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Defense minded tigers have 'new' coach

November 12, 2010
Bardstown High School

Practice starts with a two-mile run, then they warm up.

Such is the life of a Bardstown Tiger soccer player. In a sport where conditioning is king, coach Aaron Boggs leads a team of more than 30 young men onto the field preparing for the Aug. 19 season start at Fort Knox.

Not that Boggs is reluctant to coach this team, but after several seasons at the helm he took some time off to concentrate on his teaching profession. However, circumstances beyond his control pulled him back into the game he knows, loves and played.

“There is nothing like working with young people and watching them work to get better at the game,” Boggs said.

He said that as he matured over the years as a coach his view of success has also changed whereas in the past it was all about the won/loss record but now it’s more about progress, watching his players gel as a team and become better each game as the season evolves.

Only four seniors are on this year’s squad, but Boggs shows little concern in what some may perceive a young team.

“Soccer is different than some other sports as some players come to the game a little later in years,” he said, “and some mature in the game at different ages.”

As a small school, Bardstown generally has a handful of athletes participating in multiple sports — some within the same season.

One such player who does is senior John Stone, a kicker on the gridiron and a defender on the soccer field. Another is junior Devin Riffe, the Tiger keeper, whose main job is to defend his team’s goal.

“I take it very personal when someone scores on me,” Riffe said. “Defending the goal is a difficult task as the goalie tries to read the offense coming toward him as well as be prepared for any errant kick that may come from an unexpected source.”

Another defender, junior Justin Hubbard, says he tries to match wits with his opponent while at the same time often running backwards or sideways.

Boggs is joined on the sidelines by Chad Shane. Boggs said he feels he has a good squad this year and, despite the competition with getting players from other sports, he says players often make up their minds at an early age, such as little league, as to which sport path they will follow. Riffe started at an early age as he was influenced in a large part by his dad who was a soccer player himself.

“Soccer is catching on more and more in this country,” Boggs said, “yet unless someone’s played the game, it’s a difficult game to watch and understand all of the strategy taking place on the field.”

As the Tigers head into a full schedule of 17 games, Boggs said that even though they practice game conditions every day, only until they actually face live competition will they be able to see where they are and what they need to do to improve.

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