Pat Shields is the consummate European footballer. While he was born in Ireland, he actually started playing soccer in Wallonia, otherwise known as the French-speaking southern part of Belgium where he attended the equivalent of our middle schools.
And then, it was on to England for more schooling and more soccer. He played for the hospital team where he worked and played semi-pro ball for the next 11 years. Then Pat and his wife Katie came the United States and played with the White Plains Germans---how he came to play with the German team is a long story having to do with his being scouted by a priest from Scotland.
Then back to Ireland for two years where Pat got into coaching and became a referee at the Senior Amateur level. They came back in 1984. He made his mark in refereeing and served on the referee Board. He became a mentor to young refs and also to the new refs who officiate HS games and still does the mentoring.
Pat’s activities in Rye are well-documented and greatly appreciated. He has served Rye Youth Soccer in various capacities for the last 17 years. He is still active in Rye---you can usually find him on some field in Rye anytime someone is playing or practicing.
So here is someone involved in all phases of the game: player (where he continued playing until age 60), coach, referee, mentor, officer, and fan. And when we asked Pat why---the response was simple---“because I love it!”
Donald E. Dietz, III:
Don’s involvement with youth soccer started in the traditional way - as a rec coach for his four young kids in Scarsdale. Little did he know when he volunteered as an assistant coach for his oldest son’s U-09 travel team in 1995 that a long-standing soccer journey was about to begin. For the next ten years, Don coached all three of his sons’ travel teams from AYSO to a highly-ranked U-15 team that won its division multiple times, earned the league’s sporting award and advanced to the quarter-final round in State Cup. In addition to being a licensed coach, Don is also a certified, although admittedly inactive, referee, and a strong advocate of Positive Coaching, qualifications he believes helped him become a better and more complete coach.
In 1996, Don was asked by Larry Bell, Scarsdale’s then president and also a WYSL Hall of Famer, to join the board of the Scarsdale Youth Soccer Club, the league’s largest club at that time, where his commitment and hard work led to his becoming a major contributor to the club’s extensive and successful travel program for nearly fifteen years. Don’s responsibilities ranged from field czar to chief scheduler to tryout coordinator, and he was instrumental in Scarsdale’s Fields for Kids project, which resulted in one of Westchester’s first turf fields at the high school. As a senior member of the Scarsdale board, Don was able to provide experienced counsel and continuity to six club presidents, a notable achievement in and of itself.
Don was elected to the Westchester Soccer League board in 2001, where he has served with distinction and dedication in many capacities and on numerous league committees, including Sportsmanship, Audit, Arbitration, Select and, his personal favorite, the Scholarship Committee, which he now chairs and has been a part of since its inception five years ago. His duties league-wide have been many and varied, and he has unflaggingly done them well for a very long time.
As an emeritus director, Don is one of the league’s longest tenured active board members, and his across-the-board contributions to the many kids he has coached, the Scarsdale Club and the WYSL over a period spanning nearly twenty years are exemplary and worthy of the recognition afforded him tonight.
Phone: (914) 235-5110
Fax: (914) 235-5323
32 Elm Place, Suite 1S
Rye, New York 10580