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."
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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-347-7723.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coaches received background notes on the overall philosophy and a manual on operations of the new program. Additional information is available for parents @ www.usyouthsoccer.org/coaches/smallsidedgames.asp .
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Red Bulls Honor Club @ Saturday's Play-Off Game (11/06)
Four Events Including Play-off Showdown vs. KC Wizards (10/06)
Share the Equipment, Share the Dream (10/06)
Program Contributed $1,550 to Township Rescue Squad (9/06)
House and Inter-County Programs Enhanced (7/06)
U16 SPF Sparx, U13 SPF Tempest Take Titles (6/06)
Attended by 400+ Players, Coaches & Parents (5/06)
Six High School Recipients Played Pre-K in SPFSA (5/06)
Will Raise Funds for Local Rescue Squads (4/06)
SPFSA Parents Present Strong Case (4/06)
Hailed as 'Smartly Sensitive to Natural Setting'(4/1/06)
'Student of the Game' Program Educates and Motivates (3/06)
Honored @ Mayor's Charity Gala (12/05)
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.