Photo Gallery | Varsity Soccer -- Twin Valley vs. Bellows Falls
WESTMINSTER -- Buddy Hayford is now the king of the mountain.
The Green Mountain, that is.
Hayford became the winningest high school soccer coach in Vermont history after his Twin Valley team zipped host Bellows Falls, 8-0, on Tuesday afternoon.
"It's something that I take a lot of pride in," said Hayford, when asked what the coaching record meant to him. "Coaching is my job, my hobby, and it's a passion. I get a lot of support from my players, their families, my family, and the school."
Hayford entered Tuesday's game tied with former Arlington coach John Werner, each with 346 career victories. Hayford, in his 32nd season, now has a 347-134-24 mark. Werner retired in 2003 with a 346-108-31 record.
"John left a message over the weekend and wished me luck," stated Hayford. "We used to coach a summer camp at UVM together. I've kind of emulated what he did."
The Twin Valley coach watched his team dominate in the season opener. The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead to the break and added six insurance goals in the second half.
Tobi Will had a hat trick to lead the winners. Baylee Crawford tallied twice, while Nick Nilsen, Justin Hicks and Javier Mateos also scored.
And after the game, several Twin Valley fans walked across the field toward Hayford, clapped and shouted, "Congrats, Buddy!"
"It's hard to put it into words. For me, it's just a number. It's just another game," said Hayford. "The boys played very well."
Hayford has won seven state championships as a coach, including last year's perfect season when his team outscored its foes 90-1. And he won it all in 1993 with a group he called "the Iron Men" because there were only 14 players in the program that season.
Among the players he has coached during his 32 seasons, are Ryan Holton (68 goals, 44 assists), Scott Hayford (81 goals, 30 assists), Colin Lozito (59 goals, 56 assists), and current goalie Sam Molner (24 shutouts).
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.