September Edition of Direct Kicks Newletter
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Written by: Dave Lavallee
Sunday, January 31, 2010
South Youth Soccer Club Newsletter
September 24, 2009
This month’s topics—House League start, profiles of scholarship winners, referee clinics.
House League off to a great start
Thanks to the efforts of House League Director Katie Laraway and all of our wonderful volunteers, 801 youngsters are playing in our recreational division this fall. That means we have 25 more children playing this year than last.
“I am especially pleased with the number of children playing this year,” Laraway said. “It means that all age groups have plenty of teams for a full league experience. As always, teaching the basics of soccer and having fun are the foundations of the House League. We are very fortunate to have so many coaches who both understand and put into practice this philosophy.
“In addition, we know that a strong House League program is the feeder for our outstanding travel program, as well as our area high school girls and boys teams. It’s no accident that our travel teams consistently win Super Liga and tournament titles. Also, check out the squads and records of our local high school teams and you’ll recognize the names club players who are the backbones of their squads.”
A footnote, last year the club enrolled 150 youngsters in its Under5/6 Coed program. This year, SCYSC has 160 with 10 kids on a wait list in the two divisions.
Laraway also passed along special kudos to the House League Division coordinators who are as follows:
U-5 COED Tammi Granville
U-6 COED Seana Edwards
U-8 (1ST year )BOYS Jill Gover
U-8 (1st year)GIRLS Tim Jackman
U-8 (2nd year)BOYS Kevin Kanaczet
U-8 (2nd year)GIRLS Tracey Fairbrother
U-10 BOYS John Burton
U-10 GIRLS Bill Hodge
U-12 BOYS Rich Dunn
U-12 GIRLS Cindy West
U-14 COED Cindy Bernier
U-17 COED Al Dellabitta
Of course we can’t forget our veteran House League equipment manager, Deb Fagan, who for at least four seasons has made sure coaches and players have balls, vests and cones for their practices. Hats off Deb. You make it look so easy.
And when you see our fields nicely lined, mowed and ready to go for each game, you should know that our hard working Fields Director Murray Gates is the one responsible. Each fall and spring, Murray does an effective two-step, getting fields set up so that travel and house league games do not conflict.
Finally, our wonderful corps of young and adult referees is the result of House League Referee Coordinator Janice Cardarelli and Referee Director Najih Lazar’s efforts. They make sure House League and travel games have trained referees. Lazar spends hours working with our youth refs to make sure they are ready to go.
So, please remember to respect our referees, coaches, players, fields and equipment. Thousands of hours of volunteer time go into giving our members the best possible experience. It’s a shame when refs aren’t shown respect or when teams and others leave litter behind on our great fields.
Kudos to South County Youth Soccer Club Scholarship winners
As the days become crisper and soccer season is under way at the youth, high school and college levels, the club recognizes our two 2009 scholarship winners, Steve Siravo, who is now playing at Endicott College and Libby Lazar, who is playing at Rhode Island College. Both have been longtime members of the club who graduated from South Kingstown High School last spring.
Libby has been playing for her Baba (dad), Najih, since she was in the club’s Under 8 Girls Division, and continuing through Under 19. What stands out in Libby’s time with the club is her seven-year record as a volunteer. She has been a referee for five years, and has volunteered her time at every Seaside Classic and the Regional Cup tournament when it was held here. She has helped coach younger kids and helped her dad with coordination of referees.
A striker with the RIC team who is majoring in nursing, she is a devoted blood donor who served South Kingstown High School in its drama program and who helped paint the schools doors before the start of classes.
In her scholarship essay on how to improve the club, Libby said the club always provided a top-flight experience.
“Everything from the referees to the fields was perfect,” Lazar wrote. “But when I was little, one thing I do wish I had had exposure to was older players. I remember seeing the older girls practicing on the other side of Tuckertown, and wanting so badly to impress them, to be just like them.”
She knows she would have benefited from working with the older girls. Now she attends her little sister’s practices and helps out the coaches. She said the coaches and parents see immediate improvement in their children’s skills and attitudes. But the kids aren’t the only ones who benefit.
“I get so much enjoyment from those practices,” she said. “I believe it has made me a better, more mature person and therefore better equipped for the real world that I will soon be facing.”
Libby said she will continue to be an active member of the club.
“I thank every single member of SCYSC from the bottom of my heart for the fantastic memories and fun times I have had, and for the skills and techniques that I have learned over the years that resulted in my playing college soccer. I can guarantee that this is not a good-bye, but only a see-you-later, because I will always be a part of this club, whether I am a player, a referee or a volunteer.”
Like Libby, Steve Siravo started playing soccer for the club in the Under 8 division and continued through Under 19. Over the years, he played for numerous coaches, including his dad, Richard Siravo, Guy Andrews and Mark Higgins. He is a certified referee who has called games for Under 10 through Under 16 youngsters. For six years, he has volunteered at the Seaside Classic and for four years, he was a volunteer with the Snickers Region 1 Tournament. He has also been an assistant coach with younger teams in the club.
Devoted to his late little brother, Matthew, Steve been active in numerous Matthew Siravo Memorial fund-raisers since 2003, including the 5K Road Race, Golf Tournament, Gift Wrapping events and the Snow Angel Ball, all to benefit research and treatment of epilepsy.
Steve was quite clear in his scholarship essay about how he would improve our club.
“South County Youth Soccer would benefit immensely by offering a soccer program to children with disabilities,” Steve said. “I know firsthand the difficulties kids with disabilities face. My brother (who had epilepsy), enjoyed coming to my youth soccer games at Tuckertown Field and kicking the soccer ball with me.”
Since the club has one of the largest and most organized programs in the state, “it is only fitting that a soccer program for children with disabilities be organized, developed and implemented by adult and youth volunteers for the disabled children living in the area,” Steve wrote in his letter.
“The smiles on the faces, the glow of happiness radiating from the disabled children would bring so much joy to the individuals, families and siblings dealing with a disabled child on a daily basis,” he added.
“Imagine having the disabled kids playing on one field for an hour during the Seaside Classic,” he said. “I think folks from across the state and region would stop in their tracks to witness such a performance.”
Steve said he would name the program Sunshine Soccer because the kids “radiate smiles like the sun radiates warmth.”
He said such a program could be a model in this state and help inspire other soccer clubs to take an interest in children with disabilities within their communities.
“I hope you will consider this idea for the South County Youth Soccer Club and count on me to help organize, develop and implement the Sunshine Soccer Program for kids with disabilities.”
I think we can all agree that these are just two of the hundreds of great young people who benefit from our club and all the wonderful experiences it offers. Hats off to Libby and Steve and good luck in college and beyond. We’ll see you on the pitch.
Club provides information, clinic schedules for referee training
Frequently Asked Questions from RISRC
What are the basic beginner referee clinics?
Answer: There are two beginner referee clinics: United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Grade 9 Associate Referee and (USSF) Grade 8 Referee. A Grade 9 Associate Referee can officiate local games as a referee (with a whistle) for age groups up to and including Under-14. This person can also officiate competitive games (such as SuperLiga) as an assistant referee (with a flag) for age groups up to and including Under-14. A Grade 8 Referee can officiate any youth games as either a referee or an assistant referee.
How long are these clinics?
Answer: The Grade 9 clinic is 6 hours long, and is usually done over two 3-hour sessions. The Grade 8 clinic is 10 hours long, and is done either in four 2.5-hour sessions or in two 5-hour sessions.
What can I do if I have a scheduling conflict with some of the dates of a clinic?
Answer: If it is convenient for you, you may attend sessions from clinics at different locations. For example, you can attend the first two sessions of the Grade 8 clinic in Barrington, and the second two sessions of the Grade 8 clinic in Warwick. All that we ask is that you notify the instructor about your situation, so that we can give that information to the instructor of the second clinic.
Is there any pre-registration necessary for these clinics?
Answer: YES! We now have pre-registration forms to (hopefully) make both the students’ lives and the instructor's lives easier. Click Here to go to the list of clinics, and there you'll find the link to the pre-registration form.
What are the costs for these clinics?
Answer: If you are a South County member and willing to referee for South County, the club will pay the full fee and offer a basic uniform set.
How old do I have to be to attend a clinic?
Answer: USSF has specifically said that there is no minimum age requirement, and have left that decision to the individual states. The Rhode Island Referee Committee recommends that a person be at least 11 years old - however, we do currently have 10-year olds who are registered officials.
When and where are the next clinics?
Answer: Check the website www.risrc.org
If you have been certified in 2008 grade 8 or 9 and need to be re-certified, you can attend one of the following re-certification classes.
You can pre-register for these clinics online at www.risrc.org and pay in advance. After you successfully complete the class, mail the receipt to SCYSC, 50 High St. Wakefield, RI, 02879 attention Najih Lazar for reimbursement.
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