Tag Archive | "Gary Curreri"

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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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Deerfield 50/70 team holds on for 8-5 win

Posted on 02 May 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Christian Osornio and Daniel Silveria collected multiple hits to lead the offensive charge, while Roman Odiernia blasted a two run home run to deep left field in the third inning as the Deerfield Beach Little League’s 50/70 team jumped out to an early lead and then held on for an 8-5 win over host Federal recently.

Osornio started on the mound for Deerfield Beach and tossed two innings of one-hit, one-run ball. He also struck out three and walked one as the local squad built an early 6-1 lead in the interleague contest.

Robert Odiernia and Alex Riveria pitched the middle of the game and gave way to closer Ryan Jarrett, who sealed the deal as he yielded no hits and no walks while striking out four and allowed 0 runs in 2.1 innings of work. 

Others contributing to the 10 hits for DBLL were Caleb Wahlers, Jarrett, both Odiernia boys, Donovan Campbell and Anthony Fronte. Federal was only able to manage three hits in the game.

Golf Course closes for reconstruction of new greens

The city of Pompano Beach has temporarily closed the Greg Norman Signature Golf Course for the renovation of their putting greens.

The Pines Course, located at 1101 N. Federal Hwy., is one of two courses located at the city’s public golf course. The second course, the Palms Course, will remain open during the reconstruction.

The re-grassing of the Pines Golf Course putting greens will provide a much-improved turf surface. Platinum Paspalm turf has been chosen based on the conditions at this facility. The city has been testing the Paspalm turf on four greens over the past year which has proven to be highly successful.

The process of re-grassing involves many steps, including applying herbicide in order to aid in the removal of the existing turf, applying soil amendments, frequent rolling of surfaces to develop a consistent turf stand, aerification, installation of the premium sod, etc.

The Greg Norman Design Pines Golf Course is tentatively scheduled to re-open by the end of June weather permitting.

Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a One Best Ball of a Foursome tournament at the Pines Course and the group of Henry Lesburt, Bill O’Brien, Robert Raser and Tom Breur (blind draw) carded a 51 to win top honors.

Tom Breur, Bob Mascatello, Lance Naiman and Dave Hall (blind draw) shot a 53 and won on a match of cards with the third place team of Richard Anderson, George Duarte, Carlo Spirito and Bart Valerio. Finishing in fourth was Jim DeCicco, Jim Dunn (blind draw), Gary Gill and Richard Plasky with a 55. Frank Cutrone, Bill McCormick, Paul Murphy and Gene Stoller shot a 56 to finish fifth.  The closest to the pin winner on the third hole was Pat McClain.

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association followed that tournament up with another contest – Two Best Ball of Foursome at the Pines Course.

Paul Berning, Joe Patchen, Richard Plasky and Bob VanZandt carded a 117 to take first place. Placing second after a match of cards was Jim Blake, Frank Cutrone, Lee Hammer and Bill Sincavage, who shot 118. Andy Burt, Jim Dunn, Dave Hall and Harlan Tyler (blind draw) finished third with a 118.

Henry Lesburt, Bob Mascatello, Jay Thorn and Tom Joyce (blind draw) were fourth after shooting 120 and won on a match of cards. Jim Foster, Bill Hadersbeck, Mike Katawczik and Tim O’Brien finished fifth. Winning the closest to the pin contest on the seventh hole was Jerry Goodman.

Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association held a One Best Ball Even Holes, Two Best Balls Odd Holes tournament and the team of Sue Bardhi, Vonnie Okeefe, Nancy Oshea and Patti Matera (blind draw) won with an 86. Finishing second, just three shots back with an 89, was the team of Abby Ages, Deanne Baumann, Dianne Levanti and Anita Macmichael.

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All-STAR Buddies hold basketball event

Posted on 25 April 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The City of Deerfield Beach Parks & Recreation Department’s All-STAR Buddies program in partnership with the Special Olympics recently hosted the inaugural “Choose to Include” Basketball Event at the Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex.

Kenny Lawrence, who runs the special needs All-STAR Buddies programs for the City of Deerfield Beach, said the one-day event empowered athletes of all ages and abilities to engage in a fun, safe environment with an emphasis on sportsmanship. Approximately 150 people throughout the county attended the event.

Throughout the day, special needs athletes were helped by Buddies in the games and, at the conclusion, every special player received a Special Olympics Florida T-shirt and a medal.

With the central theme of breaking down social barriers for individuals with special needs, the event included basketball games, a family festival, along with a dance.

“The concept of unified programming allows for individuals who don’t have a disability compete alongside those who do,” Lawrence pointed out. “This concept helps promote unity and acceptance which is what the city’s program, All-STAR Buddies, was based around.”

The city also presented Buddy Benches at this event. The Buddy Benches were created as a part of an anti-bully movement the city has adopted. 

“Children from each of the city’s aftercare programs decorated these benches,” Lawrence said. “The benches will eventually be installed throughout the city and neighboring schools, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The bench being installed at Stoneman Douglas was created as a memorial bench in honor of the 17 who lost their lives last year.” 

“I created the idea of this event as a way to share with the community a program that I fell in love with while working with the Special Olympics over the last 12 years,” Lawrence said. “Outside of being a head coach for the Special Olympics, I am also a unified player on a basketball and volleyball team. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity over the years to work side by side by my idols and wanted to share this experience with everyone.”

Among those who attended the event was Lawrence’s close friend, Kevin Sutton, host of the Kevin Sutton Show for ESPN sports talk radio out of Orlando. Sutton and his family made the trip down from Orlando to spend the day with the kids and announce the basketball games.

Lawrence said the program known as All-STAR Buddies started August 2018.

“The program was created to be an all inclusive program designed to promote inclusion and acceptance for all participants,” he said. “The program allows for everyone to join regardless of having a disability or not and provides a safe non-judgmental environment that encourages socialization and understanding.”

Here’s a list of the programs All-STAR Buddies currently offers and their locations: basketball (Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex), soccer (Middle School Athletics Complex), track (Middle School Athletics Complex), kickball (Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex), photography (Hillsboro Community Center), fishing (Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier), art (Highlands Community Center), music (Teen Center), bowling (Strikes in Boca) and clay animation (Hillsboro Community Center).

Clay Animation is a class that brings clay to life using older cartoon techniques in creating videos out of individual still frames using cameras.

The city also offers S.T.R.E.A.M. (Constitution Park). This class offers a different themed project each week based off of the class’s abbreviated name. Week 1 – Science, Week 2 – Technology, Week 3 – Recreation, Week 4 – Engineering, Week 5 – Art, Week 6 – Math.

“These are six-week programs that run throughout the year,” Lawrence said. “Each class is based out of a different location throughout the city. It was designed this way to provide the All-STAR Buddy programming throughout the city.”

Currently, the city is working on its summer camp programs which start June 10 and will run through Aug. 2. This summer’s All-STAR Buddy summer camp program will run Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“This will be the first time the city has offered a full camp for individuals with special needs,” Lawrence added. “As for future programming, we are planning on adding several new programs to the year as well, including future ‘Choose To Include’ events.”

For more information on the Buddies programs, contact Lawrence via e-mail at klawrence@deerfield-beach.com.

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Pompano boys win county volleyball title

Posted on 20 March 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Photo by Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach boys volleyball team won the school’s first county middle school championship in the sport with a 22-24, 21-13, 21-12 victory over Silver Lakes at Pompano Beach High School.

In the first set, the teams traded leads before eighth-graders Christensen Paul and Nikolai Jones slammed home kills for Silver Lakes to pull out the win.

Pompano Beach broke a 2-2 deadlock in the second set to go up 9-2 behind the serving of eighth-grader Logan Keothavy. They held that margin for most of the set and closed it out with two service points by eighth-grader Samson Lormeus.

In the final set, Pompano Beach seized an 11-8 margin after several early lead changes before pulling away from Silver Lakes as eighth-grader Nolan Debrocq had five straight service points and after a couple of side outs, and the score 18-10, the Bengals outscored Silver Lakes 5-2 for their first county championship in the sport.

Tournament MVP and Pompano Beach Middle School eighth-grader Logan Keothavy played an instrumental role during the season and in the playoffs. He’s played the sport since he began middle school athletics.

“I like playing and the team,” said Keothavy, 13, of Lighthouse Point. “I like passing, and hitting, and it feels pretty good to win the championship. I felt everyone in the crowd cheering for us – our parents, our families, everyone.”

When Pompano Beach dropped the first set of the championship game, Keothavy rallied the troops.

“We lost the first set and we didn’t think we should have lost that,” he said. “We weren’t moving our feet and playing like we usually do. Winning this is pretty big. We are 12-0 and that is better than any team.”

He said he wasn’t sure when the season began if they would hoist the championship trophy.

“It wasn’t until the fifth or sixth game of the season when I thought we had a chance to finish undefeated and win the county championship,” Keothavy said. “We were winning all of the time and it was fun.”

Pompano Beach Middle School coach Michael Miller was in his second year as volleyball coach at the school. Last season, he coached the girls team and this year the boys. Both teams lost in the quarterfinals of last year’s playoffs.

“It was a team of seven boys where no one was above the other and they all worked well as a team,” said Miller, who also teaches science at the school. “They listened to their coaches and captains and we all worked as a unit. No one was elitist and no one was above anyone else. It was a beautiful thing really.”

Miller said after losing the first set, they just talked about what they did wrong and what they could do to fix it.

“And we motivated each other,” Miller said. “We just needed to play stronger. We didn’t lose a single match during the entire season, not a single game. They played well as a unit.”

They lost two games (sets) in the playoffs. The other was in the quarterfinals in Coral Springs.

“It’s big,” Miller said. “The kids can see that you can be successful and work as a team. It is good life skills and it is beneficial to everybody, including the school. I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. They are very humble. They are all good students. They work well together. It’s a good thing.”

In addition to Keothavy, Miller also said the play of his captains, eighth-grader Zack Ruge and seventh-grader Garrett Weadock, were instrumental to the team’s success.

“Finishing undefeated is pretty special,” Miller said.

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Tigers win 8th state basketball championship

Posted on 14 March 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely basketball coach Melvin Randall promised his team could be special. It turns out he was right.

The Tigers won their eighth FHSAA championship and second Class 8A title in a row with a 57-52 victory over Bradenton Lakewood Ranch on Saturday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. It marked the second consecutive game that Blanche Ely erased a double-digit deficit to pull out the win.

The Tigers (25-6) closed out the season on an 18-game winning streak since a 64-47 loss to Tampa Hillsborough in the Charger Classic two months ago at Suncoast High School.

Aderes Staton-McCray led the Tigers with 19 points and the win meant that the Tigers have won more state championships than any other school in Broward County. They were previously tied with Dillard at 7. Lamont Evans added 12 points and Malachi Hazelton chipped in with 9 points and 6 rebounds before fouling out.

Joshua Scott also became the first player in school history to win three championships, and he celebrated the moment with a T-shirt documenting his 2016, 2018 and 2019 titles. The front of the T-shirt had three photos of Scott with three championship rings superimposed over his body. The back of the shirt read: “The first to ever do it!”

“It’s really a blessing,” Scott said after the game. He finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds despite playing with foul trouble. “This one is more special, probably because I’m the first person at Blanche Ely to get three.”

Blanche Ely nearly didn’t make it there when they erased a 15-point halftime lead against Windermere in the semifinals to win 56-54. Hazelton had 14 points and 8 rebounds in the win, while Tyrecke Francois had 12 points in the win.

“Like I always say, it’s a blessing. I’m a very, very blessed man,” said Ely coach Melvin Randall, who has won seven of the Tigers’ eight titles. Wade Edmond won the other one in 1993.

“I know how hard I work,” added Randall, who also won titles at Deerfield Beach in 1997 and 1999. “I know how hard I work these kids, and they stepped [up] to the challenge. And they’re the ones that really, really deserve this moment.”

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line becomes home run sponsor

The Deerfield Beach-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has partnered with Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium to offer a fan a chance at a two-night cruise during Miami Marlins Spring training games in addition to the Florida State League’s Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals play their regular season at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium April through September.

“We are thrilled to bring the excitement of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to thousands of baseball fans at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium during both Major League Spring Training and the Minor League regular season,” said Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line CEO Oneil Khosa. “This partnership solidifies our commitment to show locals and visitors everything Palm Beach County has to offer. You can go from a fun ball game to a quick getaway on a whim.”

Every time the home team hits a home run, the unmistakable Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line horn will sound, images of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s ships will display on the 35-foot Jumbotron and one lucky fan will have the chance to win a Bahamas Paradise cruise courtesy of the cruise line. 

“We are very excited to start a new partnership with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line,” said Mike Bauer, general manager of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. “They provide a first-class experience and we cannot wait to introduce our fans to their gorgeous ships and vacation packages.”

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Knights fall in regional soccer final

Posted on 07 March 2019 by LeslieM


By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy coach Davidson Loriston Sr. looked back at his 2018-19 boys soccer campaign with pride.

After not making the postseason last year, the Knights not only made the postseason, they won the district title and advanced all the way to the Class 1A regional final before losing 2-1 to host Lakeland Christian. It was their first trip to the regional finals in 19 years.

Along the way, Highlands Christian (11-8-2) needed penalty kicks to defeat St. John Paul II Academy for the district championship and,two games later, needed double overtime to defeat the Eagles again.

Highlands Christian lost in the regional quarterfinals in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, and in 2017 to Trinity Christian, 1-0, when they had last made the postseason. The Knights also lost in the regional semifinals in 2004, 2005, 2014 and 2016.

“It was amazing,” said Loriston Sr., who moved up to head varsity coach after coaching the middle school program at the school. “I told the kids that we had to work and do our part and God would take care of us. They all bought into it. 

The team received strong play from goalkeeper Daryl Carney, who logged 1,180 minutes played and posted four shutouts along with forward Jonathan Pereria, a junior, finished as the team’s leading scorer with 24 goals, and 3 assists. Pereria scored the lone goal against Lakeland Christian in the regional final. Carney left the regional final with a concussion just 15 minutes in, which also hurt the Knights’ chances.

Loriston Sr. said he didn’t even talk about winning the district championship.

“Honestly, when I met with the team, I told them my goal was not to win district,” he said. “I told them my goal was to make it to the final four. From there, the kids believed it.

“My team overcame a lot of things during the season,” Loriston Sr. said. “There were times when we just sat down and talked. I told them to worry about the things they could control and nothing else. I told them not to worry about it. This is your stress relief. Just go out and have fun.”

He said the team had two rallying points. The first when Thiago Nery was lost for the season to an injury and the second when they dropped a 3-0 decision to St. John Paul II Academy at home.

“After that game,” Loriston Sr. said, “we went around in a circle and each kid talked about what they could do better. The next two times we played St. John Paul II, we beat them. They deserved everything that they worked for this year.”

The team also benefitted from a trio of midfielders in sophomore Payton Caja (6 goals, 4 assists), and seniors Thiago Nery (8 goals, 10 assists in 14 games), and Lor Louis (4 goals, 7 assists). Unfortunately for the Knights, they lost Nery to a broken collarbone in a loss to Pine Crest last in the season.

Senior defenders Kyle Coulson (4 goals, 5 assists) and Ronison Exavier (2 assists) also played well in the back. Loriston also cited the efforts of freshman midfielder Moses Edson (goal, 7 assists) and junior defender Raphael Nery (goal, assist).

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Deerfield Beach Little League celebrates opening day

Posted on 28 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The annual tradition of face painting, hot dogs and various contests, including a home run derby helped kickoff opening day for the Deerfield Beach Little League on Saturday. 

“We’ve been in this fine city for 62 years,” gushed Deerfield Beach Little League President Jason Siracusa. “This is our second season with a new board of directors and we are looking forward to an even better year this season.”

Siracusa said the difference between last year and this year is that they are coming off a championship season. He would know firsthand as last season, Siracusa coached the Junior Division team to the state finals where they finished runner-up.

“Our league has grown since last year and our registrations are up,” said Siracusa, who said there are now 20 teams in the program. “Our sponsorships are up and we have a lot of new families, especially in the younger divisions which is really the future of our league. 

There are approximately 250 players in the league, from ages 4 to 16, Siracusa said opening day was a success. There was a tug of war between coaches and players, a cornhole competition, home run derby, fast pitch and a “triathlon” which consisted of hitting, throwing and running for the younger age groups.

“It was a great day,” Siracusa said. “We had a couple of more events. “The mayor and a couple of city commissioners were here and this was really about bringing everybody together for one time without any baseball, without any games going on. It just gave everybody a chance to get to know each other.

“We had our competitions, a BBQ and then off we go, the season starts,” Siracusa added. “This year was a lot easier than last year. We’ve embraced technology. We built a good foundation last season and we are more streamlined this season, financially and structurally. Building on that, we did a lot of online registrations. We have apps for the managers to help keep track of their teams to communicate with their teams and it makes it a better experience for everybody.”

 Siracusa said the top goals for the program this season is more championships, competitive baseball through both the city’s games and interleague play with neighboring communities in both the junior and 50/70 divisions. The league will consist of T-Ball, Coach-Pitch, Majors, 50/70, Junior and the Seniors, which will begin play in May after the high school season. Siracusa said running the program takes a lot of work and he credited the effort of the volunteers for keeping them on track.

“We didn’t get in all of our uniforms until yesterday,” Siracusa said. “We changed our uniforms this year too. The uniforms are brighter and they seem to be a bit more fun. We have the kid’s names on the back and we have Deerfield Beach in large letters on the front so everywhere we go, we are representing our city. We wanted to make sure we put out a good vibe from our city. 

Angel Davober, 9, of Pompano Beach, a Cresthaven School third grader, said he has played the sport since he was 4.  

“It’s fun and cool because you get to play a lot of different positions,” said Davober, who plays third base, second base and outfield. “I like playing third base the most. Today was awesome because you got to do a lot of different things.”

Deerfield Beach’s Neile Thomas, 14, of Deerfield Beach, has played in the league since he was 6. 

“There is a lot of good stuff to like about the league,” said Thomas, a Pompano Beach High School freshman, “It is very family oriented. The coaches put their players’ safety before winning, but we win too.”

Thomas was a member of the state runner-up Junior Division team a season ago.

“It’s pretty cool to get your name on a banner because you can come back in a couple of years and people you know you can say, ‘I was on that team,’” Thomas said. “On a scale from 1 to 10, that was like an 11. Going to a state tournament was like one of the coolest things I have ever done. Hopefully, this year we will go to states again and win it this year.”

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Bucks top Coral Springs in girls regional hoops semifinal

Posted on 21 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach regrouped from a sluggish start to top visiting Coral Springs, 44-35, in the Class 9A regional girls basketball semifinal on Tuesday night.

After scoring just one point in the first quarter, the Bucks outscored Coral Springs, 18-8, in the second quarter to open up a 6-point halftime lead. The Bucks cut the lead in half heading into the final quarter before Deerfield held on for the win and avoided the upset bid. It was the team’s fourth straight win over Coral Springs this season and 25th straight against no defeats dating back all the way to 2006 and this is the first-ever postseason meeting between the two schools.

 Deerfield Beach defeated Coral Springs, 70-27, and 55-39 during the season and 47-35 for the district title.

“Our next game we are going to have to come out and do a better job in practice on Wednesday and Thursday getting ready for (Boca Raton),” said Deerfield Beach coach Tami Vaughn, whose team will host the Bobcats on Friday at 7 p.m. 

“We just have to watch film and go back to the drawing board and see what we need to do, if we have to change up the lineup,” Vaughn added. “We have to go back to the drawing board to see what we need to do to finish out.”

Deerfield Beach senior DenAsia Mitchell scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Bucks (18-9).

The Bucks won the District 11-9A title for the fourth time in five years and second year in a row. The lone year they didn’t win it was in 2017 when star guard Mitchell tore her ACL and was lost for the postseason. The Bucks are on a four-game winning streak since a 68-64 overtime loss to St. Thomas Aquinas in the quarterfinals of the Big 8 tournament.

 Deerfield Beach won state titles in 2003 and 2004 and was runner-up in 2002 and 2005. They lost to Miami, 48-31, in last year’s Class 9A state semifinals. 

Ely falls to St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas (21-6) outscored visiting Blanche Ely, 37-21, in the second half en route to a 72-52 victory in the Class 8A girls basketball regional semifinal in Ft. Lauderdale.

Blanche Ely, which finished the year at 21-9, lost to the Raiders, 66-61, 70-64, and 58-46 in the district championship before Tuesday night’s loss.

Raiders’ junior guard Bella LaChance, a Vanderbilt commit, led four Raiders in double figures with 20 points, while Tigers sophomore guard Ja’Leah Williams kept her team in the contest as she scored 27 points and hauled down 11 rebounds.

“We had a real rough third quarter,” Ely coach James Polk said. St. Thomas outscored the Tigers, 17-10, in the period.

Pompano

golf results

The Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association held a Low Net (with a twist) tournament on Jan. 29.

 The results are as follows: A Flight: 1. Kathy Stewart, 67; 2. Abby Ages, 72; B Flight: 1. Janet Stuart, 69; 2. Kathy Dunn, 78; C Flight: 1. Lynn Goodman, 74; 2. Sue Bardhi, 75; D Flight: 1. Polly Rutnik, 77; 2. Roseanna Nixon 78. 

In the Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association tournament on Jan. 22, Mimi Denoma shot an 84 to take the A Flight. Marianne Weber was second with a 91, while Sandra Gore was third with a 93. 

 Other results included B Flight: 1. Janet Stuart, 88; 2. Abby Ages, 97 (won tiebreaker); C Flight: 1. Patt Sessa, 98; 2. Ann Symonds, 101; 3. Lynn Goodman, 104 (won tiebreaker); D Flight: 1. Roseanna Nixon, 107 (won tiebreaker); 2. Verna Smith, 107.

The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association held a Two Best Ball of Foursome tournament on Jan. 30. The net score results are 1. James Greeley, Dave Hall, Jeffrey Raymond, Bert Welage, 112; 2. Oscar Aleman, Robert Blau, Roe Messner, Don Worrell, 115; 3. Tom Harrington, George Lyons, Paul Murphy, Carlo Spirito, 116; 4. Paul Berning, Andy Burt, Brian Nixon, Neil Wilson, 118 (won match of cards); 5. Jim King, Jim Muschany, Robert Raser, Roy Wilhoite, 118 (won match of cards).

 The closest to the pin winner at hole No. 15 was Terry Denoma.

 The Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association also held a One Best Ball of Foursome tournament on Feb. 6. Net Score: 1. Tom Breur, Dave Dowling, Tom Pawelczyk, Robert Raser, 52; 2. Jim DiCamillo, Mike Grimaldi, Roe Messner, Jim Muschany, 53 (won tiebreaker); 3. Terry Denoma, Jim Dunn, Scott Feinman, Bart Valerio, 53 (won tiebreaker); 4. Lee Hammer, Tom Joyce, Dick Steffen, Bob VanZandt, 55 (won tiebreaker); 5. Andy Burt, Dave Danielian, Dave Hall, Gene Stoller, 55 (won tiebreaker); 6. Chuck Brown, John Feeley, Bob Mascatello, Tim O’Brien, 56.

 The closest to the pin winner at hole No. 17 was Frank Cutrone.

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Bucks win District title; face Cypress Bay Thursday

Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Even though the Deerfield Beach High School girls basketball team lost three of four games during the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas during the holiday break, Bucks coach Tamala Vaughn called the trip a victory.

Deerfield opened the Las Vegas trip with a 55-22 win over Modesta Christian (CA) before dropping four straight games to Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV), 46-36; Lynwood (Lynwood, CA), 67-50; and Desert Oasis (Las Vegas, NV), 56-26.

The Bucks won the District 11-9A title for the fourth time in five years and second year in a row. The lone year they didn’t win was in 2017 when star guard DenAsia Mitchell tore her ACL and was lost for the post season.

“This year’s team is a different team,” Vaughn said. “They are young and really inconsistent. The positive thought is that they are growing and the future is bright. They have great attitudes and I love coaching this group of girls. I don’t know what team is going to show up, the team that I think can win state or the team that gives me butterflies when they step on the court.”

Deerfield Beach (16-9) will host Cypress Bay (7-10) on Thursday night in a regional quarterfinal game. Of the Bucks’ 16 wins this season, 13 have been by 30 or more points. Of the nine losses, two have been by four points or less, one has been by eight points and the others have been in double digits.

“I know they all want to go to state,” she added. “We all have that goal in common.

They have grown since the beginning of the season and the light bulb is finally going on with some of the younger players. I don’t think they have been pushed as much. It was hard in the beginning for them to understand the system and the work ethic of the program.”

“We had kids that wanted to quit and kids that said, ‘coach, I can’t do this,’” Vaughn continued, “but now, since I pushed them beyond their limits, they are coming into their own.”

Vaughn said the trip to Las Vegas was vital to the team’s success. She said the players and coaches bonded both on and off the court.

“I have no regrets about the trip,” Vaughn said. “They were mentally weak before the trip and now they are becoming mentally tougher. I saw that in the St. Thomas Aquinas game (a 68-64 overtime loss). I was proud of the way they played and I think we are where we should be at this time of the season. They have gotten over that hump.

“The players became closer (in Las Vegas),” she added. “The players want to be the best teammates for each other. We bonded as a team. It was like a family atmosphere.”

In addition to DenAsia Mitchell, the Bucks have been getting strong play this season from freshman center Fatima Diakhate, who Vaughn says will be an All-American. Also playing well is senior forward Chakoi Mitchell (Indian River College commit); sophomore wing Aaliyah Reid; junior shooting guard Jasmin Worsley and junior combo guard Natalie Hessing, a transfer from Archbishop McCarthy.

“The girls have become more serious and they are working hard in practice to get better,” Vaughn said. “They just have to bear down, play hard and be consistent.”

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Tigers roar into postseason

Posted on 07 February 2019 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely girls basketball coach James Polk always believed in his team and that belief is paying dividends as the march into the postseason.

With a 58-26 district semifinal win over Ft. Lauderdale, Blanche Ely (20-7) moved into the District 14-8A championship game on Thursday at 7 p.m. against St. Thomas Aquinas. The Tigers dropped both meetings against St. Thomas this season falling 66-61 and 70-64.

“We are young,” Polk said. “I’ve got freshmen on the floor, sophomores on the floor and juniors on the floor. We try to learn and grow from our close games and our losses.”

“We expected to be fighting for the district championship,” Polk added. “Our goal this year was to represent Class 8A in Lakeland this year. We talked about being a team and goal as a team means ‘Together Everyone Achieves More.’ We are no longer a family because a family looks for favors and we are talking about being a team this year.”

Blanche Ely has gotten stellar play from Ja’Leah Williams, 5-ft., 9-in. sophomore shooting guard. Williams is averaging a team-high 21.5 points per game along with 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 3 steals per game.

Williams, 16, of Pompano Beach, said the team lost some size from last year’s squad, but that wasn’t going to stop them. She compared her team to the boys teams that have won multiple state championships.

“I asked the team, ‘don’t you want to be like the boys?’” Williams asked. “I try and motivate them. We want to go to Lakeland just like them. We have to work hard just to get there too. I want to be there with them. Having fun with family and friends.”

Williams, who averaged 18.5 points last season, said basketball is important to her even though she only started playing at age 12.

“It means a lot to me,” Williams said. “Even though some girls started playing at a young age, I ran track and I never knew I was going to be this good at basketball. I think I realized I was going to be good when I tried out for my middle school team and made it. Not only did I make it, but I started as a 6th grader. We won the championship in my 8th grade year at Pompano Beach Middle School. I am going to make a championship happen again this year. I think there is a big difference in this year’s team. We are very small, but we are running more.”

Polk said during the season that there was still room to grow and they were maturing. The team has outscored the opposition, 1,677-1,220.

“I felt that we had opportunities to do some better things,” Polk said. “We had to learn how to play more of a possession game. We also had to learn how to secure the ball and take care of the ball. That was the major thing. I think we are also very aggressive defensively.”

In addition to Williams, Polk said others who have contributed heavily include junior JaNiyah Moore, sophomore Mikhia Lumsdon and freshman Breanna Gustave.

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