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SCHECK HILLEL MAKES HISTORY, SECURES SOCCER STATE CHAMPIONSHIP WIN

History was made by Scheck Hillel Community School, Tuesday, February 9, 2016, when the school's boys' varsity soccer team defeated the defending state champions Maitland Orangewood Christian in the 1A state title game: likely the first win of its kind for a Jewish school in the nation.

More than 400 Scheck Hillel Lions fans packed the stands in Melbourne, Florida, to watch their team compete for the elusive title of State Champion - a title the team had been chasing since the devastating loss three years ago on the very same field in Melbourne. The energy from the Lions fans did not dwindle even as the scoreless 0-0 game entered overtime, double overtime, and eventually, penalty kicks.

After five rounds of penalty kicks the game was knotted at 4-4. In the sixth round, Scheck Hillel senior Salo Lapco's kick soared into Orangewood's goal, bringing the Lions up 5-4. Orangewood's attempt at extending the match was foiled by Scheck Hillel's goalie, senior Alan Landau, who stuffed the shot and secured the dramatic 1-0 (5-4 PKs) win for Scheck Hillel. Lions players rushed Landau on the field and victory celebrations erupted in the stands.

Scheck Hillel finished their season as proud state champions unbeaten at 19-0-1.

"To make history is something that can never be taken away from this team ever,” said Lions head coach Ben Magidson. “What an incredible season and experience. It's been an honor to be the head coach for these young men.”

The win is a result of the determination and sportsmanship of the Lions players, the leadership of the coaches and team captains, and the support of the Scheck Hillel community and the South Florida Jewish community at large.

"It is a blessing for me and my team to be a part of it," said team co-captain Netty Silberman, who scored a hat trick in Monday's state semi-finals game. Silberman shared words of gratitude for his school and his community: "We're the ones playing, but the truth is all of your support and prayers are what got us here. Thank you."

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