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July 29, 1988 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-07-29

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Turning The Tables

Former national table tennis champion Michelle Mantel
is now coaching Detroit's Maccabi quad


Sports Writer


t age 18, Michelle Man-

tel has a basement full
of trophies, including
four which represent
U.S. girls table tennis
championships. But when Mantel
entered the University of Michigan
last fall, she put major competitions
behind her.
For Mantel, formerly the top-
ranked junior in the U.S., her main
connection with the sport now is her
role as coach of the Maccabi table ten-
nis team which will participate in the
North American Youth Games in
Chicago next month.
The role is not new Mantel played
in both the 1984 games in Detroit and
the 1986 Toronto games. Although
her mother, Hedy, was listed as coach
of those teams, Michelle was the real
coach: Maccabi rules do not allow
players to be designated as coaches.
Hedy describes her role on those
teams as "administrator."
Why did the then 14-year-old
Mantel coach the 1984 team? Already
a national champion, Mantel "had a
lot of really good coaching with
United States coaches. So from lear-
ning from them, I could help others?'
She says her age was "never" a
problem. "I can relate to people of
practically any age."
Her teammates have been close to
her age. In 1984, 12-year-olds were
still allowed to compete. Half of that
team, Mantel recalls, were older than
she, half younger. This year's players
are all younger.

Rob Winer, Michelle Mantel, Steve Katz.

Robert Winer, 16, has no problem
with his coach's age. "I think it's
helpful because we can relate to her
Hedy recalls that her daughter
"always said that that's what she
wanted to do, once she would be old
enough and couldn't play any more?'
The players, says Hedy, "do listen
to the coaching. Because so often kids
think, 'Oh, coaching means nothing,
it's no big deal! But they really do
listen. I think it's by virtue of the fact
that the coach knows what she's do-
ing. Everything that she talks about

weaker points. I can't do any total
reconstruction of their game. I just try
to help them out and encourage them.
And help them to win, do the best
they can?'
Mantel, who acknowledges that it
may be difficult for her to watch,
without being able to compete, in the
Chicago games, believes the team as
a whole is "much better than the last
year that I played. They're all improv-
ed, especially (Rob Winer and Steve
Katz) — also some of the younger
players are really good. A lot of
racquet-sports background."
Katz, 16, like Winer also com-
peted in Toronto in 1986. "I wouldn't
mind taking home a medal this time,"
he says. "Or two. Or three:'
He makes no firm predictions, but
believes the team'sexperience will
help. "Last time it was entirely new,
we'd never been in competition before.
. But this time I know what to look for
. . . We're going to do well this time.
I don't know how well?'
Winer agrees that the Toronto ex-
perience "will help us. Because we
learned what to do last time and we
she can execute and demonstrate. She got familiar with the surroundings
amazes them with her game. At first and the play and the competition. So
they looked — it's a young girl and this time I think we'll do much bet-
she's kind of cute and they thought, ter . . . I feel that I've improved a lot
`Oh, piece of cake; they're gonna — me and the team. So I think we
teach her something. And it turned have a very good shot this time at
out to be just the way it should be, bringing home medals!'
Winer and Katz will both play
that the coach is actually teaching
and will team up at doubles
them something. So it was kind of fun
to see the boys taper down and get in in the 15-16 age group in Chicago.
Brad Shulman and Todd Stoneman
line. And they love it."
Coach Mantel uses a light touch will play singles in the 13-14 group.
when dealing with her players. "I try One of those two will team up with
to emphasize the good points of their Steve Sampson in doubles.
Mantel, who won her last U.S. ti-
game and try to strengthen their

Rosenthal Is 2-for-5 At The 'Henley Open'


Sports Writer


ike Rosenthal of Hunting-
ton Woods captained his
team to victory in the fifth
Henley Open three-on-three basket-
ball tournament, July 16 and 17.
Rosenthal, whose team won in
1986 and placed third last year, took
an 11-9 win in the final against a
team captained by Dellaino Harris of
Oak Park. It was Rosenthal's second
win over Harris' team in the double-
elimination event. "The last one was
probably the toughest one," says


FRIDAY, JULY 29, 1988

Rosenthal. Rosenthal's team, which
also included Robb Schleede, Todd
Hamlet and Mark Kerby, was 6-0.
The tournament is played in the
50-foot driveway of Bryan Waldman
in Huntington Woods. The tourna-
ment is basically an organized,
playground-ball event. Baskets are
one point apiece and teams must win
by two points. There are no referees,
so players call their own fouls. "It gets
a little bit controversial once in a
while," says Rosenthal.
There is little strategy involved in
the fast-paced games. "You don't have
any set plays," explains Rosenthal.

"You get the ball and you go. Defense several recreational leagues and at-
has a lot to do with it because the tends Wayne State University, where
court's only 50 feet long. If you come he studies business management.
Rosenthal led a local team, coach-
down and you work real hard to score
Barry Bershad under the ban-
a basket, and you score and the other
the Maple/Drake Jewish Com-
team gets in real quick and they
score, it just cancels each other out." munity Center, to victory in a Jewish
Rosenthal says the tournament Welfare Board tournament in Canton,
"gets real serious. Basically it's for Ohio, in 1984. Rosenthal was voted
fun but there's trophies involved. most valuable player in the eight-
Everyone's pride is involved, I guess. team tourney.
Now, the two-time Henley Open
Around here, it's kind of a big thing
is eagerly anticipating next
to say that you won it."
"We really look forward
A two-year varsity player at
Berkley High School, Rosenthal to it. You look forward to the whole
graduated in 1983. He plays in weekend." ■

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