Ty Been’s soccer career at the youth level may be coming to a close, but the 2021 Elizabethtown High School graduate and current Bellarmine University center back was recognized recently for his work in club competition this past season.
Been was recognized Aug. 7as the Kentucky Youth Soccer Boys’ Player of the Year during Kentucky Youth Soccer’s end of year luncheon in Lexington. Been, who played club soccer in Louisville as a member of Javanon FC, said it was an honor to receive this award, but it also was something he had not initially expected.
“I was really blessed. There’s so many good players, on my team especially, going to some good colleges,” Been said. “I was just kind of surprised but humbled at the same time to be picked over a lot of my teammates and who I played against that I’ve known for a long time.”
Been was told that he was this year’s winner July 15.
While being selected caught him by surprise, Been added he was grateful to be thought of in this way by those who voted for him.
“The people I play with, they’re really good. The coaches are some of the top coaches in Kentucky,” he said. “For them to think I’m that good of a player feels really good because obviously I respect them a lot. I respect their opinions and what they think.”
Been began playing soccer in the area at a young age, starting with the Elizabethtown Youth Soccer Association and then for the EYSA’s Atletico Flames. At age nine, Been transferred to Javanon and has been with the club ever since.
During the high school season, Been stayed local and played for Elizabethtown.
His Javanon 03 team recently won the state championship and advanced to regionals in St. Louis. Been and his teammates survived pool play and defeated Cincinnati Cup in the final four to advance to the region final, where they fell to Indy Fire.
He credited the effort he gave this year and during previous seasons at Javanon with helping him win this year’s award.
“Just over the summers, putting in a lot of work for my team. When we were in the offseason, we were still playing soccer, not doing something else. We were thinking about next year and as the season went on, we gained a lot of chemistry,” he said. “We had a lot of injuries as well, but as we got to end of the season we were playing our best.”
While he will not be able to play the entire club season with his freshman year at Bellarmine getting started, Been said he might be able to return to Javanon in the spring to play in the State Cup.
He credited his club coach with helping get him ready for what he can expect to see at the NCAA Division I level this fall. Bellarmine, which plays in the Atlantic Sun Conference, officially opens its season Aug. 26 against the University of Evansville after a pair of exhibition games against Northern Kentucky University and the University of Dayton this week.
“My club coach, Matt Wilkerson, he coaches at (Hanover College), which is a D-3 school not far from here,” he said. “He tells us a lot about what college is like and tries to help us prepare for that level. That level’s obviously a lot faster and the quality’s better in college, but he does what he can to prepare us as best he can, so that helps with just knowing what to expect.”
Been was thankful to Wilkerson along his other coaches and his family for helping him get to this point.
Matt Tyson can be reached at 270-505-1425 or email@example.com.