East Granby players play for coach killed in New York crash - WFSB 3 Connecticut

East Granby players play for coach killed in New York crash

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EAST GRANBY, CT (WFSB) -

Soccer players from East Granby's past and present scrimmaged Friday afternoon in honor of their coach who was killed in a crash in New York last weekend.

Chris Pettee, 29, was killed when his vehicle hit another car on Interstate 684 in Armonk, near the Connecticut border Sunday morning.

Police said Pettee was wearing a seatbelt, but was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Speed is believed to be a factor, but the crash remains under investigation.

"He always, like, pushed us to the limit, and he was very special to me because he always, like, told me to do my best and he believed in us a lot," said forward Andress Restrepo. "He believed that we could win the state tournament and that's what we're going for tomorrow."

Pettee, who was in his fourth year at East Granby High School, was forced to move to the New York City suburbs for his full-time job. However, he continued to commute to East Granby to coach.

"Once he told us he was going to New York, we figured, oh, he's done, he's not gonna coach us anymore," senior Noah Fersch previously told Eyewitness News. "But he makes a trip three-four times a week, three hours there and back, to coach us, because he loves us that much."

Pettee is credited with turning the program around and reaching the playoffs each of his four years.

"It's going to be a lot harder playing without him, obviously," Captain Andrew Nigro previously told Eyewitness News. "But if he was here he'd obviously want us to push through and win."

On Friday, current players along with alumni scrimmaged in participation for their playoff game with Stafford. The game is at East Granby High School at 1 p.m. on Saturday and tickets are $5.

The receipts from the Saturday's game will be given to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which is Pettee learned he had at an early age.

"He really wanted to be an advocate for children who were diagnosed, and he wanted to show them how to live their life in a positive way," said team manager Rachel Moon. "And not to be affected too much by the disease."

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