"I am extremely proud and happy for Tori," he said. "I have to admit that I have been blessed to coach, not only talented soccer players, but great kids as well. Tori and the rest of the 2011 senior soccer players are no exception. In fact, they have to rank near the top, if not at the top, of those who I have coached over the years. They are extremely talented, great leaders, tremendous role models, and fantastic students in the classroom."
For Koch, being named to the All-Region team is a big honor. This year's team has 51 Ohio girls soccer players named to it. Those 51 are Ohio's best and the top in this region of the United States.
Trafficante said a player is selected in a similar fashion to making the All-State team. For All-State voting, a representative from each of the 10 Ohio districts meet to nominate the top players from their district. Each district receives a different number of players they can nominate depending on the number of girls soccer programs (by division) in their district. This year the Youngstown District sent the names of the top two players to be nominated for All-State.
The 10 Ohio district coaches then meet and speak on behalf of the players they are representing and all 10 vote to decide who should be named first team All-Ohio and the remaining nominated players are placed on the second team All-State. For the All-Regional selection, the number of players to be nominated from each state is also predetermined based on each state's coaches membership to the NSCAA. At that point, selection is made similar to the All-State voting, just on a wider scale.
To be selected to first team All-Region, one must have had a tremendous impact in their team's success and success in the performance and recognition of soccer in their district. The coaches in each district select who should be representatives from their district. Not only had Koch made an impact on her coaches, school and teammates, but she was also widely recognized by the opposing coaches in our district this across the state.
As for Koch deserving the honor, Trafficante felt it went to the right person.
"Tori is well-deserving of this honor," he said. "We had several talented female soccer players at Fitch this year (as well as in the Youngstown District), but I believe Tori was the most feared player to our opponents. This season, Tori found ways to score goals like she didn't in the past few seasons. She did a lot of things well this season. In addition to scoring goals, we could always count on her to drop into the midfield to help win the ball back from our opponents."
Trafficante said there are several good players coming up through the ranks for the next season, but Koch and her senior teammates will not soon be forgotten.
"Everything that Tori and her fellow classmates have brought to our program these past four years will be greatly missed," Trafficante said. "They have shown, over the years, that excellence is expected in our soccer program and I am confident that those returning players will carry on the tradition that this senior class has continued themselves."
Photo by Mike Capps, Town Crier correspondent
Fitch’s Tori Koch shows her ball-controlling ability in this Town Crier file photo. The Fitch soccer standout was recently named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's All-Region Team.