Board of Directors & Important Points of Contact
Risk Management Coordinator
- - - Recreation - - -
Recreation Referee Assigner:
Del-Valley Recreation Field Coordinator:
- - - Travel - - -
Director of Player Development
Travel Field Coordinator:
Travel Referee Assigner:
U-9 Boys Travel Coach:
U-9 Girls Travel Coach:
U-10 Boys Travel Coach
U-11 Boys Travel Coach
U-11 Girls Travel Coach:
U-12 Boys Travel Coach:
U-13 Girls Travel Coach:
HS Boys Travel Coach:
In the Beginning: History of Eastern Pike Soccer
The story of Eastern Pike Soccer began in the fall of 1984 when Karl Schneck was running a Saturday morning youth wrestling program under the Adult Education Program. One of his wrestlers was the son of John Cokelette, who had graduated a year behind Karl from Delaware Valley. Both former Delaware Valley wrestlers, they came up with the idea of forming a youth wrestling league. To get it going, they contacted former wrestlers in the area, including Nick Fedorka and then current wrestling coach Ned Bushong. Together, with the help of Art Ridley, the Eastern Pike Youth Sports Association was formed.
After a successful first season, Karl and John decided that their next venture would be a youth soccer league. So, in the fall of 1985, they put out fliers and set up registration on Karl's parents porch. The response was overwhelming. Over 200 kids signed up that first year. Once again, they scrounged up coaches from former Delaware Valley soccer players and many an inexperienced Dad who got a crash course in soccer fundamentals. The teams were named after the professional soccer teams (Kicks, Earthquakes, Furies, Cosmos, etc.). Shirts were quickly ordered and Karl went on a ball buying spree in every store that carried soccer balls along Route 6 in Scranton. Fundraisers were started to replace the money borrowed from the wrestling program. For the first few years, the money from one was used to start the other the next season.
The first five or six years saw the soccer program as a strictly Sunday afternoon, local soccer league. At that time, there were no traveling teams, camps, etc. Age group divisions were formed by the amount of kids who had signed up to participate. For example, it might have been 6-7 1/2, as opposed to 6-8, 9 if the numbers dictated that kind of split. All of the teams qualified for the "play-offs" and everybody got a trophy. By the end of this early era, the number of kids in the program had grown to over 350 children.
By 1994, EPYSA had grown up to 500 children. With this vast expansion, the soccer players, coaches and particpants decided to separate from wrestling and form their own soccer organization. Under the direction of Craig Beitzel, Joe Sweeney, Tony Cavallaro and Steve Smith, Eastern Pike Soccer was formed. Doug Jacobs helped establish by-laws and the fromation of a Board of Directors. Together, the board members established an affiliation with Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association and United States Soccer. It was through this affiliation that our first travel team (U-12 boys) was born and competed in the Hudson Valley Youth Soccer League (HVYSL) for the 1994 season.
Today, the Eastern Pike Soccer organization continues to be an important part of the community and acts as a building block for Delaware Valley Soccer. The recreation program is held on both the Delaware Valley and Dingman-Delaware campuses with age groups ranging from U-6 through U-14. A Challenger league also provides rewarding soccer experiences to children of special needs. Travel play has grown in the Eastern Pike Soccer program with an average of four teams registering per fall season and winter involvement in indoor soccer tournaments in the area. In 2008, the Eastern Pike Travel (U-10) team participated in the Scranton Winter League, playing 15 games, along with tournament games, through the winter. The same U-10 team continued through the Spring season, participating in the HVYSL Spring League. In the Summer of 2008, Eastern Pike Soccer held its first Travel Soccer Camp, exclusively for the players participating in club level soccer. The 2008-09 season witnessed All-Star Games for the U-13 and U-10 Divisions for the first time. The All-Star Games, along with Championship Games for U-13 and U-10 divisions, were all played on the "turf" at Warrior Stadium.
As Eastern Pike Soccer continues to move forward, it is equally important to look back at all those that have played a part in making this league so vibrant. It is through the outstanding support, leadership and dedication of those involved, from Board Members to coach's to volunteers to the parents and children that make this league what it is today. It is through the efforts and teamwork of all of our volunteers that a strong program promoting the youth of our area can even exist. So, to those that have made Eastern Pike Soccer possible, THANK YOU.