Exciting New Sports Opportunities at Ramah for Kayitz 2017!

We are excited to announce that, for kayitz (summer) 2017, five of our sports chugim (daily electives) will each be run by a professional sports coach: Basketball, Flag Football, Soccer, Tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee.  These talented coaches will be running all the daily sessions of these five sports activities, for all ages at camp.  These programs will provide incredible opportunities for athletes looking to build advanced skills and technique, and also for campers looking to learn a new sport for the first time.

At Ramah, we pride ourselves on our incredible high-level tzevet (staff) across all of our program areas: from sports to arts to music and beyond.  Our program teaches core skills, hard work and teamwork in a supportive environment.  We are excited to add these five talented sports coaches to our team, to provide exciting new opportunities for our hanichim (campers) to elevate their summer experience.

Basketball: Tony Bergeron — Coach Bergeron has been coaching at high levels for decades, and is known as a mentor and teacher to dozens of basketball coaches who continue to work with youth around the country (including Coach Dave Brown, who has been running our intensive basketball program during Kishroniyah ever since its inception).  Bergeron’s basketball coaching career started in Western Mass., at the MacDuffie School. After turning the Mustangs around from a 7-15 program to a 24-6 one (and posting a career record of 53-32 with the Mustangs), Bergeron moved on to Wings Academy in the Bronx, where he posted an overall record of 96-23 in four years. He spent two years at American Christian Academy before returning to Western Mass. to coach East Longmeadow. Bergeron took the Spartans to the Western Mass. title in 2010 before taking over Commonwealth Academy’s basketball program in 2012-13. In December, 2015, the Commonwealth Tornadoes’ win marked the 300th of Bergeron’s coaching career.  Coach Bergeron will be leading a cohort of local basketball coaches coming to Ramah this summer.

Flag Football: Matthew Duplin — Matthew Duplin works for Be Ahead of the Game (a sports organization that works with more than 40 different Boston area pre-schools, after-school programs, summer/school vacation camps, as well as a soccer league that serves over 200 kids), and he has been working with children of all ages for many years in the classroom and on the field. Matt runs Creative Movement and Introduction to Sports classes, as well as flag football clinics and private/small group athletic trainings. He has played semi-pro and college football, and he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from WPI.  Matt is excited to bring his love for football to Camp Ramah this summer!

Soccer: Kevin Linnehan — Kevin Linnehan is a high school history teacher at Springfield Central High as well as the boys JV soccer coach. Kevin played collegiate soccer and baseball at Newbury college. In college, he was a starter during his freshmen year and played all over the field. Kevin was primarily an outside defender but also spent time playing outside mid-field and forward. Kevin has been around the game of soccer his entire life, and he looks forward to working with all the young soccer fans this summer at Camp Ramah!


Tennis: Eric Cestero — Eric Cestero has been a tennis coach at Mount Holyoke College since 1997. In addition to his work with the tennis team, he has served as the assistant for the Lyons squash team since 2012.  During his time at MHC, Cestero has worked with head coach Aldo Santiago to help guide the Lyons to appearances in 14 of the last 16 NEWMAC Tennis Tournaments. Additionally, the squad has earned a playoff spot in 11 consecutive seasons, advancing to the tournament Semifinals in 2014.  Cestero has helped mentor a number of outstanding Mount Holyoke student-athletes, including a NEWMAC Player of the Year, three NEWMAC Rookies of the Year and countless All-Conference honorees.  Cestero also serves as the head coach for the South Hadley High School varsity girls’ tennis team. Since his arrival in 1997, he has guided the Tigers to six Divisional Championships, and to the Massachusetts State Finals in 2009.  In addition to his coaching duties, Cestero has served in a number of teaching positions. Most recently, he served as a physical education teacher at New Leadership Charter School (2008-11) and the High School of Commerce in Springfield (1999-07).  Cestero also spent 26 years as an associate professor and lecturer at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamon. During that time, he served as the Acting Chairman for the Department of Physical Education and as a student advisor. He also supervised the Human Exercise Laboratory and developed, trained and supervised the Athletic Trainer’s Clinic.  Coach Cestero was our visiting advanced tennis coach for two weeks at camp last summer, and he is excited to return for a longer duration this summer!

Ultimate Frisbee: William Thornton — William Thornton has been playing Ultimate Frisbee at the high school, college and club level for many years. He is currently captain of the UMASS team that will enter the 2017 College National Championships over Memorial Day weekend as the #1 seed.  William has learned to appreciate Ultimate for the competition as well as the spirit of the game. He recently finished college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a B.A. in psychology.  William played on the Lower Merion high school team coached by our long-time Ultimate Frisbee Kishroniyah coach Rick Atkins, who raves about William’s skills, enthusiasm, and hustle, and expressed tremendous excitement that William will be on our sports staff for kayitz (summer) 2017.  William shares that excitement!

This summer, our sports program will again be overseen by Adam Offit, Rosh Sport.

Adam Offit comes back to Ramah for his second year as Rosh Sport and fourth year at camp. During the year he works as a Special Ed Paraprofessional at Arlington High School in Arlington, Massachusetts.  He is also a two season coach — as an assistant coach for the Arlington High School Varsity Football team and as the Head Coach for the Beaver Country Day School Ultimate Frisbee team. Previously, Adam was an assistant football coach at Curry College where he coached outside linebackers. Similar to many Ramahnicks, Adam is an avid Ultimate Frisbee player and has been playing since a young age. He was a two-time captain for the Muhlenberg Ultimate Frisbee team and currently plays on a Boston-based club team year round. This fall, Adam will be attending graduate school for Social Work at Simmons college in Boston.  (P.S.  Tzad Bet campers: be sure to sign up for Adam’s “Preseason Training” chug! From chalash into chayah (weak to beast) since 2016 ©).