I recently learned that a former colleague and friend's daughter received the highest honor an amateur soccer coach could get. Keri Sarver, daughter of Karl and Joanne Sarver of North Canton, Ohio, was recently named the 2009 Coach of the Year for Girls by US Soccer. Keri as also the Region II Coach of the Year for competitive girls.
Below is an article posted about Keri by University of Maryland Athletics regarding Keri's honor:
"March 17, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, MD. - Keri Sarver, Internationals Soccer Club Girl's Coach, was named 2009 US Youth Soccer adidas Competitive Coach of the Year for Girls in Fort Worth, Texas on February 26, 2010. Sarver, of Akron, was selected by the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors after being chosen Regional Coach of the Year late last year. Zdravko Popovic, Internationals Soccer Club co-owner and Director of Coaching, expressed his delight at the award, "This is an incredible honor for Keri and our soccer club. Keri is one of the truly outstanding young soccer coaches in this country, as well as a wonderful role model for all the girls in our program."
" I am truly honored to be this year's recipient of the USYSA Girls Competitive Coach of the Year awar," said Sarver, who still holds Maryland school records for career points, goals, game-winning goals, assists and shots. "The award is a testament to the strength of our entire organization and to the commitment and dedication of our players at the Internationals Soccer Club. The experiences I had as a student-athlete at the University of Maryland played a major role in shaping who I am today as a coach and mentor to the young female athletes that I work with on a daily basis. I feel privileged to be able to share my love and passion for the game with them and help them to reach their goals on and off the field."
Sarver was recognized for this honor because she teachers her players that in addition to mastering the technical aspects of the game of soccer, they must also master the mental, physical and emotional aspects of the game to achieve success. She teaches life skills through athletics that help her protégés to be best on and off the soccer field. Keri's U-17 Girls Internationals Soccer team bought into her philosophy, leading them to compete in the 2009 US Youth Soccer National Championship in Boston in July, and win the United Soccer League Super Y League National Championship in Tampa in November. Sarver's 2009 coaching achievements consist of one national finalist, three regional finalists, and five Ohio North State Champions. A true student of the game, Sarver is a USSF "A" License coach, the first female in Ohio North to achieve this level.
Prior to coaching, Sarver was a standout player at every level. While in high school at Massillon Jackson, Sarver was a Parade All-American selection, and Akron Beacon Journal Player and Athlete of the Year. Sarver was a standout the University of Maryland from 1995-98 and was named a first team All-American by Soccer Times and the University's Athlete of the Year her senior year. Keri was a star in the classroom as well, winning the University of Maryland President's Cup Award for Academic Achievement, the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, and was a regular on the Dean's List before graduating with a Degree in Computer Science. Following graduation from college, Sarver played professional soccer with the Washington Freedom, New York Power and Carolina Courage. Sarver played her club soccer with the Cleveland Internationals, and attributes much of her success to Popovic."
Congratulations to Keri and her parents!