By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 16, 2019-The East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) was founded in 1976 as the West-Put Youth Soccer League since the original name was a reference to Westchester and Putnam counties. The league adopted its current name a few years later but even that moniker is not entirely accurate as much of the league’s recent growth has occurred west of the Hudson River.
With nearly 350 travel teams in eight counties, the EHYSL is the second largest league in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA).
Girls High School-Division 2 Kingston Sparks
The EHYSL’s major social event of the year is the Dinner of Champions, so large that it has to be spread out over two nights. A total of over 500 players, their coaches and their parents were honored on Tuesday night, July 9 and Wednesday night, July 10 at the Villa Borghese in Wappingers Falls.
League champions from Under-12 to High School in the recently-completed Spring Season were celebrated. The EHYSL also has Under-9 to Under-11 teams but those games are purely developmental so no standings are kept.
Scholarship recipient Hannah Chang with EHYSL President Jim Purdy (left) and EHYSL Treasurer John Hayes
“This is unique as nobody else in New York State does a dinner like ours,” explained EHYSL President Jim Purdy. “Besides the players, we also want to take a moment to thank and honor our coaches and volunteers whose patience, direction and soccer experience allow our children to enjoy this great game. We also want to recognize and especially thank the parents who write the checks, do the chauffeuring, nurse the bumps and bruises and cheer on the sidelines, no matter the weather.”
Each champion coach spoke about his or her team and introduced the players. A common theme in the coaches' speeches was we won the division title because of teamwork and overcoming adversity, which even included all the rain this past spring.
Greenwood Lake Gorillas coaches Joe Di Mattina and Katheleen Holder
Special kudos to the Boys-Under-12 Division 4 Greenwood Lake Gorillas, who did not start the Fall Season well but won their last three games and were a perfect 10-0-0 during the Spring Season. Kudos as well to the Boys-Under-15 LaGrange Warriors, who did not give up a goal in Division 1 during the entire Spring Season.
Also honored at the Dinner of Champions were EHYSL’s best and brightest who received league scholarships based on academic and athletic excellence while making their community a better place.
The Michael Goldberg Memorial Scholarship recipients are Hannah Chang (going to Case Western Reserve University) and Melissa Stok (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Caroline Voorhis (Marist College) and Daniel Wiener (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) received the Dan Herbst Memorial Scholarship.
Scholarship recipient Daniel Wiener with EHYSL First Vice President Dan Kelly
Check out Photos from the Dinner of Champions in our Gallery HERE
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and 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 11 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 Children With Special Needs. 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 onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.