Celebrating 10 Year Anniversary of the Frances G. Young Youth Soccer Recreation Tournament
From humble but successful beginnings, this special youth soccer tournament now celebrates a decade of providing recreational youth soccer players with a great tournament.
New Jersey Youth Soccer was a proud supporter of the 2023 Frances G. Young Recreation Tournament as part of its League America Grant from U.S. Youth Soccer.
New Jersey Youth Soccer recently supported Hazlet United Soccer Association (HUSA) in the 10-year celebration of their Frances G. Young Recreation Tournament. Created by Edward Young, the first year of the tournament saw only 48 youth soccer teams from various towns participating a decade ago, and it event turned out to be a resounding success.
One year later, the HUSA Board decided to rename the tournament after Edward Young’s late wife, Frances G. Young, who had passed away in July 2009, and, the Frances G. Young Recreation Soccer Tournament was born.
For several years, the tournament attracted a range of 43-48 teams, but over the past four years, the number has increased to nearly 70 participating teams.
This growth can be attributed to Young’s unwavering commitment, hard work, dedication, and determination to make the tournament successful.
As expected, the event holds personal significance for the founder and his family thanks to its namesake. Young’s wife, a beloved schoolteacher in Hazlet, had a deep love for children and firmly believed that she was meant to make a difference in their lives. Similarly driven by the desire to make a positive impact on youth in their community, her husband joined the HUSA Board and the foundation was created for this remarkable youth soccer recreational tournament.
From Young’s perspective, recreational players often take a back seat to travel players.
Recognizing the need to provide recreational players with a dedicated weekend and put them in the spotlight, he established this tournament. Its success is unparalleled in the region.
Bringing his late wife’s favorite color into the event, purple is prominently and proudly incorporated into the event. The participating teams wear purple uniform shirts bearing her name, along with purple socks and Frances’ initials are even in purple adorning every center circle on each soccer field. The tournament also includes the tradition of launching purple balloons and observing a moment of silence in her memory.
Young’s vision for the 2023 edition is to create the most wonderful experience possible for the boys and girls participating, leaving everyone eager to return the following year.
Driven by the belief that every individual has a purpose, Young stated, “I think that I’m realizing my purpose, and I’m proud and blessed that I can do what I’m doing, not just for the children of Hazlet but for all children as well.”
Young’s ultimate goal is to involve his own children in organizing and eventually taking over the tournament, knowing that they are doing it in honor of their mother and as a tribute to him. Moreover, he hopes that future generations will become involved and that his granddaughter will one day participate in the tournament representing her hometown.
Although Young has no children currently playing in the HUSA recreational tournament, his dedication and passion for organizing this tournament never wavered.
“My wife will always live on through my children and my granddaughter,” he said. “Doing this tournament and seeing her name all over the fields allows her to live on because she always believed, as I always will, that it’s all about the kids.”
Evan Dabby, NJYS Executive Director, attended the tournament and met Young, his family as well as other attendees. “Ed and the Hazlet United Soccer Association deserve all the credit for creating this opportunity of giving hundreds of young players a special day to enjoy soccer,” said Dabby. “Walking around the fields, it was so evident how much this event means to the Hazlet community.”
“NJ Youth Soccer looks forward to supporting this event in the future and helping it grow to meet and exceed the goals of the Young family.”Evan Dabby, Executive Director NJYS
This Frances G. Young Recreation Tournament was made possible with help and contributions from its event partners and sponsors that include Saker ShopRite, Ray Catena Lexus of Freehold, Dental Health Centers of Holmdel, and Giuseppe’s Pizza of Hazlet.
About NJ Youth Soccer Association
New Jersey Youth Soccer, a 501(c) (3) organization affiliated with U.S. Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation is comprised of more than 100,000 players from 5 to 19 years old; 10,000+ coaches; and thousands of volunteers. Members collectively support the sport of soccer through training, practice, competition, and the spirit of good sportsmanship. The association features recreational, travel soccer programs at multiple skill levels; Olympic Development Programs (ODP); tournaments including the National Championship series; coach and referee training and certification programs; and TOPSoccer, a program for children with disabilities.