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Mendez wins Woodson title; sets sights on state

Posted on 05 October 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Lighthouse Point’s Kevin Mendez is looking for a repeat performance at state.

After sitting out the beginning of this season with an injury, it appears that the eighth-grader at Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale is prepared to defend his Class 1A state diving championship.

Mendez, 14, recently showed he is going to be a state contender after winning the boys 1-meter diving title at the 54th annual Woodson Invitational at the Pine Crest School pool with a total score of 497.95 after sitting the first six weeks of the season with a broken thumb.

This helps a lot confidence-wise because I had the broken thumb and just came back (from the injury,” said Mendez, who had three top 8 finishes, including second in the 1-meter diving event at the national championships this summer, despite a fractured finger. I have only been diving four days, so to do this well was unexpected. It will boost my confidence a lot. I was pretty happy.”

His efforts helped Pine Crest take second in the team race with 229 points at the meet. Perennial Class 1A state champion Jacksonville Bolles, winners of 26 consecutive state titles, won both the boys’ and girls’ titles.

Mendez is hopeful of retaining his gold medal at the state meet at the Sailfish Splash Waterpark, Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart on Nov. 4.

There is zero pressure on me to win a state title because it is unexpected being young,” Mendez said. “Nobody expects you to win, so you just go in there and do your thing. I am used to it.

I have won a couple of national championships so I am used to the pressure,” Mendez continued. “I would say my favorite board (event) is the 1-meter.”

He got his start in diving when he was taking swimming lessons, spotted the diving board and asked if he could give it a whirl. It was 10 years ago, and Mendez said he has loved diving ever since.

You just adapt to it,” Mendez said. “It is kind of scary at first. Like anything, the more you do it, the more you get used to it.”

Since he won the high school title last year, he knows what to expect.

 “I think I have a chance of winning states again,” Mendez said. “I am going to try my best and do my best. I think I have a good shot.”

Bucks cruise past Taravella

Deerfield Beach High School’s football team grounded out an easy 50-6 victory over visiting Taravella last week. 

The Bucks totaled 507 yards rushing, with three players running for more than 125 yards each – Jakari Norwood (141 yards and two TDs), Jerome Neal (140 yards, TD) and Jaylan Knighton (125 yards). The Bucks (3-1) travel to St. Thomas Aquinas this Friday for a huge non-district game.

Tigers tamed in defeat

Auburn commit Shaun Shivers rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half, to lead Chaminade-Madonna to a 44-0 win over Blanche Ely in a non-district game, Monday at Blanche Ely.

Shivers scored on two of his five carries for the game with scoring runs of 79 and 55 yards. Quarterback Daelen Menard also accounted for a pair of scores, finishing 4 of 6 for 123 yards. The Lions (3-2) scored on their first three possessions, with their first two scoring drives taking just one play each.

Blanche Ely slipped to 2-3 with the loss.

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Caro scores TD, lifts Panthers

Posted on 05 October 2016 by LeslieM

sports100616By Gary Curreri

Lighthouse Point’s Sofia Caro can cross one thing off her sports bucket list.

The 17-year-old senior at Pine Crest scored her first varsity touchdown as the Panthers defeated visiting St. Andrew’s School, 28-8, in front of a raucous homecoming crowd at Best Field in Fort Lauderdale.

I can’t really describe how I’m feeling,” said Caro, who scored on a fourth quarter, 2-yard run to seal the game. “All I can say is that I haven’t stopped smiling since … There’s nothing like it!”

Taking the handoff, Caro followed senior fullback Arjun Sandhu and junior offensive guard Robbie Fatovic 2 yards into the end zone.

It was an amazing feeling,” Caro said. “My teammates, Arjun and Robbie (and others), cleared the way on the right side of the line. I spotted grass and hit the hole.”

Caro, who sports a 4.72 GPA in the classroom, also won the Clara Coleman Prize at her school last year which goes out to the rising senior who demonstrates versatility and merit as a scholar and student at Pine Crest School. Caro is a three-sport star at Pine Crest where she also excels in lacrosse and weightlifting.

As a sophomore, she was the only Broward competitor to make it to states in girls’ weightlifting placing 17th in her 139-pound weight class and last spring she was an all-county selection in lacrosse.

Caro, who played on JV for two seasons and took last year off to concentrate on lacrosse, is happy to be back. The 5-ft., 6 in., 140 lb. tailback said she had two goals. One was to score a touchdown, and the second was to win a championship with the football team. She can cross one of those off her list.

Pine Crest coach Troy Harrison said it was a special moment.

She did a great job of following her lead blocker, finding the hole and crossing the goal line,” Harrison said. “The crowd went crazy, the team went crazy.”

Hearing the announcer call her name on Friday nights gets her pumped. The cheers from the crowd are reminiscent of the 1993 movie, Rudy, about a walk-on player at the University of Notre Dame.

I’m on top of the world,” said Caro, who also plays linebacker in defense. “Hearing your name called is something special and it is something I haven’t really experienced in any other sport that I have played.”

Caro is the second female football player to play varsity football at Pine Crest. The other, Anna Lakovitch, was a placekicker and soccer star at the school from 1995-98 and attended Harvard University. South Plantation’s Erin DiMeglio became the first female quarterback in Florida high school history to play in a game in 2012.

Pine Crest, which won for the fourth consecutive week and improved to 4-1, faces King’s Academy in West Palm Beach this week.

Bucks roll again; top Taravella, 61-0

Deerfield Beach must enjoy the turf at Coral Springs High School as for the second consecutive week it rolled to a shutout victory over a District 11-8A foe.

Deerfield, which improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in District 11-8A, scored nine touchdowns and wrapped up the game in the first half as it cruised past Taravella, 61-0, last Thursday night. The team defeated Coral Springs at James Caldwell Field the previous week, 30-0.

Bucks senior quarterback Nick Holm returned from a concussion after sitting out the win over the Colts and threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns, including a 65-yard pass to junior receiver Cornelius McCoy on the game’s first play from scrimmage.

Holm also completed a 14-yard scoring pass to senior Jerry Jeudy and a 6-yarder to senior Leroy Henley. Backup QB Alec Brown, who threw for three TDs in the victory over Coral Springs filling in for Holm, picked up where he left off and passed for 146 yards and two TDs.

Junior tailback Jakari Norwood rushed for 87 yards on eight carries and three TDs, while senior Lafleur Limprevil tacked on 95 yards rushing.

The point total was two short of the team record for Deerfield, which leads in the season series between the two teams, 23-6.

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