2013 ANNUAL AWARDS
The 2013 Massachusetts Youth Soccer Annual Awards Banquet was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Leominster, MA on December 8th. Massachusetts Youth Soccer honored a number of individuals for their commitment to our kids and to the game. The honorees were....
TOPSOCCER BUDDY OF THE YEAR
DARRIEN TAN Wellesley Youth Soccer
As a sophomore at Wellesley High School, Darrien Tan recognized there was no local soccer program for kids with disabilities. He had volunteered at the King Philip TOPSoccer in Norfolk, MA and seen how much of an impact the program had on its participants and their families. So, for his 10th grade service project, Darrien decided to create a TOPSoccer Program in his hometown. He met with the Board of Directors of Wellesley United Soccer Club and with the Wellesley High Director of Athletics. He applied to the Wellesley Special Needs Parent Advisory Counsel for funding and volunteer training. He recruited other Wellesley High students to serve as TOPSoccer buddies and, in the spring of 2013 he started the program with approximately 15 children. This past fall the program grew to more than 25 participants. Darrien plays for Wellesley High School and FC Bolts Celtic and is a USSF certified Referee.
BOYS’ COMPETITIVE COACH OF THE YEAR
MITCH DOHERTY Acton-Boxboro Youth Soccer
A native of Manchester, England has played and coached soccer around the world. In 2010, Mitch was hired by Acton-Boxborough Youth Soccer as its Director of Coaching. In describing his coaching philosophy, Mitch explains “…The will to win should not overshadow the first and foremost responsibility of each coach … to develop each player on an individual level.” This commitment to player development has permeated all levels of ABYS and resulted in tremendous developmental growth throughout the program. Mitch is also the Director of Coaching for the ABYS Strikers United program. This program provides the next stepping stone in player development for committed and competitive players. Under Mitch’s direction, Strikers United has grown to 13 teams and more than 175 players as well as an exceptional staff of professional coaches. Mitch has fostered close relationships between the Strikers United and both the Boston Breakers and the New England Revolution Academy to bring the knowledge and experience of our local professional teams to ABYS. Mitch has also coached extensively in the Massachusetts Olympic Development Program where he coached at the U12 level. While his personal and professional accomplishments around the globe are many, it is his personal relationship that Mitch establishes with each of his players that sets him apart. He is truly a player’s coach and most deserving of this award.
GIRLS’ COMPETITIVE COACH OF THE YEAR
PAM KNIGHT Synergy Soccer Club
Pam played soccer at Weymouth High School and at North Adams State College. After college, Pam played for the Boston Storm of the USISL, the first women’s professional league. Pam has brought her passion for the game back to the South Shore where she and her husband, Dave, founded Synergy Soccer a small club based out of Hanover that has grown to 12 teams in only 2 years. Pam brings her knowledge, skills and experience in the game to each of her players. What sets Pam apart is her thirst for more, new and fresh coaching ideas. She is constantly seeking to improve as a coach and fosters the same passion in each of her players. She always encourages her players to seek soccer opportunities beyond her club such as the Olympic Development Program and indoor leagues. A critical component to Synergy Soccer and Pam Knight’s coaching philosophy is good citizenship. Pam not only insists that her players display the highest level of sportsmanship, but she also her teams to become involved in community service such as charity runs. Pam is a talented, caring and committed soccer coach and an exceptional role model for all of her players.
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR
DARLENE BERGERON Fitchburg Youth Soccer
Darlene has been involved with Fitchburg Youth Soccer League for more than 15 years. She started as a coach of her children’s teams and is now the FYS President. Darlene has been described as the “heartbeat” and “driving force” of Fitchburg Youth Soccer. She has a hand in every aspect of the organization from distributing informational flyers to each of the schools in town to soliciting sponsorships from local businesses to help defray costs to the FYS families to lining fields. At times, Darlene is called upon to coach various teams. She is has coached at all age groups and focuses her players on achieving goals and developing as players. She also acts as a mentor for new FYS coaches. Her commitment to every youth soccer player in Fitchburg is undeniable, but what sets Darlene apart is her intense sense of responsibility, selflessness and relentless passion for the game. As a result of Darlene’s efforts, no child is turned away from FYS. She has implemented an equipment collection program and a registration fee relief program where families in need can volunteer their time in lieu of payments. She is a role model of good citizenship to her players, all of the FYS families and to the entire community of Fitchburg. As one Board Member said, “Without Darlene Bergeron, there would be no Fitchburg soccer program…”
GIRLS’ RECREATION COACH OF THE YEAR
RICK ROBERTS Abington Youth Soccer
Rick Robert’s involvement in Abington Youth Soccer dates back to his years as high school player and AYS volunteer in the organization’s early days. After a brief hiatus from coaching, Rick returned to Abington Youth Soccer to coach his own daughters year round. Despite being extremely knowledgeable about the game and seasoned as a youth soccer coach, Rick never stops learning, growing and honing his craft as a coach. He learns from and collaborates with other coaches and works diligently to provide all of his players the most positive soccer he can. What sets Rick apart from other coaches is his clear understanding that soccer provides a platform from which all of his players can learn life lessons. He teaches his players good sportsmanship and insists that they display respect for teammates, referees and opponents at all times. By rostering a player with Down Syndrome on his team, by including her in team activities and games and by making various accommodations to permit her to enjoy success, Rick showed his team and the entire Abington soccer community that the game is bigger than scores and standings.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
CARL GRYGIEL Andover Youth Soccer
Known by a generation of Andover youth soccer players simply as “Coach Carl”, Carl Grygiel is a fixture in Andover Youth Soccer. Carl has been a coach in Andover since 1999. Despite his extensive playing and coaching knowledge and experience Carl is a huge proponent of formal coaching education. He holds his Massachusetts Youth Soccer E-License and the NSCAA Advanced Regional Diploma. Beyond his coaching, Carl has served on the Andover Soccer Association Board of Directors since 2001. He has been the ASA President, Vice President, Treasurer Travel Director and an age group coordinator. He has been instrumental in implementing ASA’s first on-line registration system, in developing relationships with local professional teams and in strengthening the relationship between the ASA and Andover High School soccer programs. In short, Carl is a “soccer guy” who demonstrates every day the very best qualities we look for in our volunteers. He is selfless, dedicated, knowledgeable, humble and utterly committed to the game and the kids who play it.
YOUNG REFEREES OF THE YEAR
JACQUELINE LANE, Medford, MA
Jacqueline has been a referee since 2009 and has moved up through ranks in both the Medford Soccer Program and Middle-sex Youth Soccer League. She was appointed to State Cup and the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) and was honored as the 2013 Young Female Referee of MTOC. Outside of refereeing, Jacqueline was a member of her high school’s key club, recycling committee and science club and has participated in soccer, track and field and basketball. Jacqueline is currently studying abroad in London, England.
KARL SUNDBERG, Townsend, MA
Karl has been appointed to all major state and regional tournaments. He represented Region I at this year’s US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup finals and in 2012 he was honored as the Young Male Referee of the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC). Off the field, Karl served as Vice President of his high school National Honors Society, President of both Science Club and International Club, Committee Leader for Relay for Life and a Lion’s Club volunteer. Karl is currently attending WPI studying Mechanical and Robotics Engineering.
GOALS PROGRAM COACHES OF THE YEAR
CHUN KIT JONATHAN LUK, Belmont, MA
John Luk is a first year GOALS Program coach and attends UMass Amherst. This past summer John Luk worked at the following GOALS sites for a 7-week period: Revere Recreational Dept, Cambridge Com-munity Center, Yawkey Club Roxbury Boys & Girls Club and National Night Out at Roxbury. Throughout the GOALS Program season, John Luk distinguished himself in learning to teach the beautiful game to all of the children he worked with. He always took initiative and responsi-bility to create the best learning environment at each session.
MOLLY GURNER, Boston, MA
Molly is a first year GOALS Program coach and attends Roger Williams University. This past summer she worked at the following GOALS sites for a 6-week period: Orchard Gardens Boys & Girls Club Roxbury, Franklin Park Tennis Dorchester, Dorchester Boys & Girls Club, Seekers Knowledge Inc. Boston and Hawthorne Youth CC Roxbury. Molly created great relationships with site directors, counselors and specifically the players at all of the sites she worked. She has shown great responsi-bility, commitment and desire to teach the game of soccer to all of the children she impacted with her involvement in the GOALS Program.
ODP REGIONAL TEAM PLAYERS
All of the players from Massachusetts who earned spots on their respective Region 1 Olympic Development Program teams we honored at the banquet. Players donated by our Medals and Awards partner, Dinn Bros of Springfield and scarves donated by Sports Scarf of Mattapoisett were given to each of the players who were able to attend. For a complete list of Region 1 ODP players from Massachusetts, CLICK HERE.