30th All-Star High School Soccer Player Awards honors local talent

Hampden County

A local organization hosted its 30th annual banquet at the Gremio-Lusitano Club in Ludlow Sunday night, honoring western Massachusetts’ all-star high school soccer players.

The 30th All-Star High School Soccer Player Awards Night brought together student-athletes, family, friends and coaches to celebrate western Massachusetts high school soccer excellence.

For 30 years, Lusitano Alumni and Fans Banquet has focused on the game of soccer and those who play the game.

“It’s a good foundation for the kids to take on to their future endeavors, so we like to acknowledge them,” said Jeri Humphries, Vice President of Lusitano Alumni and Fans.

The nonprofit encourages student-athletes to strive for greatness while acknowledging the past, present and future of soccer in western Massachusetts. Member of the Lusitano Alumni and Fans Board of Directors, Joseph Jorge Jr. spoke with 22News about the nonprofit’s mission.

“The kids put a lot of hard work over the course of the year, the coaches they’ve done a lot developing the kids over the course of the year,” said Joseph. “It’s just great to get the families out here, the players out here and acknowledge the hard work that went into the season.”

Nearly 3,000 high school soccer student-athletes have been honored since the organization’s inception in 1989. 22News spoke with one Ludlow High School senior who said being invited to Sunday night’s banquet was an honor.

“There’s been so many great players who have come to these banquets in the past. It’s an honor for me to be here,” said Camden Blackburn who was one of four student-athletes awarded an academic scholarship. He’ll be attending UMass in the fall.

Agawam High School sophomore Hope Santaniello told 22News, this is her second year being honored for her excellence. “I’m looking forward to going to a D1 college and excel my career in soccer.”

The four $500 scholarships were sponsored by Joseph Dias Jr. Foundation.

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