The trophies distributed at the Dinner of Champions
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 29, 2016-Nearly 1,000 people came to Anthony’s Pier 9 Restaurant in New Windsor on July 12 and 13 as the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) honored its 36 Division champion teams––21 boys squads and 15 girls teams––from the recently-completed 2015-16 season as well as this year’s four scholarship recipients. East Hudson’s Dinner of Champions has become a July tradition that extends back almost to EHYSL’s founding in 1976, as the West Put Youth Soccer League, when it joined the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA).
All division winners––players, coaches and parents at the Dinner of Champions––were invited for an evening devoted to recognizing the players, honoring the coaches and thanking the parents for their combined efforts to make soccer the popular sport it is. Each coach praised his or her squad and introduced the players to a round of applause from those in attendance each night plus every player and coach was presented with a trophy signifying their team’s accomplishment.
“This is something the East Hudson Board of Directors and staff take great pride in doing,” EHYSL President Jim Purdy said. “The concentration is, of course, on the players. But we do take pains to remind them that their coaches, their parents and their club volunteers have been a huge part of their success––the success they’ve already had, and any they may achieve going forward. These evenings bring an appropriate celebratory end to our soccer year.”
Attilio CrimiVaroli of the Highland Soccer Club, to study at the University of New Hampshire, and Claire Thoma of East Fishkill, who played for the East Hudson Academy and Eastern New York’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) and will be attending Roanoke College, were honored with the Michael Goldberg Scholarship. Thoma also received a scholarship from Eastern New York. Michael Goldberg was a 15-year-old boy playing in the EHYSL for the Chappaqua Soccer Club when he died of leukemia and his family started the scholarship to honor his fulfilling yet brief life.
Receiving the Dan Herbst Scholarships were Laura Fajrado of the Monroe-Woodbury Soccer Club, to attend Fairfield University, and Brendan Smailer of the Kingston Area Soccer League, who will be studying at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Herbst also died from leukemia, in 2001. He was a longtime soccer journalist and author, past president of the Yorktown Soccer Club and in his first term as EHYSL President when he passed away at age 48.
“These four scholarship recipients have exhibited excellence not only on the soccer field but in the classroom and the community as well,” President Purdy stated.
Adding to the festivities, New York City FC donated raffle prizes including an autographed soccer ball and scarf plus had two winners of four tickets to a luxury box at Yankee Stadium for a NYCFC game.
“Enjoy your summer and we will be looking forward to your efforts next year to return to this event,” added President Purdy.
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 on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.