Dimitrie and Sima Draguca
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 8, 2019-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that brothers Dimitrie and Sima Draguca have been selected as our Personalities of the Month for January. This is the first time that siblings have ever been selected for this award. Dimitrie and Sima are the only children of Simeon and Jelena Draguca of Middle Village, although the couple lived in neighboring Ridgewood for 48 years and that’s where their boys grew up.
Both Dimitrie and Sima were introduced to soccer at an early age by their father, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, and they started playing in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League
(CJSL) for the B/W Gottschee club. Dimitrie coached his alma mater, Grover Cleveland High School, from 1990 to 2001, and his best year was in 1992 when Sima was playing central midfielder. Sima was selected All-City Best 11 as the Dragucas led the team to the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) “A” championship for New York City.
The brothers have been certified as coaches and referees with Dimitrie focusing on coaching and Sima doing the same with officiating.
Besides coaching Grover Cleveland High School, Dimitrie served as coach and club director with the Asphalt Green Soccer Club from 1998 to 2009 and as coach and administrator with Downtown United from 2009 to the present. He has also been a high school referee since 2001.
Sima, meanwhile, coached one season of Snoopy Soccer with the Levittown Soccer Club of the Long Island Junior Soccer League
(LIJSL) in 2007 but found his calling as a referee shortly thereafter. The Levittown resident became a US Soccer referee in 2007, a high school ref in 2009 and a college referee in 2011. In a vote of its members, Sima was selected the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA) New Official of the Year in 2011 and the Official of the Year in 2013. He remains the only ref to have ever received Official of the Year so quickly, in his third year in the chapter.
While Sima was busy officiating 10 NCAA playoff games, college conference finals, PSAL finals and the State Cup finals, his older brother was moving up the ladder at the CJSL. Dimitrie, who now also lives in Middle Village, was elected First Vice President in 2009, then elected CJSL President in 2011 and continued in this role until 2016, when he became CJSL Director. That was also the same year the CJSL bestowed on him Life Member status.
And all this wonderful soccer activity is in addition to their “real jobs” as Dimitrie has been a Physical Education teacher in New York City Public Schools since 1993 and Sima has been working as Project Manager for Crown Castle International, a wireless and fiber optic infrastructure provider.
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 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.