Steppy’s Night


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Players from three decades of Verona High School soccer teams turned out at Centennial Field on Tuesday, October 5 to honor George Stiefbold, the man who made soccer almost synonymous with Verona. Yes, some of the players were a bit gray, and maybe they couldn’t sprint downfield the way they did in their championship seasons. But no matter: This was Steppy’s night, and they stood on the sidelines for him just as they had so many years ago.

Stiefbold holds the VHS record for most soccer coaching wins. He cajoled, pushed, and prodded his teams to 11 conference championships and seven state championships, including four consecutive state championships and 19 winning seasons from 1965 to 1983.

Listen as the record of his accomplishments is read out in the videos below, and see the characteristic humility with which Steppy accepted it all. Current VHS Athletic Director Gary Farishian announced on Tuesday that the George Stiefbold Sportsmanship Award will now be awarded annually to a Verona soccer player.

Our thanks to Jeff Stiefbold for the photo of his dad above and on the home page.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. Please convey my congratulations to Steppy. I was a member of the VHS Soccer team from 1961 through 1964 and have a wonderful recollection of playing soccer for VHS, under his tutelage. I now live in Los Angeles and only wish I could have joined in the celebration on October 8.

    Henry Fields
    2121 Balsam Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90025


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