Spotlight Fall Sports Captains: Tennis

Lauren Pakravan

Staff Writer         


Sanam Kohanim ‘15 and Samantha Zucker ‘15 are this year’s Varsity Tennis captains.

This is Kohanim’s 9th year playing tennis and hr second year as the varsity tennis captain. She is honored to have been chosen as captain again, and hopes to foster a positive energy for the team.

“I’m a very supportive, loving, and competitive person, and if my team is not doing well, then I’ll cheer them on,” Kohanim said.

Kohanim’s plays doubles with her teammate Leila Aframian ‘15. Although she is disappointed that it is her last year playing tennis at Milken, Kohanim feels like she has had an amazing experience.

This is Zucker’s fourth year playing varsity tennis. Being named captain has driven her to work even harder than last year and to set an example for her teammates.

“It felt great to know that my teammates recognized my hard work and my dedication to both my personal game and to each of their games as well,” Zucker said.

Zucker motivates her teammates before every practice and game. She loves playing tennis because it gives her a chance to take a break from all of her academic stresses and to take a breath of fresh air.


Spotlight Fall Sport Captains: Volleyball

Britt Jacobson

Spotlight Editor

Please welcome Avia Cohen (’15) and Amanda Solomon (’15) as this year’s Varsity Volleyball captains.

Solomon is standing in the top middle holding a silver trophy, Cohen is to her left holding a gold trophy at the Varsity Dig Pink Tournament.

Solomon is standing in the top middle holding a silver trophy, Cohen is to her left holding a gold trophy at the Varsity Dig Pink Tournament.

This is Cohen’s third year playing on varsity, but her sixth year of playing volleyball recreationally. As an outside hitter, she “loves the feeling of jumping up and hitting the ball straight down." Cohen also loves the team’s bonding rituals, especially Jigalo, as it is a way “to get her team pumped up and ready to go”. She was so happy to be named a leader of the team, and hopes to be a role model by working hard in both practices and games. She especially appreciates the community aspect of volleyball, as everyone is so close and has so much spirit.

This is Solomon’s first year playing on varsity, but her tenth year playing volleyball recreationally. As a right-side/opposite hitter, Solomon plays volleyball because it is her passion. From eating lunch together before home games, to grabbing Subway together before each away game, she describes the team as close. Solomon was extremely excited to be named co-captain and to be given the responsibility of keeping up the energy of the team on and off the court.


Milken alumni at the next level: college sports

Gabe Freeman


The misconception that Milken athletes do not play sports in college is not only discouraging to young athletes in our community, but it is also false.  The graduating class of 2012 proved that hard work and determination can propel Milken students from the Hollindar Gymnasium to the highest levels of college sports.  Lets take a look and see how they are doing in their respective sports.

Charlie Heller:

A Wildcat football star, Charlie Heller ‘12 led the first ever tackle football team last year to an unforgettable season.  His incredible arm took him all the way to Indiana University, a division one contender in the Big 10.  On October 6, Heller suited up for the first time as the Hoosiers took on Michigan State at home, a game they lost narrowly 31-27.

Heller said, “It was so surreal running through the tunnel to 50,000 screaming fans.  When I was looking over to Michigan state side, I was like, wow, this is actually happening.”

Aside from making his community proud on the field, Charlie is proud to say that he skipped practice to observe Yom Kippur this year.  He said his teammates understood; however, they were confused when they found out that Christ was not his savior.

While the experience has been invaluable, Heller recently left the team and looks to transfer to Occidental or Pitzer next season, smaller schools where he can get more playing time.

JJ Friedman:

Two consecutive 40-point performances cemented JJ Friedman’s legacy at Milken as one of the best basketball players the school has seen.  Now a member of the Occidental basketball team, Friedman acknowledges that the competition is a new ball game.

“Everyone is bigger, stronger, and faster here.  Everyone was a star at their high school, so I have to work extra hard,” Friedman said.

Friedman believes that Milken really helped him gain an edge in his academics over other athletes.  He understands that there is an abundance of good athletes competing to play in college, but being academically prepared helped him stand out.

Friedman has already begun the preseason workouts, something that will help him get in top shape for the season.  The first time he went through the team workout, he admits he finished last and may have thrown up at the end.  He has come a long way though and continues to work hard as he expects to get some playing time when his season starts on October 15th.


Ariella Barry:

Ariella Barry ’12 had a shorter summer than most of her classmates because she began training July 31st to play for the girls UC Davis soccer team.  Barry admits that the practices were difficult due to the intense heat and the rigorous two-a-day schedule, but she was not alone.  This year’s team consists of 15 incoming freshman, a high number that has made it easy for Barry to make friends on the team.

Unfortunately, Barry has had some early injuries that has kept her out of the action and made her consider red-shirting her freshman season.  This would prevent her from playing this season, but would allow her an additional four seasons of eligibility.

The team began the season 2-1 and is just a game back of first place.  For Barry, she feels that her hard work in high school paid off.

She said, “It is really cool to be an athlete.  I feel proud when everyone is looking at me and I feel like I am part of a family. “



Milken changes physical education uniforms

PE uniforms photo

Middle school students wear the new uniform during their PE class. Photo by Samantha Simon.

Justin Kroll

Staff Writer

Among many changes implemented for the 2011-2012 school year, the design of the physical education uniforms has changed. All students taking a PE class or participating on a middle school sports team are required to purchase this new uniform, and the former uniforms may no longer be worn.

The previous uniform for both Milken and Stephen S. Wise was a white shirt with the Wildcats symbol in the left corner and royal blue shorts.

“Last year’s PE uniforms were generic K-12 for Stephen Wise and Milken students,” Coach Jason Kelly, K-12 athletic director, said. “With Milken becoming independent from Stephen S. Wise in 2012-13, we wanted to re-design the PE uniforms to be specific to Milken and to highlight the Milken Athletics ‘M,’ which you can see emblazoned on our new football team’s helmets.”

The colors of the newly designed shirts integrate black as well as the traditional blue and white of Milken.

“[The new uniforms] are more fashionable than the other uniforms,” Talia Karu ’14 said. “The one complaint I have is that the shorts get very uncomfortable when running. However, they allow for better air circulation.”

The new uniform can be purchased in the gym or locker rooms. The shirts are $12, and the shorts are $30.


Fall sports 2011 preview

Gabe Freeman

Sports Editor

This fall highlights the debut of the tackle football team as well as the girls volleyball team returning from a trip to the CIF semifinals. Let's take a look at all the teams representing Milken this fall.

Tackle Football

This year, Milken introduced its first ever tackle football team with an impressive 27 players participating in the inaugural season, including 14 seniors, six juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen. Despite early losses to the San Diego Jewish Academy, Faith Baptist and Lancaster Baptist, the team has demonstrated mental toughness and shown much improvement over the first few weeks.

The team is led by captains Charlie Heller ’12, Mitchell Mayer ’13, Jonah Resnick ’13 and Jason Welsh ’13. Coach Jerry Martin is extremely proud of the commitment and effort his players have showed thus far, and he expects that the team will have an excellent rest of the season. The football team has already increased school spirit at Milken with the homecoming game and dance.

Girls Volleyball

Varsity girls volleyball, coming off a trip to the CIF semifinals last year, has big shoes to fill. Behind captains Ariella Barry ’12 and Shannon Younessi ’12, Coach Steenport said, “I think it will take us time to develop a rhythm, but I’m excited.”  Jordyn Schiff ’13 coming back from an ACL tear, has high hopes for this year: “I’m really excited for this season because we have a lot of new players, and the energy brings a fun new dynamic to the team.”  The Wildcats can return to top shape similar to that of last season as long the girls can put teams away.

Cross Country

This year, the cross country team has the potential to make CIF behind Coach Rucker. The varsity team consists of seven young men, all quick and agile runners. In the first meet of the year, Shachar Astor ’13 finished first, with Sam Packer ’12 a close second . Astor came in sixth overall and is happy with his team's overall performance: “Everyone ran very well for the first meet and I am confident that we can all improve our times and make CIF this year, our ultimate goal.” The JV boys team has a lot of potential and is adding a lot of depth to this Milken squad and setting the ground for years to come.

The girls varsity cross country team, coached by Ms. Fauber, hopes to improve this year. With no freshmen or juniors on the team, the seven girls all anticipate improving their times this season.

Water Polo

This year the boys water polo team is led by captain Elon Zlotnik ’12, who serves as a leader to the younger players on the team. Coach Timothy Hugar, in his third season, led the Wildcats to CIF last year .

This seasons team is “very athletic and has a lot of heart,” according to Sam Nourafshan ’13. “To go against teams that have been playing for a long time will be tough because most of us were on JV last year.” However, the boys are ready for an exciting and challenging year.


The varsity tennis team is coached by Gunner Fox, his second season with the girls. With nine returning players, the girls team is very familiar with one another. Captain Emily Plutsky ’12 returns for her senior year after a dominant junior year, and the team has an outside chance at making CIF, giving them inspiration to train extra hard. In a league with top ranked players at Campbell Hall and Brentwood, the competition pushesthe girls to train harder than ever before. The team won their first match against Marlborough with a strong performance from both their singles and doubles players. Sorelle Cohen ’13 could not be happier with the effort shown thus far: “With a great start to the season, hopefully we can keep it up.”

Featured image by Elda Dagan.


Do Milken sports fulfill the federal sports recommendation?

Girls soccer team

Photo courtesy of Erica Tobin.

Sophie Golub

News Editor

Recently, the Los Angeles Times conducted a study to determine whether or not American youth has been fulfilling the federal recommendation of “60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous exercise.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued this statement in 2008 due to an increase in obesity and health issues in American youth. Their research concluded that many students are not meeting the 60-minute minimum.

While some sports at Milken exceed the recommendation, others fail to come close to it.

At Milken, a four-credit physical education requirement has been in place since the school began. Sports teams meet at least four days a week and practices run from 3:30 to 5:00, allowing for only 90 minutes of exercise.

Even out of those 90 minutes, much is spent in a non-active state, such as timeouts or coach’s instructions.

As a general guideline, aerobic sports meet the requirement more easily because the body is in a continuous, active state, rather than the short bursts of speed in anaerobic exercise.

The rigor of the workout depends on whether the students are playing in a game or practice. The soccer, volleyball, and basketball teams have 20 games per season, which is the maximum number permitted at Milken.  The tennis and golf teams have 16 matches, while cross-country and football only have 6 games per season.

The LA Times cited softball and baseball as sports with less physical activity and stated that girls and teenagers are less active than boys and children are.

Ms. Gail Sroloff, head of athletics, also acknowledged that sports such as cross country, soccer, and swimming involve more exercise than sports like baseball, track, golf, or volleyball.

Unlike basketball and volleyball games, soccer games and swim practices have few breaks or timeouts resulting in longer amounts of nonstop exercise. Teams that involve substitutions, such as basketball and flag football, minimize the amount of rigorous physical activity per athlete since players do not play the full length of the game.

Water polo games are 24 minutes each and a 20-minute warm-up precedes the game.  Like soccer, though, the exercise varies due to each athlete’s playing time. Overall, water polo is considered to be more rigorous than others because of the nonstop exercise involved.

Cross-country fulfills the federal guideline the most because all team members participate at all times, and athletes’ bodies are in continuous, active states for a minimum of three miles. Many practices include five or six mile workouts, plus a warm-up and cool-down.

On an average game day, the soccer team plays for about 125 minutes, but that clearly varies with each athlete’s playing time. The teams’ practices typically consist of 80-minute workouts.

Because track is focused on short distances, it struggles to meet even half of the required 60-minute workout. The team runs less than one-minute sprints several times during a practice, adding up to only around half an hour of actual exercise once drills and warm-ups are included.

Volleyball off-season and practices require a vigorous workout, but the actual games do little to simulate a rigorous cardiovascular workout.

For many sports teams, there are not many solutions to this issue because of the format of the sport.  However, reducing the amount of time just sitting around and waiting is a crucial element that can be decreased.  Athletes who are not in the game can do some drills on the sidelines to keep their heart pumping. Coaches should minimize their pep talks.  Exercises should be more continuous, like running, rather than stop-and-start activities.


Glen Lipschitz ’12: Spotlight Athlete

Leigh Jacobson

Spotlight Editor

Glen Lipschitz ’12 has torn the soccer field to shreds, dominating the boys varsity soccer team this season.

A first year co-captain with Matt Khorsandi ’11, Lipschitz is a loud, hardworking leader on the field. He also brings a lot of experience to the table, being a three-year starter on the team as a center midfielder and center back. In the team’s current record of 3-2, Lipschitz, as the main defender, didn’t allow even one goal to be scored on Milken in any of their victories.

“Glen’s just a solid wall in the back line defense,” says teammate Josh Simmons ’12. “He’s always there to cover”.

Lipschitz attributes his passion for the sport to his family. “Soccer is in my blood,” he says. “All my older cousins played. Everyone in my family played. So I started playing and I loved it”.

And he’s loved it from an early age. Says Lipschitz: “I’ve been playing since I could walk”. Since the age of ten, he’s joined top-notch club teams and participated in the JCC Maccabi Games representing Los Angeles three times, and was even captain of the team one year. Most recently, his club team Real So Cal, garnered the first place honor in the gold division and has since moved up to premier, the highest possible division for club soccer in Southern California. Over the years, he’s made his mark at Milken, receiving the award for Varsity Defensive MVP in 7th grade, followed by the Varsity Offensive MVP in 8th grade, in addition to the Coach’s Award last year in 10th grade.

Glen Lipschitz

Lipschitz charges down the field. Photo courtesy of Glen Lipschitz.

He’s also got the brains to match; in addition to rigorous school and club seasons, Lipschitz manages three AP’s and a heavy workload.

As far as college, Lipschitz says that he’s definitely interested in playing.

For now, he continues to be an unstoppable force on the soccer field, leading the team to what will undoubtedly be a great season.