Larry Hayden got involved with Enfield Recreational Soccer in much the same way he got involved with the Holy Family Church CCD program or the Unemployment Support Group he began. He recognized a need and he did what he could to fulfill it unconditionally.
In the Spring 1992 soccer season where a Division Manager called Larry’s home to notify them that their daughter Emily had been assigned to a U-6 team but that there was a need for a coach. He found out a volunteer was needed he went straight to the phone and jumped right in to help and never looked back!
This was not easy for Larry. Though he was an athlete, Larry’s talents had been tested on baseball diamonds, basketball courts, and golf courses. So, he read books and reviewed videos from the library and went on to coach the first of fourteen seasons, many of which he had served as a Division Manager as well. There were a few seasons where he even pulled “double duty” as a Division Manager and an Assistant Coach to his son Conor’s team.
Upmost in whatever decisions Larry made, on the field or at league meetings, lay the question as to whether or not it was beneficial for the children. Good sportsmanship took precedence over winning; winning by a small, competitive margin always brought more satisfaction than winning big. The boys and girls playing recreational soccer were there to have fun. For Larry, “fun” was the operative word. Larry’s legacy to the club and, more importantly, to the children, rests in the spirit and values he brought to Enfield Recreational Soccer. Anyone who knew him, whether it was his family, friends or past players, understood this about him. A few days after he died, Casey Sullivan, a member of his Fall 1998 team, wrote heartfelt condolences in a local paper to his family. She ended by saying she was also “sad for the town of Enfield for losing such a kind and caring coach.” As long as these qualities are upheld on the playing fields of Enfield Recreational Soccer games, Larry will be part of the season and his spirit will live on!