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Long-time Schomberg coach Larry Gould was lauded in a ceremony to celebrate his 50 years of service to the association, at a ceremony at Trisan Centre on Saturday.
By Jake Courtepatte
Larry Gould saw his name raised to the rafters of Schomberg's Trisan Centre on Saturday, not as a player, but a lasting figure behind the bench.
The long-time Schomberg coach got the surprise of his life after the completion of his Bantam Local League's home playoff game against Thornton that afternoon, coming out from the dressing room post-game to a packed crowd of current and former Red Wings players, coaches, and staff.
Presented with the Ontario Minor Hockey's Honour Award in 2015, Gould's dedication to minor hockey in Schomberg stretches back to the formative years of the program in 1968-69. He plans to retire from coaching at the end of this season, marking an incredible 50 years mentoring young athletes.
“We are not aware of any coach in the history of the OMHA who has ever contributed this many consecutive years to coaching minor hockey,” said Kelly Harbridge, president of Schomberg Minor Hockey.
Harbridge and his team quietly got the word out to the community weeks prior, while the turnout played a testament to Gould's impact on the close-knit hockey community during his tenure.
“It had the atmosphere of a family reunion,” said Harbridge. “Very heart-felt. Lots of hugs and tears from people who had not seen each other in years.”
For a vast majority of the Schomberg area, and certainly the young crowd, Gould has been known simply as ‘Coach Larry.' He served for approximately 20 years as the York-Simcoe convener, and is a past recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award through the Township of King.
It all came to a fitting finale Saturday afternoon when he left the dressing room to a red carpet affair, with the visiting Thornton squad still waiting in a classy show of respect for the veteran coach.
Fittingly dressed in a Schomberg Red Wings jersey with his name and the number 50 on the back, presented to him moments before in the dressing room by Harbridge, Councilor Bill Cober, York-Simcoe Hockey President Doug Yarenko, and OMHA Vice-President Peter Harmsen, Gould made his way to centre ice to erupting applause from the newly-formed crowd.
Local McDonald's owner Rory McKinnon led the procession back onto the ice, dressed in Scottish regalia and playing “The Maple Leaf Forever” on his bagpipes. It was quite a scene for the overcome coach to see a line of former players from years past, including his own son Marty, decked out in Schomberg jerseys and lining both sides of the red carpet, lined up with their sticks held high to form an archway for Gould to make his way to centre ice.
“It was an incredibly heartfelt moment,” said Harbridge.
“I don't think there was a dry eye in the arena,” said Harbridge. “Larry was truly humbled. It was a great day for a legendary coach.”
There, he was presented with a framed photo collage of all his years volunteering for the organization, that could only hope to give back to him as much as he had given to them.
His name, on a bright red banner with the number 50, was then raised into the rafters.
Excerpt: Larry Gould saw his name raised to the rafters of Schomberg’s Trisan Centre on Saturday, not as a player, but a lasting figure behind the bench. The long-time Schomberg coach got the surprise of his life after the completion of his Bantam Local League’s home playoff game against Thornton that afternoon, coming out from the dressing room post-game to a packed crowd of current and former Red Wings players, coaches, and staff.
Post date: 2019-02-27 09:14:14
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