Monthly Archives:April 2019

Staff Spotlight: Coach JJ Davidson

Posted by April 12, 2019 • Share:

Welcome Soccer Head Coach JJ Davidson!

J.J. Davidson was promoted to the head coach of the Yeshiva University men’s soccer team in July of 2018. He spent the previous season as the assistant coach of the men’s and women’s soccer programs.

Davidson had a successful first season with the Yeshiva University men’s soccer program, in 2018. Under his leadership, the Maccabees made history by tying a program-record for most Skyline wins in a season. One of those victories, included a come from behind win to earn the Maccabees their first ever win over the Golden Eagles of St. Joseph’s Long Island, by a score of 3-2.

Out of all the head coaches in program history, Davidson has the highest Skyline Conference winning percentage. Davidson’s teams are not only successful on the field, but excel in the classroom too. In the fall of 2019, six student-athletes finished the semester with a 4.0 grade point average and the team earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the fourth time in program history.

Under Davidson’s tutorage, freshman forward Jonah Beberman was named the Skyline Rookie of the Year, as well as a member of the All-Skyline first team. Senior midfielder Dan Cohen earned a spot on the Skyline All-Conference second team. Beberman and Cohen were named Jewish Sports Review All-Americans, while Alberto Benhamu was acknowledged as an honorable mention.

Davidson also serves as a youth soccer coach for the New York Red Bulls, where he coaches in the organization’s youth training programs.

Thanks to his strong soccer background, Davidson was selected to serve as the head coach of the Maccabi USA Open Men’s Soccer Team for the 14th Pan American Maccabi Games, which took place in the summer of 2019. That same year, he completed his USSF “C” License.

Davidson was the head coach of the USA Under-16 junior boys team in the 2018 International Maccabi Youth Soccer Games.

Prior to joining Yeshiva, Davidson coached at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School and was proud to lead his program to its first championship in school history.

Davidson earned his Master of Arts in Psychological Studies with a concentration in Sports and Exercise Psychology, from Seton Hall University in 2020.

Staff Spotlight: Coach Will Chapman

Posted by April 12, 2019 • Share:

Welcome Head Baseball Coach Will Chapman!

Will Chapman joins the JCC Maccabi Sports Camp for his first summer to help campers love and respect baseball as much as he does. Will played baseball in college and professionally. His playing career has taken him all around the US as well as to Australia, Japan, and several countries in Europe. Will has coached baseball at all levels from Little League to college.

 

Baseball Playing Career

Will received a Division 1 baseball scholarship to play at the University of California at Davis. Will played his final two college seasons at Gallaudet University. While at Gallaudet, he was twice named a first team Jewish All-American as an outfielder by the Jewish Sports News. He was named to the All-Conference Team both seasons as well. As a junior he batted .397 and pitched a complete game win in the playoffs. In his senior year he was also named to the All-South Region Team after batting .414. This time he pitched 8 1/3 innings for a playoff victory. He was ranked nationally in RBI, Toughest to Strike out, Doubles, and Batting Average.

After college, Will played three seasons of Independent Minor League ball in the Pecos League and the United League. He was then signed to play professionally in Australia for the Redland Rays, where he batted over .300 again. After two seasons in Australia, he was signed to play in Europe. He was twice named to an International All-Star team composed of the top US import players from all over Europe. Will did not play the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

 

Baseball Coaching

Will has coached baseball at all levels from T-ball through high school and college. He was a volunteer assistant coach at Queens College in New York and at Cal State University San Bernardino. He was the hitting coach for the Onondaga Flames in the New York Summer Collegiate Wood Bat League where the team led the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. The Flames were made up of Division I, II, and III players and won the league championship.

 

JCC Maccabi Games

Will played baseball for Team Los Angeles in 2002 (Baltimore), 2003 (Houston), and 2004 (Boston). Each of those teams won the gold medal and Will won the team MVP award in 2003.

 

Education

Will graduated with a degree in history from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2013. He received his master’s degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 2017 (Will played minor league ball in the spring and summer and attended school in the fall and winter).

 

This Summer at Camp

Will is excited to coach at the JCC Maccabi Sports Camp this summer. He looks forward to meeting the campers and passing on his baseball knowledge in a fun yet challenging atmosphere.

 

Staff Spotlight: Jason Sinkoff

Posted by April 10, 2019 • Share:

Welcome Back Jason Sinkoff – Tennis Head Coach and Athletic Director!

Jewish Tennis Coach Bay Area

Jason Sinkoff is excited to return to Camp for his 6th summer as Head Tennis Coach and his 2nd as our Athletic Director. Welcome back Jason!

Coaching Tennis in College

Tennis Head Coach Jason Sinkoff is in his third season as the Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.  In his first year they finished with the 3rd most wins in program history going 16-7.  Under his leadership, the program was completely turned around and became a serious contender for the conference title. In his second season they moved up to the #3 seed in their conference tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

Prior to his time at James Madison, Jason was the Head Men’s Tennis coach at Wagner College where he also received an MBA with in Management, finishing #1 in his class.

In addition to coaching at the collegiate level, Jason has coached youth at summer camps in the San Diego area and worked as the Tennis instructor at a residential camp in Wisconsin.  In 2009 he served as the Assistant Coach for the boy’s tennis team at Torrey Pines High School.  That team won their conference title as well as the San Diego CIF Div 1 Title and sent graduates to compete at the collegiate level at UC Santa Barbara, Princeton, University of Arizona, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, UC San Diego, and Pomona College.

 

Playing Tennis in San Diego

Before he became a coach, Jason played tennis at Torrey Pines High School (San Diego, CA), Palomar College, and Hofstra University and was a Team Captain on his high school and college teams.

At Torrey Pines, Jason was named a two-time San Diego Union Tribune Scholar Athlete, and named to the All-City and All-Palomar League 1st Teams during his senior year.  At Palomar College he played #1 Singles and Doubles and was voted Team Captain and Freshman MVP while obtaining a 4.0 GPA.  He then transferred to Hofstra University to play Division 1 Men’s Tennis, was elected Team Captain for 3 years, Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete, CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient, and Senior MVP. Jason graduated in 2012 with a BBA in Marketing and a Minor in Management.

Tennis at the JCC Maccabi Games

He competed at the JCC Maccabi Games three times, 2002 Montreal, 2003 Houston, TX (Silver Medal in Doubles), and 2004 Boston, MA (Gold Medal in Doubles). In 2010 he competed in the Men’s Open Division representing Team USA at the Maccabi Australia Games and won a Bronze medal in Doubles.

This Summer at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp

Jason is extremely excited to be back at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp. He’s eager to see many returning faces and to help develop confidence on and off the court.

Staff Spotlight: Coach Colandra “Bri” Davis

Posted by April 5, 2019 • Share:

Welcome Basketball Head Coach Colandra “Bri” Davis!

Coach Colandra “Bri” Davis joins the JCC Maccabi Sports Camp family for her first summer as Head Basketball Coach!

A native of Augusta, Georgia, Coach Bri attended Hephzibah High School under the guidance of Coach Wendell Loften and finished her high school career with an impressive 72-15 record in three years. During her senior season, Coach Bri helped lead their team to a region championship, state playoff run, as well as a 26-4 record. Following the season, she was selected for the Georgia vs. South Carolina All Star Game and committed to play collegiately at East Georgia State College under the legendary Coach Bud Childers. Upon graduating with her associate’s degree, Coach Bri transferred to Point University to finish her collegiate career on both academic and athletic scholarships. As a two-sport collegiate athlete in basketball and lacrosse, Coach Bri served as a starter, captain, and ambassador for the respective universities. She also received postseason awards for her academic and athletic abilities.

 

During her senior year at Point University, Coach Bri began her coaching career at Lanett High School in Lanett, Alabama. She volunteered as a community assistant coach for the girls’ basketball team for player development and helped lead the team to the 2A Area 8 Region Championship. Shortly after graduating, Coach Bri continued her coaching career as a basketball specialist at Camp Starlight in Starlight, Pennsylvania. Upon completion of the camp, she signed a dual contract to play basketball and lacrosse, as well as obtain a master’s degree in International Relations from Nottingham Trent University while serving as an ambassador for Basketball England, where the goal was to grow participation levels of men’s and women’s basketball in the Midlands. She also led NTU’s team to its first undefeated season, while being promoted in the league.

 

Upon completion of the 2016 season, Coach Bri returned stateside for a brief stint in law enforcement before beginning her career in education where she currently serves. She has coached in various programs and camps in the Central Savannah River area to include a notable year at Thomson High School in Thomson, Georgia under the legendary Coach Michael Thomas. During her tenure, Coach Bri served as the head JV and assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach. Under the tutelage of Coach Thomas, Coach Bri led the JV boys’ team to a 9-2 record while assisting the varsity boys to a region championship, Elite 8 state playoff run, and a 21-6 season record for the first time in nearly thirty years.

 

In addition to coaching boys’ basketball, Coach Bri started and established the girls’ lacrosse program at Grovetown High School in Grovetown, Georgia. She also was hired by US Lacrosse as a Sankofa Clinician before the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Currently, Coach Bri is a Health and PE teacher at Harlem Middle School in Harlem, Georgia where she serves as the head basketball and track coaches. Her coaching philosophy is based on the foundation of establishing solid fundamentals before competing no matter the level of competition. Only then can the player’s skill set develop its own identity in their respective sport. Coach Bri’s philosophy is laced with grace, self-discipline, patience, compassion, mindfulness, selflessness, faithfulness, courage, and camaraderie. She will complete her teaching certification in May and looks forward to coaching, mentoring, and working with you all this summer!

 

Preparing Your Child for Camp

Posted by April 1, 2019 • Share:

This is the sixth in a series of emails & blog posts covering important topics about sending your child to camp. If you missed the previous emails & blog posts, you can view them here.

Parent Play-by-Play 6: Preparing Your Child for Camp

Going away from home for an extended period of time can be difficult for some children (and not just first-time campers).  It is natural for them to be a little anxious as camp grows closer.  Some will carry their concerns to camp.  To help your child with these feelings, we have compiled this guide for parents.  The pointers below will help prepare your child for the enriching experience that camp provides.

If your child is apprehensive about going to camp or showing any resistance or anxiety, the most important thing you can do is talk about it. Ignoring their feelings or hoping they will go away is not helpful. At the same time, you also don’t have to have a long drawn out conversation. Sometimes a simple recognition of their feelings and the understanding that going away can be scary is all that is needed to help your child feel supported.

If your child exhibits concerns about going to camp, encourage an open expression of feelings. They are worried about the unknown and are looking for your understanding.  It is helpful to tell your child that these concerns are normal and that many other campers feel the same way.  Permit your child to call the camp office to ask questions and receive reassurance.  Let them know that the camp director is always available to help, before and during camp.

Please do not be ambivalent about your child’s stay at camp. Your child needs to understand that they will be coming to camp for 2 weeks (or however long they’ve committed).  It is important that a camper understands this commitment and is not encouraged to think he or she may leave before the session ends.  A “try it out” approach does not work.  Although it may temporarily calm the child at home it creates challenges at camp.  Remember, fees are not refundable for early departure.

Remind your camper that summer camp is about having fun, meeting new people, trying new things and taking on challenges. This approach may not work for all children, but as these are important values of our camp, if the moment feels right, it’s a good time to explore these aspects of being away from home.  Our camp is designed to help campers, new and returning, to meet new people and make new friends. Make sure your child knows this as they prepare for their summer camp adventure.

Reassure your child that everything at home will be the same as when they left. This means that pets will be cared for, possessions will be protected from siblings, and that their room will stay as it was left. If for any reason this cannot be promised, inform the camp office of the circumstances – we can be most helpful when we are informed.

Please notify the camp office of any upsetting event that may have occurred prior to camp or you anticipate happening during the summer. In this category would be an illness or death in the family, poor school grades, divorce, or moving to a new house or city.

When seeing your child off at the airport or dropping your child off at camp, make your parting brief and pleasant.  Prolonged or tearful good-byes can be emotionally upsetting to your child.

Lastly, please discuss with the Camp Director if your child has been under any psychological or psychiatric care at any time prior to camp.  JCC Maccabi Sports Camp is well prepared to deal with most children and the common problems of growing up.  Our knowledge of the facts will give your child the best chance of success. On the flip side, being left in the dark regarding a serious situation leaves us unable to properly care for your child.

As you can see, open conversation and support are best and key to your child’s success. By spending some time properly discussing your camper’s feelings, you can do wonders to set them up for an amazing overnight camp experience away from home.

As always, please feel free to call camp to discuss further. We are happy to be part of any conversation that will offer more support for your child.

Upcoming Topics

  • Summer Communication  – photos, Facebook, blogs and more

Previous Topics

To view all of the topics in this series, click here.