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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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