On Sunday, the Connetquot Youth Soccer League held their annual spring awards picnic at Ronkonkoma Middle School, treating over 1,000 youth players and their families to games, food, music, face painting and trophies. But there was something bigger going on here. Things are changing for this non-profit organization that has served Ronkonkoma and the surrounding communities for over 17 years.
“On Sunday we celebrated the end of a successful season, as well as our new affiliation with the Long Island Junior Soccer League,” said club vice president Benny Calderone. “Spring 2011 was one of the strongest seasons the club has ever had in terms of registration and membership, and we are implementing plans now for what we expect to be an even bigger Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 program.”
To this point, CYSL has operated as an in-house league with some inter-town play for older players. They have intramural
and recreational divisions for players aged 3-9, and an interleague division serving older players in school grades 2-4. Now, through their affiliation with the LIJSL, Connetquot will be fielding full-fledged travel teams for the first time.
“We are extremely excited about our new affiliation with LIJSL and the creation of a new travel program,” said Calderone. “We will be creating new teams and moving some of our former inter-league teams into the LIJSL arena this Fall, and will continue to build the program going forward through our intramural and inter-league divisions. We now fully have a variety of programs in place to serve a multitude of skill levels for soccer players from AGE 3-17.”
On hand for the festivities were LIJSL President Addie Mattei-Iaia, NYS Senator Lee Zeldin, who presented the CYSL with a certificate of recognition for community service, and Alexis Weik, Deputy Receiver of taxes for Islip Town on behalf of Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi's office.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people at an event like this,” said Mattei-Iaia. “It’s another example of how the game of soccer can bring communities together and create friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. These are the kind of days we want our league to be about. We are excited for the future of the Connetquot Youth Soccer League.”
With the CYSL’s move to Long Island Junior, and a foundation of 17 years of service to kids, there is little question that something bigger is going on here.