Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association will host its State Cup finals at Stringham Park in LaGrange, N.Y. on June 3-4.

Stringham Park is the home of the LaGrange Soccer Club of the East Hudson Youth Soccer League and the park has hosted the State Cup finals for more than a decade as their grass fields are centrally located in Eastern New York and just off the Taconic Parkway.

“LaGrange Soccer is happy to welcome back Eastern New York for this year’s State Cup championship games and we look forward to all the competitive matches once again,” LaGrange Soccer Club president Kara Gaddoniex said.

Stringham Park’s origins go back in 1932. That’s when Karl Ehmer opened his first butcher shop on 46th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan. In the mid-1940’s, Ehmer opened a manufacturing facility in Ridgewood, Queens, from where he served six retail locations.

Although Ehmer still has its own stores, his sausages, hams, other meats and specialty foods are also sold today in supermarkets, specialty shops and ethnic stores across the United States.

Ehmer was the owner of a large beef cattle farm near a house he owned in the Town of LaGrange. In 1994, he sold the property to a developer and the deal was approved by the town after a portion of the land was donated to them for recreational use.

So Stringham Park was created just south of Stringham Road and east of Ehmer Drive. The name Stringham comes from a family with long-standing ties to the community.

Up until that point, the LaGrange Soccer Club shared two fields on Noxon Road with Little League. In 1998, Stringham Park opened with one field but as soccer grew, so did the use of the park.

“Stringham Park is the best use of cooperation I know of between a sports league and town, at no additional cost to the town,” saod Jeff Feldman, who served on the LaGrange Soccer Club board of directors for more thhan two decades. He was club president for more than 10 years, which was when the club started using Stringham Park.

The LaGrange Soccer Club received two grants. totaling $42,000 from the U.S. Soccer Foundation. The first grant, for $25,000 in 1997, was used to put up a building housing the concession stand, picnic area, bathrooms and lawn mowing equipment. The second grant, for $17,000 in 1999, put in the first part of irrigation system––pump, initial piping and wiring for the first phase. The money generated from the concession stand funded the expansion of the irrigation system to the complex as new fields were developed. Today, 14 soccer fields are spread throughout the 71 acres of the park.

More than 900 players and coaches are registered with the LaGrange Soccer Club. The club also has an a TOPSoccer Program of 25 kids with special needs.

Stringham Park also includes two basketball courts, lacrosse fields, a baseball field, a walking trail and playground.


Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.