By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
February 2, 2017-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that Ray Wolfe is being honored as our Personality of the Month for February.
“We are very happy to honor Ray Wolfe as our Personality of the Month,“ commented Eastern New York President Richard Christiano. “He gave tirelessly of himself for decades as a player, coach, referee and administrator. With Ray, it was always about the kids!“
The soccer lifer and native of Ridgewood, Queens started playing for the Kolping Soccer Club and B/W Gottschee in the German-American Soccer League, now called the Cosmopolitan Soccer League (CSL). As a young father, Ray coached his son, Ray Jr., playing for B/W Gottschee in the CSL’s junior circuit, the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL). Michael is his other son.
Ray began a stellar career as a referee in 1985 after he and his family moved to Franklin Square, Long Island. He quickly moved up the ranks from pee-wees to Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) youth games to amateur, professional and international matches. Ray officiated the World University Games in Niagara Falls in 1993 and did so well that he was assigned both a semifinal and the final. Two years later, he served as an assistant referee for the United Soccer League’s nationally-televised championship game.
He also excelled as a high school and college ref and was honored as the 2000 Official of the Year in the New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA).
Ray volunteered for many years as a Trustee for the New York Soccer Referee Association. In 2009, he received a promotion to State Youth Referee Administrator (SYRA), and tirelessly canvassed the Empire State to develop Eastern New York’s youth referees until his retirement last month.
It has been said that beside every good man there is a good woman and the Wolfe family is no exception. Ray’s wife Hilda was a longtime Eastern New York staff member who was honored as the 2002 Region 1 Administrator of the Year. Both Ray and Hilda have been inducted into the Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Fame and this is a rarity as just one other husband-and-wife team, Phil and Bessie Lamonica, are Eastern New York Hall of Famers.
Ray and Hilda moved to Beach Lake, Pennsylvania three years ago and, unfortunately, living there, they do not get to see their grandkids as often as they would like. Kristiana was on a swim team, Tri-M, and Sean and Eric play for the West Babylon Soccer Club. Sean, 14 years old, also has become a referee.
“I enjoyed playing, coaching and officiating as well as my position as the SYRA, selecting referees for the State Cup Finals and Regional Tournaments and being there to watch them preform. I was always very proud to see these same referees advance up the ranks and watching them officiate at the national level,“ Ray stated. “I enjoy watching my grandsons play soccer and my oldest grandson referee intramural games. Thanks to Eastern New York President Richard Christiano and the entire Board as well as the office staff for all their support throughout the years.“
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 onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.