The largest event of the convention from what I understand is the All-American Luncheon, held the final day full day of the event. Springfield was represented today by Patrick Carver (Emory 2009, Parkview 2005) who was recognized for the second straight year as a 1st Team All-American. He’s pictured on the left above along with his College Coach Sonny Travis and his teammate, Marc Del Marmol, who was a 2nd Team All-American. Coach Sonny Travis was named the NSCAA/ Adidas NCAA Division III South Region Coach of the Year for 2008 as well. Patrick and Marc helped lead the Eagles to one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history in 2008, as the squad claimed its first University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship since the 1998 season, advanced in the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since the 1988 season, and matched a program record with 16 wins during the campaign.
Patrick scored 13 goals this year, with 7 assists for 33 points. He finished his career with 50 goals, 29 assists and 129 total points in 72 games. He started every game as a junior and senior and has future plans in the game of soccer that I’m looking forward to enjoying.
By the way, the second photo is of Lori Chalupny who was on stage to congratulate each of the winners today and this young man, who was recognized as an NCCAA All-American, did what I think many of them would like to have done – he got a photo with St Louis’ National team hero and pride of Nerinx Hall. There are hundreds of stories like these and I got to share in a couple.
I came late to the Hall Saturday afternoon and found a table in the back that had an open seat. Turns out I was sharing it with Coach Rachel Bostick and her two All-Americans, Bri Rodriguez and Vanessa DiBernardo. Waubonsie Valley (Aurora, IL) finished with a 26-0-1 record and extended its unbeaten streak to 58 games in front a record championship-game crowd of 2,588 at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium in the Illinois State Championship game last May. It was their second straight IL title. You can read more, and catch video with Vanessa post-game, in this Chicago Tribune story. There’s a back story as well. How many of you recognized Vanessa’s last name? Her father is Angelo DiBernardo, here’s how he’s described in Sports Ilustrated in 1976
The second part of Indiana’s secret is an amazingly gifted goal scorer (10 so far this season), Angelo DiBernardo, 22, a darkly handsome, elegantly turned-out, shy young man who has road-burning speed, an uncanny knack of being in the right spot and is a deadly shot with either foot (SI, Nov. 15, 1976). If DiBernardo decides to turn pro (although a senior academically, he has a year’s eligibility left), he will probably be the No. 1 pick in the North American Soccer League’s college draft in January.
He’s in the Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame, played for the New York Cosmos for four years and also spent a decade coaching at Waubonsie, including one season for the girls team in 1991-1992. That team went 19-2-3 and would have been about the time Vanessa was born. I know this because I asked how old she was when the World Cup came to Chicago (and the US) and she responded immediately that she was 2. There are pictures of Angelo with his daughter and with former Waubonsie player, and current Creighton All-American Chris Shuler, son of Springfield’s Chris Shuler.
As large an event as the NSCAA can be, it’s a great opportunity to learn, meet and develop your game. If you’re considering soccer as a career, joining the NSCAA and participating in it’s programs and the Convention should be considered a requirement.