The Kentucky Youth Soccer Association named two members of the Derby City Rovers Youth Academy, Andrew Minnis (99/98 Boys) and Sabryn Kapp (99/98 Girls) as the state's Boys and Girls Player of the Year for 2016. The pair of young Rovers were honored on Saturday at the State's Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet held at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington.
Minnis, who first came to the Rovers in 2013, has honed his skills and expanded his game insight during his time with the club, becoming one of the most feared attacking players in the state. "Playing with the Rovers has helped me pursue my goal of playing at the highest level by constantly presenting me with new challenges and giving me the tools to meet those challenges," remarked Minnis about the club's role in his development. "This summer I had the opportunity to play and train with the PDL side and I can already see the benefit of that experience playing against older players. Not only are they bigger and stronger, but the game moves so much faster. The mental challenge is even greater than the physical. It's experiences like this, that you can't get anywhere else, that drive me to continue improving."
Sabryn Kapp, who has been with the Rovers since the inception of it's girls program in 2014, has also benefited from the Rovers emphasis on the development of the individual player. "Most of this past year I was able to challenge myself by training with the boys teams. Because of the difference in speed and strength my first touch had to be better and I had to learn to play quicker. Developing those skills has definitely paid off when I step back on field to compete with the girls," she explained.
Rovers President and Technical Director, Nathan Pitcock, had this to say about the Minnis and Kapp, "We're extremely proud of the accomplishments of these two very deserving players. While they're both blessed with natural ability, it's their relentless commitment to improvement that makes them so special. These two know what it means to grind, to show up early, stay late, train on their own when no one is watching. When we see that desire in young players our role is to feed it, which we have done by giving them the instruction and insight they require, giving them a competitive environment that requires them to keep pushing, and giving them the stage to showcase their talent and express their unique qualities."
"To have both the Boys and the Girls Player of the Year Award recipients in the same year says something about the work the club is doing. It's an honor and a responsibility to have the opportunity to provide an environment that prepares elite players for the next level. These awards, along with the many others that our players have received since the club started, are indications that our formula for player development is working."