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Jan, 2019

MYSA Annual Award Winners

The MYSA Annual Awards are given out each year at the AGM. Nominations are collected by members around the state and then evaluated by the MYSA Board of Directors. This year's AGM will be held on January 26, in Columbia, MO.  For more info on the AGM, CLICK HERE.
The following candidates have been selected for recognition of achievement based on nominations made by our members around the state: 


Top Soccer Buddy of the Year:  
Sherrie Vohs

Sherrie is a great asset in that she is not only a buddy to the youngest athletes, she also spends a lot of her time mentoring first-time buddies as they learn the very important aspects of working with special needs children. She makes the time spent with the kids a fun and enjoyable experience for all. She is a continuous advocate for the SPENSA program in her community, openly inviting new kids she meets to join in on the fun. 

Top Soccer Coach of the Year:  Thomas Vohs

Tom has been coaching with the SPENSA program for more than a decade. He spends time with the highest functioning players in the program and helps them reach their highest potential, given the setbacks of their disabilities. Tom is an advocate for the program in the community, where he also coaches a few club teams. Tom always puts the needs of the players first, letting them learn the elements of the game at their own speed and furthering their love of the sport. 

Volunteer of the Year:  Jim Overmann
Jim has been an excellent advocate for youth soccer in the St. Louis area for many years. Jim volunteers his time as the site manager for the SLYSA complex, as well as serving as the SLYSA Discipline and Appeal chairman. He spends several hours a week viewing referee reports, discussing policies and rulings on player/coach suspensions. 

Administrator of the Year:   Robyn Gross

Robyn spent decades serving the soccer community in St. Louis. She was an integral part of and Sporting STL clubs, serving as both Club Registrar and Tournament Director. She was also a member of the MYSA board for several years, most recently as Secretary. Robyn, unfortunately, passed in September of 2018, but her impact will last generations. 

Competitive Boys Coach of the Year:   Adam Tish
Adam currently coaches four separate younger boys teams of varying levels(U9 & U10). He is widely adored in the community for his commitment to the game and sharing his passion with his players. His fun and exciting training sessions and player-oriented mindset have earned him the recognition of coach of the year. 

Competitive Girls Coach of the Year:   
Drew Hamilton
Drew is highly regarded by his team, club, and community for his dedication to the sport. He makes many sacrifices to be able to give his team his all. His passion for coaching is infectious and makes his training sessions enjoyable for the players. His ability to bond with the players and coaches has earned them their trust and respect. 

Save of the Year:  TJ Balducci

of the Year:  Kaden Smith

Recreational Boys Coach of the Year:   Elisabeth Beard

Elisabeth (Liz) coached multiple teams this season, all while being pregnant AND a mother of six! Her games were organized and fun. She ensured ample playing time for all and made players on both teams feel like winners. She is being recognized for passion and commitment to coaching. 

Young Female Referee of the Year:  Kori Cowger

Kori made significant strides as a referee this past year. She upgraded to 7 and received her first Development Academy assignments. Kori has shown extraordinary restraint in pressure. Multiple times, she has found herself in difficult situations as a referee. Though she was impacted, she continued to grow through the difficulties with continued resolve. 

Young Male Referee of the Year:   Titus Wagner
This past year, Titus has grown as a referee through performance and accomplishments. He upgraded to Grade 7 as a 16-year-old, the youngest age possible. Over the course of this year, he traveled to Missouri State Cup, President's Cup Regionals and was assigned to a State Cup Final match. Titus handles himself in a professional manner in adverse circumstances. Despite his age, he handles conflict with adults in a calm and effective manner. 

Boys ODP Player of the Year:   Carter Reiss
Carter is a member of the 2001 class of Missouri ODP. He has been a consistent performer for his team,  being selected to attend the Midwest Regional ODP Camp numerous times over the last few years. This past summer at Regional Camp, he was seen by a DC United academy scout and invited to come train with them. 

Girls ODP Player of the Year:   Kaeli Benedict
As a member of the 2002 class of Missouri ODP, Kaeli attended the Midwest Regional Camp and is consistently selected to the Midwest Region ODP team, where she is a key player at multiple positions. She has also represented Missouri in a few ODP events in Boca Raton, FL.


ODP Coach of the Year:    Rob Wilkinson
Rob has served as a Missouri Olympic Development coach for six years, where he has worked with a variety of age groups.  Last year Rob also served as part of the Regional Staff who worked with region players at the Midwest Region Camp in Saginaw, Michigan.  He is currently working with our youngest age group on the boys' side of the program, and he also serves as the Boys' Coordinator. Rob's dedication, commitment, and passion for many players over the years and we are thankful that he is part of our staff!


President's Award for Outstanding Service:   Don 'Pops' Popovic
Don "Pops" Popovic has been involved in soccer at all levels across the world.  He was a professional player and coach.  He was coach of the New York Arrows in the Major Indoor Soccer League and under his leadership, the team won 4 consecutive Major Indoor Soccer League championships.  Don also played for the St. Louis Stars.  In 1993 Don began coaching for a youth team sponsored by Lou Fusz and the rest is history.  Don's leadership in youth soccer has been exemplary.  From one team in 1993, the club has grown to over 2,100 players this past year and the Lou Fusz Soccer Complex has grown to 10 fields, 8 of which are turf.  This has provided the players from Lou Fusz and the entire state of Missouri a safe place to play.

 

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