From left to right: Eastern New York Hall of Fame Chairperson Ken Gulmi, inductee Rich Ceonzo and ENYYSA President Richard Christiano
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
December 22, 2017-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is pleased to announce that longtime volunteer and referee Richard Ceonzo was inducted into the Eastern New York Hall of Fame during our Holiday Party on December 17 at Marina del Rey in the Bronx. Rich was actually accepted as a Hall of Famer last year but could not make the induction ceremony as it interfered with a family vacation so it was agreed that the formal induction ceremony would take place this year instead.
Rich began his soccer career as a coach in LaGrange Soccer Club in 1992, founding the LaGrange Patriots boys travel team.
Subsequently, in 1999, Rich was appointed to the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) Board of Directors as League Arbitrator, a position he held for six years until he was elected EHYSL First Vice President and Games Chairperson. In 2007, he returned to a Trustee position due to his increasing involvement in the referee community. Continuing his willingness to serve the league board, Rich once again accepted the Arbitrator's position in 2009, serving in this role for another six years before returning to his current Trustee seat in 2015.
In addition to the above, the Poughkeepsie resident has consistently served as Chair or a member of a wide variety of EHYSL committees throughout his tenure, including but not limited to Appeals, Coaching Convention, Hall of Fame, Office, Premier League, Referee, Rules, Sportsmanship and Supervisory. Need something to be done, you can call on Rich!
At the same time, he has had a long and very distinguished career as a referee. He became a Grade 8 Referee in 1992, rising to Grade 7 in 1994 and then Grade 6 in 2004. He became a Referee Instructor in 1996, Instruction Coordinator in 1997, Eastern New York Director of Instruction in 2004 and a State Instructor Grade 5 in 2005. He also became an Assignor and Assignor Instructor in 2000. He achieved Grade 7 Assessor in 2001, and upgraded to Grade 5 Assessor in 2013. Finally, he served as Eastern New York State Referee Administrator (SRA) in 2011, in charge of the thousands of certified soccer refs from Long Island to the Canadian border.
“In addition to Rich's service to the soccer community as a referee, for which he is the most well-known, he has provided to be a valuable asset to the East Hudson Youth Soccer League as well,” commented EHYSL President Jim Purdy. ”Rich has for many years served on the league Board as an Age Group Coordinator and most recently as the League Arbitrator. As an AGC, he has been one of a few who new AGC’s can turn to for advice be most effective and as Arbitrator to be fair but firm. For many years, Rich has been a tremendous asset to the league and all of the soccer community and for that we are most appreciative.”
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.