Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Teaneck Doghouse would like to recognize 18-year-old Michal Shechter as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The recent graduate of the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School had a terrific season for the league champion Kushner Cobra soccer team, culminated by scoring nine goals in the postseason.

Michal, mazel tov on the championship and your high school graduation. Who do you look to as role models?

My role model is my entire family. They inspire me to be the best version of myself that I can be. I am who I am because of them and I could not be more grateful to call them my own.

I hear you play multiple sports; which is your favorite sport?

My favorite sport would have to be a tie between soccer and gymnastics. There is no better feeling than running down the court with a soccer ball by your feet and kicking it into the goal. I have always loved gymnastics and the combination of power and grace that the sport allows me to feel.

What is your greatest athletic accomplishment?

My greatest sports accomplishment was winning the varsity soccer championship this year with my team. Our team has been through so much, including losing in the championships last year. Coming back to the same place, against the same school, but winning the game, will be a moment that I will cherish forever.

Who is your favorite professional athlete?

Truthfully I don’t have a favorite athlete so my brother and I thought Brian Scalabrine would be good shtick.

What is your pregame routine?

My pregame routine begins with a team dynamic warm up. Then, we gather in a huddle and have our shoutout circle to boost everyone’s confidence before the game. Finally, we have a minute of focused breathing to calm our nerves.

What is your earliest sports memory?

Going to my older brother’s little league baseball games. I remember doing cartwheels next to the stands with the other little sisters and thinking about how I wanted to be like my brother and start playing sports.

What is the strangest thing to happen to you while playing sports?

My weirdest sports memory happened when I was playing Rover Soccer in kindergarten. Someone kicked the ball right at my head and I just kept on walking. My mom actually told me this story. I don’t remember it so well. Maybe I got hit harder than I thought.

What is your favorite sports memory?

My favorite sports memory happened at my little league softball game. I was pitching and the batter hit the ball with full force directly at me. Without thinking, I raised my mitt to protect my face and the next thing I knew, I was holding the ball in my glove. My 10 year old self was beaming with pride for having caught the ball. I will never forget that moment.

What is the best thing about being a sportstar?

The best thing about being a sportstar is being able to publicly thank my teammates, coaches and family for always pushing me to be the best player and person that I can be.

The Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week will receive a $15 gift certificate to Teaneck Doghouse. Please send nominees for an upcoming Jewish Link of New Jersey and Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week to [email protected]

By JLNJ Sports Desk