Sportsmanship Awards

by Randy Vogt, member of the NY Metro ISOA chapter and designer of the chapter logos. Randy Vogt

The New York Metro Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NYMISOA) was founded 43 years ago in 1964. The chapter membership includes 90 intercollegiate soccer officials in the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island plus Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties.

Of the 50 men’s college soccer programs in the New York City metro area, Rocco Morelli of SUNY-Maritime received the NYMISOA Sportsmanship Award in the vote of referees for displaying the highest degree of Fair Play during the 2007 college season.

“I have known Rocco for the past 15 years and have been officiating his games since then,” commented NYMISOA referee Randy Vogt in presenting the award. “It’s always great to see him on the touchline. He always has something positive to say, in instruction to his players or in comments to officials, sometimes in a multitude of languages.”

Rocco has started to build SUNY-Maritime into a standout team in the Skyline Conference. This fall, the Privateers finished 13-8-0, qualifying for the Skyline playoffs.

The North Bellmore resident is also a longtime coach in the Long Island Junior Soccer League’s Olympic Development Program and coaches teams for the Garden City Centennials Soccer Club and Garden City Athletic Association.

He is becoming the Director of Soccer for a new indoor sports arena, the Central Islip Soccer Complex, set to open in February with three soccer fields and three basketball courts.

Rocco’s sons, Rocco Jr. and Ettore, were superb goalkeepers for Long Island Junior Soccer League teams. Rocco Jr. played for the Merrick Magic while Ettore stopped shots for the Albertson Red Storm Clash and United States Youth National Team. Now in their early 20s, both are very active in the game today.

Their father was a standout forward. He received All-American honors and scored six playoff goals on only six shots while leading the University of Maryland to the NCAA national championship in 1968. (Obviously, neither of his sons were in goal.) That proficiency still stands as a record today. He is the third all-time leading scorer for the Terrapins, even though he only studied at Maryland for two years. After college, Morelli played semi-professionally for various teams including Inter-Giuliana, the Brooklyn Italians, Fiorentina and Inter-Napoli.

On the junior college side, Zef Kabashi of the Hostos Community College men from the Bronx took home the honors. Steve Lewin praised the tremendous attitude change in their program since Zef took the reins last year.

On the women’s side, the honor went to Kerri McCabe of Dowling College, who led the Golden Lions to the second round of the NCAA playoffs while displaying the highest ideals as well. Unfortunately, she could not attend the NYMISOA Annual Dinner at the Sterling in Bethpage on November 12.

On this Thanksgiving week, we are especially thankful for positive role models like Rocco, Zef and Kerri who make officiating their games a pleasure.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 at 9:04 pm and is filed under General with keyword(s) . You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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