From left to right: Official of the Year Emmanuel Tadonkeng, Assistant Referee of the Year Joe Zawistowski, NYMISOA President John Puglisi, New Official of the Year Jason Silver, Dennis Botsaris Service Award recipient George Snizek.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
November 22, 2016-What compels a ref who has advanced to the highest levels of college soccer to continue to ref youth games around their college schedule? For many officials in the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA), it’s so they can continue to refine their game and also because of their loyalty to the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), where they cut their teeth as refs.
NYMISOA, serving colleges and junior colleges in New York City, Long Island and Westchester, held its Annual Awards Dinner on Monday night, November 14 at the Sterling in Bethpage. As voted by the general membership, four officials who particularly made a difference during the recently-completed college regular season were honored.
Emmanuel Tadonkeng of Queens Village was voted the Official of the Year. He is originally from Cameroon and served as captain of Globe Institute of Technology, graduating in 2009. When he is not refereeing college soccer, Emmanuel refs in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL), Big Apple Youth Soccer League (BAYSL), Metrokids Interregional Soccer League, Eastern New York Premier League (ENYPL) and Eastern Regional League.
Syosset’s Joe Zawistowski was honored as the Assistant Referee of the Year. Outside of college soccer, Joe refs in the CJSL, Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL), ENYPL and the Eastern Regional League.
Merrick resident Jason Silver was selected as the New Official of the Year. Just like his friend Zawistowski, Jason also refs in the LIJSL, ENYPL and the Eastern Regional League.
Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Famer George Snizek of West Hempstead received the Dennis Botsaris Service Award for his decades of service to soccer. George is one of the few people in all of humanity who is a Hall of Famer in two different sports as he’s also a member of the National Drag Racing Hall of Fame. The George Snizek and Charlie Dodge Racing Team amassed over 150 event wins together on the Tasmanian Devil on East Coast dragstrips in the 1950s and ‘60s, before George turned his attention back to soccer. He refereed many LIJSL games in the past couple of decades.
”Our role is to help young men and women develop as part of their education. It’s a tremendous responsibility for our members and these four honorees have done a terrific job in this regard,” explained NYMISOA President John Puglisi.
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.