Volunteers of the Year honored at gala


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Each year, hundreds of volunteers give thousands of hours of their precious time to help young athletes realize the benefits of playing the greatest sport on earth. Every year, we recognize some of the stand-out volunteers who have gone above and beyond the high expectations we hold for our volunteers. This is not an honor we take lightly. Through their dedication, demeanor and positive approach to their players and the game, they are leading examples of the standard we hope all of our volunteers can achieve. On behalf of all of the children they have helped, CYSA and the Idaho Rush Soccer Club thank these volunteers for everything they do. Their time and passion is greatly appreciated by all who see tham at work.
2011 Volunteers of the Year
Blue Standard Award -- Tom and Denae Kudera
The Blue Standard Award is given to the coach or volunteer who best exemplifies the values, ethics and dedication to children all Rush coaches strive to achieve.
From the staff: For both Tom and Denae, life is soccer. They are both very passionate about the game and they even met through soccer over 16 years ago. Tom was asked to coach a women’s team that Denae happen to play on. Four kids later, they both find themselves coaching teams in the Recreation, Select and Competitive programs with Rush. In addition, Tom also runs goalkeeper training for our junior players. We truly appreciate all the energy and time that they put into developing our youth players both on and off the field.
  • Teams: Rec boys U8 Chivas, Select girls U10 Dynamo, Competitive boys U12 Black, staff goalkeeper coach
  • Years coaching youth soccer: Tom: 20+, Denae: Seven.
  • Your favorite part of working in youth soccer: Our favorite part is, no doubt, the relationships you form with these young kids and being able to develop their character as well as their soccer skills. This is also the reason why we volunteer.



Recreation Boys Coach of the Year -- Phil Upton-Rowley
  • Team: U12 boys Black Lightning 
  • Years coaching: Five.
  • Your favorite part of coaching: Seeing the boys gain confidence and skill, bonding as friends and teammates while supporting each other on the field.
  • Best moment of the past season: My favorite moment of each season has to be "that game" -- the game during which everything finally "clicks" for the boys.  The skills they are practicing fall into place and they realize that, yes, passing equals scoring opportunities!! Its is the game in which they finally become a team.
  • Why I volunteer: 1) My son loves to play, and 2) I enjoy interacting with the youth.
Phil Upton-Rowley

Recreation Girls Coach of the Year -- Kim Peterson
  • Team: U7 girls River Valley; U10 girls Pioneer.
  • Years coaching youth soccer: Five.
  • Favorite part of coaching: I love to see the girls laugh, have fun and improve throughout the season.  I also enjoy it when you see the click when they understand a new concept or just tried a new move/ tactic and it worked for them.
  • Best moment of the past season: It is hard to pick just one, so here are a few: when one of my girls tried a new move during a game and then looked over to me to make sure I saw them; I love seeing the girls play around before/ after practice or games laughing and running together; when the girls don't want to leave practice because they are having too much fun; I love to watch the last practice of the season when we have the girls play their parents and show off for them; I love to watch how someone's confidence grows over a season as they gain new skills and recieve positive feedback.
  • Why I volunteer: I volunteer so that I can share my love of soccer with my daughters and the other girls. I enjoy watching the girls build confidence in themselves as they become better players throughout the season.

Recreation Volunteer of the Year -- Amy and Mike Edmondson
  • Team: U12 girls Central Boise; U8 girls Mountain View.
  • Years involved in soccer: Four.
  • Your favorite part of volunteering: (Amy) At this level, all kids are important and all kids get to play. I absolutely love having the kids gain skills and confidence during the season, so that by the end of the season they feel like they are a stud player…which they are. (Mike) Watching the kids overcome adversity and finding out they can do “it”.  “It” can be surviving the exertion of playing their first half of a soccer match or finally scoring that goal or getting an assist.
  • Best moment of the past season: (Amy) With the older kids, it was having the kids string together five passes and score -- and it all started with a girl who was trying to figure out a new position. With the younger kids it was having a kid "click" with the defensive position, and play it amazing (when earlier in the season she was picking daisies). (Mike) Watching the Coach, my wife Amy, handle a tricky situation with an irate parent.  She kept the focus on the kids and their preparations to play the match and was firm and assertive with an out-of-line parent.
  • Why I volunteer: (Amy) I like kids and I like soccer. Since I have played the sport for years, I feel like I should be passing this love on to the other kids.  Plus, my kids still like me coaching their teams, so I’ll enjoy that! (Mike) A man by the name of Bob Wheeland volunteered and coached the Roadrunners, my team, when I was a youth soccer player.  Bob didn’t have any experience and he never played; he just made it happen for all of us. If someone doesn’t get off the couch and volunteer then there won’t be any youth soccer!



Select Boys Coach of the Year -- Aaron Billingsley
  • Team: U9 girls Centennial; U14 boys Killer Gummy Bears.
  • Years coaching youth soccer: Ten.
  • Your favorite part of coaching: My favorite part of working with youth soccer are those moments when I watch players utilize something I've shown them and they find their own success.
  • Best moment of the past season: The best moment of the past season was during a game with the Boise High team when we were leading going into the half. Although we eventually lost a hard fought game, it was the first time that our young fledgling team saw "the light" of what was possible when we played our game..
  • Coaching philosophy: I volunteer because it is a privilege to be a part of these kids' lives as they pursue their dreams and follow their passions.

Select Girls Coach of the Year -- John Egan
  • Team: U10 girls Piranhas; U12 boys Thunder
  • Years coaching: Eight.
  • Your favorite part of coaching: Spending time with my kids.
  • Best moment of the past season: Winning the Field of Screams tournament.
  • Why I volunteer: Its just a lot of fun and a great way to deal with a stressful day at work.

Select Volunteer of the Year -- Tim and Tammi Riecker
  • Team: U19 girls Ada Valley FC.
  • Years involved in youth soccer: Eleven.
  • Your favorite part of volunteering: Developing kids as individuals, while teaching them the game of soccer. Also getting kids to play the game that wouldn't normally have the opportunity to do so.
  • Best moment of the past season: Winning my very first game as a head coach. In the past I have never won a game as a head coach. I have won as an assistant coach, but never as a head coach until last season. We finished the season with five wins and seven losses. Not a bad season!
  • Why I volunteer: I have been involved in soccer for so long now, I couldn't think of anything I would rather do than to coach. I have also played the game on a men's league for eight years. I had to have neck surgery a while back and can no longer play. Also, due to my job, I had to quit coaching at Columbia High School which was my last coaching opportunity. When the idea of the Select program came up, I jumped at the chance. It was my opportunity to get back into coaching soccer. As I see it, volunteering was my best option to do what I love more than anything in the world, and that is to coach Youth Soccer. I wish I could give everything up today and just coach soccer,  that would be perfect!
Tim and Tammi Riecker

Competitive Boys Coach of the Year -- Will Fahsholtz
  • Team: U11 boys Silver.
  • Years coaching: Seven.
  • Best moment of past season: The 2011 President’s Cup marked the end of two years with the same team and was to be my last time coaching them. It is always special to see the kids play their best at the end of the season and they did just that. Not only did they play attractive and entertaining soccer, but they were rewarded for their effort by going undefeated and winning their only championship in that two year span..
  • Why I volunteer: Someone was always there coaching me while I was growing up through soccer. I just feel it is my turn to share my experience, knowledge and passion for soccer to a new generation of players.
Fahsholtz Will April 2008

Competitive Girls Coach of the Year -- John Gwin
  • Team: U11 girls Blue.
  • Your favorite part of volunteering: Seeing kids get a sense they are part of something bigger than themselves; seeing kids realize and get excited they can do something they thought was very difficult if not impossible.
  • Best moment of the past season: Kids making up and memorizing their own cheer after practice together; riding to games with 13 10-year-old girls alternately singing Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj or Flo Rida and chanting the the above mentioned cheers as loud as they can ... now that's funny; our preseason run along the flooded Boise River last spring; Several great small-sided games during evening practices when the kids didn't want to stop and go home; two specific goals where every touch from our goalkeeper to the opponents goal seemed very thoughtful, purposeful and confident.  I can remember them like they just happened.
  • Why I volunteer: This really isn't volunteering since I feel like I get as much or more from the kids as I am able to give them. I'm definitely on the positive side of the ledger.

Competitive Volunteer of the Year -- Tracie Johnson
  • Teams: U11 boys Silver.
  • Years involved in youth soccer: Seven.
  • Your favorite part of volunteering: My favorite part of working with youth soccer is seeing the kids glow after they've mastered a new skill or won a big game, and I love getting to know all the coaches and parents behind each team.
  • Best moment of the past season: The best moment of 2011 was when the team traveled to a summer tournament and then got to participate in the opening flag ceremony at a Portland Timbers game - that was awesome!
  • Why I volunteer: I volunteer because I know it takes a lot of people to make organizations like Rush work and provide the best program for the kids.  I volunteer because I get to meet other parents and adults who love working with kids and help the kids develop into strong, confident individuals.  I volunteer because I know the time with my own kids will go by quickly and I want to enjoy every moment with them.

2010 Volunteers of the Year
Rec -- Boys Coach of the Year  Bryan Simpson 
Rec -- Girls Coach of the Year  Kip Ladd 
Rec -- Volunteer of the Year  Eric and Anne Allen 
Select -- Boys Coach of the Year  Mike Knoll 
Select -- Girls Coach of the Year  James Brighten 
Select -- Volunteer of the Year  Jerry Brenkmann 
Comp -- Boys Coach of the Year  J.R. Wind 
Comp -- Girls Coach of the Year  Shelley Schilz 
Comp -- Volunteer of the Year  Debbis Poole 
Blue Standard Award Steve Garcia 

2009 Volunteers of the Year
Rec -- Boys Coach of the Year  Troy Allen 
Rec -- Girls Coach of the Year  Craig Forsdick 
Rec -- Volunteer of the Year  Sandi Francis 
Select -- Boys Coach of the Year  Peter Vaughn 
Select -- Girls Coach of the Year  Kris Samer 
Select -- Volunteer of the Year  Beth Allen 
Comp -- Boys Coach of the Year  Jake Spencer 
Comp -- Girls Coach of the Year  Ric Gale
Comp -- Volunteer of the Year  Szabina Revelle 
Blue Standard Award Mike Schlag

2008 Volunteers of the Year
Rec -- Boys Coach of the Year  Kim Stasny-Herbold 
Rec -- Girls Coach of the Year  Kent Hembree 
Rec -- Volunteer of the Year  Brenda Kramer 
Select -- Boys Coach of the Year  Zach Yunker 
Select -- Girls Coach of the Year  Mike Schlag 
Select -- Volunteer of the Year  Josh Lane 
Comp -- Boys Coach of the Year  Bill Reimers
Comp -- Girls Coach of the Year  Brian Shields 
Comp -- Volunteer of the Year  Kathy Ball 
Blue Standard Award  Shaun Dunn

2007 Volunteers of the Year
Rec -- Boys Coach of the Year Lori Dingle
Rec -- Girls Coach of the Year Lance Teel
Rec -- Volunteer of the Year Cynthia Bennett
Select -- Boys Coach of the Year Dave Spurling
Select -- Girls Coach of the Year Robyn Madaras-Kelly
Select -- Volunteer of the Year Heather Koepecky
Comp -- Boys Coach of the Year Dennis Hasanovic
Comp -- Girls Coach of the Year Stephen Lynch
Comp -- Volunteer of the Year Margaret Hepworth
Blue Standard Award Gary Kincaid
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