Northwestern baseball player inks college deal. Plus softball, tennis, volleyball and more

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Photo Courtesy Northwestern Baseball

Northwestern senior Darrell Pender Jr. signed to play college baseball for NCAA Division I Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.

Pender Jr., an outfielder/shortstop, was a Miami Herald All-Dade first team selection last season. He had offers from several power five schools but chose Jackson State.

After the season opener against Miami Beach, Pender Jr. signed his national letter of intent.

In other baseball news, Miami Sunset is off to a 5-0 start and longest win streak since 2014. Talk about a turnaround, the Knights have already posted the most wins this season, compared to the past three seasons combined. They were 1-31 the past two seasons and 3-37 the past three.

In softball, Miami Beach’s Maricela Mezarino and Ransom Everglades’s Leah Maduro each tossed a no-hitter.


Miami Sunset 9, Miami Killian 2: WP Johan Hidalgo 5 IP, 0 R; Ángel Santiago 3-3; Jonathan Diamond 2-3. Sun (5-0).

True North 6, Mater Lakes 2: Sam Fischer (Sr) 2-3, 2 HR, 2B, 2 RBI; Austin Simmons (So) 2-3, 2B, RBI; Angel Garcia (So) 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Misael Uriepero (So) 1-3, 2 R; Robert Alvarez (Jr) 1-2. TN (2-1), ML (1-3).


Miami Beach 20, Miami High 0: WP Maricela Mezarino 0 H, 8 K.

Palmer Trinity 6, Pine Crest 0: WP Emme Fundora (1-0), 0 R, 8 K; Kinsey Cerda 5-5, 3 R; Gina Pineda 3-4, 2 RBI; Emmy Cerda 3-3, RBI. PT (1-0).

Palmer Trinity 13, Ransom Everglades 1: WP Emme Fundora (2-0); Mela Fajardo 3-4, 7 RBI; Kinsey Cerda 3-4, 4 R; Callie Crews 1-2, 3 R, 2 RBI. PT (2-0).

Ransom Everglades 10, Gulliver Prep 0: Leah Maduro 5 IP, 0 H, 10 K. RE (2-0).

St. Thomas Aquinas 18, Flanagan 1: Kirsten Weir HR; Victoria Brunette HR; Sam Bolles multiple hits; Isabella Melley multiple hits; Brianna Sims multiple hits; Ava Romance multiple hits; Sara Wrzosek multiple hits; WP Lillian Rodonich.

Boys’ volleyball

Cardinal Gibbons Pre-Season Tournament: Cardinal Gibbons d. Boca Raton 19-25, 25-15, 15-12: Daniel Sappia 11 kills; August Bicknell 19 assists.

Cardinal Gibbons Pre-Season Tournament: Cardinal Gibbons d. Southwest 25-17, 21-25, 15-13: Logan Keothavy 13 kills; Callan Fry 14 digs; Gabriel Nejad 21 assists.

True North B Voll Feb 2023 (2).png
Photo Courtesy True North Volleyball

Titan Pre-Season Classic: True North d. Palmetto 25-19, 25-18, 19-25, 28-30, 15-11: Chris Rivero (Jr) 20 kills, 15 digs, 4 blocks; Daniel Avelia (Jr) 12 kills, 5 blocks; David Quinones (So) 43 assists.

Flag football

True North 54, Pinecrest Prep 0: Aliyana Henry (Jr) 1 passing TD, 170 passing yds; Francesca Lara (So) 3 TD, 103 yds, pick 6; Madison McCloud (Fr) 3 pick 6s returned for 97 total yards. TN (1-0), PP (0-1).


GIRLS: Gulliver Prep 5, Ransom Everglades 2: No.1 Sophia Varabyeva (GP) won 8-3; No.3 Mia Suarez (GP) won 8-6; No.4 Mika Ringel (GP) won 8-0; No.5 Maya Quintero (GP) won 8-0. GP (5-1).

GIRLS: Gulliver Prep 7, NSU University 0: No.1 Valentina Rossi won 8-0; No.2 Mika Ringel won 8-3; No.3 Maya Quintero won 8-1; No.4 Lia Fletcher won 8-3; No.5 Kayla Carey won 8-1. GP (6-1).

GIRLS: Riviera Prep 7, Carrollton 0: No.1 Sasha Kilgour won 8-0; No.2 Leyla Kilgour won 9-8 (7-5 in tiebreaker); No.3 Maria de la O won 8-1; No.4 Isabella Paradisi won 8-0; No.5 Miranda Blanco won 8-1. RP (5-0).

GIRLS: Western 7, Flanagan 0: No.1 Daphne Bendaya d. Maribel Caraballo 8-2; No.2 Emry Ostroff d. Luciana Marcano 8-2; No.3 Avital Ohayan d. Nathalia Marcano 8-1; No.4 Eden Kadoch d. Kylie Solorzano 8-1; No.5 Michelle Levy d. Abrie Thompson 8-1. Doubles: No.1 Bendaya.Ostroff d. Amber Elcock/Caraballo 8-6; No.2 Skyler George/Ohayan d. Marcanos 8-4. Fl (3-1).

BOYS: Gulliver Prep 6, NSU University 1: Pierce Garbett 8-4 over Alessandro Melito; Oliver Lee 8-3 over Luke Salman; Nico Verdu 8-1 over Salomon De la Rosa; Maximo Lopina 8-0 over Jake Salman; Juan Beltrán 8-0 over Alex Szapiro. Doubles: Melotti/Salman (N) 6-4 over Verdu/Stier; No.2 Lopina/ Beltran 6-0 over Salman/Szapiro. GP (5-1).

BOYS: Riviera Prep 5, Cushman 2: RP: No.1 Paolo Christie-Shank won 8-4; No.2 Clem de Fabrique won 9-7; No.3 Frederico Navarro won 8-3. Doubles: No.1 Christie-Shank/De Fabrique won 8-4; No.2 Navarro/Broadie Kaiser won 8-0. RP (2-3).

BOYS: Western 6, Flanagan 1: No.1 Jack Heimowitz (W) d. Melvin Ayebach 8-3; No.2 Jake Lubar (W) d. Andres Leon 8-2; No.3 Manuel Ayebach (Fl) d. Jose Hinostroza 8-5; No.4 Ben Sherrota (W) d. Sebastian Cordero 8-5. Doubles: No.1 Lucas Osber/Heimowitz (W) d. Melvin Ayebach/Leon 8-6; No.2 Drew Brodrick/Brandon Kean (W) d. Manuel Ayebach/Cordero 8-5. Fl (1-3).

State soccer nominees

The nominees for the 2023 Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Soccer and Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year include:

Class 7A: Grace Dykstra (Stoneman Douglas) Soph M 16 goals, 10 assists; Coach Laura Rountree (Stoneman Douglas) 16-2-1 Regional Finalist; Coach Kate Dwyer (Cypress Bay) 18-3 State Final Four. Class 6A: Tessa Abreu (Lourdes Academy) Jr F 18 goals, 8 assists; Romiana Witek (St. Thomas Aquinas) Sr F 15 goals, 5 assists; Haven Hepworth (Cooper City) Jr F 15 goals, 7 assists; Coach Kim Faulkner (St. Thomas Aquinas) 14-4-2 Regional Finalist; Coach David Fique (Lourdes Academy) 18-2-2 State Runner-up. Class 5A: Samantha Villaverde (American Heritage) Soph F 26 goals, 9 assists; Coach Cindy Marcial (American Heritage) 18-2-2 State Champion; Coach Mike Sica (Archbishop McCarthy) 21-2 Regional Finalist.

Class 4A: Andrea Stampone (Cardinal Gibbons) Sr GK Gardner-Webb commit; Leah Finkelman (North Broward Prep) Sr F 36 goals, 26 assists, Univ. of Pennsylvania commit; Coach Margo Flack (Cardinal Gibbons) 15-3-2 Regional Semifinalist. Class 3A: Taylor Smith (NSU University) Fr F 17 goals, 24 assists; Coach Diego Estremadoyro (NSU University) 15-4-3 State Runner-up; Coach Antonio Boada (Westminster Christian) 9-7-1 Regional Finalist. Class 2A: Coach Bob Bemis (South Florida HEAT) 18-7-2 Regional Finalist; Coach Alex Abaroa (True North Classical Acad.) 14-4 State Final Four.

The nominees for the 2023 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Soccer and Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year include:

Class 7A: Tomer Yair (Stoneman Douglas) Sr M 6 goals, 4 assists; Coach Pamela McDonald (Doral Academy) 12-4-4 State Final Four; Coach Manny Soutulo (Braddock) 7-7-4; Coach Michel Fotso (Coral Gables) 10-6-1 Regional Finalist; Coach Eric Swickle (Monarch) 12-7-2 Regional Semifinalist; Coach Gabriel Moraga (Flanagan) 9-12. Class 6A: Kevin Serrano (Coral Park) Jr F; Brandon Renaud (St. Thomas Aquinas) Sr D defense allowed 15 goals with 13 shutouts; Brandon Rabasco (South Broward) Jr D 5 goals, 8 assists; Coach Lionel Brown (South Broward) 17-4-3 Regional Finalist; Coach Manny Rodriguez (Coral Park) 7-5-3; Coach John Walsh (St. Thomas Aquinas) 15-6-6 State Final Four. Class 5A: David Mahoney (TERRA) Sr F 12 goals, 2 assists; Juan Otero (American Heritage) Sr F 20 goals, 5 assists; Coach Todd Goodman (American Heritage) 19-1-2 State Champion; Coach Marc Lue Young (Pembroke Pines Charter) 16-2-1 Regional Finalist; Coach Jean Rodriguez (TERRA) 11-6.

Class 4A: Sebastian Fernandez (Somerset Academy) Sr F 17 goals, 5 assists; Deni Rivard (Cardinal Gibbons) Sr M 10 goals, 4 assists; Cosme Salas (Gulliver Prep) Jr F 14 goals, 10 assists; Coach Lance Lass (Somerset Academy) 12-5; Coach Scott Davidson (Gulliver Prep) 16-4-2 State Champion; Coach Rafael Ferreiro (Cardinal Gibbons) 13-5-4 Regional Finalist. Class 3A: Max Manhire (Miami County Day) Jr F 23 goals, 4 assists; Rafael Guerra (NSU University) Sr F 35 goals, 20 assists; Nick Yevoli (Pine Crest) Sr F 19 goals, 3 assists; Coach Thiago Oliveira (NSU University) 19-2-1 State Runner-up; Coach Richard Jobson (LaSalle) 15-2-3 Regional Finalist; Coach Luis Velarde (Miami Country Day) 11-9-1; Steve Lucovic (Pine Crest) 16-6. Class 2A: Coach Mariano Palau (Scheck Hillel) 10-3-3 Regional Finalist.

Submit results

For high schools in Broward and Miami-Dade, if you have varsity results along with top performers and their stats for this column, email

Baseball, flag football, lacrosse, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball, water polo and more spring sports.

They will run in the newspaper and online. Photos accepted, too. No deadline. Send after the game, the next day or weekly. You will be alerted when it will appear in the newspaper and online.

Roundup compiled by Jim Varsallone

Jim Varsallone covers pro wrestling, something he’s done since his college days in the late 1980s. Now in his fifth decade of coverage, he currently follows WWE (Raw, SmackDown and NXT), AEW, Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, MLW, WOW, NWA, and the South Florida indies. He also writes MMA — mostly profile stories and video interviews with American Top Team and Sanford MMA fighters in South Florida. As for pro wrestling, he writes feature stories and profile pieces, updates upcoming show schedules in South Florida, photographs the action and interviews talent (audio and video) — sharing the content here and via social media on his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel).
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