National Signing Day — DBHS

Posted on 11 February 2016 by LeslieM

sportsfb021116Photo by Bryan Hursh

National Signing Day is in the books. On Wednesday, Feb. 3 the top prospects from Deerfield Beach High School signed their letters of intent to play college football at their respective universities. Congratulations to the class of 2016!


Aaron Robinson (DB): University of Alabama

Cavin Ridley (WR):University of Georgia

James Pierre (SS):University of North Carolina

Simeon Brown (FS): Bethune Cookman University

Jefferson Souza (K): Alcorn State University

Michael Arthur Jr. (DE): ASA New York

Jefftey Joseph (WR):Virginia Union University

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Gnarly Charley’s Grom Surf Series hits Deerfield’s beach

Posted on 11 February 2016 by LeslieM

sportssurf021116By Rachel Galvin

On Feb. 7, little surfers hit Deerfield’s beach for the Gnarly Charley’s Grom Surf Series competition. Eighty-one kids aged 15 and under competed. The event was put on by Charley Hajek, who lives in New Smyrna Beach but holds competitions up and down the east coast.

Hajek, who is the nine-time East Coast Champion and is getting ready to go to regionals himself, said, “This keeps kids off the streets and in the water. I teach them strategies and good sportsmanship.”

His surf series includes nine divisions. This is his second time in Deerfield. One of his next competitions is in Jupiter on Feb. 27 and Ft. Pierce after that in March.

Island Water Sports and Billabong sponsored the event.

For more information, visit


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JAWorld Uncorked

Posted on 05 February 2016 by LeslieM

collage1By Rachel Galvin

Lines of food options and a bevy of spirit selections awaited those who attended JA World Uncorked! Jan. 23. The event takes over the JA World Huizenga Center on the Broward College campus yearly to benefit Junior Achievement of South Florida, which teaches students of all levels about business, economics and about issues they will face in the workforce in an interactive way. This year’s event featured models , live entertainment by the EDGE band, raffles and prizes. People could even commemorate the occasion at Stache’s photo booth.

The event was chaired by Circle of Wise Women members Lynne McGrath and Taylor McGrath with honorary chairs Bob & Susan Drinon and Renée Korbel Quinn. Breakthru Beverage Florida returned as presenting sponsor.c2

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Altieri finishes 4th in the country

Posted on 04 February 2016 by LeslieM

sports020416By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Lucas Altieri had hoped for a top-5 finish at the recent U.S. Figure Skating National Championships at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.

Mission accomplished. The 14-year-old Altieri, who skates for the Florida Panthers Figure Skating Club, won a pewter medal (fourth place) in the Intermediate Mens Division. It was quite a rise for the North Broward eighth-grader who failed to get past the sectional competition when he placed fifth, one spot out of qualifying.

Last year, I wanted to make it to sectionals, but I messed up something easy (a spin) and I didn’t make it,” Altieri said. “This year, I was hoping to make it to nationals and just do well.”

Other locals from the Panthers Figure Skating Club who competed at nationals included Coral Springs’ Sophia Chouinard, who captured the silver medal in the Intermediate Ladies Division, Weston’s Alexa Binder (9th in the Juvenile Girls Division), Bonita Springs’ Paxton James (11th in the Intermediate Ladies Division) and the Intermediate Pairs duo of Zoe Larson and Jim Garbutt, both of Coral Springs, who narrowly missed a medal by placing 5th in the Intermediate Pair Division.

Competing in the highest division in the country (Senior Ladies), Coral Springs’ Franchesca Chiera finished 12th in the country. She finished 17th and 16th the previous two years at nationals.

Highlands to host hoops class

Highlands Christian Academy will host the South Florida Basketball Coaches Social on Saturday, March 5.

The speakers include the following:

Reg Cook — (’74 Bryan University) the former Boys Varsity Basketball Coach at Highlands Christian for 28 years (Overall Record: 518-265) will have a session topic on Relationships.

Mike Blanc — (’10 Auburn University), who played on Auburn’s National Championship Team; played in NFL (Chargers & Steelers) and is the Broward Director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, will cover Personal Testimony/Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

John Zeller — (’75 Tennessee Temple University; ’95 United States Sports Academy, M.A.) the Executive Director of Score International will cover Score International.

Chad Keller — (’97 Flagler College; ’06 United States Sports Academy, M.A.), the former Boys Varsity Basketball Coach at Leesburg High School for 7 years (Overall Record: 155-47) and in his 12th season as Assistant Coach at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, will cover ERAU Philosophy/Team Camp.

Mike Jarvis — (‘68 Northeastern University) compiled a career record of 364-201 as a Men’s Basketball Coach at Boston University (‘85-’90), George Washington (’90-’98), St. John’s (’98-’03) and FAU (’08-’14). He will discuss Everyone Needs a Head Coach.

The cost is $35 for each coach prior to March 1, $45 after. Coaches can register early and receive a discount and, if three coaches from a school register, the fourth coach is free. To register, visit For more information, call Jim Good at 954-421-1747, ext. 1301 or e-mail

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BSO arrests two Deerfield youths for series of ATM robberies

Posted on 28 January 2016 by LeslieM

A third person is being sought

On Monday Jan. 25, a Broward Sheriff’s Office surveillance operation paid off when three men were spotted loitering near a Pompano Beach bank. Between mid-December and mid-January at least five robberies at walk-up and drive-through ATMs were reported in Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach, prompting the BSO’s VIPER response team to set up the surveillance post.

The robbers’ method was for two of the men to startle victims and hold them at gunpoint while demanding cash from the ATM; they would then flee with the loot.

As the VIPER team approached the three loiterers on Monday, they fled on foot. Two 17-year-old male residents of Deerfield Beach were apprehended, while a third escaped and is being sought. The two in custody have admitted committing at least five robberies, and were planning another one when interrupted by the BSO.

Anyone believing they have been victimized by these robbers, or with information leading to the third robber, should contact the BSO robbery detectives at 954-321-4270.

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Allianz Golf Championship returns Feb. 1 – 7

Posted on 28 January 2016 by LeslieM

sports012816By Sandy Johnson

The Allianz Champions Golf Tournament is returning to the Old Course at Broken Sound Country Club from Feb. 1 to 7.

Imagine people all over the world, shivering in the winter cold, tuning in to the Golf Channel and watching beautiful, sunny, warm South Florida!

This annual event is enjoyed by many and has a major impact on our local area. Last year alone, they contributed over $600,000 to local charities, including Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Junior Achievement and many others. The estimated effect on our local economy is $29 million for the week’s events.

The activities begin on Monday, Feb. 1 with a women’s event hosted by PGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam. The actual tournament runs from Friday at 10 a.m. through Sunday starting at 9 a.m. (Earlier Sunday start so that everything will be buttoned up by 3 or 4 o’clock in time for the Super Bowl!) Admission is free Monday through Thursday for practice rounds and Pro-Am and is free for the entire weekend for those under 17 and over 70.

Last year’s champion, Paul Goydos, returned last week for media day and talked at length about his win. It was his first tournament as a senior, as he had just turned 50. He said that he was here for just one week, but the tournament organizers and the Broken Sound people worked the other 51 weeks to make everything so perfect for players and spectators.

The PGA Tour, both the regular and the championship, has contributed over $120 million to charity! Think about the fact that there are no team owners to take a lion’s share of the profits. The money goes to the golfers with a huge amount going right back to the community charities in all the local venues!

For more information and full schedule of events, go to

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Jenkins steps down as Tigers coach

Posted on 21 January 2016 by LeslieM

SPORTS012116By Gary Curreri

With 20 returning seniors from last season, it wasn’t the season that Blanche Ely High School football coach Nakia Jenkins had hoped for; so, after careful thought, he told his players and administrators last week that he was resigning.

Jenkins, who finished 2-9 this season and 8-14 in two seasons as the Tigers head coach, did manage to reach the playoffs in both seasons. The Tigers lost to Atlantic, 21-13, in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs last year and Dwyer, 16-14, this season.

I think it’s best for myself and the community that I move in another direction,” Jenkins said. “I think it’s best for my family and health to step away from the game of football.”

Ridley decides

Cavin Ridley is going from being a Buck to a Bulldog.

The Deerfield Beach High School senior receiver decided on the University of Georgia, surprising many who thought he would go to the University of Alabama, where he would join his older brother, Calvin, a freshman receiver and major contributor on the national championship squad.

This was by far the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my life,” Ridley wrote on Twitter. “As you all have seen, I have really struggled to choose between some amazing universities with outstanding football programs. I took a step back to go over my recruiting options and take an in-depth second look at all the schools on my final list.”

The four-star recruit is regarded as one of the top skilled players in the country and briefly committed to South Carolina before switching to Georgia two days later. Ridley helped the Bucks win the District 11-8A title this past season. Deerfield Beach fell to the eventual state champion, Flanagan, 17-0, in the Class 8A Regional championship contest.

Local cheer teams qualify for state

Several local high school cheerleading teams are headed to the Florida High School Athletic Association state finals following their recent performances in the Region 4 tournament at Dillard High School.

Blanche Ely had the highest finish of the local teams as it placed 6th in the Large Non-Tumbling Division, while Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach placed 12th and 13th , respectively, in the Small Non-Tumbling Division at the competition. The three teams all scored at least 60 points and are headed to the state semifinals.

The Small Non-Tumbling, Small Varsity, Medium Varsity competitions will be held on Friday, Jan. 29, while the Large Non-Tumbling, Large Varsity, Extra Large Varsity, Small Co-Ed and Large Co-Ed competitions are on Saturday, Jan 30.

Beach soccer tourney slated

The South Florida United Youth Soccer League will host its inaugural SFUYSA Beach Soccer Tourney on March 12-13 on Pompano Beach.

The tournament, which is coordinated by Pro-Am Beach Soccer, will feature all divisions and age groups from youth to men, women and co-ed.

The tournament format will consist of Micro Soccer, 4v4 (4 field players, no goalie and small goals will be used); the Under-9 division plays 6v6 (5 field players, one goalie), while all other divisions play 5v5 (4 field players, one goalie).

The first place will receive a team trophy and player medals, while second place teams will receive player medals.

For more information, call 415-308-0603.

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Ely hoops looking for identity, leadership

Posted on 07 January 2016 by LeslieM

sports010716By Gary Curreri

Since the 2012 season, Blanche Ely’s boys’ basketball team has won three state titles (2012, 2013 and 2015) in addition to forging a 106-11 record during that span.

The team lost five times in 2014 when it dropped four games to Boyd Anderson and one to Cardinal Gibbons, the last time it lost more than three times in a year. In fact, not since 2008, the year after Blanche Ely won the Class 6A state title, have the Tigers lost more than six games in a single year. They finished 18-8 that season.

Blanche Ely coach Melvin Randall is in his 23rd year, including the past 15 with the Tigers, and has an overall record of 514-153 including, by his standards, a pedestrian 9-7 mark this season following the team’s 69-47 loss to Dacula (GA) in the Kingdom of the Sun Tournament in Ocala on New Year’s Eve. The team has suffered five losses in the past seven games.

It’s a whole new group,” Randall said. “It is a young, young, young, young, young team. The seniors that we have are not stepping up. They are still hiding behind the eight ball waiting for those players that graduated to pop on the court, and that is frustrating.”

We just don’t have any leadership,” added Randall, who won state titles in 1997 with Deerfield (Class 5A) and his win with the Bucks 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), 2013 (Class 7A) and 2015 (7A). “I just have to raise these young boys and go from there.”

Randall, whose team moved over to District 14-7A with the likes of St. Thomas Aquinas and Fort Lauderdale, said the team is still searching for its identity.

We just have to play ball,” Randall said. “We just have not really bought into Tiger basketball.

It goes back to missing the summer, of [not] playing during the summer,” Randall said. “They decided to go and do other things. We’ve got injuries, but my thing is I am very, very competitive and I don’t like to pose excuses. If we have five players to get out on the court, we need those five players to play.”

Randall is counting on senior Mark Houston (SG, PG) and injured senior Trevor Goodrum (SF, PF) in addition to junior Geremy Taylor (SF, SG).

They are the main ones because they have been there,” Randall said. “Not only on the local level, but on the state and national level as well. These are the ones who should really be catering to these young guys and raising them, and we’re not doing a good job of that. Because, if we are not doing our jobs, how can we teach it to those young kids? That’s where the problem is right there.”

Randall said it is a different feeling to be taking so many losses this early in the season. The Tigers suffered two losses by one point – Pebblebrook (GA), 64-63, and Sagemont, 58-57. The team also has a 74-73 win over Northeast and a 73-71 win over Fort Lauderdale.

Yeah, you get a little spoiled,” Randall said. “It’s not a great feeling to be on that other end after not being there for a while. We were blessed. It is something that we learn from. The one-point losses that we lost, and the buzzer beaters that we won – we will learn from all of those. These babies have to grow up quick.”

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Local dancer’s journey to Alvin Ailey

Posted on 04 January 2016 by JLusk

PaigeWerman photobyNir Arieli

Ever since she was 2 years old, Paige Werman has been a dancer. Little did she know as a child that dance would set her on a career track that would include a coveted spot at The Ailey School in New York City.

Her early journey into the dance world included dancing at several studios and eventually ending up at Performance Edge 2 Dance Studio in Parkland (They also have a studio in Boca).

When asked if anyone in her family is in the creative arts, she said, “My dad is a shoe designer. I guess that is where I get my creative genes from. My brother plays an instrument and my grandma writes poetry and draws.”

“At age 8, I started completing regionally, eventually nationally. My passion for dance was growing,” said Werman, who said she likes all dance styles but feels most comfortable with Contemporary and Hip-Hop.

“When I was looking into college, I knew I wanted to be a dancer as a career,” said the 21-year-old who grew up in Lighthouse Point.

After attending school at North Broward Preparatory, she ended up going to Pine Crest in High School and taking classes through their ballet program. It wasn’t until her Freshman year that her dance technique really took on a new level as she started attending Performance Edge 2 Dance Studio.

“Being there, I was able to perform almost three times per month because there was so much competition. It offered me the chance to be in so many numbers. I don’t think a lot of people who go to these classical training programs have an opportunity to do so much,” she said.

In addition, she had the opportunity to go to New York in 2011 with her mother and do a summer intensive in Contemporary Ballet.

“I fell in love with the lifestyle and decided I wanted to be in New York. I applied to Rutgers, New York University, Alvin Ailey and the University of Florida. I got into them all. But Ailey was the best,” she said.

Werman ended up doing a special Bachelor’s of Fine Arts joint program at Alvin Ailey and also Fordham University that allowed her to do a double degree in dance and environmental policy.


Photo by Kyle Froman

“The dancers are accommodated to because there are so many students who dance,” she explained, adding that dancers take different classes depending on their level. While Freshmen take specialty classes like Improv and West African dance, Sophomores take Jazz and start with Composition, which continues into their Junior year. Seniors work on Limón technique, a modern technique created by José Limón, and also have the opportunity to do choreography and cast for their performance. In addition to doing specialized classes and her standard technique classes, she also has classes on working with a partner in several styles. Overall, dance really takes over her life and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

She aspires to be a part of the main professional company, which performs at Lincoln Center. So far, she has been asked to audition twice for the second company, Ailey II. While she would love a career at Alvin Ailey, she also would love to work abroad in Israel at the Batsheva Dance Company, something she heard about through a friend who attended a program called Dance Journey through the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company.

About Alvin Ailey

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began originally in 1958 in New York City and has been an instrumental step in the lives of many dancers, including Madonna Louise Ciccone (who would later become a singer named Madonna). The Alvin Ailey company has captivated audiences in more than 70 countries around the world. In fact, they will be in Miami Feb. 18-21 at the Adrienne Arsht Center. For more information, visit



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Winter Wonderland

Posted on 03 January 2016 by JLusk

1) Olivia, 4, sliding down snow hill!DSC08254

Olivia, 4, sliding down snow hill.

By Diane Emeott

Erica Rubin brought her 3-month-old daughter, Violet, to see snow for the first time at the annual Winter Wonderland event at the Villages of Hillsboro Park on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 17. (Rubin was also handing out flyers for Brandon’s Run for Autism, a 5Kcharity walk/run coming up on Saturday, Jan. 9 at Quiet Waters Park).

Meanwhile, another snow enthusiast, Olivia, 4, was busy sliding down one of the two huge snow hills – one for ages 5 and under, and one for 6 and up.

2) Standing in line for Snow Hill.DSC08263

Standing in line for snow hill.

“She’s a snow girl,” said her mom Aimee. “We come here every year and to Colorado!”

Twenty-five tons of “snow” was delivered by Florida Ice Manufacturing Corp., at a cost of $4,875 out of the Parks & Recreation Dept. budget for the event.

Eric Williams brought kids from the new Highlands Community Center and Oveta McKeithen Park (Westside Park) to play in the snow. (Highlands Community Center just had its ribbon cutting in March and has been open to the public since June, he added).

3) Sleigh ride.DSC08301

Sleigh ride.

Families at Winter Wonderland could also participate in real horse-drawn sleigh rides, cookie decorating, games and photos with Santa.


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