The MTA Torah Bowl team has a rich legacy of championship victories. In both 2011 and 2012, the team took the title, and after losing by a hair in 2013, the MTA Lions were eager to reclaim their place at the top of the pack.
The season began with a match at Ramaz, where MTA pitted itself against its divisional opponents. After losing its opening game against TABC, MTA went on to defeat SAR, Ramaz, and Magen David, ending the day with a record of 3-1. During the second match of the year, the Lions recovered and swept all four of their games, putting their record at 7-1 and leaving them in a tie for first place with the TABC Storm. In the third match, despite a home court advantage, the Lions faltered and lost both to SAR and TABC, thereby placing them at second seed going into the playoffs. Because of their seeding, the Lions had a bye in the first two rounds and watched as SAR dominated its first game. The team then played and defeated SAR in the final round of playoffs. To secure the title of divisional champions, the MTA Lions had to go against the TABC Storm in a series of three games of which they had to win two. Lead by senior Yitzi Lindenbaum, the Lions vanquished the Storm in the first and last game of the set and gained the title of division champions.
The Torah Bowl championship was a great challenge. This final game was to encompass all of Sefer Devarim with Rashi, and in the weeks leading up to the event, no member of the MTA team was seem far from a Chumash as they furiously began their review of the entire Sefer. Although the team members are normally engaged in rigorous Tanakh study, they nonetheless redoubled their efforts to ensure a victory for the Lions.
On Monday May 19th, the Torah bowl team went to Brooklyn to play against Frisch, DRS, and North Shore—each one a division champ. MTA came out strong in the first quarter, but during the second, both North Shore and Frisch made strong comebacks. By the end of the first half, they had narrowed MTA’s lead to a mere two points. During halftime, the MTA team decided that it was ready to show the other teams just whom they were playing against; a team that had won the championships two out of the past three years, a team that was composed of elementary school Torah Bowl Olympians, a team that was ready to win. And win they did.
Led by Captain Aryeh Klein (’14), Captain Yitzi Lindenbaum (’14), and freshman sensation Yair Caplan (’17), MTA ended up winning by a score of 61-48 (Frisch),61-46 (North Shore), and 61-27 (DRS). The retiring seniors of the team—Yitzi Lindenbaum, Aryeh Klein, and Gabi Rosenthal—are excited to continue their Tanakh study in Israel next year.
Congratulations to the team and to its coach Rabbi Pearl, the boys are thrilled by their 2014 win and can’t wait for 2015!