Avon youth soccer a family affair

Our family has a passion for sports and sports participation and we have encouraged our entire family, from the time they were in elementary school to their present adult years, to stay active, get their children active, and to participate with them in their athletic endeavors. This high level of participation has resulted in some good times over the past three decades, and has now carried over into a family friendly rivalry which will culminate in a match-up between brothers and cousins in a Connecticut Junior Soccer Association State Cup game between the Avon Fury and the Burlington Revolution in a 2nd round meeting in the U14 boys division.

Making this match-up so unusual is that Jeffrey Fox is an assistant coach for the Burlington Revolution, and his brother, Jamie, is the assistant coach of the Avon Fury. Furthering that relationship finds Jeff’s son, Brady playing for Burlington, and Brady’s cousin and Jamie’s son, Charlie, playing for Avon. Off the field, all four are best of friends with no sibling rivalries complicating their relationships; but, on the soccer field the two teams, the two brothers, and the two cousins are fierce rivals, having met on numerous occasions over the past several years, with each team victorious at different times. Even Jeff’s and Jamie’s parents, Karla and James Fox, of Avon, have to contain their enthusiasm during these matches by sitting on the sideline at midfield so as not to display partisan support for one team over the other – but wholeheartedly supporting the efforts of both sons and both grandsons nonetheless.

Jeff and Jamie have known success in their athletic participation over the years beginning at Avon High School where Jeff was on the 1986 State Championship soccer team, and Jamie was a wrestler on the 1987 State Championship wrestling team. Jeff still plays soccer for an U40 team in Burlington. And, their younger brother, Jason was a member of three State Championship soccer teams while at Avon High School, culminating in his being named a Parade All-American, playing for two national championships for the Oakwood Soccer Club, and going on to play soccer at the University of Notre Dame. In addition, both of Jeff’s and Jamie’s daughters, Alison and Payton, respectively, play soccer for their teams in Avon and Burlington.

The Avon Fury was home to the Burlington Revolution with cousin against cousin and brother versus brother at Fisher Meadows in Avon on Saturday, September 21. Back and forth for seventy minutes of regulation play, and neither team could find the wherewithal to score a goal. Play was spirited, and both teams had their chances, but when the whistle blew signaling that time had expired with the score tied at 0 – 0, all knew that more play was necessary to determine which team would advance. Two ten minute overtime periods would be required to see who would be victorious. But, as the second extra segment wound down with the score still knotted at 0 – 0, it was clear that these two evenly matched groups of young players would be forced into the dreaded and ultimate “overtime” playoff feature that settles all drawn tournament soccer matches: penalty kicks! And, as each player lined up against the opponents’ goalkeepers and took their best shot, it came down to a matter of inches and “feet.” Burlington ended up with the better round of kicks and left the field with the privilege of advancing to play in the next round versus North Haven on October 5.

Both Brady Fox and Charlie Fox, as well as their fathers, Jeff and Jamie, both assistant coaches for Burlington and Avon, were exhausted after the game, but effusive in their praise of one another and for the two teams. The soccer tradition in the Fox family lives on, and Charlie and Jamie lead the cheers and support for their cousin and brother in Burlington’s attempt to win the State Cup later this month.

–By James and Karla Fox


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