Letter: Coach will be missed

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To the Editor:The Manchester Youth Soccer League (MYSL) was conceived in 1979 by local residents Karl Pfeiffer, Merrick Counsel, Dick Engel, and Charles (Chip) Chamberlain. It was Dick Engel who got the proverbial ball rolling. The reason? Pam and Dick Engel's son John had played soccer in the Atlanta area and they wanted it to continue in Manchester. After Dick gained the support of Karl, Merrick, and Chip, the group sought the help of John Werner. John had organized the Southwestern Vermont Youth Soccer League (SWVYSL) in 1975 consisting then of just three clubs from Arlington, Bennington, and Pownal. MYSL became the fourth participating club in 1980 fall season. Since then, Werner had been a mentor to MYSL by hosting annual coaching clinics, providing administrative guidance, and instilling a club philosophy focused on learning the game, sportsmanship, and having fun. One of John's favorite expressions was "Kids first." That is, all decisions made by us (the SWVYSL board and participating clubs) had the players' best interest as the bottom line.In recognition of John Werner's hard work and devotion to the SWVYSL, the league was renamed in 2011 as the John Werner Youth Soccer League (JWYSL). John sadly passed away on March 2. He will be missed by administrators, coaches, parents, and players of MYSL, JWYSL, and everyone else who knew this wonderful person.Steve HousemanMYSL President


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