On Saturday evening, hundreds of people gathered at the soccer field at Ellington High School for the annual alumni soccer game. This year, the game had a special feel as Greg Caron was honored.
It was a fundraiser, people could make a donation if they chose, as well as a way to recognize the injured Marine – who played soccer during his time at .
The alumni turned out in huge numbers – enough for three teams worth – to play against the current high school players. Coach Roy Gurnon, who put this event together, said this was the largest group of returning alumni ever.
“It was a great day,” he said. “To have this many alums show up, not just to play the game but for a good cause, it’s pretty special and meaningful, not just for Greg, but for everybody here. To raise money on Greg’s behalf, whether it was $200, it didn’t really matter, it was just having all these guys show up. I think it just spoke to Ellington soccer. That’s one of the things that makes it special.”
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During halftime of the game, Gurnon gathered everyone together and honored Caron with a plaque.
After the game, there was a picnic where everybody enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers, and side dishes. Players and fans brought the items and volunteers cooked them up.
“It’s the whole group,” Gurnon said. “It’s amazing how many people wanted to help out or be involved on some level. It’s special. It’s good stuff.”
Caron, who has been part of the alumni game since 2005 said that there is never this kind of turnout – he figured there were people watching who didn’t have someone playing in the game and were just there for support – and that it was pretty cool.
“To have this game honored under my name for this year is pretty cool, it’s a great experience,” he said. “It seems like everybody had a good time. The support, I can’t thank everybody enough. It was fun, I had a good time.”
For Caron, it made it even more special because it was something to do with soccer.
“I wish I could be out there playing but unfortunately it is what it is and I can’t,” he said. “Maybe one day I will be, who knows, but not this year. I wish I could be out there playing. It’s still early, I’ve got plenty of time. I’m only 26 years old. I’ll be out here playing, I promise. I won’t be as good as I used to be, but I’ll be able to kick the ball around.”