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Friday, September 19, 2014

The Phoenix 2014-2015: Issue 1

Falcon's Nest Notes: Late Rally Falls Short; Falcons Drop Opener to HAFTR @ MDY Tournament

Bobby Soffer pushes the ball in transition
Behind a barrage of 3-pointers from Senior Co-Captain Bobby Soffer, Flatbush closed the gap late in the fourth quarter, but the rally fell short and the Falcons dropped the season opener to HAFTR in the opening round of the MDY Pre-Season Basketball Tournament on Tuesday, 9/16, 56-46.
Joe Gindi helps position the full court press alignment
Though the team has a majority of seniors, this game marked the first varsity action for the most of the players on the roster. And, it was clear from the outset that there was a serious case of opening day jitters for this new group of Falcons. The boys found themselves in a deep deficit early, but behind the leadership of Soffer at both ends of the court, and the inspired play from varsity newbies Elliot Beyda and Albert Richter, Flatbush clawed its way back, closing to within one point, 22-21 with under 4 minutes to play in the first half.
Allan Maleh converts from the free throw line
Another bright spot for the Falcons was the effectiveness of the trademark Flatbush full-court press. The pressure applied caused 23 turnovers by the HAFTR offense. But as effective as the press was, the Falcon offense was equally careless with the ball, handing it back to the Hawks nearly as often, committing 20+ turnovers of their own. As a result, HAFTR’s lead ballooned to nearly 20 points in the fourth quarter, before the stellar shooting of Soffer closed the gap late.

The Falcons will look to get on the winning track with a number of pre-season matchups before entering MYHSAL play after the Sukkot holiday break.

Nest Notes:
Bobby Soffer paced all scorers with 29 points, dropping in 7 baskets from beyond the arc. Albert Richter added 8 points for the Falcons. The team shot an abysmal 5-13 from the foul line, a statistic that must improve of the team is to be successful this season.

The Varsity boys return to action on Monday, 9/22 when they travel to SAR to take on the Sting in another pre-season tune-up. Game time is 8:15 pm. The JV will begin its 2014-15 campaign on Tuesday, 9/30, when they travel to DRS for a rematch of last season’s JV championship game. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 pm.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Cleats On! Boys Soccer Debuts Outdoors at Flatbush

Freshman and Sophomore players demonstrate their skills in game play
Marking a first in Yeshivah of Flatbush Athletics, boys turned out in great numbers Wednesday night (9/10) to show off their soccer skills in hopes of being a part of the first-ever outdoor soccer team in the gloried athletic history of the Yeshivah.
Coach Skolnick adresses a group of Junior and Senior players before scrimmaging
The late time and the distant location did not deter over 70 hopeful boys who came out to Comer Field in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn to take part in the first day of tryouts for the new athletic team. Under the watchful eyes of new Head Coaches and faculty members Eli Amzalag and Rabbi Yoni Skolnick, the boys stretched, warmed up and scrimmaged on the two field areas. First in teams of 11, then later in teams of 7 (to open up the field for wider play), the boys showed off their skills on the open space of the outdoor football pitch in the setting in which the game was originally intended to be played.
Coach Amzalag gives instruction to a group of Freshman and Sophomre players
At the end of the session, with the sun sinking low in the sky, the players gathered around the coaches for feedback and to learn that the next tryout sessions would split the squad over two days to better evaluate each and every individual, with 9th & 10th graders coming back the next Tuesday and 11th & 12th graders coming back the next Wednesday.
Matt Bukobza controls the ball as Coach Skolnick evaluates player performance from the sideline
Reflecting on the overwhelming turnout, the new coaches were excited about the prospects for the program. The excitement was equally matched by the many students who came out. Varsity indoor stalwarts like Matt Bukobza, Ilay Fachima and Maor Laham relished to opportunity to take their games out of the gym, and their smiles while going through drills on the natural grass of Comer Field were infectious! The interest was high, the intensity great, and the task before the coaches is now daunting. By the end of the month, the rosters will be set for Flatbush’s first-ever outdoor soccer squads!

Nest Notes:
The Athletic Department is presently in the process of seeking opponents for the newly formed JV and Varsity Soccer teams. Pending the securing of a local field, the fall season will culminate in a three-team yeshiva soccer tournament to be hosted by Flatbush.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pathfinders Update: Experiencing A Cooking Demonstration

This week seniors Florence Dweck, Nancy Torgueman, Nancy Mizrahi, and Rosie Amar had the opportunity to take part in a cooking demonstration by Paula Shoyar at the Sephardic Community Center through the Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program. These students learned what really goes on in a kitchen with a professional chef. They learned new recipes and what to do in situations when you're short on time when baking. They also had the chance to interact with Paula Shoyar, who has done baking demos on live television and has appeared on a baking show called Sweet Genius. Not only did  the students get to meet her but they baked with her as well. They received many insider baking tips from her that will help them in their future culinary careers. ~Florence Dweck

Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School Pathfinders Program: 
Beginning in 9th grade, the Pathfinders counselors work with each student to discuss their interests and develop their goals. Students are then given a wide range of opportunities of places where they can volunteer, intern and explore their unique academic pursuits and career ideas. Through the Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program, we encourage our students to discover and expand their special talents and abilities and explore career options for the future. Whether a student is actively engaged during the school year or in the summer, we are confident that each Yeshivah of Flatbush student will find a path to success.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Tip-Off in Brooklyn; Boys Basketball Opens Season at the MDY Pre-Season Tourny

The Flatbush Falcons Boys Varsity Basketball team will tip-off the 2014-15 campaign tonight, 9/16, as they take on perennial league powerhouse HAFTR, of Lawrence, NY in the Magen David Yeshiva Pre-Season Tournament. Start time is 6:30PM. All MDY Tournament games will be played in the Magen David Yeshiva Elementary School building on McDonald Avenue.

This will be a very early test for the Falcons. Both the Varsity and JV are starting to acclimate to the system as the coaches continue to stress fundamentals and develop more advanced basketball training. With last season’s team's starters and most of the rotation having graduated last spring, this new wave of players is looking to make an early statement to the League and continue the Falcon basketball tradition.

Starting for the Falcons in this early season game will be the following senior players: Bobby Soffer, Sam Silverman, Alan Maleh, Mayer Kamkhatchi, Ray Braha. These five constitute the sole holdovers from last year’s varsity roster.

Nest Notes:
Last Thursday night, September 11, at the start of practice, Head Coach Avi Borenstein began both the JV and Varsity practices with a review and discussion of the meaning and significance on 9/11, on a local, national and Jewish level with the members of both squads.

On Sunday afternoon, at conclusion of practice, the JV prayed Mincha led by sophomore Jackie Mishaan as chazzan.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Kicking Off a New Athletic Year

The start of school also means the start of a new athletic season. And, Flatbush students have come out in great numbers in an effort to become Falcons for the 2014-15 season.

With the Boys Basketball season getting a head start with an early pre-season date in the Magen David Yeshiva pre-season tournament, they were the first to take to the court and begin the process of evaluation and selection of both JV and Varsity squads. A combined 100 students came out to show off their games for the coaching staff in the hopes of earning one of the coveted 15 spots on the JV and Varsity respectively.
Coaches Borenstein and Kennedy address the Juniors and Seniors
looking to earn a spot on the Varsity Boys Basketball team
Right on their heels were the Girls Volleyball squads, with and early alumni tournament on tap for Sunday, September 21. Returning players came out to demonstrate they are ready to step up their games for a spot on Coach Shterenzer’s Varsity roster. Equally impressive was the great number of members from the freshman class looking to show they have what it takes to be Falcon Volleyballers – over 60 Flatbush students looking for a spot on the JV squad!
Assistant Coach Jon Gabriel watches the girls shoot foul shots at JV Girls Basketball tryouts
The Flatbush Girls Dance Team also held tryouts over two days to see who would be invited to join the trophy-winning program for the new school year. Turnout was so great, and the performance level so high that determining who would make the 12 member roster would be a daunting challenge for Coaches Cohen and Greenberg. With the numbers so high, and the potential so great for the program going forward, there is now discussion of expanding the team to add a JV level (stay tuned for more on this exciting prospect)!
Assistant Coach Lauren Zalta takes the girls trough drills at JV Girls Volleyball tryouts
Over the rest of the first two weeks of school, students have come out with equal enthusiasm for Girls Basketball, Boys Hockey, Boys Volleyball and Boys Soccer. Before the Sukkot break, we also expect our Spring Sports to conduct their initial try-outs. That includes teams like Boys Softball, Girls Soccer, Boys Volleyball, Girls Softball and Baseball. Additionally, the Track and Field team will begin training after school on Monday, 9/15, with the hopes of building on the foundation of success started in the Spring of 2014.

All in all, it looks to be a great start for the 2014-15 edition of the Flatbush Falcons!

Nest Notes:
The Girls Volleyball Program will be the first athletic team to address the mission for each sport program to engage in a chesed project for the betterment of our community. The team will be hosting an Alumnae Tournament, welcoming back former Falcon volleyball players to compete against each other as well as against present members of the Girls Volleyball JV and Varsity teams. The YOFHS SGO will also be on hand selling drinks and snacks to all in attendance. Event to benefit Thank Israeli Soldiers. YOFHS Gym doors open 12:00noon; event starts at 12:30 pm. Save the date = Sunday, September 21!

Freshman Orientation Day 2014!

When this year's freshmen class walked into Flatbush on orientation day a little over a week ago, they didn't know what to expect. Knowing how the transition from elementary school to high school can be difficult, we had our senior mentors on hand to guide the freshmen. The mentors, as well as, the Senior Mentor coordinators have been working over the summer to welcome the 9th graders into our school with open arms. Each group of 2-4 freshmen received one senior mentor, an experienced student who willingly shared their knowledge about getting comfortable in the school and make the freshmen feel at home. We had a series of ice breaker questions to start the day, ranging from their summer activities to their favorite Avenue J restaurant. Here seniors were really able to get to know their freshmen and ease the nerves they may have had. The class of 2018 also had a chance to hear from Rabbi Naftali Besser, Dean of Students, and Victor Zeitoune, SGO President. Students also watched a welcome back video created by the SGO. Finally the freshmen then proceeded to their homerooms to get their metro cards, schedules, and also to talk with their Senior Mentors even more. There are more special programming scheduled for freshmen all part of Welcome Freshman Month. Welcome Freshmen to the Flatbush family! ~Rebecca Zami

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: PreSeason Workout

Flatbush players scrimmage under the watchful eyes of Coach Borenstein
Looking to get a head start on the season, the YoF Athletic Department for the first time ever provided the opportunity for our student-athletes to begin training for the fall season even before the start of classes in September. With initiative form the Flatbush Falcons Boys Basketball coaching staff, prospective members of the team gathered at All-Sports Brielle. Under the guidance of Head Coach Avi Borenstein and Assistant Coach Gus Kennedy, over 40 returning and first-time players got together to train, drill and scrimmage twice in advance of official try-outs that are slated to take place after the start of classes. With sessions on Monday, August 25 and Wednesday, August 27, prospective players got their first taste for what the upcoming season will look like and what they can expect once official practice gets underway.
Prospective Falcon Basketball players gathered at All Sports in Ocean Twp, NJ for the first-ever summer workouts
With such a strong turnout for this first-time event, it was clear that the coaches and players are geared up and ready to give the effort necessary to pick up where the program left off last March. Entering the second season with the present coaching staff, the varsity faces a great challenge having graduated 66% of the roster, blending the returning members with a large number of newcomers. But with Seniors Ray Braha, Allen Maleh and Bobby Soffer already showing the readiness to take leadership roles, the team is primed to build on the foundation built last season. The JV similarly faces a great challenge, having fallen one painful step shy of winning it all last season. With a solid core of Sophomores led by Jackie Mishaan, Kevin Haddad and Louis Zarif returning –all three having played key roles in taking the JV team as far as it did last year - the squad has the singular goal of fully scaling the mountain top this season.
Coach Borenstein positions Sophomore Abie Rosow and Senior Ray Braha on the court for drills
The coaching staff anticipates great competition for all the roster spots on the team, and it is clear that these two days will serve the incoming freshmen well in the quest for those prized spots as the two days at the Jersey Shore gave the newcomers their first taste of what high school athletics will be like. So, the coaches and players alike are hopeful that these early birds, these hopeful Falcons, will catch the prized worm come March 2015 – a coveted MYHSAL championship!

Welcome Flatbush Athletics to 2014-15! GO FALCONS!

Nest Notes:
All Flatbush athletic teams will be looking to hold their try-outs during the first half of the month of September. The Boys Basketball program will “tip-off’ first with try-outs already scheduled for Thursday, 9/4 (JV at 5:30 pm and Varsity at 8:00 pm) and Sunday, 9/7 (JV at 10:00 am and Varsity at 12:00 noon). The Girls Basketball program takes the court on Monday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 10 (JV at 5:30 pm and Varsity at 7:30 pm on both dates). The full try-out calendar for all sports will be posted in the Athletic Office and outside the HS Gymnasium. Check with Mr. Eric Amkraut, Athletic Director, for details.