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37 posts from April 2008

April 20, 2008

Deep breath...

...and exhale. It's about to get crazy. Starting Monday, district tournaments in baseball and flag football kick off. But that's just the beginning.

By week's end, we'll know this year's:

  • Boys' and girls' tennis state champions (decided Monday through Friday; navigate this page for schedules, 4A through 1A)
  • Track results for Divisions 1A and 2A (1A on Friday, 2A on Saturday)
  • Water polo state champs, both boys' and girls'
  • Softball regional finalists (Brackets: 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A)

Plenty of teams/individuals from Broward and Dade in all sports, and plenty of contenders. Keep checking the Blog and The Herald for coverage.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

April 19, 2008

Beaten by the best

They always say there's no shame in being beaten by the best. Actually, St. Thomas Aquinas lacrosse player Chase Juelich said it himself a couple weeks ago.

"I'd rather be beaten by the best team in Florida," Juelich said, "than [get] beaten by anybody else."

Well, he and his fellow Raiders apparently did just that, by losing to Boca Raton St. Andrew's in the first-ever FHSAA regional finals last Friday. Because, on Saturday, the Scots did what the Raiders expected: They won the state title, 16-8 over Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley.

Pine Crest, Broward County's girls' district champ, almost had the same claim. The Panthers were downed by a rally from Lake Worth Park Vista, which made it all the way to the final before being upended by powerhouse Vero Beach on Saturday.

(...thus concludes Florida's first team-sport championship of the spring season.)

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

April 18, 2008

And your Broward state tennis qualifiers are:

Five of them, actually, after St. Thomas Aquinas' boys knocked off West Boca Raton 6-1 on Friday to earn a trip to the Orlando area, after they missed last year. Here's the list:

  • 4A Boys: Cypress Bay
  • 4A Girls: Cypress Bay
  • 3A Boys: St. Thomas Aquinas
  • 3A Girls: St. Thomas Aquinas (defending champion)
  • 2A Girls: American Heritage

Action in 4A (in Altamonte Springs) and 2A (in Sanford) begins Monday and runs through Wednesday. The 3A rounds go Wednesday through Friday, also in Altamonte Springs (with 1A in Sanford those same days).

Full details on the FHSAA tennis website.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

April 17, 2008

Gotta love new playoff teams

I covered the American Heritage-Coral Springs Charter District 14-3A softball game this afternoon and stood near the Charter dugout.

From there, I overheard several parents' conversations about the playoffs. Once you qualify for a district title game, you're automatically in the playoffs, so they were looking ahead.

It is always funny to hear parents and fans discussing the playoffs when they are not accustomed to it. They wanted to know why the bracket on the FHSAA website was not filled in yet. (Answer: District competition was not over yet.)

I know it may sound like I am making fun, but, honestly, I'm not. It's just fun to hear people discover the playoff process in high school sports. In Broward, we have so many teams with rich playoff history, and their fans know the system. To hear others discover it always brings a smile to my face.

Oh, by the way, Heritage won 11-4. Charter will be on he road at the District 13-3A champion (check fhsaa.org for that winner) on Tuesday.

Bring on the state finals

They struggled last year, and on Thursday they were staring at a matchup with reigning 2A state tennis co-champion Gulliver Prep. So, naturally, the American Heritage girls won, earning a trip to next week's state finals.

No. 1 Julie Sabacinski dropped Gulliver's Ashley Moore 6-1, 6-1, then teamed with No. 2 Ekatarina Kiseleva to beat Moore and Jessica Linero 6-1, 6-4 in doubles. Also winners in the Patriots' 4-2 decision were Kiseleva (7-5, 3-6, 6-2 over Linero) and No. 5 Danna Gandelman (6-1, 6-1 over Amanda Davis).

On the boys' side, Cypress Bay swept through Cooper City 7-0 on Thursday to earn its own state trip.

*Update* ... Another couple of state qualifiers, from Thursday: defending 3A girls' champ St. Thomas Aquinas, and Cypress Bay's girls.

More to be determined Friday.

--Patrick Dorsey

Another tourney down, 1 more to go...

...Or two, depending on how you look at it. Either way, Pembroke Pines Charter -- the nation's No. 1 softball team (according to USA Today and Rivals.com) -- grabbed another tournament title Thursday night, dropping Archbishop McCarthy 8-2 at Four Fields in Pompano Beach.

That means -- after wins at Speedball (in Pembroke Pines), Nike Faster to First (in Orange County, Calif.), Kissimmee and District 15-4A on Thursday -- the 26-0 Jaguars need to sweep through the regional/state bracket to get that coveted final championship, the one that means the most.

Coach Tom Fadul has been preaching "one game at a time" for a while. But soon it'll really be necessary.

"It's single-elimination now," he said Thursday.

Regionals start Tuesday.

--Patrick Dorsey

April 16, 2008

Big win for Northwestern in a sport you wouldn't expect

Congrats to the Northwestern Lady Bulls, and I'm not referring to the track and field team.

While I watched and reported Carmen Jackson's team's dominant victory in the District 14-4A championship, the Northwestern SOFTBALL team pulled one of its biggest wins in their program's history.

The Bulls beat Hialeah-Miami Lakes 7-3 in a District 14-6A semifinal.

That's the same HML team that knocked off Coral Reef at the GMAC last week to become only the 2nd north Dade team to ever beat a south team at the GMAC.

And that eliminated the Trojans from the playoffs.

Northwestern scored four runs late to break a 3-3 tie and clinched its first trip to the regional playoffs since 1990 - the only other time they made it that far.

The Bulls will play Miami Springs Thursday night at Slade Park at 6 p.m. for the District championship. Northwestern would face either Krop or American after that in regionals. Northwestern did not get past the first round in 1990.

Don't forget about flag football

Regionals are underway in tennis, districts are being decided this week in softball, track and boys' and girls' water polo, and baseball's districts are just around the corner (next week).

But don't overlook flag football, which could get pretty competitive once its own districts start Monday.

The lineup of a big one (District 20) was decided Tuesday night, when Douglas (10-1) handed Monarch (10-1) its first loss of the year, 12-6 in double-overtime (after ending regulation at 0-0). This gave the Eagles the No. 1 seed in the district and the Knights No. 2, while Deerfield Beach (No. 3) and Coral Springs (No. 4) are expected to round out the lineup in Monday's semifinals.

Only one team from what Monarch coach Matt Hall called "one of the strongest districts, for sure, in Broward County" will advance -- but plenty of other Broward schools are looking to become the county's third champion in the sport's six-year history (Broward has been represented in four of five title games so far).

Other contenders include undefeated Ely (District 21), Miramar (2006's state champion; District 24), Cypress Bay (which moved to 7-2 Tuesday; District 22), Cooper City (also District 22) and many more. Stay tuned.

--Patrick Dorsey

April 15, 2008

Marti to the Majors

Tons of Miami-Dade athletes have made the progression from high school star to the professional level in their sport.

One of its top baseball coaches is ready to make the jump in a few months.

I sat down with Hialeah baseball coach Carlos Marti before Monday's GMAC quarterfinal. Marti made the decision earlier this year to step down as coach after this season to accept a job as a Major League scout for the New York Yankees. Marti will be working the local scene, scouting Dade County and South Florida players for the Bronx Bombers.

"It's something I've wanted for a long time," Marti said. "I have an interest in coaching in college, but that's hard to come by. This is a great opportunity and it has the added benefit where I don't have to move my family or have to hop around too much from place to place."

In five years as head coach at Hialeah, Marti led the T-Breds to state twice, and as an assistant to Rich Bielski, he was part of Hialeah's back-to-back championship teams in 2001-02.

On Monday, the T-Breds rallied from a 3-1 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat Krop and earn a spot in Tuesday's GMAC semifinals. Hialeah is the No. 1 seed in District 14-6A.

April 14, 2008

Monday afternoon clicks

A few Broward-related links of interest to surf through, before all the districts (softball, track, water polo) and regionals (tennis) intensify this week:

  • Undefeated Pembroke Pines Charter, already No. 1 in USA Today's softball Super 25, picked up another No. 1 ranking (this one from StudentSportsSoftball.com, a parter of Rivals.com). The Jaguars begin their quest for a district title Tuesday at Pompano Beach's Four Fields.
  • MaxPreps.com released its boys' and girls' basketball All-American teams from 2007-08. American Heritage junior guard Kenny Boynton was named honorable mention on the boys' side. For the girls, Fabiola Josil (Coral Glades) was on the "other seniors considered" list, while Sandra Garcia (American Heritage), Joanna Harden (Ely) and Erica Wheeler (Parkway) earned "juniors to watch" status.
  • Rankings shift: For whatever reason, American Heritage first baseman Eric Hosmer fell from No. 3 to No. 6 in the most recent Sports Illustrated-affiliated Takkle.com baseball rankings. Hosmer's teammate, catcher Adrian Nieto, also fell (from No. 21 to 26), and Flanagan infielder Rolando Gomez dropped from No. 33 to 66. Another American Heritage Patriot, though, jumped -- pitcher JuanCarlos Sulbaran went from No. 40 to No. 27.

--Patrick Dorsey