web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



The Breakfast Of Champions (Part II)

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch

Brief synopsis: Monona Grove High School in Wisconsin was a most unlikely candidate to make it to the 1998 high school basketball championships, referred to as “State.” Especially so since the coach is a very young rookie named Dan Zweifel, who replaced the veteran Coach Verhelst. Andy Witte, the team’s star player, will do anything to please Coach V.

By the time Andy entered seventh grade he became the high school varsity’s official scorekeeper. Volunteering for the team kept him under the wing of Coach Verhelst, whose influence was profound. His word was as sacred as the Bible – on and off the floor.

And this was not unique to just Andy, although nowhere was the relationship as pronounced. The kids worshipped their coach and he capitalized upon their affection to build athletes and fine human beings. It was conducive for the coach to be operating in hard-working, rural Middle America, where values and character resonate.

To Coach Verhelst, trash talking was as sinful as a stray pass – and in greater need of corrective training. His players were reared on the milk of sportsmanship, and he instilled these values through theory and example. The work he was doing was somewhat against the stream current in America in the 1990s. It was a time of endless distractions for youth all but addicted to television, video games, Nintendo, PlayStation, Pokemon, cell phones, the web, and drugs. To combat all of these diversions a larger-than-life attraction was indicated. This is what the coach provided, enabling kids to believe in themselves and in their ability to succeed.

Andy Witte entered Monona Grove High School in order to play varsity basketball under Coach Verhelst; coincidentally there is also a Wisconsin compulsory education law. Andy made the junior varsity team in his freshman year, which placed him where he always wanted to be – directly under Verhelst’s tutelage.

In Andy’s sophomore year he advanced to the starting line-up of the high school varsity team. Coach Verhelst tweaked Andy (as he did every player), never being satiated with “potential.” At the end of the school year there was a banquet held for Coach Verhelst, and when the evening was almost over, a determined 10th-grader approached the man he respected most on earth and asked reverentially, “Coach, how can I have just as good a season next year, as I did this?”

Verhelst looked at Andy with the solicitude of a physician confronted with a patient who was oblivious to his own terminal condition. After an awkward silence he instructed Witte to come to his office the next morning at 7:30.

At 7:25 in the morning, hair damp and spikey from a recent shower, Andy stood outside the coach’s office, all anticipation and eagerness. The high schooler timidly knocked on the door. “The coach always preaches seriousness,” Andy thought to himself, “and I guess I have displayed enough of it to earn this special meeting.” No other thought occurred to him as Coach V invited Andy in and sat him down.

“I am stepping down from varsity,” Verhelst said gravely, “and no one else knows this other than my family, and now you.” Immediately Andy’s eyes began to swim, and in short order he shed enough tears to keep a small aquarium of saltwater fish alive. Just as his career as a varsity player had embarked, the man that had brought him there was departing.

The coach attempted to console him, but a lump wedged itself in his throat. He wanted Andy to know that he had a great future ahead of himself as long as he maintained his discipline. But he couldn’t get the words out.

He therefore clutched his star player in a bear hug to convey that everything would be all right. But that sure wasn’t Andy’s take; his world had collapsed.

Twenty-five-year-old Dan Zweifel, the youngest head coach ever appointed in Wisconsin history, was appointed to build it back up. It was a daunting challenge for such a young rookie to fill such large and venerated shoes. He gave it his best shot, but things did not work out on the court.

Coach Z managed to get his squad fired up prior to the game, but in real-time the team couldn’t deliver. No matter how they moved the ball they always seemed to end up in a defensive vise and could not make themselves at home on the glass.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Breakfast Of Champions (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF soldiers examine fragments from a rocket that landed near Kibbutz El Rom, fired from Syria on July 14, 2014.
IDF Soldier Wounded by Syrian Mortar Fire on Golan Heights
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspectives-logo

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

PTI-082214

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

Weiss-082214-Beloved

Hashem recalls everything – nothing is hidden from His eyes.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

According to Rabbi Yishmael one was not permitted to eat such an animal prior to entering Eretz Yisrael, while according to Rabbi Akiva one was permitted to eat animals if he would perform nechirah.

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

If a man sins and follows his inclinations, he will find comfort in this world – but when he dies, he will go to a place that is all thorns.

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

The first prayer of Moshe was Vayechal, where Moshe’s petition was that no matter how bad bnei Yisrael were, the Egyptians were worse.

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

If we regard pain and suffering as mere coincidence, we will feel no motivation to examine our lives

Culture is not nature. There are causes in nature, but only in culture are there meanings.

Rabbinic law is pivotal but it’s important to understand which laws are rabbinic and which biblical.

We give slave gifts? If he wants to stay, we pierce his ear?!

A bit of (non-Jewish) history can help us understand this week’s Torah portion: In the early 1500s, the Catholic church was being fundamentally challenged by movements which claimed it had monopolized religious power and used to enrich the church and its officials. The most radical of these movements were a particular sect of Anabaptists. Anabaptists […]

More Articles from Rabbi Hanoch Teller
Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

Nothing is more effective to diminish envy than gratitude.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

The enormity of Hiram’s accomplishments crazed him and deluded him into self-deification.

Thinking about how much we can do in comparison to what we have done serves as a corrective against pride and arrogance.

Separating fun from happiness can liberate, regarding (a) time, (b) money and (c) jealousy.

People expectantly go through their lives awaiting the event that will make them happy.

If you expect more, you will be less grateful; if you expect less, you will be more grateful.

So goes the story about a man in the silly town of Chelm who visited a public bathhouse and found himself in a terrible predicament. Without the distinction of clothing, everyone looked alike. “Among all these men who look alike,” he said to himself, “how will I ever know which one is me?” He solved his dilemma by tying a red string around his big toe.

In the campaign to rob a consumer of any sense of contentedness, which translates into sales, strategy is often focused on confusing need with want and the illusion of being dissatisfied.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/chodesh-tov/the-breakfast-of-champions-part-ii/2013/07/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: