Local soccer player and coach Andy Wyatt coaches several soccer teams in Yorkton and was formally recognized for it when the Saskatchewan Soccer Association held a banquet.
Wyatt has been coaching a U6 and U12 team this past season and also helped out with the local men's team. For his commitment to the sport, he was awarded the Grassroots Soccer Coach of the Year.
Adam Fetsch initiated the nomination process about a month and a half ago by getting in touch with the league and putting forth Wyatt's name.
"He was selected by his peers," explains Fetsch, who added that those peers are all across the province.
"It was all the coaches in the province. It's an executive thing. He's chosen by a provincial board."
Fetsch added that it's not news anymore to Regina that the smaller centres produce good soccer players and coaches. Yorkton as a city has had a knack for winning games at the provincial level.
"They know about us," explains Fetsch. "We're a force to be reckoned with," he said referring to the city as a whole.
Wyatt has been playing for as long as he can remember, having grown up in British Columbia.
When he first arrived in Saskatchewan, he recalls soccer not having been as popular.
He played both indoor and outdoor and began coaching in 1999. He was a player/coach with the Yorkton men's team for years and has continued to today.
Going into the awards, he said he wasn't expecting much.
"Yeah, it was a surprise. I never expected to win."
Wyatt found out when he was contacted by Saskatchewan Soccer.
The award recognizes his work with the U6 and U12 teams, two teams that challenge him in different ways as the coach.
The Yorkton United FC had a very successful season and it allows the players to "improve as soccer players," says Wyatt.
"They both have their challenges. With U12s, it's work (ing) with kids with a little more understanding of the game."
The U12 team went on to win gold medals in three different tournaments.
Having fun was the most important part, he said.
Right now, the YUFC is getting ready for the outdoor season. This will be the first season that they will be combining with the Yorkton Soccer Association.
There are three tournaments planned for the summer, says Wyatt, including May 12, June 2-3 and a third at the end of June.