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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

2022 Derek Bucharski Memorial Awards

The Bucharski family with the four award winners. Photos Lorna Hamilton

On July 1 of 2008, Derek Bucharski who was described as one of the most passionate soccer players in the Vermilion Soccer Association lost his life in a tragic accident.

Derek was involved in the Vermilion Soccer Association for nine years as a player on the youth indoor and outdoor teams. He was also on the Men’s team and was described as a skillful player who loved soccer. Derek was a referee for the association and volunteered within the soccer community.

In Derek’s honour his family constructed the ‘Derek Bucharski Memorial Award for Dedication and Team Spirit. The award is presented each year to four individuals, one from each of the U13, U15, U17 and U19 squads. To be chosen for the award the individual must show dedication and team spirit demonstrating a positive attitude, love of the sport, and good practice attendance.

Each of the 2022 recipients was chosen for their dedication, positivity and team spirit and was presented with the trophy and soccer ball during the season-end wrap-up on June 27 at the Vermilion Soccer Field in the Provincial Park.

Derek’s mom Mary Bucharski opened the award ceremony by welcoming everyone and thanking them for being there.

“We want to welcome everyone to Derek’s Memorial Award. We want to thank Vermilion Soccer Associations executives, coaches, volunteers, the parents and the children; without you this wouldn’t be happening. We want to thank all the kids for coming out after being away for two years, we are very happy to see all the kids out from little kids all the way up to big guys,” commented Mary.

Brad Bucharski presented the first award of the evening and read the coach's notes coach Jenna had provided regarding the young lady chosen from their U13-U15 girls Striker team. The note stated that the young lady on the U13-U15 girls' striker team had shown what positivity, integrity and leadership can really do for a team.

“We are so impressed with how far she has come throughout the season. When she started out she was a little bit quiet and nobody was sure what they were going to get out of her, but man she has exploded everybody’s expectations out of the water. We like to call her our silent leader, she was always encouraging her teammates when they sub off and is always providing a positive outlook on the game one on one and with all of the girls,” read Brad.

Brad continued to read that she asked all the right questions and was constantly bettering her game, progressing her skills rapidly and that her sportsmanship was outstanding. The coach mentioned that after speaking with Derek’s mom regarding the award and his passion for soccer and the meaning behind the award for his family and the Vermilion Soccer Association the young lady immediately came to his mind.

“She is a shining star on the team and we are excited to see her on the pitch for seasons to come, therefore I would like to announce that the Derek Bucharski Memorial Award recipient is Brittin Willis,” read Brad.

Brittin Willis

Patrick Bucharski presented the second award and read the coach's notes coach Gordon presented when choosing the U13-U15 recipient for the boys.

“Every quality that this award upholds and recognizes this player excels in; this player makes a clear point of leading his team by example. At all times he plays with intensity and a determination to prevail in every dual against his opponents, and his position as centre back regularly puts his body on the line to hold, to block out cross and shots, meeting challenges and clearing threats; his perseverance is unwavering,” Patrick read.

The note went on to acknowledge that it was a very challenging year for the U13-U15 teams and that the teams were often heavily mismatched against dominant U15 squads but regardless of the outcome, this chosen recipient remained constant, without negativity to his teammates or his coach in any situation.

“It is my pleasure to announce the very worthy recipient of the Derek Bucharski Memorial Award for the U15 is Ashton Brodbin,” read Patrick from the letter.

Ashton Brodbin

Mary Bucharski emotionally presented the third award and read the coach's note explaining why coach Al chose the next young lady for the Derek Bucharski Memorial Award.

“As the season draws to an end it is time to select this year’s outstanding recipient of the prestigious Derek Bucharski Memorial Award, and did they ever give me a run for my money. I found it extremely hard to pick my selection this year, we had such an amazing group of young ladies in this U17 squad,” stated the letter.

In the letter coach, Al recognized what the Derek Bucharski Memorial Awards stand for and stated that with his personal knowledge of Derek choosing the correct person for the award was very near and dear to his heart.

“This award should go to an individual that shows an outstanding level of dedication, teamwork and sportsmanship on and off the pitch. The level of dedication and team spirit this young lady brought to her team this year is immeasurable. She has been the backbone of our team no matter what kind of adversity she faced on the field…. I take great pride to announce this year’s U 17 girl’s recipient of the Derek Bucharski Memorial recipient is Roisin Dalton.

Roisin Dalton

Derek’s sister Tanya Lee presented the final award for the U19 and read the notes presented by coach Michael regarding his choice for this year’s U19 recipient.

“This is a young talented soccer player, he doesn’t give up running as well as fighting for his team when playing another team, he makes some other defenders run more in the back, he’s looking out for his teammates… He is a great addition to any soccer team and could be playing in the future in a professional series, so with that my choice for the Derek Bucharski Memorial Award for U19 is Caleb Ree,” Tanya read.

Caleb Ree


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