Pompano reaches state for first time in school history

Posted on 25 May 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

First, came the final out on a strikeout by Pompano Beach High School junior Trevor Kniskern. Then there was the perfectly executed back flip by the 5 ft., 11 in., 170-pounder off the mound, followed by the dog pile and pure pandemonium.

Kniskern, a Pepperdine University commit, helped the Tornadoes (24-3) to their 11th consecutive victory and its first appearance at the Class 5A state tournament in school history as he tossed a 3-hit, complete game 9-0 Region 4-5A finals win over host Monsignor Pace (24-6) on Tuesday night.

Kniskern struck out six and improved to 11-0 on the season, and avenged a regional final loss to Pace last season.

Pompano Beach coach Joe Giummule said the victory was huge for the program.

Last year was the first time in 55 years, since the school won a district championship, and Pace dog piled on our field after they won the regional final, and today we got to return the favor,” Giummule said. “I don’t think it matters who you are or what team, the wins are all huge when you get to go to states.”

Monsignor Pace, winners of five state titles, lost in the Class 5A state championship game last season, 1-0 in nine innings to Jacksonville Bolles, Pompano’s next opponent. The Tornadoes will play play Bolles in the state semifinals on May 31 at 10 a.m. at Centurylink Sports Complex in Fort Myers.

After four scoreless innings, Pompano Beach junior Christopher Ajello doubled with one out, Kniskern followed with a single and junior Chase Costello pounced on a 0-1 pitch from Pace starter Manuel Rodriguez for a three-run home run to center to stake the Tornadoes to a 3-0 lead.

Pompano Beach extended the lead to 4-0 on a bases-loaded walk to Costello and then padded the lead to 7-0 on a three-run fielding error on senior Austin Carney’s fly ball to center-left in the sixth and junior Michael Schuler added an exclamation point, with a two-run single. Ajello led the way by going 2-for-2 with two runs, while junior Matt Stephenson was 2-for-4.

We made the plays and they didn’t,” Giummule added. “We have relied on pitching and defense and from 1 to 20 the kids have all bought in. This may not be the most talented team I have ever coached, but it has the best chemistry.”

The win was the first in four regional games as a coach for Giummule, who lost last year as a head coach and also fell in 2002 as an assistant coach with Deerfield Beach and in 2001 as an assistant at Taravella. He reached the state tournament in 1994 with Coconut Creek, but lost to Sarasota.

If we can continue to get pitching and defense I think we have a shot,” Giummule said, “that’s what wins championships.”

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Robbery at Taco Bell –Deerfield Beach

Posted on 22 May 2017 by JLusk

There was a robbery at Taco Bell, at 50 N. Federal Highway at 11:54 a.m. on Monday, May 22, according to Broward Sheriff’s Office. One woman was cut on the hand during the incident.

The suspect, later identified as Cameron Ahearn, 28, fled to Boca Raton and barricaded himself up on a roof of 3 Royal Palm Way where he stayed for three hours before coming down voluntarily and being arrested.

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Tornadoes march on with 8-4 win

Posted on 18 May 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

When the Pompano Beach High School baseball team kicked off the season, coach Joe Giummule believed his team was good enough to return to the Class 3A regional championship.

The team was ousted 9-3 by Monsignor Pace last year in the Regional championship game, and Giummuli is hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself. With an 8-4 win over Cardinal Gibbons in the Region 4-5A semifinal game on Tuesday, Pompano and Pace are on a collision course set for Tuesday in Miami.

They are really a talented team,” said Pompano Beach coach Joe Giummule, who is chasing his first regional title in four tries. This is his second attempt at Pompano. He was an assistant at Deerfield Beach (2002) and Taravella (2001) when those squads reached the regional finals.

 Starting pitcher Trevor Kniskern got the win for the Tornadoes against Cardinal Gibbons as he went six innings and gave up just one walk and two hits while fanning 10 Chiefs’ batters.

The right-handed junior also helped his own cause with a two-out double and scored on a Chase Costello single. Costello, who ended the day 2 for 3 with three RBIs, came around to score on an Austin Carney base hit.

 Pompano Beach added a pair of runs in the third, fourth and sixth. Costello, Mike Schuler and Chris Ajello had two hits each. Ajello also scored three times.

We just wanted to put the pressure on their defense,” said head coach Joe Giummuli, in his third year at Pompano. “We wanted to get things moving.”

Now, his team sets its sights on its second straight regional final game, against host Miami Pace next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Pompano Beach (26-3) has outscored the opposition 193-69 this season and takes on a Spartans (26-5-1) team equally as dangerous as they have outscored its opponents 314-116. Pace knocked Highlands Christian out of the regional finals last season.

Highlands Christian falls

Daniel Malay led Highlands Christian Academy with a two-run home run in the Region 4-3A final contest, while going 1-2 at the plate for the Knights in a 6-5 loss to Archbishop Carroll.

The Knights, which led 5-0 in the game, allowed six runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, ended the season at 10-13. Archbishop Carroll improved to 26-2 with the won.

 

PBMGA seeks members

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association welcomes new members of all playing levels to their Wednesday tournaments. Dues are $35 per year. Wednesday tournament greens fees are discounted. They alternate playing the Pines and Palms Courses.  There is a prize pool fee of $5 when you participate in the weekly tournament.  Additional information may be found on the website at http://www.pbmga.com.

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Anderson takes first in regional all-around

Posted on 04 May 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Lighthouse Point’s Taylor Anderson is showing Michigan State University that they made a good choice in offering her a full gymnastics scholarship.

The problem is that the Spartans still have to wait two years for her services. Anderson, a Level 10 gymnast at American Twisters in Coconut Creek, had a good showing in three of her four events at the Region 8 Level 10 championships where she finished first in the All-Around (37.275).

The 16-year-old was first in the bars (9.600), tied for first in the beam (9.400) and tied for third in the floor (9.350) at the Regional competition at the Kidsport Gymnastics Academy in Burlington, North Carolina that featured 495 gymnasts in both Level 9 and Level 10.

Anderson also tied for 18th in the vault (8.925). Her efforts on bars and beam tied her personal bests for the events.

Gymnastics means a lot to me because I do it so much and I have done it my whole life,” said Anderson, a sophomore at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale.

I love doing all of the flips and having fun…just being able to do what gymnastics is,” Anderson added. “It is just a crazy feeling knowing what to do and how do it.”

Anderson, who gave her verbal commitment to Michigan State University, earlier in the school year, also had a strong showing at the prestigious Tim Rand Invitational competition at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. The meet attracted 1,300 competitors.

In placing second in the all-around (37.525), Anderson won the bars (9.675); placed second in the beam (9.400); tied for fifth on the floor (9.300) and was seventh in the vault (9.150).

Admittedly, it is like a job with a 6-day, 30+ hours a week commitment.

It is really tough, but it pays off,” Anderson said. “You have to think about the outcome of it and what is going to happen in the future.”

Taylor comes in the gym everyday and works really hard for her goals and their aspirations,” said American Twisters coach Christina Ramirez.

Highlands advances 11 to state track meet

Highlands Christian Academy Sydney Blackburn won the shot put (35-08) and placed second in the discus with a throw of 120-08.00 at the Region 4-1A competition at Westminster Academy last week.

Freshman Ciara Huntley was second in the triple jump (30-07.50) and junior Sasha Graham placed third in the 400-meter dash (1:02.25) to qualify for the girls state championships. Highlands Academy was sixth in the meet with 48.25 points.

After placing fourth in the 1,600-meter run (4:44.16), junior Ryan Szklany battled back to win the boys 3,200-meter run (10:09.64).

Highlands Christian senior Josiah Ritzer was second in the boys discus (121-11), and third in the shot put (42-10.25) and senior Jake Peterson was third in the boys 110-meter hurdles (16.47). Senior Herman Robinson was fourth in the shot put (41-07.75) and freshman Alex Villas was fourth in the triple jump (38-10.50).

The Knights qualified three athletes in the pole vault taking second, third and fourth: Sophomores Chanz Miller (12-00), Kyle Coulson (11-06.25) and junior Scott Bush (10-11.75). The boys were fourth in the meet with 67 points.

The state championships are this weekend at IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton.

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Grand Opening, Luigi Di Roma opens in Deerfield

Posted on 01 May 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

There is a new Italian restaurant in Deerfield Beach. Celebrating its grand opening, Luigi Di Roma is located in the old Frank and Dino’s (which has moved to East Boca Raton). Chamber members had a chance to sample some cuisine at the ribbon cutting on April 20. This new locale, owned by Al Bova and his fiance Kristine Plesniak (pictured, pg. 1), features regional Italian cuisine.

I have long felt a high end Italian restaurant with large portions and reasonable prices would do well here,” said Bova. “Most Italian restaurants are overpriced and the quality is not good.”

Here, you will find selections like meatballs or Italian sausage slow simmered in Sunday gravy and ricotta over rigatoni, snapper francese, chicken parmigiana, fettucine alfredo, seafood fra diavolo, panini sandwiches and so much more. On Sundays, they have brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They have a full bar and a happy hour every day from 4 to 7 p.m. with cocktails, wine and beer for half price and six light bites for $6 each. Ask about their family dinner, available on certain days, in which you can get a four course meal for $20.

They have entertainment Wednesdays through Saturdays starting at 6:45 p.m.

Luigi Di Roma is open starting at 4 p.m. every day but Sunday and closes at 10 p.m. during the week, 11 p.m. on weekends. They are located at 718 S. Federal Hwy. in Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-281-8788 or visit www.LuigiDiRoma.com.

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Yom HaShoah: Remembering the Holocaust

Posted on 27 April 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

At Century Village’s Le Club, members of Temple Beth Israel and Bnai’ Shalom got together to remember the Holocaust on April 23 a day before Holocaust Remembrance Day. The president of Temple B’nai Shalom, Sondra Schmier, welcomed guests, which was followed by the presentation of the colors and everyone joining in to sing the “Star Spangled Banner.” Ted Schneider accompanied with the trumpet. Rabbi Ezring, of Temple Beth Israel, gave the invocation and later recited Psalm 23.

In the group were several Holocaust survivors. Gerda Hollander and Claire Eskind recited the poem “We Do Not Understand,” written by Rabbi Jill Hausman. Rosalie Blady, talked about how her husband, a survivor, would awake from nightmares screaming as he remembered the horrors.

Survivors are reticent to speak; to do so, would be to relive the horrors,” she said, recalling how her husband was reluctant to talk about it with her, but did confide in his brother.

She recited the words to the song, “Where Can I go?” See some of the lyrics of the song featured on this page.

Although some survivors wish not to speak, others cannot speak enough, wanting to make sure people never forget. Morris Dan is one of those people. Even before people were sent to the camps, the horrors began. He recalled a Jewish man who did not do as he was told by a German Nazi soldier and the soldier ordered his own son to hang him for the misdeed. He recalled his trip into Auschwitz, at 17 years old, saying he was standing on the cramped train with 80 people, no washroom, no water and only a pail, heading to the camp that held 20,000 people.

There was a German officer with a stick who said, ‘You go to the right; you go to the left. My mom and my two sisters go [one way]. I go to the [other]. I came into the camp…20,000 people in the camp… I asked a fellow inside, ‘Where is my mom; Where’s my dad?’ They showed me a chimney. I thought it was a mental place. I couldn’t believe him. I ran into someone else. He showed me the same thing. By the third time, I realized. They were gassed and burnt. I worked as a slave near that place. I saw it going on day after day, night after night, 24 hours a day … going into the gas chamber. How can I go on? I didn’t want to believe it was possible … that my mom was not alive, my dad, my family. When I came in, they told me to undress, take a shower and gave me shoes. [They asked me to give them my arm on which they tattooed a number]. From now on this is your name. I had to remember it.”

He was piled into barracks filled with bunks with multiple people in each bed. The beds were made of straw without a cushion and only a blanket.

If you had to turn, everybody had to turn,” he said.

He continued, “I thought if I want to live and tell other people, I have to be strong. I worked. If I didn’t do it fast enough, they would hit us on our heads. A lot of people were sick and they didn’t feel good. They were killed on the job. I was trying to survive to be able to talk.”

He went into the camp in 1942 and was not freed until he was liberated by the Russians in 1945. Today, he shares what he experienced.

I go into schools, churches, private clubs. I have done it for the last 40 years and I will do it until I die. Thanks to God, I did make it.”

From nine kids – seven brothers and two sisters, only he and his brother survived.

Fran Oz also told a tale – of a young baby and a few others who were spared only because a German officer needed a tailor to make him a uniform and boots. That baby, she said, is now 75. That baby is she.

Many other survivors were present and chose not to share their stories, but did come to the front and lit a memorial candle. They were joined by those who lost family members to the Shoah and others who felt the need to light a candle.

Cantor Sherman and the B’nai Shalom Choir sang and the Mourner’s Kaddish was recited before the closing comments.

Rabbi Ezring made a compelling point at the beginning. He shared how people wish to strip away reminders of the Holocaust, and mentioned how many people who were alive then are rapidly dying off or have dementia, as well as how others wish to deny it ever took place. He said it is up to us to remember, to continue to tell the stories of those no longer with us.

He said, “It’s up to us to pick up the torch. If we don’t, the slogan ‘never again’ and the call to ‘never forget’ will go away.”

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Pompano swim team takes 11th in Senior Swim champs

Posted on 27 April 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach Piranhas recently took 11th overall in the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at the Academic Village Swimming Pool.

Pompano Beach coach Jesse Vassallo brought 19 swimmers to the three-day meet and scored 449.50 points overall. The men’s team tallied 344.50 to finish 10th in that division, while the women scored 105 points, which was good enough for 17th overall.

We hoped to do that,” said Vassallo, who cited a Top-12 finish at the meet. The host South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) won the combined team title with 2,748 points. The team also captured the men’s title.

We are a small team compared to the rest,” Vassallo said. “It adds up to the relays, a point here and a point there. There are three seasons in a year and we came to this meet not rested. We didn’t stop training. We kept training and we came in tired, but we did better that I expected. I had a kid (Tyler Zuyus) win high point without being shaved.”

Zuyus, 16, a junior at Ft. Lauderdale High School, is expecting to be the top swimmer at his school. He is also a Ft. Lauderdale resident.

Meets like this help me prepare for bigger meets,” said Zuyus. “This is a marking point for where I want to be and where I am at so I know how to train for it. Sometimes we go into it not shaved or tapered and this was one of those times.”

He was pleased with winning the high point award.

It is really an accomplishment for me to do this,” Zuyus said. “I wasn’t expecting to win the high point. It shows that I am able to do well under all of the pressure. Going back-to-back with all of those races … it is a confidence booster. My high school season was great and it was the first time I place individually. Unfortunately, our relays didn’t do so well. It’s okay. We will get them next year!”

Zuyus was runner-up for the high point award at the Winter Championships. He said he is now looking forward to swimming the summer season.

I am going to sleep,” said Zuyus, who swam nine total events individually and five relays. “I haven’t slept in a couple days. I was really happy with my 200 back because I dropped two seconds and every other race was close to my personal best time.”

The team’s performance also came off a solid effort at the Junior Olympic competition a couple of weeks earlier.

At the JOs,” Vassallo said, “we were a very small group. We only brought eight swimmers. Rafael Santos won three events, and Lilia Blanco also swam really well. She is only nine, but she came in third three times and scored in every event she swam in the 10-Under competition.”

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Mixed Media Workshop: Nanette Saylor – bringing dreams to life

Posted on 24 April 2017 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Close your eyes. Think about what you would like to bring into your life. What’s next for you? What’s missing? What would you like to have in your future? If you just did that exercise, you had thoughts, pictures in your mind of those answers.

Imagery is very powerful. If you have read the book The Secret, and many other similar novels, you know about The Law of Attraction, and how being able to envision what you want in life can help you bring about what you think.

What you think about is what you create, right? Some people might be skeptical. Perhaps, they have tried and nothing has happened from trying. Well, perhaps, the problem is ‘trying,’ rather than really committing. While thinking about what you want is a good start, taking action is better… being open to opportunities that come your way, and finding ways to help you focus on what you want to create.

Creativity Coach & Possibility Partner Nanette Saylor knows all about the power of envisioning. She conducts vision board (Mixed Media) workshops, providing materials for those who attend so they can create their own boards so they can put their thoughts into images to focus on throughout the day. By keeping it in existence through images, it helps the mind focus on the goal and draws it into your life.

On April 13, Saylor had such a workshop at Uptown Art in Boca Raton (6018 SW 18 St. www.uptownart.com). She asked those in attendance to share why they had come to the workshop and what they hoped to achieve in their life. One person had gone through a divorce and wanted to create a new direction in her life. Another had been moving back and forth between American and Europe, and felt a little unsettled and also wanted to bring love into her life. Someone else said they felt stuck.

Saylor showed off some of the vision boards she had created, poster boards or pieces of paper with magazine clippings and other items affixed to them. She said some people look at the process more logically, creating a quadrant and putting pictures and words in each section that focus on different aspects on their lives – physical self, financial, relationships, etc. Another way of creating them is to just cut out whatever inspires you and figure out why you chose it later. Sometimes, she only uses images without words. At this workshop, she brought stacks of magazines, but also ribbon, buttons, bottle caps, puzzle pieces, feathers, yarn, greeting cards and more.

She showed a few books that have inspired her, including one by Shakti Gawain, who she called ‘the mother of vision boards.’ She said Gawain said, “When you put images to your thoughts, you use the power of the Law of Attraction in a way that puts it on steroids.”

Our minds process images faster than words,” said Saylor, who plans on doing another workshop on May 18.

This is not the only workshop she does. She is currently doing one on Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way.” Once this one is through, she will start another.

You can find out more about Saylor’s workshops on her Conscious Creators page on Facebook.

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Szklany, Blackburn looking for state titles

Posted on 19 April 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy (HCA) junior Ryan Szklany is looking to take his track career to new heights so it is fitting he is hoping for a career in aerospace.

Szklany won the 1,600-meter run (4:55.03) and the 3,200 (10:33.66) at the recent District 13-1A competition to help the Knights to a runner-up finish behind host King’s Academy of West Palm Beach. The Highlands girls won the District 13-1A competition with 190 points.

Szklany’s season-best time of 4:27.49 in the 1,600-meters is the second fastest in the state this year. He also has run a 9:34.08 clocking in the 3,200, which is also second fastest in the Class 1A state rankings this year. He has recently competed to the UF Pepsi Florida Relays, where he finished third in a large field

It would be amazing if I could attend Embry Riddle Aeronautic University because of their world-class aeronautic and aerospace programs,” said the 17-year-old Szklany, of Lighthouse Point who has been at Highlands for 13 years. “Texas A&M also has a very good aerospace engineering program as well as a nationally-ranked track and field program.”

His motivation?

What keeps me focused on improving is my dream of running on a college scholarship; glorifying God, who gave me my abilities; and impacting people around me,” Szklany said.

Highlands Christian Academy coach Marc Veynovich called it is a pleasure to coach Szklany, who has participated in track since the 6th grade and ran a 5:05 in the 1,600-meter run his first year.

Ryan has always responded well to coaching advice and approaches every practice with a desire to push himself to the next level,” Veynovich said. “He also brings this ‘can do’ attitude to his academic life, maintaining over a 4.3 GPA while taking honors and college level classes.

I know that whatever Ryan decides to do in the future, this approach to life will make him successful. Any college would be lucky to have him!”

Sydney Blackburn, only a freshman, won the shot put with a 34-05 throw and also captured the discus title with a 122-02 throw at the district competition. She is the second-ranked shot putter in the state at 35.86 feet and her throw of 127.95 is tops in the state in discus.

Blackburn got her start in track in 2014 with Highlands Christian while participating on the HCA Middle School Track and Field team. She holds the school record in both events and also qualified for the Junior Olympics in 2015 (USATF) and in 2016 (AAU).

I strive for perfection and hope to not only assist my team but personally challenge myself on and off the field,” said Blackburn, who hopes to attend Oregon State University or the University of Florida to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Education (Literature) and be a member of their T&F team. She is also gunning for the 2020 Olympics.

Other Highlands athletes to capture top honors in their events in the district competition included 8th graders Bianca Francis in the triple jump (32-02.75) and Abby Simpson in the 100-meter hurdles (18.93). Freshman Alex Villas won the long jump (18-07.25), while sophomores Chanz Miller captured the boys’ pole vault (11-06.25), and Jamie Sims won the girls pole vault (6-02.75).

The next step for the Highlands athletes is the regional competition at Westminster Academy on April 28 at 1 p.m.

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Bucks hoping for playoffs

Posted on 05 April 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Entering the 2017 season, Deerfield Beach High girls flag football coach Cam Thomas had high hopes and expectations for his squad.

The Bucks were coming off an 8-5 season and first round District 11-2A playoff defeat to Coral Springs. The team graduated 12 players from that team, including five key starters.

We have gone through a little bit of a rebuilding year,” said Thomas, whose team is 2-5 this year and has two difficult match-ups coming up – this week against Coral Glades and the Douglas after spring break next week. “We can still make the (District) playoffs as the fourth seed if we win those two games.”

Thomas, who had taken his team to Orlando to play the likes of Dr. Phillips and Port Orange Spruce Creek in two of the past three years, said a lack of funds prevented him from making the trip this year. He said every matchup this season was one they looked forward to.

We didn’t want to overlook anybody,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the team has received solid play from returners Taylor Brown (Sr., RB/rusher/CB), Lyndaziah Roberts (Jr., athlete), Eryuan Nesbitt (Sr., LB/TE) and promising newcomers such as Shavon Andrews (Sr., QB/LB), Jasna Mason (Sr., WR/CB), Kim Lawson (Soph., CB/RB), Rebecca Nakad (Soph., athlete) and Camellia Robinson (Soph., rusher).

Lyndaziah has had a great season,” Thomas said. “She has eight interceptions this year and has 300 yards receiving and one touchdown. She’s been a varsity player since her freshman year.”

The Bucks have been slowed by inconsistent quarterback play, according to Thomas. He said that Nakad has stepped in and done well since making a change recently with their signal callers.

It wasn’t what we thought it was going to be this year, especially on the varsity level,” Thomas said. “Rebecca has done well at quarterback since she stepped in. It is a learning experience for her since she is a soccer player. She is trying to take control of the quarterback situation right now.”

If we are going to beat Coral Glades and Douglas, Rebecca is going to have to play mistake-free football,” Thomas said. “She doesn’t have to play a great game. She just has to eliminate the minor mistakes. The top four of seven make it to the playoffs.”

Thomas said the biggest obstacle to overcome was the graduation of the 12 seniors from a year ago.

That was a huge hit because five or six were from our basketball team from last year,” Thomas said. “Just having those types of athletes, it is hard to replace them.

That is the success that South Broward is having right now because of their athletes came from their girls basketball team. There is a lot of learning that is going on with us this year. I think this is a rebuilding year for us; and next year, with the JV and the girls we have returning, we will have a good season.”

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