DENVILLE, NJ- The Morris County Youth Football League (MCYFL) recently held their Awards Dinner and Hall of Fame ceremony, inducting six people from local towns. Each of the honorees have dedicated over 20+ years volunteering for the league, long after their own kids were out of the program.
League President Chuck Harvey started the evening out stating, “On behalf of the Morris County Youth Football League, I want to thank each and every one of the inductees. You have done so much to help the league become what it is today.”
Before the inductions took place, league secretary Jerry Davis was joined at the microphone by the mother of a Parsippany player, Brenda Reis, to both speak briefly about MCYFL Charities, which is the only youth football league charity in the country. Collections at league games and other fundraisers have resulted in over $105,000 distributed to many local families who faced sudden life altering situations.
Over the past five years, most of the families helped had children diagnosed with severe illness such as pediatric cancer, while others suffered hardships such as a house fire. Davis was happy to announce that this year, for the first time there were no new recipients, which was met with applause.
Neil Henry Sr. from Twin-Boro was the first inductee, introduced by both of his sons. Henry began volunteering in the league 45 years ago back in 1970 and was one of the founding members of the Mendham Patriots youth football team. Henry was active in the league for many years, and it was his guidance and constant involvement that has shaped the Twin-Boro program into the success it is today.
Next up was Sean Young from Hopatcong, who was introduced by his father. Young, who grew up playing in the program, returned to help his father coach for 17 years. When a need arose to help with the younger kids, Young took charge of the JV program. Young was part of the Hopatcong program for over 23 years.
Harvey then introduced Mike Secola from Lenape Valley. Secola was the Lenape valley league representative and the MCYFL Vice President for many years. Harvey mentioned extra appreciation for a time when the league had a pressing need for someone to fill the president spot, and Secola stepped in for a few years.
Vinny LaSorsa was the second member of the Twin Boro program to be inducted on this night. LaSorsa coached in Twin Boro for many years, served on the league board, and also was head of the Twin Boro board. When being introduced, he was credited with helping to keep the program afloat through fund raising when financial hardships arose and others thought they should fold.
LaSorsa, who is known throughout the league as being a talkative, friendly personality, entertained the group with humorous stories of his transition from coaching HS football in Hoboken to youth football in Mendham.
Mike Rastiello from Rockaway has been a part of the Rockaway Rockets program for over 25 years, coaching, serving on the league grievance committee, and as the Rockaway league rep.
When introduced, his presenter allowed the words his players wrote in their yearbook to speak for Coach Rastiello. Some of them were:
"You were my favorite coach of all time"… “I will always remember how much you really cared about us”... “You made me believe”... “You taught me so much”... “Coach Mike taught me you are what you repeatedly do, and therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit."
The final inductee of the evening was Scott Mack from Dover.
Dover Mayor James Todd introduced Mack. Todd said of Mack, “His work in the Dover recreation football program for almost 20 years has positively influenced the lives of hundreds of young children. He has done all of this despite the fact that he has never had one of his own kids in the program.”
The mayor referred to a saying a mentor of his growing up used many years ago, stating, "Every kid needs someone in their life that they don't want to disappoint. For literally hundreds of Dover kids Scott was, and remains that individual.”
Harvey concluded by stating "Once again please give each and every one of these Hall of Fame inductees a round of applause. You have all been so humble in accepting these awards, but you guys made the league what it is today, and for that we all thank you.”
Trophies were then handed out for the champions and finalists for all the different divisions, concluding another successful season for youth football in Morris County.