Every year Somerville Youth Soccer honors volunteers who have gone the extra mile for our organization with the Above & Beyond Award. We're thrilled to announce the three 2020 winners of this award:
From Ben Kauffman:
Anyone who knows Ellenor has at some point asked, "How the heck does she do it all?" Mother of three active kids; avid (and speedy!) distance runner; longtime community advocate, now Somerville School Committee member; and devoted soccer volunteer. Most of us have wondered how there seems to be more time in her days than there are in our own. Somerville Youth Soccer is very fortunate to have had several years' worth of Ellenor coordinating the Pre-K/Kindergarten (U5/U6) program -- as well as coaching her own kids' teams (because Ellenor).
She sweats the small stuff, and gets the details right, but never loses sight of the big picture: that soccer should bring us together, and be a fun, inclusive, learning experience for all -- kids, coaches, and parents alike. Thank you, Ellenor. We are a better soccer community for your service!
From Beth Balter, who nominated Chuck:
Coach Chuck Lounsberry retired this past spring, after 18 consecutive seasons coaching his daughter's teams. Full disclosure, I coached with Chuck for many of those seasons, so I am about as biased as a person can be. But I’m sure anyone who knows Chuck—particularly the parents of the lucky girls he coached over the years—would agree that he was an outstanding and dedicated coach.
Whether hauling equipment, moving goals, or driving to Dracut at 8 AM on any given Saturday, Chuck showed up week in and week out with humor and humility. Equal parts kind, even-keeled, self-deprecating, and knowledgeable, Chuck was gifted at teaching soccer skills in ways that kids could understand and implement, enabling them to grow exponentially as players and teammates. He quietly made an indelible mark on Somerville Youth Soccer, and -- for my part -- it was an honor and a joy to coach alongside him. Most importantly, Chuck helped foster a love of the game within countless girls who looked up to him, listened to him, laughed with him and learned from him.
From Jake Wilson, who nominated Andrew:
This fall marks the first time since 2005 that Andrew Platt isn't volunteering in some capacity for Somerville Youth Soccer. He started out coaching his son's U5 (now Pre-K) team, and over the years has coached at every possible age and been an age director or coordinator at every possible age. He's also served as a Travel Program Director and is the Immediate Past President, having served as SYS President from 2016 to 2018. During his time as President, Andrew also assumed the Registrar role and served as interim Fields Director -- all while coaching and operating his family business.
Andrew ensured that SYS kept running smoothly despite mid-year turnover of key board positions and took on an incredible amount of work and responsibility in the process. He did so with a healthy dose of humor and level-headedness, providing leadership during a tumultuous period for our organization that saw crucial fields at Lincoln Park and Conway Park go offline for extended periods. Somerville Youth Soccer owes Andrew a massive debt of gratitude for his service over all these years.
In recognition of everything Andrew has contributed to Somerville Youth Soccer, the SYS board of directors has voted to rename these awards the Andrew Platt Above & Beyond Awards going forward.