For 9 years, the Staples boys soccer team have been grateful guests at Wethersfield High’s Winton-Keane-Bittner Soccer Jamboree. The event honors 3 former Eagle soccer players killed on 9/11. Wethersfield also acknowledges the loss of former Wrecker Scott Coleman.
Today — on the eve of the 10th anniversary of that horrible day — Staples joined 3 other boys teams for a poignant ceremony. Afterward — true to the spirit of soccer — the 4 squads battled on the field, in friendly but tough contests.
The Westporters turned in perhaps their best effort of all 9 Wethersfield jamborees. The 1st match — against Fermi-Enfield — was a 2-0 victory. Dylan Hoy slammed in Dylan Evans’ quick ball; then Evans tallied off Steve Smith’s free quick.
The 2nd contest — against Wethersfield — was scoreless until 2 minutes remained. Hoy and Lorenz Esposito did great work getting the ball to Smith. His well-taken long shot sailed over the keeper, into the far corner.
In the waning seconds David Hoffman took on several defenders, racing forward to nail the insurance goal. When he scored, the clock showed just 1.6 seconds to play.
Throughout that match, the blue-and-whites got very tough defensive work from Jake Malowitz, Taylor McNair, Harry Birch, Ben Root, Aaron Liu and Alex Tonsberg.
An entirely new group faced Kingswood Oxford in the finale. Freshman Phil Foisie finished off a feed from Jay Kaplan. The upstaters leveled near the end, off a long throw.
“This jamboree is always a highlight of our preseason,” said head coach Dan Woog. “It’s a day to play solid competition, to test ourselves and our various combinations — and to be together.
“We thank Wethersfield for hosting us, and for allowing us to commemorate 9/11 through the sport of soccer.”