By Betsy Tanenbaum
For some of us, participating in a youth intramural soccer league has created strong memories that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. They began during those fall weekend mornings when we first began to compete on organized teams, meeting other players who have become lifetime friends. Though most of us have hung up our cleats and shin-guards, there are a few who have stayed with the sport and reached levels of excellence. Yoni Zvi is one of those players.
Zvi’s commitment to achieving excellence in soccer has already led him to play for a premiere team, and he hopes this will lead him to his ultimate goal of playing for a Division I college soccer team. “Soccer is definitely in my future,” states Zvi. His successes, however, have required sacrifice, one of which changed the dynamic of his senior year at South.
During Zvi’s first three years at South, he became an important member of the junior varsity and varsity soccer teams, when his hustle and positive attitude motivated and inspired his teammates. According to soccer coach Mr. James Millevoi, “Yoni is a dangerous offensive player, possessing great scoring ability and an intense competitive spirit.” To Mr. Millevoi, “Zvi’s work ethic at practice and in games has helped the team reach its maximum potential.”
In spite of his close friendships and visions of team success, Zvi realized that his dream of playing Division I soccer would only be achieved if he took his game to the next level. This, however, would come with a price.
This fall, prior to the season’s opening practice, Zvi made a difficult decision. He chose to pass up his senior year of soccer eligibility at South and instead continue to play exclusively with the Met Oval Academy, a local highly competitive soccer club that he had joined in the ninth grade, with the intent of developing his overall soccer skills.
Zvi recalls that telling Coach Millevoi his decision was very difficult, but telling his teammates was even harder. “It was difficult for all of us because we were really looking forward to playing together in our last year of high school,” Zvi said.
Though knowing that his decision was the right one, he at the same time knew that he would be missing out on a great senior experience with his close friends.
Though a great deal of Zvi’s time is now occupied with practices and games for the Met Oval Academy, he has still found time to practice with the high school team and assist Coach Millevoi on the sidelines during games.
Presently, Zvi’s days are filled with schoolwork and soccer. As a forward for the Met Oval Academy, he continues to develop the skills necessary to play college soccer. At the present time, Zvi is still not sure where he will be spending his college years, but he hopes to land in a place where he can “receive a solid education while playing competitive soccer.” While he dreams of playing professional soccer, Zvi recognizes that he has been very fortunate to have maintained the support of his friends and family over the last year.