By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 3, 2019-Thanksgiving is associated with turkey and football but in the South Shore hamlet of Oceanside, the national holiday is also associated with soccer. Oceanside United, founded in 1962 and with a long history in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), kicked off its Turkey Bowl alumni game in 1990 so last Thursday morning, November 28 was its 30th annual event.
Thanksgiving is utilized as people are home for the holiday and the weather is still conducive for outdoor soccer on Long Island. It’s a time to renew friendships and relive memories while kicking around a ball.
Nearly 40 Oceanside United coaches, administrators plus current and former players showed up at blustery Oceanside Park for the Turkey Bowl, with ages going from 17-year-old Jose “Ricky” Vasquez to 88-year-old Alfredo D’Antonio, who won five Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) titles with Oceanside, Lynbrook and Glen Cove.
Oceanside United Recording Secretary Rich Eisenberg organized the 2019 Turkey Bowl and stated, “This event is about camaraderie and our love for the game as we meet once a year on a national holiday to renew old friendships. These guys are still a part of our soccer community and they give back to the kids.”
Two other LIJSL and ENYYSA clubs––Garden City Centennial Soccer Club and the Rockville Centre Soccer Club––played their annual Alumni Games two days later on Saturday, November 30.
With approximately 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 nine 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 on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.