New Fitness Options Available in West Boca

jiu0jitsuTwo new places to get fit are opening in West Boca.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers a variety of classes for kids and adults. The programs focus on discipline, dedication and determination. Located at 8177 Glades Road at the corner of Boca Rio Road, there are programs for beginners and advanced students as well as private lessons. For more information, call 561-826-8185.

The Yoga Joint will open on September 1st at 19575 State Road 7 in Boca Raton. The Yoga Joint, a premier hot yoga studio, has two locations in Fort Lauderdale. One of the creators recently appeared on the cover of Yoga Journal Magazine. Their studios offer yoga classes, babysitting and kids yoga as well as workshops and more.

Chase Thompson Wins National Wrestling Tournament

Chase Thompson is a student at Loggers Run Middle School. From his family:
chase-win
West Boca’s Chase Thompson wrestled in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin July 2-3 in the 2015 Asics Kids Greco Roman & Freestyle National Championship. Thompson won the 140++ Novice division (11-12 year old) National Championship in both styles.
chase1
Accompanying Chase was his coach 2x Olympian Shawn Sheldon. Chase has been in the wrestling room all summer training for this tournament and all his hard work paid off as he leaves as a double National Champion. Chase’s goal is to wrestle in the Olympics for the United States.
Here’s a video of Chase in action.

And one last picture:
chase-wrestle1
From the USA Wrestling results page:

140++
1st Place – Chase Thompson of Florida
2nd Place – Jimmy Liston of Illinois
Round 1 – Jimmy Liston (Illinois) won by decision over Chase Thompson (Florida) (Dec 8-4)
Round 2 – Chase Thompson (Florida) won by decision over Jimmy Liston (Illinois) (Dec 7-1)
Round 3 – Chase Thompson (Florida) won by fall over Jimmy Liston (Illinois) (Fall 1:17)

6 FAU Owls Drafted by MLB

By: Benjamin Schiller, a student at Logger’s Run Middle School
Now that the 2015 MLB First Year Player Draft has concluded, six former FAU Owls heard their names called on Day 2 and as well Day 3. The six FAU graduates include offensive weapons Brendon Sanger, Roman Collins, and Billy Endris, along with pitching studs Drew Jackson, Kyle Miller, and Seth McGarry.

Brendon Sanger
Brendon Sanger

The first of the six who were drafted was Right Fielder Brendon Sanger. The 21 year old went 135th overall to the LA Angels in the fourth round. The 160th overall draft prospect, according to MLB.com, stands at 6’0” and weighs 190 pounds. The new Halo bats left and throws right.
The 2015 Conference USA Player of the Year, just finished his junior year at FAU and he started all of the games this season for FAU. Sanger played impressively, batting .370, coming in second in the league with 57 runs as well as 85 hits, third with four triples, and seventh with 48 RBI’s. He finishes his college and Owl career, becoming Florida Atlantic’s all-time triples leader with 10.
Roman Collins
Roman Collins

Next on the list is Outfielder Roman Collins, who was drafted by the Kansas City Royals at 159th overall in the fifth round. The 21 year old, stands at 6’2”, weighs 205 pounds, bats left, and throws left.
This kid can hit as he had a batting average of .296, scoring 44 runs, while driving in 53. In 216 at bats, the Maple Grove, MN native had 33 walks, 64 hits, with 23 of them being extra base hits. Within the 23 extra base hits, 12 of them were doubles, 5 were triples, and 6 of them round-trippers. Also, Collins successfully stole a base four out of seven times. If he reaches his potential, he can become a 5-tool player. The college junior ran 60 yards in 6.65 seconds.
Later Tuesday afternoon, Florida Atlantic’s star reliever, Seth McGarry was drafted in the 8th round, 247th overall, by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bradenton resident stands at 6’1”, weighing 180 pounds.
McGarry is a right handed pitcher who posted dominant numbers with the Owls this season, posting a 2.43 era, a 4 – 1 record, and 5 saves, in his 20 appearances this spring. To add to his season totals, he pitched 37 innings, with 33 punch outs and 13 walks. It’s a coincidence that the Pirates play in Bradenton for spring training and their High A farm team plays in Bradenton throughout the season.
Draft Day 3
Pitcher Kyle Miller was drafted Wednesday at 563rd overall in the 19th round by the Chicago Cubs. The 21 year old stands at 6’1”, weighing at 165 pounds. The righty starter posted a 3.77 era, a 6 – 3 record, in 15 starts. The Fort Myers native pitched 76.1 innings, striking out 59, while walking 17.
The fifth Owl drafted was another right-handed starter, Drew Jackson, in the 35th round by the reigning World Series Champs, the San Francisco Giants. The 22 year old stands at 6’3”, weighing 180 pounds. The Naples native was dominant this season and it was sure a surprise he fell all the way to the 35th round. The FAU grad posted a 2.10 era, 6–3 record, 1 complete game, in 68.2 innings, with 52 strike outs and 15 walks, in 12 starts.
The last FAU player drafted was Billy Endris who fell to the Kansas City Royals in the 39th round, joining Roman Collins. The Tampa native stands at 6’2”, weighing 185 pounds. The FAU junior batted .300, in 37 games, with 18 hits and 11 walks in only 60 at bats. He had two doubles with three triples, along with 6 steals. The new Royal had 8 RBI’s, while scoring 15 times.
Note: These stats are from this season (2015), excluding NCAA regionals.

Logger's Run 6th Grader Wins National Wrestling Titles

chase-coaches
A 6th grader from Loggers Run Middle School won 1st place in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling in the kids division of the 2015 USA Wrestling’s U.S. Open National Championship.
Chase Thompson, 11, traveled to Las Vegas for the event. Chase is coached by Henry Johnson of Coral Springs High School (left in the picture at top, and Olympic medalist Shawn Sheldon (right), who trains kids using space at the St. Andrews School on Jog Road.
chase1
Thanks to Casey Thompson for the details and photos. Congratulations from West Boca News to Chase and his family and coaches.
We also found some video Casey posted of Chase wrestling from a few years ago. Here’s one of them:

Summer Youth Basketball League

yesbasketballYale Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (YES, Inc.) is offering Summer Youth Basketball Leagues at the Levis JCC Sports and Wellness Center. The leagues are for boys and girls entering first through ninth grade in the fall of 2015. There will also be a Sunday League for kids ages 3 and 4 beginning June 7th. The League will run from 11 a.m. to noon.
YES, Inc. introduces kids to basketball’s fundamental skills in a fun atmosphere. Yale Sports Enterprises, Inc. has been running sports camps throughout South Florida since 2002 and created YES, Inc. in 2014 to raise money for Cancer Research.
yesbasketball2The league summer season runs from June 1st through August 6th. The registration fee is only $140. All Participants must be evaluated in order to be placed on a team. There will be one practice and one game per week. Days and times vary by grade.
01015810 Summer Co-ed Youth Basketball Flyer 2015 Final To PrintYou can register your child by calling 561-852-3262 or go online to Levis JCC Basketball. You can also print out the registration form below. If you need more information or have any questions, call the Sports Director, Danny Salamon, at 561-852-3201.
SummerCo-edYouthBasketballRegistrationFormThe Levis JCC is located at 9801 Donna Klein Blvd in Boca Raton.

Tom Brady Is a Scapegoat: They All Cheat

Tom Brady 2011
By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The current obsession with alleged cheating by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is just another example of scapegoating. Did they cheat? Sure, they probably did. But cheating is commonplace in sports. It’s part of the culture. They all cheat.
Cheating has been an issue in sports for decades. You can read books about it, such as Crooked: A History of Cheating in Sports and Foul Play: The Dark Arts of Cheating in Sport, for example. It’s all over the internet – see this LA Times column.
It’s part of the culture of sports. You can see it in any game. Watch a basketball game, for example, and you’ll hear an announcer say: “That was a good foul.” That’s an oxymoron. A foul is a bad thing, so how can there be a good one?
The idea of the good foul is one version of how sports have become tainted by a culture of cheating. Sure tactically it may make sense to foul a bad free throw shooter, but it violates the spirit of the rules. Fouls are a bad thing. We shouldn’t cheer on people who do it.
Here’s another – one of Michael Jordan’s greatest moments. Watch this play and in particular watch Jordan’s left hand on the defender, 5 seconds into the clip:

He cheated. Jordan pushed off with the left hand and he got away with it. This is in an official NBA video of the 60 greatest playoff moments. They’re glorifying cheating.
Here’s another one – the Pacer’s Reggie Miller pushes Knick guard Greg Anthony down to the floor, and then intercepts a pass, leading to another score. But he got away with it. Another great moment in NBA history?

Disclosure – The author was a New York Knicks fan (now a Heat fan but with some residual love for the Knicks), is still a NY Giants and Miami Dolphins fan, and a Mets/Marlins fan. Yes, that Reggie Miller play still burns.

We’re seeing a lot of scapegoats lately. Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice are NFL scapegoats for domestic violence. The punishments those two have faced from the league are far beyond what should have happened under rules and precedent. But when the media shined a spotlight on those stories, the NFL overreacted to make it look as if they actually care about the underlying issue. They don’t. They care about public relations and the bottom line.
Let’s compare what happens when the media doesn’t make something a big issue. Back in the summer of 2013 two executives from the Denver Broncos were arrested for DUI.

Heckert and Russell
Heckert and Russell

Both received minimal suspensions. Matt Russell got a 7-month jail sentence. But he only got a 60-day suspension, and Tom Heckert only got a 30-day suspension. Both are still with the Broncos. Neither Peterson nor Rice did any jail time. But Rice was terminated by the Ravens and missed the entire season due to an NFL “indefinite suspension,” even though an arbitrator later overturned his suspension. Similarly Peterson missed all but one game of the 2014 season on an indefinite suspension that was overturned. Peterson is unlikely to return to the Vikings.
Another of the big scapegoats is Alex Rodriguez. Did A-Rod use performance enhancing drugs? Probably. But that’s been common in professional sports for a while now. Sure the leagues say they want to stop it, but at the same time they’re happy to make billions off the athletic performances. While so many athletes pretend to be apologetic and beg for mercy, A-Rod has the balls to stand up for himself and fight for his fair share of the billion-plus he’s made his team and MLB. Let’s face it – he’s being treated as an uppity negro.
Now look at Derek Jeter, who has been lauded for “doing it the right way.” Yeah, by cheating. He was caught cheating back in 2010, pretending he was hit by a pitch and even feigning injury. He got away with it and was even applauded by the other team’s manager:

Jeter, who stood doubled over while receiving attention from a trainer, confessed that the ball hit the end of his bat and he sold the call to Barksdale with a good acting job.
”He told me to go to first base. I’m not going to tell him I’m not going to first, you know,” Jeter said.
”It’s part of the game. My job is to get on base. Fortunately for us it paid off at the time, but I’m sure it would have been a bigger story if we would have won that game.”
Maddon disliked the call but didn’t fault Jeter.
”If our guys had did it, I would have applauded that. It’s a great peformance on his part,” the Tampa Bay manager said. ”Several players are very good at that. And again, I’m not denigrating it. If our guy does it, I’m very happy with that if we end up getting the call. … Fortunately it didn’t cost us.”

When I was much younger I played basketball. I remember being taught how to cheat. Block out with your arms up, not low. You’re less likely to be called for a foul. Reach in with both hands instead of one and you’re less likely to get a foul. Several years ago I played in a charity golf event and we had a former NFL player in our foursome. I’ve never seen anyone cheat so much. They all cheat. There’s a culture of cheating in sports.
As for Brady and the Patriots, the game is over. The Pats beat the Colts 45-7. The balls didn’t matter that much. If anything should come of the incident, the NFL should accept its own responsibility and take custody of the game balls. But it’s far easier to point the finger at Brady and make him a scapegoat.

Join Boca Braves Pop Warner Cheerleading

bocacheerleadersThe 2015 Year Round Season (February to June) for the Boca Braves Pop Warner Cheerleading Squad starts February 4th. The first practice will take place at Patch Reef Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Athletes aged 5 to 15 are welcome to join. There is no registration fee. The squad practices once per week and will compete once prior to July. They work on tumbling, jumps, stunting, cheer and dance.
There are no tryouts for the squad. Teams will be divided by age and level. If your child wants to stay for the traditional season, August through November, the fee is $250. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/Bocabravescheer.

Boca Raton Bowl Report

Benjamin Schiller wrote this article. Ben is an aspiring sports journalist and a student at a middle school in West Boca.
Yesterday was the first ever Boca Raton Bowl game. The two colleges that matched up against each over were the Northern Illinois Huskies versus the Marshall Thundering Herd. FAU Stadium hosted the bowl game.
boca-bowl-shirt
The Boca Bowl fan fest started at 3:00 PM. There were tons of activities. They had obstacle courses and games for kids and some adults. They also had a merchandise stand and plenty of tents. Some tents were giving away mini footballs and free drinks. The attendees really enjoyed themselves, this reporter included.

"FAUStadium night" by Jerseydem
“FAUStadium night” by Jerseydem

Then, the gates opened around 4:30. There were not a lot of people in the stadium yet because many were still enjoying their fan fest experiences or in traffic. We sat in the end zone. Marshall’s Kicker was practicing field goals. There is no net behind the goal post. Since there was no one there yet, we chased the footballs.
At 5:45 they started to do the regular sporting event ritual. Navy Seals flew into the stadium with parachutes. They honored Howard Schnellenberger, whom the field is named after. Schnellenberger (80) was the FAU coach until 2011, and had a substantial coaching career including a national championship at University of Miami.
Howard Schnellenberger
Howard Schnellenberger by MerlinsMagic

Opera singer and West Palm Beach native Madison Marie Mcintosh performed the National Anthem as the Navy Seals unraveled the 300 foot flag. Mayor Susan Haney and Coach Schnellenberger did the coin toss at mid-field. NIU elected to receive the opening kick.
Then it was game time. The first score ever in the Boca bowl happened mid way through the quarter. QB Drew Hare of NIU threw to Juwan Brescacin for a 19 yard touchdown to put the Huskies of up on top. Then, on the very next play, Deandre Reaves of Marshall tied the game by returning the kick for a 93 yard Touchdown along with the extra point that was kicked into the crowd behind the goal post. The Marshall fans were loud and cheerful.
Four minutes later, Marshall’s QB Rakeem Cato ran the ball into the end zone for five yards to make the score 14-7. Cato earlier in the season was talked as a potential Heisman Candidate and he is projected to be drafted in the upcoming NFL draft in the spring.
Rakeem Cato - "Cato12" by LetsGoHerd - Own work. Via Wikipedia
Rakeem Cato – “Cato12” by LetsGoHerd

Now let’s fast forward to the second quarter. After Marshall and NIU made one field goal each the score was 17-10 (Herd). Then with about five minutes left before halftime, Devon Johnson of Marshall ran the ball for a two yard touchdown with an extra point. Seconds before halftime Christian Hagan of NIU, made a 30 yard field goal as time expired.
The score at half was 24-13 (Marshall). Both colleges’ marching bands performed on the field. The lines at the concession stands were packed. It probably would have taken you 20 minutes just to get a hamburger and fries. Good thing we ate at the Mississippi Sweets stand pregame by section 129. The pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce is excellent. They also had no line at halftime.
In the third quarter NIU decided to kick an onside kick and successfully recovered it. Mid-way through the quarter Marshall’s WR Tommy Shuler caught a 6 yard pass from Cato for the touchdown. The Marshall fans screamed “Shoo” for Shuler, which sounded a bit like “Boo.”
Then after a score for Marshall and NIU, the score at the end of the quarter was 38-20 (Herd). That was when tons of spectators decided to go home with the doubt that NIU wasn’t going to come back by three touchdowns.
Within a few seconds in the beginning of the fourth quarter Deon-Tay McManus of Marshall caught a 27 yard touchdown pass from Rakeem Cato. Then after an NIU field goal and a Marshall Touchdown, the game was over. The final score was 52-23. Marshall was the victor in this contest.
Here are some stats from Marshall:
QB Rakeem Cato- 25/37, 281 pass yards, 3 pass touchdowns, 2 rushing Touchdowns, and 25 rushing yards.
RB Devon Johnson- 131 rushing yards with 1 touchdown
WR Tommy Shuler- 185 receiving yards with 1 touchdown
K Justin Haig 1/1 field goals and 7/7 extra points
Northern Illinois stats:
QB Drew Hare- 15/27, 225 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, 3 passing touchdowns.
RB Cameron Stingily- 76 rushing yards and 1 touchdown
WR Juwan Brescacin- 40 receiving yards and 1 touchdown
K Christian Hagan- 3/4 field goals and 2/2 extra points

Register for West Boca Basketball

basketballRegistration for the spring season 2015 of West Boca Basketball is now open. Children ages 5-18 are welcome. There are separate divisions for boys and girls ages 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-15. The regular season runs 10 weeks. Practices are held at a number of parks and schools in West Boca and last 90 minutes or less.
The registration fee is $120 prior to January 1, 2014. The standard rate prior to January 9th is $135. Players and coaches may register online. For more information, call 561-482-1136.
 

Top Ten Things to Do This Weekend

toptenlistAttend a Benefit for Slow Burn Theatre and West Boca Drama Department,
December 18th and 19th at 8 p.m. Limited engagement of musical EDGES. Tickets are $20.
edges
Listen to The Long Run, an Eagles Tribute Band, on December 19th at The Shops at Boca Center. The free concert starts at 7 p.m.
daggerwingIntroduce your little ones to nature on December 19th at Daggerwing Nature Center. Mommy, Mother Nature and Me! is a special program for preschoolers with stories, a craft and activity. 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. $4 per child. Call 561-629-8760 to make a reservation.
Check out the “Jersey Boys” (R) on December 19th at the Glades Road Library. The free movie plays at 2 p.m.
chanukahstarsEnjoy Chanukkah Under the Stars on December 19th at Mizner Park Amphitheater. Free activities for kids beginning at 5 p.m. and a special Shabbat service at 7:30 p.m. Presented by Temple Beth El of Boca Raton.
Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.49.09 PMWitness the magic on December 20th at 11 a.m. at The Shops at Boca Center. Enjoy a free show by Gary Goodman, one of the premier Magicians in Florida.
Holiday-Skate-JamGo skating on December 20th at the Drop In Action Sports Complex. $15 entry fee. Signup and warmup at 2 p.m., contest at 3 p.m.
Watch a free movie classic on December 20th at Mizner Park Amphitheater. Free train rides at 5 p.m. and movie, The Polar Express,  at 6:30 p.m. Concession snacks available for purchase.
2014 Piles of SmilesSee Piles of Smiles at Sugar Sand Park’s Snow Day! on December 20th. Winter Sports activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for kids ages 3-12. Advance reservation $12, $15 day of event.
Enjoy a night at the Theater on December 18th or 20th at the Beifield Auditorium at 21050 95th Ave South in Boca Raton. The West Boca Theatre Company in association with Island City Stage presents The Timekeepers, a play by Dan Clancy. Tickets are $29 for the public. Call 561-558-2520 for tickets. Matinee on December 17, 18 and 21.