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Springfield goes for Gold at 2012 Maccabi Games

Stu Greene

By Eli Freund ~

SPRINGFIELD – From August 12- 17, 55 young Jewish athletes from around Western Massachusetts will test their skills at the Maccabi Games in Rockland County, New York. Lead by delegation head Stuart Greene, the Springfield delegation will field a strong offering of athletes for the approaching games.
“Our boys 16 and under soccer team is a returning silver medalist and both our boys under 16 and under 14 basketball teams all have a good shot at taking home some medals,” says an enthusiastic Greene.
With the 55 athletes going to Rockland County, Springfield will be represented in swimming, tennis, table tennis, basketball, volleyball and soccer.
In addition to the athletes, Springfield will bring with them a history of excellence.
“We are one of the most successful delegations in the country,” says Greene, “In 2005, we became the only delegation in history to have both our boys and girls Basketball team medal in the same year.”
A typical day at the Maccabis starts bright and early.
“Typically, an athlete starts the day at 7 a.m., gets ready, eats breakfast and then heads to the athletic site at 8 a.m. to begin prepping for competition,” Greene explains. “There are usually two scheduled games per day, morning and afternoon, and then the day ends at 5 p.m. After all the excitement is done for the day, kids socialize, have dinner with their host families and we have afternoon programs such as trips to zoos, parks and theme parks.  We try to immerse our athletes not only in athletics, but also the area surrounding them.”
With all the activities and meals planned for the hundreds of kids scheduled to participate, a strong base from the local community is needed. Each participant is placed with a host family that provides a few meals and gives them a place to sleep during the duration of their stay.
“We assign each athlete to a family based on hierarchy; We look for things such as medical, kosher, if they’re allergic to pets, and we try to put two athletes that are friendly with each other together,” says Greene.
Greene said that the delegation tries not to cut anyone interested in playing in the games. “We try to reassign them to their second choice,” he says, explaining that if a kid isn’t seen as exemplary enough to compete in their first choice, they still get a chance to play in the games.
“But what really makes the games successful is not any individual,” Greene says. “It really a team effort here at the JCC.”

2012 Western Mass Maccabi Athletes

Ethan Belisle, 13, Baseball, Somers, CT
Isaac Chase, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Jordan Chase, 15, Basketball, Longmeadow
Abigail Chernick, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Jesse Cohen-Lindfors, 14, Soccer, Longmeadow
David D’Agostino, 15, Basketball, Longmeadow
Sofia Donskaya, 14, Volleyball, Longmeadow
Suzanne Elfman, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Nathan Ellis, 15, Baseball, Amherst
Gabriel Feldman-Schwartz, 14, Basketball, Northampton
Allen Finn, 14, Swimming, Longmeadow
Gabriel Fontes, 15, Soccer, Amherst
Emma Frankel, 14, Volleyball, Longmeadow
Sam Freedman, 13, Tennis, Longmeadow
Koby Gardner-Levine, 16, Soccer, Amherst
Akiva Garfield, 15, Basketball, Springfield
Eitan Garfield, 14, Table Tennis, Springfield
Jesse Goldberg, 13, Basketball, Longmeadow
Stephen Goldsmith, 15, Basketball, Longmeadow
Billy Gordenstein, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Harry Gordenstein, 14, Table Tennis, Longmeadow
Isaac Greenberg, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Eli Heath, 15, Soccer, Haydenville
George Holt, 14, Soccer, Shutesbury
Erica Horowitz, 13, Volleyball, Longmeadow
Noah Hurwitz, 15, Basketball, Longmeadow
David Katz, 15, Soccer, Florence
Jacob Kimball, 14, Tennis, Longmeadow
Daniel Kofman, 15, Basketball, Longmeadow
Emily Libowitz, 13, Soccer, Longmeadow
Connor MacLelland, 13, Table Tennis, Longmeadow
Ryan O’Connor, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Adam Osherow, 16, Basketball, Leeds
Asa Parker-Bernstein, 15, Soccer, Amherst
Rosie Pofcher, 15, Soccer, Brattleboro, VT
Max Robbins, 13, Basketball, Longmeadow
Ari Rubenstein, 15, Swimming, Longmeadow
Jacob Rudd, 15, Soccer, Amherst
Max Schepps, 14, Table Tennis, Longmeadow
Ben Schneider, 13, Tennis, Longmeadow
Joe Schneider, 15, Basketball, Longmeadow
Kayla Schreibstein, 16, Basketball, Longmeadow
Matan Shmerling, 16, Soccer, Amherst
Isaac Siegel, 15, Basketball, Amherst
Ben Skiest, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Isaiah Stavchansky, 16, Soccer, Amherst
Tammy Stevens, 16, Soccer, Longmeadow
Hayden Van Brewer, 16, Soccer, Wilbraham
Travis Van Brewer, 13, Soccer, Wilbraham
Max Walder, 13, Basketball, Florence
Sasha Weissman, 14, Table Tennis, Longmeadow
Seth Wernick, 14, Basketball, Longmeadow
Rachel Wetstone, 16, Basketball, Longmeadow
David Yashgur, 13, Table Tennis, Longmeadow
Ethan Young, 15, Baseball, Amherst

Stu Greene, Delegation Head
Amy Kimball, Assistant DH
Betsy Bertuzzi, Assistant DH
Raychel Setless, Volleyball
Britt Brewer, Soccer
Charlie Heath, Soccer
JR Chase, Boys Basketball
Mark Hurwitz, Boys Basketball
Rudy D’Agostino, Boys Basketball
David Kimball, Boys Basketball

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