COMMUNITY MVP: Enfield’s Crowley makes an impact on the gridiron

It wasn’t long ago that Enfield had no ninth grade football program. They did not have very good football facilities, and the program was slipping.

But then Pat Crowley decided the town could do better.

As head of the football boosters, a lifelong football coach and graduate of Fermi High School, Crowley helped to overcome a budget gap by raising funds to maintain the ninth grade team. With his leadership, the team was provided transportation, uniforms, and other necessary items.

Crowley also gave the Enfield football facility a total makeover.

“We overhauled the concession area,” Crowley said, “we redid the home team and visitor locker rooms. We got bathrooms put in. We have done a lot to upgrade the program. A couple years ago we put in a press box, state of the art.”

As a result, the team plays on a beautiful Astroturf field and has modern grandstands to play in front of.

“When we first started down in Enfield High there was nothing there,” Crowley said. “We have made great improvements but we are still working. We have a scoreboard on one end of the field we want another scoreboard.”

The contributions to Enfield football run much deeper, as Crowley devotes a large portion of his time to youth football.

“I tried to merge the programs together to develop teams in the future,” he said. “The high school coaches continually meet with the youth coaches on how to be better coaches.

The father of seven works full-time as the Supervisor of Judicial Marshalls, and knows the importance of discipline and team in a young man’s life.

“One thing it does, it kept them in a structured environment,” Crowley said. “It teaches them teamwork, how to help each other out. To be part of something is important as a kid. I don’t care if you’re in band, into acting; I love to see kids doing things. My parents took foster kids through my doors, and I got to see kids who had a difficult time in life.”

Having kids get involved in youth sports is also beneficial to the parents, Crowley says. It opens up new friendships and relationships that can benefit a family for a lifetime. But there are challenges too.

“Obviously, sometimes it can be a bad experience,” Crowley said of coaching youngsters from rough backgrounds. “There are kids who can’t partake. We have had some tough cases where kids couldn’t conform to what to do, couldn’t be instructed on basic policies. You have to do what’s best for the team as a whole. You don’t give up on kids but you have to coach the kids all across the board, especially the kids who need coaching. The kids who have the talent, you give them what they need, and let them thrive.”

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