New Fencing Team at YULA Boys Boaz Edidin (‘22) and Daniel Zarur (‘22) For the first time ever, YULA Boys has its own fencing team, founded by Yitzy Frankel, Director of Admissions. Mr. Frankel is an experienced, nationally ranked fencer. Fencing requires the ability to wield three distinct weapons: the épée, the foil, and the saber. The inaugural team, which comprises three freshmen, uses only the saber. “If there is a weapon, it is gonna be fun,” said team member Caleb Astrof (‘22). The fencing team practices
every Wednesday for an hour in the Student Lounge. Unlike most sports teams, the fencing team does not require an extensive time commitment, which allows its members time to pursue other extracurricular activities. The team competes in the Southern California Scholastic Fencing League and participated in the first-ever competition in school history December 2. Daniel Zarur (‘22), Boaz Edidin (‘22), and Astrof came out of pools with 3-1, 2-2, and 1-3 records, respec-
tively. Zarur and Edidin earned byes into the next round, while Astrof went 15-6 in his first direct elimination bout to move on to the next round before falling to the eventual winner of the tournament. Even though the team members compete individually, the fencing team requires that each team member be on his A-game in order to unify and bond this team of adventurous individuals.
Coach Yitzy Frankel and fencers Caleb Astrof, Daniel Zarur, and Boaz Edidin pose with their gear at the first meet of the season.
New Basketball Coach Looks to Take Panthers to the Next Level
Coby Karben (‘22)
Continued from page 11
YULA Boys’ new varsity basketball coach, Vince Oliver, is a Clippers-loving, cliffhanger-TV-binge-watching father of two, who played in the NBA Development League. Before joining YULA, Coach Oliver coached at Sherman Oaks’ Notre Dame High School— part of the prestigious Mission League. He also coached at his own alma mater, Loyola High School in Los Angeles, where he played during high school and won a state championship. Prior to coaching, Oliver was drafted to the “D-League,” the NBA Development League, and played for the Idaho Stampede for one year. He attended UC Davis for college and had a great experience playing basketball there for four years. “We beat Stanford when I was there, and came within two games of getting to the NCAA tournament,” Coach Oliver said. Coach Oliver and his brother have been full-time Clippers fans and season-ticket holders dating back to 1991. He enjoys listening to music, especially J. Cole, whom he has seen in concert
Coach Vince Oliver calls a play.
several times, and binge-watching cliffhanger TV shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones.” In a recent interview, Coach Oliver discussed the challenges and rewards of coaching. The Panther Post: Do you think coaching a Jewish school with a dual curriculum will be different from your past experiences? Coach Vince Oliver: It already has been different [because of] the schedule that the players have, and in terms of their everyday responsibilities as students. They definitely have more than any of the other players that I’ve coached. A lot of their time is accounted for. For me the challenge is to keep practice competitive and also fun, with the amount of time that we have, and still get a lot accomplished. PP: How do you decide who makes the team? VO: The easy thing to look for is talent, and it doesn’t take long to tell which kids have natural ability. But then what I look at is:
What roles are we going to need to fill? It’s not necessarily the 12 best shooters or scorers. While that’s important, on the court you’re looking for a well-rounded team. It always helps to have a little bit of size. You also have guys that are going to play defense, get rebounds, making that their priority. And then I think [about] something that I find value in, which is chemistry. Noticing how guys interact with other guys, and which guys are easy to play with. Guys who seem to be good teammates. That would be intangible, and that you have to watch a little bit closer for. PP: How do you deal with people who have other commitments that may interfere with practice or even games? VO: Part of what I try to do during the tryouts process is paint a picture of what the time commitment and demands are going to be. It’s a balance, especially here at YULA. There are more things that students have on their plates. I am sensitive to that, but at the same time I also like to try to set a standard and let them know that they are making a commitment. What’s most important is that they show up for their teammates. The way I go about that is communication, and I think that’s something that transfers over to life [after school]. Once these guys get a job, you can’t let your boss know last minute: XYZ came up. You have to communicate beforehand and plan. It requires players to be responsible. PP: What would influence a player’s playing time? VO: Obviously, it starts with ability. And who we play in the matchup––that’s a factor. And then in terms of their being there. We’ll have plays that we are implementing and a lot of things that require you to be at practice. So it’s a combination of those fac-
The tournament, now in its 4th year, is in honor of athlete, community leader, and YULA alumni Steve Glouberman, who passed away in 2015. All games were held at the Westside JCC and Shalhevet High School. Games were all live streamed so that fans and loved ones across the nation could watch and cheer on their teams. The tournament kicked off with two games on Wednesday night at the Shalhevet gym: the first was Shalhevet vs Valley Torah Boys and the second was YULA Girls vs Shalhevet. The bleachers were packed with fans from all three schools cheering their teams on with posters, towels and school spirit. Shalhevet won both their games, despite the amazing effort put forth by Valley Torah and YULA Girls. On Thursday, teams from across the East Coast arrived in LA and competed in a few games and the day ended with a barbeque at Shalhevet for all the teams to mingle and celebrate the successes thus far. The games continued early Friday morning and ended by the early afternoon, with plen-
ty of time to prepare for Glouberman Tournament Shabbaton. Each team was hosted for a Shabbat dinner, with the Mankowitz family hosting the Lady Panthers. Afterwards, all the teams were invited to the Young Israel of Century City (YICC) to socialize and get to know each other off the court. The majority of Shabbat consisted of a service held at Beth Jacob Congregation followed by a combined lunch with all the participating teams. After Shabbat, the games continued. On Sunday, the tournament concluded with an award ceremony at Shalhevet High School. The winning teams were Shalhevet Firehawks for the boys basketball teams and SAR for the girls’ basketball teams. In addition to competing in exciiting games of basketball, the teams all bonded and created memories. The Panther Post congratulates all the YULA basketball players who participated in this year’s tournament and looks forward to covering this event again next year.
tors. And then from there I make my decision. And in terms of playing time, it’s not always absolute. There may be guys that don’t earn it early but that continue to progress and stay with it and earn playing time as the season goes. It’s something that’s very fluid.
just what happens in the game. It’s like baking a cake. If I just showed you the finished product, you’d go: “That was easy.” But you weren’t there in the kitchen, the two hours that were spent preparing and mixing. It’s hard to dispute someone who’s seen the whole experience, including practices. Ultimately, parents do want what’s best for their child; but as a coach you have a responsibility not just to one, but to the entire team. I like to be transparent with the guys and explain what their role is, and how roles can be honed. But also how roles should be accepted, which again is something in life. We all have roles.
PP: Do you ever get complaints from players or parents about playing time? VO: I have in the past, and I understand. I have two children: a five-year-old daughter and an almost-one-year-old son, so I understand from a parent’s point of view [that] in this short amount of time that you want the best for your child. But I like to remind people that playing time is something that’s earned, and it’s not