By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 17, 2012-Although it’s assumed that Chicago gets its "Windy City" nickname from the gusts off Lake Michigan, legend has it that the name actually comes from the hot air of Chicago politicians.
Breezy Park on West Rogues Path and Oakwood Road in Huntington, dedicated last year, does not get its name from wind gusts but rather from Brianna "Breezy" Titcomb, a beloved soccer player in the Long Island Junior Soccer League’s Cold Spring Harbor/Huntington Soccer Club. It was the soccer club’s idea to name the park in honor and memory of "Breezy." She was killed in 2005 at the age of 13 by a drunk driver while on a family vacation in Texas.
"For generations to come, people are going to ask who she was," Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland has commented. "They are going to find out her story, they are going to find out about her love for sports and her memory is going to live on. We don’t want to forget a beautiful young lady who was taken from us too soon."
The Town of Huntington, partnering with Suffolk County, acquired the 11-acre property following a tireless effort by dedicated and caring residents such as the Cold Spring Harbor/Huntington Soccer Club to keep the parcel from being developed as a bus depot and repair yard. The project’s funding sources include money from the Town’s Environmental Open Space and Park Improvement Fund (EOSPA), other Town funds and a $1 million donation from Joe and Nikki Gregory.
There are two full-size, lighted turf fields at Breezy Park used for soccer, lacrosse and football. The small-sided grass field used for soccer is near the playground.
The sculpture by Massachusetts artist Michael Alfano was recently placed by the fields. It was commissioned by Brianna’s parents, John and Dawn Titcomb, and depicts the teen in her #8 soccer uniform, kicking a ball. The artist has several additional works on display on Long Island, including anti-drunk driving sculptures at Farmingdale State University and Eisenhower Park.
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.