Winter sports recap

Yuval Klein attempts a free throw versus Berman on Jan. 29. Her squad was undefeated in official PVAC regular season games, but fell to Berman in the championship game.

Matthew Steindecker, Lions Tale

Yuval Klein attempts a free throw versus Berman on Jan. 29. Her squad was undefeated in official PVAC regular season games, but fell to Berman in the championship game.

Kaylah Goldrich, Sports Editor

The winter sports season came to an eventful end this past week. Five teams made it into the playoffs, four teams reached their respective championships and two teams brought home a Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) championship banner. 

The JV boys basketball team lost to Spencerville Adventist Academy in the quarterfinals. The girls swim team won their first-ever PVAC title, while the boys finished in second place. Additionally, the middle school girls basketball team won the PVAC Championship against the Washington Christian Academy. 

Then, the girls varsity basketball team finished first in their division but fell to Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in the championship game. The boys varsity basketball team competed in the PVAC Championship game as well but lost to the Sandy Spring Friends School. 

These teams finished strong despite the looming fear that the season would end early due to the Omicron variant surge.

“We were all kind of anxiously holding our breath the whole time,” Athletic Director and girls varsity basketball coach Becky Silberman said. “Waiting to hear about having to cancel for COVID or reschedule, [it] was definitely stressful.”

Despite the uncertainty, JDS teams performed extremely well, which Silberman attested to teams’ continued training last year. 

“Our kids kind of stuck through it even given the pandemic,” Silberman said. “They committed themselves to working in the offseason, [the teams’ great performances] shows how important that was.”

Girls middle school basketball coach Brett Kugler was concerned about the work players put in during the offseason outside of school and therefore did not know what to expect going into the season. However, according to Kugler, the middle school girls entered the season with a team-first mindset. 

“Every single game they continued to get better and better,” Kugler said. “[They] never complained, worked hard, and we were able to have an undefeated season in conference and win a championship.”

The boys varsity basketball team had a similar experience. Junior Jonah Gross commended the team’s resilience during the season. 

“We got off to a bad start, but we really came together throughout the season,” Gross said. “[We] worked hard in practices and even though we did not end up winning the championship, I thought that we had a successful season and grew a lot as a team together and formed bonds that will definitely last through the rest of our lives.”

The varsity swim team’s PVAC championship victory was especially exciting because it was the first time the varsity swim team won a PVAC championship. In order to qualify for a championship, a team must have at least five members, which they had for the first time this season. 

“It was really rewarding after a long season with minimal practices due to the weather to win the first-ever swim banner for JDS,” sophomore Reut Skromne said. “It really unified us more as a team and got us even more excited for next season.”

Junior Talia Sporkin had a similar attitude about the basketball season, as she appreciated meeting and bonding with her coaches, new teammates and teammates whom she had played with before. 

“I really think that the team bonded and it became a family,” Sporkin said. “I think for a lot of people it was the highlight of our days to go to basketball practice after school and to be able to play in games again.”