Altieri unfazed by pressure; qualifies for nationals

Posted on 26 December 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri 

Lucas Altieri practices his routine as he gears up for nationals next month.
Photo by Gary Curreri.

Lighthouse Point’s Lucas Altieri is headed to his fifth straight national figure skating championships next month. Altieri, 18, who is a senior at North Broward Prep, has finished fourth twice at nationals and qualified for the 2020 United States Figure Skating Championships from Jan. 20-26, 2020, at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N. C. After two to three years, he started to realize that this was a sport he wanted to do. He has been a figure skater for eight years and is a member of the Pines Figure Skating Club out of the Pines Ice Arena in Pembroke Pines.

 Altieri qualified for nationals after he finished third in the Junior Men’s Division with a 69.69 score after his short program, and followed that up with a 126.50 for a 196.19 total at 2020 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

 “I definitely wanted to have a good showing and show U.S. Figure Skating my best,” said Altieri, who will compete in his 5th straight nationals competition where he has finished 4th twice.

“I wanted to stay consistent so U.S. Figure Skating knows I am ready for what they give to me. I would still like to skate in the Olympics. I have been wanting to do that for a very long time. I like performing under pressure,” he added. “After you perform well under pressure, that is really the best feeling.”

 11 Bucks sign with colleges

Deerfield Beach senior Bryce Gowdy (Georgia Tech) signs his national letter-of-intent at a ceremony on Wednesday. Photo by Gary Curreri.

Deerfield Beach High School was well represented on Early Signing Day last Wednesday as 11 football players signed their national letters-of-intent.

The marquee signee was Jaylan Knighton who is the second leading rusher in Broward County history. Knighton led the Bucks to three straight state semifinal appearances as he rushed for 5,174 yds., second all-time in Broward County history to former Blanche Ely star Tyrone Moss (7,105 yds). He had 1,534 rushing yards and 20 TDs this year.

 Knighton chose the Hurricanes just a couple weeks after decommitting from Florida State following the dismissal of Coach Willie Taggart. Before committing to FSU, Knighton had verbally committed to Oklahoma.

“I chose Miami because they never stopped recruiting me,” Knighton said. “I have some great bonds with the coaches, the players…there is so much about the school, it is unexplainable.”

He will be joined at the UM by teammate Xavier Restrepo, who is the first one from his family to go to college. 

 “This is really big,” Restrepo said. “I am the first one from my family to graduate and head off to college out of all my uncles, aunts, grandparents, everybody. It is a big accomplishment in my family. It’s been an amazing journey.”

Michael Pratt, who transferred to Deerfield Beach this year after spending the past three seasons at Boca Raton High School, said the decision to graduate early and head to Tulane was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. 

Others who signed included wide receiver Deajaun McDougle (Maryland), wide receiver/defensive back Bryce Gowdy (Georgia Tech).

McDougle, who became the Bucks’ all-time leader in receiving yardage with more than 2,000 yds., said it was a lot of hard work to reach this point.

“This was a long process,” said McDougle. “I know I’m capable of playing at the next level, and I’ll see what is next for me.”

Other Deerfield Beach signees on Wednesday were safety Christopher Townsel (South Florida), defensive tackle Kervins Choute (Central Florida), wide receiver Aydin Henningham (Pittsburgh), cornerback Anthony Prospere (Tennessee Martin), tackle Woody Jean (Arizona) and offensive tackle Bryce McNair (Ohio).

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