The below letter is a Spring Awards Update from Awards Committee Chair John Mayer as of April 16, 2020.
There are six states that play in the winter. Five of the six were able to finish their season. In Texas, the private schools were able to finish up their championships, but the public schools were just starting their championship series. They have been suspended and are hoping to have a chance to complete their season.
In the spring, we have 23 states playing high school soccer, either girls, boys, or both. Every state has been effected by the virus. Schools were closed in all the states and spring athletic seasons suspended. Since we started tracking those seasons on March 16, 12 states have cancelled all spring sports programs. The remaining await decisions on various dates as to what may or may not happen. One state does have a plan for a much shortened season if they reopen.
United Soccer Coaches is reaching out to those states on a state by state basis. We have the following programs available for players and coaches to be recognized, maybe not for this season that may or may not happen, but for all the years they have put in to their programs.
Here are the ones we hope the states and coaches will take advantage of:
High School All-America: We realize there were very little, if any, matches played, yet there are seniors that have given two/three/four years of dedicated play to their high school. Some states are still going through the nomination and voting process. We can help them by doing email blasts for nominations and the balloting. Please contact the National Chairs, Girls; John Mayer, firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Boys: Chris Miller, email@example.com.
This program also recognizes All-Region and All-State players. A state that wants to participate will be able to recognize players. The All-State is especially exciting. Without a season, newspapers will probably not recognize players. The All-State program is another way for them to receive recognition.
High School Scholar All-America: We will recognize high school seniors that have a GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0 scale. These student-athletes will need to show outstanding performance in the classroom and on the field. A member that has such a player can go to the website and find the application on the High School Awards page. The deadline for nominations is July 1. This program is headed by National Chair, Haroot Hakopian, Haroot_Hakopian@mcpsmd.org.
High School Coach of the Year: With no season being played, it is hard to decide the Coach of the Year, that got their team organized and focused to win a State Championship. This might be the year to recognize a coach that has given all he or she could to their program over the years, and for whatever the reason, always had competitive teams, just not enough to win a State Championship. The coach that has worked hard not only with the team, but the State Association, to promote and be a true leader for high school soccer. There are honors for boys and girls coaches on three different levels (Large Public, Small Public, and Private/Parochial Schools). National Chairs Doug Kidd (Girls) firstname.lastname@example.org and Kevin Denson (Boys) email@example.com will work with the states.
Senior Excellence Award: Every team has a player that truly exemplifies what high school soccer is all about. The player has a spirit and work ethic that is outstanding among his/her teammates. This year, we will allow a school up to three nominees per team.
Team Academic Award: This is for a team that compiles a GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale for the academic school year of 2019-2020. This GPA represents all the players on (or would have been on) the Varsity squad for this past school year. The application will be opened on May 18.
Coach of Significance Award: This is intended to recognize members who are coaching for character and using the soccer field to teach life lessons at the high school level. The nomination deadline has been extended to May 1.
Coaching Milestones: Any member that has reached a coaching milestone of 100, 200, 300 or more wins would be eligible for a certificate marking that achievement.
There are other opportunities for recognition and some have been directly affected by the loss of play this spring. Player of the Week, Team Ethics & Sportsmanship, and High School Weekly rankings have been suspended for this spring season. Team Pinnacle Award, which recognizes teams that have won the Team Academic Award, Team Ethics and Sportsmanship Award and has a winning record of .750 or better, will only be presented to schools that played in the fall and winter.
Other awards like the Assistant Coach of the Year and Robert W. Robinson High School Long Term Service Award will not be effected by the shutdowns. These will be awarded next fall.
So, as you can see we are still busy getting the word out that we want to recognize players, coaches and teams even in the midst of all that is happening.
All of these awards and their applications can be found on our High School Awards page: UnitedSoccerCoaches.org/awards/high-school-awards/
If you have any questions, please email me.
Stay safe and healthy,
Awards Committee Chair
HS Girls All-America National Chair