By JLNJ Sports Desk
The Jewish Link of New Jersey and The RAIN on Water Event Space would like to recognize 10-year-old Avraham Rusanovas this week’s Sportstar of the Week. The fifth grader at the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey was the starting left midfielder for the undefeated premier EDP league Torpedo team that recently captured the New Jersey Commissioner’s Cup. Rusanov started on his Fair Lawn rec team in 2017 and was instrumental in their undefeated 10:0 fall season. In the fall of 2018 he was part of Red Bulls and was chosen to try out in their showcase tournament, but it was scheduled for the first day of Sukkot and he had to miss it. In the spring of 2018, he showed his versatility playing goalkeeper for the Fair Lawn Travel Team that went undefeated and won the flight. Finally this fall he played for Torpedoes, making their roster after very competitive tryouts and scored two goals in his debut at the Labor Tournament in Piscataway. He ended up playing only half of the games (because of Shabbat and Yom Tov conflicts), scoring four goals over the course of eight games and was instrumental in the team’s overall success as he earned his spot on a starting lineup. By the end of the season, he played the entire game without being subbed.
Avraham, congratulations on another great season and the Commissioner’s Cup. What is the greatest challenge you have faced as a budding athlete?
The greatest challenge is being the only observant Jew on the team and missing games and practice as well as opportunities to compete in prestigious tournaments. Not being able to participate in celebrations that take place in non-kosher places.
What is your favorite sport?
Soccer, because I like trying new tricks with a ball at my feet. Last year I played on three teams. It was very challenging to have three games a day.
What is your greatest sports accomplishment?
Winning the soccer state cup with my team Torpedoes SC. (Ninth team in New Jersey, according to edpsoccer.com.)
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
My favorite athlete is Lionel Messi because he is amazing at soccer and also supports Israel and just visited it despite the pressure from the BDS movement.
What is your pregame routine?
My pregame routine is davening Shacharit and dribbling around.
What is your fondest sports memory?
Coming back home soaking wet after playing in an ice cold rainstorm, scoring the winning goal and helping my team advance to the finals.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not playing sports?
I also like gymnastics, ping pong, chess, flute, ninja training and basketball.
What is your weirdest sports memory?
Weirdest thing would be playing a goalkeeper while being the shortest kid on the team.
What is the best thing about being a Sportstar?
Encouraging other people to embrace a new sport.
The RAIN on Water Event Space Sportstar of the Week will receive a $15 gift certificate to any Teaneck restaurant of their choice. Please contact RAIN at 201.817.8100 to receive certificate. Please send nominees for an upcoming Jewish Link of New Jersey and RAIN on Water Event Space Sportstar of the Week to [email protected].