Volunteers with Laguna Beach’s AYSO won the cheers from the sidelines at an annual dinner recognizing their contribution to the organization that provides a city-wide soccer youth program open to all ages and skills.
Denise Coury’s 15 years of volunteer service as treasurer and secretary received the first award of the night.
Peter Weisbrod, one of the original volunteers that helped start the Laguna Beach region over 35 years ago, was awarded referee of the year. Weisbrod has continued to volunteer over the years and officiated over 26 games this fall season.
The coach of the year award went to Ole Nielsen, who has had unprecedented success with Blue Laguna, an U12 girls team which went on to the FLEX Extra gaming circuit and Pacific Soccer Club. This fall, the team won their division again giving up only four goals the entire season.
Sam Eidt, a father of three soccer players, received the volunteer of the year award. Seven years ago, Eidt began volunteering as a referee and soccer coach for his oldest daughter’s team. For the past four years, he has been on the AYSO board serving as a division manager and coach administrator. This past year, he managed 11 age divisions, which involved recruiting division managers, educating coaches and setting up the teams. He also volunteered on his children’s teams, coaching a U14 girls team and assisting on a U12 boys and U16 girls team.
“Receiving this award was great,’’ said Eidt, “but the greatest reward is, year after year, watching the kids pull together and play as a team. The most important thing to me is making sure that every child who wants to play soccer has to opportunity to do so.”
Regional Commissioner Alan Caserio presented the awards and others to volunteer on and off the soccer field. “We owe all of our volunteers a debt of gratitude. Without them, we could not provide this fantastic youth soccer program to our children. We are blessed to have them.”
If you are interested in volunteering for AYSO, please visit AYSO86.org/volunteers/sign-up.