Tag Archive | "Highlands Christian"

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HCA hosts another successful hoops camp

Posted on 19 July 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

For two solid weeks, the Highlands Christian Academy basketball camp attracted 40 campers to take part in not only learning how to play the sport but also learn life lessons.

I am always grateful and excited that we are able to offer basketball camp here at HCA,” said HCA Boys basketball coach and school athletic director Jim Good, who has worked the camp personally for 21 years. “It is by far our most successful athletic camp we do in the summer.”

Reg Cook, the school’s former AD and Boys Varsity basketball coach, started the camp in 1986 with 19 campers in attendance. The first week of the camp consisted of children in the 7th-12th grades, while the second week consisted of 2nd-6th graders. Both sessions attracted approximately 40 campers each.

I am extremely thankful for our coaches who do a tremendous job leading, working stations, sharing devotions and officiating games,” Good said.

This year’s staff included several of the HCA Basketball coaches: Luke Still (Boys JV), Josh Good (Boys JH), Jeff Sullivan (Boys 6th grade), John Wilson (Former Girls Varsity who is at Charlotte Christian now) and Kayla Lassen (HCA alumnus who is attending Liberty University).

Special guests, including Andrew Smith and Tomasz Gielo, would lead some drills in the morning. Smith graduated from HCA in 2011 and helped lead the Knights to back-to-back District Championships in his junior and senior years. The former first-team All-County selection played four years in the Big South at Liberty University and just finished up his third season playing overseas, including professional stints in Latvia, Netherlands, and just recently in Germany.

Tomasz was a teammate of Smith’s while at Liberty but transferred his senior year and finished playing his college ball at Mississippi. He has been playing professionally in Spain the last two years. Tomasz is originally from Poland and is representing his country this summer by playing for the Polish National team.

It was great having these two young men give back to these kids,” Good said. “They were given a 45-minute time slot of leading some offensively minded drills they have incorporated while playing in college or overseas. The campers had a tremendous amount of respect and ‘awe’ in having them part of our camp this summer.”

The typical morning included a devotion from one of the coaches as they shared a spiritual truth for the day. They then focused the entire group on warm-up runs, dribbling, ball-handling and stretching.

Each morning, the campers performed several speed and agility drills led by the coaches in a station format. The group was then divided up to work on individual skill and development with lay-ups, cone drills, and shooting.

Each day, a specific skill was broken down for the campers to focus on and, every day, the campers competed in a different trophy competition which included: one on one, two on two, free throws, and hot shots.

Lunch was off campus at Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, and CiCi’s Pizza and we are extremely grateful for our relationship with these organizations and the support they have for HCA Athletics,” Good said.

The afternoon consisted of full court five on five games. Hours for the camp were 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be offered again next June.

Other camps coming up at HCA are softball, track and field, indoor soccer, golf and volleyball. For more information, visit the website at www.highlandsknights.org.

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Smith signs with FAU

Posted on 04 December 2014 by LeslieM

sports120414By Gary Curreri

Kaitlyn Smith won’t be far from home when it comes to playing collegiate sports. The Highlands Christian Academy senior will be playing just 6 miles up Interstate-95 from the school’s campus.

Smith, 18, a Ft. Lauderdale native who lives in Deerfield Beach, will play sand volleyball for Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Smith has been at Highlands Christian Academy for 12 1/2 years.

I have been playing sand volleyball for five years,” Smith said. “One of my friends (Kealey Wik) asked me to play one time and I have loved it ever since. She is an inspiration to me.”

Smith said she loves how the sport keeps her in shape and how it is a beautiful atmosphere on the beach.

I have made a lot of relationships and it presents both mental and physical challenges, which have made me strong and who I am today,” Smith said. “Winning is important to me, but how you get there is what matters. When I play, I worry about how I play, how I can help improve my partner and my game. I also make sure that I supply good sportsmanship.”

She also plays for the Tribe indoor volleyball club and DVA Sand volleyball. She played in the Junior Olympics in California and competed in the High Performance All-Star program in Deerfield Beach.

Smith carries a 4.0 gradepoint- average and is dual enrolled at FAU. She selected the Boca Raton school over four other schools, including Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast, University of Florida (UF) and the University of Central Florida. She visited all of the schools except for UF. She plans to study criminology and math.

I chose FAU because it is close, a great school and [has] incredible coaching,” Smith said. “Head coach Capri (Grotowski), and her assistants Kendra (Van Zwieten) and Tammy (Pelski), are a few of the best there is … so, who wouldn’t chose FAU?”

Smith said she was pleased with the Knights indoor volleyball season. The team finished 16-9. She finished with 13 kills, 75 service points, 27 assists and 718 digs. Smith is the No. 1 ranked libero in the state, according to MaxPreps, and is ranked No. 65 in the nation.

We had a great season,” Smith said. “Even though we didn’t finish how we planned, I learned a lot. As always, I kept my skills up while I was away from the sand.”

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Local soccer teams fall in postseason

Posted on 06 February 2014 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

The Highlands Christian Academy and Deerfield Beach high school boys’ soccer teams reached the postseason this season with high expectations.

Highlands Christian (13-6) won the district title and made it to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2006 when it fell to Palmer Trinity, 3-1. The Knights were ousted in the regional quarters in the five appearances since then.

Unfortunately for the Knights, Sagemont (18-7-1) advanced to the regional finals with a 4-0 victory over host Highlands Christian on Tuesday night.

Sophomore Carlos Pan gave the Lions a 1-0 halftime lead when he scored on a header in the 21st minute. Freshman Karl Ackermann scored the first of three second half goals for Sagemont off a cross by junior Marco Wehrhahn in the 53rd minute. Sagemont added its own goal and a final tally by freshman Braedon Villano to end Highlands’ season. Ryan Theimer recorded 13 saves in his sixth shutout of the year.

Highlands Christian Academy coach Darryl Mauro said he was pleased with his team’s performance, especially considering his team had just three full time soccer players. He was also happy to coach with his son Daniel, an HCA graduate, who won national titles while at Clearwater Christian College.

We had two players, Lucas Almeida and Caleb Bien- Aime finish with 17 goals and double figures with assists and our goalkeeper, Zach Mueller finished with nine clean sheets (shutouts),” Mauro said. “Sophomores Elijah Kerr, Evan Henderson, and Vitor Lima both improved on both sides of the ball and newcomers Brandly Martina, Ayrton Barbolinea, Ray Melfor all played a big role in our postseason run.”

Deerfield Beach made its fourth appearance in the playoffs in school history under Coach Frantz Edouard – 2009, 2012, 2013 were the others – and fell to Boca Raton last Thursday night in the regional quarterfinals thanks to a topflight performance by the Bobcats’ Sebastian Elney, who spent last year with the U.S. Soccer Under-17 residency program in Bradenton.

Elney had three goals in the contest to lead host Boca Raton (21-1-2) to a 3-0 victory over Deerfield Beach in the Class 5A boys’ soccer regional quarterfinal. Boca Raton advanced to this Friday’s regional final after defeating Douglas, 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Deerfield Beach (18-3-4) had the better play in the early going with nothing to show for it. Boca Raton goalkeeper Collin Foody made three saves for his 11th shutout of the season.

The Bucks’ best chance to score came in the 68th minute when Matheus Pereira took a free kick that Foody got a hand on. The ball deflected to Romilaire Ambrose, whose shot was headed off the goal line by defender Aaron Kleinert.

We are disappointed,” said Deerfield Beach soccer coach Frantz Edouard. “The first goal hurt, but the second one broke our back. We had a great season. The number 23 (Elney) was the difference maker for them.”

Edouard’s team had the harder road in the playoffs as it finished runner-up in the district to Douglas.

It didn’t work out,” Edouard said. “Obviously, we had a good season, not a great season, because we wanted to advance far in the playoffs. We have been here before, but we haven’t been able to get over the hump. It’s a bit of a disappointing season for us.”

Edouard, who is in his eighth year at the school, believes his team will be in the postseason again and expects his team to go far.

We graduate about four or five players, but honestly the core of the team will be back again next year,” Edouard said. “Hopefully, we will be back … and be victorious.”

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Knights, Lions hope for postseason run

Posted on 23 January 2014 by LeslieM

Pages 09-16By Gary Curreri

If either Highlands Christian Academy or Zion Lutheran School is going to make a run at the postseason, both local schools will need to get past the top-seeded Westminster Academy in the District 13-1A tournament which began this week.

Highlands Christian Academy coach Darryl Mauro has returned to the sidelines after helping with the team last year. Mauro is in his sixth year at the school and has entered the year at 79-24-11 during that span.

We are trying to get them to play good soccer,” said Mauro, who previously coached the team from 2004- 09. The Knights are 10-5 this season and in second place behind Westminster Academy in the district. “We only have two or three kids that play more than high school soccer, on travel teams. Our four losses have come against Westminster (one) and three against bigger schools.”

Mauro’s title hopes were bolstered by the return of senior forward Kirvin Moesquit from an early season knee injury. Moesquit, who has an offer to play baseball at the University of Miami, is one of the team’s top offensive threats. He plays shortstop for the school’s baseball team. Senior forward Lucas Almeida provided most of the punch with Moesquit out.

We missed him,” Mauro said. “It was a major disappointment that he was out because he has a lot of speed. Our guys are starting to click. You have to have that magic dust and they have to show up to play.”

Sophomore defenders Evan Henderson and Elijah Kerr anchor the Knights’ defense and the team is also counting on sophomore midfielder Caleb Bien-Aime, senior goalkeeper Zach Muller and freshman forward Alex Felicetta.

Zion Lutheran coach Kelly Elrod has been at the school for nine years and returned two starters from last year’s team including German Curci (midfielder, sr.) and Noah Craven (defender, sr.). A third starter, the team’s junior goalkeeper, Don-Andrew Hanson broke three bones in his hand in the second to last football game of the season and has been out for the year.

Elrod said senior Frankel Alexis, a first-year soccer player, has filled in admirably for Hanson in goals for the Lions (2-5-4), which opened the tournament against the fifth-seeded South Florida Heat. Results of the tournament were unavailable at press time.

What (Frankel) has done has been eye-opening,” said Elrod, whose team was 6-9-1 last year. “He has no fear and his communication with the defense is actually getting better. I wish I had him as a freshman. The last game we had against Highlands, he had 14 saves. He’s been a Godsend. He’s physically capable.”

The Lions added three Brazilians, all juniors, including Tiago Santos (central defender), Rodrigo DeOliveira (forward) and Thiago Silva (midfielder), along with freshman Malik Murphy (forward).

Those guys have definitely helped elevate our game,” Elrod said. “I really want to make a strong, solid run into the playoffs.”

Elrod also singled out the play of defender Noah Craven, German Curci and Courtney Whiteaker, who, along with Noelle Gans, is one of two girls on the team. Whiteaker, a senior, is starting as an outside defender. She was on the girls’ team last year; however, the school wasn’t able to field a girls’ soccer team this year.

Courtney has been really well accepted,” Elrod said. “Her positioning awareness is very, very good. She’s been solid. I told her I wasn’t going to treat her any differently. Now that she’s starting, nobody has said a peep about it. The guys acknowledge she’s an asset. She and the other girl, Noelle (sophomore), have done well. This is the first time in my nine years there that I have had a girl on the team. They both fit in pretty well.”

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Gray to step down

Posted on 03 November 2011 by LeslieM

Blanche Ely coach Rodney Gray said he may move on from coaching the Tigers at the end of the season. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Blanche Ely football coach Rodney Gray said he is likely leaving the school at the end of the season.

He recently handed in his letter of resignation at the school where he has gone 20-6 during the past two seasons and winning two district titles. In 2009, when he took over on an interim basis, Gray was named the Broward NIKE Coach of the Year after going 11-2 and reaching the regional finals, before falling to St. Thomas Aquinas 28-16.

“After working with other administrations around the county, I am losing the bug to coach,” said Gray, whose team dropped a 14-6 decision to host Boyd Anderson in a District 14-7A contest on Tuesday night. He has coached 18 years in the county. “My biggest quest is to find an administration that is going to support the athletic program and not try to run it like you are Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.

“I am saying that if the situation stays the way it is, I am not looking to return there,” Gray continued. “I do not want to leave Ely. If something changed there, I would be glad to go back there. I am looking for something that is conducive to winning from the athletic administration, school administration to community involvement as well.”


Deerfield Beach stays in hunt

Deerfield Beach kicker Oscar Rosales connected Tuesday night on a 26-yard field goal in the second overtime to give Deerfield Beach a 10-7 victory over Coral Springs in a game that was postponed twice on Oct. 28 and Oct. 31 because of weather.

The game was originally scheduled for Deerfield Beach; however, it was moved to Coral Springs because of scheduling conflicts.

Deerfield Beach (3-4, 3-1) took a 7-0 lead with five seconds remaining in the first half on a 13-yard scoring pass from Kevin Bush to Tyrell McCall.

Coral Springs (6-2, 2-2) forced overtime with 9:46 remaining in the fourth quarter when Brandon Rodgers hauled in a 41-yard scoring pass from Evan Lassiter that tied the contest at 7-7. Both teams had field goals blocked in the first overtime.


Highlands wins two HGH scoring affairs

Highlands Christian Academy may be out of the playoffs. However, it is still making a statement on the field after blanking Berean Christian, 71-0, and Zion Lutheran, 35-0.

“We have evened up our record at 4-4 now, with our two final games being against Summit Christian and Somerset,” said Highlands coach Jordan Adair. “We’re disappointed to be out of the playoffs, but we’re working extremely hard to finish strong and close with a 6-4 record.”

Against Berean Christian, seven different players scored TDs, and nine different players carried the ball for a total of 284 yards rushing. Leading the way was Arelious Burns with 10 carries for 110 yards, 3 TDs. Quarterback Jay Mentecky was 4-4 for 79 yards and one TD. The 71 points was ninth all-time for points scored in Broward County and was a school record.

The game against Zion Lutheran was called at halftime due to lightning. Senior wideout Gabe Hantsbarger caught a scoring toss, despite breaking his hand earlier in the week and wearing a cast up to his elbow. Junior linebacker Rylee Hage had seven solo tackles, six assists, one tackle for loss, one forced Fumble and a pass breakup.

Ranse Classic II slated

The second annual $6,500 Ranse Classic Beach Volleyball/Footvolley Fundraiser Tournament will be held in Deerfield Beach on N. Ocean Boulevard from Nov. 11-13. Registration closes on Nov. 9 and spots are limited.

The Ranse Classic is an annual charity tournament to celebrate the life of local volleyball player and firefighter Ranse Jones, who passed away on Nov. 8, 2010. He suffered a brain aneurysm during the semifinal of the Panama City AVP Young Guns tournament in April 2010 and passed away six months later, the day after last year’s charity tournament concluded.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities you can e-mail RanseClassicCommittee@gmail.com. You can also call Andre Melo, 954-649-4667; John Esposito, 954-415-4678 or Marcelo Ramos, 954-608-7908.

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Highlands wins again

Posted on 13 October 2011 by LeslieM

Arelious Burns had 20 carries for 100 yards to lead the Knights in a 14-7 victory over visiting Coral Shores on Friday night. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy’s Gabe Hantsbarger hauled in a 27-yard scoring pass from Jay Mentecky with 18 seconds left to give the host Knights a 14-7 victory over Coral Shores on Friday night. Hantsbarger, who finished the night with three catches for 65 yards on the night, had his winning TD setup via a fourth down personal foul committed by Coral Shores.

“The downpour and wind made it very difficult to throw the ball,” said Highlands Christian Academy coach Jordan Adair. “Our O-Line and running game carried us for most of the game with Arelious Burns carrying the majority of the load.”

Burns had 20 carries for 100 yards to lead the Knights, who finished the game with 186 yards on 37 carries by its runners. Tyson Graham came in at running back on the Knights’ last drive and had two crucial runs, leading host Highlands (2-3) to its winning score.

“This was a big win for us,” said Adair, whose team won for the second consecutive week. “We keep some momentum heading into our game this week against Jupiter Christian.”

The Knights will tackle Jupiter Christian (5-1) on Friday at John I. Leonard.


Photo by Gary Curreri

Lions still winless

Zion Lutheran’s P.J. Boll-ing caught a 10-yard scoring pass from Austin Peaslee to avert the shutout in a 55-6 loss to Jupiter Christian. Zion fell to 0-3 for the year.


Bucks, Tigers to square off

Deerfield Beach (1-4), coming off their first victory of the season, will travel cross town to face Blanche Ely (4-1) on Friday night.

Pompano Beach will host winless Coral Glades on Thursday night.


Local Golf Association results

The team of Kathy Hart-mann, Betty Cullinan, Pat Zuckerman, Anna Vaccaro shot a 69 to win the Palm Aire Ladies Golf Association’s weekly scramble tournament on Oct. 4.

In the Pompano Beach Men’s Golf Association, Bill Auxier shot a 67 to win the Class A Division in the Individual Low Net in Classes tourney on Oct. 5. Harry Jung shot a 68 to win the Class B Division, while John Kapoukakis shot a 68 (Class C) and Paul Dauzickas shot a 67 (Class D) to win their respective Divisions.

Janet Stuart, Lu Rispoli, Elaine Schoengood teamed for a 62 to win the One Best Ball of Threesome tournament on Oct. 4 in the Pompano Beach Women’s Golf Association.

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