The 2023 Earnhardt Auto Centers Spirit of Tex Awards, which honors the legacy and values of Tex Earnhardt, were announced at the RSL AZ Welcome Party.
Tex had some sayings he would often repeat and share in both his business and personal endeavors. Some of those were: “Treat everyone the way you’d treat your mama”, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” and “Always be able to say three things: Please, Thank you and Sorry.” Such wisdom was simple, honest and endearing. It led to the success of an on-going automotive business here in Arizona and is also great guidance for fair-play and sportsmanship. For these reasons, RSL-AZ was excited to honor these individuals below with the Spirit of Tex awards.
As we move into the upcoming season, monthly winners will be announced; thus creating a pool of candidates for subsequent “Spirit of Tex” awards.
Congratulations to all of this year's winners!
2023 Spirit of Tex Award Winners
Spirit of Tex Female Student-Athlete of the Year - Katherine Finical (RSL AZ North 06)
Katherine is a junior at Horizon High School where she maintains a 4.656 GPA while being in the National Honor Society, Society of Women Scholars, Spanish Honorary Club, and Show Choir. She has been part of the Spanish Immersion Program since the 1st grade and will be completing her bilingual certification in April. Katherine currently has two dual enrollment courses earning six college credits and has accumulated 22 dual enrollment college credits. She is expected to graduate high school with over 30 credits hours. On the field, she is the captain of her team and was able to get back on the pitch this fall after suffering a long injury setback. Now that she is back, she helps dictate play from her midfield position while having positive communication on the field with her teammates along with respecting the referee and opponents.
Spirit of Tex Male Student-Athlete of the Year - Ivan Rubio (RSL AZ Nogales 04)
Ivan attends Nogales High School where he is the class valedictorian with a 4.820 GPA. At his school, he is a member of numerous clubs including the National Honor Society, Academic Decathlon, Jazz Ensemble, and Future Business Leaders of America. Starting this fall, Ivan will be attending the University of California, Santa Barbara. On the field, Ivan plays left back, attends every practice, and is always motivating his team.
Spirit of Tex Coach of the Year - Cassidy Chriest (RSL AZ North)
Cassidy, who embodies the core values of RSL AZ, has been with RSL AZ for five years and has become one of the best coaches in the state for academy level (U6-U10) player development. In a testament to her ability as a coach, there are players on the Utah Royals FC AZ ECNL and ECNL-RL teams that played under the tutelage of Cassidy in the RSL AZ Youth Academy program. In December 2022, Cassidy who was coaching four teams, was named the RSL AZ North Youth Academy Director for the Boys and Girls U6-U10 age groups. Her work ethic and passion for the game on and off the field is contagious and it makes everyone around her passionate about the game.
Spirit of Tex Volunteer of the Year - William Cameron (RSL AZ South)
William has been a part of RSL AZ for the past six years as a team manager for two different age groups and has most recently been the team manager for the RSL AZ South 2012 Boys. While balancing a full-time job and as a father of five children, William has done an incredible job of navigating the many challenges that arise during a season. From helping find field space to rescheduling matches to avoid conflicts for families on the team, William's temperament and attention to details has ensured a positive experience for all. He quickly adapts to last minute changes and always does so with a smile on his face while remaining calm and level headed through the thick of it.
Spirit of Tex Referee of the Year - Jerry Sanchez
Jerry is a familiar face at RSL AZ tournaments, refereeing at the Cactus Kickoff in September, the Royal Cup in October, the Holiday Classic in December, and the Ostrich Tournament in March. Jerry is always eager and willing to help everyone out and enjoys working with the younger generation of referee by helping them to become better referees.