Drafted into the Philadelphia Phillies straight out of high school, Gary Bennett spent 13 seasons as a major-league catcher, a career that included a stint on the 2006 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Gary is one of several baseball specialists whose tutelage has contributed to Slammer's Training Academy's assistance in more than 250 collegiate scholarships and 30 major-league prospects. Each instructor enriches pupils' pitching and batting skills with private sessions, team instruction, and clinics and camps designed by major leaguers throughout the fiscal year.
When Director Tony Youhanna and George Solomos founded Little Legends Soccer Academy in 2009, they found themselves filling a niche. At the time, the North Shore offered no quality soccer coaching for youngsters interested in the game. Their first session was a success, drawing thirty eager players, but it didn't prepare them for the popularity that was to come. Since that day, the academy has ballooned: more than 300 children ages 24 months to 8 years old are currently enrolled in its various programs.
Each clinic helps kids build soccer fundamentals such as foot skills, passing, and receiving in an environment that encourages fun and teamwork. Very young players—24 to 36 months—start off in the Born to Kick program, which couples soccer skills with mind-nurturing topics such as shapes, colors, and vocabulary. As children get older and their skills progress, they move into clinics aimed at more advanced techniques, eventually putting them to work in games. The academy's Space program—standing for speed, agility, core, and endurance—does away with the soccer ball altogether, focusing instead on exercises to improve footwork, speed, and balance.
Ticket Reserve rewards football fanatics of all collegiate allegiances with the opportunity to reserve plaza-level tickets to witness the hard-hitting action of the 2012 Sugar Bowl game. Pigskin fanciers can reserve big-game tickets with the hope that their favorite team of chin-guarded play practitioners gets invited to play January football amid the arctic-like conditions of a New Orleans winter. Fans can choose their favorite team, alma mater, or imaginary alma mater and then sit on a chair made of pins and needles until the team selections are announced on December 5, 2011. If the team they picked gets chosen to play, reservations will transform from a fancied fantasy into a fancied reality that will take the shape of two tickets and be delivered straight to their mailboxes or beckoning hands.