The Frankel Jewish Academy Jaguar soccer team
ence and others are bringing athletic back-
grounds in other sports with them.
Back in 2007, the team had two players
erhaps the politicians and econo-
who stood out from the crowd. They were
mists who are trying to revive the
Albert Budnitskiy and Michael Franklin.
country's economy should contact
"They were surrounded by players with
varied talent and interest in soccer',' Rice
Rice, who has coached the boys soccer
said. "It's difficult to motivate players in the
team at the Frankel Jewish Academy in West
face of constant defeat, but those players
Bloomfield for five seasons, has engineered
gave spirit and hope to the team:'
an astonishing turnaround.
Because of that spirit, Rice established the
When he first started coaching the team
Budnitskiy-Franklin Award that goes to the
in 2007 and 2008, the Jaguars simply could
player who exhibits the most spirit and grit.
not compete with their opponents. They had Last year, the inaugural award went to Aaron
little soccer experience or talent.
They went 0-11 both seasons and occa-
Nine seniors form the backbone of the
sionally never played more than the first half 2011 team. Six played as freshman in 2008
because of the eight-goal mercy rule.
and stuck it out through the tough years. The
Sometimes the opposing team would pur- group includes Michael and Bob Simons,
posely not score so the game could be played Josh Newman, Alex Adler, Alex Veider and
to its conclusion and the academy players
could work on their skills.
Seniors Omer Oppenheim and Neil
A glimmer of hope emerged in 2009,
Rosenthal joined the team in 2009 as sopho-
when the Jaguars went 2-9-1. The glimmer
mores. This is senior Aaron Schneider's first
turned into sunshine in 2010 with a 5-6
year on the team — he transferred to the
record and the academy's first victory ever in academy last year but had to sit out a season
Michigan High School Athletic Association
— and he has provided great goaltending
state tournament play.
with five shutouts and only thee goals scored
The team wasn't defeated once by the
mercy rule, the first time that happened
The junior class on the team includes
since Rice became coach, and they battled
Teddy Selen, Jonah Folbe, Ethan Weinfeld,
three state-ranked teams to the end before
Zach Rosenthal, Mitchell Schwartz, Matt
Tukel, Michael Dropkin and Jacob Murray.
A breakthrough finally came this season.
Jonah Folbe is the brother of former acad-
The Jaguars went undefeated in their first
emy goalie Aaron Folbe, who graduated last
eight games before suffering a tough 1-0 loss year. His sister Elana Folbe played for the
last week to Royal Oak Shrine on a late pen-
academy girls soccer team and is a walk-on
alty kick that left them with a 7-1-1 record.
candidate for the Dartmouth University
The academy will get another shot at
women's team. Alden Folbe is a freshman on
Shrine at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at home the academy boys team.
in an opening-round district game in the
Sophomores Ami Nadiv and Ross Gaft,
MHSAA Division 4 state tournament.
and freshmen Jonah Newman, Jacob Salen,
Losing is foreign to Rice, who has enjoyed Noah Cutler, David Adler, Issac Mayer, Kyle
success coaching soccer on the club level. So
Otis and Hank Pinter round out the academy
he suffered along with his academy players
during the lean seasons.
There are other brother combinations on
"But I'm an optimistic person, and I knew the team besides Jonah and Aiden Folbe.
with the kind of kids we have at our school,
Michael and Bob Simons, Josh and Jonah
their work ethic and the attitude they bring
Newman, Alex and David Adler, Neil and
to the field, we would get better," he said.
Zach Rosenthal, and Teddy and Jacob Salen
While there are still several players on
also are siblings. i t
the team who had never previously played
soccer, some are arriving with soccer experi- Send news to sports®thejewishnews.com .
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44 October 13 ' 2011