TENAFLY, NJ - March 3, 2016 – Tenafly High School Junior Alon Berkowitz has been named to compete with the Israel U-19 Men’s National Team in Vancouver (Coquitlam) British Columbia, July 7-16, 2016. The team will make its debut at the 2016 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Men’s Under-19 World Lacrosse Championship. Although the men’s team has participated in every FIL world competition since 2013, this marks the first time Israel has competed in the Men’s U-19 division.
Berkowitz joins the blue and white’s 46-man roster after traveling to Israel over winter break for team tryouts. Israel Lacrosse recruited athletes like Berkowitz with a high level of lacrosse experience. Berkowitz has played the sport since 6th grade and, in the 9th grade, earned a spot on Tri-State Lacrosse, a nationally recognized all-star program comprised of players from throughout New Jersey. Last year, in Berkowitz’s sophomore year at Tenafly High School, the school began playing its first season of JV and Varsity Lacrosse. He scored well over 50 goals during the season, more than double the next highest player; the star player was named MVP and now, as a junior, serves as captain, a position usually reserved for seniors. As Tenafly High School coach Quaranti explains, “Alon is captain of the boys’ varsity lacrosse team at Tenafly High School. He is the type of player that every coach would want in their program. He has tremendous dedication, work ethic, stick skills and lacrosse awareness. Alon is a big reason why lacrosse in Tenafly has taken off and become a popular program in town. People watch him play and want to mirror what he is doing. He is a true leader”
Berkowitz first got involved with Israel Lacrosse last summer, when he hosted Israeli prospects – who are now his teammates – in New Jersey, before traveling with to team to participate in a Florida exhibition training tour. Berkowitz represents number 18 for both his high school team and for Team Israel, an honor he does not take lightly, since 18 carries significant weight in the Israeli culture, meaning Chai, or “life,” in English.
Israel Lacrosse, now in its fifth year, continues to expand its outreach throughout Israel as well as the Jewish diaspora. There are now over 700 lacrosse players in Israel between the ages of 8-18, and Israel Lacrosse organizes an annual Winter Service Trip for Jewish-American lacrosse players to travel around Israel and teach lacrosse at schools and youth programs as part of an on-going outreach program. The players each brought 50 pounds of lacrosse equipment that was distributed to schools and players who cannot afford the equipment. Israel Lacrosse wants to increase the visibility of the sport in its home country since it is not as popular as in the U.S.
“Alon is a talented and hard-working player, but his strengths extend far beyond the field,” said Israel National Team head Seth Mahler. “Alon left a lasting impact on the Israeli youth he connected with all over the county, and worked tirelessly during training sessions, even serving as a translator for some of the America players who did not speak Hebrew. As an organization dedicated to Israeli youth, we admire his commitment to growing the sport of lacrosse in Israel.”
If interested in sponsoring Israel U-19 Men’s National team for the 2016 World Championship Games, or learning more information, please visit: www.israellacrosse.com