THE OLD COLLEGE TRY
College Prep Forum Helps LIJSL College Hopefuls
By Randy Vogt
Melville, NY - Some 10,000 soccer supporters attended the 29th Annual Long Island Junior Soccer League Convention from March 4 to 6. Soccer players, coaches, referees, administrators flocked to the Convention at the Huntington Hilton on Route 110 in Melville for all the fun. Coaches meetings, administrator meetings, Sportsmanship Awards, referee clinics, exhibitors from around the world…this year’s convention once again had something for everyone.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the College Forum, which took place on Sunday. The All-Star panel included a host of long time soccer coaches, administrators, and volunteers who have their collective fingers on the pulse of the college game.
Pat Grecco, an LIJSL and Eastern New York Soccer Hall of Famer, is the chairperson of the LIJSL’s Scholarship Committee, and was the MC of the event. Dubbing herself “the original Soccer Mom,” Pat discussed the parent’s role in the college search. Current NYIT women’s coach Betty Bohringer spoke about the ins-and-outs of the NCAA Eligibility Center, while Frank Vertullo, Coach of the national champion Suffolk Community College men, and 2010 National Junior College Coach of the Year, discussed when, how, and where to begin the college search.
Concordia College women’s coach Pat Horne gave insight on the best ways to successfully balance academics and athletics at the college level, and longtime associate men’s coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy John Fitzgerald painted a picture of life as a student-athlete at the U.S. Service Academies.
Next, Eric Teepe, the current US Youth Region 1 Olympic Development Coach and former Iona women’s coach, and Alvaro Phan, a former All-American from Brentwood and Fordham alum talked about what’s it’s like to play on a college team and how to find the right level of play for your skill set. The forum ended with longtime NYU men’s coach Joe Behan telling the crowd what a college coach is looking for in a player, and Ernesto Phan,coach of the NCC men talking about the benefits of 2-year programs. Former player and current coach Matt McElwee also talked about giving back to the game as an adult.