Raechel Conine of Leslie, MI, was recognized as 2011 Michigan Young Female Referee of the Year at the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA) banquet in Southfield, MI on February 25, 2012. She traveled to Boston, MA for the February 17, 2012, US Youth Soccer’s (USYSA) National Awards Gala to receive the Region II award.
Conine was nominated by her local organization, Greater Lansing Area Soccer Referee Association (GLASRA). Alex Smith, GLASRA President, said, “Raechel worked incredibly hard for this award and continues our tradition of recruiting and training excellent referees.”
MSYSA selected Conine from nominees submitted by each of the state’s referee associations. It advanced her nomination to Region Il in which Michigan is one of 14 mid-West states.
Conine was selected for the Region II award based upon her involvement in Michigan Referee Academy, Region II Olympic Development Program (ODP), State Cup Finals, upgrading to a Grade 7 referee as well as her community service. She is the first Michigan referee to win this honor.
Conine said of her Boston trip, “It was a great experience! I’m extremely honored to be recognized for something this big.”
Francisco “Chico” Villarruel, State Youth Referee Administrator, is pleased with her progress and continues to offer additional opportunities for Raechel’s development. She has been selected to officiate at the Michigan State Cup Finals again this year, Region II Championships in June, and attend a National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) Training Camp.
“Chico and countless other mentors have been great to me. They have taught me a lot,” said Conine, “I don’t know where I would be without them!” She acknowledged her family’s involvement, “We travel to numerous states for my sister’s Elite Club National League games. My mom referees at these, I was fortunate enough to tag along and officiate some very high level games at a young age.”
Additional information regarding this story can be found at the Lansing Lansing State Journal Link