I just recently chaired my last meeting as president of the board at MESL. After 18 years as a board member, the last 10 as president, it is time to move on and let the young guns take over. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at East. We spent one year at one of the other city leagues and after a suggestion from a friend decided to give East a try. We never left. The family atmosphere and kid first mentality made all the sense in the world. It was well organized and the attitude of the parents on the sideline was much better than what we had been exposed to.
Over the years we have tried to improve on that model and keep focus on what is important. Thanks to a great staff I think we have done a good job of it. There are always challenges but we dealt with them as they came and learned how to improve things from them.
None of this would be possible without the existence of dedicated volunteers. On that end I have been blessed with a small group of people who have been with me for all or most of my 10 year journey as president. They are people who have become friends and I can’t say enough good things about. MESL is lucky to have them. My long time vice president and referee extraordinaire Frank Scarito has been a huge part of our success and as dedicated as anyone that has served on the board. Frank’s passion for the sport and the children of MESL is unmatched. Luckily for MESL he will be staying on and heading the referee program. The same can be said for Scott O’Neil, Stacy Harrison and Ursula Rousseau. Scott will be leaving with me this year and his contributions over the years from multiple board positions as well as coaching and tireless hours on field duty and concession will be tough to replace. Stacy and Ursula have been invaluable members of the board. They have continually stepped up above and beyond just the responsibility of their own jobs. MESL will be lucky in that they too will be around next year which means East will also have the services of our “Fix-It” Man and all around great guy Keith Rousseau helping out again. While not an official member of the board Keith did things that made life easier for everyone without fanfare.
Coming into this season we lost the services of two very dedicated guys. Keith Karwacki is the longest serving board member in MESL history with well over 20 years in. His knowledge and work ethic was a bonus to East for many years. Chuck Prive was a division manager for 9 years and helped mentor some of the new division managers as well as coach multiple teams. I cannot underscore their importance to me as board members and MESL.
There are many others that have also had a great impact just not as many years. Dan Adams, Mike Elias, Ryan McCoy, Maria Brown, Allison Wichert, Jennifer Thornton, Brian Ducharme, Jason Vaillancourt, Tracy Bachert, John Butchard, Bruce Williamson, Charles Joseph Birt, Rick and Kathleen Epperson, Chasity Bishop, Lori Scarito, Lori Schrepfer, Ryan O’Halloran and Stephanie Strandson. I know I’m forgetting a few and I apologize to them. This cannot work unless we have people willing to step up. These people have been remarkable and they will need others to take these positions on if we want to continue giving our young players a place to play. Please don’t be bashful all you have to do is give a little time and you can make a huge difference. It is a very rewarding experience to know you can bring happiness teaching a child to play a game and be part of a team.
I am excited to let you know that the new president and vice president at MESL will be John O’Neil and Peter Cinfo. These two gentlemen are both top notch dedicated volunteers and have been around MESL for a handful of years both as coaches and serving on the board. They are excited to take on the task and I know they will be very good at their jobs. They have a couple of openings on the board so feel free to jump in and help John and Pete move MESL into a new future.
I would like to think that upon leaving MESL that it is in a better state than it was when I came on board. So for the last time thanks to all of you that have coached, been a team parent, been a referee, board member or helped in concession. I will miss being a part of East but I trust that you have a great staff to carry MESL forward.