Grant Harshbarger

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‘It Started Getting Tough’: New Canaan Men’s Soccer Group Seeks Playing Time on Sports Fields

A well-established men’s soccer group in New Canaan that’s seeking consistent access to the town’s playing fields is prompting parks officials to create a formal process for it and similar leagues. Led by officers including New Canaanites Jeff Walker and Grant Harshbarger, the men’s soccer group is more than 20 years old, counts 65 registered players, has its own insurance and is seeking to lock down two 2-hour sessions in the evening for what typically turn out to be 8-on-8 or 10-on-10 games, officials say. Town and district officials such as Recreation Director Steve Benko and New Canaan High School Athletic Director Jay Egan have been “generous about helping us get fields, but about three or four years ago it started getting tough,” Walker told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting. Joined by Harshbarger at the meeting, Walker said 40 of 65 players are New Canaan residents while the others are typically their family members or friends. “We used to be almost 90 percent New Canaan, but we have lost a lot of players to other towns’ programs that consistently set up times for fields,” Walker said at the meeting, held May 10 at Lapham Community Center. Continue Reading →

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