2016 United States Fistball U-18 Girls National Team – Eibach, Germany World Championship


USA U-18 Girls Fistball Team 2016

(L to R): Delegation Leader Bob Feid, Asst Coach Lara Goetz, Valerie Houghton, Olivia Woodruff, Captain Christine Connelly, Kayley Moran, Kelli Vogel, Bayleigh Takacs, Alexx Berdej, Kate Tagliareni, Head Coach Steven Groeber Not Pictured: Kumali Schoen and Asst Coach Amy Miller

The United States Fistball Association (USFA) U.S. U-18 Girl’s Fistball team departs for Nuremberg, Germany today. The national team will compete at the 2016 U-18 Fistball World Championship in Eibach which is a borough of Nuremberg, Germany between July 21th – July 24th. The team is made up of select girls from New Jersey and California. The U-18 Championships have an IFA website and a Facebook page that will allow US fans to follow along with the scores being reported daily.

The US team will face many experienced fistball teams at the tournament. Many of the countries are highly developed fistball super powers such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Brazil that will likely field teams of girls that have been playing the sport since they were 8 or 9 years old. The US team is made up of relative newcomers to the sport with the most experienced US player having first played the sport one year ago. Despite their inexperience, the team has made phenomenal progress under the tutelage of a top-notch US coaching staff and they’re ready to make their mark in history. According to the tournament schedule, the US team plays their first match against Brazil on Thursday at 11:15 AM local GERMAN time.

The U.S. coaching staff is a four headed monster led by the Phoenix Fistball patriarch and U-18 Head Coach Steven Groeber, Eibach, Germany’s own Lara Goetz, Phoenix Fistball Veteran Amy Miller, USFA President Bob Feid, and with a touch of advice from Brazilian fistball expert Gastão Englert who is unable to travel with the team to Germany.

Let’s cheer them on to victory! Good Luck Girls!

Schedule Day 3n

Team USA will face Switzerland at 4 am EST. The winner of the match will advance to face defending champion Germany in the semi-final. The game is scheduled to be live streamed.

Official Tournament Booklet
Tournament Schedule
Match Reports
Live Streaming of Court 1 Matches

Team USA Results
Preliminary Round Day 1 (July 21)
– Brazil vs. USA 3:0 (11:04, 11:08, 11:08)
– Germany vs. USA 3:0 (11:04, 11:01, 11:01)
– USA – India 3:0 (11:02, 11:02, 11:04)

Preliminary Round Day 2 (July 22)
– Austria vs. USA 3:0 (11:07, 11:04, 11:02)
– Switzerland vs. USA 3:0 (11:05, 11:04, 11:05)

Qualification Round Day 3 (July 23)
– Switzerland vs. USA 2:0 (11:06, 11:02)

Team USA 5th Place

Team USA Accepting their 5th Place Medals/Trophy

Photo Downloads
‘Friendly’ USA vs Hessen Faustball compliments of Jens Huthmann
Team USA practice from July 20th compliments of the U18 tournament hosts
U18 Championship Photos courtesty of Natalie Takacs
Günther Kotzbauer’s U18 Championships Photo Album on Facebook
U18WM2016 Eibach Flickr Photos
FaustballBilder.de provides links to various U18 Tournament Fistball Photos
Facebook Album U18 WM 2016 Frauen – Tag 2 compliments of Stefan Gusenleitner of Austria

There’s also still time to support the team with a donation as they’ve come up short of their funding goals. There are two ways to help support the team. You can…
Order Apparel from the U18 USFA Store through July 24th, 2016 11:59 PM EDT. Purchase the same gear that the team USA girls wear. All proceeds will benefit the U18 US U18 Girl’s team to cover travel costs to the Fistball IFA U18 World Championship 2016 in Eibach, Germany.
or
Donate directly to the U18 team’s Generosity Fundraising page

2016 Coach & Player Profiles


Defense:

#1 Valerie Houghton, Maplewood, NJ

1 Valerie Houghton
Jersey # 1
Home: Maplewood, NJ
Birth Year: 2001
Position: Defense
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Columbia HS
Nickname: Val

Valerie Houghton was born June 15, 2001 to Kenneth and Shira Houghton. In addition to fistball, Val keeps busy with competitive swimming, Model UN, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball. Off the field, she takes her academics seriously, earning Honorable Mention in the National Spanish exam as well as the Presidents Education Award. Val is a Junior Olympian in competitive swimming, a certified life guard, and her favorite athlete is Olympic swimming gold medalist Ryan Lochte. She’s inspired by her friends and family and her inspirational quote is “Fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee”. When she’s not in a classroom, court, pool, or field, Valerie volunteers her time at a local food pantry, works with civil rights activists, and raises money to combat malaria. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, watching the Yankees, and listening to One Direction & Taylor Swift. Val first learned of fistball from her volleyball coach and has been playing fistball less than one year.

#2 Olivia Woodruff, Maplewood, NJ

2 Olivia Woodruff Picture
Jersey # 2
Home: Maplewood, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Defense
Height: 5’11” (180cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Columbia HS
Nickname: Liv

Liv Woodruff was born March 24, 2000, to Lisa and Greg Woodruff in Livingston, NJ. She currently lives in Maplewood, NJ, the hometown of another unique sport, Ultimate Frisbee. She is the captain of her school’s Ultimate Frisbee Club. Liv is interested in studying marine biology in college, and likes to spend time hanging out with her friends.

Liv has only taken up Fistball this year when she learned about it from a friend on her Ultimate team. She likes to listen to feel good, pump up music before matches and draws inspiration as an athlete from her sister’s friend and college Ultimate Frisbee player, Sadie Jezerski. She is inspired by the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason” and finds fulfillment in helping those less fortunate than her by volunteering with the Appalachian Service Project, an organization that helps to refurbish and build structures in the mountains of Appalachia. She looks forward to visiting Germany and meeting and playing with many young women from around the world.

#5 Kelli Vogel, Sparta, NJ

5 Kelli Vogel
Jersey: # 5
Home:  Sparta, NJ
Birth Year: 1999
Position: Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Sparta HS
Nickname: Kel

Kelli Vogel was born on September 18, 1999 to MaryPat and Jake Vogel and currently resides in Sparta, NJ. At 16, Kelli has already earned her varsity letter in Lacrosse at Sparta High School. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends, playing sports, watching the New York Jets, and listening to pop music. Kelli volunteers at One Step Closer Animal Rescue (OSCAR) which is a non-profit rescue organization that saves dogs and cats from desperate situations.

Kelli’s inspired by her family and friends and her favorite athlete is Misty May-Treanor because she makes volleyball look so easy. Although she’s only been playing fistball for 6 months, Kelli believes “Hard work pays off”.

#8 Kumali Schoen, Santa Cruz, CA

8 Kumali Schoen Closeup
Jersey: # 8
Home:  Santa Cruz, CA
Birth Year: 2001
Position: Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Santa Cruz HS

In addition to playing fistball, Kumali Schoen enjoys running, high jump, baking, reading, and traveling. In her spare time Kumali works as a baby sitter and volunteers her time within the community. Kumali’s best fistball experience so far has been discovering and learning fistball with my determined, outgoing father, my curious, energetic younger brother, and building up the first California fistball team. She’s been to Germany several times, but never to Bavaria and she’s looking forward to this visit! When asked about playing fistball, Kumali stated, “It’s enormous fun, active and challenging!”

Setter:

#9 Alexx Berdej, Roxbury Township, NJ

9 Alexx Berdej
Jersey: # 9
Home:  Roxbury Township, NJ
Birth Year: 1999
Position: Setter, Defense
Height: 5-4 (163cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Roxbury HS

Alexx Berdej was born on March 31, 1999 to Bo and Tara Berdej and currently resides in Roxbury Township, NJ. Alexx attends Roxbury HS and plans to major in English studies. In addition to fistball, she’s a standout lacrosse player, girl scout, and academic scholar. Alexx has earned awards and accolades for being the freshman Captain of her lacrosse team, receiving the Heart of the Gael
Award For freshman lacrosse, and Captain of the varsity lacrosse team, as well as academic honors for National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. She’s an ambassador Girl Scout working towards her Gold Award. Alexx’s hobbies outside of athletics include writing, reading, painting, and ceramics in which she’s already set some personal goals for herself. – “I love to read and write. I would like to compete in a poetry slam and pursue a career in writing. My goal is to write and publish a book by age 27.”

In her leisure time Alexx likes to play around with clay, write poetry, play lacrosse and spend time with her boyfriend. She also enjoys following the Syracuse men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, hanging out with friends and family, and listening to early 2000’s hip-hop & indie rock.

Alexx volunteers her time working with Roxbury Social Services collecting and organizing backpacks and school supplies, hosting children’s Halloween parties, and assisting with organizing food drives for holiday meals. She’s also worked with the US Marines on the “Toys For Tots” program collecting toys and loading the Santa Train with the toys for several years as well as volunteered at “The Haunted Beach” run by the local Fire Department for a few seasons.

Alexx’s favorite athlete is Manny Pacquiao becaue he was born in the Philippians, was not raised in the
ideal household or neighborhood, everyone told him he was too small to be a boxer, yet he ended his career with 54
wins and 3 loses. Her nephew inspires her to be the best at everything she can be. Alexx wants to give him someone to
look up to. Her favorite quote is “Don’t plant flowers in the garden of someone who won’t water them”.

Alexx first learned of fistball when the Swim and Sport Club hosted the 2015 Pan Am games her hometown. USFA President Bob Feid and U-18 Head Coach Steven Groeber visited Roxbury High School to demo the sport.

#7 Bayleigh Takacs, Sparta, NJ

7 Bayleigh Takacs
Jersey: # 7
Home:  Sparta, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Setter
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Sparta HS

Bayleigh Takacs was born on June 5th, 2000 to Nicole and Lou Takacs and currently resides in Sparta, NJ. In addition to playing fistball, Bayleigh has been a standout Lacrosse player for Sparta HS for three years. She’s been named team captain for multiple sports as well as being an active volunteer in the community putting in 100’s of volunteer hours. Bayleigh’s involved in student government serving as a class officer while also maintaining a high GPA. She enjoys playing volleyball and lacrosse. Although Bayleigh’s only been playing fistball for a short time, she looks forward competing with and meeting players from all over the world. “I like to challenge myself with new experiences and the sport sounded interesting to me.”

Striker:

#4 Kayley Moran, Hackettstown, NJ

4 Kayley Moran
Jersey: # 4
Home:  Hackettstown, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Defense
Height: 5’10” (178cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
College: Morris Hills HS
Nickname: Kay-LiLi

Kayley Moran was born on March 26th, 2000 to Jean and Frank Moran. She’s currently a student at Morris Hills High School with plans to study Athletic Training/Rehabilitation. In addition to playing fistball, Kayley has won numerous top performance awards in Track & Field events throughout the state of New Jersey. She takes her academics serious as well; she’s an Honor Roll Student and an Excelsior Award recipient which is awarded for athletes achieving academic excellence. Kayley’s inspired by her track coach (and cancer survivor), Keith Lindsley, who pushes her to achieve her goals. In her spare time, she likes to run(and sleep), watch the New York Giants, and listen to alternative rock music. Her favorite athlete is Kerri Walsh due to her amazing skills on the volleyball court. Kayley volunteers her time helping kids make arts and crafts at her church’s youth camp.

Kayley’s grandfather saw an ad in the paper for the U-18 fistball tryouts and encouraged her to give it a shot. Kayley’s motivated to push herself by the words of legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali – “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

#3 Christine Connelly, Rockaway, NJ

3 Captain Christine Connelly
Jersey: # 3
Home:  Rockaway, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Striker, Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Morris Hills HS
Nickname: CC

Christine Connelly was born on May 23rd 2000, to Robyn and Doug Connelly. She currently lives in Rockaway, NJ attending High School with plans to study biology and biochemistry. In addition to fistball, CC enjoys playing softball, volleyball, and NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick competitions. Christine earned the JV Freshmen of the Year award in softball and made it onto the field at MetLife Stadium to compete in the NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick competition. She’s also familiar with discipline as she’s earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Head coach Steven Groeber named Christine the Team Captain which is a testament to her leadership on the field. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, playing with her dog ‘Cooper’, watching the New York Giants and listening to pop, rap, R&B, and rock music. Her favorite athlete is Odell Beckham Jr due to the many awards he’s won in his first season playing in the NFL. Christine volunteers her time keeping the area along the local river clean as well as volunteering at the local Challenger Baseball event.

#10 Kate Tagliareni, Hackettstown, NJ

10 Kate Tagliareni
Jersey: # 10
Home: Hackettstown, NJ
Birth Year: 1998
Position: Striker
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Hackettstown High School

Kate Tagliareni was born on August 15th, 1998 to Jeannie and Tom Tagliareni and currently resides in Hackettstown, NJ. Kate grew up as the only girl with three brothers. Kate is looking forward to attending Iona College in the fall of 2016. In addition to playing fistball, Kate enjoys volleyball, swimming, lifeguarding, and being with her friends and family. Kate is a standout in volleyball at Hackettstown HS and has earned the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Scholar Athlete 2015 award, NJAC Second Team all-conference in volleyball 2014 and 2015, and Express Times Honorable Mention in volleyball 2015. She loves to watch volleyball and college basketball and listening to anything upbeat to help get her pumped up and motivated to play. Kate volunteers her time by serving on the Relay for Life committee, blood drives through school, and the Joan Knechel Memorial Walk. When asked about fistball Kate said, “I would consider it to be the most fun and exhilarating sport, that too many are unaware of. It’s a fast paced game that keeps you on your toes and comes with a lot of excitement”. Her trip to Germany will be her first time flying to Europe.

Coaching Staff:

Steven Groeber, Head Coach/Trainer

SteveGroeberHome: Cinnaminson, NJ

Steve is the Phoenix Club Fistball patriarch. He took it upon himself organize, develop, and promote the first US Women’s fistball team and now the first ever U-18 Women’s Fistball team. In addition to coaching the women’s and girl’s teams, Steve is an active member of the USFA Board of Directors and a lifelong member of the Phoenix fistball club and the Eastern Fistball Association. Steve has aided the growth of fistball in the US as much as anyone. After most fistball tournaments, Steve will entertain the exhausted competitors by singing and playing accordion.

Lara Goetz, Assistant Coach/Trainer

Asst Coach Lara Goetz 2Home:  Eibach, Germany

Lara Goetz has been playing fistball for years including for the host club of TV Eibach 03 in Nuremberg, Germany, before she moved to the US last year. Since then she has been practicing and playing with the Swim and Sport Club (SSC) in Flanders, New Jersey. “I am happy that I was able to help to create a new girls under 18 national team and I am excited to go to Germany with them and welcome them in my home town for the world championship.”

Amy Miller, Assistant Coach/Trainer

Coach Amy MillerHome:  Pennsylvania

Amy Miller is an experienced fistball player at the Phoenix Sports Club volunteering her time to help prepare the U18 girls for the challenges they’ll face in Germany.

Gastão Englert, U-18 Consultant/Advisor

GastaoEnglertHome:  Porto Alegre, Brazil

Studies:
Bachelor Degree in Physical Education – UFRGS (1988).
Specialization at The German Sport University – Koln – DSHS, Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (1988 to 1989).

Gastão has achieved 17 world championships while playing/coaching fistball…3 as Fistball Player…14 as Fistball Coach of Brazilian Men’s & Women’s Teams…Joined Team USA Coaching Staff in 2012…Loves to Play & Teach the Sport of Fistball

Previously Coached both the men’s and women’s Brazilian National Teams…Technical Consultant and Manager of the Catalonian team (Spain), Colombian team, Cuban Team and overall ambassador for the sport of fistball…Technical and development director of the Brazilian Fistball Confederation…Sports management and quality consultant…3rd. Sector: Tennis Foundation General Coordinator…

Youngest World Champion coach in the Fistball history (33 years, 1 month and 11 days old).
Coach with the highest number of World Championships in the Fistball history (13 times).
Twice World Cup champion (Switzerland 1999 and Brazil 2003).
World Vice-champion, 2007 (Germany).
9 times World Cup champion.
World Games Champion, 2009 (Kaohsiung – Taiwan).
2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in the World Games, (Japan 2001, Germany 2005 and Finland 1997 respectively).
13 times South American champion (clubs and teams).

Bob Feid, USFA President/U-18 Delegation Leader

BobFeidDelegationLeaderHome:  Flanders, NJ

Bob Feid has only been the USFA President since January 2015 and in that short timeframe, he’s managed to organize the largest international fistball tournament in US history, assembled and led the first US Master’s team to the Master’s Championships in Chile, worked closely with U18 Assistant Coach Lara Goetz (from Eibach, Germany) and U18 Head Coach Steven Groeber to build the first ever US U-18 Girl’s team, as well as providing support for the upcoming 2021 World Games in Alabama that will feature the first International Championship on US soil. Bob promotes fistball tirelessly in the schools, on vacations, and in his free time. He will lead the delegation to the U-18 championships as well. Thank you Bob for your leadership!

Team Attitude 1

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USFA CrestUncle Sam

The USFA is seeking U18 Female Athletes for the Youth World Fistball Championships to be held July 20-24th, 2016 in Nuremburg, Germany.

Team USA seeks 7-10 girls interested in representing the USA in its first trip to the Youth World Championships. Previous experience playing the sport of Fistball isn’t required, but an athletic prowess and a fighting spirit is.

The skills required to play Fistball are often compared with those required to play Volleyball because both sports involve using up to three contacts in order to strike a ball over a net in an attempt to score, but skills used in Tennis and Baseball/Softball also often translate to success on the Fistball field. The overhand throwing motion used in pitching or throwing a Baseball is similar to the motion often employed by Fistball players to strike and serve.  The footwork a skilled Tennis player uses to get into position to defense an attack is similar to that required to get into position to defense an attack in Fistball.  The comparisons with Volleyball are the easiest to make because both sports involve defending a hard driven attack with the arms in such a way as to allow for the ball to be set close to the net for an equally powerful return attack. One key difference between the two is that he ball cannot be struck with an open hand, but instead a closed fist is used. The ball is also allowed to bounce between contacts, but it may only be played with a single arm at a time.  The sport of Fistball employs only 5 players on each side of the net to cover an area roughly 3 times the size of a Volleyball court. The net is also 6’3″ high which allows for shorter girls to be effective attackers. Fistball is an exciting and fast paced sport that requires teamwork, agility, and athleticism in order to achieve success.

Female athletes born in 1998 or later are qualified to try out for the U18 US Girls Fistball team.  Open try-outs will be held April 2nd from 3-5pm at Roxbury High School in Succasunna, NJ.  The U18 team will begin outdoor practices in Flanders, NJ in Spring 2016 at the Swim and Sport Club in Flanders, NJ. Opportunities potentially exist for interested players that cannot make the try-outs and/or that don’t live in the NJ area.  The USFA partners with Fistball clubs in Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Wisconsin as well. Please contact USFA President Bob Feid to express interest.

facebook_1407024743208

2014 US National Team (Left to Right): Bonnie Zobel, Courtney Abel, Alex Buehning, Tricia Groeber, Ashley Sledzinski, Kristie Keating, Sadie Beacham, Kay Crosby, Coach Mat Ogin, Coach Gastao Englert

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to be part of a US National Team!  The US has participated internationally in World Championship tournaments on the men’s side since 1999 and only recently sent the first women’s team to compete in the World Championships in 2014.  Not one athlete has come back without expressing how truly amazing the experience of representing your country in international competition has been.  For many, it’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity that provides the rare opportunity to travel abroad, experience other cultures, and make lifelong friends across the globe.

Fistball is not yet an Olympic sport, but the International Fistball Association (IFA) has been working tirelessly in recent years to achieve Olympic status and with more and more countries beginning to form teams, it’s becoming increasingly likely that we’ll see Fistball in the Olympics in the future.  The US is relatively new to the international scene but with each new international team formed, the competitive level of US Fistball as a whole is raised.

The USFA successfully hosted the first ever Pan-American Fistball games at the Swim and Sport Club in Flanders this past summer.  The USFA sent it’s first men’s team to the Master’s World Championships in Chile in November 2015 and now Birmingham, Alabama has been chosen to host the 2021 World Games during which the first Fistball World Champion will be crowned on US soil.  USFA President, Bob Feid expects the sport of Fistball to grow tremendously in the coming years.  It’s an exciting time for Fistball in the USA and a great time join in the excitement.  The IFA has created a temporary site with details regarding the U18 2016 World Championship as well as a U18 2016 World Championship Facebook Page. Come join the excitement!


2016 United States Fistball U-18 Girls National Team – Eibach, Germany World Championship


USA U-18 Girls Fistball Team 2016

(L to R): Delegation Leader Bob Feid, Asst Coach Lara Goetz, Valerie Houghton, Olivia Woodruff, Captain Christine Connelly, Kayley Moran, Kelli Vogel, Bayleigh Takacs, Alexx Berdej, Kate Tagliareni, Head Coach Steven Groeber Not Pictured: Kumali Schoen and Asst Coach Amy Miller

The United States Fistball Association (USFA) U.S. U-18 Girl’s Fistball team departs for Nuremberg, Germany today. The national team will compete at the 2016 U-18 Fistball World Championship in Eibach which is a borough of Nuremberg, Germany between July 21th – July 24th. The team is made up of select girls from New Jersey and California. The U-18 Championships have an IFA website and a Facebook page that will allow US fans to follow along with the scores being reported daily.

The US team will face many experienced fistball teams at the tournament. Many of the countries are highly developed fistball super powers such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Brazil that will likely field teams of girls that have been playing the sport since they were 8 or 9 years old. The US team is made up of relative newcomers to the sport with the most experienced US player having first played the sport one year ago. Despite their inexperience, the team has made phenomenal progress under the tutelage of a top-notch US coaching staff and they’re ready to make their mark in history. According to the tournament schedule, the US team plays their first match against Brazil on Thursday at 11:15 AM local GERMAN time.

The U.S. coaching staff is a four headed monster led by the Phoenix Fistball patriarch and U-18 Head Coach Steven Groeber, Eibach, Germany’s own Lara Goetz, Phoenix Fistball Veteran Amy Miller, USFA President Bob Feid, and with a touch of advice from Brazilian fistball expert Gastão Englert who is unable to travel with the team to Germany.

Let’s cheer them on to victory! Good Luck Girls!

Schedule Day 3n

Team USA will face Switzerland at 4 am EST. The winner of the match will advance to face defending champion Germany in the semi-final. The game is scheduled to be live streamed.

Official Tournament Booklet
Tournament Schedule
Match Reports
Live Streaming of Court 1 Matches

Team USA Results
Preliminary Round Day 1 (July 21)
– Brazil vs. USA 3:0 (11:04, 11:08, 11:08)
– Germany vs. USA 3:0 (11:04, 11:01, 11:01)
– USA – India 3:0 (11:02, 11:02, 11:04)

Preliminary Round Day 2 (July 22)
– Austria vs. USA 3:0 (11:07, 11:04, 11:02)
– Switzerland vs. USA 3:0 (11:05, 11:04, 11:05)

Photo Downloads
‘Friendly’ USA vs Hessen Faustball compliments of Jens Huthmann
Team USA practice from July 20th compliments of the U18 tournament hosts
U18 Championship Photos courtesty of Natalie Takacs
Official Tournament Flickr Photos

There’s also still time to support the team with a donation as they’ve come up short of their funding goals. There are two ways to help support the team. You can…
Order Apparel from the U18 USFA Store through July 24th, 2016 11:59 PM EDT. Purchase the same gear that the team USA girls wear. All proceeds will benefit the U18 US U18 Girl’s team to cover travel costs to the Fistball IFA U18 World Championship 2016 in Eibach, Germany.
or
Donate directly to the U18 team’s Generosity Fundraising page

2016 Coach & Player Profiles


Defense:

#1 Valerie Houghton, Maplewood, NJ

1 Valerie Houghton
Jersey # 1
Home: Maplewood, NJ
Birth Year: 2001
Position: Defense
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Columbia HS
Nickname: Val

Valerie Houghton was born June 15, 2001 to Kenneth and Shira Houghton. In addition to fistball, Val keeps busy with competitive swimming, Model UN, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball. Off the field, she takes her academics seriously, earning Honorable Mention in the National Spanish exam as well as the Presidents Education Award. Val is a Junior Olympian in competitive swimming, a certified life guard, and her favorite athlete is Olympic swimming gold medalist Ryan Lochte. She’s inspired by her friends and family and her inspirational quote is “Fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee”. When she’s not in a classroom, court, pool, or field, Valerie volunteers her time at a local food pantry, works with civil rights activists, and raises money to combat malaria. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, watching the Yankees, and listening to One Direction & Taylor Swift. Val first learned of fistball from her volleyball coach and has been playing fistball less than one year.

#2 Olivia Woodruff, Maplewood, NJ

2 Olivia Woodruff Picture
Jersey # 2
Home: Maplewood, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Defense
Height: 5’11” (180cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Columbia HS
Nickname: Liv

Liv Woodruff was born March 24, 2000, to Lisa and Greg Woodruff in Livingston, NJ. She currently lives in Maplewood, NJ, the hometown of another unique sport, Ultimate Frisbee. She is the captain of her school’s Ultimate Frisbee Club. Liv is interested in studying marine biology in college, and likes to spend time hanging out with her friends.

Liv has only taken up Fistball this year when she learned about it from a friend on her Ultimate team. She likes to listen to feel good, pump up music before matches and draws inspiration as an athlete from her sister’s friend and college Ultimate Frisbee player, Sadie Jezerski. She is inspired by the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason” and finds fulfillment in helping those less fortunate than her by volunteering with the Appalachian Service Project, an organization that helps to refurbish and build structures in the mountains of Appalachia. She looks forward to visiting Germany and meeting and playing with many young women from around the world.

#5 Kelli Vogel, Sparta, NJ

5 Kelli Vogel
Jersey: # 5
Home:  Sparta, NJ
Birth Year: 1999
Position: Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Sparta HS
Nickname: Kel

Kelli Vogel was born on September 18, 1999 to MaryPat and Jake Vogel and currently resides in Sparta, NJ. At 16, Kelli has already earned her varsity letter in Lacrosse at Sparta High School. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her friends, playing sports, watching the New York Jets, and listening to pop music. Kelli volunteers at One Step Closer Animal Rescue (OSCAR) which is a non-profit rescue organization that saves dogs and cats from desperate situations.

Kelli’s inspired by her family and friends and her favorite athlete is Misty May-Treanor because she makes volleyball look so easy. Although she’s only been playing fistball for 6 months, Kelli believes “Hard work pays off”.

#8 Kumali Schoen, Santa Cruz, CA

8 Kumali Schoen Closeup
Jersey: # 8
Home:  Santa Cruz, CA
Birth Year: 2001
Position: Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Santa Cruz HS

In addition to playing fistball, Kumali Schoen enjoys running, high jump, baking, reading, and traveling. In her spare time Kumali works as a baby sitter and volunteers her time within the community. Kumali’s best fistball experience so far has been discovering and learning fistball with my determined, outgoing father, my curious, energetic younger brother, and building up the first California fistball team. She’s been to Germany several times, but never to Bavaria and she’s looking forward to this visit! When asked about playing fistball, Kumali stated, “It’s enormous fun, active and challenging!”

Setter:

#9 Alexx Berdej, Roxbury Township, NJ

9 Alexx Berdej
Jersey: # 9
Home:  Roxbury Township, NJ
Birth Year: 1999
Position: Setter, Defense
Height: 5-4 (163cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Roxbury HS

Alexx Berdej was born on March 31, 1999 to Bo and Tara Berdej and currently resides in Roxbury Township, NJ. Alexx attends Roxbury HS and plans to major in English studies. In addition to fistball, she’s a standout lacrosse player, girl scout, and academic scholar. Alexx has earned awards and accolades for being the freshman Captain of her lacrosse team, receiving the Heart of the Gael
Award For freshman lacrosse, and Captain of the varsity lacrosse team, as well as academic honors for National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society. She’s an ambassador Girl Scout working towards her Gold Award. Alexx’s hobbies outside of athletics include writing, reading, painting, and ceramics in which she’s already set some personal goals for herself. – “I love to read and write. I would like to compete in a poetry slam and pursue a career in writing. My goal is to write and publish a book by age 27.”

In her leisure time Alexx likes to play around with clay, write poetry, play lacrosse and spend time with her boyfriend. She also enjoys following the Syracuse men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, hanging out with friends and family, and listening to early 2000’s hip-hop & indie rock.

Alexx volunteers her time working with Roxbury Social Services collecting and organizing backpacks and school supplies, hosting children’s Halloween parties, and assisting with organizing food drives for holiday meals. She’s also worked with the US Marines on the “Toys For Tots” program collecting toys and loading the Santa Train with the toys for several years as well as volunteered at “The Haunted Beach” run by the local Fire Department for a few seasons.

Alexx’s favorite athlete is Manny Pacquiao becaue he was born in the Philippians, was not raised in the
ideal household or neighborhood, everyone told him he was too small to be a boxer, yet he ended his career with 54
wins and 3 loses. Her nephew inspires her to be the best at everything she can be. Alexx wants to give him someone to
look up to. Her favorite quote is “Don’t plant flowers in the garden of someone who won’t water them”.

Alexx first learned of fistball when the Swim and Sport Club hosted the 2015 Pan Am games her hometown. USFA President Bob Feid and U-18 Head Coach Steven Groeber visited Roxbury High School to demo the sport.

#7 Bayleigh Takacs, Sparta, NJ

7 Bayleigh Takacs
Jersey: # 7
Home:  Sparta, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Setter
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Sparta HS

Bayleigh Takacs was born on June 5th, 2000 to Nicole and Lou Takacs and currently resides in Sparta, NJ. In addition to playing fistball, Bayleigh has been a standout Lacrosse player for Sparta HS for three years. She’s been named team captain for multiple sports as well as being an active volunteer in the community putting in 100’s of volunteer hours. Bayleigh’s involved in student government serving as a class officer while also maintaining a high GPA. She enjoys playing volleyball and lacrosse. Although Bayleigh’s only been playing fistball for a short time, she looks forward competing with and meeting players from all over the world. “I like to challenge myself with new experiences and the sport sounded interesting to me.”

Striker:

#4 Kayley Moran, Hackettstown, NJ

4 Kayley Moran
Jersey: # 4
Home:  Hackettstown, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Defense
Height: 5’10” (178cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
College: Morris Hills HS
Nickname: Kay-LiLi

Kayley Moran was born on March 26th, 2000 to Jean and Frank Moran. She’s currently a student at Morris Hills High School with plans to study Athletic Training/Rehabilitation. In addition to playing fistball, Kayley has won numerous top performance awards in Track & Field events throughout the state of New Jersey. She takes her academics serious as well; she’s an Honor Roll Student and an Excelsior Award recipient which is awarded for athletes achieving academic excellence. Kayley’s inspired by her track coach (and cancer survivor), Keith Lindsley, who pushes her to achieve her goals. In her spare time, she likes to run(and sleep), watch the New York Giants, and listen to alternative rock music. Her favorite athlete is Kerri Walsh due to her amazing skills on the volleyball court. Kayley volunteers her time helping kids make arts and crafts at her church’s youth camp.

Kayley’s grandfather saw an ad in the paper for the U-18 fistball tryouts and encouraged her to give it a shot. Kayley’s motivated to push herself by the words of legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali – “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

#3 Christine Connelly, Rockaway, NJ

3 Captain Christine Connelly
Jersey: # 3
Home:  Rockaway, NJ
Birth Year: 2000
Position: Striker, Defense
Height: 5’6″ (168cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Morris Hills HS
Nickname: CC

Christine Connelly was born on May 23rd 2000, to Robyn and Doug Connelly. She currently lives in Rockaway, NJ attending High School with plans to study biology and biochemistry. In addition to fistball, CC enjoys playing softball, volleyball, and NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick competitions. Christine earned the JV Freshmen of the Year award in softball and made it onto the field at MetLife Stadium to compete in the NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick competition. She’s also familiar with discipline as she’s earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Head coach Steven Groeber named Christine the Team Captain which is a testament to her leadership on the field. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, playing with her dog ‘Cooper’, watching the New York Giants and listening to pop, rap, R&B, and rock music. Her favorite athlete is Odell Beckham Jr due to the many awards he’s won in his first season playing in the NFL. Christine volunteers her time keeping the area along the local river clean as well as volunteering at the local Challenger Baseball event.

#10 Kate Tagliareni, Hackettstown, NJ

10 Kate Tagliareni
Jersey: # 10
Home: Hackettstown, NJ
Birth Year: 1998
Position: Striker
Height: 5’7” (170cm)
Dominant Hand: Right
High School: Hackettstown High School

Kate Tagliareni was born on August 15th, 1998 to Jeannie and Tom Tagliareni and currently resides in Hackettstown, NJ. Kate grew up as the only girl with three brothers. Kate is looking forward to attending Iona College in the fall of 2016. In addition to playing fistball, Kate enjoys volleyball, swimming, lifeguarding, and being with her friends and family. Kate is a standout in volleyball at Hackettstown HS and has earned the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Scholar Athlete 2015 award, NJAC Second Team all-conference in volleyball 2014 and 2015, and Express Times Honorable Mention in volleyball 2015. She loves to watch volleyball and college basketball and listening to anything upbeat to help get her pumped up and motivated to play. Kate volunteers her time by serving on the Relay for Life committee, blood drives through school, and the Joan Knechel Memorial Walk. When asked about fistball Kate said, “I would consider it to be the most fun and exhilarating sport, that too many are unaware of. It’s a fast paced game that keeps you on your toes and comes with a lot of excitement”. Her trip to Germany will be her first time flying to Europe.

Coaching Staff:

Steven Groeber, Head Coach/Trainer

SteveGroeberHome: Cinnaminson, NJ

Steve is the Phoenix Club Fistball patriarch. He took it upon himself organize, develop, and promote the first US Women’s fistball team and now the first ever U-18 Women’s Fistball team. In addition to coaching the women’s and girl’s teams, Steve is an active member of the USFA Board of Directors and a lifelong member of the Phoenix fistball club and the Eastern Fistball Association. Steve has aided the growth of fistball in the US as much as anyone. After most fistball tournaments, Steve will entertain the exhausted competitors by singing and playing accordion.

Lara Goetz, Assistant Coach/Trainer

Asst Coach Lara Goetz 2Home:  Eibach, Germany

Lara Goetz has been playing fistball for years including for the host club of TV Eibach 03 in Nuremberg, Germany, before she moved to the US last year. Since then she has been practicing and playing with the Swim and Sport Club (SSC) in Flanders, New Jersey. “I am happy that I was able to help to create a new girls under 18 national team and I am excited to go to Germany with them and welcome them in my home town for the world championship.”

Amy Miller, Assistant Coach/Trainer

Coach Amy MillerHome:  Pennsylvania

Amy Miller is an experienced fistball player at the Phoenix Sports Club volunteering her time to help prepare the U18 girls for the challenges they’ll face in Germany.

Gastão Englert, U-18 Consultant/Advisor

GastaoEnglertHome:  Porto Alegre, Brazil

Studies:
Bachelor Degree in Physical Education – UFRGS (1988).
Specialization at The German Sport University – Koln – DSHS, Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln (1988 to 1989).

Gastão has achieved 17 world championships while playing/coaching fistball…3 as Fistball Player…14 as Fistball Coach of Brazilian Men’s & Women’s Teams…Joined Team USA Coaching Staff in 2012…Loves to Play & Teach the Sport of Fistball

Previously Coached both the men’s and women’s Brazilian National Teams…Technical Consultant and Manager of the Catalonian team (Spain), Colombian team, Cuban Team and overall ambassador for the sport of fistball…Technical and development director of the Brazilian Fistball Confederation…Sports management and quality consultant…3rd. Sector: Tennis Foundation General Coordinator…

Youngest World Champion coach in the Fistball history (33 years, 1 month and 11 days old).
Coach with the highest number of World Championships in the Fistball history (13 times).
Twice World Cup champion (Switzerland 1999 and Brazil 2003).
World Vice-champion, 2007 (Germany).
9 times World Cup champion.
World Games Champion, 2009 (Kaohsiung – Taiwan).
2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in the World Games, (Japan 2001, Germany 2005 and Finland 1997 respectively).
13 times South American champion (clubs and teams).

Bob Feid, USFA President/U-18 Delegation Leader

BobFeidDelegationLeaderHome:  Flanders, NJ

Bob Feid has only been the USFA President since January 2015 and in that short timeframe, he’s managed to organize the largest international fistball tournament in US history, assembled and led the first US Master’s team to the Master’s Championships in Chile, worked closely with U18 Assistant Coach Lara Goetz (from Eibach, Germany) and U18 Head Coach Steven Groeber to build the first ever US U-18 Girl’s team, as well as providing support for the upcoming 2021 World Games in Alabama that will feature the first International Championship on US soil. Bob promotes fistball tirelessly in the schools, on vacations, and in his free time. He will lead the delegation to the U-18 championships as well. Thank you Bob for your leadership!

Team Attitude 1


Fistball Golf Outing Fundraiser WIMay 21st, 2016…Save the Date!

Come support the United States Fistball Association (USFA) and have a great time while you’re at it!  Come enjoy the beautiful Scenic View Country Club course and a delicious luncheon afterwards with a free quarter barrel of beer on tap while it lasts!  The USFA provides support for the US Men’s and Women’s national teams as well as youth fistball programs.  This year’s initiative is to send our first U18 Youth Girl’s team to compete in the U18 World Championships in Nuremburg, Germany this Summer.  Don’t delay, sign up today!

Golf, Beer, Food, Silent Auction, & Door Prizes!

Scenic View Golf Course

Registration at 7:30 AM – Shot Gun Start at 8:00 AM
• Scramble Format
• 4 Players per Group

Entry fee per golfer includes:
• 18 Holes with Golf Cart
• Entry into the $500 Grand Prize Drawing
• Sports Memorabilia
• Free Beer (while the complimentary 1/4 Barrel lasts)
• Buffet Lunch at Scenic View Clubhouse

Non-Golfer’s guest lunch also available for $15.

Please pre-register as it allows the USFA and Scenic View to plan accordingly.


Enter Team Name or Captain
Golfer Name


Pre-Registration Contact Information –
Lisa Kindler
Phone: (262) 844-7982
E-mail: lkindler@gmic.com

USFA_Golf-Outing_2016-FLYER

Sponsorship opportunities at every hole! USFA is a 5013C organization, so your entry fee/donations are tax deductible!

 


Faustball WM 2015 Argentina

 

Today the USA Men’s Fistball team will take the field in the opening match of the Men’s Fistball World Championships against the host country of Argentina. This will be a rematch of the opening match of the 2011 World Championships where team USA fell to Argentina in a hard fought battle in Vienna. At the 2011 World Championships, Argentina established themselves as a top 4 team in fistball when they narrowly lost a 5 set semi-final to Austria and then ran out of gas against Brazil in the third place match. Team USA finished 9th at the 2011 games which was the highest the US team has ever finished, but the team doesn’t expect a 9th place finish in 2015.

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L to R (Front Row) Matt Ayling, Todd Strassberger, Steve Kucera, Mat Henrichs, Eric Kindler (Back Row) Coach Ron Jesswein, Mat Ogin, Pat White, Kris Graham, Keith Schweda, Aaron Weninger, Coach Gastao Englert

 

The addition of Gastao Englert to the coaching staff after the 2011 games has had a dramatic affect on the level of play for both the US Men’s and Women’s teams. Coach Englert has been the driving force behind the formation of the US Women’s team and the US hosting the first ever Pan-American fistball games earlier this year at the Swim and Sport Club in New Jersey. The men’s team is comprised of veteran fistball players, 9 of which competed in the 2011 World Championships, and 5 of which competed at the 2007 World Championships. Coach Ron Jesswein believes that the combination of their past experience and the additional training techniques brought to the table by Coach Englert will drive team USA to it’s best finish yet.

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The games will be streaming live on the internet starting at 1 pm cst/2pm est here.

Argentina is hosting the games for the first time since the 1986 Men’s World Championships which were held in Buenos Aires. The Men’s Fistball World Championships are held once every four years and the host country varies with the International Fistball Association making the final determination upon the host country. The USA and Switzerland have both put forth bids to host the 2019 Men’s World Championships and the host city will be determined and announced soon.  The US bid is backed by the power of the World Games committee in Alabama.  Alabama has been selected as the 2021 host city for the World Games.  The World Games is an Olympic style competition for sports that haven’t yet ascended to the ranks of the Olympics and serve as an important bridge to becoming an Olympic sport.

The official program is available to view online at the below link.  Let’s Go Team USA!

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