New Jersey Youth Soccer Continues Innovative Approach To Inspiring Passion and Growing The Game
Soccer is the most beloved sport in the world yet many students do not have the opporunity to discover the joys of the beautiful game, and how it can help individuals flourish beyond their time on the soccer field. Alex Hoberman is a New Jersey High School student making a difference, and this state association is open to welcoming new ideas.
This school season, New Jersey Youth Soccer launched a pilot of its After School Student Soccer Program at West Morris Central High School. This program was born from the vision of Alex Hoberman, a senior at West Morris Central High School, who has been leading a team of student ambassadors in partnership with NJYS Staff.
The program allocates NJYS resources to establish an extracurricular soccer club in the school system that creates development opportunities for players and promotes fun, safe, and accessible soccer.
“I am extremely proud of this dedicated and passionate team and everything that we have accomplished so far.”Alex Hoberman, Program Founder and Manager.
Under the guidance of NJYS staff, Hoberman is helping to implement this pilot along with the Student Ambassadors from West Morris Central High School who were selected for this initiative, Eric Lusskin and Zack Dragos. Most recently, the program completed its winter webinar series that provided students with professional development opportunities to learn from sports industry professionals including:
- Evan Dabby, Executive Director of New Jersey Youth Soccer
- John Archibald, CEO of Resolution Promotions
- Ashley Dabb, Sports Marketing Professor at St. Joseph’s University
- David Jervis, NY Red Bulls Senior Director of Youth Programs & Academy Business Operations
“We successfully launched a pilot of this program that provides professional development from successful speakers from within the NJ Youth Soccer network,” said Hoberman. “Students tell me that these webinars have provoked new thoughts and inspired them to explore future careers within the sport of soccer.”
Hoberman and the Student Ambassadors believe that the program is all about providing opportunities for development on and off the field. At the cornerstone of these opportunities is professional development. Learning from leaders who have made successful careers out of the sport inspires players to see everything the game of soccer has to offer, including the bigger roles outside of being a player.
“I have been fortunate enough to have this exposure, and it has helped me grow significantly,” said Hoberman. “I recognize that not many are afforded this opportunity and I hope that this service will empower youth players.”
“I hope that this service will empower youth players and equip them with the toolkit required to have success beyond their time on the field.”Alex Hoberman, Program Founder and Manager.
Hoberman, the Student Ambassadors and NJ Youth Soccer are finalizing plans for an Esports season as well as volunteer and leadership opportunities as they explore ways to distribute grant funding to support the already existing high school soccer teams.
“When I first heard about this program from Alex, I knew it was something that I had to get involved in,” said Eric Lusskin, Student Ambassador. “Having played in all levels of youth soccer in New Jersey, I have seen all of the positives as well as certain aspects that I hope to work on improving. I believe that this program provides a pathway for me to give back for all of the opportunities that I have been given and to help shape the future of youth soccer for both students and athletes.”
“I have been playing soccer for as long as I can remember,” added Zack Dragos, Student Ambassador.
“It is our goal, through this program, however, to open the world of soccer to anyone in our local schools and communities – even if they haven’t played a day in their lives – and use our shared love for the sport to foster new opportunities for players,” said Dragos.
Looking ahead, we are incredibly excited for the upcoming Winter Esports Series being brought to our club and hope that more students will take the opportunity during this intermediate time to sign up.”
“As I look back on the past year of planning and collaboration, I am grateful for all of the stakeholders who have helped me bring my vision to fruition,” said Hoberman. “After demonstrating proof of concept with this pilot, I envision expanding it to districts across New Jersey, especially in underserved communities where the opportunity to support student-athletes is most prominent. I am super excited for the future. With this program’s thoughtful design and this amazing team, the future is promising.”
For more information about the NJYS After School Student Soccer Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.