By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 17, 2020-The Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), the largest league in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), has announced their Hall of Fame Class of 2020 during the league’s General Meeting held virtually on December 8:
Kevin Ferrari of the Massapequa Soccer Club has been a part of the club for nearly his entire life as a player, coach and administrator. He began playing for Massapequa in the club’s inaugural season 50 years ago in 1970. In addition to captaining his Massapequa Soccer Club team, he did the same with the LIJSL Select Program and Eastern New York’s Olympic Development Program (ODP). Kevin still holds several goalkeeping records at the University of Scranton, where he again served as team captain. After graduating, he immediately volunteered to coach in Massapequa. From 2001 to 2014, Kevin served on the club’s Executive Board, culminating with volunteering as Club President. He took over the Massapequa Special Needs Program in 2004 and continues to run it to this day.
George “Skip” Haile of the Merrick/South Merrick Soccer Club grew up in Merrick and he was a goalkeeper for both Calhoun High School and Manhattanville College. For nearly 15 years, Skip has been an integral part of the club, from the guy who did all the dirty work that nobody else wanted to do, to VP of Operations and to his current role as President. He also currently works as a field scheduler and lends his hand in managing Merrick/South Merrick's finances. As a member and then President of the Bellmore-Merrick Board of Education, he was an important factor in having turf fields replace the overused grass fields. But it is his devotion to every player in the club that sets Skip apart as he personally speaks to every coach and makes sure that nobody falls through the cracks. Under his leadership, the club has grown from 290 players in 2008 to over 500 today.
The Plainedge Soccer Club’s Christopher McGovern also played youth soccer, for the LIJSL’s Farmingdale Soccer Club and Hicksville Americans. Chris then coached two Plainedge girls teams through Under-19, playing in the LIJSL’s top division. He’s also a certified referee who volunteers as head referee for the club. Chris served as the administrator of the Route 135 intramural league for over 15 years, was one of the founding members of the Plainedge Soccer Father’s Day Tournament as well as a founding member of the Plainedge Soccer Club Kids Helping Kids Intramural Tournament, a Thanksgiving Weekend indoor tournament that raises money for local families in need during the holiday season.
Kostadinos “Kosta” Siskidis of the Stony Brook Soccer Club started volunteering for the club in 1993 and later the volunteering included coaching. He served on Stony Brook’s Board of Directors from 1998 to 2012. Kosta has managed the fields at the Three Village Soccer Park as well as the field house and food concession. He built a pump house and helped schedule their tournament and two festivals for many years. He also initiated the first online apparel and uniform sales. In 2004, he joined the LIJSL Games Committee and helped in other areas until becoming Chairperson of the Games Committee. He is a tireless advocate in making sure all kids play at the proper skill level.
The LIJSL Hall of Fame, established in 1978, seeks to honor those individuals who have made significant voluntary contributions to the development of youth soccer. With this newly announced class, it will now include 117 members. These four were to be recognized at the LIJSL Annual Convention last March, which was canceled at the early onset of the pandemic, and the league plans to induct this new class at a private ceremony to be held for each of them and their families at the league offices in Ronkonkoma early next year.
“As with all-things ‘2020,’ we unfortunately had to place the recognition of these four long-time valued volunteers ‘on pause’ earlier this year,” stated Steve Padaetz, the league’s Managing Director, to the virtual assemblage of 100 member clubs. “We are pleased to take this opportunity to formally recognize these most deserving individuals.”
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. For more information, please log on to https://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.