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August 23, 1991 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-08-23

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Staff Writer


f the regional Maccabi
Games in Cleveland were
supposed to be merely a
warm-up for next summer's
North American games in
Baltimore, somebody forgot
to tell Detroit's squad.
Over 100 strong, Detroit
came to compete against
powerful teams from Pitt-
sburgh, Chicago and
Cleveland, to name a few.
Detroit's boys softball
squad fell victim to the
whim of schedule, and faced
the three toughest teams.
They lost all three games,
thereby getting eliminated
from any contention for a
medal. But with each loss,
the team appeared to de-
velop, and finally, against
heavy-hitting Pittsburgh,
they fought hard in a respec-
table 8-5 loss.
Detroit's first game,
against Chicago, was a
blowout. The boys from the
Windy City scored 10 runs in
the first two innings on their
way to a_ four-inning, 18-9
victory. Detroit had to be
"mercied" when Chicago
stretched its lead to 12 runs
by the third inning.
Against Pittsburgh,
Detroit's chances looked
even slimmer. The Iron City
squad had Kelly Toomey on
the mound — the female
fireballer had earned her
nickname "Wild Thing" be-
cause of her tremendous
Ms. Toomey's presence on
the boys' team surprised
Detroit — but didn't bother
them. "I'm not embarrass-
ed," said one of Ms

Toomey's strikeout victims,
"she's really good."
A pioneer of sorts, Ms.
Toomey was the only girl on
the team at last year's
Games in Detroit. She is now
joined by three others on
Pittsburgh's team which did
not field a girls' team.
Andy Haller, Detroit's
third baseman, con-
templated Ms. Toomey's
"As long as I'm making
contact, I don't mind," he
Rick Rubenfaer helped
Detroit jump out to a one-
run lead in the first with a
homer to right center field.
Pittsburgh answered with
two runs of its own, and
when the inning was over,
Detroit's fielders looked
relieved to sit in the dugout
There was no desperation
when Detroit's boys basket-
ball team played Cincinnati.
The cagers ran up a 41-9
half-time score, anchored by
the dominating inside play
of Harley Marks. Cincin-
nati was no match for the
much bigger Detroit team,
plus they had only five

"This kind of
tournament is
about spirit, about
playing hard."

Gabriel Attar



Detroit's Shawn Rubin tosses it in against a Pittsburgh batter.

turned the tide at the end of
the first half, and by keeping
the pressure on, a sustained
push led to Detroit's first
goal, by David Ellenbogen.
At halftime, Attar, a sea-
soned player in his own
right, tried to rally the
troops. His speech, delivered
in his Israeli accent,
challenged the players.
"I believe you can win but
now you got to believe that
you can win this game," he
said. "This kind of tourna-
ment is about spirit, about
playing hard."
Attar is from the old
school. He stresses fun
damentals, and wants des-
perately for his team to win.
But most importantly, he
wants them to try. When,
midway through the second
period, two of his players
seemed to drift listlessly
through the game, not
listening to Attar's instruc-
tions and even talking back,
he removed them from the

game's MVP.
"I think she would have
had a no-hitter if we had
done better in the field," she
Good graces were echoed
by someone who only had to
rely on herself. Annette
Durante, a 12-year-old gym-
nast, competed against some
girls four years older. With
her hands and elbows ban-
daged from minor injuries,

players. The rested Detroit
squad ran roughshod, with
the team's substitutes play-
ing the entire fourth period.
The final score, 83-23, made
the team's overtime loss to
Chicago a day earlier seem
Detroit's boys soccer team
ran an emotional roller-
coaster. In their first three
games, Detroit beat Pitt-
sburgh twice, both 6-0
scores, and played. Cleveland
to a tie. In their fourth game,
the talented Detroit team
was at an immediate disad-
vantage because Cleveland
stocked a stable of talented
substitutes, where Detroit
was lucky to have two on the
Frustration ran high on
the Detroit squad, and
chafing between some
players and coach Gabriel
Attar soon grew.
Cleveland maintained
pressure on Detroit, and two
quick goals by Cleveland's
Dan Goldstein seemed to
spell doom. But Detroit

"Believe me," he said to
them, "you're not playing.
I'll play with eight.". As he
uttered those words,
Cleveland scored its third
goal, thus sealing the vic-
"He wants them to try,"
one parent said of the Israeli
coach. "He wants them to
understand that winning
isn't everything."

Detroit's girls softball
team played competitively
against teams favored to
win. After beating Chicago,
13-9, centerfielder Amy
Sokolowski had only good
things to say about pitcher
Gabi Kepes, who was the

Durante won the gold in the
'vault with a 9.45 score.
"The girls were older than
me," Annette said after the
meet. "I was lucky to get a
With her mother videotap-
ing the competition, and
then the gold medal hanging
from her neck, Annette took
it all in stride.
"It's just for 'fun," she said.
"That's how I look at it." [11

Detroit Racks Em Up
At Maccabi Games



Detroit's soccer coach, Gabriel
Attar, helps an injured Detroit

P hotos by Neal Gloger

Detroit Maccabi
Tunes Up In Ohio


Staff Writer


n this year's Maccabi
Games, Detroit proved
once again that it is a re-
gional power.
In swimming alone,
Detroiters won 11 gold
medals, 16 silvers and 18
bronzes. The teams in boys
and girls basketball, girls
softball, co-ed volleyball,
racquetball and table tennis
all reached the medal
Some of the swimmers who
walked away with medals
included Jody Shapiro, who
won five golds and a bronze,
Laura Hamburger, who won
three golds, two silvers and a
bronze, and David Snider-
man, who won four silvers
and two bronzes.
The Maccabi Games, spon-
sored and funded by Jewish
Community Centers
throughout the country,
were held this week in
Cleveland and New Jersey.
The boys basketball team
virtually dominated round-

robin play, beating
Cleveland, 65-53, and Cin-
cinnati, 83-23. Their only
loss, to Chicago, was a com-
edy of errors. Detroit's
players, perhaps shocked by
the game's early hour (8
a.m.), missed routine layups
and free throws, and even-
tually lost in overtime. Jeff
Rosenberg led the team in
the Chicago game with 13
points. Detroit played
Chicago for the gold medal
on Wednesday.
Girls basketball did not do
as well, losing all five of
their games.
Detroit's table tennis con-
tingency came away with
their share of medals as
well. Against a powerful
Philadelphia squad, Aaron
Weckenstein won a silver in
the 15-16-year-old singles
competition, and also took a
silver in doubles. Jeff Gut-
man and Michael Redish
won the bronze in doubles in
the 13-14-year-old group,
and Adam Lenter and Frank
Reinstein won the bronze in
In girls tennis, Elite Ben-

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