Honoring Great Accomplishment in Soccer: Surf Network Award Winners
The youth soccer landscape has shifted with a new and clearer focus on stronger and larger affiliations and partnerships offering greater resources and better structure for creating player development environments.
The Surf Cup Sports network of Surf youth soccer clubs has expanded remarkably, partially due to the strength of the nationally recognized brand but also in response to the careful and planned growth of the organization’s affiliate program.
Selecting like-minded and committed clubs to share the Surf brand, the internationally known Surf brand has fostered a player-centric approach with a healthy approach to competitive soccer.
With access to the legendary Surf Cup competitions, being part of the Best of the Best is a responsibility shouldered best by those committed to growing the game with respect. Saluting this philosophy, the organization has launched the Surf Network Awards.
The Surf Soccer Network saw tremendous growth in the 2017/18 season, both in terms of adding new clubs and players and bringing all those involved together in ways which will help shape the future of the network.
New Surf youth soccer clubs in California and Washington are already taking advantage of being part of the organization’s vast network, creating Select Teams, enjoying the first-ever Surf Summit in North Carolina, and using the Surf brand name to increase the quality and appeal of their events.
“It’s been an amazing year for expansion,” said Chris Adams, who oversees the Affiliate network program for Surf Soccer. “We know that this growth and success is a reflection of all the people in our Surf network who put in tireless work each day to grow the game and develop young players.’
“We, at Surf, wanted to recognize this commitment to excellence, and believe it is important to congratulate and thank the people who are helping make the Surf brand so strong on the field and in the communities all across the USA,” said Adams.
Earlier this year, players, coaches, and members of the Surf Network submitted nominations for various categories including Coach of the Year, Players of the Year, and members who made great impacts in the community, as well. The Surf Cup Sports Board also recognized the top club and director in the network.
“We received over 100 nominations, which really made us appreciate the true impact that these great people are having on their clubs and communities,” said Bryan Thistle, VP of Surf Cup Sports. “Each category was a tough decision, and we appreciate everyone who was nominated.”
The 2018 Surf Network Award Winners:
2018 Surf Soccer Club of the Year: Hawaii Surf Soccer Club
Hawaii Surf has seen great success since joining Surf with just a small handful of teams back in 2013.
Now as the premier girls club to play for in Hawaii and a rebuilt boys side, Hawaii Surf had 22 players sign to college programs, more than any other club in the state.
The current Pac-12 Student-Athlete of the Year is a former Hawaii Surf player.
Under the tireless efforts of Executive Director Shawn Kuroda and his excellent coaching staff, Hawaii Surf has won multiple Surf Cup Super Black championships, had girls guest play with San Diego Surf, Surf Select, and Crossfire FC.
Even more impressive, in 2017 and 2018, Hawaii Surf was home to back-to-back Gatorade Players of Year; Kaile Halvorsen (G00) and Emi Higgins (G01).
“Since becoming a part of Surf Soccer Club, the level of excitement and commitment to the club has been off the charts. We are proud to be a part of the Surf Soccer Club family.” – Shawn Kuroda, President, Hawaii Surf
“Hawaii continually produces top talent, and the club is like a true family. It’s one of my favorite parts of Surf Cup, watching the Hawaii Surf parents and players come together,” said Adams. “Hawaii Surf travels in this huge pack and they are always laughing, smiling, and dancing. Then these teams crossed the white line on the soccer field and they play really well. It’s great to see that these players and coaches all love being part of Hawaii Surf. I feel that this club culture is hard to come by and deserves to be celebrated.”
2018 Surf Soccer Director of the Year: Jeff Jenkins, San Jose Surf Soccer Club
San Jose Surf joined Surf in early 2017 based on the recommendation of several San Diego Surf coaches letting us know that Jeff Jenkins would be a great addition to the network. They were correct.
“Every club director in our network is amazing, and that’s often times the reason we choose to work with these clubs, but to see the impact that Jeff has made in his short time with Surf is really remarkable,” said Thistle. “One of the top criteria in the application process is the drive, determination, and quality of the clubs’ Director of Coaching, but we were astonished to witness the impact that Jeff has made in his short time with Surf.”
A coach with an exceptional eye for talent and experience at all levels of soccer including MLS Academies and Division I programs, Jenkins was able to take a small number of teams and his coaching connections and quickly build a program that now has been accepted into the USSDA. One of the exceptional features of the San Jose Surf DA is that it is fully funded. And, the club also held the first-ever Surf Cup Qualifier in NorCal, Copa Surf (olders) and Copita Surf (youngers).
Jenkins also introduced two new and very promising clubs into the Surf family of Affiliates. Both youth soccer clubs are in NorCal; Central Valley Surf (formerly Central Valley Monarcas) and Walnut Creek Surf (formerly Walnut Creek SC).
“San Jose Surf has more than doubled in size since joining, and Jeff is constantly involved with the network, bringing in fresh ideas and perspectives. He calls me almost every day with a question or idea to continue making the Surf brand stronger in NorCal and across the entire USA,” said Chris Adams.
2018 Surf Boys Coach of the Year: Seth Swenson, Utah Surf
Seth Swenson is the Boys Director and coach of several teams at Utah Surf and received numerous nominations from Utah Surf members.
Swenson focuses on player development, especially at younger ages, rather than on wins and losses.
“Seth uses soccer to teach the players life lessons and practice is designed around a growth mindset, where mistakes are expected and celebrated. If they aren’t making any mistakes, they aren’t working hard enough and it they are making too many mistakes, they need to take a step back to a more simpler approach,” said a happy Utah Surf parent.
Aside from coaching his 07 and 08 boys, who had several strong showings in the State Premier League and various tournaments, including a championship at Dixie Cup 2017, Swenson is often seen observing and helping other boys teams throughout the club.
“Seth’s dedication to the players of our club cannot be understated. Not only does he develop quality soccer players, he is a mentor and role model for these young men off the field, as well. He embodies what it means to be a coach, and we’re so lucky to have him on our staff,” said Blaine Hale, Executive Director of Utah Surf.
2018 Surf Girls Coach of the Year: Kirsten “Kirsty” Adams, Hawaii Surf
It’s not surprising that a club as successful as Hawaii Surf has tremendous coaches. Kirtsy Adams is the coach of Hawaii Surf’s 05 and 06 age groups.
Adams’ teams have had tremendous success in high-profile tournaments such as the prestigious Surf Cup, the Vegas Mayor’s Cup, and the Hawaii USYS Regional Tournament.
In a state where constant competition can be hard to come by, Kirsty’s teams regularly play up in age groups to further challenge themselves.
She had three of her players compete with the All-Surf Select Team at Manchester City Cup, including the team’s MVP and top scorer, where the team enjoyed a clean sweep of their division on the way to a championship.
“Kirsty just does things differently. She’s always pushing her girls to be extraordinary, never ordinary! And, she does it with a smile on her face. It’s coaches like Kirsty that make Hawaii Surf a special place to play,” said Shawn Kuroda, Director of Hawaii Surf.
2018 Surf Boys Player of the Year: John Rudnicki, San Clemente Surf
John Rudnicki has been playing soccer in San Clemente since he first moved to the area from Chicago at age 9.
Now at age 16, he has developed into a true club player, showing exceptional talent and an incredible dedication to his team, coaches, and other members of the club, including three younger brothers.
As a sophomore, John was called up to play varsity for San Clemente High School, one of the most athletically talented schools in the nation, and helped them reach the state finals.
For Surf, John has been a standout player and team captain that is able to play anywhere on the field. He regularly travels to play with other Surf Affiliate clubs for various events. When not on the field for his Surf or high school team, he can often be found helping San Clemente Surf coaches run sessions and camps for younger teams.
“There isn’t a player who better epitomizes what it means to be a teammate and a true athlete better than John Rudnicki,” said San Clemente Surf Director Chris Murray.
2018 Surf Girls Player of the Year – Jadenn Carrillo, Anaheim Surf
Jadenn Carrillo is a captain long-time Anaheim Surf player who has been the club’s leading scorer every year since playing in the U12 age group.
Now a high school senior, Jadenn continues to shine for Surf. Scoring 17 goals in league play for Anaheim, she was also called up to play with OC Surf’s (formerly West Coast FC) ECNL program, where she also led the team in scoring.
Outside of Surf, Jadenn led her high school team to a league championship, their first 20 win season, and to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history. She scored 26 goals for her high school team this past fall.
Off the field, Jadenn is also a coach at Chapman University Panther Soccer Camp every summer, maintains a very high GPA, and is involved in various extracurriculars. She embodies what it means to be a highly motivated and talented Surf soccer player.
2018 Surf Student-Athlete of the Year – Taylor “TV” Venenciano, Hawaii Surf
Developing talented players on the field is important, but it’s more important to develop quality young men and women through the sport. That’s why Surf wants to celebrate the off-field accomplishments of Taylor “TV” Venenciano of Hawaii Surf.
TV is a G2001 Hawaii Surf player who has been playing at a very high level for the club since 2009. She captains her high school’s State Champions team, where she receives All-State and All-Conference honors. But her off-field accomplishments are even more impressive.
TV, a rising Junior with a 4.29 GPA, is her class President and recently scored 1500 on her SATs. She’s an academic who has made The Headmaster’s List each quarter since the 6th grade. TV is a college hopeful with a desire to study physics. Congratulations, TV.
Surf Commitment to Community Award – Doug Swanson, Orange County Surf
Doug Swanson is an Orange County Surf coach who coaches the club’s 07 Academy and the DA teams of the 03 and 06 age groups.
During the past several years, Doug has taken his teams to volunteer for Soccer for Hope, a local nonprofit that provides health care to children and raises its funds through camps and various activities throughout Orange County.
Swanson is a continual supporter of the cause and can often be seen with his teams at Soccer for Hope events.
“Since its inception, Soccer For Hope has benefited thousands of children and their families across the U.S. In the last 18 years they have raised over $2.5 million dollars for hospitals and foundations nationwide. They host a variety of events from soccer camps & inspiration walks to gala dinners & movie screenings. Their hope is to continue these efforts along with raising awareness for the many orphan centers that receive little or no funding.” Quoted from their website.
For more information please visit SoccerForHope
The Surf Soccer Network is all Surf clubs excluding including San Diego Surf.