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Halloween Horse Show and Fair

Posted on 24 October 2019 by LeslieM

By David Volz

U Can Ride hosted its annual Halloween Horse Show and Fair at Sand and Spurs Equestrian Park in Pompano Beach on Oct. 12.

Those who came could enjoy a wide range of fun and interesting activities. There was a Halloween costume contest on horseback, contests in barrel racing and walk, trot and cantor. Children could also ride a pony. There were arts & crafts, a bounce house, games and other fun activities. Members of the Pompano Beach Firefighters Benevolent barbecued hotdogs, hamburgers and other food that was sold to visitors. The money they raised went to the U Can Ride Therapeutic Riding program.

“This is a fun, family day. Members of the horse community competed in various activities,” said Jennifer Gross, of U Can Ride. “We had plenty of good food, and people from the community had a good time.”

Emma Loesel participated in the horseback riding competition on her horse named Stryker. She competed in barrel racing and walk, trot and cantor. She lives in Deerfield Beach.

“I love horses and I like being a part of this competition,” said Loesel.

Madeline Devendorf, who lives in Pompano Beach, competed on her horse named Corona.

“I like this show. I get to be with my friends. I really love barrel racing,” said Devendorf.

Rick Cupo, of Pompano Beach Firefighters Benevolent, was helping to prepare and serve food.

“The money we raise goes back to U Can Ride. We want to give back to the community,” said Cupo.

For more information on U Can Ride, visit www.ucanride.org.

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Randall Honored as ‘National Coach of the Year’

Posted on 03 September 2015 by LeslieM

sports090315By Gary Curreri

When Melvin Randall first began coaching high school basketball some 23 years ago, he never thought he would be where he is today.

The 52-year-old Randall, the head coach at Blanche Ely High School, is just 18 wins short of 500 career victories and recently became the first boys basketball coach from Broward to win six state championships.

In defeating Kissimmee Osceola 72-60 in the state final in early March, Randall also became the second coach in Broward County history to finish the season as an undefeated state champion, as the Tigers finished the 2014-15 campaign at 28-0.

His efforts earned his selection as the National High School Coaches Association Boys Basketball Coach of the Year.

This is pretty awesome to be acknowledged by the coaches across the country for the job I have been doing at Blanche Ely over the years,” said Randall, who earlier this year also was named the All-USA Boys Basketball Coach of the Year by USA Today. “It is a great honor and I’m very humbled by this award.”

Randall is the third coach from Broward County to be honored as National Coach of the Year. George Smith of St. Thomas Aquinas won it for football in 2008 and Rich Bielski of Archbishop McCarthy for baseball in 2011.

It lets me know that what I am doing here at Blanche Ely is very noticeable,” Randall said. “It is a passion for me and I enjoy what I am doing. I am just putting in what I got out of it as far as coaching on the other side. I was once an athlete and putting all of the passion and skills in becoming that athlete I am now doing that as a coach.”

Randall said he has taken bits and pieces from his previous mentors and coaching colleagues, such as the late Butch Ingram, John Keister, Greg Samuel and Wade Edmonds.

He said other influences are former Cardinal Gibbons High School volleyball coach and Athletic Director Louise Crocco, and the late Dillard football coach Otis Gray. Randall takes being a role model very seriously.

It is a great honor to be a role model,” Randall said. “I know that some of my colleagues say they are not role models, but you are whether you want it or not. You have to be able to point these student athletes in the right direction and let them know it is not really about me, it is about them. It is a great feeling.”

Randall has coached 23 years in Broward and has compiled a 482-141 career record. A graduate of South Plantation High, he went on to play in the NCAA tournament at Mercer University. He is hopeful of winning another state title this season despite graduating seven players, including four starters.

Winning a state title is my plan every year,” Randall said. “I am always going to play with the cards that I am dealt and every year it gets harder and harder because of the expectations. We are going to be young and a little inexperienced, so we will have to grow up quick.”

Randall added, “I am just in awe what these kids have accomplished every year and I am glad to have been a part of it.”

Pop Tennis Clinic

If you are looking for an alternative to tennis, paddleball and badminton, you can check out a free clinic on Sept. 19 at Pompano Community Park, 100 W. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach.

Pop Tennis is a combination of the three sports and is played on a court 1/4 the size of a tennis court with a paddle and a deflated tennis ball. The demonstration and clinic is free to the public and will be held from 8 to 10 a.m.

The Pop tennis court is smaller than a tennis court, the racquet or paddle is shorter than a tennis racquet, and the ball is less lively,” said organizer Mitchell Ball. “Additionally, the net is lower, and the players serve underhand – not overhand, as in tennis. All of these things make Pop Tennis easy to play.”

For more information, call Ball at 754-201-9047.

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Beach Tennis Series on Pompano beach

Posted on 20 August 2015 by LeslieM

sports082015beachPhotos by David Volz

Laryssa Booth has a passion for Beach Tennis. She excels in this sport that is growing in popularity.

I love to play Beach Tennis. It is a lot of fun and we are winning today,” said Booth.

She was among about 100 men and women who participated in the Pompano Beach Summer Series Beach Tennis Tournament on Pompano beach, on Sunday, August 16. The game is similar to tennis. It is played in a beach environment and on sand.

Beach Tennis is a game I love to play,” said Rachel McGinnis. “It is a fun game and there is a great group of people here.”

Adrienne Cerra Simeon is a leader of the Beach Tennis sport and is president of IFBT-USA. The sport is very popular in Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach. There is a large permanent Beach Tennis training facility right on the beach in Pompano, with eight courts. People can play singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

We have a tournament about once a month. A lot of the people who participate have played volleyball and tennis,” said Cerra Simeon.

And Beach Tennis offers a fun atmosphere. Steve Culver, a Beach Tennis player said he loves the atmosphere and the camaraderie of the tournaments.

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