American Youth Soccer Organization Region 1641 holds soccer awards ceremony

A big “THANK YOU!” spelled out with poster board letters says it all at the American Youth Soccer Organization Region 1641 awards event Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Hamilton school fields. Diane Sieker photo

The American Youth Soccer Organization Region 1641 held their awards ceremonies at the Hamilton school fields Saturday, Nov. 11.

Excited, brightly uniformed children received the coveted soccer medals and participation certificates from their coaches, amid a huge mass of chaos with crowds of happy children and proud parents, grandparents and siblings milling around in total celebration and elation.

AYSO Regional Commissioner Brooke Blackmore took all this commotion in stride as she commanded the microphone and made her announcements heard above the fray. Coaches gathered their teams together to pass out the awards and pose for pictures.

The teams arranged themselves just long enough to gather together in a huge group and display a large “THANK YOU!” sign created by individual poster boards with the letters spelling out the message and held aloft by parents and coaches.

Verissa King said later on social media, “I just want to give a big shoutout to Brook and Brian Blackmore (and the rest of the board) for taking the reins of the AYSO organization up here and doing an amazing job – it was a fantastic season!”

After the excitement of the awards died down, some of the teams dispersed onto the green fields to play some last games.

Coaches for the AYSO Region 1641 are Daniel Betts – Playground; Chris Freel – Playground; Brian Linderholm – 6U; Tesse Benson – 6U; Garrett Dunn – 8U; Pam Thrapp – 8U; Don Salazar – 8U; Adil and Brittany Nasseer – 8U; Tara Butchart – 10U; Kelli Hacket – 10U; Vicente Ramirez – 10U; Steve Fichtelman – 10U; Brian Blackmore – 14U; Ashley Markert – 14U; Jenny Villalobos – 14U and Belinda Molloy – 14U.

Later that evening, AYSO provided a lasagna dinner to sponsors at the Anza Pizza Factory. Families joined in the fun, enjoying pizza and chatting with the sponsors.

“We packed the house and had a fun time celebrating our season,” Blackmore said with a sheepish grin. “We also created a very long wait for other patrons that were caught unaware of our party.”

No one seemed to mind and the families that participated had a wonderful time.

“It’s just a nice thing that brings the community together and to watch the children learn and get better and to make new friends.” parent Kayla Yackel Freel said, whose son Dicen played all season. “My son is not old enough to go to school yet, and it’s a nice way to meet people and children to have play dates. Some might even turn into long term friendships for the parents and children.”

Sponsors honored were the Anza Electric Cooperative, Anza True Value Hardware, Blackmore Electrical, Snizzle Leggies, the Anza Bank of Hemet, Anza Lions Club, High Country Boys and Girls Club and the Anza Pizza Factory.

“This is a labor of love and that is all. I love my own, obviously and they all love soccer. I love the children of this valley. I teach some of them from time to time, I love seeing their smiling faces, and I love my community,” Blackmore said. “Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough, but it is definitely what we have to give to everyone that came out to play, that volunteered to coach, to ref, to set up equipment, to put it all away, to provide concessions, to buy concessions, to pick up trash, to open and shut the gates and bathrooms, to do all the big stuff and little stuff that made this season practically perfect.”

Blackmore said she was inspired to write a poem for the sponsors to show her gratitude for a season well done.

“T is for Treasure, because we treasure the businesses and individuals in our community that support our efforts to provide activities for the children in this valley.

“H is for Help, because we could not do all of this on our own, without support.

“A is for Always, because these business owners are always at the ready to assist in whatever way they can.

“N is for Necessary, because without the necessary financial backing, AYSO, for one, probably would not exist.

“K is for Kind, because you don’t have to support the children in this community, but you do it anyway.

“Y is for Yes, because when we asked, you said it.

“O is for Outstanding, because as businesses owners and leaders in our community, you are an outstanding example of what it means to be part of something bigger than yourself.

“U is for Undeniable, because all of this is true.”

Registration will open April 1 for the 2018 season and will close July 28. Teams will form and practices begin the week of July 30, and the season will end before daylight saving time is implemented. Parents and guardians should register early to take advantage of early bird discounts and be prepared to purchase soccer gear when they are school shopping.

Beginning in March, emails will be sent out to prepare parents and guardians for the upcoming season. If any parents missed out on this season, they may register early for next season. Membership fees will be going up next year, increasing by about $3. The registration fee for next year is still to be determined. A payment plan will be available.

For more information on the AYSO program, visit or visit the AYSO Region 1641 on Facebook at

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