With the second half of the Florida State League season well underway, a brief synopsis of the first half is in order.
The Jupiter Hammerheads won the first-half title for the Eastern Division by six games with a 42-28 overall record, though the Palm Beach Cardinals went 25-43 to finish in last place.
Both teams also garnered a plethora of all-star accolades; Hammerheads participating in the midseason festivities (East beat West 4-2 last week in Fort Myers) included starting pitchers Trevor Hutchinson and Nic Ungs, closer Kevin Cave, DH Jose Santos, and centerfielder Eric Reed. Catcher Josh Willingham was also elected but was called up to double-A Carolina midseason and did not attend.
For the Cardinals, they sent second-baseman Shaun Boyd and starting pitcher Chris Narveson.
So now you're ready for the latest renewal of the season series between the neighboring squads, with games 17 and 18 of the 28 head-to-heads of the year slated for this weekend, the first on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Roger Dean Stadium (4751 Main St., Jupiter). Call 561-799-9596. -- Russ Evans
The brightest stars of tomorrow's tennis
Think clay is useful only for pottery? Think again! The USTA Boys' 14 Super National Clay Court Championships are being held at the Jimmy Evert Tennis Center (701 NE 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) through Sunday.
The Super National is the premier clay tennis tourney in the country for 14-year-olds, and it has called Fort Lauderdale home for the past 20 years. More than 190 of the top young men from Maine to Malibu descend on South Florida to test their serve-and-volley skills. You might even see the next American racket-wielding star in the making, as past participants have included Jim Courier, Greg Rusedski, and the current world number five, Andy Roddick.
Matches begin at 8 a.m. daily, with the singles championship match to be held Sunday at 9 a.m.
Admission for every session is free. Call 954-828-5378. -- Russ Evans
Banished from sidewalks and strip malls, skaters take a walk in the park
Those who first hopped on a skateboard a couple of decades ago would remember when it happened, when those damned signs first started cropping up -- "No skateboards." It was soon expanded to "no skateboards, bicycles, roller skates, in-line skates, or fun of any kind." And so, those who prefer methods of travel other than walking must seek their entertainment elsewhere. One example is McTyre Park's (3501 SW 56th Ave., Pembroke Park) parking-lot skating event, held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Anyone with a skateboard, a scooter, or a pair of skates can roll around the lot, with a special area designated for bikes. Admission is free, music is loud, and experts are on-hand to provide tips. Call 954-964-0283. -- Dan Sweeney
Taking in a Beating
Have you been dragged to see one too many estrogen-dripping summer blockbuster sequels? If you've had enough legal blondness and need a sizable dose of testosterone to remind you you've got a pair, a remedy has arrived. Absolute Fighting Championships is coming back to the War Memorial Auditorium (800 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale) this Saturday at 7 p.m. In the night's main event, Fort Lauderdale's native son Din Thomas takes on Steve Berger of St. Louis in Berger's first bout at the 155-pound level. In other action, Vitor Ribeiro and Kultar Gill head off in a match pitting a nimble jiu-jitsu fighter versus a stationary brawler. AFC also has a new twist planned, introducing boxing matches to the night's fight card. South Florida boxing great Shannon Briggs of the American TOP TEAM takes on heavy hitter John Sargent. Tickets for the night range from $15 to $35. Call 954-828-5380. -- Russ Evans