By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 26, 2023-Geoff Davis has done pretty well for himself in soccer especially when considering that he never played in a youth soccer league as a kid. He grew up in the Bronx where local kids originally from England, Ireland, Germany, Hungary and Greece played soccer in the street using a Spaldeen.
Geoff came to Oneonta State as a student in 1965 and never left the area. He taught Physical Education at Oneonta State for 40 years.
His introduction to organized soccer came when his kids, Alexis and Zachary, started playing.
“Since I had very little background in playing soccer, as soon as I could find someone who knew what they were doing, I demoted myself to team manager,” Geoff explained.
In 1989, he took up the whistle as a soccer referee and is still officiating today. He’s refereed youth games, adults and high school games but stopped officiating college games a decade ago. Geoff is President of the Oneonta Soccer Referees Association plus Secretary/Treasurer of the Delaware-Ostego High School Officials. Additionally, he’s a referee instructor and assessor.
In the early 1990’s, Geoff served as President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Oneonta Soccer Club, then became Registrar and Treasurer of the Mid-State New York Soccer League. Geoff always made the lengthy trip south to attend Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) meetings.
After serving as Mid-State’s Registrar for 25 years, Geoff has left that role for a new one helping as the league’s Referee Retention Coordinator.
“In the Oneonta area, while we are losing about the same number of officials each season just like years past, we are not seeing people take the new course to be their replacements. We need to find ways to attract new officials. I plan on working directly with local soccer clubs to come up with new approaches to get more people involved.” Geoff stated. “I've been working on this problem with some folks who officiate other sports such as basketball, softball and baseball because they are experiencing the same issue as we are. We may also try and include the field hockey referees as well. A more formal committee cutting across multiple sports will be created to focus specifically on the recruitment issue.”
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 10 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 onto http://www.enysoccer.com/