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Letter to the Editor: The Ballad of Vinnie Forte

June 6, 2017 Community, Opinion, Sports No Comments

To the Editor:

We have lived in the wonderful town of Canton since 2009. My son Vincent, now 10, was just 2 years old. The town features great schools, neighbors, services, community and easy commute to my office in West Hartford. What a country.

Quickly Vinnie made friends. In fact, from 2009 to 2016 emerged a core group of buddies we started calling the “wolf pack.”

Sadly, over the last 14 months, five members of the “pack” are gone.

No, it’s nothing tragic. They all moved – three to Florida, one to Texas and, most recently, Pennsylvania. This is where I could rip into the sad economic reality of Connecticut, but that is not my point.

My point is football.

I grew up in a suburb of Boston. Our town was mostly blue collar, hard-working Italian and Irish families. Many escaped the city life to live in the woods.

Starting in the second grade, I would put on all of my football equipment and ride my bike about 4 miles to the park for practice.  It was always a long ride home in the dark, still wearing my helmet, mouth guard stuck into the facemask.

I learned about hard work, team effort, sportsmanship, winning, losing and all the typical benefits of team sports. Sometimes I got injured; sometimes I caused an injury.

Recently, I joined Canton’s youth football board and immediately started recruiting from what was remaining in the “wolf pack” and beyond – should be easy, right?

Multiple parents I encountered responded, “No.”

I have been wondering what my life would be like if my parents said “No.”

[As I write this it is] June 6. The first day of practice for Canton Warriors is Aug 1.

You may hear from me and my son Vinnie in the next few weeks asking “Would your son like to sign up for football?”

Joining is easy at warriorsfbc.com. The program is open to kids from Canton, Avon, Burlington and Harwinton.

I can speak for the C-team that our players will focus on building character, work ethic, sportsmanship, technique and old-fashioned hard work.

Maybe Vinnie will have a new “wolf pack?”

Go Warriors!

Coach Mike Forte

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