By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
November 20, 2019-There is absolutely no limit to the potential of players in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), including the hundreds who make up our TOPSoccer Special Children’s Program.
Huntington Boys Club (HBC) TOPSoccer player Craig Ludin has won so many medals in the Special Olympics that he was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and his plaque is there in the hall in Commack alongside other notables such as Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Mark Spitz and Howard Cosell.
Craig’s teammate, John Cronin, founded John’s Crazy Socks in 2016 with his father Mark and with John as Chief Happiness Officer, the company will soon sell its one millionth pair of socks, has had $10 million in revenue since its launch and the Cronins won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for New York State this past June and are up for national honors.
His father explained, “John has learned many of the same lessons that his two brothers and others have learned through sports. When John started playing soccer, he could barely kick the ball. Over the years, he has improved as an athlete and as a soccer player, developing skills and understanding the game. He has learned teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, competition and the value of having long-term goals. He would not have the confidence to start his own business or make the public appearances that he does without this experience.“
The latest bit of good news about our TOPSoccer players comes the music world as the FREE (Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc.) Players Drum & Bugle Corps from Old Bethpage has two members of the Plainview/Old Bethpage TOPSoccer Program in its ranks, Corey Snider and Brett Spiegel.
FREE is made up of young adults with cognitive and physical challenges but that has not stopped them from performing at Disney World, MetLife Stadium and New York City’s Columbus Day Parade. Last week, they performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and PASIC Drumline Battle Championships against non-challenged teams, winning the first two rounds.
In 2018, FREE performed the theme song from “Rocky,” the classic film about an underdog boxer overcoming steep odds to go mano-a-mano with the champion.
“No one was expecting us to come out of the gates and legitimately sound like the Rocky theme,” explained FREE founder and director, Brian Calhoun. “And to do it in front of 20,000 people (at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis).”
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 nine 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.