FRISCO, Texas (Feb. 8, 2011) -
US Youth Soccer announces the regional winners of the 2010 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, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop in Louisville, Ky.
Brief bios of the regional winners are below based on the submitted nomination forms:
Region I – Ed Celli – Wilmington, Mass.
Fifteen years ago, when Ed Celli's children exited the youth soccer scene, he still had the desire to coach. Celli found his outlet when he came across US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer
. He pitched the idea to the Wilmington Youth Soccer board of directors, and since the approval, Celli has been the ultimate Buddy forming a program that has flourished to include more than 93 players and 100 volunteer coaches. He has a special gift of understanding and communicating that adds value for his players.
Region II – Jeff Mueller – Minneapolis, Minn.
Since 2004, Jeff Mueller has been a US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer
Buddy and coach, establishing strong relationships with the players and their parents. His generosity paired with the time and energy he puts into his TOPSoccer team is evident to his players creating a welcoming atmosphere. Mueller makes a point to be a part of the players' lives in addition to scheduled practices by hosting FIFA World Cup watching parties and giving individual lessons outside of practice.
Region III – The Culbertson Family, represented by Kyle Culbertson – Madison, Miss.
Six years ago, Kyle Culbertson and his siblings Jack, Kate and Brady began volunteering as US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer
Buddies. They assist with the South Madison County Soccer Organization helping nearly 150 players in the program. Twice a week, they support visually impaired and special needs games, assisting with any task necessary. Players and their families frequently look for the Culbertsons when arriving at practices and games because of the relationships they have built and their dedication to the program.
Region IV – Lindsay Barnum – Medford, Ore.
In her third year as a US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer
Buddy, Lindsay Barnum became the coordinator for all of the Buddies for the program in Medford, Ore. Barnum makes specific efforts to get to know the players and understand their individual needs. Her positive attitude and excitement for the game is contagious adding to the overall experience of each player. Being a TOPSoccer Buddy is something that brings joy and satisfaction to Barnum as she impacts the lives of younger players.
For more information about the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award and the US Youth Soccer 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 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