Successful Team has Stayed Together; Look to U-15G MAPS Next Spring (6/09)
Congratulations to the U-14G SPF Red Devils for their undefeated spring season in the premier division of JAGS, capping off a great run prior to the girls’ entry to high school competition next fall. The nucleus of the team has been together since their inaugural U-9 travel season and have regularly competed with ’for-profit club’ teams, ’select-academy’ teams and town ’super-teams.’ Kudos to the players, parents, coaches and trainers, especially long-time parent helpers Kevin Harper and Heather Worthey, who echo the same sentiment. "We all like each other and the girls are best friends. We have pride playing for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, so we stay together."
'Code of Conduct' for Players, Coaches, Parents
Parent Group to Draft 'Golden Rule' Specifics; Make Recommendations (4/09)
A parents committee charged w/ itemizing and specifying some behavorial expectations for all SPFSA membership and associates has been formed. An eventual ’Code of Conduct’ will be finalized by the Executive Board to join the club’s Constitution and Bylaws as critical operating guides. Past experience has proven that individuals’ interpretation of the ’golden rule’ varies quite dramatically, so this new guideline will itemize some basic expectations for all individuals involved w/ the club including players, coaches, parents and administrators. John Bagdonas is coordinating the effort and can be reached @ email@example.com or 908-347-7723.
New (Old) SPFSA Executive Board Elected
Nominating Committee's Slate OK'd in February Elections (2/09)
The slate put forth by the Nominating Committee of Ken Kriney, Gary Morris and Carin Peluso was ratified unanimously by voting members last week. The committee was charged w/ recruiting and evaluating prospective candidates for the eight board positions by canvassing membership for opinions and input. They submitted the following incumbents: Jim Fawcett, President; Dave Bernstein, Executive VP; Sean Murphy, VP Operations; Greg Giardiello, VP Finance; Joanne Guarnuccio, VP Communications; Chris Demaria, VP House; and Tom DiGiacomo, VP Travel; plus newcomer Peter Costello, VP Inter-County. Each will volunteer their time to serve a two-year term. We thank them.
SPFSA Featured on Scotch Plains TV
Two Vignettes on 'Scotch Plains Stories' (11/08)
The fall edition of the community television magazine-type show, ’Scotch Plains Stories,’ featured two vignettes on the SPFSA including the opening of the high school and Southside turf fields and the PK Challenge fundraiser for Resolve Community Counseling. Many SPFSA players are seen, and heard, in both features produced and directed by Bill McMeekan, who also contributed community vignetttes on Scotch Plains Day, the new Korean war veteran’s memorial clock, demolition of the YMCA’s venerable red house and Martine Avenue’s ’hot dog man.’ Episodes ran several times a day on Comcast 34 or Verizon 22 throughout Novemebr and December.
I-C U12 Boys Win First Game Ever @ Southside
SPFSA Tops Mountainside 4-3 in Stormy Weather (9/08)
Inter-County U-12 boys coached by Joanne Guarnuccio and Rich Trigo christened the new Southside turf field with a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Mountainside in appropriately wet conditions "as the field held up beautifully," according to Guarnuccio. Brandan Miguelino scord the first ever SPFSA goal at the venue and was joined by George Leichtling (2) and A.J. Bonadies (1) in the scoring department. The game ended as tropical storm Hanna started to unleash its fury. Subsequent games were cancelled. An official opening ceremony is scheduled for later this fall once the lights are operable and all landscaping work is completed at the complex.
SPFSA Endorses US Youth Soccer Program
Successful Move to 3v3, 4v4 for Younger House Divisions
The pre-k, kindergarten and first grade divisions took on a new look this past spring as SPFSA’s youngest players joined the rest of the world in small-sided games. The reason? More action, more involvement and more fun for all!
US Youth Soccer’s efforts to convert younger recreational programs to 3v3 and 4v4 mini-games has been endorsed by the SPFSA executive board. Small-sided soccer is played throughout the world and in parts of the United States and is designed to give all players more touches on the ball and require them to make fewer, less complicated decisions. Twice as many games will be played in the same time and space. Goalies will be eliminated.
Leadership, Community Service, Dedication to Game All Common Traits (5/08)
SPFSA VP Finance Greg Giardiello presented cash awards to six seniors at the high school’s annual awards ceremony ranging from $500 - $1,000. Recipients were chosen based on a combination of need and merit. Common traits were academic excellence, community service, leadership abilities and a demonstrated love of soccer. Winners included Alyssa Straniero, Robert Cunningham, Edward Kahn, Jaclyn Lazarus, Alana Bencivenga and Gregory Bencivenga. We wish them well in their college endeavors and congratulate them on their accomplishments.
SPFSA Parent Coaches Win Weekend Tourney
Most Now Comfortably Back to Work (11/07)
While the SPF Raider varsity boys were defeating Westfield in the Union County semi-finals this past Saturday night, the really big competition was at Soccer Centers in Somerset where a group of SPFSA dads won the annual coaches tournament by topping other age-challenged teams from Watchung Hills, Bridgewater, Edison and East Brunswick. The intrepid included board members Tom DiGiacomo and Danny DiFrancesco, plus Darko Culjak, Peter DiIoria, Gary Dunchus, Marc Essenfeld, Brian Kelly, Rich Levy, John Murphy, Sal Severini and Steve Szanto. Good job!
Township Council Approves Southside Project
Young Players Make SPFSA Proud (10/07)
The Scotch Plains Township Council approved funding for the Southside renovation by a vote of four in favor with one abstention last night @ the high school auditorium. The project will include a full-sided turf field with lighting, a kiddie playground, storage building and expanded parking. It is expected to go out to bid in 20 days and be ready for play by next September. The SPFSA thanks the council, the planning board and the recreation commission for their diligence and also thanks members who attended the hearing showing their support. The SPFSA is especially proud of the many youngsters who spoke publicly about the dire need for this improvement. Well done!
Southside Proposal Passes Planning Board
Township Council Decision Expected Late September (6/07)
The Scotch Plains Planning Board heard the Southside field presentation from the Recreation Commission, June 25th. Both supporters and objectors voiced their positions. The proposal calls for a lighted 110x70 yard field-turf soccer field, plus kiddie playground, storage building w/ rest facilities and an expanded parking lot. The Planning Board recommended several minor changes to the concept plan. The Township Council is expected to vote on funding in late September.
SPFSA and Red Bulls Celebrate Father's Day
460 Attend SPFSA Night @ Meadowlands (6/07)
The SPFSA, named "2006 Youth Soccer Club of the Year" by the New York Red Bulls, honored its fathers with a special night this past Saturday @ Giants Stadium to see the first place Red Bulls battle the Kansas City Wizards to a 3-3 draw. The ’sea of blue’ enjoyed tailgating beforehand, several on-field pre-game activities and an exciting game that saw the Red Bulls tie in the 90th minute on a Juan Pablo Angel penalty kick. Another SPFSA night will be planned for September.
'Turf-It' Vote Passes 2,114 - 2,052
Results Now Official (4/07)
As part of the SP-F BOE election, voters narrowly decided in favor on a separate $2 million bond referendum for the refurbishment of the high school track and the installation of artificial turf on the high school soccer and football fields. The athletic facilities are in deplorable condition and have repeatedly caused injuries to participants as well as a myriad of cancellations due to unplayable conditions. Full information is available in the Blue Raider Booster sidebar on this page.
The installation of turf will expand the playing opportunities for all sports organizations providing dependability, flexibilty and practicality, while allowing the school district to keep pace with neighboring communities. The ten year bond will cost Scotch Plains taxpayers $11 annually and Fanwood taxpayers $16 annually.
Preliminary Hearing Fills HS Auditorium in March
500+ Hear Rec Commission's Southside Plan (3/07)
The Scotch Plains Recreation Commission’s proposal for a fully renovated Southside complex received an overwhelmingly positive response last March from more than 500 soccer families. The 90 minute hearing included audio/video presentations from the site engineer, lighting consultant and the SPFSA, plus a question and answer/public comment session.
This project potentially represents the single most significant event in the 30 year history of the SPFSA. It will now go to the Township Planning Board for consideration. Click here to see our fact-based Power Point presentation.
SPFSA Joins Positive Coaching Alliance
Transforming Youth Sports So Sports Can Transform Youth (2/07)
The SPFSA has joined forces with the Positive Coaching Alliance, a national non-profit group that is attempting to transform the culture of youth sports so that young athletes have positive, character building experiences. The goal is to insure that the adults involved in youth sports better understand their appropriate roles and that the experiences of our children serve as lessons learned for a lifetime. Click on the PCA icon under the SPFSA Affiliates sidebar for information about this program.
New Executive Board Named
Nominated Win Unanimous Approval (1/07)
Per the association’s bylaws, voting members of the SPFSA unanimously elected the following eight individuals to serve for the next two years as the executive board: Jim Fawcett, President; Dave Bernstein, Executive VP; Sean Murphy, VP Operations; Greg Giardiello, VP Finance; Joanne Guarnuccio, VP Communications; Chris Demaria, VP House; Danny Difrancesco, VP Inter-County; and Tom DiGiacomo, VP Travel. Congratulations to these hardworking individuals. Lisa Shiel, Cory Krutis and Pam Duthie comprised the nominating committee.
SPFSA Named 'Youth Soccer Club of the Year'
Red Bulls Honor Club @ Saturday's Play-Off Game (11/06)
Marc de Grandpre, Managing Director of Red Bull New York, announced Tuesday that the Scotch Plains Fanwood Soccer Association has been named its 2006 ’Youth Soccer Club of the Year’ for the tri-state area. The club was honored in an on-field ceremony at halftime of Saturday’s play-off game against DC United.
The award recognizes the club’s effective age-appropriate training programs, a committment to its core values through community initiatives and its role in the rich heritage of soccer success at the high school level. In 2005, the SPFSA was honored as the Volunteer Organization of the Year in Scotch Plains for its community service.
SPFSA Presents Red Bull Weekend
Four Events Including Play-off Showdown vs. KC Wizards (10/06)
The SPFSA sponsored its third night @ Giants Stadium, Saturday, October 14th, to see the Red Bulls nip the KC Wizards, 3-2, for the final play-off spot. This year, more than 800 players and family members enjoyed these nights. Earlier in the day, Red Bull goalkeeper coach Des McAleenan helped lead the SPF goalie training @ Park Middle School. McAleenan has worked very closely w/ US World Cup goalies Tim Howard and Tony Meola. The native of Dublin, Ireland was colorful, funny and very informative.
Red Bull activities continued Sunday afternoon @ Memorial Field w/ a clinic for House Program coaches run by MLS Head Training Coordinator Adrian Moses who conducted a lively program emphasizing effective and fun training ideas for the young player. Finally, Red Bull forward David Arvizu attended the House Training Academy for autographs, photos and instruction for all 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders.
SPFSA 'Gives Back' via Passback Program
Share the Equipment, Share the Dream (10/06)
SPFSA coaches collected used, but usable, equipment and apparel for the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Passback program (www.passback.org) during the weekend of October 1st-2nd. More than 150 uniforms, 100 pairs of cleats and three dozen balls will be forwarded to underprivileged communities in Ghana and Argentina. Contact Joanne Guarnuccio @ firstname.lastname@example.org for details about upcoming drives. Passback coordinators ask that clean, used uniform sets (shirts, shorts, socks) be packaged in gallon size ’ziplock’ type bags and cleats be tied together. Balls and shinguards will also be accepted.
Golden Goal Awards on SP-TV 34
Program Contributed $1,550 to Township Rescue Squad (9/06)
Ninety two players from the Travel Program who scored 155 goals in specially designated games last Spring were honored Tuesday evening, September 26th, by Mayor Martin Marks and the Scotch Plains Township Council. The SPFSA donated $5.00 for every goal scored and also forwarded numerous private pledges to the Rescue Squad in the total amount of $1,550. Held in a jam-packed council chambers, the ceremony was televised live, and replayed numerous times, by Channel 34.
Fall 2006 Program Changes Announced
House and Inter-County Programs Enhanced (7/06)
Several program changes will be unveiled for the Fall season that were reflected in our just-completed registration. After considerable input from division managers and coaches, and discussions with other soccer clubs, the SPFSA will move its 5th grade registrants from the House Program to the Inter-County one, combining them with sixth graders in a U-12 division. Additionally, the 4th grade will join the 3rd grade in the House Program to assure balanced competition and a varied game schedule.
Girls Travel Teams Win Division Championships
U16 SPF Sparx, U13 SPF Tempest Take Titles (6/06)
The Flight 1 U16 SPF Sparx repeated their U14 championship win of a year ago with a 2-0 championship victory over the Aberdeen-Matawan Twisters despite playing most of the game a player short. The Flight 2 U13 SPF Tempest gained their first championship by upsetting Flight 1 winner Clark Cats 2-1, in a dramatic come-from-behind battle. The Tempest tied the game midway through the second half and won it on a penalty kick during the last minute of stoppage time. Congratulations to the teams and coaches Eric Ruano and Luis Rodriques, respectively, for their accomplishments in the MNJYSA.
SPFSA Night @ Giants Stadium
Attended by 400+ Players, Coaches & Parents (5/06)
More than 400 SPFSA players and family members enjoyed themselves @ Giants Stadium last Saturday, 5/20, as part of the club’s ’Student of the Game’ partnership with the New York Red Bulls. After pre-game tailgating, musical entertainment and ’parking lot’ soccer, the 202 SPFSA players joined the Red Bulls on the field for the National Anthem before settling in for an exciting 5-4 Red Bull victory over Chivas USA. Information on the club’s next night for 6/10 is available on the sidebar link.
SPFSA Awards Scholarships
Six High School Recipients Played Pre-K in SPFSA (5/06)
Six seniors from the Scotch Plains Fanwood High School graduating class of 2006 who distinguished themselves on the soccer pitch, in the classroom and throughout the community were awarded financial aid by the SPFSA at the school’s annual award assembly. Recipients included Matthew Canfield, Joseph Jacobi, Marissa Bianco, Hallie Mintz, Kelly Rigano and Meaghan Kelly. Executive VP Joe Krakora presented the awards on behalf of the SPFSA.
New 'Golden Goal' Program Announced
Will Raise Funds for Local Rescue Squads (4/06)
The SPFSA is proud to announce its new ’Golden Goal’ program whereby $5.00 is pledged to the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad for each goal scored by its Travel teams during the last four weeks of the season. The intent of the program is to recognize a very important volunteer group and to impress upon our children the importance of giving back to the community.
BOE Votes to Reinstate Freshman Soccer
SPFSA Parents Present Strong Case (4/06)
The Board of Education voted unanimously recently to add boys and girls freshman soccer to its athletic program this Fall after Principal Dr. David Heisey and Athletic Director Rob Harmer recommended an introductory program that would not increase their overall expenditures. A special thanks goes to all members of the BOE and high school administration who were very diligent in finding a way to make this happen. Click here to see the data that was presented on behalf of the effort.
Plans for New Soccer Field Unveiled
Hailed as 'Smartly Sensitive to Natural Setting'(4/1/06)
A Blue Ribbon Committee of local officials, youth sports enthusiasts, concerned neighbors and area environmentalists released plans Saturday, April 1st, for a much-needed new field in Scotch Plains. Although still in the early stages of design development, the plan appears to address the concerns of area residents for maintaining the site’s natural setting, although SPFSA board members did admit that "we may have compromised a little bit more than we would have liked, but that’s indicative of how badly we need fields." Click below for a rendering of the proposal.
'Student of the Game' Program Educates and Motivates (3/06)
SPFSA President Jim Fawcett and then-New York Red Bull General Manager Alexi Lalas announced in March that the youth soccer club has joined the pro team’s ’Student of the Game’ program. Click here for full details.
SPFSA Named 'Volunteer Organization of the Year'
Honored @ Mayor's Charity Gala (12/05)
Scotch Plains Mayor Martin Marks presented the SPFSA with the ’Volunteer Organization of the Year’ award for 2005 at the annual Mayor’s Charity Gala held at Snuffy’s Pantagis Renaissance in early December for its longstanding service to the community during the past 28 years.
New Badge Designed by SPFSA President
Look is Crisp, Clean, Classic (6/05)
Newly elected president, Jim Fawcett, unveiled a new look for the SPFSA with a totally redesigned badge, or logo, that is "better proportioned, cleaner, sleeker and easier to reproduce on apparel." The badge features the basic who, what, when and where of the SPFSA and is designed to work in either three color or black and white applications, and on any color background. Click here for a look.
High School Seniors Win Scholarships
SPFSA Contributes Annual Financial Aid (5/05)
Newly elected President Jim Fawcett presented scholarship awards to six high seniors who were known for soccer excellence and community volunteerism. Thanking the recipients for their service to the community and their dedication to the sport of soccer, Fawcett awarded financial help to graduating seniors Sean McNelis, Lauren Perotta, Kirsten Zyla, Monique Morales, Jenna Balestriere and Terry Juba at the high school’s annual awards assembly. Each began their soccer career in the SPFSA and recounted favorite memories of playing for their grade school teams.
New Executive Board Elected
Nominating Committee Completes Screening (4/05)
Per the SPFSA Constitution and Bylaws, a new executive board was voted into office April 19th by all voting members of the SPFSA board. The recomended candidates as submitted by the nominating committee of Bryan Finley, Doreen Babis and Joe Bonaccorso were unanimously approved. They include Jim Fawcett, President; Joe Krakora, Executive VP; Sean Murphy, VP Operations; Greg Giardiello, Treasurer; Dorrie Ross, Secretary; Dave Bernstein, VP House; Carmine Bianco, VP Inter-County; and Tom DiGiacomo, VP Travel. The newly elected officers will serve two-year terms.