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September Spirit of Tex Winners Announced

By RSL AZ, 10/25/23, 12:15PM MST


PHOENIX (Wednesday, October 25th, 2023) -- RSL AZ and Earnhardt Auto Centers are pleased to announce the Spirit of Tex monthly awards, which honors the legacy and values of Tex Earnhardt, founder of Earnhardt Auto Centers. 

Every month from September to May, RSL AZ and Earnhardt Auto Centers will recognize a Coach of the Month, Referee of the Month, Volunteer of the Month, Male Student-Athlete of the Month, and Female Student-Athlete of the Month. In May, all monthly winners will be eligible to be named the Spirit of Tex Coach of the Year, Spirit of Tex Volunteer of the Year, Spirit of Tex Referee of the Year, Spirit of Tex Male Student-Athlete of the Year, and Spirit of Tex Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Winners will also earn a scholarship. 

Nominations are now open for October!

Here are your September winners!

Spirit of Tex Male Student-Athlete of the Month - Mason DeWall
Mason, a senior at Desert Vista High School, competes for the RSL AZ South 05/06 Boys Bermudez team. Off the field, Mason volunteers in the TOPSoccer program, which is a recreation sports program for children and adults with intellectual, emotional, or physical disabilities. Mason's commitment to the program is nothing short of exceptional. He consistently goes above and beyond, arriving early to assist with setup and staying late to help with takedown. His tireless efforts play a vital role in ensuring that every aspect of the practices run smoothly. What truly sets Mason apart is his remarkable ability to connect with our athletes. Mason’s patience, kindness, and genuine commitment have been truly inspiring. He was paired with one of our athletes who requires additional attention and care. The relationship between Mason and his athlete began with the athlete's initial hesitation, and reluctance to participate. However, with Mason's warm and compassionate approach, a transformation occurred. Trust was built, and a bond formed, allowing the athlete to break free from his reservations. Over time, their relationship blossomed, and today, the athlete eagerly looks forward to being paired with Mason at every practice. If you ask Mason about his experience with TOPSoccer he will tell you that he gets more out of it than the athletes he is giving to and it happens to be his favorite day of the week. 

On the field, Mason is a player that every coach would like to have on their team. He is very respectful, dedicated, and a hard worker that leads by example. All of these qualities have given him the opportunity to fulfill the role of a team captain. 

Spirit of Tex Female Student-Athlete of the Month - Sam Ford
Sam, a sophomore at Chaparral High School where she maintains a 4.3 GPA, competes for the ECNL-RL 08 Girls Team under head coach Mike Varela. At school she is a member of the hiking and ski club and outside of school she is actively involved in meal preparation and distribution to the homeless through a weekly program that includes a family hotel/kitchen. 

"She is committed by always showing up to training and training outside of practice. She practices honesty and respect on and off the soccer field, which includes her commitment to serving the community. She has demonstrated resilience as she has played through some tough injuries. In addition, she has played multiple roles on her team over the last two years. While playing soccer in these roles she has excelled. Sam works with others to create a positive learning environment and helps with the equipment before and after every training session. Outside of soccer she lives by these same values as you can see from her extracurricular activities and her community service commitment," said head coach Mike Varela.

Spirit of Tex Coach of the Month - Juanca Fresquez 
Juanca joined RSL AZ prior to the start of the 2023-24 season and in a short time has impressed his players with his knowledge of the game. He is always encouraging his players in a positive way and as one parent puts it "I can tell the boys respect him and want to play well for him."

Spirit of Tex Volunteer of the Month - Brian Lambert
Brian has been a volunteer, a team manager, a team treasurer, a tournament site director in Tucson and Phoenix events for the last 6 years. He is always willing to help regardless of what is asked. He continues to help even when his kids are no longer part of RSL AZ. He is a great role model for all our players, Kind and thoughtful. Brian is an active member of his church and very involved in his community. He serves as board president of a local nonprofit, APEX Athletix Foundation. His regular job is serving as one of the Assistant Superintendent for Tucson Unified School District.

Spirit of Tex Referee of the Month - Craig Tyrrell
After 35 years of working in the soccer arena as a professional as a youth instructor, Craig ventured into the real estate career, but wanted to keep giving back to youth soccer. He chose to referee as a favor to an old friend, Michelle Golowatch, and he has been very happy with that decision.