Local high school seniors Rachel Dallet and Max Katz were the only Wisconsin athletes chosen to play soccer in the Pan American Maccabi Games in Mexico City in July of 2019.
Unlike the JCC Maccabi games Milwaukee hosted in 2015, where all athletes were teenagers, the Pan American Maccabi Games are an athletic competition for Jewish athletes of all ages, from all over the world.
One of Maccabi USA’s 400 selected athletes, Dallet has committed to play soccer for the University of Wisconsin – Madison following her high school graduation.
Her soccer team at the Maccabi games won the gold following an undefeated streak of five wins. The team scored a total of 35 goals throughout the entire competition and allowed only three goals against.
Katz’s team also won gold, beating Argentina in the final round. Katz and about half of his 18-person team also played on the USA boy’s soccer team at the Maccabi Games in Israel two years ago, where they won the first-place medal.
That he already knew most of his team members facilitated a really strong team bond, and they all “super clicked.” Katz expressed this could have given them an advantage over other teams, who only had a three-day training session to learn how to work together as a team and get to know each other.
Forming connections with other athletes is what Dallet and Katz both enjoyed the most. Dallet said she got to talk to people from as far away as Australia, Hungary, Israel and Chile, among other countries. Katz said he continues to keep in touch with most of his team members through social media.
Referencing her back-to-back schedule, Dallet said overall “everything was crazy,” but “it was ultimately a great and rewarding experience.”