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Thursday, December 12 High School Sports

Notre Dame-Fairfield coach Wayne Mones survives “massive heart attack”

Notre Dame-Fairfield girls soccer coach Wayne Mones was discharged from St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport Saturday morning after suffering “a massive heart attack” on Thursday following the team’s game.

Notre Dame defeated Watertown in a Class M second-round state tournament game Thursday afternoon. Mones, 67, said he received an EKG on Wednesday and the results were fine.

“I was walking off the field with my assistant coach after the game and my chest was still hurting,” Mones said. He made the 10-minute drive to St. Vincent’s.

“As I drove, it (his chest) was hurting more and I was breathing less,” Mones said.

Mones, also a guidance counselor at Notre Dame, said two stents were placed in. “When you (wake up) you feel fantastic,” he said.

Notre Dame, the No. 7 seed in Class M, defeated No. 18 Tolland 2-0 in the quarterfinals Saturday afternoon. Mones said his wife Lynn wouldn’t let him coach the game — but she did drive him to the field so he could meet with his players following the win.

“It’s the first time in 43 years that I missed a game,” said Mones, who formerly was an athletic director at Norwalk High, also coached at Western Connecticut State University among other places. He said it would be a “longshot” to coach the team in the semifinals against No. 3 Plainfield, which eliminated Notre Dame in last year’s Class M quarterfinals.

St. Joseph coach Jack Nogueira, a close friend of Mones, said he spoke with him while still in the hospital.

“The good thing is he had minimal heart damage,” Nogueira said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Mones noted that Toni Domingos scored with 30 seconds left in the Watertown game. Had it gone to overtime — two 10 minute extra sessions — and penalty kicks, he may not still be alive.

“The doctor told my wife, ‘If I hadn’t gotten there when I did, I wouldn’t be here. It’s hard for me to fathom that,” Mones said. “You don’t realize how much people care about you until you go through something like this.”

joseph.morelli@hearstmediact.com; @nhrJoeMorelli

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