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Coach remembers former player, New Britain native before he became Astros star and World Series MVP

AVON -- A big night -- Game 7 of the World Series where New Britain`s own George Springer will be front and center for the Houston Astros.

But before making it to the big leagues, Springer was patrolling outfields here in Connecticut.

Before he was a household name for the Astros and a World series MVP, New Britain native George Springer attended and played baseball at Avon Old Farms.

Springer's old high school coach at Avon Old Farms remembers him coming there at 14 years old, about 5-foot-1, but leaving 4 years later around 6-foot-3 and major league prospect. The rest is history.

"Certainly his athletic talent has evolved to be at the highest level," Rob Dowling said.

Dowling said he knew almost immediately Springer was special.

"I knew that he was going to have an opportunity to be a professional," Dowling explained. "I could see that he was on an upward track for sure,  but when you combine his talent with his attitude, that's  a winning combination."

From Avon Old Farms, Springer went on to star at UCONN before becoming Houston's first round pick in 2011.

Springer and his Astros look to make it two World Series titles in the last three years on Wednesday and his old coach will be watching.

"What makes me at ease watching the game is how at ease George is appears playing it," Dowling said. "It doesn't look like the moment is too much for him, he's exactly where he's suppose to be doing what he was meant to do and for someone who cares about him. It's fun to watch him and it's not producing a lot of stress."

View a gallery of throwback photos of George Springer during his Avon Old Farms days below, provided by former coach, Rob Dowling.

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