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US Youth Soccer announces 2009 regional TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award winners

February 3, 2010 09:00 PM
 
National winner to be named at US Youth Soccer Awards Gala
Twitter: @USYouthSoccer, live announcement of national winner

FRISCO, Texas (Feb. 4, 2010) - US Youth Soccer announces the regional winners of the 2009 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award. This is the first year for the Buddy of the Year award. It honors a role model who creates a fun learning experience as a mentor, advocate, coach or administrator.

TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities.
 
The national Buddy of the Year will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop in Fort Worth, Texas.
  
Brief bios of the regional winners are below based on the submitted nomination forms:

Region I – Stephanie Lighter – Olney, Md.
Stephanie Lighter has been a Montgomery Soccer, Inc., TOPSocer Buddy for five years. She first served as an administrative intern in preparation for becoming the assistant director. Her commitment to TOPSoccer is exemplified through her dedication to organizing skills of the day, designing new games and willingness to set-up fields for each session. Lighter is involved in the annual TOPSoccer festival. She has not only involved her family, but has recruited volunteers from her high school to help expand the program.

Region II – Lauren Lawless – Topeka, Kan.
Lauren Lawless, a four-year student athlete at Washburn University, has been with Topeka TOPSoccer since its inception. She leads practices for six to eight-year-olds and serves as liaison between the program and Washburn University. As liaison, she coordinated a TOPSoccer night at a Washburn University women's soccer game to honor members of TOPSoccer. Lawless is determined to see the program grow and has encouraged several college teammates to volunteer. To end the first season, she sent handwritten notes to thank players for their participation.

Region III – Kailey Boyer – Acworth, Ga.
Kailey Boyer joined Cobb FC TOPSoccer at the age of four to support her sister, and by nine, she had fully embraced the program acting as a Buddy to other youth in the program. Now 14, she is an advocate for TOPSoccer as she works to get others in Acworth, Ga., and surrounding communities involved as volunteers. Each season, Boyer takes on additional responsibilities by coaching teams, helping with registration and setting up and running skill drills at practices.

Region IV – Ken Dandrea – Placentia, Calif.-South
Ken Dandrea has been a part of Junior United Soccer Association TOPSoccer for 18 years, beginning when he signed his son up for the program. Since then, Dandrea's role has expanded to include coach, mentor to new buddies and advocate for the program. He is active on the Cal South TOPSoccer Fest committee and has been an instructor for the TOPSoccer coaching certification course. Dandrea is patient, dedicated and committed to the development of players' skills and comprehension of fair play and social skills.

For more information about the US Youth Soccer's TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award or the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop, visit www.USYouthSoccer.org.
 
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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 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.
 

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