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A Lifelong SDA Player Success Story

TJ Tanner (middle, red socks) at the start of his soccer career.

TJ Tanner, a defender from our Boys 2004 team has been with SDA from the beginning, starting with our Youth Development Program when he was just 6 years old. The YDP program introduced TJ to the basic fundamental skills of soccer at a young age.  These basic skills were the building blocks necessary to move to each next level of his soccer development. In an interview, TJ said that “SDA, starting with YDP, has given me the ability and capability to be able to play with the top players in central New York.” TJ noted SDA Coaches, Michael Kirmse (girls 2003 and 2006 coach) and Jukka Masalin (boys 2006 and Syracuse Men’s Associate Head Coach) for being two inspiring coaches who have helped shape him into the player he is today. 

TJ’s years with SDA beginning with YDP helped him have a standout soccer season at Jamesville-Dewitt this year.  TJ was pulled up from JV to Varsity this season for scoring an outstanding 20 goals with his JV team; TJ plays forward with his school team.  He said he didn't know what to expect being pulled up to varsity. He was so excited to have helped contribute to the Varsity’s team season. The team made it all the way to the semi-finals, and TJ played in every game.  

TJ’s dad, Tommy Tanner, is also an SDA coach and currently coaches the boys 2004 and 2008 teams. TJ was asked who his soccer inspiration is and he responded, “My father is my soccer inspiration because he pushes me to be the best player I can be.” TJ said he hopes to have a great club career and carry onto collegiate soccer in the future. 

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