NJYS Hosts A Capacity Crowd at 2023 Annual Awards Presented by RWJBarnabas Health
New Jersey Youth Soccer Association Update: RWJBarnabas Health on Friday, February 3rd, where many players, coaches, and guests of the soccer community were on hand for the special event at the Pines Manor in Edison, New Jersey. With more than 1,000 attendees, the 2023 NJYS Annual Awards Dinner Presented by RWJBarnabas Health saw a capacity crowd at this annual celebration.
“Our partnership with the NJYS aligns with our mission of building healthier communities, as we provide access to health information, nutrition, injury prevention, and concussion education through community-based programs,” said Justin Edelman, Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, RWJBarnabas Health. “The NJYS Awards Dinner is such a special evening, and we congratulate the players and all the honorees whose contributions to the game continue to make a positive impact throughout the community.”
Jen Maxfield, an Emmy Award-Winning Reporter and Anchor at NBC’s New York Channel 2, led the evening as the guest emcee.
“It was an honor to host the New Jersey Youth Soccer Annual Awards and to meet so many wonderful players, parents and coaches,” said Maxfield. “Having played girls soccer growing up in Bergen County, I appreciate the valuable life skills I learned on the field: teamwork, confidence, perseverance and respect.”
Kristen Edmonds, NJ/NY Gotham FC defender and New Jersey native, also delivered a powerful and memorable keynote.
“Friday’s event was amazing, and I was honored to be a part of it,” said Edmonds. “Youth soccer in New Jersey does not only reward soccer players, but also the human beings who are coaches, players and representatives behind the scenes that are such a big part of the sport. It is a pleasure to be able to represent this state, and I am looking forward to the upcoming season.”
The evening was filled with high energy and fun for the award winners and honorees. Victoria Pickett and Yazmeen Ryan of Gotham FC hosted the Red Carpet Interviews of State Cup Championship Teams and award winners, including Coaches of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, TOPSoccer Volunteer of the Year and more.
NJ Youth Soccer also revealed the finalists and winners of the Goal of the Year Powered by the New York Red Bulls and the Save of the Year Powered by Gotham FC. Each of the winners will be invited to a home game with the goals and saves recognized on the video board at Red Bull Arena.
“NJ Youth Soccer thoroughly enjoyed returning to our in-person format and celebrating with the youth soccer community,” said Evan Dabby, NJYS Executive Director. “Creating a fun environment is part of our core, and this event is a true embodiment of that value.”
Players showed their flair at the Selfie Station and during their grand parade entrance into the ballroom in front of the capacity audience. Former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper and voice of the New York Red Bulls, Shep Messing, also treated the guests and made a surprise appearance on stage to welcome the NJYS President Cup Champions during their parade entrance.
In addition to more than 20 NJYS State Cups champions, regional and national champions were also celebrated. Cedar Stars Academy North Bergen (13U Boys), who were USYS Eastern Regional Champions, were honored and generously gifted a gold-standard concussion and total injury management platform, courtesy of HEADCHECK Health. Princeton FC Barcelona and NJ Surf South, who were USYS Presidents Cup Champions, were also rewarded for their achievements and provided a Professional Highlight Reel Credit from SportsRecruits. Cedar Stars Academy Newark (18U), who were USYS National Champions, were invited to be honored at a New York Red Bulls game this season.
The NJYS Olympic Development Program (ODP) was on display with USYS Interregional players in attendance. This included ODP National Pool Select Player, Sandro Cunningham, who was recognized and rewarded with a Gold Recruiting Guidance Package from one of NJYS’ newest partners, SportsRecruits.
In addition to hundreds of players and award and scholarship winners, the event also hosted many special guests including NJYS Hall of Famers Glenn Crooks, Raul Donoso, Flo Egan and Spencer Rockman. JT Batson, US Soccer CEO and Secretary General, and Sola Winley, MLS Executive Vice President, helped by presenting several of the awards.
The NJYS Respect Campaign winners from Ocean Township made an appearance, as did the NJYS Skills Challenge winners from this past summer’s first ever event.
Players also were treated to giveaways from many of NJYS’ partners and donors including RWJ Barnabas Health, Gotham FC, JAG-ONE Physical Therapy, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Stack Sports, US Soccer, Body Armor and Signd.
Follow NJ Youth Soccer in the coming weeks as it honors the many honorees and winners from the NJYS Awards Dinner sponsored by RWJBarnabas Health, including more announcements on the honorees.
Source: Press Release