About Hauppauge Soccer
Founded in 1975, the Hauppauge Soccer League (HSL) has grown to become one of Long Island's premier community-focused soccer clubs. Today, HSL proudly oversees the participation of over 600 children, all united by their love for the game. They learn, grow, and revel in soccer across various levels and leagues. Beginning with our Intramural program at the tender age of 3, players are offered continuous opportunities to advance within our organization. Whether through our Interleague program or our Travel program, children between the ages of 9 and 18 can explore their passion for soccer, thriving under the guidance and support of HSL – where the tradition of soccer lives on!
The History of the Hauppauge Soccer League
In the fall of 1974, Ron Cambell and a small group of people familiar with the sport of soccer started the youth program as part of the Hauppauge Youth Organization (HYO). The first turnout produced only 76 boys ranging from 8 to 12 years of age. This of course was no surprise, since baseball, football, and basketball were the "American" sports that every boy was accustomed to playing, or reading about, or watching on television. Where could a sports idol be found in soccer?
Well, the program accepted the 76 boys, and with 6 coaches (some of us knew nothing about the game), the first soccer league in HYO was formed. Hauppauge residents started to observe groups of boys kicking balls, and in general just having a good time.
The following year the program grew to 176 boys, better age groups were formed, and better competition allowed some friendly games with Garden City.
Ron Campbell, who was almost doing everything himself, had decided to accept employment out of state. At this point Larry Turf was elected President and a set of by-laws was established with a set of Executive Officers and a General Board of Intramural Division Representatives. During the year Ron decided to stay in Hauppauge and was accepted as a Board member.
The well-established Board held monthly meetings at the Village Hall (now the Knights of Columbus Hall on Vets Highway), training sessions in the gyms, and many of us took the State exams for coach certification.
One of the most important decisions made by the Board was to implement a spring soccer season, thereby going a full year of intramural soccer with a winter break. Over 300 boys came out for spring soccer and there was no turning back from this point. More divisions, better age groups, more coaches needed, more equipment, more fields needed, and a million additional problems like lining the fields and putting up wooden goal posts at all the elementary schools. We could not use baseball or football fields! A fact that few know is that Hauppauge, Garden City, and Albertson were the first clubs to use the Long Island Ref Assoc. to do all there intramural games on Saturdays and Sundays, before travel programs grew to their level of today.
We had parent nights; film nights, picnics, and the soccer board, coaches, and parents became a strong vocal group for field space and gym use. Pele became part of American soccer and nine bus-loads of kids and parents went to see the Cosmos and Pele.
In the fall of 1976 I received a letter from a sister of a player on my team, asking why we did not have girls soccer. As President, an announcement went out to all schools requesting mothers as well fathers attend a meeting on the start of Girls soccer. We started training programs for female as well as male coaches and in the spring of 1977 the program started with 75 girls. A few years later this trained group of girls became the first girl’s soccer team of Hauppauge High School. Each year we took about 40 player to sleep-away camp in Connecticut. Incidentally, this all started before there was a Smithtown or Village of the Branch soccer club.
We had an aggressive set of soccer people both on our Boards and in our parents, and we decided to start the Squirts program; a non-competitive program for learning and fun.
After five years, the program grew from 76 players to a maximum ever of 1,100 boys and girls.
We started slowly into the travel teams of the Long Island Junior Soccer League because we did not want to destroy our one-year age groups of the intramural program. A rule was enforced whereas no travel team could be started in a single year age group unless 90 players were left in that division to play competitively. We also started the Soccer scholarship to a girl and boy with the highest school average if they had played in our program for two years.