Six Carroll County High School Athletes Tapped for National Honor

CNSF accepts candidates from Arkansas

Washington, D.C. Six teenage Carroll County athletes who work with local kids as anti-drug instructors have been awarded Chris Nedelcovych Memorial Scholarships this summer, including all-expenses-paid trips to Washington, D.C.

Top teens from all across the U.S. were chosen. Seven were selected from Arkansas, six from Carroll County, including Berryville High School graduating senior Sergio Gil, Green Forest High School juniors Juan Pineda and William Carmona, and Green Forest sophomores Gail Browning, Jose Teracena and Loren Villanueva.

The youth will fly to Washington, D.C., on June 18 and spend the next day touring the national capitol. Then, they will spend a week, June 20-25, at St. James Preparatory School near Hagerstown, Maryland, attending the Third Annual Young Coaches Camp.

There, they will earn their national E-level U.S. Soccer Federation coaching licenses in a unique program in which they will be tutored each morning by top coaches from Holland and the African nation of Chad. In the afternoon, they will practice what they have learned, coaching 12-14-year-olds at the Maryland State Youth Soccer Associations International Week summer camp, then will attend another training session and a lecture in the evening.

The program was established in memory of Chris Nedelcovych, an 18-year-old Virginia soccer player. He was killed in a tragic auto accident in 2001, but left behind an inspiring essay The Greatest Gift as part of his college application package. In it, he described the extremely satisfying experience of coaching his younger brothers team and the profound effect that it had on him.

The Carroll County nominees were chosen because of their service to the local youth soccer programs. All are presenters in the Arkansas Tobacco-Free Athletes outreach, which makes presentations to groups of youth, instilling the message Im an athlete. If I smoke, it gives the other team an advantage. I dont want THEM to win, so I cant smoke. All also have been also presenters in the Keep A Clear Mind anti-drug program in Carroll County school physical education classes.

Browning, Carmona, Pineda, Taracena and Villanueva recently went through Safe Sports coaching training at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, sponsored by the Arkansas Childrens Trust Fund.

Gil is also the coach of the Under-12 Little Comets team in Berryville and is also a top-scoring player on the Bobcats varsity soccer team. He will also be representing Arkansas on the Arkansas Comets Under-18 team at the U.S. Soccer Federations Southern Regional Directors Cup in Alabama on June 11-14. He is also a member of the Carroll County Community Foundations Youth Advisory Council.

Browning and Carmona coaches The Sonic Crew Under-14s in Green Forest. Browning also is the manager of the Green Forest High School Lady Tigers. Carmona plays midfield for the Tigers as well as the Comets. Both Browning and Carmona serve on the community foundations Youth Advisory Council as well as on the Carroll County Drug-Free Communities Coalition board as youth advisors.

Pineda and Taracena coach the Town & Country Under-12s. Pineda is also the manager of the Green Forest High School Tigers varsity squad and is a defender for the Comets.

Villanueva coaches the Town & Country Under-12 Girls team and is the goalkeeper for the Lady Tigers varsity squad.

"We are delighted to confirm these young coaches will be attending this years program," said program director Mima Nedelcovych. "Carroll County, Arkansas, has some very fine youngsters."

"We are extremely proud of these youngsters and this honor they have earned," said Rob Kerby, executive director of the Carroll County Resource Council, which oversees the Arkansas Tobacco-Free Athletes, Keep A Clear Mind, Drug-Free Coalition, and Carroll County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council program.

The other Arkansas youth chosen is Mountain Home senior and soccer stand-out Adnan Lolic.