As we inch closer to the end of winter and the start of our spring 2016 season in early April, DC Stoddert is delighted to continue "Meet the Commish", a popular interview series with men and women who volunteer countless hours as an age group manager for the club's Recreational program. This interview features Eric Hoy, commissioner of the 2nd grade co-ed age group. Eric is a dedicated soccer Dad and loves being out on the pitch with his own children and kids from the neighborhood and schools that his children attend. Thank you, Eric, for all that you do for DC Stoddert Soccer!
How did you become involved with DC Stoddert Soccer?
I'm living my dream of becoming the next FIFA President, one very small step at a time. (Actually, I became involved with DC Stoddert because of question #2 ....)
Do you have children that currently play or participated in the past?
I have twin boys who play in the coed fourth grade division, and a daughter in the coed second grade division. Plus I consider all of their teammates part of my extended soccer family.
Did you play soccer as a child? If so, what are some of your fondest memories playing the game. Did you play for a high-profile club or youth national team? Were you able to travel overseas to compete?
As a kid playing back-yard soccer, I was always the last-player-picked, and thus I have managed through sheer incompetence to retain my NCAA eligibility. As a teenager I started refereeing -- and loved it! I learned to handle misinformed parents, to ignore persistent pleas for hand-ball fouls, to protect players of outstanding ability, to start hustling down the field with every turnover, and to smile and take deep breaths. Officiating made me a much better player, and when I started playing soccer again as an adult in low-level recreational leagues, I finally got to play center midfield. My crowning moment of soccer glory as an adult was scoring a hat trick on a terrible dirt field, stripping off my jersey and dancing a silly jig, and earning a well-deserved yellow card. A few seconds later, the referee blew the final whistle and we had lost the game, 5-3. But hey, I got a hat trick! And my teammates had a good laugh.
What do you enjoy about your volunteer role as an Age Group Commissioner?
I'm proud of the coaches and team managers in the coed second grade division -- they understand that we are teaching our kids sportsmanship. (Kids, don't be like your commissioner; don't strip of your jersey and dance a jig when you score!) It's been great to see every coach & parent behaving well. Keep it up, adults! Your kids are watching you -- and hopefully they pick up your good habits.
Talk about your approach and philosophy related to helping children and their parents participate in the sport of soccer. What do you want parents and players to know about the Recreational program and club?
I remember that I was terrible player as a kid. So I love it when I see a clutz go from very-bad to a somewhat-passable player. The beautiful game is for players of all abilities. When adults play pick-up soccer on the Mall, there's no score-keeping, no intentional fouls, and no need for a referee. For many of our kids, pickup games are their soccer future -- on their own terms, for their own enjoyment. Let our kids find the level that makes them happy.