Manlius-Pebble Hill boys soccer coach and athletic director Don Ridall was named this week as one of five inductees for the New York State Soccer Hall of Fame, who will get honored next month at the state championships in Middletown. Ridall is with MPH graduate Dimitrios Telonis, who was a 2016 MPH Hall of Fame selection.
Regardless of what happens the rest of this season with the Manlius-Pebble Hill boys soccer team, head coach Don Ridall’s place in local high school annals was long secure as he built the Trojans program over the last four-plus decades.
Now that work is getting honored on a larger scale as Ridall is one of five 2017 inductees into the New York State Soccer Hall of Fame, honored along with the rest of the induction class on the weekend of Nov. 11-12 during the state boys soccer championships in Middletown.
Since taking over as MPH’s coach in 1976, Ridall, who also serves as the school’s athletic director, has won more than 560 games. Four times, the Trojans have advanced to the state Class D final four, reaching three state finals and earning back-to-back state titles in 2000 at Liverpool and 2001 at Bath.
Among the many Coach of the Year honors Ridall has earned was the top national award for private schools in 2001. He already is a member of the Hall of Fame at his alma mater, SUNY-Cortland.
On the field, MPH had fallen out of the state Class D rankings due to some mid-season struggles, but were starting to stir again when it hosted Stockbridge Valley last Monday and earned a 4-0 shutout over the Cougars.
In order to break open a game that was 1-0 at halftime, the Trojans needed Simon Hoke to take over – which he did, assisting on three of the goals, two of them by Naldo Chen, and scoring the other as Josh Hutko added one goal and one assist. Stockbridge goalie Wyatt Reed made 10 saves.
A day later, MPH rolled past LaFayette in a similar manner, winning 5-0. And this led to a big game Friday against state no. 12-ranked Bishop Ludden, one where Hall of Fame coaching skills rubbed off on the Trojans’ players as it ended the Gaelic Knights’ 10-game win streak with a 2-1 victory.
Neither team scored until second half, when Lucas Scutari scored for Ludden, but Hutko countered by earning both of the Trojans’ goals. Chen and Hoke each had one assist as Stew Falso made nine saves, matching the total of Ludden’s Josh Bianchi.