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Apr, 2023

Samuel Vacca and Matthew Lam Honored As Frank Bollaci Memorial Scholarship Recipients

Aleksei Roschko, NJYS Contributor (Photo by Cos Lymperopoulos)

New Jersey Youth Soccer continues its celebration of the NJYS Awards Presented by RWJBarnabas Health today, officially announcing Samuel Vacca and Matthew Lam as recipients of the 2023 Frank Bollaci Memorial Scholarship.

A long-time president of the South Brunswick Soccer Club, Frank Bollaci was also a coach and seasoned referee with the NJ State Referee Committee. Through the generosity of the Bollaci family, the Frank Bollaci Memorial Scholarship is presented annually to college-bound high school seniors who played within the NJYS system and were committed to community service initiatives. As part of their submissions, applicants honored Frank Bollaci’s memory by reflecting upon the positive impact that soccer has made on their lives, along with what the sport means to them.

Samuel Vacca has been playing soccer since the age of four, and he participated with different teams under the NJYS umbrella. His love for the game first began with his hometown recreation team at Pompton Lakes Riverdale Soccer Association (PLRSA). His involvement in the game extended beyond playing when he became a referee for PLRSA recreation games in the sixth grade. During his freshman year of high school, he then became a licensed US Soccer Referee and began officiating travel and club games. He has also been able to give back to the soccer community by starting PLRSA Cleats, which addresses a significant expense for soccer players in cleats. He began the program by collecting outgrown pairs of cleats from PLRSA players, and he then made them available to claim at no cost.

“I am honored to receive the NJYS Frank Bollaci Memorial Scholarship,” said Vacca. “New Jersey Youth Soccer has allowed me to grow not only as a player but as a person. I am very grateful to the Bollaci Family and hope to impact the soccer community as much as Frank Bollaci did.”

Matthew Lam started playing soccer when he was in kindergarten, and he has continued to play through high school. He has learned many valuable life lessons by playing the game, such as communication, practice and coordination. Through his love of soccer, he earned his first job as a referee, which engrained in him the importance of punctuality, the power of confidence and the strength of his voice. This ultimately changed his perspective of the game and allowed him to appreciate all aspects of soccer.

“Winning this scholarship was a pleasant surprise that I will always remember,” said Lam. “I am so grateful to have been a member of this amazing soccer community!”

NJ Youth Soccer held its 2023 NJYS Annual Awards Dinner Presented by RWJBarnabas Health this past February, where many players, coaches and guests of the soccer community were on hand at the Pines Manor in Edison, N.J. With more than 1,000 attendees, the event saw a capacity crowd in attendance for the annual celebration.

To find out more information about New Jersey Youth Soccer or to contact us directly, please email [email protected]. Also make sure to follow us on social media: @NJYouthSoccer

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New Jersey Youth Soccer

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Freehold, New Jersey 07728

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

3 Paragon Way, Suite 400
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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