The 2015 JCC Maccabi games in Milwaukee and Dallas from Aug. 2 to 7 saw Atlanta’s delegation take home 31 medals.
In Dallas, the 14-and-under boys basketball team and 16-and-under girls soccer squad won gold, and the tennis team, coached by Michael Roth, won four gold medals.
The boys 14-and-under soccer team, coached by Bob Meyer and Roey Shoshan, won gold in Milwaukee, as did swimmers Arie Voloschin, Jonathan Fischer and Lee Haber, who combined for 11 medals.
In addition to facing tough competition from across the country, the teens from Atlanta came together to learn valuable lessons in humility and sportsmanship. They also participated in community outreach events in both cities. In Dallas, the athletes helped pack boxes of donated food. In Milwaukee, they helped build a community garden.
Along the way, they made connections with Jewish athletes from across the United States.
“What a week!” Atlanta Maccabi chair Libby Hertz said. “I am so lucky to have been able to get to know and care for these vivacious, athletic and inspirational teens. To witness them as teammates, friends, leaders, followers, brothers and sisters has been an utter joy. I sincerely hope that they enjoyed and grew from this experience and will continue to participate in this program.”
Atlanta Medal Count: Gold 11 – Silver 15 – Bronze 5
Girls 16U soccer — gold – Coaches Jack Vangrofsky and Ryan Pollard
Girls 16U basketball — silver – Coaches Michael Feldman and Michael Radetsky
16U baseball — silver – Coaches Marc Lipson, Mark Rudel and Daniel Kaufman
14U Baseball — silver – Coaches Todd Starr, Tommy Carola and Howard Janis
Boys 14U basketball — gold – Coaches Brian Seitz and Jacob Gluck
Boys 16U basketball — fourth – Coaches Eric Tannenbaum and Ryan Halpern
Dance Team — 3 silver, 1 bronze
Golf — bronze
Table tennis — 2 bronze
Tennis — 4 gold, 2 silver – Coach Michael Roth
Boys 14U Soccer — gold – Coaches Bob Meyer and Roey Shoshan
16U flag football — silver – Coaches Andrew Levison and Ronald McRae
Lee Haber — gold, 100 breast; silver, 200 IM; gold, 50 fly; silver, 400 relay; gold, 50 breast
Arie Voloschin — bronze, 50 back; silver, 100 breast; silver, 200 IM; silver, 50 fly; gold, 200 back
Jonathan Fischer — silver, 200 breast
Five months ago, when Coaches Brian Seitz and Jacob Gluck announced the 10 members of the Maccabi Atlanta 14-and-under basketball team, no one could have known that the boys would roar through the 19-city bracket to capture the gold medal.
“I have coached many youth teams,” said Seitz, who coached at Northview High School in Duluth, “but you rarely see kids who are as hardworking, passionate about winning and unselfish as this team.”
Last year’s champion from Washington, D.C., entered as the favorite in Dallas, but Atlanta won its first four games by an average of 44 points. That earned Atlanta the No. 1 seed going into medal round.
The team beat Phoenix and New York City to set up a championship game with Washington. Atlanta took the gold with a 59-36 win.
Leo Sachs and Cody Kaplan were Atlanta’s top scorers, while Sam Bronfman, Billy Snyder and Phil Malever led the team in rebounds. Eric Malever and Simon Ben-Moshe led the team in assists, and David Perchik and Josh Edelman were the most accurate long-range shooters.
The 14-and-under and 16-and-under baseball teams reached the championship games in Dallas and came away with silver.
The 16-and-under squad started out 4-0 and was seeded first for the medal rounds. The team beat San Francisco 12-6 in the semifinals but lost 2-1 to Los Angeles in the final.
The 14-and-under team started with two losses, but made a strong comeback to advance to the medal round and won the next three games to reach the championship. But the team lost the gold medal in 10 innings to Los Angeles, the longest Maccabi baseball game in recent history.