By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
October 26, 2017-The Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) is very pleased to announce that one of our referees, Thomas Snyder of LaGrange, has been named National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) RefEDGE Referee of the Year-Northeast Region.
Tom first became involved in the world’s most popular sport when his parents registered him to play soccer at the age of five in the intramural soccer league for the LaGrange Soccer Club and he started refereeing while in college.
“I became involved in refereeing at the age of 19. During my sophomore year, the Fall Season had just ended and I knew I was no longer going to be playing soccer at Penn State Altoona, as I was going to be moving to the main campus of Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania at the conclusion of the spring semester,” Tom explained. “A course for new referees offered by the Hudson Valley Soccer Referee Association happened to be available over two weekends that fell during my fall break in November 2009. I knew that I still wanted to be involved with soccer in some capacity since I was no longer playing competitively, so I figured I’d give refereeing a try.”
The now 28-year-old also got the coaching bug and currently coaches in the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) Academy Program. He previously coached with the New York Red Bulls as well as several local EHYSL teams, in addition to volunteering and then as a student-assistant with the Penn State men’s team while completing his degree.
“I’ve known Thomas Snyder for several years both as a referee and as a coach and he has excelled in both areas,” commented EHYSL President Jim Purdy. “He has in the last few years taken a huge step as a referee where he has stood out as one of the best referees in the Northeast. His work as the match referee in professional, semi-professional and college games from D1 through junior college has only solidified the quality, knowledge and professionalism of his work. Last fall, I was told by a fellow longtime junior college head coach that Tom was the best referee he had working his team's matches in several years. I look forward to Tom continuing his rise and soon hope to be watching him refereeing MLS.”
Tom, the recipient of the 2014 Tony Mastreanni Rookie of the Year Award from a high school association, the Mid-Hudson Soccer Officials Association, has been a member of Eastern New York’s Elite Referee Program for the past three years.
He said, “Over the past three years, I have become a much better referee because of this program, as I’ve had the opportunity to learn from the many clinics run by Lee Suckle and Eastern New York's current and past top referees who come in and speak to us, as well as working games with the other referees involved with the group on a regular basis.”
Highlights of his referee career include being assigned to a final in the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships, being a part of the referee crew for the Boys-Under-14 final at the 2017 Dallas Cup plus the 2017 NPSL Final and his first professional games in the USL, NASL and NWSL.
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.