Thanks for the memories

By Sid Bloom, President, Massachusetts Youth Soccer

This will be my last message as President of Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association. As the '08-'09 term draws to an end, I look back not only on this past year, but rather to the last eight.

Much happened during the first year of my Presidency; below are some of the highlights:

  • Launching of our new web site,
  • Redesigning the Baystater
  • WUSA launching its inaugural season
  • Revolution advancing to Open Cup
  • Coaches' Education Day
  • Hosting the Region I Fall meeting
  • Preparing to sell off the land since we could not obtain financing

In the subsequent years, there have been even more highlights:

  • We completed and opened Citizens Bank Fields at Progin Park
  • Hosted 2004 Adidas National Workshop in 2004
  • For the first time, our U15 and then U17 Boys ODP teams went to the National Championship
  • Increased our Coaching Staff to five full-time coaches
  • Increased our Board of Directors from 12 to 18
  • Three Massachusetts teams won US Youth Soccer National Championships
  • Increased programs available to our membership
  • Ran a Recreational Tournament for the past five years; this year, we moved to an open tournament for town teams
  • In 2008, we ran all of our tournaments at our own complex
  • Saw three of our players, Kristen and Samantha Mewis, and Haley Brock, make the U-17 National Team

In the next year, some of our highlights will be:

  • Hosting the US Youth National Championship in July
  • Hosting the Adults Veterans Cup in July
  • Publishing our new Mass Youth E-News online newsletter in January
  • Online "G" course will launch in January
  • WPS will re-launch Women's Professional Soccer in April

During the past eight years I have had the honor of representing Mass Youth Soccer at the following national meetings:

  • US Youth Soccer AGM and National Championships
  • Adidas National Coaches Convention
  • Region I Fall Meeting
  • United States Soccer Federation Annual AGM
  • ODP Regional and National Championships
  • Mass Youth Soccer Coaches' Meeting
  • Many League AGM and Book Nights
  • Region I President's Special Meetings

Over the past eight years, we have had two Executive Directors, Jim Gondek and John Burrill, who have led our staff with the everyday activities and kept the wheels of our association moving in the right direction. I would like to thank them and their staff for a job well done. Currently, our staff is Richard Braney, Nicole Dessingue, Tara Petricca, Kate Murphy and Rachel Woo.

On the coaching front, we have had two Directors of Coaching, Dean Conway and, currently, Mike Singleton. Under their leadership, we have become one of the top states in coaching education. We are constantly changing and updating our education towards our coaches to better teach our players. Currently, our staff is Tom Goodman, Laura Ray, Fred King and Lynne Gugliuzza. Together, they do an outstanding job with our membership. Special thanks are also due to our ODP coaches and part-time instructional staff coaches.

As for the Board of Directors, our program managers have done an outstanding job running their programs over the years. They put in a lot of time and it shows in the outcome of their work. Thanks to the program managers: Terri Filippetti, State Cup; Nancy Hart, Recreation; Jared Scarpaci, ODP; Howie Blatt , Instruction; John Linnehan, Leagues Committee; and Ray Robinson, TOPSoccer. Also thank you to the other members - Carol O'Brien, Kevin Krumpholz, Ted Ritchie, David Dalrymple, Bill Shaughnessy, Mike Borislow and Andy Page.

A special thanks to the Executive Board of Mass Youth, who put in long hours doing tremendous amount of work behind the scenes. Many are not aware of the amazing commitment from this group. They are Skip Gorman, Executive Vice President; Carl Goldstein, Treasurer; and Steve Smoller, Secretary.

Without question, I could not have put in the time for something I truly enjoyed doing without the true love and support of my wife Marsha.

I look forward to staying on the Board as Past President and working with the new administration. I also will be serving US Youth Soccer in the position of Regional Deputy Director of Region I.