In Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of the word “icon” is “an object of uncritical devotion”. Peppy Ehrlich is truly an “icon” in the sport of soccer and she fits the definition having served the youth soccer community in Rochester District continuously for at least 41 years.
In 1976, Peppy became more visible in the Rochester soccer community when she co-created/formed the Pittsford Hawks Soccer Club with her now deceased husband Sandy. She served as the club’s president from the year of its inception until 2001. However, not being satisfied that she was devoting enough time to soccer, Peppy joined the Monroe County Girls Soccer League (MCGSL) in 1980. In that league, she served until 1999 in various capacities with the majority of her time being spent in today’s equivalent of a League Division Coordinator. Peppy then moved to the Rochester District Youth Soccer league (RDYSL) formed in 1999, which was a merger of the MCGSL and the Rochester District Boy’s Travel League. From that time to present day, she continuously served as a Division Coordinator.
Current RDYSL President George Hebert spoke eloquently of Peppy: I have known Peppy for 12 years in several capacities on the RDYSL Board of Directors (BOD). In that time frame, I have known Peppy for her steadfast love of the game, absolute devotion to the youth in our league, and the sincere desire to ensure the league does what is best for them at all times. Peppy declines to identify any awards she may have won because she does not volunteer her time and effort to achieve recognition. I can attest to her contributions to RDYSL’s annual discussion of league rules and policies for the past 12 years. An example of her advanced thinking includes her vocal, energetic support of the early implementation no heading/no punting rule, which the RDYSL implemented last season for ages U9-11 for the 2016 season. Peppy is a role model on how to analyze and determine proper divisional placements for teams in her age groups. She enforces league rules without exception and annually provides suggestions, many of which are discussed and implemented to make the RDYSL a better place for our youth to play. Peppy’s service has been well received by everyone she has ever worked with and for in her many years of service.
Unfortunately, many of the people who led other organizations for which Peppy served are no longer with us. However, I’m sure they could do more to substantiate my nomination and give it better justice than mine. However, anyone who has contributed so many years working with youth and their parents, youth coaches and soccer board members with the love and fervor she has demonstrated is worthy for inclusion in the NYSWYSA Hall of Fame.
Past RDYSL President Mary Arter’s endorsed Peppy’s nomination: I support George Hebert’s nomination of Peppy Ehrlich for the NYSWYSA Hall of Fame, and I concur with his comments on Peppy's contributions. Although it may be a cliché to say so, Peppy is that unique individual who really is involved with youth soccer "for the kids" and not for her own glory. Her input in RDYSL board discussions is, in my experience, always made with an eye toward making the soccer experience better for the players. To that end, she has always been very hands-on in working with the coaches of the teams in her divisions, guiding them when they need a little help, and praising them when they do something well in order to make sure that the players benefit. Peppy is not afraid to make difficult (and potentially unpopular) decisions, but she is also not afraid to explain her reasons and listen to new information. She has supported the decisions of the RDYSL board, even when she didn't fully agree with them--a great example of putting aside personal feelings to support the overall organization. Selection of Peppy to the NYSWYSA Hall of Fame would confirm that talented administrators are partners with players and coaches in making youth soccer so vital in western New York.
RDYSL Web VP Mark VanDellon & RDYSL Registrar Jackie Van Dellon endorsed Peppy’s nomination: We support Peppy’s Nomination for induction into the NYSWYSA Hall of Fame. George’s nomination expertly summed up in words Peppy’s active participation in the local youth soccer programs. Peppy has put tireless hours of effort to support the children around the Rochester area allowing them the opportunity to have fun playing soccer. She is the person behind the scenes that knew when to step forward and help the coaches and players.
RDYSL Boys’ VP Brad Schreiber endorsed Peppy’s Peppy Ehrlich’s nomination: I am pleased to support Peppy for this recognition. She is a 44+ year supporter of and participant in the soccer community here in the Rochester area. She is passionate, committed, engaged and a force to be reckoned with. As a young coach many years ago, Peppy was like a mentor to me when she was a RDYSL Division Coordinator. Many years later when I joined the RDYSL Board, she was still at it working incredibly hard to make our game better. I later became the VP of the boys’ side of the RDYSL and in effect became Peppy's "boss". I was better at my job because of all the things I learned from Peppy over the years. There is no one more deserving of this honor than Peppy Ehrlich and I wholeheartedly support her HOF nomination.
NYSWYSA Rochester District Commissioner Roger Best said this of Peppy: When I received the Nomination Form for Peppy Ehrlich’s induction into the NYSWYSA Hall of Fame from current RDYSL President George Hebert my first thoughts were “it’s about time and why didn’t I think to do this?” There are simply no words that can adequately express how pleased I am about Peppy’s nomination and the unanimous approval for her induction into the NYSWYSA Hall of Fame. In my opinion, there is no one more deserving. This should have happened sooner considering all that she has done and accomplished in the over 40 years that she have unselfishly served the Rochester District youth soccer community. Needless to say, Peppy should be very proud of being nominated and selected for this highly prestigious award. The NYSWYSA sincerely thanks Peppy for her exemplary service to the youth of the State Association and is pleased that it has the opportunity to properly recognize her for her many years of service.
Peppy graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx in 1950. She graduated from NY University in 1954 with a BS Degree Physics/Electrical Engineering in a time when it was uncommon for women in that field and subsequently worked for American Electric Power in NY. Peppy currently resides in Pittsford NY. She has 2 children, Alison Manaker, an attorney, who resides in Philadelphia with 3 children, and David Ehrlich, a Special Ed Teacher, who resides in Cincinnati with one child. Peppy is very proud that Dave was selected as an All American in soccer during his college days.