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Appreciation Night 2020

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by hilton, Bedford


Appreciation Night

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by Hilton, Bedford, MA



AN Introduction from the President of Mass Youth Soccer


elcome to Mass Youth Soccer’s 2020 Workshop Weekend! The festivities start Friday evening with the Annual Awards Appreciation Night and continuing through Saturday with the Mass Youth Soccer Workshop.

The Appreciation Night for our Annual Award Winners on Friday, January 24th is a wonderful opportunity for our community to honor and celebrate the efforts and commitment of numerous individuals to our sport. The annual awards recognizes those who stand out in their youth soccer programs, in their clubs and their communities for their selfless dedication to the game and to our children who play it. Every aspect of our great sport is recognized: the Young Female and Young Male Referees of the Year, the GOALS Program Coach of the Year, the TOPSoccer Coach of the Year, the TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year, the Volunteer of the Year, the Administrator of the Year and the Girls and Boys Recreational Coaches of the Year, along with recognizing our Male and Female StudentAthlete Scholarship recipients. In addition we will also recognize the 2019 Olympic Development Program Regional Pool Players. Mass Youth Soccer is delighted to welcome our 2020 Hall of Fame inductees Niki Cross and Charlie Davies to our Appreciation Night. Both Niki and Charlie represented the Massachusetts Olympic Development Program and we are excited to welcome them as the first players into the Hall of Fame. All of us at Mass Youth Soccer appreciate our members’ attendance and recognition of our Award Winners and Hall of Fame honorees. The Saturday, January 25th Soccer Workshop provides a wide variety of field demonstrations and classroom presentations for coaches, administrators and parents. Our staff has gathered an impressive list of speakers, presenters and instructors to assist our membership in advancing their soccer skills and knowledge. We are excited to share these educational opportunities as we strive towards our mission of ongoing development of youth soccer players, coaches, referees, clubs and leagues in an inclusive, safe, affordable and fun environment. None of these activities would be possible without the support of our corporate partners and sponsors, who are an integral part of Mass Youth Soccer community. Without their sponsorship, our programs would not be as effective and respected as they are today. Our thanks to the following corporate partners: Boston Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine, Coca-Cola, TD Bank, Ron Bouchard Auto Stores, Apex Marlboro, Fore Kicks and Dick’s Sporting Goods. A very special Thank You for the host of our events, Boston Marriott Hotel - Burlington and DoubleTree by Hilton Bedford. Please enjoy yourselves this weekend as we celebrate the special people amongst us and connect as enthusiastic youth soccer advocates to learn, share ideas and improve the soccer environment in our Association. It is our hope you return home from this weekends events with fond memories and renewed energy for our soccer community.

Bob Trudeau - President

Olympic Development Program EaSt Region Pool Players 2019 Congratulations to the 42 Massachsuetts players selected to the 2019 US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program East Region Pool. 2002/2003 Girls Ava Nace Katie Wojcik 2004 Girls Elsiana Aires Nyah Greene Olive Lawrence Carina Liberatore Jennah Quill Wiktoria Ucher 2005 Girls Zola Alcaro Erin Foley Madeline Kim Sydney Kofton 2006 Girls Lily Gibbs 2007 Girls Tess Barrett Emma Fitzpatrick Paige Flanders Nicole Jodoin Addison Kalaw Hope McMillin Abby Pacy Kayla Smyrnios

2002 Boys Max McCurdy 2004 Boys Ryan Koster Andrew Millar Jonas Wachman Goncalves Paul Whalley 2005 Boys Arya Kouzehkanani 2006 Boys Nayan Das Daniel Lau Devin Niles 2007 Boys Luke Chwalek Nicholas Cianflone Achilles Gallego Sean Gasbarro Noah Messina Nolan Murray Graham Ngah Bradley Piscitello Adonai Samuel Prakruth Vikram Kyle White Tristan White

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by hilton, Bedford


2019 Scholarship Winner Abby Schilling Abby Schilling was born in the very western part of Massachusetts, in the small town of Lenox. She has played soccer for 15 years, growing up on the Lenox and Pittsfield travel and club teams and, much to her 5th-grade self’s delight, the Lenox girl’s varsity team throughout high school. She’s bounced all over the field, from back in the goal to up top at stiker, but eventually found the middle ground as a center midfielder. Off the soccer field, Abby was a member of the varsity track team, the Lenox theatre department, a volunteer for the Massachusetts Special Olympics and Lenox Mighty Kicker Soccer program, part of the District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Board, a Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth scholar, and a very bad (but very determined!) baker. Abby is a freshman at The University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying both communications and political science. While she is not currently playing soccer, it has left a lasting mark on the way in which she sees and interacts with the world around her. The sport has taught her the values of compassion, determination, collaboration, and leadership.

2019 Scholarship Winner Jack Gavin Jack Gavin started playing soccer on a team when he was four years old. From his youngest years of playing instructional soccer with Bridgewater Youth Soccer Association to South Shore Soccer Travel League and eventually Bridgewater Raynham Regional High School, Jack’s passion for the game only grew. He started goalkeeping when he was young and by the time he was a senior, he was the starting goalie for BridgewaterRaynham Regional High School as a homeschooler. Jack learned so much from soccer. From perseverance, determination and hard work to athletic skills, commitment and leadership, soccer was one of Jack’s best teachers over the years. Jack also loves playing pick up games of soccer with his friends. In addition, Jack has been an active member of East Middleboro 4H since he was five years old and is now a junior leader. Jack has played just about every sport available to him and also loves games, from video to board to role play. As a homeschooler, Jack determined the course of his education. In the fall, Jack continues his education at Wheaton College. He hopes to play club soccer there and to continue to play pick up games with his friends.

For details on how to apply for the Mass Youth Soccer Scholarship please visit: mayouthsoccer.org/about/student_athlete_scholarship/ 6

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation NIGHT

young male referee of the Year Joe ConnolLy Joe first became involved with soccer around at the age of 7, playing with his town program up until highschool. As he entered high school Joe progressed to playing club soccer, joining GPS Boston Metro West. Joe’s refereeing career began in the town of Sto in the Fall of 2015, intially starting by refereeing U8 intown games, he became certified as a grade 8 in the March of 2016. After watching the 2018 World Cup, Joe’s interest in refereeing began to increase, he decided “I want to be like those guys one day”. Feeling inspired by the World Cup, Joe started taking assignments more seriously, and requested more challenging matches. Being a referee has allowed him to increase self confidence not only on the field but off of the field. “It has helped me build better relationships with the adults in my life” Joe’s refereeing goal is to eventually make it to PRO, to get there, he takes every opportunity for challenging assignments in the hopes of gaining experience and continuing to progress.

young female referee of the Year Angela Dileo

Angela is from Stoneham, Massachusetts. She started playing soccer at age 6 and has yet to stop. She graduated from Stoneham High School in the spring of 2019. There she played soccer for four years and was also involved in the drama program. She now attends the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she is majoring in political science and minoring in Spanish. Angela is a freshman at the University and enjoys her newfound freedom. In her free time, Angela enjoys playing intramural soccer with her fellow soccer referees. She is also a member of an on campus competitive acappella group, The Hawkettes. She is a part of the Honors college and makes academics her priority. Since the age of twelve, Angela has been a referee and has always enjoyed the challenges it brings. She started locally for her town but has since branched out, travelling to other states for various tournaments in the past two years. She has been working locally since making the transition to college, but plans to spread out again during the spring season. Angela loves being part of the soccer community and hopes to continue advancing as a referee.

The Young Male and female referee of the year awards are nominated by the massachusetts state referee committee. Are you interested in becoming a referee? visit massref.net for info on courses running January through March 2020.

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by hilton, Bedford


volunteer of the Year MAtt Stuehler

Matt has been volunteering as a Youth Soccer coach ever since his oldest son started playing Kindergarten soccer in Westwood, MA in 2012. He’s had the tremendous privilege of coaching every Fall and Spring (plus a few winters) since then! Along the way, he’s developed a deep appreciation for the incredible opportunity that volunteer coaching represents. “It’s a great way to stay connected to the beautiful game, an excuse to get out and play every weekend, and a chance to strengthen your connection to your friends, your neighbors, and your community.” Matt would like to thank his incredible wife, Treacy, for inspiring him to volunteer, and for tirelessly tackling all the responsibilities he neglects while he’s on the field every weekend. He would also like to thank his two terrific sons, Jack and Will, who have patiently taught him the#1 lesson of youth sports - that having fun is the most important thing of all. He would also like to thank all of the amazing people he’s coached with over the years, for sharing their wisdom and experience and incredible knowledge of the game.

administrator of the Year Abby Berry Abby is a mom, a special education teacher and a soccer enthusiast who resides in Chelmsford, MA. In the past 16 years Abby has coached both her sons in soccer along with many other players in Chelmsford. Abby serves as a board member for Chelmsford Youth Soccer. During her time on the board, Abby helped manage the clinic program for children ages 4 to 6 as well as the mini kicks program, introducing the youngest players to the sport. Abby enjoyed the opportunity to support young players, but her most prized opportunity came in Fall of 2017 when Abby spearheaded making Chelmsford into a TOPSoccer community. Fall 2017 was the inaugural season for TOPSoccer and it was a huge success. Close to 30 athletes and 30 volunteers participate in this amazing program. The program that has grown in the three years it has run has also spread to the Spring as well. Abby’s passion lies in helping individuals with special needs. TOPSoccer has provided the avenue for Abby to help these special players to have fun and to show off their skills. It is truly a beautiful thing.

Know a worthy award winner for 2020? Download a Nomination form via mayouthsoccer.org/events/mass-youth-soccer-annual-awards/ 8

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation NIGHT

goals coach of the Year Vanessa Chin

Born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Vanessa has been playing soccer since the age of 7 - at first only to copy her older sister, but then gradually, her own love of the game developed. For four years, she played center midfielder on Brookline High School’s varsity team. As a senior co-captain, Vanessa led the team to playoffs for the first time in 38 years.

Vanessa spent her freshman year of college at UCLA, before transferring to Barnard College of Columbia University. There, she joined bi-weekly pick up soccer games at the local park and participated in intramural teams. She graduated in May 2019 magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Upon graduating, Vanessa wanted to spend her summer making a positive impact on others and return to the sport that has taught her innumerable lessons applicable on and off the field. Previously a GOALS coach in 2015 and 2016, Vanessa’s most memorable moment i from the 2019 program included reuniting with players she had coached in 2015. She was touched by their own personal growth and their development in soccer over the years. Vanessa now lives in Boston and works at a healthcare consulting firm.

topsoccer buddy of the Year zach hastings

Zach is from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He attended St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, where he played football and was an active member in the school’s community.

He is currently enrolled as a freshman at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, where he plans on majoring in Exercise Science, and then moving on to receive a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.Zach has interned with the Worcester Bravehearts for the past 4 summers with the head Athletic Trainer and has also worked at a physical therapy clinic as a PT Aid to help gain experience in the field of physical therapy. He has been active in the community by going on service trips through his high school to Manchester, Providence, Worcester, and Camden. He also volunteered his time serving food to homeless veterans in Worcester with his football teammates. Zach was a senior leader at St John’s and helped freshmen get assimilated into high school. His love for helping others through community service will continue on through college and beyond.

TOPSoccer Coach OF THE YEAR mike sexton

Mike was born and raised in Floral Park, New York. Mike’s love for the game started in New York playing for several youth organizations. He later attended and played high school soccer for Chaminade High School. Although played lacrosse in college, his love for the game of soccer never wavered. He continued to play soccer in college with his fraternity, club soccer in northern California after graduating college and you can still catch him playing soccer in the over 40 soccer league on Thursday evenings. Mike started out coaching in the Topsham (ME) Youth Soccer League up in 1999 and then moved to Massachusetts in 2001. Mike has coached youth soccer in the Chelmsford Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) since 2011, ranging from the U5 intramural program up to U14 travel teams. In 2017, Mike also began volunteering as a coach for the TopSoccer Program in Chelmsford. His passion, energy and intensity come across to his players, but he believes that making the game fun is still the most important element of soccer at the youth soccer level. Mike lives in Chelmsford with his wife Heather and their three children, Colin (14), Ryan (11) and Anna (7).

girls Coach of the Year REGIONAL AWARD WINNER - EAST Jon Gangi “Jon Gangi is the kind of coach every parent hopes their child will play for and every player respects. He brings out the best in the soccer community. He elevates town sports and the people who participate at every level. Jon is a leader and fundamentally, a good person” Jon has coached boys and girls of all ages over the last 14 years. In 2019, he coached a GU12 team and a GU19 team and ran a supplemental training program called Turbo Training for Holden Youth Soccer (HYS). He also coaches the WPI Mens’ Club Soccer team. Jon’s main goal is to facilitate a positive experience for players in hopes that they will build enthusiasm and intrinsic motivation for soccer.He has an Advanced National Diploma and a Director of Coaching Diploma through United Soccer Coaches. He has also taken the US Soccer G, F, E, and D license courses among others. As director of soccer development and K-2 coaching director for HYS, Jon also provides training and practice plans for coaches. Jon lives in Holden with his wife Kelley, his son Dominic, and his daughter Vanessa.

Boys coach of the Year US Youth Soccer NAtional AWARD WINNER Epiphany Vera Epiphany Vera was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and now lives in the central Massachusetts town of Harvard, with his wife Chengeto and two children: Vimbayi (17) and Tafara (14) Epihnay, or Coach E has been a volunteer coach for Harvard Yotuh Soccer Club since 2010. He has coached players in age groups from under 6 to under 16. His coaching approach is centered around individual player development both on and off of the field. He makes a point to know all of his players. According to Coach E, “ We have just focused on the growth of our individual players, and the winning has been a byproduct of that. Players don’t compete for positions and we have never cut a player. When there’s an opening on the team, we do not look for the most skilled player; instead we look for the individual who enjoys and loves playing the game the most.” Epiphany has taken coaching courses and attended workshops provided by Mass Youth Soccer, he has also been an age group coordinator for the Harvard Soccer Club for six years. In addition to coaching soccer, Coach E was also a math Olympiad coach for four years and a middle school math team coach for two years.


Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation NIGHT

Hall of fame 2020

niki cross

Niki Cross was born in Brockton, Massachusetts and attended Notre Dame Academy, where she was a four-year letter- winner and captain. She was named All-State, All-New England, All-American and ODP All-American during the course of her high school career. In addition to winning accolades from the Patriot Ledger and Boston Globe All-Star Teams, Niki was honored as the Boston Globe Division I Player of the Year, and received the Boston Sports Award for Female Athlete of the Year. After graduating from Notre Dame Academy, Cross attended the University of Connecticut. During her time at UConn, Cross led her team to the national championship game as a freshman. She was also named to the MAC Hermann trophy shortlist as a senior. A versatile member of the Huskies, Cross played in 92 career games. She also tallied 34 points in her career at UConn with 13 goals and eight assists. Niki’s professional career included spells with St. Louis Athletica, Boston Breakers, Washington Spirit and Houston Dash in the USA as well as Umea Sodra in Sweden, Newcastle Jets in Australia, Medkila in Norway and FC Bayern Munich in Germany. On May 12, 2012 she was part of the FC Bayern Munich squad who dethroned the German Cup title holders, FFC Frankfurt with a 2-0 in the 2011-12 final in Cologne. The team celebrated the biggest success of the club’s history since winning the 1976 championship. Niki ended her professional career with the Houston Dash during the 2015 NWSL season having started every game of the season. Niki and her wife Molly reside in Arlington,MA and recently celebrated the birth of daughter Isabella.

2020 Charlie Davies As a child Charlie Davies was introduced to the game by his father Kofi. Charlie enjoyed very successful youth career with both local clubs and the Olympic Development program, where he gained recognition at both Regional and National Level. Charlie’s 101 goals during his time at Brooks School led to a scholarship opportunity with Boston College, where, in his first season, Charlie was named BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. The summer following his freshman year, he represented the US Youth National Team and won MVP and Golden Boot awards at the prestigious Milk Cup. After a significant knee injury his Sophomore year at Boston College, Charlie returned as a Junior to win ACC Player of the Year. In total, Charlie notched twenty-four goals and ten assists during his 37 game college career. Charlie’s professional career began with Swedish outfit Hammarby IF. Charlie’s success with both Youth National teams and Hammarby led to a call up to the US Mens National Team. During his international career, Charlie represented the USA at the Olympics, Gold Cup, World Cup Qualifying and Confederations Cup. His international club career included stints in Sweden, France and Denmark. As well as D.C United, the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union in the MLS. Charlie was no stranger to adversity throughout his career, he overcame a significant knee injury in his sophomore year, as well as a career threatening car accident and diagnosis of a rare form of cancer during his professional career. Despite these setbacks, Charlie always returned to play at the highest level, he accumulated 11 professional seasons in Sweden, France, Denmark and Major League Soccer, while also recording 17 caps and four goals for the U.S.A

January24, 25,2020 2019 • Doubletree Boston Marriott, Burlington January by hilton, Bedford


Massachusetts Youth Soccer 1994 Italo Agostino

Italo grew up in Italy before immigrating to the United States at age 14. Becoming fluent in 6 languages helped with his involvement in the international soccer community. He was the coach of the Huntington Preparatory School for boys and eventually founded and coached the High School Soccer Program in his hometown of Chelmsford. Italo was involved in the founding of Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association and was the President from 1982 to 1985. He also served as President of Eastern Massachusetts High School Soccer Coaches Association as well as a USYSA member, US Soccer Federation Budget Committee and as USYSA Regional 1A SubRegional Director. With the international soccer community, he traveled around the country and world as the men and women’s liaison and eventually produced an international relations and protocol manual. His commitment and drive was immeasurable, working up to four jobs at times, he still made time to work with Massachusetts Youth Soccer and volunteer coach his 4 children.

While attending MIT, Briggs became the first MYSA Hall of Fame inductee in large part for his work with girls’ youth soccer leagues. In his youth, Darrell participated in multiple sports, his exposure to soccer while his son played in the Wellesley House League led to him becoming heavily invested in developing the beautiful game.

1994 Darrell Briggs

Briggs asked for the girls to join the league, which led to him becoming the Vice President for the girls, he also developed a Norfolk League division for girls and would go on to win the State Cup as a coach. Darrell promoted growth of leagues statewide and would go on to develop a girls ODP in Massachusetts with the go-ahead from US Youth Soccer, later becoming the coach of the U-19 girls team, a position he held for 12 years. Darrell later became the National Treasurer of US Youth Soccer Association and has a left a memorable mark on the soccer community.


Al Cosentino

Al Cosentino earned a business administration degree from Burdett College, and although he had almost no interaction with soccer, he volunteered to fundraise when his son David signed up to play. Soon after, Al was appointed to the Board of Directors for Billerica Youth Soccer Association and became a Director for the Middlesex League in 1981. Al’s involvement in the game continued to increase as he became State Cup Commissioner for Massachusetts Youth Soccer. As a coach, he won the Tournament of Champions and Massachusetts State Cup in 1987, 1988, 1991 and 1992. Al then became a chairperson for the Eastern Regional Tournament. At the grass roots level, he volunteered time with U-6 and U-8’s where he grew fond of officiating and became a licensed referee. Al is also a member of the Eastern Mass Soccer Officials Association and National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association. His most memorable moment was carrying the World Cup trophy through Alumni Stadium.


Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation NIGHT

Hall of fame 1995 martyn bowden

Martyn was known for his boldness and sturdiness when it came to his philosophy of soccer and style of play. He was born in Bolton but raised in Upton, England. The son of a working class family, he was proud of his roots. He graduated from Park High School in Liverpool and attended multiple colleges including University College London where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, an MA at the University of Nebraska and PHD from the University of California Berkeley. Martyn was a founding member of the Geography Department at Clark University in Worcester and became a professor of Historical and Cultural Geography. At Clark University he kept the field open for local kids to play. On the pitch, he earned the saying “Martyn’s Mountains” for his style of play, a tall, solid defense and lightning fast counter attack. Martyn was instrumental in the formation of Fuller Hamlets, based in Sutton, MA and developed some of the most formidable teams in MA and Region 1. Hamlets coaches have to won 55 Massachusetts State Championships (Cup and League) and were Runners-Up on at least 42 occasions. 35 Hamlets have been named All-Americans (HighSchool and College - several of them with multiple awards) and three played for U.S. national teams.


Alan Peterson

Alan Peterson was inducted in to the Hall of Fame as a founder of Mass Youth Soccer. Coming to the United States from Newcastle, England at 26 in 1968, Peterson was an engineer at General Electric Company in Lynn and created the G.E. Jets soccer team in the Mass Soccer League. Renowned for his love for soccer, he became the third President of the Massachusetts Soccer Association in 1973 and wrote the book “A Guide to Soccer in the State of Massachusetts”. Alan was a member of the National Development Committee and Massachusetts Coaches Association as well as statistician for NASL. He focused on youth, as he knew that was the future of soccer in Massachusetts; Peterson knew it was going to be difficult to get people to suddenly start following soccer without grassroots and youth involvement. Many say he would be proud of what youth soccer has become today.


Judith Withington

Judy was known for her grace, humility, humor and determinism. Judy’s involvement in soccer began through her 5 children, leading to her becoming Director of Dedham Youth Soccer Club. At the time the girls’ soccer program was not affiliated with the State or National Association and therefore couldn’t compete in tournaments or national cup competitions. Judy helped to create the Greater Boston Soccer league and continued to pioneer opportunities the growth of girls’ soccer by becoming the Director of the Girl’s ODP. Judy was instrumental in bringing International soccer to Harvard Stadium for the 1984 Olympics and her role in the formation of club teams led to Massachusetts Youth Soccer becoming one of the most respected soccer associations in the USA. Additionally, Judy formed the Greater Boston Girls Soccer Club and developed the National Challenge Cup.

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by hilton, Bedford



rick andre

Rick was involved in the game of soccer since he could walk. Born in Portugal he played throughout his youth, playing semi-pro before retiring at age 33. Living in Ludlow, he cherished watching his son have his turn to play, eventually getting involved, with his extensive soccer knowledge gathered from playing. Rick would become a coach of U-19 girls along with the St. Mary’s of Westfield Girls Soccer team and eventually a National Cups Commissioner of MYSA. He would later create the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions. Andre also established the Ludlow Columbus Day Tournament as the President of Pioneer Valley, before moving on to become Mass Youth Soccer’s secretary on the Board of Directors. For Rick, the game of soccer is more of an art form than a game, he says there is a magic to the sport and he is privileged to share with his passion for the game.

1998 Jape Shattuck

1998 Dave Coutts

Jape Shattuck, who was the founder of MYSA was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. Many claim that there was no one else who had such a positive impact on the coaches, instructors, administration and players. Under his leadership, the MYSA Olympic Development Program became a highly respected model across the United States. He wrote and introduced manuals for coaching licenses along with creating the MYSA instructional curriculum in 1987. Jape created the District program, allowing gifted players who could not make the State Cup to play with other gifted players, this evolved into MAPLE and the current District Select Program. Jape was an assistant coach at Hartwick College from 1979 to 1982 and eventually become head coach at Harvard University where his team became the most successful in program history with his team qaulifying for the NCAA division 1 final four.


Coutts induction came to him in a bit of a shock, claiming “It’s quite an honor to be chosen. I’ll admit I was a little surprised when I found out.” With over 30 years of coaching and contribution as an administrator, he began simply by coaching his oldest son Douglas when he became involved in soccer in Plymouth. He went on to coach his sons Gregory, Steven and daughter Janella and thousands of other kids, winning numerous Coastal League titles. Throughout Coutts upbringing, he was heavily involved in sports including running track. His experiences as a youth have helped to shape his philosophy of making sure that the game is fun and remains about the kids. His preferred playing style revolved around an emphasis on defense, using a solid defensive line as a platform he would complement this with creative attackers and the use of width. Coutts continues to remain involved with youth soccer to this day with Plymouth and Coastal Youth Soccer.

JAck Waron

Jack Waron gives much of his credit and accumulated reputation to his wife Pat and the EssexCounty Youth Soccer Association. He has been a fixture in the annals of soccer all along Boston’s North Shore along with being the President of the Essex League since 1985. A continual presence at the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions, he oversaw Essex collect multiple championship wins. His long and consistent dedication has given him a stellar reputation in the soccer community and is known for being very spirited and active. Together, he and Pat were among the longest serving volunteers to the community with her working as the Essex registrar.


Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation NIGHT


cathy cresta

Cathy, who was best known as the State Registrar, spent a decade both coaching and refereeing as well as serving as the voice of Massachusetts Youth Soccer. She was known to represent many aspects of the administration and was in fact the only employee of the organization in 1989. While performing duties as the State Registrar, Cathy was a member of the MYSA board of directors until 1994 and principal spokesperson until her resignation in 1999. She began her journey by coaching her son Jamie and continued, loving the people, and especially working with the kids. In fact, she became such a figure and representative of the community, that she made several radio and TV appearances. As well as coaching, Cathy also performed the duties of boy’s commissioner and registrar for the Middlesex League. Cresta was a familiar face at state and regional events as well as being the answer to thousands of people’s questions.


steve kokolski

Steve Kokoloski is honored for his contribution to refereeing. Along with officiating, he also spent time as an Assessor and Coach within BAYS, while also working as an engineer. With a degree in business, Steve was able to work directly with Puerto Rico’s (electric) power authority for over 30 years; while working, he grew to love the Puerto Rican people, culture and country and also learned to speak Spanish fluently. Kokolski’s athletic roots were with football and baseball which he played in high school. He entered into the soccer world while enrolling his son Peter and began his interest with refereeing, talking with the officials after games and eventually becoming licensed himself, along with helping young referees to develop and pursue licensure. At his memorial service, it was recalled how Steve would help young and upcoming referees who were called into action while being in over their head, he renowned for his warm and inviting personality and always being willing to mentor.


steve koerper

Inducted into Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association Hall of Fame posthumously in 1999, Steve Koerper was honored for the considerable impact he had made during the 11 years he served as a president for Mass Youth Soccer. Fondly remembered as both a Teacher and a Leader, Steve Koerper was always able to establish a consensus. He considered himself a facilitator in his leadership role, ensuring that his and the organizations focus was always the children who enjoyed playing the game! Under his leadership, Massachusetts Youth Soccer established the GOALS program to provide playing opportunities for inner city youths and The Bay Stater Magazine. Despite all his accomplishments, it is well known that he would not have taken any of the credit for the tremendous achievements of Mass Youth Soccer under his leadership.

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by hilton, Bedford



Ross weaver

Ross Weaver was a high school and college soccer player, after being asked to coach for his daughter, he would obtain a D coaching license and become a youth coach for 25 years. Along the way, he led his team to Youth State Champions as U-11 girls. Ross claims his greatest achievements included seeing his players reach levels such as ODP and college along with seeing his former players become coaches. He contributed many years to refereeing was a was also the President of Sutton Soccer and Fuller Hamlets soccer and Founder/President of the Greater Worcester Girls Soccer League for 3 years. He spent 8 years with MYSA Board of Directors, 5 years as a NCCL commissioner, 15 years as a MAPLE commissioner and 3 years as a Senior Age Group Commissioner all while being a Massachusetts State Cup Volunteer. Ross credits the influence and impact his family and other Mass Youth Hall of Fame members had on his contributions to the beautiful game.


john davagian

John Davagian has left perhaps the most physical and important mark in Massachusetts Youth Soccer, he was responsible for the Mass Youth Soccer news. Launching in 1994, the publishing connected paths of communication with members that previously didn’t exist. John a Governor’s Academy Alum, attended Lehigh University, then Boston University Law School. He ran a family construction company for 3 decades until he began studying law in 1997. John’s interest in soccer really kicked in when his two children Jennifer and Jon began to play and he volunteered to coach. From there, he progressed to serve as President for Middlesex Youth Soccer League and VP of Mass Youth Soccer. John was renowned for putting the players first, always asking himself what would be best for them, this was a focus of the Mass Youth Soccer newspaper, a connection for communication between the league, staff and players.


Paul Irwin

Paul Irwin spent most of his youth with hockey as his true calling; naturally he continued by introducing hockey to his son, however while Paul was on a business trip, his son looked to soccer. Paul was unknowingly signed up to coach by his wife and quickly sought out books for help and information. Irwin’s volunteerism led to him serving on the boards of Natick Soccer Club, BAYS and the Massachusetts Premier League (MAPLE). He credits everyone he has worked with for his accomplishments. “It’s very nice to be recognized; there’s an arbitrary quality about it because there’s a huge range of people who have done a lot. I think of it as recognition of the league and its contributions. It’s an honor for the league and everyone involved in building it. I’m literally just one person.” Paul graduated from Cornell University and Harvard Law School, earning a degree in law from England’s University of Cambridge. He enjoyed spreading culture and ideas from Europe and is remembered for bringing MAPLE soccer to a new level.


Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation NIGHT


Joe Cummings

Cummings was the President and General Manager of the Boston Breakers before becoming the CEO and Executive Director of the NSCAA and the association’s President in 2004. He was the assistant General Manager of the New England Revolution from 1996-1999 and later their Technical Director from 2004-2005. Cummings began his career in coaching by creating the Northborough Youth Soccer Association and later coaching at the Algonquin Regional High School, eventually being awarded the New England Regional Coach of the Year in 1983. The same year he started with the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester as the men’s coach where he set a new school record of 10 wins in his second season. Cummings was also well known for his administrative abilities, evident in being the Director of Operations for venues at the 1996 Olympics, 1999 Women’s World Cup and 2003 Women’s World Cup. Joe earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Providence College and achieved his Master’s in education from Springfield college.


Dean Conway

Inducted into the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Hall of Fame in 2002, Dean Conway is best known for his extensive knowledge of the game of soccer and always explained that he loved talking and being around people, especially in the soccer community. Dean was an innovator in the soccer world and many say he was ahead of his time. Conway served as the Director of Coaching for Mass Youth Soccer beginning in 1992, initially a part time position, he became the first full time Director of Coaching in 1997 and held the position until 2002. Conway incorporated a full-time staff and was instrumental in the creation of the Coach Education Directors Program in addition to being a highly regarded Coach Education Instructor. Conway is credited with giving Massachusetts a “five year head start with anything that had to do with coaching”, a humble servant of the game Conway has dedicated 3 decades to youth athletes in Massachusetts and continues to stay connected to the game through Jamaica Plain Youth Soccer.


sid bloom

Sid began his coaching career over 30 years ago when he coached his daughters’ club teams, who would go on to win four state championships. He also coached a women’s team in the Eastern Mass Women’s Soccer League. In 1985 Sid became involved with the Boston Area Youth Soccer League (BAYS). He held multiple positions within BAYS and from 1993 to 1995 served as the league’s President also serving as a member of the state’s Leagues Committee which ran the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions. In 1999 Sid was appointed Vice President of Massachusetts Youth Soccer before progressing to become President for eight years. Sid was instrumental in attaining membership approval for the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Field Complex. In 2003 Sid was appointed as Region I Recreation Chair, later becoming U.S. Youth Soccer National Recreation Chair. Sid continued his involvement in the game as the Region I Chair for the Soccer Across America Committee of US Youth Soccer.

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by hilton, Bedford



john burrill

John served the game in many ways as a parent coach, a club founder, board member, State Cup Director and Executive Director for Mass Youth Soccer. John’s focus was always to fight for every child’s right to enjoy our great game. He began coaching when his daughter began playing soccer. Through his strong competitive spirit, he was inspired to help found the FC Greater Boston Bolts Soccer Club. John would serve as a both a board member and coach. In 1994 he would help lead a team to the US Youth Soccer National Championship, the first for a Massachusetts Youth Soccer team. He then joined the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Board of Directors and served as the State Cup Director for four years. In 2003, John became the 2nd Executive Director of Massachusetts Youth Soccer. As Executive Director, John was a key leader in creating the Attitudes are Contagious videos. He encouraged the growth of inner-city programs, led seminars, national workshops and generously served as a free consultant for anyone who called asking for guidance.


ray robinson

For over thirty six years Ray devoted thousands of volunteer hours to youth soccer programs in Massachusetts. Ray is currently the state director of The Outreach Program for Soccer (TOPSoccer) for Massachusetts and the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer committee chair, but has participated youth soccer as a coach, referee, program administrator and player. Ray holds a USSF C license and has coached boys and girls of all ages from recreational to national cup level. Ray most recently was the Freshman Girls coach at Wilmington High School. Ray has held several prestigious roles in the youth soccer world including president of Massachusetts Youth Soccer between 1998 and 200. His contribution to youth soccer is fueled by his continued passion for the game and Ray continues to play both indoor and 11 aside soccer for his over 60’s team.


steve smoller

Steve Smoller has been involved in soccer since 1982 and has been an Administrator at the Club, League and State level for over 35 years. He was hooked after volunteer coaching girl’s teams for Framingham United Soccer Club. Stephen has been a volunteer on the BAYS Soccer Board since 1990, and was elected to a 2-year term as President in 1996. He has also been a volunteer on the Framingham Board since 1982 and is a current Trustee Representative. Currently for both Framingham and BAYS he is Chairmen of the Sportsmanship awards committee reviewing and selecting a deserving team each season. He also served as Executive Secretary of Massachusetts Youth Soccer for 15 years. Steve remained actively involved in soccer through refereeing, he began club refereeing in 1986, was licensed by the USSF in 1989. Since 1993 he has also been involved in assessing and mentoring other referees.


Massachusetts Youth Soccer Appreciation NIGHT

2015 rich filippetti

Rich Filippetti is fondly remembered as the referee assignor for MAPLE and State Cup from 1994-2010. Rich began refereeing in 1988, reaching grade 5 level, which he maintained for ten years, before hanging up the whistle in 2005. In 2010 he was named the Flannery Award winner by the MSRC for long-time service to Youth Soccer. When it was time to receive his award, Rich pushed himself out of the chair to stand and address the audience. His message was that he was still around and expected referees to call him when in need of help. His willingness to mentor and assist those in need is fondly remembered. In 2012 the MSRC renamed its Assignor of the Year Award to the Richard M. Filippetti Assignor of the Year. Rich passed away in December 2010, age 59, his wife Terri is remains involved in youth soccer and currently chairs the State Cup and National Championship Series for Massachusetts. Rich’s passion for the game and ability to lead was passed on to his three children, Gregory, Rick and Katelyn who all took up refereeing.


rick savignano

Rick Savignano is a lifelong resident of Brockton MA, he initially got involved in coaching in 1977 as a volunteer Special Olympics soccer coach. For the past twenty-two years, Rick has served continuously as a volunteer coach for the Brockton Youth Soccer Association (“BYSA”). Additionally, Rick developed, organized and operated a TOPSoccer program and served as the TOPSoccer Coach and Coordinator for BYSA as well as the TOPS coordinator for the South Shore Soccer League. Rick was selected as a “Champion of the City” by the Brockton Youth Foundation (2011) for his service in the community as a youth soccer coach and league administrator. He was enshrined in the Brockton High School Hall of Fame (2013) for his service in the community as a youth soccer coach and in 2014 Rick was Selected as Mass Youth Soccer’s “Competitive Coach of the Year” after his U19 Boys team won the state championship.

2017 skip gorman

Skip Gorman spent 25 years of his life devoted to the beautiful game of soccer and lived “For The Good of The Game” by serving the youth of Holbrook, South Shore Soccer League and MYSA. He served as President and VP of MYSA; President and Referee Assignor for SSSL, President for HAYSA and also coached HAYSA for 25 years. Although he would never admit it, Skip Gorman is a major contributor to the history of MYSA. One of his biggest accomplishments was serving with the team that made the Lancaster Complex, a facility that is still the shining beacon of the MYSA mission, a reality. He lived the principles of fair play and he expected the same from his players and their parents. His work and service to youth soccer impacted tens of thousands of players, every time a kid smiles stepping on the fields in Lancaster, a complex that exists for that very moment. Skip Gorman served right up until his passing in 2010, after a 7-year battle with cancer. His headstone reads “For The Good of The Game”.

January 24, 2020 • Doubletree by hilton, Bedford


Profile for Massachusetts Youth Soccer

Mass Youth Soccer 2020 Appreciation Night  

Mass Youth Soccer 2020 Appreciation Night