Congratulations to the winners of South Texas Youth Soccer's Annual Awards!

Each year, South Texas Youth Soccer takes time to acknowledge a few of the many volunteers who make youth soccer in South Texas successful. From those who handle the day-to-day operation of the club to the coaches who develop and instill in players a love of the game, to the youth referees who give back to the game so new players learn to appreciate and respect it, the service they provide is "priceless."

Since it is impossible to recognize each of the thousands of volunteers, the players, parents and coaches are afforded an opportunity to nominate those individuals who best define the word "volunteer." Six individuals were honored at the July 2011 South Texas Youth Soccer Association Awards Luncheon held in San Antonio.

  • Coach of the Year – Girls Team
  • Coach of the Year – Boys Team
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Youth Referee of the Year – Female
  • Youth Referee of the Year – Male
  • Scholar Athlete of the Year

Without the tireless devotion of these volunteer coaches to teach, lead, encourage and motivate players in practice and games this "beautiful game" could not go on. Thank you for all that you do!


COACH OF THE YEAR – GIRLS TEAM: ANDREW MEADOR

Although he has only been coaching for three years, Andrew Meador has earned the respect of the girls who have played for him along with that of their parents. His time is not spent just coaching the game; he works to build each player's confidence, both in their own ability and to use their strengths. Having fun and enjoying the soccer experience is a high priority and, by placing an emphasis on this goal, his players have embraced the teaching points and his encouragement of their ability to achieve their goals.

Andrew currently coaches in the Eclipse Soccer Club, an affiliate of Houston Youth Soccer Association. Presenting the award for the Coach of the Year-Girls Team was Eastern District Vice President Chris Delay (left) and Houston Youth Soccer Association President Mike Long (right).


COACH OF THE YEAR – BOYS TEAM: SARAH HENRICHS

Sarah Henrichs from College Station was named Coach of the Year in the Boys' Team category. Her enthusiasm; sportsmanship; positive reinforcement; calm, controlled behavior; and innovative teaching strategies have made her a role model for her players and their parents.

Having no children in the program, her involvement came solely from the love of the game and the desire to give back to the game that she has come to love through her play at the youth and college level. Whether she is working with Under-5, Under-10 or Under-15 boys, she teaches by example. Parents are expected to provide only encouraging words from the sideline; players are expected to be respectful of coaches, parents, referees and their opponents.

Presenting the award for Coach of the Year-Boys Team to Sarah Henrichs was Eastern District Vice President Chris Delay (left) and Brazos Valley Youth Soccer Association President Billy Hart (right).


VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: BARBARA BUSCH

Volunteers are the key to success. This year's Volunteer of the Year has been involved at the club level for many years and continues to give of her time and talent to make sure her club operates as seamlessly as possible.

"Barbara Busch is passionate about Westbury Soccer," was the leading statement in her nomination for this honor. The small neighborhood program that she has overseen for several years has thrived and consistently grown in participation numbers. As with most volunteer positions, she doesn't have just one job – she does whatever is needed. Manager, registrar and "ambassador" are the positions she is said to have held during her more than 10-year involvement with the club.

She has been instrumental in developing a new, in-house recreational program to promote soccer for more U10 and younger players in the community. This program is currently being extended to older players who want to play in a non-competitive environment.


YOUTH REFEREE OF THE YEAR – FEMALE: TATIANA GAVELA

Tatiana Gavela from Klein Soccer Club in Timberline Youth Soccer was recognized at the 2011 Awards Luncheon as the Female Youth Referee of the Year. Having played soccer for 13 years, she is now a referee at every level of play, recreational through premier league. She holds a Grade 8 license and displays consistency and professionalism at each level.

In addition to her soccer activities, Tatiana is a volunteer — she helps with church drives for food and clothing, serves food on Thanksgiving at a community shelter, assists with a vaccine drive with Texas Children's Hospital and is very involved in extracurricular activities at Klein Collins High School, including the National Honor Society. Her goal as a referee is to continue to develop and mentor other youth officials. After college, she hopes to become one of the premier female, Hispanic NISOA and WPSL officials.

Presenting the award for Youth Referee of the Year to Tatiana were (left to right) State Referee Administrator Steve Eells, State Youth Referee Administrator Paul Hooks, Timberline Youth Soccer Association President Hal Hutton and Eastern District Vice President Chris Delay.


YOUTH REFEREE OF THE YEAR – MALE: J.B. MAKHANI

The Male Youth Referee of the Year is a senior at Stony Point High School in Round Rock who began playing soccer in 2001 and began his referee career in 2006. J.B. Makhani holds a Grade 8 certification and is currently handling games from the recreational through premier league. His goal is to become an English Premier League official.

J.B. is a mentor/coach for youth referees and has been praised by referee administrators, assignors, assessors and fellow referees, as well as coaches. He commands respect in leadership and fair application of the rules.

His soccer participation in high school earned him "All District" and MVP honors. On the academic side, J.B. maintained a 4.0 GPA, was ranked fifth in his class of 535 and scored a 2050 on the SAT. With all of these activities, he still found time to volunteer as a camp counselor for the disabled and as a volunteer at the Austin Marathon and the 5K Red Cross Race.

Presenting the award for Youth Referee of the Year to J.B. were (left to right) State Referee Administrator Steve Eells, State Youth Referee Administrator Paul Hooks, and Western District Division One President Reeves Moore.


SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: DEAN LUTTRELL

Along with performing on the field, student athletes must also focus their attention in the classroom. This is not an easy task, as participating in soccer requires many hours of practice, scheduled games, and travel to and from both. This award was developed to recognize the accomplishments of an athlete both on and off the soccer field.

Dean Luttrell has played for the Boerne Blaze for the past three years, and plays high school soccer for Boerne Champion High School, having been a team captain on both squads. His soccer resume includes state championships both in South Texas youth play and as UIL State Champions; all-state, all-region, all-area and all-district recognition for high school play; and District MVP honors, twice.

But, this award is really about academic achievement. He maintained a 4.0 GPA; earned a 2250 SAT score including a perfect 800 math score; was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and a candidate for National Merit Scholarship: and graduated third in his class at Boerne Champion High School. He has been accepted into the Pre-Med Program at the University of Texas at Austin.

His involvement extended past the classroom and soccer field. At age 15, he finished second overall in the United States Navy Seal Fitness Challenge. He also volunteers at a homeless shelter in San Antonio, and has participated in mission trips to Mexico and Peru.

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