Westport Football mourns the loss of Coach Lavalla

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Cooper Boardman, Staff Writer

Staples football players and the Westport community mourn the loss of former Westport P.A.L. football coach Greg LaValla. He passed away yesterday morning after battling cancer.

“He was a very inspirational coach.  When he would coach, he wouldn’t just coach football, he would coach life lessons,” Tripp Backus ’17 said, a player LaValla once coached.

Respected immensely by his players, who worked hard to fulfill the high expectations he set for them, LaValla was deemed the Westport P.A.L. Sportsman of the Year in 2001 for his countless hours of dedication to the P.A.L. football and basketball programs.

“He was a very caring man. He would always want to know how we were doing and if we were well,” Staples football player Ari McCoy ’17said. “He really wanted the best for us.”

On Sept. 12, at Staples’ first game of the year under the lights, LaValla was honored at halftime as one of the inductees into the Wreckers’ Wall of Fame. Hundreds of present and former Westport football players came to honor him.

Also to honor LaValla and show the impact he made on young football players lives, the Westport P.A.L. football program created a tribute video back in August.

A service has been arranged for Lavella at Compo Beach this Saturday at 3 p.m. to the left of the southwest jetty, facing Saugatuck Shores.  For those who are planning on attending, it’s advised to bring beach chairs.