Rochester NY - Kick This ! started in late 1995 on WHTK 1280 in Rochester NY. Salvatore 'SoccerSam' Fantauzzo created the show to help promote the new pro team in town, the ROCHESTER RHINOS. The weekly show focuses on our three local Pro Soccer teams (Rochester Lancers, Western NY Flash and the Rochester Rhinos), as well as US PRO SOCCER. The show offers an average of 51 new episodes per year. The program is heard LIVE every Saturday morning at 11:00 am (eastern time) on Sports 1280 WHTK and can be heard on your smartphone using the IHeart Radio app. All shows are archived right here at Soccersam.com for on-demand listening.
Producer Rich "Kicker" Jones has been with the show since day one. Rich has helped line up the biggest names in American Pro Soccer. Over the years Kick This has had some great Hosts and co-hosts devoting their time to help promote the Rhinos and Pro American Soccer.
Jeff Diveronica has been with the show since 1997. Jeff is the beat writer for the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and covers the Rhinos, Syracuse Orange and High School sports. Click here to check out Jeff's blog - Devo's Direct Kicks.
James Weise, a long time listener and caller of the show, joined the staff in 2005 as news director. James weekly blog covers the world of soccer. Click here to check out James' blog.
Kick This ! is brought to you by Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria, Palmer's Food Service, Donuts Delite, the Rochester Lancers and Spinning Webs. Weekly trivia contest prizes include Salvatore's gift cards and game tickets to local sports teams. KICK THIS ! The SOCCER SAM SHOW live every Saturday 11:05 am eastern time on WHTK 1280. You can also listen live and hear all past shows right here at Soccersam.com .. Thanks and Feel The Kick ..for life !Salvatore "SoccerSam" Fantauzzo
SoccerSam was born and raised in Rochester, NY and fell in love with the great game of soccer in 1970 at the age of 10. Sam began playing that year with the Rochester Juniors and his uncle Al Oliveri took him to his first Lancers game. Sam has been an avid fan of Indoor and Outdoor American Soccer ever since and continues to play.
IFSL 1985-2000: SoccerSam took over as commissioner of the Irondequoit Fall Soccer League (IFSL) in 1985. This 20 team league offered Fall soccer to some of the best former Pro players, college coaches and this areas best local players. In 1994, an all-star team traveled to Agropoli, Italy and won an adult tournament. SoccerSam and his board organized several international trips.
SoccerSam TV Show 1994-2006: In 1994, SoccerSam started America's first weekly soccer TV show called "The SoccerSam Show" on Irondequoit cable access. This weekly show featured the IFSL all stars, trips to Italy and the first Rochester Lancers reunion game and award banquet. The show covered local youth and adult soccer, including section V soccer and local teams competing in the US Open Cup. The show went weekly on the WB network. Sam interviewed some of the greatest names in the history of soccer on this show including Pelé and Mia Hamm. 1995: The Rochester Rhinos were introduced and the focus of the show became making the Rhinos a success. The Rhinos became the most successful team in the history of American Soccer and many attribute the success of the team to the show.
Kick This! The SoccerSam Radio Show 1995-Present: This weekly radio show started in 1995 and several local soccer celebrities helped host the show. The show's focus is local soccer and covers only American Soccer! Jeff DiVeronica of the Democrat & Chronicle has hosted this show with Sam for years, James Weise is the News Director, Rich Jones is the Producer and Mike Moran is the Webmaster.
Rochester Rhinos 1996-2009: SoccerSam was the assistant to the GM Chris Economides since day one of the Rochester Rhinos. Sam took care of selling tickets, sponsorship, trades and most of the game day ideas for the early days of the Rhinos. Sam was part of the Rhinos radio team for years and introduced the Post Game Call-In Show. In 2008, under new owner Rob Clark, Sam became the Team President and helped rebuild attendance, sponsorship sales and new concessions. SoccerSam and Chris Economides had been friends since High School. In 2006, both men ventured to Cary NC and helped bring Pro Soccer to Cary North Carolina with the Rail Hawks.
Rochester Lancers In 1995, SoccerSam purchased the Rochester Lancers name and logo as part of his soccer memorabilia collection. In 2010, SoccerSam started negotiating with the Chris Economides of the USL to be part of the new I-League. The USL struggled to attract teams to the newly formed I-League. At the 2010/2011 MISL Championship game in Baltimore, SoccerSam convinced MISL commissioner David Grimaldi to meet with the USL and bring current teams. 2011/2012 the new MISL under the USL banner was launched with 4 existing MISL teams and 3 new I-League teams. SoccerSam decided to use his beloved Rochester Lancers name and logo for this new MISL team.
SoccerSam brought in lifelong friends to help with this venture. On the ownership side, Sam brought in local businessman & former minority owner of the Rhinos, Christopher J. Wilmot; cousin John Coraggioso, a longtime owner in the Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria chain; local businessmen & owners of over 30 Dunkin' Donuts locations Luis Ribero & Dominic Vieira; and CPA Steve Stokes, all lifelong soccer fans. For social media & internet support, he brought in Mike Moran of SpinningWebs, who helped create the Rochester Rhinos web site. Rich Randall, who had worked side by side with Sam in 2008 and 2009 as they helped re-launch the Rhinos with Rob Clark was named VP of Soccer Operations.
Several friends and former Rhinos staff members volunteered to help Sam with the Lancers. Jill Rizzo, John Catalano, Joe Giuliano, Rocky Perrotta, Phil Mercato, James Weise and Eric Trendel all helped with the game day. Patty Powers handled the marketing as she had been for the past 18 years for all of Sam's projects.
On the team side former Rhinos players and staff helped launch this new team. Dave DiPasquale, John Berardicurdi, Billy Andracki, Craig Demmin, Francisco Escos, Billy Ginther, Rey "Boom-Boom" Martinez, John Ball, Mauricio Salles, Patrick Hannigan and the living legend Doug Miller.
The Lancers began play in the Fall of 2011 at their home field the Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester Community War Memorial and played 3 season in the USL owned new MISL.Rochester Lancers
- 2011-2012: 11-13, average home attendance 5,675 - Head coach Billy Andracki
- 2012-2013: 10-16, average home attendance 5,975 - Head coach Jim Hesch
- 2013-2014: 6-14, average home attendance 7,347 - Head coach Josh Rife
Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria: SoccerSam Fantauzzo is also the Founder and CEO of Salvatore's Old Fashioned Pizzeria. In 1978, he took a High School project and opened the first Salvatore's location. Today there over 30 locations throughout Monroe County including the Blue Cross Arena, Frontier Field, CMAC, and Sahlen's Stadium. The Salvatore's Pizza Family employs over 1,000 Rochesterians. SoccerSam also recreated the Donuts Delite brand & refurbished the Rochester landmark building at Empire Blvd. & Culver Rd. In 2014, he acquired the franchise rights to bring Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips back to the Rochester area.Personal Awards:
- 1996: Section V Committee "Media Award"
- 2000: Town of Irondequoit "15 Years of Leadership"
- 2002: Press Radio Club "Charlie Wagner Award"
- 2005: County of Monroe "Outstanding Asset Builder"
- 2005: Section V Committee "Media Award"
- 2008: Eastridge High School "Hall of Fame"
- 2010: Frontier Field "Walk of Fame"
- 2011: Camp Good Days "Ring of Honor"
- 2013: Italian Civic League "Outstanding Citizen Award"
SoccerSam is also a local philanthropist, generously contributing annually to charities such as Camp Good Days and Special Times, Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester Breast Cancer Coalition and the Alzheimer's Association. He is married to his high-school sweetheart Linda Fantauzzo and resides in Webster with his children Salvatore II, Roxanna, Silvio and two grandchildren Santino and Salvatore III.
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