The East Hudson Youth Soccer League remembers two irreplaceable figures, Christine Galloway and Nick Raccioppo, as both passed away this summer.
Ken Gulmi, who served as EHYSL president for more than two decades, remembered the first time that he met Galloway when he volunteered on the EHYSL board of directors in 1988.
“She was welcoming and helpful, saying to me, ‘Come sit next to me and I will tell you all that you need to know,’ Gulmi said. “Christine had an amazing presence in soccer and was idolized in the Hudson Valley.”
Galloway coached for more than a decade in the Beacon Soccer Club around the 1980’s, starting with pee-wee soccer, then intramural and travel teams. She referred to her players as “my boys.” She thought that she was finished with coaching until Beacon Soccer Club president Max Aponte asked her to start the Beacon pee-wee soccer program from ages five and six for the first time. That was a quarter-century ago and her grandson Robert Arroyo, then four-years-old, played up in this new pee-wee age group.
Galloway was the first woman inducted into the EHYSL Hall of Fame in 1996, with her husband Robert following a decade later in 2006. He was the longtime coach of the Dutchess Community College men’s soccer team, directed by current EHYSL president Jim Purdy. The Galloways were mentors to current Beacon Soccer Club president Rhey Cader.
“My mother will be remembered for her love for her family and soccer, her fierce hugs as she never let go first and her resilience,” their daughter Jacqueline Arroyo said. “She had a number of health issues including being a Type 1 diabetic and a breast cancer survivor. She just preserved through it all with her standard answer of ‘I’m fine.’ ”
Raccioppo started coaching his sons’ teams in the 1980’s but found his calling as an administrator shortly thereafter, volunteering for decades after his own kids graduated from youth soccer. Raccioppo served on the Town of Poughkeepsie Soccer Club board of directors for three decades, including serving as club president.
He was EHYSL treasurer in the early 1990’s, leaving the board in 1994. He was inducted into the EHYSL Hall of Fame in 2000. A massive stroke left him with much free time after he retired from IBM so he had a second tour of duty on the EHYSL board, serving as EHYSL secretary from 2006-14.
Raccioppo was director for three tournaments at the same time: TOPSC Columbus Day Tournament in the fall, Hudson Invitational Tournament in the summer and the Jim Slater Indoor Tournament in the winter.
“Nick’s many years as a terrific club and league administrator coupled with his passion for both our great sport and the youngsters who play it made him a wonderful source of counsel throughout my 22 years as East Hudson president,” Gulmi said. “We will all miss his friendship and his common sense approach to our game.”