By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 4, 2012-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that Brentwood’s Michael Clarke, one of the true gentlemen of soccer, has been inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place at the 2012 Holiday Party on December 1 at Lido Restaurant on City Island.
Mike began his soccer career as a youth soccer coach in the Brentwood Soccer Club in the 1970’s, coaching both boys and girls. He then served as club President and under his leadership, the club tripled in size. Mike served as tournament director of Brentwood’s Columbus Day Tournament played at the Pilgrim State Soccer Complex (now Brentwood State Park).
In the early 1980’s, Mike became a member of the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Board of Directors and was inducted into the LIJSL Hall of Fame in 1994.
Mike was the girls varsity coach at MacArthur High School in Levittown and his reputation as an ambassador of sportsmanship led the Nassau County Coaches Association to annually give the top girls player in the county the Michael Clarke MVP Award.
Mike has also received the Marg McGory Award for his unwavering dedication to the LIJSL’s TOPSoccer Special Children Program.
There are probably not many volunteer positions in local youth soccer that Mike has not held as he has served as LIJSL Select Chairperson, Chase Cup Chairperson, LIJSL Games Supervisor, State Cup Commissioner plus served on the committees for the LIJSL Convention, LIJSL Hall of Fame, LIJSL Scholarship Program and LIJSL Rules Committee. After 40 years of service to the children of New York, Mike is now the Director of the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview.
"When you meet Mike Clarke, you know that you have met a very special person," commented LIJSL President Addie Mattei-Iaia in the induction speech. "He’s in youth soccer for all the right reasons!"
With 123,843 youth soccer players––68,587 boys and 55,256 girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 12 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Special Children. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.