PHOENIX (Thursday, January 4th, 2024) -- RSL AZ and Earnhardt Auto Centers are pleased to announce the Spirit of Tex monthly awards, which honor 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 January!
Spirit of Tex Male Student-Athlete of the Month - Jacob
Jacob is in sixth grade at BASIS Peoria and plays for the RSL AZ West Valley 2011 Boys Chavez team. Off the field, Jacob is at the top of his class at school. He participated in National Elementary Honors Society and is expected to continue with National Junior Honor Society this year. In conjunction with this, he contributed regular volunteer hours which have been with his youth group, St. Mary's Food Bank, and Feed My Starving Children. Last year, he also helped to organize and run his team's Giving Event, collecting and packaging necessary goods for the homeless in the area to be handed out through the Surprise Police Department and Surprise Community Resource Center, with the support and assistance of his club, coaches, and teammates. On the field, he is the quintessential role player. He is hard-working and has a solid understanding of the game. Jacob is a distributor- he sees the field extremely well and is amazing at threading the ball for ideally placed through-balls. He is also essential to our defense, often coming up with critical stops, always goes into a tackle or challenge with confidence. He reads passing lanes to come up with the ball and turn it into an offensive transition, often leading to some of our team's best offensive drives.
Spirit of Tex Female Student-Athlete of the Month - Tyler
Tyler is in the 5th grade at Phoenix Country Day School where she is a respected student in the classroom. She also plays on her middle school soccer team and plays the cello. She was selected to be a fifth-grade Admissions Ambassador where she hosts prospective students who are visiting her school and makes their experience comfortable. She enjoys volunteering once a month to make sandwich lunches and hygiene kits for the homeless. She also recently volunteered at Gathering Humanity where she put together school backpacks for refugee children who are being resettled in Phoenix. On the field, Tyler is a versatile player who has the ability to make quick decisions and create positive impacts on the game. She picks up new concepts with ease and leads with her heart.
Spirit of Tex Coach of the Month - Will Barrett
Coach Will holds each and every practice with a purpose. To help train players individually but also on how to work together as a team while striving to be their best. He does a great job helping players to enjoy the sport by making it fun.
Spirit of Tex Volunteer of the Month - Christy Schnettler
Christy has been an invaluable asset to the RSL AZ South 11 Boys Catalanotte team and has demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership. Her ability to balance managerial duties for multiple teams, along with her responsibilities as a mother of three boys and a full-time job, speaks volumes about her commitment and organizational skills.
Christy's initiative in bringing a speaker to play music before each game and setting the tone with the RSL fight song adds a unique and positive touch to the team experience. Her positive attitude and attention to detail are evidently contributing to the success and positive experiences of the team, players, and their families.
Spirit of Tex Referee of the Month - Karin Gentile
My father is from Germany so watching and playing soccer was a big part of my life. My daughter started playing in first grade and that’s when I got into coaching. Eventually I quit coaching because it took too much time away from watching my own child play. She eventually was recruited to playing ECNL and that’s when I realized how much I missed soccer. I was trying to think of a job that was soccer related but also allowed me to still see my daughter play and travel with her. Someone suggested I become a referee. Boy did I quickly realize it’s a lot harder than it looks. But I love every moment of it! I feel very blessed to have this job.