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The East Hudson Youth Soccer League Honors Its Outstanding Volunteers



From left to right, Dave DeCato, Kara Gadonniex, Wilfred Lopez, Mike Keiser,
Jim Purdy, Brendan Conniff, Nick Mastrantuono and John Vigna

By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
November 13, 2014-Founded 40 years ago as the West-Put Youth Soccer League, the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) has a long and proud history serving youth soccer players in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties with even a club from Pennsylvania recently getting in on all the fun.

Last Saturday night, November 8 at Anthony’s Catering in Hopewell Junction, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s second largest league held its annual Hall of Fame and Annual Honors Dinner, and in the speeches, the theme of constancy was prevalent. The all-star line-up of honorees who have been volunteering in youth soccer for many years:

• Volunteer of the Year - Wilfred Lopez - Beacon Soccer Club
• Boys Travel Team Coach of the Year - Mike Keiser - East Fishkill Soccer Club
• Girls Travel Team Coach of the Year - Kara Gadonniex – LaGrange Soccer Club
• Girls Travel Team Coach of the Year - John Vigna - West Point Soccer Club
• Boys Recreational Coach of the Year - Brendan Conniff - Hyde Park Soccer Club
• Girls Recreational Coach of the Year - Nick Mastrantuono – Poughkeepsie Soccer Club
• Hall of Fame Induction – Dave DeCato – LaGrange Soccer Club
“I am a product of East Hudson soccer,” said Coach Gadonniex. “I even have my 1986 United States Youth Soccer Association player pass here with me to prove it. I was coached by Pat Parker, Gary Montalto and other great coaches through the years I played, and bring many of their philosophies to my coaching activities.”
“I started volunteering for the Beacon Soccer Club as a result of my association with folks such as Pat Kerr, and Robert and Christine Galloway,” continued Wilfred Lopez, volunteer honoree, “And was inspired by their long tenures as volunteers and coaches working to bring the joys of soccer to the children of Beacon.”

The last presentation added to the EHYSL Hall of Fame its 56th and newest inductee, Dave DeCato. The LaGrange Soccer Club’s Director of Coaching, Kieran McIlvenny, commented, “For almost two decades, long after his own children stopped playing, Dave has been providing guidance and opportunity for LaGrange girls to play, grow and develop as players and young women, epitomizing the ideals and qualities defining the East Hudson Hall of Fame. There are not many folks more deserving of this recognition than Dave DeCato.”

“It is through the dedicated efforts of folks such as these that make youth soccer the great program it is,” added EHYSL President Jim Purdy. “What little thanks we can give these honorees pales in comparison to their contributions and those of the hundreds of other parents and supporters of youth soccer every year. We rely on them, and thankfully can count on them, for so many things.”

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, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.




©2020 Eastern New York State Soccer Association

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