A season filled with team bonding

By Moriah Seymann ’19

From winning games while rain pours down on the field, to screaming in the locker room after an exciting victory, San Diego Jewish Academy’s athletes benefited from the fitness, fun, and most importantly, friendship that the winter sports season encompassed.

With a total of seven wins this season including a four-game winning streak, the boys basketball team proved themselves an unstoppable force. Josh Nachassi (‘19) describes the team as being, “like a bunch of animals, a pack of dogs.” The Lions shredded the Preuss School in their highest-scoring game of the season. “We scored 75 points with Sagie coming in clutch in the third quarter and bringing us 20 points,” says Ori Hamond (‘19). This victory excited the team and Dasha Levin (‘19) says, “the best moment of the season was after our win we went into the locker room and started screaming.” However, the boys understand that the box score doesn’t define them . Hamond continues, “at the end of the day, even if we lose a game, we are still laughing our butt off. It’s a team sport and it’s really fun.”

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Kevin Quin (‘19) shooting for another win. Photo: Karina Levy (‘19)


The biggest success was not just what happened on the court, but the friendships the athletes cultivated. Hamond says, “My team is really amazing because these are people at school I can rely on as my friends and mates. Before basketball season, freshman year, I didn’t know any of them too well, but over the year we have been developing a strong friendship.” In addition, Hamond gained something else from the experience. “The game itself teaches us a lesson,” Hamond shares. “I learned from every game I played and in practices. I learned a lot from my coaches too, especially Coach Phil.”

The girls basketball team started the season off strong, winning their first game against San Diego Academy. Although this was their only victory this season, the girls still enjoyed every moment of the season. Sarah Simmonds (‘20) and Maya Sharf (‘19) say the most memorable part of the season was when they were stuck in traffic on their way to an away game. Suddenly, they found out the game had been canceled, however, the school’s email was shut down. “Coach decided to turn around and cut through the freeway, driving where the median usually is,” says Simmonds. “It was really scary but really fun.” After this stressful situation, the team headed to In-N-Out Burger and bonded over milkshakes and french fries. “The best moment was going to get food with the team,” says Sharf. Simmonds says that all in all, what matters is that “the season was really fun.” The girls commit to coming back roaring next season.

Boys soccer kicked the season off with a handful of victories. Even though it, “could have gone better,” according to Trevor Lyons (‘19), the team improved in every game. Lyons says, “we weren’t able to make it to the playoffs, but we got a lot closer. We grew together as a team and learned how to play. We got a lot better at the end of the season.” During one of their games, rain started pouring down on the field. While some players might see this as a game spoiler, Lyons and the team made the best out of the situation and proved their dedication to the team. He says, “my favorite moment as a team was when we won in the pouring rain.” While rain streamed down their faces, they pushed themselves extra hard and won the game.

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Sofia Kucinski (‘20) smiles as she scores the winning goal. Photo: Isaac Rosen (‘19)

The lady lions soccer team had an extraordinary season, winning 12 games and qualifying for CIF. Sofia Kucinski (‘20) comments, “we did really well, we went into the first rounds of CIF which is something we haven’t done in a long time.”The girls grew closer together with each winning game. Kucinski says, “every time we won, which was a lot of times, we would all be really excited and we would hug each other. When we won the game that got us into CIF’s we were all hugging for like five minutes and taking videos and pictures of each other.” All in all, for the girls soccer team, this season was more successful not only because the team qualified for CIF this year, but because the girls bonded more. Kucinski says, “last year the team was very separated, but this year the seniors did a really good job uniting the team.”

All four winter teams had a fantastic season filled with memories and friendships they will never lose. As spring sports begin, our athletes proudly hang up their uniforms and look forward to what next year’s season will hold.

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