By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
November 8, 2022-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that Otto Horstmann was inducted into the Eastern New York Hall of Fame at our Hall of Fame Banquet celebrating Eastern New York’s 50th Anniversary last Saturday, November 5 at Marina del Rey in the Bronx.
Our new Hall of Famer never played soccer as a kid growing up in the Westerleigh section of Staten Island as most of the borough was all about baseball, basketball, stick ball and touch football before the youth soccer craze.
As an adult, Otto became involved with youth sports at Our Lady of Good Council (OLGC), where his children went to school. He started coaching basketball, then became involved with the OLGC Sports Association and before he knew it, he became OLGC President in 1985. About that same time, the OLGC Soccer Director resigned so Otto ended up taking over that position and attended Staten Island Youth Soccer League (SIYSL) meetings. OLGC had four travel teams with Otto’s children playing on three of them. Because of some parent/coach issues, one of the coaches quit and suddenly Otto went from soccer nothing to soccer club director and soccer coach, and shortly after that, SIYSL Board Member, being elected Secretary starting in 1990.
Otto was elected, then re-elected SIYSL President spanning a decade from 1995 to 2005. As President, education was high on his agenda so in collaboration with the club directors, they came up with “seminar” items (offside, advantage, etc.). Once the topics were selected, Otto worked with Tony Limone, then President of the Staten Island Soccer Referee Association (SISRA), to have refs conduct the seminars. The only way that each coach or assistant coach could receive their team’s schedule for the season was to attend a rules seminar at the Staten Island Academy.
Additionally, Otto worked with Nick Zlatar and they ran numerous coach licensing courses.
Otto was also an emergency travel team coach for Silver Lake in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) in 2006 as the coach had quit on his son’s team so Otto stepped up so the kids could have a season. Otto served as President of Staten Island United for a dozen years and throughout the 1990’s. He was in the first class of inductees when the SIYSL Hall of Fame was established in 2007.
For decades of volunteering, Otto was honored as Eastern New York’s Personality of the Month in May 2016 plus 2021 Volunteer of the Year and was inducted into the Eastern New York Hall of Fame last weekend. Not bad for a guy who never played soccer as a kid.
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. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/