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August 03, 1984 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-08-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

88 Friday, August 3, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

In addition to hos
the 1984 United
States Maccabi
Youth Games, Dett
will field a team'o
more than 100 ar
teenagers for the
competition.

.

t

l

Inihe phOtograph at left,BobBei
praCtice s in the Jewish Center pool,
the Maccabi Youth Games. Abouefi,_
Kevin Sandler (in Detroit Maccabi_:%
shirt) prepares for the Games duringa.
Sunday morning soccer scrimmage.':

,

BY TEDD SCHNEIDER

Staff Writer

When more than 1,000 teenage
Jewish athletes gather here later
this month, some coming from such
exotic locales as Australia and Ven-
ezuela, dedicated local coaches and
their proteges hope Detroiters will
remember that sometimes the most
promising talent is found in one's
own backyard.
Nearly lost in all the hoopla sur-
rounding the, preparations for the
1984 United States Maccabi Youth
Games, which will be hosted by the
Jewish Community Center Aug.
19-26, is the fact that dozens • of
Detroit-area youngsters aged 12-16
will play an integral part in the
Games, vying for gold, silver and
bronze medals in tennis, swimming,
gymnastics, table tennis, volleyball,
basketball, soccer, racquetball and
track.
While the Maccabi Youth Games
will stress physical fitness and the
pursuit of athletic excellence, there
are other benefits which are just • as
important, according to coaches han-
dling the area contingent. "The
competition is a nice way to round
things off," racquetball coach Doug
Stone said, "but the experience
doesn't end with the competition.

Hopefully; the kids are.going to end ,
up with.a good feeling about getting
involved with other Jewish young
people in a group effort."
Debbie Borovoy, an assistant
coach with the U.S. Swimming Team
(formerly AAU) in Southfield and
coach for the Detroit swimmers who
will compete in the Games, admits
that a few of her more dedicated
athletes are participating mostly for
competitive reasons, hoping to get a
medal here and try out for the Mac-
cabiah Games in Israel next year.
"But everybody, regardless of what
kind of competitor they are, or turn
out to be, will have the opportunity to
meet Jewish kids from other states
and foreign countries."
Distance free-style swimmer
Libby Stern, 16, echoes her coach and
also feels that as a member of the
Detroit team she will have "a chance
to make friends with people (her
teammates) whom I have swum
against competitively, but never
really had the chance to know until
now."
Training methods employed by
the coaches for the Games have been
as varied as the different sports
themselves. Stone has held mini-

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touranaments and drilled his
. younger players in an effort to.:(10=,
velop-their "killer instincts," some-
thing racquetball players often lack
at 12 or 13 years old. Girls basketball
coach Lora Weingarden emphasizes
individual instruction during her
practices, which she believes helps
eliminate bad court habits.
Dr. Mary Kofender's soccer team
spends its weekday practice sessions
learning skills and techniques, as
well as working on conditioning. Dr.
Kofender, who has been coaching
soccer at all levels for seven years
and was an assistant coach at the
1982 Maccabi Youth Games in Mem-
phis, has scheduled. Sunday morning
scrimmages against college
freshmen and sophomores to prepare
his team for what he feels will be stiff
competition from Jewish soccer
teams coming to the Detroit area
from the Sunbelt states, Canada and
Mexico. •
"The last Maccabi. Youth cham-
pions were from Mexico," the doctor
said, "and Canada finished second at
the Memphis tournament. The teams
from Florida and California, who
have the opportunity to play soccer
12 months a year, will also be tough."
Athough his players are several
years younger than ' those he has
them facing •in the weekend practice
matches, Dr. Kofender said the
scores have been surprisingly close,
leading him to believe that the De-
troit team will be in the running for a
medal.
Finding enough local talent to
fill out their: rosters was a particu-
' 1 arly diffidult eliallerfge' for' Etanie

the coaches, with each employi
different Methods to solve the prob.
lem.
Rrecruiting strictly for Jewish
athletes was "a truly unique experi ,
ence," • according to assistant mill*
ming•coach Fern Fine. "We tried;
recruit ourselves, but it really didii
work.
"We sent letters to about -1
different swim teams and club
throughout the state," added
Borovoy. "We found that there we%
ren't too many Jewish kids on thes
teams in any age group whatsoever. ,
Fortunately, Borovoy said, the swim
team came together largely through
word-of-mouth, with a few swimmers
from organized teams enticing others
to join.
A number of the younger area,
participants from the first Maccabil
Youth competition held two years1
earlier in Memphis were eager tol
compete again, especially in front of a
hometown audience. West Bloom-1
field High School student Burton.
Brodsky is looking forward to his sec-
ond appearance, choosing basketball
over soccer, the sport which he played:
during the 1982 Games. Brodsky, 16,
thinks the level of competition for the
Maccabi Youth Games will match
the intensity he encountered last
winter playing on his high school
basketball team.
Teammate David Epstein, 16,
signed up for the Games after playini
on the JCC traveling team, a group oi
teenagers which takes part in bas•
ketball tournaments in Michigan
Ontario and Ohio.•Although Epsteir
tbhiliOct oh' Page 64



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