Three outstanding candidates where inducted into the WYSL Hall of Fame at the end of season meeting on December 2, 2010. Lee D’Argenio, who has served as the League Registrar for 15 years, Gino D’Ippolito who has served as a referee for 33 years, and Rip Fisher, who has served as the League President for 7 years were all recognized for their longtanding commitment to youth soccer.
Lee began her youth soccer service as the scorekeeper for Pelham Travel Soccer in 1989, and she became the Score Reporter for the WYSL in 1991. Lee worked initially with WYSL Presidents Tom Munno and Jack Loftus. In 1995 when Barry Salter became the WYSL President Lee became the League Registrar, and when the league opened its office in the K Building in New Rochelle Lee was the first employee based in the office. Prior to the League having an office, League Registrar Marianne Marino had been making passes in her kitchen. Once the office was opened, Lee worked with Larchmont club registrar Biffy Halliday to develop the first databases for the league for both players and coaches. The state of the art system at that time was quaint by later standards- Lee relayed information for passes to Biffy over the phone, who entered the information into an off-site computer system and printed the passes. Club Registrars would drive to Larchmont, pick up the passes, and bring them back to the office in New Rochelle for laminating. Lee would receive game scores over the phone or by fax, and type them up each week and mail them out to all club presidents. This primative system has been upgraded and streamlined over time.
After Rip Fisher became WYSL President in 2004, Lee spearheaded the efforts to fully automate the player and coach registration. The League was the first league in Eastern New York to engage League Sports SignUp to develop an online registration process, and the WYSL’s success led to all other leagues in ENYYSA subsequently adopting on-line registration. The WYSL developed its own website with Demosphere, and Lee worked with LSS and Demosphere to automate the score reporting, seedings, sportsmanship and referee reporting processes. By 2010, the WYSL had in place a system with almost all interactions are done on-line.
Gino started refereeing in 1962 in Eastern New York. He was playing in a game and was unhappy with the referee’s performance. When he told this to the referee after the game, the ref's response was "If you think you can do a better job, why don’t you become a referee?" Gino did, and by 1968 he received an invitation to officiate in the NPSL professional soccer league. In 1975 Gino received his FIFA badge. Gino was an official in over 600 NASL games from 1968-1984, and at over 1,500 MISL, MSL and CISL games. He also traveled to 15 countries to officiate at FIFA games, and served in 15 Qualifiers for the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups. Gino served as an official at Pele’s first and last game as a New York Cosmos Player. Pele’s final game was televised and viewed by over 400 million people worldwide.
In 1977, Gino began serving as a referee in the WYSL. Since then, Gino has served at over 700 WYSL games. Today, even though he is in his seventh decade, Gino still enjoys officiating in the WYSL. He can be seen on weekends doing two or three U-9 and U-10 WYSL games, and he can be seen at WYSL club tournaments where he officiates on holiday weekends. Gino continues to give back to the game by officiating youth games and serving as a Role Model and Mentor to youth referees.
Rip’s daughters began their soccer careers in the Scarsdale rec league, and Rip began coaching there. Two daughters joined the Scarsdale travel teams, and Rip became an Assistant Coach and then Head Coach in the WYSL. Both daughters’ teams won the WYSL first division several times, and both moved to an older age group to seek more competition. The Scarsdale club recognized Rip’s coaching and administrative abilities, and asked him to become club president even though he had never served on its Board of Directors. During Rip’s club presidency, the SYSC instituted a variety of innovative programs including its Micro-Soccer Program, brought in a coaching academy to educate its coaches, hired its first Director of Coaching, brought the Positive Coaching Alliance workshops to the East Coast for the first time and began its Memorial Day Tournament. In 2002, the Positive Coaching Alliance selected the SYSC as one of three youth sports organizations across the nation to receive its national "Honoring the Game Award."
Rip joined the WYSL Board in 2000, and served on the Arbitration, Coaching and Seedings Committee. While a Board Member he made suggestions that resulted in the creation of the WYSL Coach Orientation Program, the WYSL Sportsmanship Program and Silent Sundays. Rip became the WYSL President in 2004, and following the pattern that was established by his predecessors the League continued to improve and grow. During his Presidency Rip has taught the New Coach Orientation Courses and personally welcomed over 2,000 new coaches and team managers to the WYSL. The League was the first league to embrace website technology to adopt on-line registration to replace paper registrations, a move that has been followed by all leagues in Eastern New York. When there weren’t enough soccer fields in Scarsdale, he convinced the Scarsdale School district to build a turf field at Scarsdale High School, and then formed the Fields for Kids fundraising group and collected $700,000 in donations from over 800 families to pay for the field. Rip subsequently shared the experience gained in building this field with other clubs, school districts and municipalities, and many more turf fields were built throughout Westchester. The Westchester County Government recognized Rip’s expertise in this area, and asked him to join the Westchester County Parks and Recreation Board. The County built over a dozen new soccer fields under the Legacy program, and many of them are now used by WYSL clubs each weekend. During Rip’s term as President, the WYSL grew from 28 clubs to 45 clubs, from 350 travel teams to 700 travel teams and from 11,000 players to almost 18,000 players.
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