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December 20, 2016
20 referees honored for their work, service

Twenty referees who made a difference on the soccer fields of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association and Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association were honored for their contributions to the sport at holiday parties Dec. 15.

The New York Soccer Referee Association, founded in 1938, held its party at the VFW Hall in Franklin Square, N.Y.

Alex Focea received the Golden Whistle Award for excellence in officiating, Amro Aly was honored as Referee of the Year, Secretary Kambiz Riazi was tabbed for the Recognition Award and Brendan Mullarkey was given the Service Award for his 33 years as a NYSRA official.

More awards were handed out at the holiday party at Dix Hills' James Allen School for the Long Island Soccer Referees Association (formed in 1971).

Jose Aparicio was given the Silver Whistle Award for excellence in officiating and there was a tie in determining the Referee of the Year so, for the first time, two members –– Efi Domb and Satwinder Hundal –– were honored with this award.

Eugene Gallucci and Larry Pisaryuk were given the Service Award for their 25 years as LISRA members and recording secretary Michael Marks received the honor for his many years of service as he is retiring to Florida.

There are 850 assistant referees in LISRA needed to cover the nearly 1,000 Long Island Junior Soccer League games every weekend and several in particular stood out.

The Mario Boltri Assistant Referee of the Year Award went to Adira Brown-DeVirgilio and Sean Lyons while John Asam, Brandon Brockner, Christian Menjivar, Saleh Rabie, Victoria Santorelli and Shelby Spano were honored for being top assistant refs as well, as rated by referees and the assignors.

The Emrys Joseph Rookie Referee of the Year Award went to Glynn Hargraves, who like the award’s namesake, is a native of the United Kingdom, and the Rising Star Award was given to Richard Flory.

“I am asked to cover thousands of games every season and it is not me who is making this possible but it’s because of you, the many refs who go above and beyond every weekend,“ LISRA assigning chairperson Nicolas Apostolides said.

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