Over 125 female athletes participated in a soccer event to support the annual Mary Harris Youth Soccer Day, put on by the Harwood girls’ varsity and JV soccer teams.
On Wednesday, October 3, at Harwood, the high school teams put on soccer workshops and drills for the youth to practice. The varsity team also incorporated fun learning games and activities, with a fun tag for candy game to end the event. This community event was for all soccer-playing girls K through sixth-grade from Waterbury and the Mad River Valley.
The event is held in remembrance of Mary Harris, one of the five local students who died in a car crash on October 8, 2016.
The event has a lasting motto behind it, “Love like Mary,” which was branded on the custom made T-shirts that all participants received for the event.
“It has occurred to me that Mary coached me on being a better person more than I ever coached her in soccer,” said head coach for the varsity girls’ soccer team, Mike Vasseur.
At the end of the youth day, the participants had to chase around the Harwood soccer teams as they “stole” the youths’ candy.
Mad River Soccer helped out with the event by contributing towards the T-shirts, Vasseur also commented on how grateful they were for the support and contributions for the event.
In the event’s third year, Vasseur commented on how the event reflects in his players and the community that supports them.
“Mary showed kindness and loved the kids in our community and all kids really. It has showed the kids the power of paying it forward and that ‘Love like Mary’ really is one of our program’s core values. Mary made us kinder and that is now even more important to me than winning games,” said Vasseur.