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TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year

Established in 2009, the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award is awarded for extraordinary accomplishments as a TOPSoccer Buddy. The nominees demonstrate patience, understanding, dependability, flexibility and ability to adjust to ever-changing on-field situations. The Buddy of the Year is also an invaluable volunteer who facilitates the program by filling many roles, including being a coach, cheerleader and role model as well as assisting when needed with administrative responsibilities. Other important qualities of the buddy are engaging players one-on-one, modeling desired behavior and being cognizant of player safety. Buddies assist, guide, direct and teach the game of soccer and its skills while creating a fun learning experience. The national TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award is announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, as a part of the US Youth Soccer Workshop.
 

2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

2017 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year
National Winner – Abbey Wills – Amissville, Va.

Wills has won national awards in English, Spanish and Latin, but those close to her say her real talent is her ability to communicate and interact with her TOPSoccer athletes. She has volunteered with the program for five years and is a nationally certified TOPSoccer coach. Wills continues to be a valuable asset to all involved in TOPSoccer and has organized several events to promote TOPSoccer in her community, including arranging for her entire high school team to volunteer with the program.

2017 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

East – Abbey Wills – Amissville, Va.
Midwest – Chris George – Lexington, Ky.
South – Natalie Bress – Melbourne Beach, Fla.
West – Kenna Casey – Chandler, Ariz.

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2016 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year
National Winner – Patrick D. Casey – Nokesville, Va.

Patrick D. Casey is a positive role model for many TOPSoccer athletes. Forming a relationship with each athlete is a high priority for him. Casey has been a TOPSoccer volunteer for five years, and has been described as “patient, caring and enthusiastic” by his peers. Casey is a nationally certified TOPSoccer coach, a summer camp TOPSoccer coach and he promotes TOPSoccer at various community events. Moreover, Casey has a 4.1 GPA and he is in the top 10 percent of his class. 

2016 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Patrick D. Casey – Nokesville, Va. 
Region II – Larissa Marielle Seibt – Chicago, Ill.  
Region III – LeAnne Davison – Greenville, S.C. 
Region IV – Petra Azar – Santa Ana, Calif.

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2015 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year [Video]
National Winner – Zachary Saliterman – Mendham, N.J.

This fall was Zachary Saliterman’s 13th season in the West Morris SC TOPSoccer program, which his family founded, and his fifth running the program in its entirety. Saliterman has logged over 100 hours as a buddy and director. He handles all aspects of the program, including session plans, recruiting volunteers and players, managing equipment and securing field space. The high school senior continues to offer players a safe and supportive environment to learn the game.

2015 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Zachary Saliterman – Mendham, N.J. 
Region II – Claire Bieber – Georgetown, Ky. 
Region III – Kala Neighbor – Melbourne, Fla. 
Region IV – Mary Barnum – Medford, Ore. 

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2014 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year [Video]
National Winner – Kenny Wilson – Saucier, Miss.

Since his local TOPSoccer program began in 2007, Kenny Wilson has been involved as a coach, referee, equipment manager and more. As a father of four, including two children with disabilities, Kenny combines his passion for soccer and understanding of special needs children to share with them his love of the game. He has written a guide on refereeing TOPSoccer and helped promote the program in the community. He has a high caliber of commitment to making the experience best for all involved.

2014 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Diego Barajas – Wilmington, Del.
Region II – Gordon Gardiner – Shelby Township, Mich.
Region III – Kenny Wilson – Saucier, Miss.
Region IV – Ryan Olsen – Gresham, Ore.

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2013 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year [Video]
National Winner – Brock Turner – Boca Raton, Fla.

Brock Turner has been involved with the Soccer Association of Boca Raton’s US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program for the past eight years as a buddy assistant, uniform organizer, buddy captain and equipment manager. He’s given much of his time to TOPSoccer and encouraged those around him to do the same. Brock is active in the community and is a National Honor Society student who is now attending Sacred Heart University on an academic and athletic scholarship.

2013 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Kayla Memis – Mullica Hill, N.J.
Region II – Lauren Wimer – Warren, Ohio
Region III – Brock Turner – Boca Raton, Fla.
Region IV – Kiley Adams – Edgewood, Wash.

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2012 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year [Video]
National Winner – 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.

2012 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Will Olson – McLean, Va.
Region II – Alyssa King – Lexington, Ky.
Region III – Jed Holstine – Chattanooga, Tenn.
Region IV – Laura Ellen Aspelund – Anchorage, Alaska

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2011 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year
National Winner – Chris Przybylowski – West Haven, Conn.

When West Haven Youth Soccer started its TOPSoccer program, Chris Przybylowski was one of the first players to join. Now, 10 years later, Przybylowski has evolved into a standout leader and Buddy in West Haven Youth Soccer's TOPSoccer program. As a Buddy, Przybylowski exemplifies the ability to encourage players to work a little harder, inspire them have a little more fun and empathize when things get hard.

2011 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Chris Przybylowski – West Haven, Conn.
Region II – Annie Dunbar – Lexington, Ky.
Region III – Cassie Thorla – Boca Raton, Fla.
Region IV – Riley Protz – Gresham, Ore.

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2010 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year
National Winner – 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.

2010 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year regional award winners:

Region I – Ed Celli – Wilmington, Mass.
Region II – Jeff Mueller – Minneapolis, Minn.
Region III – The Culbertson Family, represented by Kyle Culbertson – Madison, Miss.
Region IV – Lindsay Barnum – Medford, Ore.

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2009 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year
National Winner - Lauren Lawless, Kansas State Youth Soccer Association

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.

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

Region I – Stephanie Lighter – Olney, Md.
Region II – Lauren Lawless – Topeka, Kan.
Region III – Kailey Boyer – Acworth, Ga.
Region IV – Ken Dandrea – Placentia, Calif.-South

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