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Veteran Coach Steve LaPierre talks about his 40 years on the sidelines.

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 10:26 AM EST
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VAN BUREN, Maine (WAGM) - Van Buren’s Steve LaPierre is one of the true coaching veterans. LaPierre has coached boys soccer for 40 years and also has coached varsity basketball for over 35 years.

The Van Buren Crusaders have had a lot of success over the last 40 years and the once constant is Coach Steve LaPierre. He started coaching back in 1979 and has has been on the sidelines every year but once since then. He missed the 2015 season after having back surgery.

LaPierre:” I have had a lot of good teams and we have had some building years. It’s always been enjoyable. We have had a good relationship here in the community. I have had a lot of support from the people in the community. It still continues to be fun and it continues to be something that I enjoy to do. Seeing the kids grow and hopefully take some of the tools that we give them and take them into the real world when they graduate.”

)He has won four States including back in 2006. These are highlights from the Championship run that year. He also won States in 1994, 1996 and 2004. He also won five other regional titles beginning in 1979, 91,99 and back to back on 2001 and 2002. The sign of every LaPierre team is speed and giving 100 percent on the field.

LaPierre:” The kids work hard both in those days we had summer soccer and a lot of the High School kids would play in the summertime against some of these college teams. They got a lot of experience and playing time. The kids have a good tradition. It goes in cycles there some some years that we are a little bit down, but like this year again we were pretty strong and the kids were able to pull it together at the end of the year.

They captured the Aroostook League title. LaPierre says that he runs into former players all the time and they love to talk about their high school careers.

LaPierre:”They remember more than I do because I have been doing it so long I kind of forget sometimes. It’s nice the kids come back and talk about the games and the teams they had. It is really nice.”

The veteran coach is able to transition from one season to the next very easily.

LaPierre:” It’s not very hard. I have been doing it for a long time and you kind of start the year the same way and then you see what you have for players and what you have and tailor the team to that.”

LaPierre doesn’t keep track of his wins, but it is a guarantee that he has over 400 soccer wins and well over 200 basketball wins. He started with the girls and then moved to the boys in the 1990′s. The big question is how much longer are you going to roam the sidelines.

LaPierre:” As long as they will keep me and I am healthy. I still enjoy it so you take it year by year.”

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