Chris Wingert won a Triple Crown as a teen in the LIJSL five decades after his grandfather,
Warren Mehrtens, was a Triple Crown-winning jockey aboard Assault. Photo courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune.
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
May 2, 2016-Sports history was made last June when American Pharoah became only the twelfth thoroughbred to win the Triple Crown. This Saturday, Gun Runner, Nyquist, Exaggerator, Outwork, Creator and other horses all hope to win the Kentucky Derby and go on to win the Triple Crown next month.
In Major League Baseball, the Triple Crown refers to the hitting achievement of leading the league in home runs, batting average and runs batted in (RBI) over the same season. Roger Hornsby (1922 and 1925) and Ted Williams (1942 and 1947) are the only Major Leaguers to win the Triple Crown twice.
The Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) has a Triple Crown as well. Every Spring Season, LIJSL teams try and win it by taking the State Cup, Long Island Cup and LIJSL division title. It’s a nearly impossible task for the LIJSL’s 1,490 travel teams but just about every spring, a couple of squads do it as they win most of their three group games plus all three elimination games in the State Cup, all five elimination games in the Long Island Cup and nearly all 9 or 10 regular season games for the LIJSL division championship.
The first leg of the Triple Crown, the State Cup, features teams from each of the 11 member leagues of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) in two different competitions. The State Open Cup finals will be played on Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5 at Stringham Park in LaGrange in Dutchess County. The Arch Capital Group Cup finals will be contested on Saturday, June 11 at the Peter Collins Soccer Park in Plainview.
The Long Island Cup kicked off in March and with 22,000 players, it's the largest single elimination youth soccer event in the United States. The finals will be played on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 at the Three Village Soccer Park in Stony Brook.
All LIJSL regular season games will be completed by the end of June so at that time, we’ll know which LIJSL teams won the Triple Crown and if any race horse succeeded American Pharaoh in doing the same.
Interestingly, one LIJSL player won the Triple Crown five decades after his grandfather was a Triple Crown-winning jockey. Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert, now 33 years old, won the Triple Crown as a teenager with Commack United. In 1946, his maternal grandfather, Warren Mehrtens, won the Triple Crown aboard Assault, horse racing’s sixth Triple Crown winner.
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.