my best friends. These are the people I hang out with. It is my softball family.”

McGuire said the team enjoyed being around each other.

“They played hard,” McGuire said. “Attitude and effort is what I preach. We are not a state champion caliber team. In those four years, we only have two going to college to play softball. We want them to have fun and enjoy high school ball.

“Our school only produces a couple of college players a year, but our GPA is probably higher than anyone else’s,” he said. “We have a 100 percent graduation rate. We will outsmart anybody. We are student-athletes in the truest sense.”

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Calvet in a ‘league of her own’

Posted on 09 May 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Janelle Calvet could be considered a Swiss army knife for the Somerset Keys High School baseball team. The 14-year-old freshman, who plays in the Deerfield Beach Little League Senior League team, recently completed her first year on the high school program as one of their bright spots. She played shortstop, catcher and even pitched some games to help the Lions finish 4-5 in their inaugural season.

“It was fun,” Calvet said. “I was very accepted (by the boys). Everybody treated me the same and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed playing.”

She said there wasn’t much of an adjustment because she played with players that also play Little League with her. There were a couple of girls that we played against.

“It was everything I expected and I am definitely going to do it again,” added Calvet, who also plays for the GTB (Girls Travel Baseball) program that plays in tournaments throughout the country. Their last event was an International Tournament in West Palm Beach last November.

Two years ago, she was among a group of girls from South Florida who were flown out to California to compete in the inaugural ‘Trailblazer Series,’ a first-of-its-kind girls baseball tournament.

The event at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, CA took place in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day. It attracted a total of approximately 100 girls, ages 16 and under, representing 20 states across the country as well as Washington D.C. and Canada.

Calvet still has aspirations of playing Major League Baseball. In March, she was a part of MLB Grit, an inaugural high school invitational event designed specifically for 60 girls who play baseball.

It was held in Dallas, Texas. Calvert said she was able to meet members of the United States Women’s National Baseball Team and some professional players.”

“I absolutely want to play in the MLB,” she said. “It is going to take a lot of hard work.”

Calvet, who is the lone girl playing in the Senior Division of the Deerfield Beach Little League, said the ‘A League of Their Own’ movie inspired her to play baseball. When she went to California, two of the original members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1949-51) were in attendance and Calvet got to meet them.

“The most memorable thing going out there was meeting Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich because it all started with them,” said Calvet following her trip at the time.

“I had her pitching and playing shortstop for us,” said Somerset Keys baseball coach Joe Silvia. “She was a force to be reckoned with. I’ll be honest. I had her batting second and she would get on (base), steal second and third and score.”

“She was one of my heavy hitters,” he added. “It’s great having her on the team. It’s different having a girl on the team. You worry about her not hurting her arm. We do long toss, quick hands, and all of these drills.”

Calvet finished the season with a batting average of .444 and Silvia said she averaged at least two walks per game this season. She had 10 RBIs to go along with her 8 runs scored. She pitched, played shortstop and also caught the last few games of the season. Every practice, he would talk to her.

“I always went up to her and said, ‘how’s the arm? Are you good?’” Silvia said. “I pitched her in some of our games. She is the real deal. We started to practice, and she was running with the guys…taking batting practice and throwing and I was like, ‘ok, what’s going on here?’” If I had nine of her, we’d be undefeated.”

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