By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 11, 2018-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that Andy and Marlene Kasman have been selected as our Personalities of the Month for January. The Dix Hills residents have been volunteering for the Commack Soccer League in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) for more than two decades.
Andy became involved with soccer after the family moved to Dix Hills and their son Brian, who was four, wanted to play. They missed the registration so Marlene spoke to the coordinator who said he had enough kids to make a peewee team but no coach. He said if Andy wanted to coach, their son could play. That was the humble beginning to Andy’s coaching career.
Marlene became involved because every Sunday, Andy and sons Brian and Jonathan were spending all day at the field playing, volunteering and refereeing, so she volunteered to help and subsequently became involved on the Commack Soccer League’s Executive Board.
Andy coached the LIJSL’s Commack Strikers, taking Jonathan and his teammates up to Boys-Under-17. Additionally, Andy volunteered as an age group coordinator for Commack while Marlene served as Commack’s Referee Coordinator for seven years.
Commack TOPSoccer players. Andy and Marlene Kasman are on the far left in photo.
As their sons were getting older and no longer playing, Marlene was looking to do something to stay involved in the Commack Soccer League, where they had made many friends, yet also to give back to the community. A friend’s son was playing soccer for the neighboring Huntington Boys Club’s TOPSoccer Program because Commack never had a program for these children with special needs. After doing some research, getting approval from the Executive Board of the Commack Soccer League and meeting with the LIJSL TOPSoccer committee, Andy and Marlene introduced the program to Commack in 2009.
40 kids, both boys and girls, currently play Commack TOPSoccer on Saturday mornings at 11 am at the Burr Road Soccer Complex during the spring and fall.
“The athletes have to be five years old and never age out of the program,” Marlene explained. “Our oldest athletes who have been with us since the beginning are currently 19 years old.”
Additionally, the Kasmans have organized a TOPSoccer Spring Tournament for the past two years with the third edition coming in 2018, which is completely supported by the Commack Soccer League and the LIJSL TOPSoccer Committee.
Longtime LIJSL TOPSoccer Chairperson Ann Marie Toth stated, “You can depend on the Kasmans for anything! They have done a wonderful job.”
Marlene concluded, “Although the focus is on us, I would like to add that we could not run this program without the help of the Commack Soccer League, a couple of adult coaches who are great friends that we met through soccer and the many high school and middle school Buddies who come down every week to work with these amazing special athletes.”
If you would like to register your child for Commack TOPSoccer or have questions, you can contact the Kasmans at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.