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Heart Attack Claims Life of David Symes:
His Dream to Make Soccer Available to All Lives On

by Judy Silberstein

David Symes( August 10, 2002 ) The Larchmont soccer community is shocked and saddened by the death of popular soccer coach David Symes who died of a heart attack on August 2, 2002 at the age of forty-two. Past-president of the Larchmont Junior Soccer League, Tom Munno was still having difficulty absorbing the reality of Symes’ death. “He’s a gentle man with strong convictions. A phenomenal teacher for kids,” said Munno. Symes coached numerous League teams, first for boys and most recently the Wildcats for under 15-year-old girls. He also coached at Mamaroneck High School, Keieo Academy and with the Rivertown Soccer Club. ”David had a passion for children and for soccer and the two were intertwined,” read the memorial written for his funeral on August 10.

His players understood his dedication to the sport and to them. MHS Varsity soccer player Kari Marboe remembered her JV years, “David Symes was a really, really good coach. His coaching skills were evident from our season which was excellent.” Perhaps more important for Marboe was that Symes “Was just a good guy. He didn’t yell. If you did something wrong he’d tell you at half-time.” Even after Marboe and her friends graduated from Symes’ team, he would come to see their games on his day off.

The quiet, calm David was the side most people saw. However, Munno said, “Dave would call at 7 o’clock in the morning and would regale you with the details of the game from the day before. You’d almost hope that the team hadn’t won 8-0 because he’d go into detail for each and every goal. People didn’t always understand his enthusiasm because he was so laid back until you got to know him well.”

His passion for soccer, led Symes to dream of opening a camp that would make the game available to all children, regardless of their financial means. Sid Ings, current President of the Larchmont Junior Soccer League, explained that soccer can be an expensive pursuit, especially for the most talented players. The higher-level soccer teams practice at least twice per week, and travel for regular and tournament play. The more successful the team, the more traveling they do, often to distant venues and at considerable expense. According to Ings, the teams are spending anywhere from $600 to $1200 per player in a year.

winning team
The Wildcats display their trophies at a 2001 tournament.

In honor of their friend, colleague and coach, a number of local soccer organizations are starting scholarship funds. Those who wish to participate should make checks out to: "The Larchmont Junior Soccer League Scholarship Fund in Memory of David Symes." Donations should be mailed to:

c/o Tony Carroll
96 West Garden Road
Larchmont NY 10538


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