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.