Region II TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year
2016: Larissa Marielle Seibt | Chicago, Ill.
A TOPSoccer Buddy for the past six years, Larissa Marielle Seibt was one of the first, original buddies for Chicago TOPSoccer. She is a four-year varsity starter and team captain of her high school soccer and swim teams. Seibt has an undeniable interest in helping others succeed and improve their knowledge and skillset in the game of soccer. Seibt is also a member of the National Honor Society at her high school.
2015: Claire Bieber | Georgetown, Ky.
Claire Bieber has been an invaluable part of the Lexington Youth Soccer Association TOPSoccer program since she began volunteering as a buddy in 2012. She has spent over 200 hours with the program and often shows up early to help set up necessary materials and ensure smooth practices. Bieber helps two teams and has learned it doesn’t take an exceptional player or expert in special needs to help young kids play soccer and enjoy their day.
2014: Gordon Gardiner | Shelby Township, Mich.
When Rochester SC’s TOPSoccer program was about to fold, Gordon Gardiner stepped in and raised awareness through advertising, making phone calls and getting information to schools to help keep it the program active. Typically a competitive coach, Gordon enjoys having fun and giving back to the TOPSoccer athletes, who call him “Shrek.” Gordon believes all kids should have a chance to play soccer, and his efforts have provided that opportunity for many individuals in his community.
2013: Lauren Wimer | Warren, Ohio
For the past 10 years, Lauren Wimer has been a reliable and dependable volunteer for her local US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program. She started her involvement when her brother played in the program and has continued to work as a buddy long after he stopped playing. Lauren has helped make sure every child gets a chance to play and has promoted the game in the community. She is also involved in several school clubs and volunteers at the local Children’s Rehabilitation Center.
2012: Alyssa King | Lexington, Ky.
Alyssa King is a valuable member of the Lexington Youth Soccer Association TOPSoccer program, as she has extensive knowledge of soccer and completed an undergraduate degree in special education from the University of Kentucky in December. King has a passion for helping individuals with disabilities and wasn’t afraid to take on a coaching role despite her already busy schedule. She also is a member of the advisory committee and has organized events to promote TOPSoccer in the community.
2011: Annie Dunbar | Lexington, Ky.
2010: Jeff Mueller | Minneapolis, Minn.
Since 2004, Jeff Mueller has been a US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy and coach, establishing strong relationships with the players and their parents. His generosity paired with the time and energy he puts into his TOPSoccer team is evident to his players creating a welcoming atmosphere. Mueller makes a point to be a part of the players' lives in addition to scheduled practices by hosting FIFA World Cup watching parties and giving individual lessons outside of practice.
2009: Lauren Lawless | Topeka, Kan. (National Winner)
Lauren Lawless, a four-year student athlete at Washburn University, has been with Topeka TOPSoccer since its inception. She leads practices for six to eight-year-olds and serves as liaison between the program and Washburn University. As liaison, she coordinated a TOPSoccer night at a Washburn University women's soccer game to honor members of TOPSoccer. Lawless is determined to see the program grow and has encouraged several college teammates to volunteer. To end the first season, she sent handwritten notes to thank players for their participation.