US Youth Soccer Announces 2009 Regional Recreation Coach of the Year Award Winners

FRISCO, Texas (Feb. 10, 2010) – US Youth Soccer announces the regional winners of the 2009 US Youth Soccer Boys and Girls Recreation Coach of the Year awards. The Recreation Coach of the Year is awarded to a recreation coach for both a boys team and a girls team for his or her coaching activities, sportsmanship, player development, personal coaching development and citizenship.
The national Boys and Girls Recreation Coach of the Year award winners will be announced at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala on Friday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop in Fort Worth, Texas.
Regional winners are listed below:
Girls Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Darrell Lemmerman – Northboro, Mass.
Darrell Lemmerman has been coaching for over 10 years and in that time has instilled a strong work ethic and sense of sportsmanship within his players. He places winning second and individual player development first for his teams in Nashoba Valley. Lemmerman’s players attest that in the 10 years he has been coaching their team, every practice has been fun and enjoyable. Lemmerman tailors drills based on players’ individual strengths and weaknesses to help them achieve their personal goals for improvement.
Region II – Kandy Smith – Pierre, S.D.
Kandy Smith’s sportsmanship not only spills over to her players, but also to the parents of Capitol Area Soccer Association. She creates a learning environment and has even become a teacher and mentor to other coaches in the community looking for drills to build player development. Smith’s philosophy for soccer is teach them and they will learn, help them and they will grow, encourage them and they will go far. With this, the USSF “C” License coach is always positively promoting soccer. 
Region III – Michael Wood – Broken Arrow, Okla.
Michael Wood always has an encouraging word to share and gives his time to impact the development and lives of his players at Broken Arrow Soccer Club. A USSF “D” License coach, Wood strives to get the best out of players while working to improve their fundamentals, skills and understanding of the game. After 12 years of coaching, he continues to value sportsmanship. At the beginning of each season, Wood communicates the responsibilities of players and parents with one key aspect being no negative comments.
Region IV – Eric Johnson – Redding, Calif.-North
Eric Johnson uses his voice as a coach with Redding Youth Soccer League to encourage and mentor his players, leading to them always playing with class and dignity – win, lose or draw. He organizes open field nights to bring together players of all ages and skill levels to play for fun and enjoy the game. Johnson, a USSF “D” License coach, mentors more than just his players by participating in training of new coaches who are studying for USSF “E” and “F” Licenses.
Boys Recreation Coach of the Year regional award winners:
Region I – Nduna Gora – Irvington, N.J. 
Nduna Gora possesses the desire to share his passion for soccer. He found the ultimate outlet to express it in Irvington, N.J., where his goal was to provide youth with a positive outlet through soccer, creating the Our Youth Soccer Academy Warriors. He began from scratch, first securing land for a field that was formerly for high school baseball. Gora, a USSF “E” License coach and certified USSF referee, is a true ambassador for the game, making it available to youth who would not otherwise have the opportunity.
Region II – Robert Peddicord – Johnston, Iowa
Robert “Bud” Peddicord of Johnston Soccer Club is the type of coach who instills such a passion for soccer in his players that even after a long practice, his players return home and continue kicking around the ball. He makes it a priority to tell players how proud he is of their hard work and courage to help boost self-confidence. Peddicord has also extended soccer into his community with a summer pick-up game program, Friday Night Soccer, for children of all ages and skill levels.
Region III – Nick Magnano – LaCompte, La. 
Nick Magnano is a USSF “D” License coach whose enthusiasm is contagious, causing his players to show a true love for the game whether on or off the field. He is an excellent role model as he goes above and beyond, not only coaching, but volunteering as the president of Crossroads Soccer Association. Whether it’s volunteering to referee when one is missing, or putting up corner flags, lining fields or repairing nets, Magnano is always giving back to the game.
Region IV – Jackie Zlokovich – Crescent City, Calif.-North
Jackie Zlokovich has been coaching for over 20 years, impacting the lives of players and parents. She focuses on fundamentals, good sportsmanship and respect. When her soccer association was short on coaches, she recruited other parents and taught them the skills they needed to become a coach. Because of this, no child has been turned away from Del Norte Youth Soccer for a lack of coaches. Zlokovich is known for her dedication to the welfare and education of her players.
For more information about the US Youth Soccer’s Recreation Coach of the Year award or the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop, visit

Updated 02-10-2010

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