Merrick and Jonah Chernett
Merrick and Jonah Chernett

Eight Were Great on the Tennis Court

Eight Jewish boys tennis players from Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham Groves and Birmingham Seaholm high schools were named to all-state teams selected by the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches Association. Here’s the list:

  • Division 1 singles: Jonah Chernett, Bloomfield Hills freshman.
  • Division 1 doubles: Ryan Rose, Bloomfield Hills junior.
  • Division 1 doubles: Merrick Chernett, Bloomfield Hills junior.
  • Division 2 singles: Nolen Kovan, Birmingham Groves senior.
  • Division 2 singles: Michael Liss, Birmingham Groves sophomore.
  • Division 2 doubles: Alex Lewis, Birmingham Seaholm senior.
  • Division 2 doubles: Jake Rosenwasser/Dylan Wolf, Birmingham Groves seniors.

Salita Promotions’ Boxer is the Best in the Business

Claressa Shields and Dmitriy Salita.
Claressa Shields and Dmitriy Salita. Salita Promotions

The awards rolled in late last year for Flint boxer Claressa Shields.

She was named’s women’s fighter of the year and the Women’s Boxer of the Year by The Sporting News after a year in which she became a two-time undisputed middleweight champion in October thanks to a unanimous decision win over arch-rival Savannah Marshall in England, Marshall’s home country.

The victory over Marshall avenged the only loss Shields has suffered in her 67-fight amateur and professional career. Marshall beat Shields in 2012 when they were amateurs.

Shields’ promoter is former professional boxer Dmitriy Salita, an Orthodox Jew from Ukraine whose Salita Promotions company is based in Southfield.

They’ve been connected since 2017, just after Shields won her second Olympic gold medal for the U.S.

“Claressa is a generational talent whose accomplishments inside the ring are unprecedented,” Salita said. “Last year was another year of incredible goals achieved for her, most significantly her win over Savannah Marshall on British soil at the O2 Arena in London. That match was the most watched women’s sports event ever on the Sky television network. The Sky is the limit for the GWOAT (Greatest Woman of All Time) of women’s boxing.”

B’nai B’rith Bowlers Roll into the Second Half of the Season

Meet Team Lebowski: Jay Weiss, Phil Ross, Howard Halpern and Gary Shuman.
Meet Team Lebowski: Jay Weiss, Phil Ross, Howard Halpern and Gary Shuman. Gary Klinger

Team Lebowski. FlashDancers. The Gorillas. 600 Club.

Those teams were the first-half winners in the four divisions of the weekly Brotherhood-Eddie Jacobson B’nai B’rith Bowling League and have qualified for the playoffs in April.

The first half of the league’s 29-week season concluded Jan. 2. The next 13-week half will be followed by three weeks of playoffs.

Team Lebowski (Pete Weber Division), FlashDancers (Mark Roth Division), The Gorillas (Earl Anthony Division) and 600 Club (Walter Ray Williams Division) each finished on top of a six-team division in the 24-team league.

Here were the high games and high series in each division in the first half of the league season:

  • Pete Weber: Jason Cox 267, Sam Mauch 699.
  • Mark Roth: Dave Shanbaum 290, Aaron Radner 802.
  • Earl Anthony: Mitch Cohen 285, Mike Rosen 797.
  • Walter Ray Williams: Steve Moss 298, Mitch Lefton 745.

Gary Goldin had the highest over average game (plus 66) and Eric Goldberg had the highest over average series (plus 116) during the first half. Goldberg’s big series was bowled Jan. 2. His 683 series was a season high for him and a 245 game was his second highest of the season.

Other notable accomplish-ments from Jan. 2 included Joey Schechter’s second straight 652 series and Rob Greenfield picking up the double pinochle split (4-6-7-10) in an otherwise uncharacteristic 149 game.

The in-season Mark Klinger Memorial Over-Average Tournament for league bowlers began Jan. 9. Competitors must exceed their current average in each two-week round to move on to the next round in the four-round tournament.

The league bowls Monday nights at Country Lanes in Farmington Hills.

Jewish Defenseman Scores Historic Goal for the Red Wings

Jake Walman
Jake Walman Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings

There were three Jewish players on the ice Dec. 28 in Pittsburgh when the Detroit Red Wings fell behind 4-0 in the first period and came from behind to beat the Penguins 5-4 in overtime for a historic victory.

It was the first time in the Red Wings’ 96-year history that they rallied from at least a four-goal deficit to win on the road.

One of the three Jewish players in the Dec. 28 game — Red Wings defenseman Jake Walman — scored the winning goal at 2:13 of the overtime period.

Walman and teammate Andrew Copp entered the Pittsburgh zone on a 2-on-1 break against Sidney Crosby. Walman tapped the puck past Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith after taking a pass from Copp and celebrated by doing the Griddy dance in a scene that went viral.

The other two Jewish players in the game played for the Penguins. Forward Jason Zucker, who has Michigan ties, scored twice in the first period and defenseman Mark Friedman made his season NHL debut, playing 13:40 in 21 shifts.

Walman, 26, who was born in Toronto, came to the Red Wings on March 21, 2022, as part of a trade with the St. Louis Blues. The former Providence (R.I.) College standout signed with Detroit for the 2022-23 season on Aug. 11, 2022.

Zucker, 31, who was born in Newport Beach, Calif., moved to Plymouth when he was 15 so he could play for the Compuware AAA Minor Midget hockey team and then to Ann Arbor, where he attended Pioneer High School.

He has a tattoo on his left arm that reads “In pursuit of perfection,” written in Hebrew.

A member of the gold medal-winning U.S. hockey team at the 2010 World Juniors tournament and a star at the University of Denver, Zucker began his NHL career with the Minnesota Wild and scored his first NHL goal Feb. 17, 2013, in a victory over the Red Wings.

He was traded to the Penguins from the Wild on Feb. 10, 2020. This is the final year of a three-year contract that pays him an average of $5.5 million per season.

Friedman, 27, who was born in Toronto, was a star at Bowling Green State University in Ohio before being drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2014. He signed with them March 21, 2017. He was claimed off waivers by the Penguins on Feb. 24, 2021.

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