BRISTOL — Before the Mount Abraham Union High School boys’ soccer team’s Saturday morning home game, the players, parents, fans, school officials and family members of the late Levi Duclos watched as a plaque in the 2009 Mount Abe captain’s memory was unveiled on the home team’s bench.
Mount Abe coach Mike Corey spoke about Duclos, a standout player and team leader who perished in a tragic hiking incident this past winter.
His speech, which includes the plaque’s inscription, went as follows:
“Today we pause to remember and celebrate Levi Duclos, a 2010 graduate of Mount Abraham. Levi is remembered as a very special young man, a terrific soccer player and friend to all who had the honor and privilege of knowing him. Levi Duclos was a team captain and all-star soccer player in 2009.
“Levi left us this past January. His example as a competitor exemplified his love for the game of soccer, a commitment to his teammates and a willingness to lead with distinction. Levi’s play demonstrated the highest example of sportsmanship.
“In 2009 Levi received the team’s Coaches Award. (I said then) of Levi, ‘Levi was the anchor of our back four ... Levi has many talents as a player and team leader. The most important may be his calm, focused approach to the game ... As a defender he is tough as nails ... Levi never lost his composure or clear focus on the task at hand ... Levi is a talented player who is the model of what is a true sportsman.’
“These memories of Levi will always remain with us and his spirit will always be present on this field. His memory will be sustained by those of us who new him and by the presence of the team benches that now sit on this field. Through the generosity of many, we now have these team benches and the attached plaque to honor Levi.
“The plaque attached reads:
‘In Loving Memory of Levi Duclos
“A great player and a true sportsman”
2009 Lake Division All-Star
Addison Independent All-Star
Captain of the Mount Abraham Eagles’
“We also have a sturdy red oak planted in his honor and growing at the south end of the field. This red oak … will eventually provide shade to the many athletes who we hope will follow his example.
“Thank you to all who supported the effort to remember Levi with their contributions to provide the team benches and those who provided the tree and the labor to establish its new home here on the soccer field.”