2010 NYSWYSA Young Referees of the Year

JEFFREY COOK began his career as a Recreational Youth Referee Class in the Spring of 2004. Since that time, Jeff has exhibited a consummate professionalism that is rare in someone of his age. He is currently seeking his upgrade to a grade 7 badge and regularly works matches locally in higher level youth matches as well as a regular rotation in adult affiliated matches. He has twice attended advanced and intermediate clinics, worked tournaments all over the northeast and has been a standout at state cup for the last two years. Last year he was selected for the Region 1 ODP tournament in Lawrenceville, NJ and volunteered for the Region 1 ODP Camp and Referee Academy at the University of Rhode Island.

He has also given back enormous amounts of time to the profession of refereeing both as an active mentor and a Member at Large of the Ithaca District Soccer Referees Association for the last 3 years. He has mentored more matches than any other young referee in the district, giving new referees the confidence to take to the field on their own.

Jeff has also spent a lot of time playing the game since he was five years old. He was senior captain of the Ithaca High School Varsity Soccer team and has played for a number of premier teams in his career. His playing career was unfortunately cut short early in his senior year by a second ACL injury that has made him appreciate the teamwork of being a referee all that much more. He has coached a younger premier team for TC United and acted as a counselor in that club’s summer soccer camp for two years.

Academically, he is currently enrolled in the Physical Education Studies program at Monroe Community College and has won the Outstanding Senior award in high school for his work in the business and technology departments.

JENNA TOBIAS has always shown herself to be a very professional young referee, caring very much about every game she does, whether it was as an assistant on the Under 18 Boys final match in State Cup last year or all the recreational matches she officiated for the Cortland County Youth Soccer Association over the years. In state cup last year, she did receive one of the highest recommendations of any official during her assessment.

Being a referee is not her only story though. As a player for her high school soccer team in McGraw, she has played every defensive position including keeper, sweeper, stopper and strong side defender. She was the senior captain of the team, reaching the semi finals of the state high school tournament and was awarded most valuable player on her team. She has coached recreational teams in Cortland for the last 4 years and even directed a youth soccer clinic for that club. She has also participated in softball and basketball during her high school years. She was president of her high school senior class and she is currently a freshman at Daemon College, pursuing a degree as a Physician’s Assistant majoring in Trauma and Emergency Medicine.

Her academic credentials are very strong. She has been a member of the National Honor Society and has won more awards for academic achievement than I have time to list here. She serving part-time in the Air National Guard and has been a member of the Young Marines. She has also volunteered many hours to community service groups working with the Red Cross Blood Drive, local food pantries, her local soccer club and even in a haunted house whose purpose was to raise money for local charities.

She says that soccer has taught her that there is always more than one way to reach a goal. She proves that lesson every day.