Local Teens Achieve Bronze at the JCC Maccabi Games in Austin

August 9, 2013 at 9:11 PM

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Recently, Livingston High School sophomores Jake Samuels, Gerrett Meinhardt (of Temple B'nai Abraham) and Jack Wasserman (of Temple Emanuel of West Essex) helped their team to achieve the Bronze medal at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Maccabi Games in Austin Texas.

From July 28 to Aug 2, the boys competed on the U-16 (Under age 16) Boys Soccer Team where they represented JCC MetroWest.  Team MetroWest, was made up of players from all over Northern New Jersey, including, Jack Wasserman, Garrett Meinhardt, and Jake Samuels from Livingston. Kevin Zeligson from West Orange, Colin Morrissey from Basking Ridge, Noah Nazmiyal from Montville, Max Ramsfelder from Morristown, Ethan Tuckman from Towaco, and Ross Baron from Scotch Plains.

The JCC Maccabi games has the largest gathering of Jewish teens in the world and brings together delegations from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and Israel for Olympic-style competition and cultural and social activities.  Among the 1300 kids present at the Maccabi games this year, JCC MetroWest sent teams to compete in soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, swimming and tennis.

Sign Up for E-News

The Maccabi Games have been running in the United States since 1982 when the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America brought the concept from Israel, Europe and South America. The JCC Maccabi Games can be called the Olympics for Jewish Teens, but they serve a larger purpose than athletic competition.

“The Games also promote community involvement, teamwork, and pride in being Jewish,” said Tina Greenberg, Communications Coordinator for Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston. “Over 100,000 teens have benefited from the JCC Maccabi Games since 1982. The energy and excitement make it a unique and unforgettable experience for every participant, from athletes to volunteers, from coaches to host families.”

"Going to Austin, Texas as a member of the JCC Metrowest Maccabi soccer team was an unbelievable experience,” said Ross Baron of Scotch Plains. “It made me a better athlete and a better Jewish individual"

“Without ever competing as a team and after only a few practices prior to Austin, the team’s performance in the tournament certainly exceeded all expectations,” said Matthew Fox, team MetroWest soccer coach, and supervisor of sports and recreation at JCC MetroWest.

Team MetroWest won their first game against Fort Lauderdale, 7-2, “This game helped build confidence among the MetroWest squad which they would need as they progressed in the tournament and faced tougher opponents,” said Fox.

Their next game was played against Edmonton in 100 degree heat.  With only 1 substitute, team MetroWest played hard to finally achieve a tied score of 1-1, after being rewarded a penalty kick in the first half. “This game showed the grit and mental toughness of the MetroWest team,” said Fox.

On Tuesday, the team recorded its ‘first clean sheet’ of the tournament with a score of 5-0 to Dallas.  The team also found victory in the second game of the day against Boca Raton with a final score of 2-0.  “A team defense mind set was the key in this win against Boca.  While Boca had a couple chances, MetroWest dominated the play in this game.  Exceptional play from goalies Garrett Meinhardt and Ross Baron and the defensive core of Colin Morrissey and Jake Samuels led to the team’s second consecutive shutout,” said Fox.

Team MetroWest earned the #1 seed in the medal round after achieving a 3-0-1 record as well as a match against the #8 seed, Chicago/LA on Wednesday morning. “While the #1 seed gave MetroWest a favorable matchup in the first game of the medal round,” said Fox. “The other two teams in the bracket were Boca and Edmonton, ensuring a tough draw for MetroWest should they reach the semifinals.”  MetroWest won 7-1 against Chicago/LA, with 4 goals from Kevin Zeligson. This victory led to another match against Boca Raton in the semifinals on Thursday.

“The semifinal match against Boca was a tough learning experience for MetroWest,” said Fox.  The match was pretty even throughout although MetroWest actually controlled a lot of the possession and had a number of goal scoring opportunities, three of which hit the post, and a bunch more which just missed the net.”  

The score remained 0-0 through halftime and well into the second half.  In the last 10 minutes of the game, a Boca Player took a shot from about 35 yards out which entered into the net from the top corner.  “A perfectly placed shot out of the reach of the keeper,” said Fox.  MetroWest suffered a lost in this game with a final score of 0-2.  “The loss was an unlucky result and a tough one to swallow for a team that felt like they had controlled the game,” said Fox.

Finally, the bronze medal game was played against #2 seed and hosts, Austin.  “Although MetroWest was considered the ‘home team’ for this game, the crowd was obviously in support of Austin,” said Fox.   Halftime resulted in a tie of 1-1 followed by the second half which was dominated by MetroWest.  The team scored three goals making the final game a 4-1 victory for MetroWest, winning them the Bronze Medal.

MetroWest was able to return home from the Maccabi games with a final 5-1-1 record, with 26 goals.  Kevin Zeligson lead the team with eight goals, followed by Jack Wasserman who scored six goals and added seven assists.  Noah Nazmiyal, who led the team in points with 13, scored four goals and added nine assists. Also scoring goals for MetroWest were Max Ramsfelder (3), Garrett Meinhardt (2), Ross Baron (2), and Ethan Tuckman (1).  

“Jake Samuels was self-credited with by far the most ‘hockey assists’ on the team,’ said Fox.  “As a team, led by goalies Garrett Meinhardt and Ross Baron and the defensive duo of Colin Morrissey and Jake Samuels, MetroWest recorded two complete game shutouts.”  

According to Fox, a number of team members were asked to play in positions that they didn’t usually play. In particular, Max Ramsfelder and Ethan Tuckman were asked to step into a number of different roles throughout the tournament, with Ramsfelder finding time in midfield, forward, and defense and Tuckman moving around to all three midfield positions as needed.  “It was this ‘team first’ attitude that contributed to MetroWest’s success,” said Fox.

“What a great week it turned out to be for the MetroWest Boys’ Soccer Team.  The young men left the Maccabi Games with the respect and admiration of everyone they encountered; opponents, coaches, referees, and parents,” said Fox.  “They should be proud of the way they conducted themselves both on and off the field and how they represented their communities, their families, and most importantly themselves.”  

Fox anticipates the return of many of these players next year “to build upon their success” at the 2014 Maccabi Games next summer.

Livingston has one of the best school systems in New Jersey; it raises up Governors, Playwrights, Actors, Artists, Doctors, Lawyers…or to put it plainly… Superstars!  But before they became successful grownups, they did extraordinary things as kids.

Read on to learn about the exceptional things our Livingston children are doing these days.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Livingston

Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Montclair First Responders Rush to Rescue Man Under Fallen Oil Tank

December 4, 2016

MONTCLAIR, NJ – Members of the Montclair Fire Department spent nearly two hours on Saturday afternoon rescuing a man who was trapped under an oil tank in a trench at 26 Linden Avenue.

According to published reports, Montclair Fire Department officials arrived after being alerted by witnesses to find the man in a trench filled with dirt and under the tank up to his ...

Randolph's Brendan Fletcher Reaches Top 8 on NBC’s “The Voice”

December 4, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA - “And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea,” Led Zepplin, Ten Years Gone

After years of changing his course, living in New Jersey, Boston, Brooklyn, and Charleston, all while singing in small local bars, at open mic nights, and working as a bartender to make ends meet, Randolph’s Brendan Fletcher always ...

Don't Sacrifice the Environment to Fund the State Treasury

November 23, 2016

Dear Editor:

New Jersey’s Natural Resource Damages (NRD) program is an incredibly important and necessary program rising from the state’s history of incremental spills and discharges, as well as historic industrialization. 

NRD requires polluters to go beyond the mandated cleanup and to pay damages for restoration and compensation for the public loss of use of natural ...

Friends of the Livingston Library Restocks Its Ongoing Book Sale for December

December 1, 2016

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Friends of the Livingston Library has fully restocked its Ongoing Book Sale for the month of December. On a monthly basis, Friends takes down all stock and replaces it with entirely new inventory. 

This is the “Friends flip.” Approximately 1200 items of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, DVDs, and CDs are available at great ...

Andy’s Family Music Showcases Alex Weiss on Drums

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight 11-year-old Alex Weiss, a fifth grader at Collins Elementary School with an aptitude for drums.

Alex studies drums at Andy’s under the instruction of Joe Vitello. He says hid favorite band is Fall Out Boy and that his dad is his number one musical influence.

Check him out in the video ...

Q&A With Owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp

Recently, the owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp, Dan Milman and George Stein, took part in a fun Question and Answer session. Below are the questions and their responses. To learn more about Milman, Stein and Meadowbrook, click here to read a recent article that ran on TApinto.net.

 

WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD CAMP, WHAT VISUAL COMES TO MIND?

George: A six lb.

Getting a Handle on Thanksgiving

This year, on our National Day of Thanks, I would like to express my gratitude for having hands.

We typically don’t thank our body parts because they seldom leave us.  Most of us have not experienced unfortunate accidents or suffered the horrible consequences of war; tragic events  which might cause us to lose a limb.  

Most of us take our fingers and hands and elbows ...

Beckerman’s Theory of Everything

Any armchair theoretical physicist knows that Stephen Hawking has pursued a lifelong quest to come up with a Theory of Everything. This all-encompassing theory would tie together general relativity (large scale and high mass galaxies, stars, etc), quantum theory (quantum mechanics, quarks, atoms, subatomic particles), and Newtonian physics (gravity on small bodies, gas laws, electromagnetism) to ...