Christensen captures Boros Award

Posted on 08 August 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Thomas Christensen, a 2019 graduate of Pompano Beach High School, won the Junior Golf Association of Broward County’s Julius Boros Award. Photo by Gary Curreri.

Thomas Christensen, a 2019 graduate of Pompano Beach High School, captured the most prestigious award that the Junior Golf Association (JGA) of Broward County has to offer.

The 18-year-old from Coral Springs won the coveted Julius Boros Award, which goes to the male golfer who had the lowest stroke average for the summer golf series. His scoring average was 72.4. He is headed to the honors college at the University of Florida (UF).

“I’ve always wanted to go to the UF since I was a little kid,” Christensen said. “Both of my parents went to UF and I grew up watching Tim Tebow on TV, so it was kind of my thing. I had to go to UF, and I am happy that I get to go.”

Christensen has played in the JGA of Broward since 2009, but he took some time off when he got frustrated that the other golfers in his group hit the ball farther.

“I had moved up the divisions, but I got to a point to where I didn’t hit the ball far enough to keep up,” he said. “I wasn’t really enjoying it.”

That was when he was 11-years-old. He came back after a two-year layoff after growing about 6 in. in height and working more on his game.

“I was around 5 ft. tall playing in the junior division, and the rest of the golfers looked like giants to me. They were like 5-10 and 5-11,” said Christensen, who is now 6 ft., 3 in. tall. “I was definitely a lot smaller than the rest.”

He finished third in the three-day, season-ending tournament, and, in addition to winning the Boros Award, he also won the Purdo Award for the highest grade point average for a male golfer and also the Bedford Scholarship.

“Going into the past few seasons, it wasn’t about winning every event,” Christensen said. “Every day, I came to this final event of the championship, and I see the guy who gets to go up and get his name engraved on the large Julius Boros Award trophy, and I have always wanted to do that.

“So, this year,” he continued, “it as mostly about earning that award and not so much about winning the individual tournaments. I wasn’t trying to do anything too fancy, just put up some good solid numbers.”

Christensen said he continues to improve.

“I am still learning a lot about my own game,” Christensen said. “I am finding myself in situations where I can post numbers. I like to make several birdies in a round. The key is putting it together every single hole.

“I feel like I am due for that,” Christensen said. “It hasn’t quite happened yet, so I am going to keep working at it.”

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Highlands holds basketball camp

Posted on 01 August 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy continued its long tradition of hosting a basketball camp this summer. Reg Cook, the school’s former AD, and Boys Varsity basketball coach, started the camp in 1986 with 19 campers in attendance. This year’s camp had 25 campers and consisted of children in the 3rd through 8th grade.

We had a great group of campers,” said Highlands Christian basketball coach Paul Pridemore, who is also the school’s athletic director. “They learned a lot of fundamental skills that they can build on. The most exciting thing that happened was we had one camper that accepted Christ as his savior.”

Trophies were awarded for competitions like free throws, hot shot, full court layups, Mikan layups, one-on-one, in addition to the best defender, most improved and camper of the week.

In addition to basketball, Highlands Christian Academy also held a softball camp and a volleyball camp that ended this week.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held two tournaments recently for its players. A total of 29 golfers competed in the Two Best Ball of Foursome tournament on July 17 at the Pines Course and the team of Jim Blake, Frank Cutrone and Willie Smith shot 116 to win by two strokes. The team of Bill Hazlett, Robert Raser and Dennis Sejda shot a 118 and won on a match of cards over the third place team of Robert Blau, Gary Gill and Jim Greeley, who also carded a 118. Jim Blake won the closest to the pin contest on hole No. 15.

One week later, the Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held an individual play – Odd Holes Minus ½ Handicap in Classes tournament on the Pines Course with Tom Pawelczyk winning the Class A Net Score with a 29.0. Dennis Sejda recorded a 29.5 to take second, while Bill Hadersbeck shot a 30.0 to finish in third in the Class A.

 In Class B, Mike Marruquin shot a 29.5 and finished in first place after a match of cards over Jim Greeley. Robert Raser carded a 30.0 to take third.

Dennis Rooy shot 27.5 to take first place in the Class C Division, while Bill Hazlett (29.5) and Henry Lesburt (30.5) finished second and third respectively. Lesburt won on a match of cards. The closest to the pin winner on hole (No. 17) was Bill O’Brien.

There were 30 players in the field.

Simply Soccer camp down to final week

Area residents have one final chance to take part in the Simply Soccer camp series that is in its 31st year 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 final week is 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.

Highlands Christian Academy recently held a basketball camp with 25 campers (bottom photo). The camp also handed out awards (top photo).

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Bloomfield is guest speaker at luncheon

Posted on 25 July 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri
First Tee of Broward County Director of Operations Jack Bloomfield was the guest speaker at the Exchange Club of Pompano’s weekly luncheon recently.
The Pompano Exchange Club has been lending support to the First Tee of Broward County chapter for the past three years by playing in their fall golf tournament and annual Golf Marathon as well as volunteering at weekly programming.
“The Exchange Club is an all-volunteer, national service organization for men and women who want to serve their community, develop leadership skills and enjoy new friendships,” Bloomfield noted. “The Exchange Club is made up of nearly 1,000 clubs and 33,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.”
Bloomfield also thanked Exchange Club member Dr. Gene Perkins, who is the owner of Coastal Chiropractic in Pompano Beach, for his support.
Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results
The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association recently held several tournaments for its players.
 They held a Two Best Ball Of Foursome tournament at the Pines Course and the team of Jim Blake, Frank Cutrone and Willie Smith shot 116 to win by two strokes. The team of Bill Hazlett, Robert Raser and Dennis Sejda shot a 118 and won on a match of cards over the third place team of Robert Blau, Gary Gill and Jim Greeley, who also carded a 118.
Dennis Sejda won the closest to the pin contest on hole No. 15. 
In an Individual Play (Low Gross & Low Net In Classes) tournament, George Disch won the Low Gross honors for Class A with an 82. Len Ackley shot 69 and won on a match of cards with Chuck Brown for Low Net honors in Class A. Jim Blake carded an 88 to take first in the Low Gross competition for Class B.  Oscar Aleman won Low Net for Class B with a 71, while Robert Raser was second with a 72. 
In Class C, Jim DeCicco won the Low Gross with a 93. The winner of the Low Net competition was Willie Smith with a 65, who finished two shots ahead of runner-up Bob Mascatello.  The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 7 was Robert Blau.
The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association also held a One Best Ball Of Foursome tourney, which was won by Dave Dowling, Jim Greeley and Roy Wilhoite with a 51. The team of Len Ackley, John Grether and Mike Grimaldi took second with a 53. Jim Blake, Bill Delaney and Lee Hammer placed third with a 57 and the team of Tom Breur, Jim Foster and Willie Smith placed fourth and won on a match of cards after carding a 59. The winner of the closest to the pin on hole No. 3 was Bill Hadersbeck.

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Pompano Junior Lifeguards fare well at regional event

Posted on 18 July 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Grace Parnas wins the beach flags event as she tops Lake Worth’s Kiki Padron at the United States Lifeguard Association Southern Regional event at Lake Worth. Photo by Gary Curreri

Grace Parnas had a stellar effort at the recent United States Lifeguard Association Southern Regional event at Lake Worth.

The 14-year-old Pompano Beach resident won six of the nine events she was in and placed second in another for the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguards in the Girls A Division. Parnas, who will be a sophomore at Calvary Christian Academy in the fall, took first in the run-swim-run, paddleboard race, beach flags, rescue race, iron guard and the swim relay. She got silver in the run relay.

“I’ve been competing for four years and been doing the camp for six years,” Parnas said. “It’s so fun. Most of the people say it is so hard, but I get to see my friends and then compete with them.”

She gets lost in the adrenaline rush. 

“You honestly don’t remember a lot of the race,” Parnas said. “You have the adrenaline rush and you are going as fast as you can because you just want to win.”

“I never expected to be at nationals or regionals,” said Parnas, who has also fared well at the national event.

She won beach flags two years ago and placed third last year in the event and is the two-time defending paddleboard national champion. 

“It is incredible,” she continued. “I never thought I would win nationals. I don’t feel any (outside) pressure. It is more self-put pressure because I want to win a national championship again.”

Teammate Julia Freshour, 13, also of Pompano, turned in a solid performance as well. She won the Girls B Division surf rescue, paddleboard, run-swim-run, rescue relay, and moved up in both the Girls A swim relay and the U19 swim relay. She was second in the iron guard.

“I really love ocean swimming so it is probably that,” said Freshour, who is a Pompano Middle School eighth-grader and has competed since she was 7. “I like to race. The competitions are really important. I would skip anything that day to come to this.”

She also loves the adrenaline rush when she competes.

“I kind of tune everything out, and I get into this zone where I kind of go into autopilot and just go,” she said. “I don’t think about anything. I don’t feel anything. I can just go all out.

It is very important to win.”

Pompano Beach’s Victoria Scarpinito took second in the U19 Girls beach flags event. She’s competed for the past five years.

“I love the team spirit and team enthusiasm. I like the challenge and how you can push yourself,” said Scarpinito, 17, who will be a senior at Cardinal Gibbons in the fall. She is also a member of the school’s dance team and on the Pro-Am competition dance team.

“It is an amazing feeling once you are out there,” she said. “It is not the most important thing to win, but it is a good feeling when you do.”

Summer Schulte took first in the U19 girls Surf race (distance swim), paddleboard and iron guard, while Oliver Nagy was the top boys finisher for the Pompano program as he won three events in the Boys A Division. He won the surf swim, paddleboard and iron guard.

Rich Tammany, who heads up the host Lake Worth Junior Lifeguard program, said the event attracted about 200 junior lifeguards from as far south as Hollywood all the way north to Flagler Beach.

Among the other cities represented were Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach and host Lake Worth.

“We were very excited,” Tammany said. “I have been doing Junior Lifeguards for 23 years and this is only the second time we have had it here. The other time we had it here was 2006. The kids are excited. The weather was good…water was good. It was a great day.”

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Deerfield Beach Senior League falls at state tourney

Posted on 11 July 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Beach Little League Senior Division baseball team advanced to the state tournament by winning the district and sectional titles. Pictured above (L to R): (Bottom row): Gio Caffro, Dawson Lallance, Colin Calvet, Janelle Calvet, Melchor Feliciano & Marcus Gonzalez; (top row): Anthony Masiello, Junior Feliciano, Salvatore Saccente, Nicky Lash, Sanders Chartier, Keanu Siracusa, Neile Thomas, Maxwell Thomson, Lorenzo Feliciano, Dylan Radtke, Jason Siracusa, Preston James & Neile Thomas. Submitted photo, courtesy of Jason Siracusa

Deerfield Beach Little League President Jason Siracusa always believed his Senior All-Star team could advance to the state tournament. And they did not disappoint. The Deerfield Beach Little League Senior All-Stars defeated both Coral Springs and defending state champion North Springs to win the District 10 tournament and advance to Florida State Championship tournament. 

The Little League District 10 Seniors All-Star tournament at the Deerfield Beach Middle School Athletic Complex with North Springs topped Coral Springs, 8-1. Deerfield Beach then withstood numerous distractions lasting four hours, including a lightning delay to pull out a 10-inning, 7-6 win.

With Coral Springs and North Springs squaring off in the loser’s bracket game, Coral Springs got off to a strong start and pulled out a 12-3 win to advance to the final against Deerfield Beach.

After giving up one run in the top of the first inning, Deerfield Beach came out swinging and never looked back. Deerfield Beach put up 12 runs on 13 hits and handily won the game 12-5 sending the very talented squad to the Florida State Senior Division Little League championship in Lakewood Ranch from July 5-7. 

The majority of the Deerfield team played together in the Juniors Division last season where they went 13-1, winning their district championship and finishing second overall in the state of Florida.

At this year’s state tournament, Deerfield Beach overcame a rain delay and defeated St. Cloud, 4-1. The local squad then dropped its next two contests to finish pool play, 1-2.

Deerfield Beach lost to Hancock American, 14-2 and then fell to Land O’Lakes, 3-1. Land O’Lakes went on to win the state title with an 11-3 win over previously unbeaten San Mateo. Against Hancock American, Deerfield fell behind early and couldn’t recover. When Hancock defeated St. Cloud, it finished 2-1 in pool play and ended Deerfield Beach’s hopes of advancing to the championship round.

Deerfield Beach still turned in a solid performance in defeat against the eventual state champion. Deerfield Beach pitcher Brock Buerosse tossed a complete game and gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, but it wasn’t enough as Deerfield’s bats were virtually silent scoring 1 run on just 3 hits.

“This is the second year in a row Deerfield has sent a team to the state tournament,” Siracusa said. “We have made some improvements over last year’s (team) but left our core intact.

“But the competition at the state level is pretty fierce,” he added. “As one of the younger teams in the tournament, Deerfield held up against teams that were comprised of 16-year-old high school varsity players. Our team was made up of 16 players. Everyone had a role and when called upon they performed the way we expected. I’m proud of every single one of them.”

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Pridemore comes back ‘home’

Posted on 05 July 2019 by LeslieM

Paul Pridemore, a 1979 graduate and top Knights athlete, has returned to Highlands Christian Academy as its new Athletic Director. Pridemore succeeds Jim Good, who left to become the assistant AD at Boca Raton Christian. Submitted photo, courtesy of Brittany Brown.

By Gary Curreri

Paul Pridemore has returned to his roots at Highlands Christian Academy.

Pridemore, a 1979 graduate and top athlete in the program, recently took over as Athletic Director at Highlands Christian where he enjoyed a stellar athletic career.

“I am very excited to be back home,” said Pridemore, 59, of Pompano Beach, who will also coach the boys’ basketball team at the school. “My mom and three sisters and a brother all live here in Pompano so I’m looking forward to spending time with them. It’s great to have the opportunity to come back to your alma mater, and serve and see all the changes that have been made,” he added. “I remember carrying blocks and helping lay the floor of the gymnasium when I was there.”

Pridemore began attending Highlands in 1972 as a 6th grader and, in the 7th grade, came to know Jesus Christ personally in a school chapel service.

In high school, he quickly became known at Highlands and around South Florida as a top athlete in both basketball and football.

Playing Knights basketball, Pridemore was named to the All-County and All-State teams his sophomore through senior years, Player of the Year twice by the Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald; and MVP of the 1979 State Basketball Tournament. During his Knights football career, Pridemore led the county in passing yards and was named All-State in his junior and senior years, nominated for Athlete of the Year by the Miami Herald in 1979, and offered a full football scholarship to the University of Florida.

After graduating college, he moved back to Pompano Beach and coached Highlands basketball for two seasons. In the following years, he coached basketball in Northern Florida and Tennessee and served as an assistant athletic director.

Throughout the years, Pridemore’s teams have won 438 games, 13 district titles, 10 regional championships, and have been to six state tournaments. 

“Reg Cook was my coach in my junior and senior year so I have a lot of great memories there at Highlands,” Pridemore said. “I am just now settling into the position as athletic director and boys basketball coach so I’m evaluating short term three-year and five-year plans.”

Pridemore said he is excited to help grow the athletic program as well as the school, citing it is a great place for kids to not only get a great education but to participate in sports as well.

“After coaching Paul Pridemore in basketball in the late ’70s, I am enthusiastic about working with him, not only in basketball but in all Highlands athletics,” said Reg Cook, former Highlands Athletic Director who now assists with the Knights. “We are looking forward to a great summer and school year for 2019-2020.”

“His experience in coaching basketball and leadership as a Christian mentor will carry on the legacy of great basketball at HCA on the court as well as off the court,” Cook added. “I am so excited to be working with Paul. We have been close friends ever since I coached him years ago at Highlands Christian.”

Pridemore’s vision for Highlands athletics is to provide student-athletes an environment that promotes and supports Christian, academic, athletic and personal achievement.

“We have the great privilege and responsibility to influence students for Christ,” Pridemore said. “And invest in the lives of these student-athletes as no one else can.”

Paul is married to Terri, a CPA. They have three grown children and one grandchild.

“Our coaches and teachers here at Highlands seek to build into the lives of each and every student athlete that attends Highlands,” Pridemore said.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a Two Best Ball of Foursome, except on the corners (1,9,10,18) Three Best Ball tournament on June 26 at the Palms course.

The team of Al DiBenedetto, John Grether, Bill Hadersbeck and Dennis Sejda shot a net score of 131 to take top honors, while the team of Jim DeCicco, George Disch, Jorge Duarte and Jim Foster was second after carding a 134. Tom Breur, Chuck Brown, Lee Hammer and Lance Naiman shot a 137 to finish in third place in the 34-player field.

The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 6 was Al Holcomb.

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Junior lifeguards hold event in Pompano

Posted on 27 June 2019 by LeslieM

Jake Schulte, right, of the Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard program, recently topped Gabriel Machado, from the Ft. Lauderdale Junior Lifeguard program in the Run-Swim-Run event. Submitted photo

By Gary Curreri 

The Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard program recently hosted their very first summer opener in Pompano Beach, just north of the newly constructed pier.

There were six events, including beach flags, distance swim, run-swim-run, paddleboard, surf- paddleboard rescue, and surf-dash relay.

In addition to Pompano Beach, other junior lifeguard teams that participated included Ft. Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Dania Beach, Hollywood, and the Treasure Coast.

“It was great weather, perfect ocean conditions and an awesome turnout that led to the success of this competition event,” said Pompano Beach Junior Lifeguard Association President Nemia Schulte. “We had about six teams there. We did not do team points. I have the results for each event. We had about 80 kids attend from various teams.”

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association has been busy on the links in the past month. They began with a One Best Ball of Threesome tournament with the team of Al DiBenedetto, Jim Muschany and Dennis Sejda winning with a net score of 54.

Finishing in second was Jim King, Bill O’Brien, Pete Strychowskyj who shot a 56, while Bill Hadersbeck, Brian Nixon, and Charles Schaefer shot a 58 and won on a match of cards over the fourth place team of Chuck Brown, Frank Cutrone, and Mike Grimaldi.

There was no winner in a closest to the pin contest.

The PBMGA then held a Three-Man Scramble event with the team of Oscar Aleman, Gary Gill, and Henry Lesburt winning by a single shot after carding a 66.

The team of Dave Dowling, Tom Pawelczyk, and Don Worrell took second with a 67.  The team of Len Ackley, Dennis Rooy, Charles Schaefer was third with a 68, while the team of Jorge Duarte, and Jim Muschany finished fourth with a 69, playing alternate shots. 

Bill Hadersbeck stuck his pin shot 4’7” on the Par 3, 6th hole to win the closest to the pin contest. 

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a Two Best Ball of Foursome tournament which had the team of Oscar Aleman, Chuck Brown, and Dave Dowling win with a score of 119. The group of Len Ackley, Jim Foster and Mike Grimaldi took second with a 122.

The third-place finishing team with a 123 was composed of Frank Cutrone, Lee Hammer and Joe Patchen (blind draw), while Tony Cusanelli, Tom Pawelczyk, and Pete Strychowskyj were fourth after carding a 129.

The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 11 was Jim DeCicco.

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association concluded an Individual Play (Low Gross and Low Net in Classes) competition.

The Low Gross winner in Class A was Bill O’Brien who shot an 80 and won on a match of cards. Roy Wilhoite had a Net Score of 65 to take first, while Bill Hadersbeck had a 67 to finish second.

In Class B, Jim Muschany won the Low Gross title with an 86, while Jim DeCicco and Al Holcomb carved out a 67 and 70 respectively to take the top two spots in the Low Net competition. Holcomb won on a match of cards.

Henry Lesburt won the Low Gross title in the Class C Division with a 95. Dave Dowling carded a 67 to take first place in the Low Net, while Al DiBenedetto shot a 71 to take second in Low Net.

The closest to the pin winner on hole No. 17 was Chuck Brown.

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Innocent wins middle school long jump title

Posted on 20 June 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach Middle School’s Vitawens Innocent takes a bite out of his first place medal at the Broward County Middle School track and field meet at Coral Springs High School. Innocent won the boys long jump. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri
Vitawens Innocent capped off his 8th-grade year at Deerfield Beach Middle School by winning the Broward County championship in the boys long jump. Innocent, 15, was the lone competitor to surpass 19 ft. in the event and easily topped the field with a jump of 19 ft., 10-1/4 in. He also finished 5th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.28.
“The sport is very important to me because it shows people that I am doing something with myself and that is exciting,” said Innocent, of Pompano Beach. He has only been competing in track for two years. He is planning on playing football for Deerfield Beach High School in the fall.
“The long jump is a little bit scary in the beginning, but when I am in the air, I just float. It feels like I am flying.”
The Pompano Beach girls finished seventh overall with 28 points, while Deerfield Beach was 18th with 8 points. Pembroke Pines Charter won the girls title with 71 points.
In the boys competition, Forest Glen captured the county title with 50 points. Deerfield Beach finished in 8th place with 24 points.
Other locals who fared well in the competition were Steven Martin of Deerfield Beach Middle who finished second in the shot put (41-09.25); Deerfield Beach Middle’s Stanley Jean-Claude, who finished 7th in the 800-meter run (2:22.47); Pompano Beach Middle’s Ashley Shaw was 2nd in the girls 100-meter dash (12.50) and 3rd in the 200-meter dash (26.08); Pompano Beach Middle’s Alyssa Irwin was 4th in the girls high jump (4-07.75); Deerfield Beach Middle’s Ty’Kerra Edwards was 2nd in the girls long jump (14-11.50); Pompano Beach Middle School’s Tierra Nesmith was 6th in the girls discus (68-03) and 8th in the girls shot put (26-02.25); the Pompano Beach girls 4×200 meter relay was 4th (1:50.77).

Sunshine State Games water polo headed to Deerfield
The 2019 Sunshine State Games Water Polo Championships takes center-stage starting Friday as 59 teams throughout Florida, and international teams from Ecuador, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados as well, strap on the headgear and maneuver the competition to score in the watery nets.
With approximately 1,180 athletes, the SSG Water Polo Championship is the largest annual water polo tournament in the Southeast Zone ranging in age groups 10 and under to Open Men’s and Women’s Divisions.
The three-day tournament will take place at two venues in Broward County, including the Coral Springs Aquatic Center (Friday-Sunday) and Deerfield Beach Aquatics Center (Saturday and Sunday only).
“I have been participating in the Sunshine State Games as an athlete for 17 years, three years as a coach, and now in my second year as the state director,” said Water Polo state director Anna Rosen. “The Games provide a great sense of community and family in this area. I have always loved this tournament, and I look forward to seeing the continued growth for years to come.”

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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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