Zach Hastings has been named the 2019 Massachusetts Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year. 

The TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award is awarded for extraordinary accomplishments as a TOPSoccer Buddy. The nominees demonstrate patience, understanding, dependability, flexibility and ability to adjust to ever-changing on-field situations. The Buddy of the Year is also an invaluable volunteer who facilitates the program by filling many roles, including being a coach, cheerleader and role model as well as assisting when needed with administrative responsibilities. Other important qualities of the buddy are engaging players one-on-one, modeling desired behavior and being cognizant of player safety. Buddies assist, guide, direct and teach the game of soccer and its skills while creating a fun learning experience. 

Zach is a first year student at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT studying exercise science. He is from Shrewsbury, Mass., and attended St. John’s High School where he played football and was an active member of the school community. 

Zach has interned with the Worcester Bravehearts for the past four summes with the head athletic trainer, and has also worked at a physical therapy clinic as a PT aide to help him gain experience in the field of physical therapy. 

He has been active in the community by participating in service trips through his high school to Manchester, Worcester, Providence and Camden, NJ. He also volunteered his time serving food to homeless veterans in Worcester alongside his football teammates. 

Zach was a senior leader at St. John’s, helping freshmen to assimilate to high school. His love for helping others through community service will continue on through college and beyond. 

Zach is the fourth United Soccer of Auburn TOPS volunteer to be recognized by Massachusetts Youth Soccer in the past five years. Dan Hastings was the recipient of the inaugural TOPS Coach of the Year in 2015. Liz Hastings received the 2016 TOPS Buddy of the Year, and Sarah Cavanaugh was awarded the 2017 TOPS Buddy of the Year. 

TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training program for all athletes with intellectual, emotional, and or physical disabilities. The program strives to provide soccer opportunities (the opportunity of soccer) for players to develop at their own pace in a safe, fun, and supportive/inclusive environment.

United Soccer of Auburn congratulates Zach for this prestigious recognition, and we thank him for his contribution to the United Soccer of Auburn TOPS program. 

For more information about the United Soccer of Auburn TOPS program, contact TOPS director Dan Hastings at TOPS@usauburn.com