Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
70° Rockville, MD
The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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In the club

Many students spend much of their time outside of class playing sports and are sad when the season ends. However, students
like freshman Dylan Shank, a member of the CESJDS boys varsity basketball team, don’t have to deal with the sadness of saying
goodbye to their favorite sport until next year, as they choose to participate in year round club teams outside of school.

According to Director of Athletics Becky Silberman around a quarter of students at JDS play club sports. They play on many teams either for fun or to keep their skills intact. It can also give them a chance to be seen by college scouts. Many club leagues
schedule their games at a separate time of year than schools do, allowing students to compete on both teams. For example, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball, the league that Shank plays in, plays from spring to fall while the JDS basketball season is played during winter. However, some out of school leagues happen at the same time as JDS sports seasons, such as soccer.

The club soccer season and the varsity soccer season happen at the same time, making it very difficult for players to play on both teams, Silberman said. This is the case for junior Dino Becker, who is not able to play for JDS since he plays club soccer at the same time. Silberman said that his coach won’t allow him because there is increased risk of injury when playing on non-club teams.

Students facing the decision of opting to join a club team often choose to compete at the club level
because they have a better chance to be scouted than they would playing JDS sports. These leagues often have college scouts who are at the games for athletes who are considering playing in college. Many students play club sports because their sport isn’t offered at JDS. This is what sophomore Ellie Strisik did when she first started volleyball and what many students, including junior
Eliav Binstock, do for hockey.

“I was watching hockey with either my grandfather or my uncle one time and my uncle was really good at hockey and I thought it was really cool sport,” Binstock said. “So I got into it, and I started signing up for stuff and playing.”

Some athletes join club teams because it provides them with more equal competition. On a JDS varsity sports team, the range of abilities can be wide, but athletes can find a club team that more closely fits their skill level. Other athletes may join a club sport before having the option to play that sport at JDS. This was the case for Strisik, who plays on the JDS varsity volleyball team as well as in an out-of-school league for the Maryland Exclusive Volleyball Club.

“I started doing the volleyball … club before I did it for school because in my middle school, there was no school volleyball team,”
Strisik said. “So I think that what leads to school sports is just a passion for the sport.”

Strisik plays most of the time on her club team. She, like other students who spend more time on club sports, mostly plays at school for fun. Shank, however, treats the JDS team as his main team and uses AAU as practice. According to Shank, one downside of club teams is that kids can’t always form strong bonds with other players like on their JDS teams. This is due to fewer club practices, making it harder to be as close as they are with their school teammates, who they see daily. Shank said that the community on the JDS basketball team is something that does not compare to his club team.

“[JDS’s basketball team has] such a good atmosphere and everybody on the team gets so close,” Shank said.

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