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Competitive Coaches of the Year Regional Winners Announced

January 29, 2008 09:00 PM
US Youth Soccer honors regional Competitive Coaches of the Year
National winners to be named at US Youth Soccer Awards Gala
US Youth Soccer announces the regional winners of the US Youth Soccer Boys and Girls Competitive Coaches of the Year Award. The Competitive Coach of the Year is awarded to a recreational coach for both a boy's team and a girl's team for his or her coaching activities, sportsmanship, player development, personal coaching development and citizenship.
The national Boys and Girls Competitive Coaches of the Year will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, February 8 as part of the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop in Pittsburgh.
Brief bios of the regional winners are below based on the submitted application forms.
Girls Competitive Coach of the Year Regional Award Winners:

Region I – John P. Dawyot, Landenberg, PA
John P. Dawyot, from Landenberg, PA, coaches for Wilmington United in the Delaware Youth Soccer Association. Dawyot believes in good sportsmanship and therefore negative remarks from players or parents are not permitted. His team comes to practice excited and ready to play. He encourages his players to experience different sports and teams and has several players who have made the US Youth Soccer ODP. He works with his players that may not be playing to their full potential and strives to make sure that all players gain confidence and perfect their skills.
Region II – Huw Williams, Shawnee Mission, KS
Huw Williams, from Shawnee Mission, KS, is the Director of the Sports Division of GCI. He is also the league director of Heartland Soccer and Technical Director of KCFC. Williams builds his players' character and self esteem. His players find out what type of character they possess. In 2006, his KCFC Intensity team was awarded the US Youth Soccer Region II Fair Play Award. Williams encourages his team to tryout for US Youth Soccer ODP, play as guest players and in pick-up games to improve their game.

Region III - Yon Struble, Alpharetta, GA
Yon Struble, from Alpharetta, GA, coaches for the Norcross Soccer Academy. He has also coached US Youth Soccer ODP for nine years. In 2005, Struble's 1989 Georgia US Youth Soccer ODP Girls team placed third at the US Youth Soccer ODP National Championships. Struble lives by a strong value system and he expects his players to display strong character too. He inspires his players to improve themselves and their game. In his first two years with the team, he brought them up a level. He knew that move would continue to challenge his players, and with training they improved.
Region IV - Pat Hanley, Anchorage, AK
Pat Hanley, from Anchorage, AK, has coached soccer for 10 years and three years ago moved to the competitive level with the Northern Lights Soccer Club. In addition to coaching his players, Hanley allowed another team's players to play on his team at the Alaska US Youth Soccer State Championships because their team was not participating. He emphasizes hard work at his practices but balances work with fun. In fact, his players hate to miss practice. Hanley is also the president of the Northern Lights Soccer Club.
Boys Competitive Coach of the Year Regional Award Winners:

Region I – Michael Elster, Sutton, MA
Michael Elster, from Sutton, MA, coaches for the Sutton Youth Soccer Club. Elster puts a lot of time and effort into his practices. He reviews previously taught skills at the beginning of practice before moving onto new drills. Elster challenges and motivates his players to learn and play the game. Also, Elster organized a large tournament to raise money for a young girl to receive important medical care. The event was very successful. Elster has taken the time to improve his coaching by obtaining his license and attending workshops.
Region II – Lars Richters, Farmington Hills, MI
Lars Richters, of Farmington, MI, coaches for the Michigan Wolves-Hawks Soccer Club. His Under-15 Boys team won the US Youth Soccer National Championship in 2007. He is a professional who sets an example for his players by respecting them, their parents, opponents and officials. Lars challenges his players' skills and pushes them to improve their weaker skills and while increasing their confidence. He tries to use soccer as a way to teach real life lessons to his players. Despite his on-field success, he does not employ a winning-at-all-costs attitude.

Region III - Brian Harvey, Oklahoma City, OK
Brian Harvey, from Oklahoma City, OK, inspires his players and parents. He is not only respectful but also professional when addressing his players, parents and officials. Even after having surgery, he never missed a practice and was never late. That set a good example for his team. Harvey's team enjoys their practices. He develops the player as well as the team so that the team's skills continue to grow. He is also a college coach and a US Youth Soccer ODP official, both of which improve his coaching at the youth level.
Region IV - David Newman, Bountiful, UT
David Newman, from Bountiful, UT, is the head coach of an Under-15 Boys team with the Utah Rush and is also one of the competitive Program coordinators. He also conducts coaches' training for Under-8 division. Newman is not only a coach but also a mentor to his players. He teaches and demonstrates good sportsmanship by frequently cheering for the opposing team when they make good plays. He believes in his players and helps them believe in themselves.

For more information about the US Youth Soccer Competitive Coach of the Year award or the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop, visit
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer -The Game for ALL Kids!® is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3.2 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member state associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit
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