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Gonyo's connected more ways than mother-daughter

Jan. 18—CHAZY — It was a subtle text that got the ball rolling.

"(Chazy girls soccer coach John) Tregan had texted me a picture of a list of names, it didn't show All-State, second team or anything," Sam Gonyo-Lafountain said. "It was literally just a list of names and said 'Congrats.'

"So I was sitting there and I was trying to figure out what this was for. I don't want to say it's All-State and I don't want to assume either. The next morning, Lee Barcomb posted on Facebook confirming it."

Gonyo-Lafountain admittedly said she got excited when she saw the list. She ran up the stairs from her room to her mother's room to show her the message and pick Sara Gonyo's brain.

"I think that's a great way to finish her senior year," Gonyo said. "I was trying to explain to her what All-State meant. You're talking players from all around the state, not just Section VII but all around the state.

"To see her get these awards this year was really good. I think it was great for her. Overall, I think it helped her, you know, immensely because it boosted her confidence."

As the post went up confirming Gonyo-Lafountain made NYSSCOGS 2nd Team All-State for Class D, an interesting bit of information came out.

Gonyo-Lafountain and Gonyo also became the first mother-daughter to be named All-State in Chazy program history.

Gonyo earned the honor in 1986 and 1987.

"A lot of people said congratulations," Gonyo said. "A lot of the responses were from Facebook and stuff.

To be a part of Chazy history in this way with Sam, I think it's an awesome thing. I really do. I mean, I'm saying for as much as I've done through soccer, I think I'm super excited for Sam and I. Especially to finish (Sam's career at Chazy) this way."

Gonyo-Lafountain's career at Chazy has been full of highlights, notably the past two seasons. The team reached the final four in her junior year and fell short of returning this year, losing in the Regional Final to Lisbon.

"When the final buzzer went off, I was done," Gonyo-Lafountain said. "I broke down, and I looked at everyone. I was like, 'That's the end. I'm done. I'm not going to get to play with these people anymore.'

"So it was heartbreaking to an extent, because I don't get to play with those 11 specifically on the field anymore. But then at the same time, I have to remember I have two more seasons of sports and get to play with a range of those girls."

Outside of soccer, Gonyo-Lafountain plays for Chazy in basketball and softball. It's always been this way, with soccer being the most played. It's been that way for her since she was a child.

"I was three, when (Gonyo) got me to play," Gonyo-Lafountain said. "I played youth, indoor and I played travel for multiple years in a row.

"So I played soccer all year round. Plus, my basketball season, plus my softball season. I was soccer, but a little hint of the extra stuff."

Gonyo-Lafountain took part in Chazy's Mini-Mites program and played it as she grew up.

"Chazy has a great Mini-Mite program," Gonyo said. "So when she was able to be on it, it just kind of filtered from there.

"Some of the parents also have their kids do Mini-Mites, we actually have quite a few little kids on it. It's funny to watch and see them grow from there to their senior year kind of thing."

And during those years mother coached daughter, and still did at times after Gonyo-Lafountain was adamant that her mom would stop coaching her.

They both admitted she still did it at home or in the car, but didn't do it as much as Gonyo-Lafountain got older.

"I've coached her all throughout youth soccer," Gonyo-Lafountain said. "Then after that she said, 'Nope, you're not. I don't want you to coach me anymore,' which I totally understand.

"That's why we've always done different travel or different teams because I am a firm believer that a player needs to have multiple coaches. Because my way of coaching is different from their way of coaching. So you have to see different aspects, different philosophies."

When taking a moment to recollect, Gonyo-Lafountain said one of her favorite memories is when the team argued with the coaches about watching 'Barbie' on the trip to the regional final last year.

Gonyo said there were specific moments she will always remember, such as when her daughter stepped into goal during the sectional final in 2022 against Chateaugay. Gonyo admitted that she doesn't necessarily enjoy those times as it wrenches her heart.

But, her most enjoyable memory was when Gonyo-Lafountain moved up to varsity.

"She first went on the field and they announced her name and she was like, 'Oh my God. Hey, that's me,'" Gonyo said. "And she's out in the field and the stands are full.

"But of course you're from Chazy, so the stands are full and they're cheering her on."

When looking to her future, Gonyo-Lafountain said she wants to pursue a career in an area like physical therapy. She's been accepted to numerous schools but hasn't picked one yet.

Gonyo-Lafountain said she may go out for a school team, or try club sports.

One thing is for certain, if she's playing she'll take any position. As long as it's not goalie full time.

"I liked being on the field anywhere, just because having both allowed me to be versatile on both sides," Gonyo-Lafountain said. "So it was just good.

"I like being on the field and it gives me a rush of adrenaline in the sense of like I'm playing."

For now though, she's focused on the Chazy basketball season, which the team is currently 7-2 overall. After that, she'll be on to softball.

Soccer will still be there somewhere. For Sara and Sam Gonyo-Lafountain, it'll always be something they share.

"Sam is a very unselfish player throughout her career," Gonyo said. "Any place she wanted or any place the coach needed her she would go play.

"To see this being the last achievement of her senior year it was just a great experience."