Tag Archive | "Gary Curreri"

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Bucks rout Boca Raton 49-6 in District 12-8A football game

Posted on 03 October 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach quarterback Michael Pratt looks for an open receiver in the Bucks’ 49-6 win over visiting Boca Raton. Photo by Gary Curreri.

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach senior quarterback Michael Pratt threw for a season-best 331 yds. and four touchdowns as the host Bucks toppled Boca Raton 49-6 in the District 12-8A opener for both teams on Friday night. 

Pratt, a Tulane University commit who transferred from Boca Raton High School to Deerfield in August, made his fourth straight start and guided the Bucks to a fourth straight victory.

He has seen his touchdown totals in each game go up by one. He threw for one score in his first, then two, then three and four against his former school. He has 10 TDs on the season.

“We just have to get better every single week,” said Pratt, whose team has a bye this week before facing Spanish River. “My timing with the receivers, connection and chemistry is starting to build up. Our offensive line…I am starting to learn them and they are starting to learn me.”

Deerfield Beach (4-2, 1-0 in the district) took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yds. in three plays, capped by a 40-yd. scoring run by FSU commit Jaylan Knighton. He carried all three times in the drive for 80 yds. Knighton finished the game with seven rushes for 100 yds. and one score.

Boca Raton (2-3, 0-1) cut the lead to 7-6 on a 20-yd. scoring toss from Andrew Caverty to Ashton Gillotte with 4:02 left in the first half. The extra point attempt by Thomas Lofiago was blocked and later also had a 37-yd. field goal attempt blocked.

The score snapped a three-game shutout streak by the Bucks in their last three wins – as they defeated Blanche Ely, 46-0, Zachary (LA), 53-0 and Oak Ridge (Orlando), 42-0 – and outscored the opposition 141-0 during the span.

Deerfield Beach broke the game open in the second quarter when Pratt hit Maryland commit Deajaun McDougle for an 83-yd. catch and run for a 14-6 advantage and then 21-6 on a 64-yd. interception return by Phillip O’Brien. Deerfield Beach made it 28-6 on a 20-yd. scoring toss from Pratt to University of Miami commit Xavier Restrepo.

Pratt connected with Deajaun McDougle two more times in the third quarter from 51 yds. and 60 yds. for a 42-6 lead. It was his 10th scoring touchdown pass in four games. McDougle had 226 yds. receiving on five catches and three TDs.

Back-up quarterback Marquise Pierre hit Jamarion McDougle on a 45-yd. TD score in the fourth for a 49-6 Bucks lead. It marked just the fifth time in Deerfield Beach history where they have scored 40 or more points in four straight games.

Pratt missed the first two games of the season, losses to Carol City, 24-12, and St. John’s (Washington, D.C.), 52-20, with a groin injury. Pratt threw for 1,208 yds. and 12 TDs at Boca Raton last season. He also ran for 447 yds. and three scores for the Bobcats.

Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn said Pratt handled the week going against his former teammates well.

“He has a steadiness about him and is a little ahead of his time,” Glenn said. “To be quite honest, if he plays the first two games, we would be undefeated and top-10 in the country right now.”

Last season, Deerfield Beach fell in the state semifinals of the Class 8A tournament as they lost 49-21 to the eventual state champion, 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.

“it’s been a great opportunity to learn a few new things,” Pratt added. “I have to make better reads and work on timing.”

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Pompano player wins tourney

Posted on 26 September 2019 by LeslieM

Pompano Beach’s Julia Vulpio returns a shot against Boca Raton’s Nina Gulbransen in the finals of the Women’s Open Division in the Delray Cup – Prize Money Open, Age Category and NTRP Championships at ProWorld Tennis Academy in Delray Beach. Vulpio won the title with a 6-4, 7-5 win. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

In the beginning, Julia Vulpio wasn’t a big fan of tennis.

“At first, I didn’t like it,” said Vulpio, 18, of Pompano Beach. “I wanted to play with dolls and do normal kid’s stuff.”

She got her start when her father saw a poster of Argentinian tennis pro Guillermo Vilas on the floor for his academy and they went.

“It was closed for the year and my dad said since we are here, let’s play,” said Vulpio, who was age 4 at the time. She continued to play recreationally until age 9 when she had a breakthrough.

“I saw Rafa Nadal play at the French Open, and I said, ‘wow, I really want to play now,’” Vulpio recalled. “I love the competition. I like everything. I like the fighting. It is definitely mental, a lot of it.”

She cited her strengths as a backhand crosscourt, her slice serve and a topspin forehand.

Vulpio recently scored a 6-4, 7-5 win over Boca Raton’s Nina Gulbransen in the finals of the Women’s Open Division in the Delray Cup – Prize Money Open, Age Category and NTRP Championships at ProWorld Tennis Academy in Delray Beach. Not bad considering she hadn’t played in a tournament in a couple of months and had just been training.

“I just decided to go back and play a few tournaments,” said Vulpio, a Quinnipiac University commit. She is currently homeschooling to prepare. She has also been training at ProWorld for almost two years. She was a former No. 1 in France for girls 16s and was ranked No. 900 at WTA at age 17.

“It was a good match to start back,” she said. “Winning the tournament gives you confidence for sure, especially since it is my first tournament in a while.”

The tournament also featured Men’s Open singles, Men’s Open doubles, Women’s 3.5 NTRP singles and Men’s 4.0 and 4.5 singles play. There were 81 players in the event and in addition to players from Florida, there were also competitors from CA, TX, NJ , NY, MI, and PR.

“The tournament had about 80 players – 70 in the Open and 11 in the NTRP,” Tournament Director Lew Wolfe said.

Bucks win third straight game

After opening the season with two straight losses on the road, the Deerfield Beach High School football team have regained their winning ways with a third consecutive shutout following a 42-0 win over Oak Ridge (Orlando) at home on Friday night.

Senior quarterback Michael Pratt tossed three touchdown passes, while senior running back Jaylan Knighton topped the century mark rushing and added two touchdowns for the Bucks, who have defeated Blanche Ely (42-0), Zachary (La.) 52-0 and Oakridge in the team’s home opener.

Pratt, a Tulane University commit who transferred to Deerfield Beach from nearby Boca Raton in early August, will face his former team on Friday when the Bucks take on the Bobcats at home.

Pratt connected with Aydin Henningham, Xavier Restrepo and Jaziun Patterson for TD passes and Knighton, a Florida State commit, totaled 101 yards on the ground and scored twice.

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Tornadoes snap 16-game losing skid

Posted on 19 September 2019 by LeslieM

Pompano Beach High School football coach Johnathan Firth talks to his team. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Sophomore Danny Bobes provided the lift host Pompano Beach needed in rallying from an early 10-0 first quarter deficit and snapped a 16-game losing skid dating back to 2017 with a 20-10 win over Miami Country Day last Friday.

Bobes finished the game with 17 carries for 132 yards and one TD on offense to go along with five tackles and a sack on defense. He also recovered an onside kick for the Golden Tornadoes whose last victory was a 19-8 win over Pembroke Pines Charter on Sept. 28, 2017. They finished 1-9 that year and 0-10 last season. The team dropped the first two games this season as well.

Pompano Beach sophomore quarterback Nico Diaz was efficient as he completed eight of 10 passes for 150 yds. with a TD pass and two-point conversion. He also rushed for a TD. 

Senior wide receiver Hunter Kalman added three receptions for 112 Yds. and a TD and a two-point conversion, while junior defensive lineman Diego Orrelana had 10 tackles, including four tackles for losses and a sack. 

“We fell behind 10-0 after the first quarter, but we rallied together and overcame that to win,” said Pompano Beach coach Johnathan Firth. “My guys are still learning how to win and that showed early as we had a bunch of first quarter mistakes shooting ourselves in the foot.

“However, we stuck to the game plan and cleaned up the penalties and mistakes, which allowed our talent to shine,” Firth added. “I think fighting our way back to win like this can be a turning point for us. This was also huge for our seniors who haven’t won in over a year. Now that they know what it feels like, they will be hungry to get this feeling back.”

Pompano Beach will travel to Northeast High School to play tonight (Thursday, Sept. 19) at 7 p.m.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held an individual play (Low Gross and Low Net in classes) on Sept. 11 at the Pines Course.

Gary Gil carded an 83 to win the Low Gross title in the Class A Division on a match of cards. Winning the Low Net championship was Bill Hadersbeck who shot a 65 to win by two shots over Fred Joy. Chuck Brown was third with a 68.

In the Class B Division, Mike Marruquin won the Low Gross title on a match of cards after he shot an 82.

Jim Greeley won the Low Net title for the division with a 62 and defeated Oscar Aleman who shot a 65 and Tom Breur who shot a 66 and won on a match of cards.

 Jack Permenter fired an 85 to take first place in the Low Gross competition for the Class C Division. Willie Smith recorded a 60 to take first in the Low Net for the division. Dave Dowling, who shot a 64, and Neil Lang, who shot a 65, finished second and third respectively.   

Oscar Aleman won the closest to the pin hole No. 3.

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Hutchens captures county bowling championship

Posted on 22 August 2019 by LeslieM

Michael Hutchens won the men’s open championship at the Broward County Top 8 Bowling Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently. Photo by Gary Curreri.

By Gary Curreri

Michael Hutchens defeated Matt Lazarus, 224-223, to win the men’s open championship in the Broward County United States Bowling Congress Association’s Top Eight Tournament at the Strikers Family SportsCenter in Sunrise recently.

The 36-year-old Pompano Beach man was sitting in third place during qualifying until he rolled a 274 to seize the top seed. 

“I loved it,” Hutchens said. “It was awesome! I love the sport because it is competitive and you can beat anybody,” Hutchens said. “It doesn’t matter what generation you are from, what you like or what your personal interests are. Anything about this game, it doesn’t matter. We are all here for one thing and that is to bowl, and that is what I love.

“You can be a rocker, you can be country or you can be rap,” he continued. “You can be anything you want.”

It was his debut in the Top-8 tournament. He moved to Florida from Indiana in 2013. He bowls at Diamond Strike Lanes in Pompano on Wednesdays, Strikes@Boca on Thursdays and Sawgrass Bowl in Tamarac on Fridays.

The top eight bowlers from around Broward County competed in the one-day event in six divisions –Boys and Girls, Men’s and Women’s Open, and Senior Men and Women. 

“I just wanted to show that I belonged, that’s it,” said Hutchens, who said he has bowled more than a dozen perfect 300-games. “I usually average between 225 and 230, but averaged 240 today. To me, bowling is about fun. It is the enjoyment of the game, meeting new people and everybody fits in because we love one thing and that’s bowling. We all want to win.

We all want to enjoy it, but at the same time we want everybody to be good.”

The competitors in the tournament bowled three games of qualifying and the top four bowlers in each division bowled step ladder finals. The fourth-seeded bowler took on the third seed and that winner bowled the second seed, and the that winner bowled the top-seed for the title.

To qualify for the event, bowlers need to bowl in two leagues in two different houses (bowling alleys) or two leagues in the same bowling center. They have to compete in at least 2/3 of the league to qualify for the Top-8. Juniors needed only one league to qualify for the annual tournament.

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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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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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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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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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Calvet in a ‘league of her own’

Posted on 09 May 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach’s Janelle Calvet could be considered a Swiss army knife for the Somerset Keys High School baseball team. The 14-year-old freshman, who plays in the Deerfield Beach Little League Senior League team, recently completed her first year on the high school program as one of their bright spots. She played shortstop, catcher and even pitched some games to help the Lions finish 4-5 in their inaugural season.

“It was fun,” Calvet said. “I was very accepted (by the boys). Everybody treated me the same and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed playing.”

She said there wasn’t much of an adjustment because she played with players that also play Little League with her. There were a couple of girls that we played against.

“It was everything I expected and I am definitely going to do it again,” added Calvet, who also plays for the GTB (Girls Travel Baseball) program that plays in tournaments throughout the country. Their last event was an International Tournament in West Palm Beach last November.

Two years ago, she was among a group of girls from South Florida who were flown out to California to compete in the inaugural ‘Trailblazer Series,’ a first-of-its-kind girls baseball tournament.

The event at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, CA took place in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day. It attracted a total of approximately 100 girls, ages 16 and under, representing 20 states across the country as well as Washington D.C. and Canada.

Calvet still has aspirations of playing Major League Baseball. In March, she was a part of MLB Grit, an inaugural high school invitational event designed specifically for 60 girls who play baseball.

It was held in Dallas, Texas. Calvert said she was able to meet members of the United States Women’s National Baseball Team and some professional players.”

“I absolutely want to play in the MLB,” she said. “It is going to take a lot of hard work.”

Calvet, who is the lone girl playing in the Senior Division of the Deerfield Beach Little League, said the ‘A League of Their Own’ movie inspired her to play baseball. When she went to California, two of the original members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1949-51) were in attendance and Calvet got to meet them.

“The most memorable thing going out there was meeting Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich because it all started with them,” said Calvet following her trip at the time.

“I had her pitching and playing shortstop for us,” said Somerset Keys baseball coach Joe Silvia. “She was a force to be reckoned with. I’ll be honest. I had her batting second and she would get on (base), steal second and third and score.”

“She was one of my heavy hitters,” he added. “It’s great having her on the team. It’s different having a girl on the team. You worry about her not hurting her arm. We do long toss, quick hands, and all of these drills.”

Calvet finished the season with a batting average of .444 and Silvia said she averaged at least two walks per game this season. She had 10 RBIs to go along with her 8 runs scored. She pitched, played shortstop and also caught the last few games of the season. Every practice, he would talk to her.

“I always went up to her and said, ‘how’s the arm? Are you good?’” Silvia said. “I pitched her in some of our games. She is the real deal. We started to practice, and she was running with the guys…taking batting practice and throwing and I was like, ‘ok, what’s going on here?’” If I had nine of her, we’d be undefeated.”

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