May 16, 2008

Clauss headed to George Washington

Cooper City pitcher Kara Clauss will play softball at George Washington University next season. Clauss will join the Atlantic-10 school after going 10-4 and leading Cooper City to the Region 3-6A final in 2008 (a 2-1 loss to Palm Beach Gardens).

Clauss also no-hit Flanagan in the regional semifinal. She'll join a Colonials squad that went 12-27 in 2008.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

May 15, 2008

Pines Charter finishes at No. 4

After an undefeated start and five weeks at the top, Pembroke Pines Charter fell to No. 4 in USA Today's softball rankings after losing the 4A title game to Naples on Saturday. The Jaguars ended the season 30-1.

Naples jumped into the top 25, grabbing the final spot. Palmetto, which won the 6A championship by beating Palm Beach Gardens on Saturday, was listed in the "also receiving consideration" category.

(These rankings aren't final, though, as most other states haven't finished their seasons.)

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

May 14, 2008

A few signings...

This story in today's Herald highlighted a few signings from Archbishop McCarthy (which took place today at the school). Here's an updated list, with a couple of corrections/additions/updates:

  • Football: Carlos Gonzalez, Bridgewater (Va.); Billy Scott, Concordia (Wisc.).
  • Basketball: Jamar Gopie, Elms (Mass.); Jimmy Nolan, George Mason (walk-on); Mike Savery, Methodist (N.C.).
  • Baseball: Alan Avila, Nova Southeastern; Sal Costanzo, Vassar (N.Y.); Chris Turnio, Nova Southeastern.
  • Softball: Katie Mansilla, North Carolina St.; Alexa Martinez, Auburn.
  • Soccer: Matt Delisle, Stetson; Kelsey Dunning, St. Thomas; Christine Mastandrea, Ave Maria (Fla.).
  • Track: Andrew Deleo, Clemson; Alex Hueck, Mars Hill (N.C.); Gus Vazquez Milan, Kansas St.
  • Wrestling: Colby Borchetta, Michigan State.
  • Also, Armani Appolon (basketball/volleyball) and Jonathan Ramirez (football) still are undecided, according to the school.

Elsewhere in Broward, Cooper City basketball player Cayla Aaron will sign Monday with Fairmont (W.V.) State, a Division-II school that won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Conference's tournament last season and was ranked as high as 10th in D-II. She'll receive a full scholarship.

Congrats to these students, and athletes/parents/coaches/readers -- as always -- are encouraged to keep us posted on any other signing news.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

May 07, 2008

Broward's next state-championship team

As in, who's it gonna be? American Heritage won the 3A softball title Tuesday. St. Thomas Aquinas (3A boys) and Westminster Academy (2A boys) claimed track titles. And in tennis, Cypress Bay (4A boys), St. Thomas Aquinas (3A girls) and American Heritage (2A girls) each won.

Now, here are the remaining team-title contenders:

  • In softball, one team's still out there: Undefeated Pembroke Pines Charter, which plays Glen St. Mary Baker County in Friday's 4A semifinal.
  • Boys' volleyball, whose state tournament also kicks off Friday, features two Broward teams: Cooper City (which plays Lake Mary in the quarterfinals) and Cardinal Gibbons (Boca Raton Spanish River).
  • Baseball -- still waiting on its best-of-three regionals (they start Friday) -- has several teams still around: Flanagan (6A; it plays at Lake Worth Park Vista), Nova (5A; at Stuart South Fork), Highlands Christian (2A; at Miami Christian), and American Heritage and Chaminade-Madonna, set for a head-to-head matchup in 3A.

So who's next? You decide.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

April 23, 2008

2008 regionals: A softball odyssey

Some observations from Tuesday's softball regional action (read about it here and here), which this reporter watched from Douglas High and SilverLakes Park South...

  • At Douglas, the District 11-6A-champ Eagles fell 5-1 to Flanagan (District 12-6A runner-up). But that's not the end for Douglas, which finished the season 22-6 -- despite starting six freshmen. "They've got a good, young team," Flanagan coach Chandler Searcy said. "They're going to be great in the future."
  • Same game, scary moment: Douglas pinch-hitter Kaitlyn Arnett took a Lauren Heil pitch off the helmet in the bottom of the seventh, then stayed on the ground (though obviously conscious) for a couple of minutes. Arnett left the game, but coach Joe Cotrone said she was OK afterward.
  • Pines Charter had its batter intro music working Tuesday night. Most songs were of the typical pop variety (disappointingly, nobody picked Opeth's new single). But Gators everywhere rejoice; UF-bound senior Alicia Sisco took the batter's box to the Gator Chomp. Go Gators...
  • There just might be something about the name Lauren, at least as Broward pitchers go. The aforementioned Heil, a UF-bound senior, moved to 11-1 on Tuesday, allowing just one run to an Eagles team she called "scrappy." Over at Pines Charter, junior Lauren Sewell (14-0) struck out 13 of the 15 batters she faced and didn't allow the ball to leave the infield. And in St. Thomas Aquinas' 1-0 win over Cape Coral Ida Baker, the winning pitcher: senior lefty Lauren Kramer, who went the distance in the shutout.

Next up, Friday's regional semifinals, featuring a few interesting matchups/rematches. As usual, you can read about it here, or in The Herald.

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)

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 17, 2008

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 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

April 10, 2008

USA Today: Pines Charter is No. 1

Pembroke Pines Charter coach Tom Fadul showed up to Thursday's practice with a few sheets of paper. On one of them: USA Today's fresh-off-the-web softball Super 25, which had his Jaguars ranked No. 1 -- up 11 spots from last week's rankings after dropping Eau Gallie at the Kissimmee Klassic.

And the Jaguars, already known as one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the nation, thought teams were gunning for them before Thursday.

Pines Charter (23-0) has one more regular season game -- Friday against a strong Cooper City squad -- before entering districts. More on their to-this-point dream season in Friday's Herald.

--Patrick Dorsey

Thursday news & notes

Here are some Broward-related tidbits on this Thursday:

  • In case you missed it, Pine Crest girls' lacrosse dropped a heartbreaker at Park Vista on Tuesday to fall in the first round of the first-ever FHSAA state championship bracket. The Panthers jumped ahead 11-8, but the Cobras stayed undefeated with a second-half charge.
  • In the boys' bracket, a tough matchup with St. Andrew's is looming for Broward champ St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday, after the 19-1 power rolled past Miami's Gulliver Prep on Tuesday. Check out Friday's Herald for more on St. Thomas' squad.
  • More love for American Heritage's Eric Hosmer: USA Today on Thursday profiled the first baseman, who signed with Arizona State but is a certain Major League draft pick.
  • According to USA Today's boys' Super 25, Hosmer's Patriots are No. 8 in the nation. The girls' Super 25 came out a week ago, with Pembroke Pines Charter (now 23-0) ranked No. 12 -- but they should climb in the next edition.

--Patrick Dorsey