July 13, 2024
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July 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Jewish Link and Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week: Jonathan Kirsch

The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger would like to recognize 16-year-old Jonathan Kirsch as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. Kirsch, a rising senior at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, is coming off of a terrific season for the Kushner Cobras. Batting.450 with seven RBIs and 11 stolen bases, he also played stellar outfield defense throughout the season. Even more impressive was Kirsch’s production in the postseason, when the game was on the line and his team truly needed him, picking up the game winning hits versus MTA in the semifinals and Frisch in the championship game.

Kirsch is a fan favorite and his coaches couldn’t stop raving about his performance. After the big game, Assistant Coach David Ptalis told The Jewish Link, “Jon is the quintessential player that any coach would want. He optimizes ‘team first’ and is willing to do anything to help our team win. Jon has been one of our most improved players from last season and a lot of that is because of his work ethic. He often went to the batting cages or played in fall league games to hone his craft in the off- season. Jon’s walk off hit against MTA and winning bunt against Frisch in the championship game show that he can successfully handle the bat against the very top pitchers in the yeshiva league.”

Cobras Head Coach Larry Canales added, “Jon did a great job staying ready and plugging in wherever we needed during the year. He was someone who we could trust at second base as well as the outfield and even pitched an inning for us in the Jewish World Series in Ohio. It is not easy not knowing your role but to Jon’s credit he was always ready and he came through for us in a big way at the end of the season when we needed it most. He had a great at bat in the semifinals with a walk off two-strike hit where he had a great approach with two strikes to send us to the championship. In the championship he pinch hit in the top of the seventh with one out and a runner on third and executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to give us a 2-1 lead and eventually the 2-1 win. Jon is a selfless player who always puts the team first. He is a pleasure to coach and guys like him are what made our team chemistry such a strength.”

Jon, yasher koach on a great season. I, along with the rest of the yeshiva sports fans, am already looking forward to continued greatness from you next year as a senior.

I know you have many role models but, if you had to narrow it down, who are your go-to role models and why?

My parents because they are very supportive of me no matter what I do or what I wish to pursue. I am also their favorite child.

What is your favorite sport?

Football—football season is the best season.

What is your greatest sports accomplishment so far?

Winning the yeshiva league baseball championship with my teammates against a talented Frisch team.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and why?

Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltré because of how much fun they have together playing baseball.

What is your pregame routine, if you have one?

Listening to music on our two hour bus rides, then having a catch with my throwing partner Ezra Stroock, who often throws the ball over my head.

Looking back, what is your earliest sport memory?

Playing in the Hoop Heaven basketball league. One game, my friend Max Longman was triple teamed on the baseline and threw a behind the back, no look pass to me. I caught it, took the three pointer, made it, and was fouled for the four point play. We were around 10 years old!

What is your weirdest sports related memory?

In 10th grade, two out of four of our team captains scored on the wrong basket.

What is your all time favorite sports memory?

Celebrating after winning our championship game last Sunday.

What do you like to do when you are not playing sports?

Watch TV, hang out with friends and go to Jerusalem Pizza in Livingston.

What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?

$10 off at Gotham Burger… I’m a Jew, after all.

The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week will receive a $10 gift certificate to Gotham Burger. Please send nominees for next week’s Jewish Link of New Jersey and Gotham Burger Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].


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