It is with great pleasure that I announce that our very own Tracey Jones has been named the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association 2020 TOPSoccer Coach of the Year. In addition, Tracey was selected as the US Youth Soccer East Regional TOPSoccer Coach of the Year. She is also finalist for the national award to be announced on January 14, 2021.
Tracey has been a board member of Norwood Youth Soccer for the past 11 years, watching and coaching her 3 children and others who have come through our program. In 2009, she started the TOPSoccer Program run out of Norwood Youth Soccer. It started with 35 players from local communities around Norwood and provided young children with special needs the ability to participate in a sports program in the Fall. Tracey, along with a few other dedicated parents in Norwood, coach these players over a 10-week program of practice and games on Saturday mornings. Last fall Tracey and her team participated in the Special Olympics Massachusetts State Soccer Cup and took home a silver medal.
In 2010 Tracey created a TOPSoccer Travel League that includes teams from Stoughton, Dedham, and Newton. The season is a combination of practices and games over a 10 week Fall season. If the club could not come to Norwood in a home/away series she brought her players to that town for the two matches. It has worked out well and provided special needs players with the same travel experiences that other soccer players have. Needless to say Tracey had the help and support of many different people: the parents of players, volunteer coaches (some of whom graduated from the program), the buddy system with high school soccer age players as volunteers, and her family. All helped to make the program work successfully.
The TOPSoccer program is open to anyone interested regardless of their ability to pay. She coaches a competitive game but her primary focus has always been on ensuring each and every player on the field is having fun and learning. Two years ago, when the team from Stoughton lost their coaches, she invited the players to join her team in Norwood so they could continue to play.
Tracey is also incredibly involved with the community beyond the pitch, currently serving as Treasurer for the Norwood Parents Music Association. She previously served as President of the Balch Elementary School PTO. Additionally, Tracey has served on the board of the Norwood Community Tennis Association and ran a cleat swap program from Norwood Youth Soccer from 2008 – 2015.
Please join me in congratulating Tracey for these incredibly well-deserved honors and in rooting for her to win the national award in January.
President, Norwood Youth Soccer