2019 Referee of the Year Cathy Caldwell, holding plaque, surrounded by the other members of the LISRA board of directors and assignor Nanci Apostolides on far right. (Photo courtesy of ENYYSA)

The Long Island Referees Association honored 16 referees at its holiday party at the James E. Allen Elementary School in Dix Hills, N.Y. Thursday, Dec. 12.

LISRA Trustee Cathy Caldwell of Copiague was selected as the 2019 referee of the year.

“I’ve been refereeing for 20 years and I have loved every minute of it! I think that I have worked with all of you over the years. Thank you for the joy that you have brought into my life,” Caldwell said. “Every time I step on the field, I feel privileged.”

The Silver Whistle Award for excellence in officiating went to Valley Stream’s Jack Shippy.

Shippy’s neighbor, Ian Reid of Lynbrook, received the Emrys Joseph Rookie of the Year Award. Joseph was a very personable LISRA ref and member of the board of directors who passed away 29 years ago and this award has been given annually in his honor since.

Gilon Goldman of Holtsville won the Rising Star Award for young referee of the year.

Greenlawn’s Arianna Starost and Westbury’s Emanuel Ventura received the Mario Boltri Assistant Referee Award. Boltri is a former LISRA president who created the chapter’s successful assistant referee program after the turn of the millennium. There are now 640 LISRA assistant referees.

Assistant referees also honored by LISRA on that cold winter night were Julia Desiano (Mount Sinai), Michael Flores (Medford), Joe LoNegro (Smithtown), Gaetano Parisi (North Bellmore), Isabella Pedone (Lindenhurst), siblings Amanda and Andrew Pietrofeso (Glen Oaks), John Reid (Lynbrook), Scott Thorley (Manorville) and Megan Zabrouski (Bethpage).

The AR awards are based on the ratings of the refs who grade the assistants after every game plus comments from the refs as well as the assignors.

LISRA is one of the oldest organizations in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association and the largest referee association in the state. For the past five decades, LISRA has been providing referees for Long Island Junior Soccer League games and has assigned officials to an estimated 750,000 soccer games since its inception.