Isabelle Sivin, a sophomore at John F. Kennedy High School, will travel to Israel next summer as a member of the United States U16 women’s football team to compete in the Maccabi 2022 Games. The multinational sporting event, hosted by all the Four Years in Israel, celebrates Jewish unity, culture and heritage through sporting competitions.
The games will start in early July and run for three weeks. The United States is one of 80 countries sending more than 10,000 athletes to compete in 39 sports. Sivin was one of 24 girls from across the country chosen to play for the Girls Under-16 National Team.
There are trials for the Maccabi Games, explained Sivin, 15, of Merrick. “I was at camp so I missed the first try,” she said. “They had makeup on, so I went over to that instead. It was during the summer – in August, on Randall’s Island.
While many details on training and meeting his teammates are yet to be determined, Sivin said there will be virtual meetings before games. “They said there were Zoom calls to see who you’re going to be with,” she explained. “They emailed everyone who did and then you had a choice to do or not.”
Sivin has been playing football since the age of 4 and has been on Kennedy’s varsity team since last year. His trainer, Christine DeFilippo, a special education teacher at Kennedy and a former college player at Eastern Connecticut State University, told the Herald that Sivin is a two-year-old rookie, a calm and composed competitor who is usually an outside midfielder. .
“She’s a southpaw,” DeFelippo said. “Depending on the team, she can cut the ball and use her strength to pass the ball back or distribute the ball.
“He’s a very humble person, not very strong at showing off,” added DeFilippo. “She’s deceptively aggressive – very strong. She helps us on both sides of the field, offensively and defensively.
Sivin said playing for Kennedy has been great so far. “I really like the team, being part of a team with my friends from school,” she said. “It’s different from the club team. I like to go to workout everyday, even if it’s everyday.
Last season, which was drastically shortened by the pandemic, team members were unable to bond and build relationships off the pitch, she said. But this year has been different. “We can do things outside of football, like going out to dinner,” Sivin said. “… It’s more fun and we all get along better because we see each other outside of school.” “
“Our chemistry this year has been wonderful,” said DeFilippo. “This group of girls integrated straight away. All the extra activities to bond as a team – the post-game dinners, even just being able to sit next to people on the bus – that wasn’t possible last year.
Outside of school, Sivin also plays for East Meadow-Farmingdale Soccer Club, which were at one time two separate teams but recently joined forces in the interests of player development. His team participates in the Regional Elite Club League, a highly competitive league that hosts regular season games in the Northeast and tournaments as far away as Virginia and Florida. There are two practices per week and matches every weekend.
Sivin recalled that when she was young her parents enrolled her in football, and she has held onto it ever since. She said she also plans to play lacrosse for Kennedy in the spring.
In the future, she said, she is not sure whether to continue playing football. “I considered playing in college, but I still have a lot to think about,” she said. “It depends on what schools I go to and what I want to be when I get older. I have reasons why I want to be a few things, but nothing really specific [yet]. “
Team Kennedy had a regular season record of 2 wins, 7 losses and 4 draws, and DeFilippo said the players are looking forward to the playoffs. She added that she was thrilled to see her perform as an upper class student.
“We had a conversation with her at the start of the season [about] how this year was going to be his year to shine, ”said DeFilippo. “She has two goals on the board – and seeing the opportunity she’s going to have [at the Maccabi Games], we can’t wait to see what it brings next year.