Mass Youth Coaches Win Regional Honors


David Suvak

Two coaches in Mass Youth Soccer have been honored by Region I as Regional Coaches of the Year for 2009.

David Suvak, Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association's Girls Competitive Coach of the Year, has been selected as the Region I Girls Competitive Coach of the Year, while Darrell Lemmerman, the state's Girls Recreation Coach of the Year, has been selected as the Region I Girls Recreation Coach of the Year.

In addition to their Regional awards, both Suvak and Lemmerman will be the Region I nominees for the US Youth Soccer National Awards in their respective categories, to be announced at the next month's US Youth Soccer Gala in Fort Worth, Texas. Along with the other regional winners from around the country, Suvak and Lemmerman will receive their Regional honors at the Gala, held in conjunction with the US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop and Coaches Convention.

Of Suvak, Region I Director Bob Palmeiro said, "We were most certainly impressed with his countless years of dedication to coaching youth players."

The Executive Director of Soccer at Sachems FC, Suvak led Sachem's U17 girls team to state, regional and national titles in the 2009 US Youth Soccer President's Cup, defeating Cal-South by a 2-1 margin in extra time.

Suvak, who is also an assistant head coach at Emerson College and a Mass Youth ODP staff coach, holds both a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Advanced Diploma and a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) National "C" License, and has coached for more than 20 years at the collegiate, high school and youth levels.

A native of Winchester a member of the town's Hall of Fame, Suvak was a three-year starter for Boston College from 1984-87, where he was named team MVP in '86. Suvak continued his playing career in the Luso American Soccer Association (LASA) for the next six years, before turning down a contract offer from the Boston Bolts to pursue a career in architecture.

Like Suvak, Lemmerman has also served the Mass Youth Community for a number of years. A resident of Northboro, Lemmerman has coached the Northboro Panthers for the past 10 years, culminating in a U18 State Championship at the 2009 Massachusetts Tournament of Champions. He holds a National "D" license and a referee's license, and has led his squad to three Massachusetts Tournament of Champions Final Fours, including last year's win.

For the success Lemmerman's teams have had on the pitch, the Panthers' parents and players insist that their true successes have been measured off the field, where the basic lessons taught by Lemmerman — hard work, preparation, teamwork and taking responsibility for yourself and your own actions — have had a much more long-lasting effect.

In his nomination letter for State Recreational Coach of the Year — a letter signed by every one of the Northboro Panthers — his players wrote, "[Darrell] was always there before, during and after practices to answer our questions or help us work on skills we wanted to improve. He taught us everything, from fundamentals to finesse, challenging us to strive for the next level. As much as we wanted to win [the State Tournament this year] for ourselves, we wanted to win it for him. While it hardly repays him for everything he has done for us throughout the years, it was the most meaningful gift we could give him.

It is sad that this will be the last year he will be out coach, but we will always remember the lessons he taught us — play with poise, play with heart and never give up."

Congratulations to both of these outstanding coaches! For more information on how YOU can nominate a deserving coach, administrator or volunteer for Mass Youth Soccer's 2010 annual awards, visit www.mayouthsoccer.org.