Lopes, Taranto, Beaumont Inducted into Hall of Fame

Long-time Contributors to Soccer Community Honored

Among a number of people honored by Massachusetts Adult State Soccer (MASS) on March 30, 2003 are three individuals who have contributed to the soccer and referee communities of Massachusetts for decades: Luigi Taranto of Walpole, Al Lopes, Jr. of Peabody, and Reg Beaumont of Merrimac. Each was inducted into the Massachusetts State Soccer Hall of Fame during a ceremony held at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.

Luigi Taranto has dedicated over 45 years to his passion: the game of soccer. As long as his knees permitted, he continued playing for Westwood in the New England Over the Hill Soccer League (NEOTHSL). Forced to give up the competitive pitches, he founded the Norwood Tigers Soccer Club and led them to the Division South Championship in 1983.

Since the early 1990's, he has held the posts of MASS Central Referee Assignor (CRA) and Vice President of the NEOTHSL. As a CRA, he has spent an immense part of his life servicing the adult soccer games with unsurpassed dedication, astute understanding for the individuals holding the whistle, and tremendous respect for the diversity of our soccer community.

As a NEOTHSL Vice President and Referee Assignor, he has been a major contributor in developing the league to standards that have become imitated organizational blueprints for many other soccer entities.

In the early 1990s, Luigi had a dream: create a visionary game assignment system. It evolved around the principle that the "right individual" could be matched to referee the "right game" in the maze of competitive soccer played in our state. Today, with his brainchild, soccer-schedule, an interactive web site, he has given our soccer community a legacy that will have an impact for many years to come.

Because of his untiring dedication to the game, our soccer community is strong and will continue to be an exemplary organization.

Highlights of Luigi's Involvement

Al Lopes, Jr. started to play soccer when he vacationed in Portugal every summer with his family. Presently he continues to referee youth, amateur, high school, and college games and hates the thought of giving it up.

Al has devoted most of his life to the game and has never regretted a moment of it. He is a firm believer that guts, honesty, common sense, and respect for players are extremely important in controlling a match. He has earned respect from players for his intense desire to achieve "fair play" and his keen understanding of human nature. His favorite motto is: "Be Fair, Be Firm, Be Fearless."

Al played, managed, and coached the Peabody CLC from 1945 to 1987. He was selected a few times to coach the Massachusetts All Stars to play against Connecticut All Stars in the early 50's. All his family played soccer starting with his uncle in 1910. The future is also very promising with his grandsons presently playing at Saint John's Prep.

Al is considered the father of Salem State College Soccer. In 1956 he helped organize the team with players from his Junior Soccer Team who enrolled at the college.

When people see Al walking into the field, they are inclined to exclaim, " Hwere comes the man that knows the game well and who is very fair with his call!"

Highlights of Al's Involvement

Born in Leicester, England in 1935, Reg Beaumont is a true soccer addict. Reg kicked off his "football" (soccer) career playing for a youth side at the age of 13. He finished his English career playing Semi Pro for Leicester United. Reg was twice a County 9State) All Star. Now in his 54th year of competitive soccer, in a "Stanley Matthews ageless style," he still occasionally plays with the Merrimac O-30 Team. As a player/coach, Reg captured the O-50 National Veterans' Cup in 2002 in West Virginia with the New England Over The Hill Soccer League 0-50 Select Team.

Reg founded the Merrimac Youth Soccer Club in 1977 and was largely responsible for introducing soccer into the Pentucket Regional High School in 1984. Having given soccer clinics throughout Merrimack Valley, he was instrumental in Youth Soccer start-ups in towns such as Amesbury, West Newbury, Groveland, Haverhill, and Stow.

Reg really enjoys refereeing at youth, high school, and senior amateur games and can be found at several of the states indoor arenas two or three nights per week.

Reg refers to the Merrimac 0-30 team as family since he coached many of the players for the MSC U-12 Team in the late 70's. With them he will be traveling to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia for the 8th visit for their July annual tournament.

In 2002, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, the Merrimac Soccer Club renamed Town Forest Field to "Beaumont Pitch" to honor Reginald Beaumont, its founding father.

Highlights of Reg's Involvement