A major chapter of Sorelois football is closing…

June 7, 2022

Head coach Polypus Harold Turbide bows

A great chapter in Sorelois football is coming to an end

By: Jean-Philippe Morin

After 35 years at Polypus football, of which 30 years as head coach, Harold Turbide retires… coaching very proud of his career. Although he is not bitter, the pandemic coupled with the loss of concentrations at the École Secondaire Fernand-Lefebvre (ESFL) played into his decision.

Since 2019, concentrations, both in sports and in the arts, have disappeared at ESFL. According to Harold Turbide, then the tide started to turn. “At that point, we lost the sense of belonging. It was important for young people. It’s not that multisport isn’t good, but at the moment we don’t feel the added value of being a Polypus, as we felt before,” he notes.

Then, in 2020, the pandemic happened. The Polypus only played two games in the fall of 2020, while in the fall of 2021 the situation was no easier with several games canceled due to infected players.

Add to this that according to him the bets of the players are no longer the same. “We practice a lot, we don’t play a lot, the out of season is long, we train outside the field… Today it is instantaneous. Were you a journalist before you became editor-in-chief? Well, some guys these days want to be editors from the start,” he illustrates, without generalizing though.

“I had a few more committed guys. At the same time, I have to take time for myself. It’s not like the tank was empty from having given too much. This winter my father, my stepfather and my stepmother all died within three months. I’m broken inside’, he adds emotionally.

Mr. Turbide will continue to assist his successors, who are not yet known. “This is not a goodbye. I’m ready to do the league meetings, fill out the paperwork, look after the Polypus foundation. I’m just not ready to go to the field anymore. It’s hard because I feel like I’m giving up on guys, but I have to save myself first. I don’t rule out coming back one day if the boys want me, but for now I have to leave the field,” the 57-year-old continues, who says he is getting offers to coach at university level. ” weekly “.

A fruitful career

Harold Turbide started playing football late, after high school, at the age of 17. He was an offensive lineman with the Vaillants de Contrecœur for a year and then with the Rebelles du Cégep de Sorel-Tracy for two years.

In his third year at Cégep, there was no longer a Rebelles team due to lack of players. Even though his coaches had made the jump to high school with the Polypus, he was going to observe them.

“After four or five practices, he saw me hanging on the sidelines, my former coach from offensive line Mario Bousquet said to me: if you have to be here see you every night, come and help us† That’s how it started, I was 21,” says Mr. Turbid.

In college, he acted as a healer at the Trois-Rivières Diablos, in addition to filming certain games. “It was the same. A coach said : are you there every night? Come help us! It’s the story of my life he sneezes.

After receiving his baccalaureate degree in 1991, he returned to Sorel-Tracy and became head coach of Serge Lafrenière in 1992. “I wasn’t a good one coach initial! I really learned it on the job. I am a man who listens and likes to share. I surrounded myself with strong guys,” he says humbly.

It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the Polypus dynasty really got off the ground. “The turning point was in 1999, a victory over Mégantic in Sorel. There was a big snow storm, they were confident they would beat us because they were used to playing in these conditions. This is a pivotal moment in our history,” admits Harold Turbide.

Then came the concentrations and the players became more and more committed to the team. “From 2000 to 2014 we were really solid. It was championship after championship. In 2007 we were among the best ranking of the county, even for youth AAA teams,” he recalls.

Harold Turbide is three Bol d’Or, more than 25 national championships and many changed lives. “Yes, I’m proud of it coached a man like Dominic Noël who won three Vanier Cups, but I’m proud of it too coached plumbers that I can always call if I’m in trouble,” he says.

“In Sorel, 36% of boys manage to complete their high school diploma (DES) in five years. If you play football for the Polypus, it goes up to 90%. That’s really what makes me proud. I built relationships. Junior Laferté, Louis-Simon Nadeau, they are 40, 30 years old and I am still a father to them. I’ve always been there for the boys. You call me and I answer or I call back five minutes later, whatever time,” he concludes with emotion.

Harold Turbide still plans to be a physical education teacher at the ESFL for three years to fully retire when he turns 60.

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