By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 5, 2016-A New Year brings new responsibilities for Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Famer Burt Wilkes. The Deputy Director of Region 1, which covers youth soccer from Maine to Virginia and West Virginia, has been appointed as a committee member of the United States Youth Soccer Association’s Olympic Development Program (ODP). In this role, Burt will help administer ODP boys inter-regional events, where the four regional champions play against each other. The planning includes lodging, meals, transportation, referees, set-up of fields and anything else that’s needed to run the tournaments plus make a budget for these events. It’s a lot of volunteer work that players and coaches often take for granted.
In his new role, Burt can draw on his experience when he served as Chairperson of Eastern New York ODP.
He has been a soccer volunteer for a quarter-century. Burt became involved with the Silver Lake Soccer Club in 1991 and volunteered as President, Vice President and Trustee. He was the assistant coach and team administrator of the Silver Lake Rams, who won two State Cup championships at Boys-Under-17 and Boys-Under-19 with losing in the final at Boys-Under-18 in-between their two State Cup titles.
While with Silver Lake, the Rossville, Staten Island resident became a member of the Board of Directors of the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL). He then served six years as the CJSL President. Burt was the driving force behind the CJSL opening a full-time office, negotiated partnerships with corporations and was instrumental in CJSL girls teams playing in other Eastern New York leagues as guest teams while the CJSL accepted guest boys teams from other leagues.
Burt volunteered as the First, Second, Third and Fourth Vice President as well as Trustee of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). In addition to serving as Chairperson of Eastern New York ODP, he volunteered as Commissioner of the Eastern New York Premier League (ENYPL). So with all this volunteering and accomplishments, it’s no surprise that Burt has been inducted into the Halls of Fame for both Eastern New York (2012) and the CJSL (2013).
Somehow Burt also found the time to be the boys soccer coach at Moore Catholic High School for five years, coaching the Mavericks to the B Division Championship in 2001, as well as spending countless hours volunteering in the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts three years ago.
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 Special Children. 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.