New York Soccer Referee Association Honors Its Top Refs
New York Youth Soccer News: The NYSRA has been assigning refs since 1938
Frank Sinatra sang “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” in “New York, New York,” and this sentiment applies to just about every trade and certainly to soccer refereeing. Soccer is a wonderful melting pot and so is New York City so many of the most diverse athletic contests played in the US are New York City soccer games. Managing soccer games between rival ethnic groups is not for the faint of heart and it’s been the role of the New York Soccer Referee Association (NYSRA) since its inception way back in 1938. At the NYSRA Holiday Party on December 14 at the VFW Hall in Franklin Square, its top referees in 2017 were honored.
The following referees received awards:
Gold Whistle (NYSRA’s highest achievement award) was presented to Francesco Rizzi in recognition of distinguished service at highest level with US Soccer. Picking up a lyric from another Sinatra song, 2017 “was a very good year” for Francesco as he was also included on the NISOA National list and officiated the PSAL Boys Soccer Final for the New York City high school championship.
Silver Whistle presented to Andrew Pyzik in recognition of a young, upcoming and talented referee
Referee of the Year Award was given to Patricia Thelwell for great officiating and reaching the highest level with competence and dedication to the NYSRA
Service Award, for over 25 years of outstanding and devoted service, went to Joao Natel
Life Member Award, soccer’s version of the Lifetime Achievement Award, was presented to veteran ref Conrad Vaughn for many years of service with NYSRA
“The turnout to our annual holiday party was higher than usual with guests from the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League as well as the State Adult Association,” explained NYSRA President Vito Rizzi. “Gifts were raffled as we usually do during this occasion.”
The NYSRA would like to thank its friends at the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL), New York City originals since 1933, for paying for the holiday dinner.
Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association: 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) reaches 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.