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Bucks rout Boca Raton 49-6 in District 12-8A football game

Posted on 03 October 2019 by LeslieM

Deerfield Beach quarterback Michael Pratt looks for an open receiver in the Bucks’ 49-6 win over visiting Boca Raton. Photo by Gary Curreri.

By Gary Curreri

Deerfield Beach senior quarterback Michael Pratt threw for a season-best 331 yds. and four touchdowns as the host Bucks toppled Boca Raton 49-6 in the District 12-8A opener for both teams on Friday night. 

Pratt, a Tulane University commit who transferred from Boca Raton High School to Deerfield in August, made his fourth straight start and guided the Bucks to a fourth straight victory.

He has seen his touchdown totals in each game go up by one. He threw for one score in his first, then two, then three and four against his former school. He has 10 TDs on the season.

“We just have to get better every single week,” said Pratt, whose team has a bye this week before facing Spanish River. “My timing with the receivers, connection and chemistry is starting to build up. Our offensive line…I am starting to learn them and they are starting to learn me.”

Deerfield Beach (4-2, 1-0 in the district) took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yds. in three plays, capped by a 40-yd. scoring run by FSU commit Jaylan Knighton. He carried all three times in the drive for 80 yds. Knighton finished the game with seven rushes for 100 yds. and one score.

Boca Raton (2-3, 0-1) cut the lead to 7-6 on a 20-yd. scoring toss from Andrew Caverty to Ashton Gillotte with 4:02 left in the first half. The extra point attempt by Thomas Lofiago was blocked and later also had a 37-yd. field goal attempt blocked.

The score snapped a three-game shutout streak by the Bucks in their last three wins – as they defeated Blanche Ely, 46-0, Zachary (LA), 53-0 and Oak Ridge (Orlando), 42-0 – and outscored the opposition 141-0 during the span.

Deerfield Beach broke the game open in the second quarter when Pratt hit Maryland commit Deajaun McDougle for an 83-yd. catch and run for a 14-6 advantage and then 21-6 on a 64-yd. interception return by Phillip O’Brien. Deerfield Beach made it 28-6 on a 20-yd. scoring toss from Pratt to University of Miami commit Xavier Restrepo.

Pratt connected with Deajaun McDougle two more times in the third quarter from 51 yds. and 60 yds. for a 42-6 lead. It was his 10th scoring touchdown pass in four games. McDougle had 226 yds. receiving on five catches and three TDs.

Back-up quarterback Marquise Pierre hit Jamarion McDougle on a 45-yd. TD score in the fourth for a 49-6 Bucks lead. It marked just the fifth time in Deerfield Beach history where they have scored 40 or more points in four straight games.

Pratt missed the first two games of the season, losses to Carol City, 24-12, and St. John’s (Washington, D.C.), 52-20, with a groin injury. Pratt threw for 1,208 yds. and 12 TDs at Boca Raton last season. He also ran for 447 yds. and three scores for the Bobcats.

Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn said Pratt handled the week going against his former teammates well.

“He has a steadiness about him and is a little ahead of his time,” Glenn said. “To be quite honest, if he plays the first two games, we would be undefeated and top-10 in the country right now.”

Last season, Deerfield Beach fell in the state semifinals of the Class 8A tournament as they lost 49-21 to the eventual state champion, Miami Columbus, and finished 12-2. Deerfield lost in the regional quarterfinal the season before and lost in the state semifinals in 2016 to the eventual state champion, Southridge, 26-7 in 2016.

“it’s been a great opportunity to learn a few new things,” Pratt added. “I have to make better reads and work on timing.”

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Pompano player wins tourney

Posted on 26 September 2019 by LeslieM

Pompano Beach’s Julia Vulpio returns a shot against Boca Raton’s Nina Gulbransen in the finals of the Women’s Open Division in the Delray Cup – Prize Money Open, Age Category and NTRP Championships at ProWorld Tennis Academy in Delray Beach. Vulpio won the title with a 6-4, 7-5 win. Photo by Gary Curreri

By Gary Curreri

In the beginning, Julia Vulpio wasn’t a big fan of tennis.

“At first, I didn’t like it,” said Vulpio, 18, of Pompano Beach. “I wanted to play with dolls and do normal kid’s stuff.”

She got her start when her father saw a poster of Argentinian tennis pro Guillermo Vilas on the floor for his academy and they went.

“It was closed for the year and my dad said since we are here, let’s play,” said Vulpio, who was age 4 at the time. She continued to play recreationally until age 9 when she had a breakthrough.

“I saw Rafa Nadal play at the French Open, and I said, ‘wow, I really want to play now,’” Vulpio recalled. “I love the competition. I like everything. I like the fighting. It is definitely mental, a lot of it.”

She cited her strengths as a backhand crosscourt, her slice serve and a topspin forehand.

Vulpio recently scored a 6-4, 7-5 win over Boca Raton’s Nina Gulbransen in the finals of the Women’s Open Division in the Delray Cup – Prize Money Open, Age Category and NTRP Championships at ProWorld Tennis Academy in Delray Beach. Not bad considering she hadn’t played in a tournament in a couple of months and had just been training.

“I just decided to go back and play a few tournaments,” said Vulpio, a Quinnipiac University commit. She is currently homeschooling to prepare. She has also been training at ProWorld for almost two years. She was a former No. 1 in France for girls 16s and was ranked No. 900 at WTA at age 17.

“It was a good match to start back,” she said. “Winning the tournament gives you confidence for sure, especially since it is my first tournament in a while.”

The tournament also featured Men’s Open singles, Men’s Open doubles, Women’s 3.5 NTRP singles and Men’s 4.0 and 4.5 singles play. There were 81 players in the event and in addition to players from Florida, there were also competitors from CA, TX, NJ , NY, MI, and PR.

“The tournament had about 80 players – 70 in the Open and 11 in the NTRP,” Tournament Director Lew Wolfe said.

Bucks win third straight game

After opening the season with two straight losses on the road, the Deerfield Beach High School football team have regained their winning ways with a third consecutive shutout following a 42-0 win over Oak Ridge (Orlando) at home on Friday night.

Senior quarterback Michael Pratt tossed three touchdown passes, while senior running back Jaylan Knighton topped the century mark rushing and added two touchdowns for the Bucks, who have defeated Blanche Ely (42-0), Zachary (La.) 52-0 and Oakridge in the team’s home opener.

Pratt, a Tulane University commit who transferred to Deerfield Beach from nearby Boca Raton in early August, will face his former team on Friday when the Bucks take on the Bobcats at home.

Pratt connected with Aydin Henningham, Xavier Restrepo and Jaziun Patterson for TD passes and Knighton, a Florida State commit, totaled 101 yards on the ground and scored twice.

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