Former Foothill High boys soccer coach Chuck Lemoine described Larry Boldrini as the "father of soccer in the valley."
Lemoine and many others in the Ballistic United Soccer Club are mourning the loss of Boldrini, a 52-year Pleasanton resident who died on July 7 at Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek surrounded by family and friends. He was 90.
"He was one of the nicest people in the whole world," Lemoine said of Boldrini. "He was just a great guy."
Boldrini, aka "Mr. B," has been inducted into the Ballistic United, California Youth Soccer Association and Tri-Valley Sports halls of fame.
One of the founders of Ballistic United, Larry served as the club president for many years and guided two teams to U-19 CYSA State Cup titles. Larry represented not just Pleasanton, but soccer throughout the Tri-Valley on the regional and state levels.
Boldrini's 1978 Ballistic United squad, which won the State Cup title, has long been considered the gold standard of valley soccer. It boasted Kevin Crow, Ballistic United's current technical director of player and coaching development. He played for the U.S. national team and San Diego Sockers.
Dennis Miller, a longtime Pleasanton resident, played on the 1978 Ballistic squad.
"Mr. B was like another father to so many of us and for that I consider myself so lucky and will be forever grateful to have been around him for so long," Miller wrote in a Facebook post.
Boldrini was part of the inaugural Ballistic United Hall of Fame induction class in 2010, along with Miller's parents, Harry and Georganne; Ian Lang and Steve Englebrick.
An animal lover who walked his dogs almost every day, Boldrini was known for his complete devotion to community and family.
"He never asked for anything for himself. It was always about others," said Brad Boldrini, one of Larry's three sons, along with Rusty and Brett.
Miller was at the hospital with Larry's family and friends the day he passed.
"We sat around his hospital bed telling stories and laughing about the incredible man that gave so much of his life to coaching soccer to first young kids and then young men as we grew older," Miller said in a phone interview earlier this week.
One story they shared was how Larry started Alcosta adult soccer leagues after his sons and their friends got too old to play youth soccer, just to keep them playing.
"He never took a dime," Miller said. "Even when he started these leagues, he was funding the entire league out of his own pocket."
Larry was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor, who passed in June 2012.
"Just after he had taken his final breath it was mentioned that Mrs. B would be waiting for him with so many of their dogs to take a walk in the clouds," Miller wrote on Facebook. "It was a fitting statement. RIP Mr. B and we will always love you!!!"
A memorial service for Larry is tentatively planned for 2 p.m. on July 18 at the Pleasanton Senior Center, on 5353 Sunol Blvd.
Volleyball SUCCESS: It has been a successful summer for Monte Vista High girls volleyball players. Hailey Lindberg helped the Five Starz-Davis 17 Open team to third place at the recent USA Junior Nationals in Minneapolis, Minn. Ava Patterson, who plays for NorCal Volleyball Club in Pleasanton, helped her team place 11th in the 16 American division. Lo Utchen made the all-tournament team at setter, a new position, after leading Xceleration-Concord to fifth place in 17 American.
"I was impressed with how well she adapted to running her offense after returning to a position she hadn't played for two years," Monte Vista coach Jenyth Utchen said of Lo, her daughter, in an email.
Three Monte Vista competitors are on USA volleyball teams this summer: Lindberg, on the under-19 A-1 squad; Utchen, on the U-19 A-2 beach team; Jacqueline Kupeli, U-17 A-3 indoor and A-2 sand. Incoming Monte Vista freshman Jordan Polo is on the U-15 A-2 beach team.
Utchen and Lindberg will be Mustangs seniors in the fall season, and Kupeli will be a sophomore.
WINNERS IN RENO: The Headfirst Bercovich 24 Connie Mack baseball club won the Mike Ellis memorial tournament in Reno, Nev. last week. Bercovich outscored opponents 32—6 over the four games. Jordan Ott had two pitching wins, with Javier Iglesis and Brandon Jefferis getting the other two. Ott, Iglesias and Jefferis, along with Kyle Lally, combined to surrender just 10 hits and six runs total in the four games, while striking out 30. Ryan Mathia, Fred Williams, Isaac Cruz, Nico Aldaco, Jadon Lane and Cody Kiriaze provided the offensive fire power. Mathia had four hits and seven RBIs, Williams had five hits and four RBIs. Cruz and Aldaco were solid on defense, and Tyler Wallis excelled at catch. Headfirst Bercovich advances to the Connie Mack Regional tournament in Orange County, July 24-27.