June 21, 2022
Sorelois, 42, takes over from Harold Turbide at the helm of Polypus football
“I want to be a connecting motivator” – René Jr Laferté
By: Jean-Philippe Morin
To say he has big shoes to fill is an understatement. René Jr Laferté, new head coach of Polypus juveniles and cadets, wants to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Harold Turbide, who left school football after 30 years at the helm of Sore.
René Jr Laferté started the coaching role in 2004 full-time with the Polypus. “My good friend Carl Gendron came to get me, he had a… coach of the linemen (linemen). I tried the experiment in 2001 as coach, but I was too young at 21. It really was in 2004 that it all started with Harold as head coach,” says Mr. Laferte.
The 42-year-old was therefore Harold Turbide’s assistant for four years, then head coach for 10 years (eight years with the youngest and two with the cadets). He then returned as an assistant for the past four years.
“I’ve been both deputy and chief, so I know what it takes. I’m humble enough to say I don’t have the strategic or tactical side like my deputies. Besides, without them by my side I would never have taken up this challenge. As for me, my strength and what I like to do is that I want to be a connecting motivator. I like to communicate, talk to guys. I want them to enjoy being on the pitch and wearing the Polypus jersey on their back,” he says.
In love with football
His love of football began in 1993, when Drew Bledsoe was drafted first overall in the NFL by the New England Patriots. “I didn’t understand how a ball could stay in the air for so long after a pitch! Since then I haven’t missed a Super Bowl and football, I eat it. I want to continue to instill this passion in young people,” explains Mr. Laferté, who was an offensive lineman and linebacker for the Polypus at the age of 15 when he started playing football in third grade. His coach was Harold Turbide.
If he says he learned a lot from Harold Turbide, René Jr Laferté also has his models in coaching. Among them Bill Belichick, of the Patriots in the NFL. “My goal as coach is to leave the Polypus way : believe in what we do and it doesn’t matter what others think of us. This is the think to Bill Belichick and it will be ours too,” he says.
Among the things he wants to bring up, there is notably the Next man up† “We want players fighting for a position to be identified as the” next guy up, so the next one on board. We do it for every function. It will motivate every player to give more to be next in line in the event of an injury or absence,” he notes.
Excellence in the foreground
In the early 2000s and for several years, the Polypus were a power in Quebec. What will it take to put Sorel-Tracy back on the map in the coming years? Two things, according to René Jr. Laferté.
“Firstly, the football school has started again for students of the fifth and sixth grade. We started it about ten years ago, but because of the pandemic it hasn’t happened for two years. The youngest team will be healthy and it is beneficial for the players to start young and evolve in the Polypus system,” he notes.
“The abolition of mergers also hurt. Multisport is good, but if you try everything, you improve nothing. We have proposed a top sports concentration, in which you do two Polypus sports. Everyone would be a win-win, we hope it lasts because it’s terrible how many athletes from Sorel-Tracy play anywhere but here,” he added.
Finally, he believes the success of the Polypus will depend on dedicated players. “You don’t remember how you packed at the IGA when you were 15, but Friday night’s game will follow you for the rest of your life. Young people are not told not to work, just to set their priorities. We only have one young person and you work all your life. We have already released the schedule for the camp in August so that the young people can present it to their employer,” he concludes.