By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
June 1, 2018-Things are looking up for Bob Cascone of the Smithtown Kickers. He was honored as the club’s Volunteer of the Year at the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) Convention on March 9, the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) has named him our Personality of the Month for June and he celebrates his birthday toward the end of the month on June 29.
“I first became involved in soccer when we registered my oldest daughter Haley for the Smithtown Kickers intramural program in the fall of 1999,” Bob explained. “By the Spring Season, I volunteered to be coach of a team in our intramural program. I never played soccer when I was young but I enjoyed watching the girls progress with their skills.”
He continues, “Being the control freak I am, I needed to learn more about the sport and how to properly coach the players. At the time, our club offered printed training drills as well as training session for the coaches with NOGA trainers. I attended most of the sessions and we ran around the fields playing British bulldog, sharks and minnows, stuck in the mud and body brakes to name a few. I took these games that we learned with the trainers back to my practices and did them the same way.”
Bob continued coaching Haley until she was eligible for the travel program as a Girls-Under-10 player and became the coach of the Smithtown Freedom, the age group’s “C” team.
“At that time, everyone strived to be on the ‘A’ team but I didn’t care about what letter it was, just that we were having fun and developing our soccer skills,” Bob stated. “By Under-13, Haley moved up to the ‘B’ team, the Smithtown Xplosion, and I became an assistant coach on that team.”
Haley was the goalkeeper as she went in goal when nobody else wanted to do so. At Girls-Under-16, she moved up to the “A” team, the Smithtown Revolution, and Bob eventually became the head coach of that team when the coach’s daughter stopped playing. He took them all the way through Girls-Under-18 in 2014 with players originally on the Freedom and Xplosion as Under-10 players on that team in their last year of youth soccer.
“In 2001 and ’02, my son Nicholas decided to play one year of intramurals, where I coached him that year, until he stopped to play football and lacrosse instead of soccer,” Bob explained. “A few years later my youngest daughter Erin started intramurals. I wasn’t at many of the games until I received a call from a parent on the team that told me the current coach was stepping down and I needed to take over as the coach or the team will fall apart. Well I did. I now had a travel team, and an intramural team. Because of my enthusiasm, presence and dedication to the sport and club, I was asked to become the Intramural Girls Coordinator,” and Bob made sure that all teams were equally balanced.
He coached Erin in travel soccer on the Smithtown Crimson Tide and received his “C” and “B” coaching licenses. He also became a member of the Smithtown Kickers’ Board of Directors as Travel Registrar.
“My organization skills and long, detailed e-mails became my signature. I would live down at the fields, for practices, games, meetings with other teams within our club and spent countless late nights preparing for our club’s registration each fall and spring. I always wanted to have all my teams' registrations complete and be prepared as possible so I could breeze through the registration process. The ladies at the LIJSL office were a great help to me, and I quickly learned how to do the job and be successful at it.”
Additionally, Bob served as MC for the club’s MVP Dinner, volunteered as a member of the club’s Scholarship Committee and for the Smithtown community’s Annual Turkey Trot for local charities.
In closing, Bob added, “I can honestly say that I have had a great run and would not change any of it at all. I’ve made so many friends along the way and with the parents, coaches and, of course, the players, who I have watched since they were four years old and now all grown up on their way to college, some will play and others will go just for their education. And through all the stressful times, I look back at the thank-you cards and notes from my players letting me know how I have touched their lives and made an everlasting mark. I will miss all of them.”
Congratulations to Eastern New York’s June Personality of the Month, Bob Cascone!
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.