CLASS OF 2003

 

                                                                                  Sharon O’Connor
                                                                                Inducted January 25, 2003
 
Sharon O’Connor became involved with youth soccer in 1978 while living in Hawaii. As with most soccer volunteers she agreed to help her son’s team and instead of assisting a coach, became one herself. After that decision was made, Sharon embraced soccer with a passion that still burns today. An amateur softball and racquetball player, once she was introduced to soccer she never went back to those sports.
 
A daughter of United States Air Force parents who traveled frequently during her school years, Sharon married Jerry O’Connor, who was also in the Air Force and they were stationed in Hawaii when the coaching opportunity arose. The O’Connors moved to Oklahoma’s Tinker Air Force base in 1979.
 
Settling in the Del City area, both O’Connors became involved as coaches in the OK Country Soccer Club, Sharon quickly signed up both son Sean and daughter Sherrie to play and then promptly began her climb through the coaching ranks of Frontier Country. Unwilling to just coach, Sharon managed to register on her husband’s adult soccer team, the Internationals. No women’s adult teams were playing at that time but the team provided her with the skills development and experience to deal with players from a diverse cultural background. During the 1980’s Sharon coached both recreational and competitive boys’ teams for OK Country and began work to attain her United States Soccer Federation licensing. She also became a referee to assist the club’s soccer program.
 
By 1981, Sharon had received her “F”, “E”, and “D” licenses from USSF and was ready to acquire the national “C” license. She gained that license and promptly began preparing herself for the “B” which she attained in 1986. By 1991 she was awarded the USSF “A” license and was one of the first females in the state to acquire such a high-ranking badge. All during the licensing process, Sharon continued to coach at the club level and work with young players by selecting them to become assistant coaches on her team. Many of today’s coaches began their careers as assistant coaches with her teams.
 
In 1987, Oklahoma Soccer Association’s Executive Board asked Sharon to become the state’s first Director of Coaching. She agreed and began to create a standardized curriculum for entry-level coaching that would enable coaches from across the state to obtain their licenses. Her hard work increased the number of licensed coaches in the state and created a statewide coaching cadre capable of providing training at all levels leading up to the USSF national badges. Sharon continued as Director of Coaching until 1997.
 
Sharon coached the Norman Fury U19 girls to two state championships and regional competitions in 1993 and 1994 before retiring from active coaching. Her work in the Norman area led to an association with Oklahoma University and USSF that produced National “C”, “B”, and “A” licensing at OU. After taking several years off to tend an ailing husband (Jerry passed away in 2002) and mother, Sharon is once again participating in adult women’s soccer matches.

                     
                     
Russell Staurovsky
August 20, 1937 – August 3, 2002
 
Inducted: January 24, 2003
 
Russell Staurovsky began his long commitment to soccer in Oklahoma when he first registered as a referee in 1974. A lifelong athlete, Russell approached soccer officiating with the same enthusiasm he demonstrated when playing basketball and golf.
 
East Tulsa Soccer Club was Russell’s home base as an official for many years. Through his allegiance to the club, Russell made many lifelong friends and acquaintances who also officiated and/or coached. When he was not refereeing, Russell would be on the touchline assisting his wife, Anne, as she coached. Within a few years he achieved the State Referee badge and became a mainstay at tournaments at his home club and across the state.
 
Russell was the first Oklahoma referee to run the center at a United States Youth Soccer Association national match. In 1987 he drew the U19 boys match at the USYSA national tournament and in 1989 he drew the U16 boys center. To assist his club and the development of referees, Russell became an Assessor in 1981. By 1987 he was a State Assessor and spent time alternating between assessing referees and officiating his own matches. His ever-present professionalism was evident whether he was in the center of the field or on the touchline assessing.
 
When high school soccer became a varsity sport in 1985, Russell was one of the first to volunteer to officiate matches. He was among the organizers of Oklahoma’s chapter of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association that provides referees for college games. As the college and high school games tripled in number, Russell was instrumental in providing leadership and insight to the officiating of those matches.
 
During the 1980’s, Russell was drawn to the North American Soccer League’s indoor program. The Tulsa Roughnecks played their matches at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion and Russell was there as either referee or assessor of officials.
 
Russell continued to support the development of soccer officials and the game itself until the last. He attended the 2001 State Finals as an assessor and provided many young referees with his valuable insights to the art of refereeing.
 
Russell’s surviving family includes wife, Anne; son: Jason; daughters: Jill Roy and Jamie Martin.


                     Bill Boevers
August 2, 1933 – October 28, 2000
  Inducted January 25, 2003
 
Bill Boevers, longtime Union Soccer Club coach, referee, and administrator, devoted his life to promoting soccer. Graduating from Union High School, Bill stayed close to the community that he grew up in and involved himself in its activities.
 
The family legacy of public service continued with Bill’s constant attention to the development of the Union Soccer Club. Even though he was husband, father, and grandfather, soccer was his family, too, he and would spend endless hours at his beloved soccer complex. He was the first to arrive every Saturday morning during the season. Brewing the coffee for the concessions stand and opening the gates were his rituals during the season. When the last car left the complex of an evening, Bill was there to lock the gates. During the week he would mow the fields, clean bathrooms, and do routine maintenance work. During the more than two decades of service to the Union Soccer Club, Bill held every elected office of the club: President – 6 years; 1st Vice President – 2 years; 2nd Vice President – 1 year; Treasurer – 1 year.
 
Not content to just be around the game, Bill studied coaching and refereeing so as to make himself more knowledgeable about a sport that he never played as a child. His focus was the eight and ten-year-old boys teams and he would always volunteer to coach that age group. He was looking forward to coaching his grandson in a U6 league before he passed away. Within the past few years, it made Bill proud to have former players bring their children back to the soccer fields where they had played for Coach Bill.
 
In honor of Bill Boevers, the Union Soccer Club renamed its complex the Bill Boevers Fields and created a science scholarship for a graduating senior soccer player. As a research chemist for Phillips Petroleum, Bill was internationally known for his expertise in oil well cement injection. The scholarship benefits Bill’s love for science.
 
Oklahoma Soccer Association’s Youth Board named the U10 Boys’ finals match in the Tide American Cup as the Bill Boevers Championship. Appropriately, the first two U10 boys’ teams to win the trophy received the award at Bill Boevers Fields. The trophy bears Bill’s statement of purpose about the game he loved: “It’s for the kids.”
 
Bill Boevers is survived by his wife, Lee; two sons: Matthew and George; three daughters: Stacy Blackwell, Julie Boevers, and Elizabeth Boevers.