MAY 2018
Summer Sports Sign Up Now Open
Get ready for summer -- registration for SYA summer sports is now open! Here at SYA, we will be offering a great variety of options including basketball, travel basketball, rugby, and track and field. (Please Note: registration for travel basketball will take place after tryouts once a player is selected to a team.) Sign your athlete up at Please register early to ensure team placement and avoid late fees.

SYA Summer Basketball offers both House and Travel leagues for boys and girls. The House league program is for rising (grade in fall of 2018) 1st-12th grades. Games are played on weeknight evenings in local Centreville school gyms. House league skill evaluations will be held in early June. Please check the house basketball website for the evaluation schedule. Late fees begin June 1st with registration closing June 10th. The Travel basketball program is for rising 5th-8th grade boys and girls. Games are played in school gyms throughout Fairfax County. Tryouts will take place in May. Check the travel basketball website for the tryout schedule.

SYA summer rugby will offer both two-hand touch (TAG) rugby and tackle rugby. TAG rugby is offered for boys and girls currently in 1 st - 4 th grades. Tackle rugby is offered for boys currently in 5 th - 8 th grades. Practices are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the same field for all age groups. Games are on Saturdays against other area clubs. Interested families are encouraged to finish up other Spring sports, attend any summer camps and schedule summer vacations - come out as available! Early bird registration will end April 9th; regular registration will end on May 21st. Late fee registrations will begin May 22 on a space available basis. Note: interested in flag rugby for boys & girls 5th-8th grade? Please contact and let us know you're interested!

Summer track & field is open to boys and girls in Pre-K through rising 12th grade (grade in fall 2018). No experience is required. Instruction will be provided in all running and field events. The summer program practices will be held two evenings per week and Sunday afternoons (when not competing) beginning in May. Meets are typically held in Virginia, DC and Maryland. The outdoor summer season ends in early September.

In addition to the above sports, various SYA sports will offer summer camps and clinics, including volleyball and soccer. Please check our website regularly for information at the sport specific pages.

Fall registration will open June 4, 2018.
SYA Recognizes 2017
Volunteers of the Year
Thirty-eight SYA volunteers, nominated by the Commissioners of each sport, were recently honored for their efforts during 2017.

“We couldn’t achieve our level of success in the broad range of sports we provide our area youth without volunteers,” explained SYA President Gary Flather. “These volunteers have time and time again showed their commitment to our mission.”

Also attending the reception were Fairfax County Board of Supervisors representatives Pat Herrity, the Springfield District Supervisor; and Kathy Smith, the Sully District Supervisor of Fairfax County. SYA awarded plaques to both recognizing their continued support of youth sports programs. Additionally, retired Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey, a longtime supporter and active SYA Sports Park advisor to SYA, was honored for his commitment to the organization.

Flather presented his annual Presidents Award to Rob Hahne, who has been a volunteer with SYA since 1990. A special recognition was given to Ray Arduini of the Manassas-based Thurston Companies which has been providing support for the construction of the SYA Sports Park.

The 2017 Honorees were:
Name                                                Sport
Patrick Thurston                             Babe Ruth
Dave Miller                                     Babe Ruth
Steve Shaffer                                  Babe Ruth
Kristi Purdy                                     Basketball
Joe Mancuso                                  Basketball
Brandon Vickers                            Basketball
Nadine Farrow                               Cheerleading
Kira Mansfield                                Cheerleading
Virginia Anderson                           Cheerleading
Molly Gift                                         Field Hockey
Tracey Barrett                                 Field Hockey
Julia Samantar                                Field Hockey
Ernest Deconti                                Football
Jun Bang                                        Football
Jody Corbet                                    Lacrosse
Scott Stewart                                  Lacrosse
Jeff Marciano                                  Lacrosse
Chris Campbell                               Little League
Tom Holmberg                                Little League
Doug Howenstein                           Little League
Michael “Woody” Slaymaker        Little League      
Richard Nordenbrook                   Rugby
Jennifer Greenlief                          Rugby
Susie Hoopes                                Rugby
Jose Aunon                                    Soccer
Mary Beth Hazelgrove                   Soccer
Cathy McCormick                          Soccer  
Darrell Furr                                     Softball
Graham Stinchcomb                      Softball
Tim Neun                                       Track & Field
Patrick Morgan                               Track &Field  
Bill Fleming                                     Volleyball
Sue Newman                                  Volleyball
Dave Dowgiallo                              Volleyball
Keith Sholders                                 Wrestling
Mark Weader                                  Wrestling
Scott Brubaker                                Wrestling

SYA Board
Soccer: The Game for All Kids
SYA Soccer was founded in 1973 to serve the children of the communities of Centreville and Clifton. A small group of parents banded together to form the all-volunteer program -- they handled the coaching, administrative duties, and field maintenance themselves. Field lining was done early each Saturday morning, using modified grass- seed spreaders to lay lines made with lime that one father picked up at a local family-owned hardware. (Even the hardware store went the extra mile for local children to play soccer, its owner coming in early on Saturday mornings to help load the bags of lime!) The van then headed out to Clifton, as the fields were located at Kincheloe Park. Along the way, the van might have to stop as a flock of chickens wandered across the corner of Yates Ford and Kincheloe Roads, where there was a chicken farm. The birds could hold up traffic, but nobody really minded. The old gentleman spent much of each Saturday on his porch in his rocking chair, waving as families drove past. Once the van got to Kincheloe a group of parents quickly laid down lines, keeping a few bags aside to touch them up throughout the day, and the games began.

Now nearly 50 years later, SYA Soccer has grown tremendously, though a large group of volunteers still help make it possible for 2500 young athletes a season to play the game. Today, soccer uses fields at approximately fifteen sites around the area each season, and they are professionally maintained. SYA offers opportunities for children from preschool through high school to participate in both recreational and travel programs, and has a full-time staff dedicated to making sure that the children who play SYA soccer enjoy the experience!

Recreational Soccer is offered in the fall and spring, with games beginning the weekend after Labor Day in the fall and in late March or early April in the spring and running for about ten weeks. Coaches are parent volunteers, and teams are generally formed based on the elementary school the children attend. Teams practice once or twice a week, and games are held on Saturdays. At the end of the season, a tournament is held for older teams, with the winners and finalists taking home trophies. SYA Soccer also selects a number of players to compete for the club at local All-Star tournaments after each season.

Children who are especially committed to the game have the opportunity to try out for SYA’s Travel Soccer programs as well. The club fields teams from U9 (roughly 4 th grade) through high school. There is a developmental program offered for highly skilled 7-8 year olds as well, which leads them into the travel program. Games are played weekly throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC, and some teams also travel to tournaments farther away from home. Each spring, the club celebrates a number of high school seniors who have made their dreams of playing collegiate soccer come true. Especially successful players have gone on to see time on youth and full national teams for the United States and other countries; recently Irvin Herrera has seen significant time for El Salvador’s full national team, while Jenna Richmond and Brittany Basinger have played on US Youth National Teams; Basinger is also playing locally for the Washington Spirit in the NWSL.

Since 1973, SYA Soccer has grown in many ways, but the central mission has remained the same: to provide our children with a positive environment as well as the level of competition and commitment each child seeks. For nearly half a century, SYA has believed that soccer really is “the game for all kids”!
Let's Cheer for Cheerleading
SYA Cheerleading and SYA Extreme Competition Cheer elected a new Commissioner, Tammy McCarron, in May 2012. Since that time, the SYA Sideline Cheer Program has grown from 90 girls to approximately 120 girls and our Extreme Competition Cheer Program has grown from one team of 16 girls to a program now fielding FIVE teams: Extreme Tornado (Peewee Level 1), Extreme Lightning (Youth Level 1), Extreme Cyclone (Youth Level 2), Extreme Storm (Junior Level 2), and Extreme Thunder (Senior Level 3). 

Our athletes range in ages from five to 18, and attend various high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools serving Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. Our largest team, SYA Extreme Thunder, fields 30 athletes, ages 11 to 18, and consists of one elementary school athlete, eight middle school athletes, and 21 high school athletes. 

SYA Sideline Teams cheer for SYA Football teams during the fall sideline season (August – November). Sideline teams participate in various community activities which may include local high school Homecoming Parades, cheering with high school cheerleaders at home football games, Centreville Day, and Performance Day. 

SYA Extreme Competition Cheer teams participate in sideline cheer during the fall season, but beginning in January, competition teams begin to compete locally, regionally, and nationally at cheer competitions mainly in Maryland and Virginia. 

Extreme Lightning has won at U.S. Finals in Virginia Beach, VA, on two occasions and Extreme Thunder has won at U.S. Finals on one occasion in the past four years. 

This season (2017-2018), Extreme teams have competed in five competitions so far and have accumulated 16 first place finishes, two third place finishes, three Grand Champions Awards, one Best Dance Award, two Paid Bids to U.S. Finals in Virginia Beach, VA, and two Paid Bids to The One in Orlando, FL. 

All five teams are scheduled to compete at our last regular season competition, Western Maryland Cheerstarz, on April 14, 2018, at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. All five teams will then be traveling to Orlando, FL, the first weekend of May 2018, to compete in The One cheer competition, a first-ever experience for our program, with SYA Extreme Cyclone and SYA Extreme Thunder having won a Paid Bid to this event. We wish our athletes the BEST of LUCK at The One!!!

SYA Extreme also opened its own gym facility, The Atmosphere, located in Chantilly, VA, in August 2017.  The Atmosphere is “where Extreme weather happens!!!” 

Registration for our Fall Sideline Cheer Program opens in May 2018, and evaluations for our SYA Extreme Competition Cheer Program will be held from May 18-20, 2018, at The Atmosphere. No prior cheer experience is required!!! Details pertaining to evaluations can be found on our website under Competition Cheerleading – Team Evaluations. 

SYA Extreme will also be offering tumbling classes, flyer classes, and private tumbling lessons during the summer months for both programs, sideline and competition cheer. 

If you would like to join our email list or would like additional information pertaining to Sideline Cheer or our SYA Extreme Competition Cheer Program, please contact Tammy McCarron at
Have Fun and Do Good:
SYA/CYA Second Annual FrogHair Golf Tournament
Join US!! Whether you are an old pro or new to the game, you’ll have a chance to be a winner at the upcoming FrogHair Golf Tournament presented jointly by SYA and CYA on June 22 at Twin Lakes Golf Course. At this unique format event, a fun twist on the game is presented at each hole, providing both experienced and inexperienced golfers with an opportunity to win a prize. What’s more, all participants will feel like champions as they will help fund SYA and CYA youth sports scholarships, lending a hand up to those young athletes needing financial support to play youth sports.

The event will kick off at 12:00 PM with a putting and chipping contest. Then, participants will enjoy lunch before the fun begins at 1:00 PM. Once on the course, golfers will experience entertaining twists and turns throughout the event: On hole two, it is irons only, all team members use only irons/wedges for the play of this hole, including putting; on hole 12, the driver is used as a putter.

Golfers can sign up as a single, a twosome or a foursome. At only $99 per person, it is one of the least expensive afternoons of golf in the entire region.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available at the tournament, ranging from $3,000 as a shirt sponsor to $300 as a putting contest sponsor. Product donations as well as cash support for the scholarships are also welcome. 

SYA Spring Multisport Clinic!!!
SYA announces our next much-anticipated multi-sport clinic. This FREE event is for boys and girls in grades K-6. Your child will spend 10-15 minutes with each sport, playing fun games in a variety of sports both indoors and outdoors, on courts, on padded mats, on the pitch, on the diamond -- everywhere! 

Date: Sunday, May 20, 2018
Time: 3-5pm (2:30pm sign-in)
Location: Liberty Middle School
Open to: Boys & Girls, Aged 6-12
SYA features the following sports; you may be surprised which one(s) your kids enjoy!
• Baseball (T-Ball, Little League & Babe Ruth)
• Basketball
• Cheerleading
• Field Hockey
• Football (Flag & Tackle)
• Lacrosse
• Rugby (Tag & Tackle)
• Soccer
• Softball
• Track & Field
• Volleyball
• Wrestling

Different sports, different interests, different times of year....find one that fits your budding athlete! Dress in athletic clothing, comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle. Thanks to generosity of Glory Days Grill and other sponsors, each registered child will receive some SWAG! Who doesn’t love more free stuff? Sign up online now, clinic registration is FREE!

Little League Opening Ceremonies
SYA Little League, sponsored by Glory Days Grill, hosted their 2018 spring season opening ceremonies indoors at Westfield High School in Centreville, VA. Approximately 600 players spread across 60 teams participated. 

A few of the league’s long-time sponsors, Glory Days Grill and Modell’s, had tables out with coupons and giveaways. Centreville and Westfield High School Varsity and JV teams came out to celebrate with the players. Guest speakers during the program included:

  • Supervisor Kathy Smith
  • Supervisor Pat Herrity
  • Centreville High School Varsity head coach Scott Rowland
  • Westfield High School Varsity assistant coach Dan Ritz
  • Glory Days marketing manager Katie Easterbrook

During the festivities, the citizenship award winners from both West and East divisions were recognized: Anthony Sloboda and Sophia Sharp respectively.

And always a favorite, the team banner competition for best homemade and professional banners resulted in some very creative banners.

Special thanks to all the SYA Little League sponsors ( for their ongoing support of our league!

Lax 4 A Cause:
Making a Difference
On Saturday, March 17 th, SYA Lacrosse held the 5 th Annual LAX 4 A Cause event at Centreville High School. This all-day lacrosse tournament between SYA and CYA featured over 30 teams and 500 athletes of all ages battling on the field under grey skies and cold and windy conditions. 

Each year, the goal of the event is to raise money for local charities; and this year SYA was able to raise over $8000 for Special Love for Children with Cancer and CYA raised over $10,000 for CureSearch. 

Over the past 5 years, SYA and CYA have donated more than $100,000 to various charities that benefit veterans and children battling cancer. Funds were raised through individual player fundraising and corporate sponsors.

Special Love ( and CureSearch ( were chosen due to the direct impact that cancer has had on the players, coaches, and families of SYA and CYA in recent years. Special Love provides opportunities for kids with cancer to attend ‘Camp Fantastic’, and CureSearch is on a mission to end children's cancer by driving targeted and innovative research on medicines and treatments specific to childhood cancer.

“We want to thank the community, sponsors, players, parents, coaches and refs for making the event a huge success year after year. The difference we have been able to make for these charities goes beyond words and the life lessons we have been able to teach our players about giving back is priceless. We look forward to many more years of this event,” said Damien LaRuffa, Commissioner SYA Lacrosse.
Guidelines on how sports parents can contribute
to a positive Coach-Parent Partnership
  • Recognize the Coaches’ Commitment. Your child’s coaches have made a commitment that involves many hours of preparation beyond the time spent at practices and games. Quite likely in youth sports they are volunteers. Respect their commitment and imagine yourself in their place before approaching them to discuss any issues you may perceive.
  • Make Early, Positive Contact with the Coach. As soon as you know who will coach your child, contact those coaches to introduce yourself and offer any assistance you may provide. Establishing a positive relationship with the coaches will help you proactively shape a positive experience for your child and will lay the foundation for respectful, productive conversations with coaches should a conflict arise later.
  • Fill the Coach’s Emotional Tank. Too often, coaches hear only from parents who have complaints. Filling the coaches’ Emotional Tanks with specific, truthful praise positively reinforces them to continue doing the things you see as benefiting the youth athletes.
  • Don’t Put the Player in the Middle. You wouldn’t complain to your children about how poorly their math teacher explains fractions. Don’t share your disapproval of a coach with your children. Doing so may force the child to take sides, and not necessarily your side! If your child has an issue with the coach and can maturely articulate it, encourage your child to approach the coach and at the very least learn some life lessons in selfadvocacy with an authority figure. Otherwise, if you disapprove of how the coach handles a situation, seek a private meeting to discuss the matter.
  • Let Coaches Coach. It can confuse players to hear someone other than the coach yelling out instructions. Also, your instructions may counter the coaches’ strategy and tactics, undermining team performance.
  • Fill Your Child’s Emotional Tank. Competitive sports can be stressful to players. The last thing they need is your critiquing their performance…on top of what the coach may deliver and what they already are telling themselves. Let your children know you love and support them regardless of their performance.
  • Contribute to a Positive Environment. Fill all the players’ Emotional Tanks when you see them doing something well. Honor the Game as a spectator, respecting ROOTS (Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self), and encourage others around you to Honor the Game.
For more Resources, visit: 
Fairfax County Athletic Council News
The Fairfax County Athletic Council continues to meet to assist our area with sports related issues. The Council is most recently working on identifying improvement opportunities for all sports diversity issues.   
A quick update on Patriot Park North (this is the new park that is currently named LLV, located next to Willow Springs Elementary School): As reported in our last article, bonding was approved and Fairfax County is moving forward with the development of Patriot Park North.  The County is currently in the last planning stages of the park and we hope that construction will start as soon as 2019. SYA will temporarily lose two 60’ diamonds and one 90’ diamond during the construction. SYA is working with the County to develop alternative plans for playing fields during that period and we will continue to provide you updates. This will be the first multi field project in Fairfax County for diamonds. Go to the Fairfax County website for more information.
F.A.S.T – this acronym stands for Fairfax Athletes Stand Together. It is a program designed to help Fairfax County citizens and one that SYA participates in regularly.  To date, SYA has collected several THOUSAND pounds of food that are distributed amongst the many shelters throughout Fairfax County. Look to our website to find out about our next F.A.S.T. collection date!
Champions of Character awards. Nominations are now open and deadline for submission is August 1. This is a great opportunity to recognize volunteer athletes, coaches and parents. Go to the Fairfax County website for more information. 
Sports Park News
Great news for SYA members and our Sports Park! Our construction project -- paving the parking lot that we currently have, installing a road and bridge to the back part of the property, and adding a new parking area --will serve the next seven lit fields! Thanks to Hazel construction and Thurston Properties for all the work they have done and are doing managing the project for us. In our last newsletter we reported expectation to complete the project by early May. Well… we are ahead of schedule and hope to open the Park back up within the next week or two! Once completed we will begin work on a brand new two court outdoor Volleyball area! We are also on the path to creating our “parallel” website just for the Park. Please visit us for more information at