Recently, Easton Soccer lost a staple of its history and success, when Ernie Branco passed away after an unfortunate accident. Ernie was instrumental in developing and running the leagues first summer camp in 1980. This was before camps were vogue and everyone held them--our camp was one of the few around, and was always a great fundraiser for us. In its heyday it had 150+ campers at $150/player. Over the years, literally thousands of children came to the camp raising money for Easton Soccer.
Ernie was an exceptional director, supervising daily with his uniform/jerseys from the Revs, US Soccer and Portuguese league teams. For many of the campers, this was there first glimpse of soccer outside Easton. He encouraged players to watch and attend the international games and MLS games; brought in Revs players to the camps to sign autographs and have pictures taken with pro players. Many of the traditions at camps were pioneered by Ernie like crazy hair or socks day, juggling contests, a move-of-the-day or tricks with a ball were all done in the early years at his camps. My personal favorite was the Friday fun-day when there were camper vs. counselor games, parents vs. campers games and award ceremonies. His passion for the game was unparalleled and he brought that passion to Easton every moment he was here. For many, that passion was infectious and it influenced those that he touched. The camp was great PR for Easton Soccer and was instrumental in solidifying the stellar reputation the league enjoyed in the Easton community.
The Ernie Branco Scholarship Fund and the Ernie Branco Classic Golf Tournament have been established to honor his time and commitment to so many individuals. For more information on the Scholarship and Golf Tournament visit the web page below.
Ernie Branco Website