By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 16, 2019-Nearly 200 alumni recently played in Alumni Games hosted by three Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) clubs with a long history in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). Thanksgiving Weekend was utilized as people are home for the holiday, the weather is still conducive for outdoor soccer on Long Island and it’s a time to relive memories while kicking around a ball.
The Oceanside United Soccer Club, founded in 1962, started the fun off on Thanksgiving morning, November 28. Nearly 40 Oceanside United coaches, administrators plus current and former players showed up at blustery Oceanside Park for the 30th Annual 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.
The Garden City Centennial Soccer Club, now the largest club in Eastern New York, kicked off play in 1969 and its name comes from its first year being the 100th anniversary of the Village of Garden City. Garden City's Alumni Games began over two decades ago with men playing plus a women’s match was added in 2010. 64 alumni from the club who attended either Garden City High School, Chaminade High School or Sacred Heart Academy played on Saturday, November 30 at Garden City High School with $500 being raised towards the club’s player development program.
2019 Garden City Alumni Game above. Photo courtesy of the Garden City Centennial Soccer Club.
Founded in 1971, the Rockville Centre Soccer Club is the youngest of these three clubs but has the oldest Alumni Games as they started in the mid-1960s when the graduates from South Side High School boys varsity team got together. The games have evolved into a club-run event with women playing too. 20 women played before the approximately 50 men on Saturday afternoon, November 30 on Peter Bralower Field at the Rockville Centre Sports Complex.
2019 Rockville Centre Alumni Games above. Photo courtesy of the Rockville Centre Soccer Club.
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.