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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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Highlands falls in regional quarterfinals

Posted on 09 February 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

For the second consecutive year, Highlands Christian Academy’s (HCA) boys’ soccer season ended on the Lake Worth campus at Trinity Christian Academy.

Junior Rogeni Decaster tallied a golden goal with three minutes remaining in the first overtime to lift the host Warriors to a 1-0 victory over HCA (9-6-3) in the boys Region 3-1A soccer quarterfinals.

Decaster’s 17th goal of the season propelled Trinity Christian (15-2-3) into the regional semifinal where it fell in overtime to Boca Raton Christian. The Warriors won last year in regional semifinal 2-1.

HCA played the final 48 minutes of the game, including overtime, a man down after one of its players, Richard Silva, was hit with two cautions. Trinity Christian was state runner-up in 2014 when it lost 2-0 to First Academy (Orlando).

It was a rebuilding year for us,” said Knights coach Darryl Mauro. “We are a small school where most players join our team for the first game. We average 6-10 players at pre-season training since most are participating in other sports, and all but one or two of our players touch a soccer ball during the off season. They played hard.”

Bucks have 13 move on to college

With three players already enrolled in college – Jerry Jeudy (Alabama), Deslin Alexandre (Pittsburgh) and Leroy Henley (East Carolina) – Deerfield Beach High School added an additional 10 to that haul on National Signing Day last week.

We laid out a very strenuous regimen for those guys to follow,” said Bucks football coach Jevon Glenn. “They’ve dedicated themselves. This is just the fruit of their labor. I am extremely proud … a very proud day for me, a very proud day for our football program.”

Receiver Daewood Davis, who signed with Oregon, and defensive lineman Lamonte McDougle, who chose West Virginia, were among the 10 college signees in this year’s draft class. Also signing were defensive back Eldine Dorvil (Albany State), DL Jamari Rouse (Bowling Green), quarterback Nick Holm (Florida Tech), DB Kobe Green (Buffalo), lineman Jose Jeanty and LB Branden Bailey (N.C. Central) and linebackers Brion Byrd and Cortez Grace (Virginia Union).

Ely falls to Dillard in Big 8

When it comes to the BCAA Big 8 boys’ basketball tournament, it appears that rival Dillard has Blanche Ely’s number.

Dillard’s Raiquan Gray and Robert Johnson helped key a 21-6 run early in the third quarter to break open a tight game and led the Panthers to a 72-61 victory over Blanche Ely at Ft. Lauderdale High School. Dillard won last year’s Big 8 championship with a 68-62 victory over the Tigers. Both teams won state titles in their respective classifications.

Johnson threw down a two-handed dunk off a look-away pass from Gray to push the lead to 52-35 with 1:09 left in the third quarter. Johnson finished with 17 points, Gray had 11 points and Bryce Oliver added 12.

Jordan Wright, a prized football recruit for Kentucky, finished with 18 points for the Panthers and helped Dillard seize a 28-27 halftime lead with a buzzer-beating 3-point basket.

Ely’s Geremy Taylor scored 13 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter to pull the Tigers close before Wright converted a three-point play with 1:16 left to give Dillard a 68-57 lead to seal the game. Michael Forrest added 14 points for Blanche Ely.

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Highlands drops regional soccer semifinal

Posted on 18 February 2016 by LeslieM

sports021816By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy boys soccer coach Darryl Mauro said his team did as well as expected given the fact they didn’t train as a full unit until midway through the season.

The Knights finished the 2015-16 campaign with an impressive 14-2-2 record following a hard-fought 2-1 loss to host Trinity Christian in the Class 1A regional semifinal.

Highlands opened the season with a 1-1 draw with Coral Springs Charter and suffered its only loss of the season to King’s Academy, 2-0, in the third game of the year on Nov. 10 and went unbeaten the rest of the way until falling to Trinity Christian.

We had the early loss and we do what we can with the players we have,” Mauro said. “When you have four full-time players and the rest don’t touch the ball until October, we only have they little window to try and teach them.”

They do have fight when they need to and it usually comes when their backs are against the wall,” Mauro added. “We went down 2-0 and we fought and we fought.”

Jorge Zambrano and Joey Daanti scored for the host Warriors (14-3-4), while Evan Henderson scored for the Knights with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Mauro moved senior defender Caleb Bien-Aime up top and hoped no one would break through as he changed his formation to a 3-4-3. He also received strong play from senior forward Elijah Kerr.

I had two ninth graders (Bryce Everette and Kyle Coulson) on the outside and a senior (Henderson) on the inside (defenders),” Mauro said. “They did their job. Our goalie (freshman John Harris) was sick all week and he did as well as he could.”

The Knights will graduate four starters and Mauro hopes that the school will start an intramural program.

It would be more established with a soccer-minded (philosophy) so the kids can touch the ball because our biggest issue is, since we are a small school, most of our players don’t touch the soccer ball again until October,” Mauro said. “That’s why I have a full head of grey.”

Mauro said, in addition to the football players, another issue he faces is that he didn’t get his international baseball players until early in the season.

I was working with baseball so that they could finish their club ball and I don’t think we had a full training session with them until mid-December,” said Mauro, who had to wait on forward Tisjar Clotida and defender Swindly Lint to come out for the team after baseball had ended. “We beat some good teams this year and we tied Hillel, which was our only other blemish.”

Mauro said the team ran into a more talented Trinity Christian squad. It was still an improvement for the Knights, who didn’t make it past the district semifinals last year and graduated a lot of seniors from that squad.

I had two baseball players and a couple of others come back,” Mauro said. “I am thankful I can coach with my son. I just want good soccer and today wasn’t their best. I thought (Trinity Christian) was a little more talented. They had five players up top. Their midfield and forwards had a little more energy than we had.”

Today, I just think it was the pressure on them,” Mauro concluded. “We teach them to play patient, simple soccer. I want them to dribble. I want them to pass. I just love good soccer.”

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Soccer league attracts women from around county

Posted on 15 October 2015 by LeslieM

Claire LutkewitteBy Gary Curreri

Like most of the women who play in the Plantation 8v8 Women’s Soccer League, Lighthouse Point’s Claire Lutkewitte touts the competition and camaraderie.

We have players of all ages and abilities,” said Lutkewitte, 34, who played college soccer at Rockhurst University in Kansas City and graduated in 2004. “Our first goal is to probably have fun. There are a lot of excollege players, who are just coming off their college careers and they still want to play. We still have some players out here who can move.”

She’s played in the Plantation league for six years now.

There are not a lot of opportunities in other parts of the country where women can play soccer,” Lutkewitte added. “When I moved here, I was actually ecstatic that there were places where women can play soccer on a regular basis, and it is good quality soccer too.”

The Plantation Women’s Soccer Club 8v8 league featured six teams this summer – all bearing prominent countries’ names. Fittingly, the USA team defeated Germany for the championship at Plantation’s Sunset Park. Lutkewitte played for Canada.

The other teams in the league included Netherlands, Canada, Brazil, and England. All six teams were involved in the playoffs. USA and Germany, the top two seeds received byes, while the other teams played preliminary games to reach the finals. Every game consisted of 25-minute halves.

Rae Vidal started directing several leagues in Plantation about six years ago. In addition to the 8v8 league on Sundays, she also runs a 7v7 (Friday) and 11v11 league, which just started at Plantation Central Park. The women range in age from 21 to 51. She said they plan to continue the 8v8 league on Tuesdays.

The camaraderie out here is great,” Lutkewitte said. “A lot of us hang out off the field. We help each other when we need it. One of our players had passed away from Breast Cancer and there was this huge support group for that. I met some people who were in a book club and I joined a book club. I think for people that are new to the area and don’t know anyone, I think this is a great place to meet people.”

Lutkewitte, an assistant professor of writing at Nova Southeastern University, also heads up the Soccer Association of Boca Raton’s Adult programs as a coordinator. She said the Boca Raton group usually plays in the fall and the spring; however, this fall they didn’t have fields because of all the youth programs.

We are on hiatus right now,” Lutkewitte said. “We will probably playing the spring. It would be great if more people would support adult programs and women’s programs in particular.”

Bucks stun Raiders

Deerfield Beach’s Jefferson Souza kicked a 40-yard field goal with 1:08 to play in the third quarter to snap a 3-3 tie and give the host Bucks a 6-3 victory over nationally ranked St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday night.

St. Thomas Aquinas (5-1) had an opportunity to tie the contest; however, Marco Salani was wide with a 20-yard field goal with 41 seconds remaining to give the Bucks (5-1) the victory.

Deerfield Beach took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter, while Salani answered with a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Despite a 364-134 advantage in total yards and a 19-7 advantage in first downs, it marked the first time the Raiders, which was ranked as high as second in national pools, failed to score a TD in 56 games dating back to 2011. St. Thomas hurt itself with three interceptions and 152 yards in penalties

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Bucks hoping for big things & Simply Soccer

Posted on 23 July 2015 by LeslieM

Bucks hoping for big things

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach High School football coach Jevon Glenn has put together quite the summer program with hopes of returning the school back to prominence.

Glenn has taken the Bucks on a whirlwind tour of college programs, 7-on-7 tournaments and football camps with hopes of winning a state title. Glenn took many of his athletes on two college tours from June 5-15 and hit many big name schools. Former Bucks running back Denard Robinson, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been a regular during the offseason.

I am very excited,” said Glenn, a 1996 graduate of Blanche Ely, where he played football and basketball, and replaced former Bucks coach Allen Jackson in the spring. Jackson resigned in December after four seasons. “We have done a lot of great things in the offseason and we are looking forward to getting started.”

The new Bucks coach will have his work cut out for him as the team is coming off of a 4-6 season in which the Bucks missed the playoffs. It was only the sixth time in school history, dating back to 1974, the Bucks finished with a losing record.

It’s tradition rich,” said Glenn, who will tackle his first varsity head coaching job after having spent eight seasons coaching Deerfield Beach’s junior varsity squad and holding several positions with the varsity. “There is a good buzz about the program and we made it a priority to keep our kids as Deerfield kids.”

Glenn said during the past couple of years, players left the school to play for other programs – both public and private schools.

Rather than complain about it, we raised the quality of our program and a lot of those kids came back,” Glenn said. “Many of those kids played in the Deerfield Packer/Rattler youth football program.”

Among those players returning to their roots are two wide receiver transfers from Monarch High School – Cavin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy, in addition to Blanche Ely transfer Teddrick Moffett, a quarterback.

I think the trips we took created good team chemistry and opened up a lot of eyes with the colleges that these kids can play,” Glenn said. “We believe that we will be better disciplined this year and we can compete for a state championship.”

The Bucks will open the season on Aug. 28 when it hosts Cypress Bay High School.

sports072315Four weeks remain at Simply Soccer

There have been record numbers at Simply Soccer camps this summer.

Simply Soccer Camp, which has boys and girls, ages 5-14 of all skill levels, has attracted children from throughout Broward County for its 27th annual summer camp series at Mullins Park in Coral Springs.

The camp, which was featured during a live broadcast by CBS4 the day following the United States’ 5-2 victory over Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, has four weeks remaining beginning Monday. They are: July 27-31; Aug. 3-7; Aug. 10-14 and Aug. 17-21.

There are three sessions ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a Tiny Tot program from 9 a.m. to noon. Players will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting.

It is the longest running soccer camp offered by the city. Campers must bring a soccer ball, swimsuit, shin guards, water bottle and lunch. For information on the Coral Springs camp, call 954-345-2200.

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Knights hope to go deep in postseason

Posted on 01 January 2015 by LeslieM

sports010115aBy Gary Curreri

Sixth-year Highlands Christian Academy girls soccer coach Shelly Wik knew there was no way to go but up after last year’s 2-15 campaign.

I knew we were going to have a little bit better of a team this year than last year because I have 10 seniors on the team and most of them had played before,” said Wik, whose team is 8-5-2, having quadrupled last year’s win total, and looks forward to playing in the District 13-1A tournament on Jan. 13.

Our underclassmen are all new,” Wik said. “Of the remaining seven players, I have six of them who had never played before. It is definitely more promising. I have won districts in the past; my second year coaching, and this year’s team is just as good as that team.”

The Knights will face tough district opposition in Westminster Academy, Coral Springs Christian and South Florida Heat.

Wik’s fortunes this year at the school have come from the addition of senior Keisha Nahr and sophomore Sara Carroll.

To win districts,” Wik said. “We will have to play so much better as a team. Our seniors and some of our key players are going to have to step up. We are getting there. We are getting better and better.”

Wik’s daughter, Kealey, is a senior captain on the squad despite limited experience. She is an outstanding volleyball player.

We definitely have more heart, said Wik, 17, of Lighthouse Point. “As a team, we have more skill and that always helps. We have gotten a lot better. We had new people who came and they are amazing and that always helps. From the first practice, we were always playing with the team and everyone was trying their best.”

She said transitioning from volleyball to soccer took an adjustment.

It is very different going from hands all of the time to just playing with my feet,” Wik said, “but I kick the ball pretty far so that is always good.”

Sophomore Sara Carroll, 15, of Coral Springs, said there is a big difference between high school soccer and club soccer.

In high school, you have a lot more kicking and running,” Carroll said. “It is fun to represent your school. There is pride. We definitely play more as a team the girls who are still here and we have a few new ones that help out a lot.”

Carroll said there is work to do; however, her teammates are willing to learn.

We have a lot of girls on the team who have never played before, so they take any advice,” Carroll said. “We have a pretty hard district, but I think we can get through if we put our minds to it. It is going to take hard work, people showing up on time to practice and fewer injuries.”

Senior newcomer Keisha Nahr, 18, of Boca Raton, has also provided a lift since moving to Florida in August. She played for the Curacao U20 National team when she was 15.

I love it,” Nahr said. “The players are great. Everyone works well on the field and, at the end, we all enjoy it. I think we have a pretty good team here. Every team has something they have to work on. At this point in the season, we have done some wins that were pretty much impossible last year, and I think this year we have a good chance to win districts and maybe regionals.”

sports010115bLocal diver wins state title

Pompano Beach High School sophomore Carly Ehrlich overcame a nearly 30-point deficit on her final three dives to capture the Class 2A girls’ 1-meter diving competition at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart recently.

The 15-year-old Ehrlich scored 432.20 points to win the girls’ 1-meter diving competition as she overtook Megan Galbreath, a junior from Cape Coral High School, who placed second with 425.80 points.

There are just no words to describe it,” said Ehrlich, who finished fourth at the state meet as a freshman. “I was going into one of the last rounds behind one of my good friends Megan (Galbreath) and, to come out with the win, I have never been so happy in my life. It was amazing.”

Ehrlich, who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, has trained with the Pine Crest Diving team for the past five years. She entered the state competition confident of winning a medal.

I did think I had a chance to win due to the fact that the girls who beat me last year (Stanton High School’s Carol Gerhardt and Elizabeth Tillo) were seniors, but I knew I really had to be on my game that day to win.”

Ehrlich has won two district titles and a regional crown previously; however, this was her best finish ever. She also became the school’s first state champion in any sport since 1974.

A win like this is definitely a boost to my confidence,” Ehrlich said. “It also makes me determined to win the next two years.”

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Highlands wins four titles in elementary, junior high divisions

Posted on 18 December 2014 by LeslieM

sports121814By Gary Curreri

Highlands Christian Academy (HCA) showed there is reason to be optimistic as two elementary school and two junior high programs finished on top in their respective leagues.

Daniel Copeland Del Toro and David Jesus each scored a goal as the Knights Elementary School soccer team defeated defending league champion St. Paul Lutheran, 2-0, in the Elementary Soccer League (ESL) championship game to finish the season at 7-1-1. Cameron Brooks earned the shutout.

The 2014 Elementary Soccer League consisted of Abundant Life, Highlands Christian, Sagemont, St. Paul and Trinity.

The Knights of Highlands Christian defeated all the schools during the season except their long-time rival, the Falcons of St. Paul. The first meeting between the two teams ended in an exciting 4-4 tie. The second meeting was for the League Shield and for home field advantage in the playoffs. The two teams battled throughout the regular time with a score of 1-1. After the overtime play, the result was the same, and St. Paul eventually prevailed in penalty kicks.

The Knights defeated the Falcons with a score of 2-0 earning the Champions for the second time of the Elementary Soccer League.

The Junior High School volleyball team ended the year at 11-5 and swept Westminster Academy (WA), 25-20; 25-20 in the finals to take the South Atlantic Coast Conference (SACC) title.

The Junior High volleyball team of Highlands Christian Academy had a great season,” said Coach Shannon Ratzlaff. “With some big wins over Boca Christian and The King’s Academy, the girls improved significantly throughout the course of the season. It was nice to play WA in the championship game this year as they defeated us for last year’s SACC Championship.”

Knights’ eighth-grader Aiyana Garcia had 12 service points in the second game of the championship to seal the win.

The Junior High School football team completed a perfect season by winning all six of its games, while the HCA Elementary School volleyball team downed Sheridan Hills to win the SACC Championship. The team finished 6-2.

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Simply soccer camp offered

Posted on 05 June 2014 by LeslieM

sports060514By Gary Curreri

Residents have an opportunity to take advantage of World Cup soccer fever this summer as the Simply Soccer camp returns for its 26th year in Coral Springs.

Soccer camp is for boys and girls, ages 5-14, of all skill levels, who will be taught a variety of soccer skills from dribbling to shooting. Simply Soccer, the longest running soccer camp offered by the city, will be held at Mullins Park behind the Coral Springs gymnasium. There won’t be a similar camp this year in Pompano Beach.

There are three sessions each day ranging from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; extended hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tiny Tot program for 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.

Dates are June 9-13, 16- 20, 23-27; July 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-Aug. 1; Aug. 4-8, 11-15.

For information, call 954- 345-2200.


Blanche Ely High School ended its spring football contest against visiting Miami Jackson on a high note as it chalked up an impressive 31-14 victory.

The Tigers’ star basketball player, Therrell Gosier, who has been turning heads off the basketball court and on the football fi eld this spring, didn’t disappoint. He caught two passes totaling 55 yards on the team’s fi rst drive to set up a 1-yard run by Teddrick Moffett for a 7-0 lead, and added a 3-yard TD catch for a 14-0 fi rst quarter lead.

I’m just trying to help my team win a state title,” Gosier said after the game. He is being heavily sought after by Clemson, West Virginia and Nebraska, among others. “I’m looked at as the leader of the receiving corps. I think my ability to stretch the fi eld will mean a lot. It will give our slot guys more room to work with, open the fi eld.”

After Miami Jackson cut the lead in half on a 75-yard TD run by Desmond Phillips, Ely put the game away on a 28-yard scoring toss to Ladderick Smith and rolled to the win to give fi rst year head football coach Nakia Jenkins some momentum heading into the season.

Jenkins said the Tigers wouldn’t be doing too many 7-on-7 tournaments during the summer heading into the school year.

I really don’t believe in them too much because, to me, it throws you off a little bit because your quarterback needs to get used to an offensive line,” said Jenkins, who said his team will be a part of the 7th Annual Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 High School Football Tournament presented by Under Armour and the National Guard from June 13-15.

They have been great to us the last few years,” Jenkins said. “We may do one or two local ones, but my focus is to get my seniors in some camps so they can get looked at so the kids don’t fall through the cracks. The camps are really big to give them some notoriety.”


Continental will play the International squad in the city of Pompano Beach’s Men’s Thursday night softball league championship on June 5 at 7 p.m.

A win by the International squad would give the team the title, while a loss to Continental would force an 8:15 p.m. winner-take-all contest.

Levinson Jewelers/Jacks Hamburger won the Men’s Softball A Division playoff bracket with a 19-7 victory over Lifetime Kia.

A new competitive league will be starting soon, and games will be played on Monday nights at the Four Fields Complex in Pompano Beach.

Any bat will be allowed and a pitching screen will be placed in front of the pitcher for protection,” said Bobbi Palat, a recreation leader for the city. “Twelve home runs will be allowed.”

The fee is $400 for residents and $500 for non-residents. There will be a 12-game season with a double-elimination tournament at the conclusion of the regular season. The winning team will receive a free entry into next season.

Leagues are also starting for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It will be the same entry fee of $400 (residents) and $500 (non-residents). There will be a free entry into the league for next season and there will be two separate brackets for playoffs.

For more information, contact Palat at 954-786-4119.

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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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