National winner to be named at US Youth Soccer Awards Gala
Twitter: @USYouthSoccer, live announcement of national winner
FRISCO, Texas (Dec. 19, 2012)
— US Youth Soccer announces the regional winners of the 2012 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award. It honors a role model who creates a fun learning experience as a mentor, advocate, coach or administrator.
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer)
is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities.
The national TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop
in Indianapolis, held in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention.
Brief bios of the regional winners are below based on the submitted nomination forms:
Region I – Will Olson – McLean, Va.
Will Olsen started as a TOPSoccer Buddy as a 9-year-old in 2005 and is now in his third season as a McLean TOPSoccer "assistant director." He manages all aspects of the program, from logistics to matching compatible buddies with players. He continues to volunteer because he believes in the benefits players get from TOPSoccer. Olson is also a member of the U-16 MSC Rapids and a three-year varsity player at The Landon School in Bethesda, Md.
Region II – Alyssa King – Lexington, Ky.
Alyssa King is a valuable member of the Lexington Youth Soccer Association TOPSoccer program, as she has extensive knowledge of soccer and completed an undergraduate degree in special education from the University of Kentucky in December. King has a passion for helping individuals with disabilities and wasn’t afraid to take on a coaching role despite her already busy schedule. She also is a member of the advisory committee and has organized events to promote TOPSoccer in the community.
Region III – Jed Holstine – Chattanooga, Tenn.
For more than 15 years, Jed Holstine has volunteered his time for the betterment of youth soccer. He’s managed to initiate a buddy program that integrates TOPSoccer with local competitive teams, and the program now thrives. He makes sure TOPSoccer succeeds each year and runs flawlessly. Though his daughters finished their competitive soccer careers, Holstine continues to work with TOPSoccer and youth programs while making decisions by answering the question, "Is this best for the kids?"
Region IV – Laura Ellen Aspelund – Anchorage, Alaska
Though she’s just a sophomore in high school, 15-year-old Laura Ellen Aspelund has made an impact on TOPSoccer participants, as she encourages players like her buddy, Mark, to try new things and embrace the game and life. In addition to being a buddy, Aspelund is also a certified TOPSoccer coach. Aspelund maintains a 4.0 GPA while balancing her work with TOPSoccer, other volunteer efforts and her own playing career, which included a spot on the Alaska Olympic Development Program team.
The US Youth Soccer Workshop will be held in Indianapolis from January 16-19, 2013. The annual Workshop will be held at the Indianapolis Convention Center in conjunction with the NSCAA Convention. The week is designed to further the education of coaches, administrators, referees and enthusiasts involved in the game. For more information please visit USYouthSoccer.org/Workshop/NSCAA