Ken and Ilene Finder
In early 1997, as Ken and Ilene Finder began to ponder how their boys could pursue their interest in soccer, they realized that there were no options available in Rye Brook. The village had neither a travel soccer club nor a recreation program. Faced with these realities, they decided to form a club for the Rye Brook community, They were confronted with many issues, as the village name was already being used by a non Rye Brook club, and there was no soccer field available in Rye Brook. It looked like an impossible dream, but a few short months later, Ken and Ilene had incorporated a not-for-profit organization, obtained the Rye Brook name, secured the use of a field for home games, purchased equipment and enrolled players. In September 1997, they proudly watched 14 boys suit up to be the first team to play under the banner of Rye Brook Youth Soccer.
Over the next seven years, even after their boys stopped playing soccer, they together ran Rye Brook Youth Soccer. Ken served as President, coached two teams, and became synonymous with soccer in Rye Brook. Ilene performed the duties of Registrar, Treasurer, Uniform and Equipment Manager, and everything else. During these years, Ken and Ilene were responible for the growth of Rye Brook Youth Soccer, not only in numbers of players, but also in quality and stature. Ken continues to serve on the Executive Board as past president for life and Ilene turned over her responsibilites to six people.
As a result of the expansion of Rye Brook Youth Soccer, the village of Rye Brook and the Blind Brook School District had to build more fields to accomodate the unleased popularity of soccer in the village. Ken was intricately involved with new fields becoming a reality in the community, serving on both the village of Rye Brook Field Task Force and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Now Rye Brook has a youth sports complex with five synthetic turf fields and Rye Brook Youth Soccer is able to host a highly acclaimed pre-season tournamemt each March. Ken and Ilene’s dream that started with 14 boys now serves over 400 boys and girls playing travel soccer and participating in the club’s pre-travel program.
Doug began coaching soccer in Briarcliff when his oldest son was in kindergarten. He had a pretty athletic group, his philosophy was to let them play hard and have fun, and after a couple of years his team became quite successful. Since his team was winning most of their games when they played recreation teams from Briarcliff or other towns, Doug thought is was time to find stronger competition, and the Shooting Stars became the first Briarcliff team to join the WYSL. Doug’s team had several good years, moving up into the first division, and placing in several tournaments. The word spread in Briarcliff, and soon other families and teams followed. A successful new club had been started.
For many years, Doug did all of the liaison work with the WYSL, serving as President, Registrar and Score Reporter. He took a couple of years off from coaching, but returned when he saw that Briarcliff’s high school age boys team needed serious help. He coached the high school boys for 7 years even though his son was only on this team for two of those seasons. During this time Doug volunteered to serve on the WYSL Board, and he has worked his way to becoming Chairman of the Arbitration and Risk Management Committees. In these capacities, Doug has become widely respected for his diligence and fairness in dealing with the cases brought before him. With the inspiration initially provided by Doug, the Briarcliff club has grown to more than a dozen teams. His son is now 24, and Doug is still actively involved.
Sid was sent to the US in 1982 for a 3-year stint with his company, and is still here 28 years later! About 2 months after his arrival in Larchmont, at a neighborhood party the then-registrar of LJSL picked up his English accent and invited him to "get involved in Larchmont Soccer". A certified referee but not a coach in England, he coached 7th/8th grade Rec teams in his first two fall seasons. He was then invited to coach a new U9 Boys travel team - and the rest is history! Three different boys teams, then a switch to girls, now with his third girls team. In addition, he has coached the Junior Varsity Girls at Mamaroneck HS for the last 8 seasons.
Under Tom Munno’s presidency in the 90s, Sid was Head Referee for the club, and he initiated its 2nd grade program. In 2001 he succeeded Tom as president, and has now served 8 years. During this period LJSL has thrived, and it is one of the largest clubs in Westchester despite Larchmont’s relatively small population. In recent years, he has worked with the Village of Larchmont Mayor and Trustees to support the fundraising and building of the Alma Turf Field in Flint Park, as well as the ongoing renovation of grass fields. Under his leadership, the LJSL is the largest donor to the Fields for Kids fundraising effort to bring a new synthetic turf surface to the Mamaroneck High School Memorial Field - a project that has been talked about for over 5 years! But most of all, Sid just loves being out there on the field with the kids - working to help them not only to become good soccer players, but also quality young citizens. Like everyone else, Sid loves to win, but more important to him is watching the kids develop and having a fun time doing it.
Phone: (914) 235-5110
Fax: (914) 235-5323
32 Elm Place, Suite 1S
Rye, New York 10580