Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Junior Awards Presented During USAV Annual Meetings

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (May 22, 2017) – USA Volleyball celebrated its junior community at the national Junior Awards Luncheon during the annual meetings held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This event, which coincided with the USA Volleyball Annual Meetings, recognized individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport at the junior level.


The following individuals were honored for their outstanding achievements:

  • Nancy Paulson (Racine, Wisconsin, Badger Region) – Outstanding Clinician
  • Nicole Stoll (Springfield, Illinois, Gateway Region) – Outstanding Female Coach
  • Mike Hulett (Vernon Hills, Illinois, Great Lakes Region) – Outstanding Male Coach
  • Rodolfo Marrero (Homestead, Florida, Florida Region) – Outstanding Referee
  • Rhonda Heide (Jupiter, Florida, Florida Region) – Outstanding Parent
  • David Jester (Orlando, Florida, Florida Region) – Outstanding Service, Florida Region

Nancy Paulson (Outstanding Clinician)

Nancy Paulson has been a member of USA Volleyball for nearly 20 years. She played various roles within the Badger Region, including Juniors chair, IMPACT instructor, high-performance cadre, and currently the scorer chair. Paulson’s dedication to the development of the scoring certification program has been instrumental in its growth and success.

A former NCAA/NAIA II All American, Paulson has also coached in her local junior volleyball club for over 20 years, playing a significant role in elevating boys’ junior volleyball in her area. Her passion for the sport and commitment to its growth at all levels have earned her recognition and respect within the volleyball community.

Heather Piccone (Outstanding Program Director)

Heather Piccone is a dedicated program director and coach who has been involved in sports ministry for the past 15 years. She founded IGNITE Volleyball, a Christian co-ed volleyball club in the Ohio Valley region, which provides various programs and opportunities for over 300 players. Piccone’s club not only focuses on the technical training of the game but also emphasizes character building and community service.

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Piccone’s passion for coaching extends beyond her club, as she also coaches in the Twinsburg schools system and serves as a specialty coach for high school programs in northeast Ohio. Her dedication to the growth and development of young athletes has made her a respected figure within the volleyball community.

Nicole Stoll (Outstanding Female Coach)

Nicole Stoll, a proud Midwesterner, has dedicated her life to coaching volleyball. She began coaching in high school and quickly made a name for herself at the local level. Stoll’s success led her to work with one of the most prestigious high school programs in Central Illinois, Sacred Heart Griffin. Since then, she has become an integral part of the Top Notch VBC program, where she continues to coach and inspire young athletes.

Stoll’s ability to adapt her coaching style, build relationships with players and fellow coaches, and take on additional responsibilities has made her a sought-after coach within the Top Notch VBC program. Her dedication to the sport and her athletes has led to numerous successful seasons and a lasting impact on the players she coaches.

Mike Hulett (Outstanding Male Coach)

Mike Hulett’s coaching career spans various levels and experiences. He has coached both girls and boys teams at the high school level and has served as a director and head coach for multiple volleyball clubs. Hulett’s passion for the sport extends beyond coaching, as he has also served on the Great Lakes Board of Directors and represented the Great Lakes Region at the USA Volleyball Annual Meetings.

Hulett’s coaching journey has taken him to the national stage, where he had the privilege of coaching the U.S. Paralympic Men’s and Women’s Sitting Teams. His contributions to the sport have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the USA Volleyball George J. Fischer Leader in Volleyball and the Harold T. Friermood “Frier” Award.

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Rodolfo Marrero (Outstanding Referee)

Rodolfo Marrero’s love for volleyball began at a young age, and he quickly discovered a passion for refereeing. A Puerto Rico native, Marrero has dedicated himself to honing his skills as a referee, adapting to USA Volleyball techniques and rules. His passion for the sport and his desire to improve and grow as a professional have earned him the respect of his peers.

Marrero is actively involved in his local volleyball community, helping fellow referees, athletes, coaches, and volleyball clubs. He is also passionate about serving his church community. Marrero’s commitment, professionalism, and positive attitude have made him a valuable asset to the Florida Region.

Rhonda Heide (Outstanding Parent)

Rhonda Heide, a Florida native, has been a dedicated supporter of her children’s athletic endeavors. Among all the sports her children participate in, volleyball holds a special place in her heart. Rhonda has been actively involved with Palm Beach Juniors, one of the oldest travel clubs in the Southeast, supporting the tournaments and teams throughout the club. Her commitment to the growth of the sport and her support for her daughter’s volleyball journey have earned her recognition at the national level.

For Rhonda, volunteering is a labor of love, driven by her respect and admiration for the coaches and staff who give so much to the sport. Her involvement in the volleyball community has been a rewarding experience, and she has no plans to retire from her role as a dedicated volleyball parent.

David Jester (Outstanding Service)

David Jester’s love for volleyball began at a young age and has remained a constant throughout his life. His passion for the sport and his talent for photography led him to combine the two, capturing memorable moments on the court. Jester’s involvement in volleyball has allowed him to meet incredible individuals from various age groups and backgrounds, making his journey all the more rewarding.

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Jester’s presence in the volleyball community always brings a smile to his heart. Whether it’s in a gym, on the beach, or on a sand court, the game has a way of brightening his life. His dedication to capturing the essence of the sport through his photography has made him a beloved figure within the volleyball community.

Q: What is the purpose of the Junior Awards Luncheon?
A: The Junior Awards Luncheon is a special event held during the USA Volleyball Annual Meetings to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport at the junior level.

Q: How are the award recipients selected?
A: The award recipients are chosen based on their outstanding achievements and contributions to the sport. These individuals have made a positive impact on the volleyball community and are recognized for their dedication and excellence.

Q: Can anyone attend the Junior Awards Luncheon?
A: The Junior Awards Luncheon is typically attended by those involved in the USA Volleyball community, including coaches, athletes, and administrators. It is a special occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals who have helped shape the junior volleyball landscape.

The Junior Awards Luncheon at the USA Volleyball Annual Meetings is a prestigious event that recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to junior volleyball. From talented coaches to dedicated parents and referees, these individuals have made a significant impact on the sport and its community. Their passion, expertise, and commitment have helped shape the junior volleyball landscape, and they serve as role models for aspiring athletes and coaches. The Junior Awards Luncheon is a testament to the hard work and dedication of these individuals and is a celebration of their achievements in the sport. To learn more about the honorees and their contributions, visit the Alpinetgheep website. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate excellence in junior volleyball!