Boys middle school baseball takes home PVAC crown


Aaron Waldman, LT

Prior to the game, the players called head coach Matthew Jacobson, who had to miss the championship game due to illness, for some motivation. Despite their coach’s absence, the middle school baseball team defeated their rival, the Berman Cougars, in the PVAC championship.

The boys middle school baseball team is back to their winning ways after they defeated the Berman Cougars in the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) championship this past Tuesday. This is their fourth straight season hanging up a banner.

Throughout the season, head coach and social studies teacher Matthew Jacobson was vital to the team’s success. With the main story going into the game being Jacobson out sick, the Lions faced a bigger challenge than initially anticipated. The assistant coach, Jacob Winkelman, a middle school English teacher, rose to the occasion and delivered. 

“It’s really a next play mentality,” Winkelman said. “Everyone did their part. We got incredible pitching from Ian [Liss] all day, and we got on base.”

As players warmed up and fans began to pour in prior to the game, anticipation and energy filled the atmosphere. With two arch-rivals going up against each other, it was bound to be a great match up.

“Both teams [were]cheering really well. I think there has been a great turnout and everybody is playing their hearts out. It’s great to see, on the field and off the field,” High School Learning Specialist Brett Kugler said. “…At the end of the day, It’s a win for Klal Yisrael. Having two Jewish teams in the championship​ playing hard, working hard, and competing is something I am thrilled to be able to be a part of.” 

Eighth grader Ian Liss started on the mound for the Lions. He threw a complete game and gave up only three runs. 

“I was really excited when I heard I [would be the starting pitcher],” Liss said. “I had hoped that I would be [starting pitcher], and I knew that I would perform and come through.”

Sparked by the bottom of the lineup, the Lions started to run away with the game in the bottom of the fourth. They extended their lead 5-1 with Ollie Berger, Aviv Stein and Noah Sacks helping drive in four runs for the Lions. 

The Lions only gave up two runs during the rest of the game, and won 5-3. Liss sealed the last out with a strikeout that made the team and the fans go crazy. 

“[The team] means everything to me. I really want to win all the time, and do it for the school, doing it for my friends [and] doing it for myself… feels really good,” Liss said.