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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Pompano cheerleaders earn participation awards

Posted on 19 December 2019 by LeslieM

Alicia Solon, a member of the Pompano Beach Eagles Junior Prep Division Team, competes in the American Youth Football League Cheerleading Championships at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Alicia Solon is in her fourth year as a cheerleader for the Pompano Eagles team that cheers in the American Youth Football League.

Solon, 13, of Pompano Beach, was one of an estimated 800 cheerleaders who competed in the recent American Youth Football League Cheerleading Championships (AYFLC) at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami. The two Pompano Eagles teams – 9U and the Junior Prep teams, each scored participation awards.

“You have fun while you do it,” said Solon, a member of the Junior Prep squad. “Competitions like this help me improve. You have to have a lot of trust in each other and we build that through practice every day.

“I love cheerleading because I get to show what I can do,” Solon added. “It gives me a lot of energy.”

Solon, who said she’d like to cheer in high school and maybe in college too, also said she’d like to prove the doubters wrong who say cheerleading is not a sport.

“It is a sport because we work hard, just as hard as the football players,” said Solon, an 8th grader at William Dandy Middle School in Ft. Lauderdale. “We have to lift each other up and that is a weight.”

Pompano Eagles cheerleading coach Sharique McDonald brought two squads to the competition.

“The girls keep me on my toes every day,” McDonald said. “Every day, I learn something new from their little generation. I have to try and keep up just to stay in tune with them, but they keep me on my toes all of the time.”

She appreciates the daily improvement and dedication with the squads.

“That is like the best feeling ever,” McDonald said. “One of my girls has been cheering with me since she was 9 and couldn’t speak English when she first started. That was her first time cheering and, each year, she has excelled and pushes herself. They listen to my directions, and you can see they want it. The girls are what matters to me.”

McDonald also said there is a lot of focus that goes into the sport.

“You have to have a lot of discipline, and you can’t give up on yourself because you are going to take it to a whole new level with the stunting and tumbling, and your body is literally breaking down,” she noted. “You get bruised at practice and girls hit the ground hard and they get right back up and say, ‘I am going to do this.’ You can’t top that. The football players can’t top that and they have equipment.”

Pompano Beach’s Selena Sanchez, 6, who is a 1st grader at Pompano Beach Elementary School, received the prestigious Lisa Gager Spirit Award from the AYFLC. Gager was with the Sunrise program and passed away a little more than a decade ago, and the award was started in her memory for what she did in the cheerleading community.

“It is my first year as a cheerleader,” Sanchez said. “I like when we jump so high. And when we cheer at a football game, I like when people say we are good.”

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Mendez makes Florida sports history

Posted on 12 December 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Kevin Mendez

Kevin Mendez is in a select company after he became just a third boys diver in Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) history to win four straight diving titles.

The Lighthouse Point resident and Pine Crest School sophomore joined Brian Gillooly of Gateway (Kissimmee), who won diving titles in 1990-93, and Mark Ruiz of Dr. Phillips (Orlando), who won titles in diving from 1994-97.

Coincidentally, he is the third diver from the school to win four in a row as he joined Pine Crest’s Carolyn Chaney, who won four straight titles in diving from 2011-14, as did another Panthers’ female diver in Joel Lenzi, who won in 1956-59. 

There were three other girls divers to win four straight, including Cherie Hammond (West Orange, Winter Garden) from 2007-10; Mary Hoerger (Miami Beach) from 1937-40, and Patty Kranz (Westminster Academy, Ft. Lauderdale) from 2007-10.

Mendez’s win in diving this year in Stuart at the FHSAA 2A State Championships gives the state championship diving title to the Pine Crest School for seven years in a row.

In addition to his FHSAA accomplishments, Mendez has been a stellar USA Diving junior diver, winning nearly a dozen USA Diving National Championship titles.

“Probably the best thing to happen to me was winning states because I came back two months before the high school season after taking a year off from the sport,” Mendez said. “I did not expect to win states.”

Ely boys expect to contend for state title

Blanche Ely’s Lamont Evans, right, tries to get past St. Andrew’s Landon Brody in a Kreul Showcase game at Monarch High School. Evans led the Tigers with 17 points and 5 assists in the 60-46 setback at the hands of St. Andrews. Photo by Gary Curreri

One thing is a given, the Blanche Ely boys basketball team stumbles in the early season Kreul Showcase basketball tournament and then rises to the occasion during the state tournament at the end of the year.

Lamont Evans led the Tigers with 17 points and 5 assists in the 60-46 setback at the hands of St. Andrews at Monarch High School as part of the Kreul Showcase, which featured many of the top teams in South Florida.

Even in defeat, coach Melvin Randall was pleased with his team’s performance. 

“Tonight, we finally played Tiger basketball,” Randall said after the game. “It’s small steps, but we will get there.

You will see a humungous difference in the coming weeks.”

Blanche Ely (3-1) was shorthanded in the contest as they were waiting for Iowa State commit Dudley Blackwell to become eligible after transferring from Huntington Prep (WV).

“We are always going to learn from a loss and keep growing,” Randall said. “St. Andrew’s is a good, well-coached ball club and a good team. It is a work in progress. We are young and inexperienced, but (this) week you will see a huge difference. All this, like it has been in the past, we learn from this. We watch the film, correct some of our bad habits and praise some of our good ones and move forward.”

Last year, the Tigers opened the season with a 62-52 loss to University School in the Kreul Showcase as both teams went on to win state championships. 

University School won the Class 5A state title, while the Tigers won a record eight state championships in March with a 57-52 win over Bradenton Lakewood Ranch in the Class 8A championship at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

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Vassallo inducted into Broward Sports Hall of Fame

Posted on 27 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Jesse Vassallo, left, was inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame, along with (from left to right) John Cohen (Spirit of Sport recipient), Guy Harvey, Tamara James, Eddie Rodger, Roberto Luongo and OJ McDuffie. Submitted photo

Pompano Beach Piranhas Swim Team head coach Jesse Vassallo was recently inducted into the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame.

He was joined by fellow 2019 inductees, including Dr. Guy Harvey (Fishing), Tamara James (Basketball), Roberto Luongo (Ice Hockey), Otis James “OJ” McDuffie (Football) and Eddie Rodger (Soccer).

“It was a surprise for me,” Vassallo said. “I have been 10 years in Broward and I didn’t expect to be recognized that quickly. I am very honored. I know some of the other inductees and they are people that I have always admired and very proud.”

Vassallo, 58, of Pompano Beach, is a three-time World Record holder and obtained his first world record at the age of 15 when he was just a  freshman in high school. In 1976, he held the world record in the 400-meter individual medley (the toughest event in swimming), and again in 1978.

In 1979, he took over the world record in the 200-meter individual medley and was also a two-time US Olympian (1980 and 1984). Equally impressive is his National 13-14 age-group record in the 1,500-meter freestyle when he was just 13 years old. This record remains unbroken and still stands as the longest U.S. National Age Group record in history – even Michael Phelps admitted to Vassallo that Phelps was not able to break the record time of 15:31.03 at that age. 

Vassallo wanted to participate in the 1976 Summer Olympics, which were held in Montreal, Canada, representing Puerto Rico, but he could not participate due to a ruling of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee that stated that “in order to represent Puerto Rico, a person must have resided on the island for at least a year. 

Vassallo was unable to attend the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow, Russia, because of the boycott imposed by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. He competed in another competition held in the United States, which was held at the same time as the Moscow Olympics. Vassallo made better times in the 200- and 400-meter individual medley event at the competition than the two gold medalists in Moscow.

Vassallo has also been inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, the University of Miami’s Hall of Fame, the Puerto Rican Hall of Fame, and the Japanese Swimmers Hall of Fame. He has been on the covers of Sports Illustrated, the Olympian and Swimming World Magazine.

“I went through a boycott and some political things that were very frustrating to my swimming career,” he said. “Being inducted into the Hall of Fames, it really fills up a good spot. It means you are recognized for history.”

Bucks advance to semifinals

Deerfield Beach running back Jaylan Knighton ran for 93 yds and two touchdowns on 15 carries to lead the Bucks to a 35-7 victory over host Vero Beach in a Class 8A regional final last Friday.

Knighton also became the third back to surpass 5,000 yds in Broward County history.

Knighton, who missed the past week of practice due a bruised left thigh, has 5,054 career yds and is 23 yds shy of becoming second in all-time rushing yards behind the late Tyrone Moss of Blanche Ely.

Deerfield Beach (10-3) advances to the state semifinals for the third time in four years. They will face Miami Columbus Friday on the road.

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Bucks rout Palm Beach Central, 44-6

Posted on 21 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach senior quarterback Michael Pratt returned from injury and passed for two touchdowns, and rushed for another, to lead the Bucks to a 44-6 win over host Palm Beach Central, 44-6, in the Class 8A regional semifinal last Friday night.

“We played well and are peaking at the right time,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn, whose team defeated Palm Beach Central in last year’s regional final. “We were prepared and have played a tough schedule to be ready.”

After Palm Beach Central seized a 6-0 lead, the Bucks scored 44 unanswered points for the victory. Pratt, a Tulane commit, returned to the field after missing the regional quarterfinal contest with a wrist injury on his throwing arm.

“We just took care of business,” Pratt said following the game. “Our offensive line blocked well so our run game was established stuck to their assignments so they had to take care of that and we were able to get outside and make some big plays.”

After the Broncos took the initial lead, Deerfield Beach wasted little time in responding and taking the lead for good on a 90-yard kickoff return for a score by Joseph Kennerly for a 7-6 lead. Pratt made it 14-6 with a TD run and then responded with two TD passes from Pratt to Xavier Restrepo and Deajaun McDougle to extend the lead to 28-6. Bucks running back Jaziun Patterson added two second half TD runs for the final margin.

Deerfield Beach will play in the Class 8A regional final at Vero Beach on Friday.

Pompano Beach Golf Results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association recently held several events starting with a Four-Man scramble on Oct. 30 at the Pines Course.

The team of Jim Foster, Fred Joy, Lance Naiman and Willie Smith won the event when they carded a 62. They were followed by Jorge Duarte, Bob Mascatello, Pete Strychowskyj (who played with alternating shots) and finished second with a 65 after matching cards with Jerry DeSapio, Bill O’Brien and Jack Permenter (who also alternated shots).

Chuck Brown, Bill Delaney, Kevin Narus and Brian Nixon shot a 67 to finish in fourth. The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 3 was Bob Mascatello.

In the Two Best Ball of a Foursome event on Nov. 6 at the Pines, the team of Terry Denoma, Jorge Duarte, Kevin Narus and Dennis Rooy fired a 114 to win the championship by one stroke over the team of Chuck Brown, Andy Burt, Steve Serkey and Willie Smith. Finishing in third was George Disch, Jerry Goodman, Mike Katawczik and Val Rapoport, who shot 118, while the team of Oscar Aleman, Gary Gill, Mike Marruquin and Bob Mascatello shot a 119 to finish fourth. Lance Naiman won the closest to the pin on hole No. 15. He stepped up and made the 2-ft., 5-in. putt for a birdie.

Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association also held a 1-2-3 Best Ball, mixed foursome event with the team of Terri Schulte, Pat DeSanctis, Nancy Cutler and Eleanor Tague coming out on top with a 123. The team of Sandra Gore, Vonnie O’Keefe, Lori Tarmey and Carla Tinnirello (won tiebreaker) with a 128.

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Bucks move on in football playoffs

Posted on 14 November 2019 by LeslieM

The First Tee of Broward County recently kicked off its Veterans program at the Pompano Beach Golf Club. Submitted photo, courtesy of Jack Bloomfield.

By Gary Curreri

With starting quarterback Michael Pratt out with a wrist injury in his throwing arm, the Deerfield Beach football team was still hitting on all cylinders as they rolled to a 53-9 victory over visiting Palm Beach Gardens in the Class 8A regional quarterfinals on Friday.

Senior running back Jaylan Knighton had 15 carries for 105 yd. and two first half touchdowns to help stake the Bucks to a 29-9 halftime cushion.

Derohn King threw two TD passes to Dejaun McDougle to put Deerfield up big. The host Bucks also picked up a safety, a 90-yd. kickoff return for a TD by Xavier Restrepo, a scoring run by Jaziun Patterson and a scoring pass from Marquise Pierre to Aydin Henningham.

“We’re trying to make history here,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn following the game. “Nobody here has ever made a state championship. The only time you can get cocky is if you come out December 13th or 14th with a victory because that’s when we did something that nobody’s ever did.”

Deerfield Beach will host Palm Beach Central in a rematch of last year’s regional final in the regional semifinal.

Tigers fall to Atlantic, 47-12

For the second time in three weeks, Blanche Ely came up short against district rival Atlantic High School on the road.

Atlantic running back Montahj Joseph ran for 154 yd. and two touchdowns in a 47-12 Class 7A regional quarterfinal contest on Friday night in Delray Beach. Junior quarterback Guenson Alexis passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in the win.

Danard Little had a 4-yd. scoring run late in the first half to pull the Tigers within 14-6, but it was the closest they would come. Atlantic tacked on a late score with four seconds left in the half and forced a running clock in the second half.

First Tee kicks of Vets program

The First Tee of Broward County recently kicked off its Veterans programs at the Pompano Beach Golf Club, Weston Hills Country Club and Eagle Trace Golf Club. In partnership with Mission United, the First Tee of Broward holds free eight-week programs for the veterans.

The coaches include T.J. Ziol, Darrell Welker, Rob Steffes, Julian Gil, Steve Voguit and Nick Cupper, while the volunteers include Garry Moses, Mike Dobzinski, Tom Kuhlman, Tom Meehan, John Pisano and Tyler Bohall. There are 55 participants in the program, which is sponsored by The Harry T. Mangurian Foundation.

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Ranse Classic draws hundreds of players

Posted on 07 November 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The 10th Annual Ranse Classic Beach Volleyball tournament was more about the camaraderie and the community rather than the competition.

An estimated 300 players took part in the beach volleyball tournament north of the Deerfield Beach pier that celebrated the life of Ranseford “Ranse” Jones. From junior players to top open competitors, there was a sense of pride among all at the 30 sand volleyball courts.

Tournament Director Diogo Sousa said the event holds a special place in his heart. He met Jones when he was younger at Deerfield Beach.

“I was 16 and he was one of the first people to stand up for me at Deerfield Beach when nobody would let me on the volleyball courts,” said Sousa, now 31, who lives nearby. “He was the first person I played with and, after we played for one day together, he went around to everybody and told them I was allowed to play anytime I wanted in Deerfield.”

“Since then,” he added, “this has been my home beach to play on. It is truly amazing to see someone’s life celebrated, year in and year out.

There are so many people that support the charity and the type of person that Ranse was. Everybody loved him and they continue to show love, not only to Ranse who passed away, but his family. His mother and father come down for this event every year.”

“This is way above cool,” said Jones’ mother, Sherry Marthinuss. “It is going to take me the whole weekend to come down from this. Ranse connected with people, obviously, and that is what he left us with. It is his legacy. That’s why we get together every year and celebrate that and keep building on it.

“We call it the biggest reunion on the east coast,” she continued. “A lot of the volleyball players he played with and knew still compete and want to win. It is great vibes and lots of love.”

In April 2010, Jones, a former Deerfield Beach firefighter, suffered a brain aneurysm while playing in the semifinals of the Panama City AVP Young Guns tournament. He died Nov. 8 that year at the young age of 34. Jones had played in 21 AVP tournaments since 2000. He also spent time on the Extreme Volleyball Professionals tour and competed in the Men’s Open Division of the 2009 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball.

The Ranse Volleyball Classic has evolved into a nationally-recognized event to benefit Stroke Awareness, through the hard work of the local volleyball community.

The tournament generally raises between $20-$30,000 on an annual basis for the Ranse Jones Stroke Awareness Fund at the Broward Health North Stroke Center. To date, the event just exceeded $300,000.

Nikki Esposito, 22, has been coming to the tournament for years. Her father, John, is one of the organizers. She starred at Pompano Beach High School before playing with the FSU Seminoles.

“I have been playing in this tournament since I was 12,” she said. “Because I have been playing at Florida State, I haven’t been able to play in the tournament for the last four years, so I made the drive down this year.

“It has grown a lot and almost doubled in players this year,” she said. “It is so much fun getting everyone together from all over the state and the country. I made new friends. We just had a lot of fun.”

Flavia Fernandes, 36, also of Deerfield Beach, said the tournament is definitely for fun. She has also played in the tournament for about five years. She coached Esposito when she was younger.

“This tournament is not so much about winning, or the competition,” Fernandes said. “You still have the competitive drive and at the end of the day, you know it is for a good cause.

“For me, this is the most fun tournament of the year,” Fernandes said. “This is special for me because everyone comes from so far and I see the hard work that the organizers put in. We all look forward to it.”

Jonathan Rogers, 28, of Deerfield Beach, said they had nice weather on the first day and a little rain on the second.

“Usually, it is pretty windy this time of year,” Rogers said. “It was really sunny and really a nice day for volleyball. Considering the format and that you don’t know the partner you are playing with, I was pretty happy that we made it to the semifinals of the open division.

“I ended up being paired up with a guy from Brazil,” Rogers added. “He was a really cool dude. We couldn’t communicate because he didn’t speak English, but it was fun.”

3rd Annual Ryan Owens Memorial Run set for Saturday

The 3rd Annual Ryan Owens Memorial Run is set for Nov. 9 on Deerfield Beach. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. Organized by the Naked Warrior Project, the run pays tribute to Fallen Navy SEAL, Ryan Owens, who grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and was killed in action on Jan. 29, 2017. 

The four-mile beach run on Deerfield Beach is fashioned after the weekly timed beach runs in Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training that candidates must pass. Runners of all levels are welcome. Limited to 500 runners, the race will be timed and medals awarded. The entry fee is $40. 

“I began The Naked Warrior Project in 2017 to ensure that the memory of these brave warriors and their sacrifices are never forgotten,” said South Florida resident John Owens, a retired Navy SEAL and brother of Ryan Owens. The mission of the non-profit organization is to memorialize fallen Navy SEALs, help injured Navy SEALs in their recovery and provide support to their families through education, connecting families and building memorials.

“This run is our largest event of the year,” said Owens. “We run this race to honor Ryan’s life and the money raised this year will go toward building a memorial to Ryan here in South Florida.”

Following the run, the organization’s annual dinner and silent auction will be held at the Royal Palm Yacht Club in Boca Raton. Dinner tickets are $150 per person. Dinner sponsorship opportunities are available at different levels. The evening also includes a silent auction. The organization holds several other annual fundraising events including a fishing tournament and golf outings.

To register for the run, learn more about sponsorships and donations and for more information, visit

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Deerfield routs Monarch for 5th straight title

Posted on 31 October 2019 by LeslieM

Bucks running back Jaylan Knighton No. 4 accounted for 182 yd. and three touchdowns in Deerfield Beach’s 41-0 win over Monarch. File photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Senior running back Jaylan Knighton ran for 113 yd. and two touchdowns as Deerfield Beach won its fifth straight district championship and 23rd overall with a 41-0 District 12-8A victory over host Monarch at Coconut Creek High School last Friday night.

Senior quarterback Michael Pratt also found the end zone twice for the Bucks who scored on their first two possessions to take a 14-0 lead and were never headed as they rolled to their 23rd consecutive district win.

Deerfield Beach (6-3) took a 7-0 lead with 7:24 remaining in the first quarter on a 1-yd. quarterback sneak by Pratt. The Bucks made it 14-0 on a 14-yd. run by Knighton as the score capped a 5-play, 38-yd. drive. Knighton scored again with 4:58 remaining in the first half to push the lead to 21-0. The drive was set up by a 33-yd. punt return by Bryce Gowdy. Knighton finished the first half with 14 carries for 111 yd.

“Today, I could have done better,” said Knighton, an FSU commit, who accounted for 182 total yards with 69 yd. receiving and another score in the game. “Today was a great day. We got the victory. Since I have been here, we won the district championship every year. It is a great experience to bring it home.”

Deerfield added one more score at the end of the first half as Pratt capped a 7-play, 77-yd. drive with an 8-yd. scoring run. Knighton hauled in a 57-yd. pass from Xavier Restrepo on a fake punt to extend the lead to 34-0 with 10:04 left in the third quarter. The final score of the night came on a 1-yd. plunge by backup quarterback Derohn King for a 41-0 lead.

“Right now, we are above average,” Knighton added. “We are working every single day and trying to get better, not taking no days off.”

Deerfield Beach is 8-1 in the series between the two schools. In the last five meetings, Deerfield is 5-0 and has outscored the Knights, 206-7 during that span. Deerfield outscored the opposition, 340-110 and was coming off a loss to St. Thomas Aquinas, which snapped a five-game winning streak.

Last season, Deerfield Beach fell in the state semifinals of the Class 8A tournament as they lost 49-21 to Miami Columbus and finished 12-2. Deerfield lost in the regional quarterfinal the season before and lost in the state semifinals in 2016 to the eventual state champion, Southridge, 26-7, in 2016.

Ely falls to Atlantic

Atlantic clinched their third consecutive district championship with a 34-16 win over visiting Blanche Ely in the District 13-7A clash last Friday.

Blanche Ely (7-2) took an early lead on a field goal, before the host Eagles built up an 18-point lead. The Tigers clawed back as senior Darnell Deas punched in an 11-yd. touchdown run to cut the Eagles’ lead to 12 with 1:26 left in the first half. Blanche Ely then closed to within 21-16 quarterback Jevon Williams found junior Dewante Deas on the near sideline for a 40-yd. scoring toss.

The Eagles tacked on two fourth quarter scores to pull away and punch their ticket to the postseason for the sixth straight year. Blanche Ely will tackle Dillard at home on Saturday in the annual Soul Bowl at 5 p.m.

Ranse Volleyball tourney this weekend

The 10th Annual Ranse Classic will be held this weekend, Nov. 2-3 on Deerfield Beach near the pier.

The Ranse Classic is a beach volleyball Pro-Am tournament in memory of Ranse Jones, an avid beach volleyball player, whose life was cut short when he suffered a stroke while playing an AVP Young Guns Tournament in 2010. Registration for the event closes today (Oct. 31) at 4 p.m.

On Friday, there will be a Blind Draw Party at Burger Craze 7:30 p.m. followed by the tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

The men’s and women’s Pro AM Blind Draw Doubles will be held on Saturday. There will also be raffles and a silent auction from 4-9 p.m. at Bru’s Room and drawings will take place at 9:30 p.m. There will be a player party with live band Uproot Hootenanny at Bru’s Room 7:30 p.m. until closing.

The men’s and women’s Open Doubles Tournaments is on Sunday. There will also be a juniors Blind Draw Doubles Tournament with divisions for 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U and a Coed Doubles Tournament with AAA and AA divisions.

Money raised will be donated to Ranse Jones Stroke Awareness Fund at Broward Health North.

For more information, visit the Facebook page at

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Tigers roar past Coconut Creek, 28-16

Posted on 24 October 2019 by LeslieM

Blanche Ely senior Jevon Williams ran for 135 yds. and three TDs in a 28-16 win over Coconut Creek last Friday night. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely senior quarterback Jevon Williams ran 11 times for a game-high 135 yds. and three scores as the Tigers rallied for a 28-16 win over visiting Coconut Creek on Friday night.

Blanche Ely (7-1) won for the fifth straight game and will face Atlantic on Friday at 7 p.m. for the District 13-7A championship.

“Speed is everything,” said Williams, a three-time state champion hurdler in track. “Football is speed, it is not just strength, and I go by speed…if they can’t stop me, they can’t stop me.

“Last year, we won one game and, this year, we won our seventh game,” added Williams, who also threw for 100 yds. in the game. “We are on a winning streak right now. It feels great to me, and I am proud of this team and proud of myself as well. We got Atlantic next week and we are going to win that game as well.”

Coconut Creek (4-4) got on the scoreboard first on a safety when Blanche Ely punter Schneider Etienne had his knee touch down in the end zone as he was attempting to punt the ball for a 2-0 Cougars’ lead. 

Coconut Creek scored on its opening offensive series when Cedrick Bennett hit Damien Heller on a screen pass, and he went untouched from 23-yds. out for a 9-0 lead with 8:22 remaining in the first quarter.

Williams scored on a 6-yd. run to trim the lead to 9-7 before the Cougars’ John Blackmon hauled in an 8-yd. TD pass from Bennett to boost the lead to 16-7. 

The Tigers scored twice before the end of the first half to take the lead for good as Williams scored on a 6-yd. run and Shomari Lawrance scored on a 13-yd. run to cap a 9-play, 63-yd. drive with 3:22 left in the first half. Lawrance finished the game with 14 carries for 63 yds.

The Tigers capitalized on an interception by Antonio McBride, and Williams padded the lead when he scored on a 59-yd. run with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter for a 28-16 lead.

Blanche Ely’s lone defeat this season was a 42-0 loss to Deerfield Beach in the third game of the season. Since then, they have reeled off five wins in a row.

“Deerfield was a game where I felt we beat ourselves and I didn’t harp on that,” said Blanche Ely coach Clifford Wimberly after the Tigers finished 1-9 last year. “We jumped right back into action and put that game behind us. I told the kids we have a long season left to play and our goal was to ‘restore the roar,’ we would no longer be the step-child in Broward County and I think we are doing that.”

“I made the kids believe,” Wimberly said. “I gave them a vision…this is one of the heartbeats of the community. This is where my family is from and I am deeply rooted in Pompano. I knew how big the job was when I was taking it. We were 1-9 last year, but a lot of people don’t realize we probably played the toughest schedule in the state, and we have only lost one game since the spring.”

Blanche Ely is 10-5 against the Cougars dating back to 2004. Coconut Creek had won the last two meetings, and three of the last four entering the contest. The Tigers have outscored their opposition 244-126 this season.

Bucks fall 28-7 at St. Thomas Aquinas

Deerfield Beach fell on the road to St. Thomas Aquinas, 28-7 in a nationally-televised game that featured two of the top teams in the county.

The Bucks (5-3) had their five-game win streak come to a halt as the St. Thomas Aquinas team remained undefeated through seven games.

The Bucks’ Xavier Restrepo got the Bucks on the board first with a 54-yd. scoring toss from Michael Pratt with 7:19 remaining in the first half. From there, it was all Raiders who finished with eight sacks and scored 28 unanswered points.

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Local football teams on win streaks

Posted on 16 October 2019 by LeslieM

Jaylan Knighton is hopeful of helping Deerfield Beach to a win over host St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Both the Deerfield Beach and Blanche Ely football teams are on a roll.

The Bucks (5-2) have won five straight games after starting the season 0-2, while the Tigers are 6-1 after winning their fourth consecutive game. Blanche Ely’s only loss this season was a 42-0 setback to Deerfield Beach in the third game of the season. Since then, they have reeled off four wins in a row, including a 48-7 win over Olympic Heights.

“The discipline has definitely improved, and we have a great senior class,” said Blanche Ely coach Clifford Wimberly after the Tigers finished 1-9 last year. “We’re taking one game at a time and finding the little things to help us improve.”

When they defeated Stranahan 26-24 two weeks ago, it marked their first win over a team with a winning record in 13 games, dating back to a 13-7 overtime win over Dillard in the Soul Bowl on Nov. 5, 2016. 

Tigers’ senior running back Shomari Lawrence scored on a 28-yd. run midway through the fourth quarter in the Stranahan game for the difference. He wound up with 20 carries for 94 yds.

Coming off a 64-0 manhandling of Spanish River, Deerfield Beach will face a still test this weekend when they face the nation’s 12th ranked team at St. Thomas Aquinas.

The Bucks will be led by senior quarterback Michael Pratt and senior running back Jaylan Knighton, in addition to a stellar receiving corps.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held an individual play (Low Gross and Low Net in Classes) on the Pines Course on Oct. 9.

Gary Gill won the Low Gross for Class A with a 75. Winning the Low Net competition was Chuck Brown, who carded a 64, while Bill O’Brien shot a 75 to take second.   

The Class B Low Gross winner was Lance Naiman, who shot an 86 and won a tiebreaker. Jack Permenter and Charles Schaefer each shot 67s, but Permenter won in a tiebreaker to take Low Net in the Class B competition.                                                                                                   

In the Class C competition, Oscar Aleman won the Low Gross with an 88, while Jerry DeSapio won the Low Net with a 68 and Jim Blake was second with a 71.   

Bob Mascatello won the Class D Low Gross honors with a 92. Al DiBenedetto won the Low Net in the Class D with a 65, while Dennis Rooy was second with a 68.

The closest to the pin winner on hole (No. 7) was Charles Schaefer, whose tee shot came to rest 8ft., 10in. from the hole. He stepped up and made the putt.

Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association recently held a Cat Fight in Classes tournament on Oct. 15. The winner of the A/B Class was Janet Stuart with a +1, while Lynn Goodman won the tiebreaker over Deborah Brown. They both carded a -3 in the competition. Lori Tarmey won the C/D Class with an Even score, while Dianne Levanti at -3 was second.

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