Don Ridall State Coach of the Year
Two boys soccer coaches from Section III – Jeff Hammond of Fayetteville-Manlius and Don Ridall of Manlius Pebble Hill – were selected as state coaches of the year last week by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The awards are given to recognize coaches who have success in the current season, but also to those who have built solid programs. Only NSCAA members are eligible for the honors.
Hammond won in the large schools division and Ridall was a winner in the private schools category. Both were also named Section III coaches of the year, along with Copenhagen’s Scott Randall, who won in the small schools category. Randall did not win state honors.
Hammond, in his 28th season at F-M, guided the Hornets to a 19-1 mark. F-M was No. 1 in the state Class AA rankings and one of the top teams in the NSCAA’s Region II before losing to Shenendehowa last weekend in a state playoff match.
Ridall led the MPH boys team to a 16-3 record in Class C play before losing to Fabius-Pompey in the sectional semifinals.
“I was pretty shocked,” Ridall said of the honor, which he wins for the third time sinin his 39-year career at MPH. Ridall led the Trojans to a pair of state titles in 2000 and 2001.
Randall led the Golden Knights to their fifth Class D Section III title recently. The team is 18-0-2 and headed to its first state final four in Middletown this weekend.
Randall, who has coached boys soccer at Copenhagen the past six years, went 18-1 last season before losing to Watertown IHC in the sectional semifinals.
Ridall and Hammond will be honored Friday night at the boys state final four in Middletown. They will also be considered for Region II coach of the year honors