In 1995 Fred Cantor ’71 — a former Yale University soccer player — was a New York lawyer. His 1970 Wrecker teammates had gone on to successful careers in medicine, engineering, science research, journalism and professional soccer.
“Something transcendent, something extraordinary happened out on the Staples High School soccer field in Westport, Connecticut, and, as one who shared in that experience, I was determined to try to get to the bottom of it and help articulate it,” he said.
So Fred went back to Westport to see what Staples soccer looked like, 25 years later.
He spent that fall with the Wreckers — attending training sessions and games, getting to know the players, talking to head coach Jeff Lea and assistant coach Dan Woog.
The result — a book called The Autumn of Our Lives — is a remarkable description and analysis of a magical moment: a Staples soccer season. Moving effortlessly between his own story, those of 6 teammates, and the ’95 Wreckers — including Mike Dobbs, Tyler Mitchell, Brad Tursi, Jon Hendrickson and a freshman named Kyle Martino — the book deserves a larger audience than it got. (It was also considered, for a while, as a movie adaptation — but that’s another story.)
Now Staples students, at least, can read Fred’s book. He found a copy recently, and this week donated it to the school library.
Staples soccer is unique in many ways. Having such a book — offering tremendous insights that players from 1970, 1995 or 2010 can relate to — is one of the most important.