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16 Top Referees Honored at the LISRA Holiday Party

By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association

December 20, 2019-Founded in 1971, the Long Island Soccer Referees Association (LISRA) is one of the oldest organizations in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) and by far the largest referee association in the state. For the past five decades, LISRA has been providing refs for Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) games and has assigned officials to an estimated 750,000 soccer games since its inception.

The LISRA Holiday Party at the James E. Allen Elementary School in Dix Hills on Thursday night, December 12 saw awards given to 16 referees who have particularly made a difference on Long Island soccer fields.

LISRA Trustee Cathy Caldwell of Copiague was selected as the 2019 Referee of the Year.

“I’ve been refereeing for 20 years and I have loved every minute of it! I think that I have worked with all of you over the years. Thank you for the joy that you have brought into my life,” Caldwell stated. “Every time I step on the field, I feel privileged.”

2019 Referee of the Year Cathy Caldwell, holding plaque, surrounded by the other members of the LISRA Board of Directors and assignor Nanci Apostolides on far right.

The Silver Whistle Award for excellence in officiating went to Valley Stream’s Jack Shippy.

Shippy’s neighbor, Ian Reid of Lynbrook, received the Emrys Joseph Rookie of the Year Award. Joseph was a very personable LISRA ref and member of the Board of Directors who passed away 29 years ago and this award has been given annually in his honor ever since.

Gilon Goldman of Holtsville won the Rising Star Award for young referee of the year.

Greenlawn’s Arianna Starost and Westbury’s Emanuel Ventura received the Mario Boltri Assistant Referee Award. Boltri is a former LISRA President who created the chapter’s wildly successful assistant referee program after the turn of the millennium and there are now 640 LISRA assistant referees.

Assistant referees also honored by LISRA on that cold winter night were Julia Desiano (Mount Sinai), Michael Flores (Medford), Joe LoNegro (Smithtown), Gaetano Parisi (North Bellmore), Isabella Pedone (Lindenhurst), siblings Amanda and Andrew Pietrofeso (Glen Oaks), John Reid (Lynbrook), Scott Thorley (Manorville) and Megan Zabrouski (Bethpage). The AR awards are based on the ratings of the refs who grade the assistants after every game plus comments from the refs as well as the assignors.

LISRA’s top assistant referees surrounded by their assignors. Photos courtesy of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association.

With approximately 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, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.