Letter: John Werner's lasting legacy

To the Editor:

Manchester youth soccer lost a dear friend with the passing of coach John Werner.

John was selfless and generous in sharing his knowledge and experience with those of us in the fledgling Southwest Vermont Youth Soccer League who wanted to introduce kids to the game we loved. He was instrumental in guiding the founders of the Manchester Youth Soccer League at its inception more than 40 years ago.

The SWVYSL is now appropriately known as the John Werner Youth Soccer League in honor of the gentle, kind man (and formidable competitor_) who did so much to advance youth soccer in southern Vermont. The league still adheres to the principles that coach Werner espoused: "Sportsmanship and friendship through soccer."

John's coaching philosophy, as he expressed so many times during private discussions, coaching clinics and soccer camps, was the development of the "total kid." What really mattered was what happened to a player outside the lines; that the soccer field was just a classroom without walls where life lessons could be taught and learned.

Coach Werner will live on through the hundreds of "disciples' he inspired, and the thousands of kids whose lives he touched with his grace, integrity and kindness. A lasting legacy.

Chip Chamberlain



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