Regional Soccer Jamboree held at Hale-Ray
By Merja H. Lehtinen - ReminderNews
East Haddam - posted Thu., Sep. 12, 2013
Schools from all over Connecticut sent teams to the Soccer Jamboree held at the Nathan Hale-Ray High School in Moodus on Saturday, Aug. 31.
The scrimmage event was organized by the high school coach. There is such spirit among the local soccer clubs and organizations that many of the players come back after college and watch the younger children play, as well as send donations from all over the country.
Carol Wright is one of those special people. As a mom and wife of a coach and member of the Little Noises Athletic Booster Club, she stood quietly behind the scenes as she pointed out the fun the children were having, from getting cleats at a discounted rate from the Glastonbury Oakwood Pro Shop, to enjoying a hot dog, to just playing their favorite sport. There were beautiful new sign boards sponsored by the boosters and the fields were well maintained. Several people noted this is a community-wide affair where even people without children who play soccer can come to meet and watch the younger generation play the sport they love.
The atmosphere before it all began was tentatively optimistic, as the weather reports threatened rain, but by 9 a.m., buses were rolling up from eight schools, and high schools boys were spilling out onto the fields. Spirits were undaunted and the rain held off until well after the games were underway. The younger players were just finishing up their scrimmages that started an hour earlier. More than 300 children, parents, siblings and volunteers enjoyed the day.
Kevin Quinn, president of the East Haddam Soccer Club, leads the numerous volunteers - many of whom have supported soccer in East Haddam for decades. He encourages other communities, from Enfield to the New Haven area, to enjoy the game as well. By allowing statewide students to meet and mingle before the season, it gets them ready to compete in a non-competitive way just as friends who love soccer and want to achieve excellence in the game. There was no emphasis on which team won the most scrimmages; it was all about techniques and methods to achieve best practices.