April 17, 2024
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Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week: Aharon Braun

The Jewish Link of New Jersey and Teaneck Doghouse would like to recognize 17-year-old Aharon Braun as this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School senior was awarded the Aryeh Zinkin (z’’l) Yeshiva Wrestler’s Scholarship last month at the Wittenberg Tournament. RKYHS’s Coach David Cilio told the JLNJ that Braun is an example of what “Wrestling can do to help transform a boy to a man.”

When Cilio first met Braun during his freshman year, he was “by no means an athlete; out of shape, overweight and shy.” With coaching and a newfound love of the sport, Braun morphed from “a kid who played no sports, to a Yeshiva Wrestling national champion. A shy boy to a captain, leader, role model and man.”

After a getting his feet wet freshman year, Aharon started to make a name for himself as a sophomore, placing second at the North Bergen Tournament and first at the West Orange King of the Hill Tournament.

Junior year Aharon further developed into one of the top examples of what a young man should be on a wrestling team. He would plant the seeds for becoming a deserving captain his senior year, receiving votes from every teammate. Braun achieved an overall junior year record of 24-7 (17 pins). His tournament accomplishments consisted of: Third Place- Brick Memorial Zoo Tournament (record 2-1), two pins; First Place- Morris Hills Tournament (record 3-0) three pins, First Place- North Bergen Tournament (record 3-0) two pins, First Place- Bruins Classic Tournament (record 3-0) two pins, Third Place- West Orange King of the Mountain Tournament (record 3-1) two pins and First Place- Wittenberg Yeshiva Nationals (record 3-0) two pins.

It was at Wittenberg that Braun earned the title of 182 pound Yeshiva National Champion, in a back and forth, come from behind victory, defeating his senior opponent by one point with three seconds left in the match. His never quit attitude and willingness to embrace any challenge played out in this real life David and Goliath match. When standing on the top of the medal podium in first place, his second place opponent was taller than he was, even though he stood on the step below him.

As a senior, Braun has led a team with five brand new starters and numerous second season wrestlers, toward another successful Yeshiva Nationals. According to Cilio “He always sets the example; work ethic, doing extra, making sure the team prays, the first to arrive for practice and the last to leave. He works to keep them focused on all aspects of being a quality yeshiva wrestler and man. He always gets ready for his matches the same way, singing/humming songs in Hebrew, before he takes the mat to go into battle; a real life David, who faces one Goliath after another. Each time his opposition thinks the outcome will easily be theirs, due to his size, they come to find out that amazing things come in a small 5’5” package. What they come to find is that his heart is unstoppable and his mind focused. He represents Jewish wrestling with pride and a virtually unstoppable intensity.”

Braun’s senior year accomplishments consist of: First Place- Brick Memorial Zoo Tournament (3-0), Second Place- Randolph Superbowl Tournament (record 2-1) and a second place finish at Wittenberg.

Aharon, congrats on another amazing year, if you had to select one, who is your role model and why?

My role model is my wrestling coach Dave Cilio. Coach Cilio is my role model because he cares so much about each and every wrestler. Coach Cilio goes above and beyond to help his wrestlers achieve greatness.

What is your favorite sport?

My favorite sport is ice hockey.

What is your greatest sports accomplishment?

Taking first place at Wittenberg Yeshiva Nationals after I was down by one point and ended up scoring the points I needed to win at the last second few seconds of the match.

Who is your favorite athlete and why?

James Harrison, he is part of a minority of humble athletes.

What is your pregame routine, if you have one?

Listening to chassidish music.

What is your earliest sport memory?

Winning dodgeball games in camp.

What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you on the wrestling mat?

Once, I was accidentally bitten by another wrestler during a match.

What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?

It’s a great conversation starter.

The Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week will receive a $15 gift certificate to Teaneck Doghouse. Please send nominees for an upcoming Jewish Link of New Jersey and Teaneck Doghouse Sportstar of the Week to [email protected]. We are once again searching for Mothers Day sportstars, if your mother/daughter/sister or spouse is a sportstar please reach out to us at [email protected] so we can recognize her

By JLNJ Sports Desk

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