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Something For Everyone as 10,000 Soccer Fans Are Expected at the LIJSL Convention

Some 10,000 soccer supporters are expected to come to the 29th Annual Long Island Junior Soccer League Convention from March 4 to 6. Soccer players, coaches, referees, administrators and fans are once again expected to ...

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Some 10,000 soccer supporters are expected to come to the 29th Annual Long Island Junior Soccer League Convention from March 4 to 6. Soccer players, coaches, referees, administrators and fans are once again expected to flock 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 again promises something for everyone. If you would like to spend a relaxing weekend, definitely do not book a room at the Hilton next weekend!

Special LIJSL Convention events include:

Volunteer Awards Dinner. The Volunteer of the Year from the LIJSL clubs and the league's newest Hall of Famers--the Sachem Youth Soccer League's Marge Panzarella plus Beth and Frank Scafuri from the East Islip Soccer Club--will be honored on Friday night, March 4. The Under-12 Sportsmanship coaches as nominated by a player essay will also be honored and they are Dean Florian of the Sachem Sparks, nominated by his goalkeeper, Shannon Hearty, and Deer Parks Demons' coach Jaime Castillo, nominated by one of the players on his team, Michael Charumaneeroj. Red Bulls' Director of Youth Programs Bob Montgomery, known to many of us Long Islanders as the former three-decade men's coach at Adelphi, will be the keynote speaker. Cocktails begin at 7 pm.

CPR and AED Training Course. Craig and Kristin LoNigro from Long Island Sports Care Group are conducting a CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training course for adults on Saturday, March 5 from 1:30 to 5:30 pm and on Sunday, March 6 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, both in the Mattituck Room. Each course for LIJSL coaches should take approximately four hours. After completion of the four-hour class, you would be American Cross-certified. Seating for each course is limited and costs $35. See the contact info for the LIJSL office below to register.

LIJSL-NSCAA "D" Course. This is a four-hour course, free-of-charge, designed for those who will be coaching youth soccer players from four to 10 years of age. We encourage those parents and coaches involved in soccer for the first time to take this class to learn the proper methodology in teaching youth players being exposed to the wonderful game of soccer. The course is on Saturday, March 5 from 9 am to 1 pm or Sunday, March 6 from 1 to 5 pm, both in the Mattituck Room. Seating is limited so we strongly suggest registering in advance to guarantee your seat. See the contact info for the LIJSL office below.

LIJSL Volunteer Reception, sponsored by adidas, Eurosport and Modell's Sporting Goods, from 5-9 pm on Saturday, March 5 in the Savoy. All LIJSL volunteers are welcome.

Mind Games, Using Mental Imagery To Bring a Player to a Higher Level. Mental imagery is utilized by many of the world's top athletes. We spend hours on the soccer field preparing our bodies but how much time do we need to prepare our minds for success? Kevin McCrudden, author of U--Who Are You? and publisher of Soccer Long Island Magazine, will speak about Mind Games in an energetic presentation that will keep everyone entertained. Sunday, March 6 at 1 pm in the Eisenhower Room.

LIJSL College Forum for all interested high school sophomores and juniors and their families. A panel of college coaches, players and soccer parents discuss NCAA requirements, financial aid and finding the right college for you! Translation into Spanish by LIJSL coach Ernesto Phan for Latino parents who might not understand English. 2:30 to 4:30 pm in the Savoy.

Convention Food Drive. With many Long Islanders--including soccer families--in need, LIJSL families will be dropping off non-perishable items all weekend in the Hargrave Room for Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Food Bank. Canned goods, dry goods, snack foods, personnel items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, hygiene items plus laundry detergent, household cleaning products, paper napkins, towels and can openers are all needed.

Uniforms for Haiti. Bring those used uniforms that are taking up space in your closet for kids in Haiti. Please make sure the uniforms are clean before you bring them any time during the weekend to the Hargrave Room.

Soccer Ball Donation. Named after Private Nicholas Madaras, a soccer player killed in Iraq five years ago, Kick for Nick will be collecting soccer balls all weekend for children in Iraq. Please drop off deflated, clean soccer balls at the Hargrave Room.

Admission to the LIJSL Convention is free. For more information, please contact the LIJSL office at 631-648-9020.

The Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) was established in 1966 as a non-profit, educational organization and is one of the largest youth soccer leagues in the United States, with 98 member clubs representing approximately 70,000 players on Long Island and in Queens. The LIJSL is operated by volunteers committed to enabling young people to Build Character Through Soccer. The League's mission is to foster the growth and development of youths under the age of 19, at all levels of competition, emphasizing fun, respect and team-building. As an umbrella organization, the League provides a coaching academy, clinics, tournaments, special competitions, scholarships and special programs for players of all abilities. For more information on the League, please visit