CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Touchback Club today honored Charlotte Hounds Midfielder Stephen Berger as their 2012 Pro Athlete of the Year. Touchback Club President Alex Schanderwald said, “Stephen is ushering in a new era of lacrosse in the Carolinas. It was hard to overlook his flair and skill.” Other nominees included the Panthers’ Cam Newton, the Bobcats’ Corey Maggette and the Hurricanes’ Jussi Jokinen.
Local and national fan reaction was a mixture of excitement and bewilderment saying they aren’t really sure who Stephen Berger is but look forward to witnessing his freakish athletic talents in person next summer. “I have heard his raw athletic ability is only exceeded by his dashing good looks” said Vera Carson of Matthews. Former professional tennis player and 1978 TCTC Athlete of the Year nominee John McEnroe had this to say: “You cannot be serious!” And others felt the same way – like Bob Stough from Huntersville. “Never heard of him. Never seen a lacrosse game. That’s the sport with the sticks, right?”
But as with most successful professional athletes, it took more than raw talent to make Stephen what he is today. “I put in a ton of work from the time I was a kid. I spent hours against the lax wall just honing my skills. Putting in the hours to become a great athlete is hard on you – just look what it’s done to Olympic great Bruce Jenner’s face”.
“But,” Stephen added a moment later “all the hard work pays off when you get public recognition like this – and that’s really why we do it all. For public recognition – and the girls, of course.”
You can witness TCTC’s 2012 Athlete of the Year Stephen Berger and the Charlotte Hounds in person and see for yourself starting April 28, 2012. Season Tickets are on sale now at www.charlottehounds.com/tickets or by phone 704-980-2999.