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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Varsity Senior Ballers Have Last Hurrah

Zach Shammash

As Tenafly’s winter season is closely approaching, the varsity boys basketball captains are excited to play for their fourth and final year. Seniors Reilly Benowitz, Zach Shammash and Yuval Guttman, after watching Tenafly’s past captains, are finally able to emulate the spirit of past years to lead their team to success. This upcoming season is filled with anticipation and excitement for the seniors. As they lace up their shoes for their final few games, there’s a sense of nostalgia and a determination to leave a lasting legacy.

The boys didn’t just become captains overnight. They started playing the sport as freshmen. Now that they finally have a higher role on the team, they are not giving opportunities to fall behind and they have been focused on this season even in the summer.

Captain Shammash

“A lot of people don’t realize that, basketball and coaching, it’s 12 months,” said coach Jeffrey Koehler. “It’s not a couple of months of the year, so you have to give up your summers and your spring. So… those guys really made sure that they were at least ready and felt like a family.”

The captains want to push their teammates to higher levels this year. They plan to leave this year’s team to a higher standard of work ethic and diligence. Shammash is keen on this mentality. “You shouldn’t be leaving anything on the table,” he said. “When you get into games, you shouldn’t be tired even if you’re playing the whole game.” 

They want to leave their freshmen with the same intentions their past captains have left them. “I believe in and leading by action,” said Guttman. “So I feel like if I go to every practice every game, play hard, do the right things, hopefully they’ll see me doing that and we’ll do the same as we get older.”

Captain Guttman

As for the inner workings of the team, Shammash is certain that the success of the team is due to the behind-the-scenes bonds, and more importantly, the bond of the seniors despite not knowing his teammates outside of the sport. “The stronger the seniors are, the better team environment,” he said. “Looking back, I know I’ve never been super close to Reilly, Yuval and the other seniors outside of basketball, and that’s something I kind of wish I sort of developed over high school, but it is what it is now and we’ll make the most of it.”

The boys have changed as both players and people since they started playing. “I came in as a freshman only thinking about myself and wanting the best for me, not thinking about the program as a whole,” said Guttman. “I feel like, throughout the years, I was able to kind of put myself with the program and play for others and not myself and do whatever is best for my teammates in the school.” The seniors have learned a lot from their past leaders and bring that spirit to their teammates, “My sophomore year, I had a very good captain, John Celli. He really showed me the way of, you know, how to be a role model and how to lead by example,” said Benowitz. “And when times got tough, he really brought us together.”

Captain Benowitz

The biggest obstacle the boys have to overcome this year is losing captain Reilly Benowitz on the court, but luckily they will have him by their side off of it. “So obviously, we lost one of our best players, my fellow captain, and I feel like it was a massive, massive wall that our team had to fight through, and we’re still fighting through it. But with everyone’s help together, where we’re kind of regrouping together, and we’re pushing through it, and hopefully we’ll bounce back just as strongly as we were before,” said Guttman.

Now that the boys have spilled out their feelings, it’s time for them to get on the court and show their tiger pride. “I think that if we work hard, and we buy into the team concept, we can be successful,” said coach Koehler. 

Let’s give it a last Hurrah, go Tigers!


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About the Contributors
Joie Evar
Joie Evar, Senior Staff Writer
Joie Evar ('24), a Senior Staff Writer, loves to write and is passionate about informing people with news on The Echo. She likes to cover humor, pop culture, and all things that are relatable to the student life at THS. She never hesitates to write about her true opinion and to tackle the questions students have.
Amanda Forman
Amanda Forman, Staff Writer
Amanda Forman ('27) is excited to write many stories about current events and entertainment. She enjoys playing lacrosse and tennis, and hanging out with friends.