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Long-Time Norwalk Football Coach Achieves Elusive Goal

Norwalk Packers fourth-grade coach Bert Borges celebrates with his team after winning the league championship Saturday.
Norwalk Packers fourth-grade coach Bert Borges celebrates with his team after winning the league championship Saturday. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

NORWALK, Conn. – The permanent record will show that Norwalk’s Bert Borges won the Colonial League championship with his fourth-grade team this year.

The record will not show, however, that the banner was the result of eight years of work.

Borges and the Packers defeated Bridgeport Saturday, 7-0, to win the title. They now play Hartford Saturday for the state championship.

The journey to the top has been special for Borges. He coached his older son, Joe, for six years before he aged-out of the program. There were several near-misses, but never a championship.

“I’ve been in plenty of them, but we always came up short,’’ said Borges, who now coaches his younger son, Vince. “My other team went up against a Newtown team that had an incredible record. We played tough games against them, but we couldn’t get past them. We came up short by an extra point one year. It was always a tough fight, but they always squeaked it out.”

Saturday, it was Borges’ turn to squeak one out. The Packers beat Bridgeport, 33-7, during the regular season. But the Chargers came ready to fight this time, and started the game by recovering an onsides kick. Norwalk’s defense, which was strong all day, bent a few times but never broke. The Packers scored the only touchdown they needed on a 24-yard run by Nemo Harris in the third quarter.

The defense did the rest, including a late-game stand when Bridgeport had one final chance to push in the tying touchdown. Finally, after eight years of near nightly practices from August through October Borges had his championship. He was as excited as the boys he coaches.

“It’s nice to have,’’ Borges said. “I always say it, and believe it, that we’re here to teach the kids something. If we teach them, and they have a good attitude, the byproduct will be success in whatever they do. That’s the most important thing for me.”

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