Honored as Eastern New York’s Club of the Month
New York Soccer News: Turning back the clock, who would have imagined fifty years later the honor of being theEastern New York Youth Soccer Association’s youth soccer club on the month!
The Long Island club is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 and deserves the honor of youth soccer club of the month from Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association.
The club was founded in 1971 by Bob Livingstone and Peter Greenberg, the latter becoming the club’s first President. Greenberg also coached 60 kids ages 6 to 10 that spring, along with coaches Peter Bralower and Joe Walsh, in an intramural program sponsored by the Department of Recreation and all games were played at the South Side Middle School.
In the spring of 1972, Bralower and several South Side High School boys varsity players started training younger players, a tradition that continues to this day with the Kids Teaching Kids Summer Program.
The Rockville Centre club logo for the past two decades has had the initials of its four coaches killed on 9/11: Jim Cove, Ed Geraghty, Jim Geyer and Steve Tighe.
One reason that Rockville Centre is unique is it has the oldest Alumni Games in Eastern New York. They started over 50 years ago in the mid-1960s, before the club was even founded, when the graduates from South Side boys team got together and it has evolved into a club-run event organized by Bralower that is played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That date is selected as alumni are home for the holidays.
Another way that the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) club is special is through its TOPSoccer Program, which was started in 1998 by Jim Nesdill and Eileen Votke. Jim had been driving his son Bryan to other towns every weekend to play soccer before starting a program in Rockville Centre. He and Eileen worked together for 10 years and the TOPSoccer Program is now run by Bob Beaudet.
Today under the direction of club President Mike Perna, over 1,200 players, equally divided between boys and girls, play for the Rockville Centre Soccer Club. The club retains a strong community focus with an intramural program featuring players from five public elementary schools and one private school, promoting friendships throughout the village. Those who have worn the club’s red-and-white colors include Women’s World Cup champion Crystal Dunn, former US Women’s National team player Kim Conway Haley, former US Soccer Presidential candidate Michael Winograd and Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone.
Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association: With 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) reaches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border.