PINE ISLAND—They played for some all-out exercise, to meet up with old friends, and to raise funds for the charity of their choice at the Capelli Outdoor Sports Complex at DeBuck’s Sod Farm in Pine Island on a hot and humid day.
The seventh annual Sweitzer Cup on July 30 featured 12 alumni soccer teams—Burke Catholic, Goshen, Pine Bush, Delaware Valley, Middletown, Warwick, Washingtonville, Vernon, Highland, Minisink, Valley Central, and Florida. The tournament honors the memory of Timothy J. Sweitzer, a soccer player who was killed in a car accident during his senior year at John S. Burke Catholic High School in 1996.
Goshen won the tournament in a final match against Pine Bush.
Young Men Give Back
Rory Brady, who played for Burke Catholic and was one of the organizers of the tournament, said it has always been a goal of the tournament to show young men how they can give back.
He said the Delaware Valley team, with an average age of 22, represents the future of the tournament. “It’s really neat to see someone of that age get it way before I did,” Brady said. “So I feel we really accomplished something.”
Delaware Valley’s charity was the George Berkowitz Scholarship Fund, named after a former student who Captain Christian Henry said embodied the community spirit of respect and loyalty.
Burke Catholic played for two charities—the Timothy Sweitzer Memorial Scholarship Fund and AliveAndKickn, which promotes awareness of a genetic mutation that increases the risk for certain cancers.
Burke player Dylan Maycrink recently completed chemotherapy treatment for cancer and inspired the team with his energy. Maycrink is a civilian pilot who flies a Bell 430 helicopter for the New York State Police and a UH-72 Lakota part-time for the New York Army National Guard.
He underwent several treatments for stage 3 rectal cancer in 2014. Maycrink started more intense physical activity last September and “ever since then I’ve been exercising, playing soccer, and doing what I can,” he said.
Charity and Goodwill
Captain of two-time defending champion, the Vernon, New Jersey team, Ethan Eustace liked the players and the genial play. “There are so many decent soccer players here, excellent soccer players, and everyone’s here just to have a good time, so if we lose, that’s okay.”
Peter Harris, captain of the Minisink team, said his team played in memory of Tim Sweitzer and Corporal Michael Oremus who was killed in action in Iraq in October 2015. The team ranged in age from 18 to 43-year-olds. “We are only here to honor the memories of these two gentlemen,” Harris said.
Tom Frombach, retired captain of the Washingtonville team, said “It’s about enjoying the day, seeing old friends, and remembering Timmy [Sweitzer].” Washingtonville played for the Brian Nimmo Scholarship Fund in honor of a father of four who died in a 2014 snowmobile accident.
Anthony Rappo of the Pine Bush soccer team said, “It’s a great day out. It’s extremely competitive but at the same time you get to see the friends and family that we love.” Rappo said his team played for the Timothy Sweitzer charity because Sweitzer also played for Pine Bush.
The Goshen team played for the Danny Edmonson Scholarship Fund. Captain Dylan Begany noted the friendly rivalry with Burke Catholic. “Obviously, the game against Burke is the biggest robbery for us. It’s kind of how the whole thing started.”
Brady applauded Goshen’s win. “They won every game and were unscored upon,” he said on the competition’s Facebook page. “That is the single best Sweitzer Cup performance in the seven-year history. Bravo.”
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