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Bill Jaffe Coaches Team USA

Local resident recalls winning silver medal in Israel

Representing Team USA is a tremendous honor, even for athletes and coaches who have had illustrious careers in their respective sports. For Bill Jaffe, it was extra special, coming full circle.

 

A former standout hockey player at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, Jaffe had the honor of coaching the USA men’s ice hockey team to a silver medal in the Maccabiah tournament in Israel last month. It was the first time that ice hockey was a part of the tournament since 1997, when Jaffe was team captain.  

 

“It was a wonderful experience being with that group of players,” said the 44-year-old Williston Park resident. “The players were fantastic people and did everything they were asked. It was a real treat.”

 

The Maccabiah is an international sporting event for Jewish athletes held in Israel every four years. The athletes are generally aged between 19 and 25. The event involves nearly every sport and has featured notable athletes such as Mark

Spitz, who won seven Olympic gold medals as a swimmer.

 

Overall, Team USA finished second out of 19 participating countries with 191 medals during the tournament. Only Israel finished ahead of them, with 411.

 

Hockey is not a very popular sport in Israel, which posed a bit of a challenge. There is only one full size rink in the entire country. Jaffe called it a “unique experience,” coming back 16 years later.

 

“Going as a coach, I viewed it from a different perspective,” he said. “I understand things a little different now.”

 

Since his time as a player, Jaffe has been around the NHL for 15 years as a color commentator and analyst on various networks. He began with the Chicago Blackhawks’ radio network and moved on to the Atlanta Thrashers before making a name for himself as the New York Islanders commentator alongside veteran game-caller Howie Rose. He is now an analyst on the NHL Network. 

 

Still, Jaffe’s greatest thrill is being involved with the development of the next breed of great hockey players. “Playing in Israel gave these players great experience that will benefit them.”

News

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District is planning improvements to a district that has already seen much success in recent years. The school year has only just begun and the Board of Ed is already setting its sights on the future. 

 

At the Sept. 8 board of education meeting, Superintendent Robert Katulak’s monthly report outlined the major goals set for the district last month. While approved in August, the three goals were made available to the public this month and each target different areas for improvement throughout the district. 

 

The first goal deals with English Language Learners (ELL) within the student population. ELL students are those that speak a language other than English at home and score below proficient on assessments. 

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.


Sports

Sewanhaka boys soccer coach Peter Burgess wasn’t sure how long his team’s playoff drought was when it was broken last season. 

 

“Somebody said it was 13 years,” said Burgess, whose entering his fourth year coaching varsity. “But I think it was five or six, I don’t know maybe longer.”

 

But one thing’s for certain, he wants to keep last year’s momentum going. 

 

The Indians, who started their season with a 3-0 loss at Hewlett, will aim for their second straight trip to the playoffs this year. 

The Sewanhaka Indians made their Nassau Conference II debut with a bang.  The Indians opened their season at home against the Calhoun Colts, unsure what to expect, as all they had ever seen of the Colts was one tape of a scrimmage. 

 

“It was nerve raking leading up to the game,” said Head Coach George Kasimatis. “We weren’t sure what to expect on offense or defense, you have to guess early on. “

 

But it didn’t take the Indians long to introduce themselves to the conference, as junior, Quarterback, Elijah Tracey broke a 75-yard run taking it the distance to put the Indians up early, which ended in a 27-7 rout of the Colts. 


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

Herricks Meeting - September 18

Bike Safety Day - September 21


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