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STEVE WATERS

The Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame accepted seven inductees into the class of 2011, including longtime Farmington High School boys coach Steve Waters, in a festive ceremony held at the Farmington Marriott Saturday night. Waters' coaching prowess is already well-known in Connecticut after he led FHS in 28 years to a record of 430 wins, 68 losses, and 33 draws. He’s collected six state championships, including his most recent title last year, and 25 conference titles over his career. “If it takes a village to raise a child, then it took the Connecticut soccer community to build a coach,” said Waters as he addressed the packed banquet room. “Many thanks to the town of Farmington staff and players through the years.”

The Wethersfield native was brought into this year’s class with the likes of Leszek Wrona, Paul Toomey, Michael Noonan, Richard Eddy, Mark Holowesko and Kyle Martino. All seven inductees shared great admiration and respect for each other. “Now that he’s gone on to coaching, he’s done a terrific job at Farmington High School,” said Eddy, who has 29 years of certified soccer refereeing under his belt. Waters and Holowesko also share a connection deeper then both being named to the hall of fame this year. “”I knew Steve Waters as a player when I was president of the Wethersfield Soccer Club,” Holowesko said during his speech. Waters played at Wethersfield High School from 1973-76, and helped the Eagles win a State Championship in 1975. “My Wethersfield teammates taught me to play to compete, not just play to play,” Waters said.

He moved on from WHS and continued to build his talents playing at the University of Hartford. Waters had an impressive collegiate career, named to the All New England teams in both ’78 and ’79. In his transition from player to coach, Waters kept up his winning ways, earning three NHSACA Regional Coach of the Year awards while coaching at FHS. He was also named the CT Soccer Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2001.

Waters mentioned that he had great respect for all his peers in the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame, whose names were displayed on banners draped on the walls. Many were in attendance to see their newest fellow members receive recognition. “Steve and I played together indoors a little while ago,” said Frantz Innocent, a class of 2001 inductee into the Hall of Fame and a member of the selection committee this year. “I’ve known [Steve] for a long time. For this type of achievement, it was one of the easiest selections.” “I am extremely grateful,” Waters said as he wrapped up his speech, “and a proud son of Connecticut soccer.”