SOMERS, N.Y. - The Somers Region American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday during its annual Soccerfest at Reis Park.
The AYSO took over the entire park in order to accommodate the 635 soccer players, participating in 126 games, under the guidance of 50 referees.
Emma Kittredge, a Somers Intermediate School 5th grader who has been playing soccer since kindergarten, was the winner of the T-shirt design contest. Approximately 900 T-shirts bearing Emmas drawing were distributed to players, coaches and board members.
The Lynn Adams Sportsmanship Award was presented to Jim Caponera, a dedicated AYSO volunteer, who worked as a coach and an assistant referee administrator, created and ran the travel program and served as the Somers Fall Classic tournament director.
The organization also planned to recognize Andy Hongell for his more than 25 years of service. Hongell started as a kindergarten coach and went on to referee, act as administrator, and instruct soccer throughout the area. In keeping with his commitment to soccer, however, Hongell was refereeing in another AYSO region. He will be recognized instead at a private gathering of AYSO area administrators. Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy has proclaimed October 16 as Andy Hongell Volunteer Day.
Boy Scout Troop 228 sold food at the Soccerfest, and the Girl Scouts presented a farmer's market. Music was provided by Somer Middle Schools Music Director, Steve Checuti.
The Red Bulls Street Team made a special appearance at the event. Defender Teddy Schneider was also there to encourage youngsters in the sport.
Sponsors for the event included Summer Trails, Even Flow Plumbing, Somers Framing, ID Theft Solutions USA, Mt. Kisco Sports, Houlihan Lawrence, Somers 202, Arroway Auto, Mamma Rosa, Learning Express, Dr. Richard Bridgham, the Cardillo Deli, Heather Maguire Floral and several AYSO families.
Thanks to over 80 people who volunteered, the day ran smoothly and happily for everyone.
Click here to see more photos of Soccerfest.
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