US Youth Soccer Announces Regional Young Referee of the Year Award Winners
US Youth Soccer honors regional Young Referee of the Year Award winners
National winner to be named at US Youth Soccer Awards Gala
FRISCO, Texas (January 23, 2009) - US Youth Soccer announces the regional winners of the US Youth Soccer Young Male and Female Referee of the Year Awards. The Young Referee of the Year Award honors those who have a strong work ethic, knowledge of the rules of the game and are positive role models.
The national Young Referee of the Year winners will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop in San Jose, Calif.
Brief bios of the regional winners are below based on the submitted nomination forms:
Young Male Referee of the Year
Region I – Ryan White – Manassas, Va.
Ryan White first started refereeing in 2003 and since then, he has refereed numerous tournaments including the US Youth Soccer Virginia State Championships, US Youth Soccer Region I Premier League and US Youth Soccer Region I Championships. White's experience has also expanded to adult leagues. He is currently a Grade 6 referee and continues to further his knowledge by seeking advice and guidance from senior referees. The knowledge he receives is used not only enhance his skills, but also help younger referees that he helps to mentor as they progress on the field.
Region II – Bob Hinrichs – Rogers, Minn.
Bob Hinrichs is a Grade 8 referee and has more than five years of experience. He has attended the referee academy and advanced referee academy in order to broaden his knowledge and skills as a referee. In the summer of 2008, he participated as a select referee at the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program clinic in Rockford, Ill. Hinrichs has set high goals for himself as he plans to attain his Grade 5 certification and continue refereeing at higher levels as an adult.
Region III – James Johnston – Greenbrier, Ark.
At the age of 12, James Johnston moved to Arkansas and found that he could learn more about soccer by becoming a referee. He is a Grade 7 referee and is currently working matches to fulfill his Grade 6 state referee certification when he reaches the appropriate age. As a member of the Greenbrier Soccer Club, Johnston is the club's referee assignor and he also schedules classes and recruits new referees. His initiatives have not gone unnoticed as he has refereed at many prestigious events including the 2008 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships and US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program tournaments.
Region IV – Zachary Pendt – Bremerton, Wash.
Zachary Pendt started refereeing in 2000 with small-sided games and has since upgraded to a Grade 7 referee. Pendt is taking part in upgrading clinics to advance himself as a referee and as a mentor to younger referees. He has refereed at the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships and US Youth Soccer Washington State Championships. His leadership is also exemplified as he acts as the captain of his Under-18 Bainbridge Island soccer team.
Young Referee of the Year – Female
Region I – Samantha Polito – Canonsburg, Pa.
Soccer has been a part of Samantha Polito's life since her time spent playing in the Under-6 age group, but her perspective on soccer shifted in 2002 when she stopped played and attended her first referee camp. With the guidance of her parents, who have refereed for many years, and her growing passion to learn the game on another level she began refereeing in the Under-6 age group. Since then, Polito has attended referee camp every summer and refereed at the Pennsylvania West Open Tournament (2003-2007). In 2007, Polito started working at the Special Olympics tournaments.
Region II – Rebecca Hall – Hartland, Wis.
Rebecca Hall started playing soccer when she was five, and at the age of 12, her love of the game led her to attend her first referee clinic. Within her first year of refereeing, she upgraded to a Grade 8. Hall has refereed at tournaments across Wisconsin including the US Youth Soccer Wisconsin State Championships and the US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional League. She is commended by her assessors for her immediate response to their suggestions and the humble attitude she carries on the field.
Region III – Jorden Anne Clements – Warner Robins, Ga.
Playing recreational soccer was a big part of Jorden Clements' life until an accident prevented her from continuing to compete. Continuing to pursue her love for the game, Clements turned to refereeing. In August 2005, she began as a Grade 9, but soon upgraded to a Grade 8 in July 2008. Her experience as a referee includes local amateur leagues, middle school matches, local youth leagues, and US Youth Soccer State, Regional and National Championships, crediting her with over 300 games. She has excelled in all challenges presented to her through soccer and she also participates in various programs in her community that allow her to give back to others.
Region IV – Maia Anderson – Anchorage, Alaska
Maia Anderson has been a referee since 2004 and at the 2007 US Youth Soccer Alaska State Cup, she received her Grade 7 assessment. Anderson was a referee at the 2006 and 2007 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships and at the US Youth Soccer Alaska State Championships (2004-2007). To expand her involvement in the game, Anderson was the secretary of the Anchorage Soccer Referee Association Board in 2006. While in pursuit of becoming and excelling as a referee, Anderson also succeeded in the classroom as she graduated second in her class and chose to continue her education at Harvard University.
For more information about the US Youth Soccer's Administrator of the Year award or the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop, visit www.USYouthSoccer.org.
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 www.USYouthSoccer.org.
Media Request: When referring to the United States Youth Soccer Association, the largest youth sports organization in the United States, please refer to the association only as US Youth Soccer, and never as USYS or USYSA. We appreciate your cooperation.