The Farmington Board of Education on Monday night welcomed the town’s champions - the Farmington High School boys soccer team and its winning head coach.
The boys, who took the state Class L title in a stunning 5-0 victory over rival Avon, joined the board Monday night to hear their congratulations and gratitude for a thrilling season.
The students talked about each other and coming together after a difficult start to the season.
“This year the win was really unparalleled,” said senior team captain Tyler Hoffman. “The beginning of the season was rough but around the ninth game we really found team chemistry and synergy and from there it was history… This program has been the best time of my life.”
Dan Manfredi, another team captain and senior, echoed Hoffman.
“Being part of this program was a great experience – definitely something I’ll cherish,” Manfredi said.
The Indians got off to a rocky 3-2-3 start to the season, including losses to conference rivals Conard and Northwest Catholic. But after a scoreless draw with Simsbury on the road in the ninth game of the year, Farmington rattled off 12 consecutive victories, including four in the tournament to capture the school's 10th state title in boys soccer.
Assistant coach Chris Garrahan said what the boys accomplished was extraordinary.
“These boys are a remarkable group of guys. With the start we had this season, to get to where we got to is quite an accomplishment,” Garrahan said. “In the 30 years I’ve been doing this, it’s the biggest accomplishment and turn around.”
Garrahan also pointed to Coach Steve Waters, who has seen Farmington through 30 years and seven state titles.
“In the middle of the season… Steve reached his 450th victory,” Garrahan said. “He is second in the state in all-time victories but I don’t think he’ll be second for long. We are really just privileged to be able to witness what he does… he is really a remarkable coach.”
While the Board of Education congratulated Waters for his dedication, they also thanked Athletic Director Jack Phelan.
But Phelan turned to praise Waters.
“Coach Waters is one of the top coaches, not just in the state but in the country. These amazing boys… it’s a very special treat to watch them each year even if they don’t get to the championship to watch them grow and mature,” Phelan said.
He also thanked the board and community for their support.
“Without the Board of Education’s support we would never be able to do this. We’re very fortunate to have all of you and the whole Farmington community. We got ready to play that Avon game on a holiday weekend and the place was filled with the whole Farmington community. Steve said ‘I knew they were going to come I knew they’d be there’ and they were.”