I love poetry.
You may be surprised to hear that this was not always the case.
When I was coming through the ranks as an undergraduate English major, I had some courses containing poetry, and I did not love it then. That is not to say that I disliked poetry; I simply preferred works of prose.
One of the beautiful parts of aging is that it (hopefully) provides a little wisdom , and now, as I reflect back, I can see why I did not love poetry.
Poetry, as a genre, demands focus. It demands care. It is not designed for the casual reader, for what can be casual about a genre that puts us closest to our very souls as human beings? That’s what poetry does. No other genre (at least in this human’s opinion) gives us as much access to what makes us tick as people. Thankfully, by the time I attended graduate school, I had learned to love poetry, and I still do to this day.
Last night, I had a poem going through my mind on the bus ride home.
It is a short poem, and you may have heard it before if you have read any of Robert Frost’s poetry or read The Outsiders. It follows below:
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
On the surface, this poem comes across as a bit of a downer. One can read the lines and see images of fading beauty and things ending as time passes by. In the context of our match yesterday, our season came to an end; our dawn had gone down to day. There were tears last night, and, like I told you then, I will not say: “do not weep,” for not all tears are an evil.
Yes, our season is over, and that is sad, but, in the context of the poem, for us to be sad, we had to have some beautiful moments; we had to have some golden times together.
We scored the most goals in team history.
We allowed the least goals in team history.
We provided the most assists in team history.
We achieved the largest margin of victory in team history.
We scored the most goals in a match in team history.
We had the best goal differential in team history.
We recorded the first 10-0 victory in team history.
We had the most individual goal scorers in team history.
We had the most individual assist creators in team history.
We were the most competitive team in team history.
We had the best team spirit in team history.
There is one major thing that stands out above in those accomplishments, and it is not the team history part, though that is awesome in itself.
It is “we”.
Everything accomplished this season was done by a unit; it was done by a team. No one can do it themselves, and you all worked together this season to create poetry on the field. Several opposition coaches praised your growth across the season, and folks have now taken notice of our school on a soccer level. It was a joy to be a part of it with you.
Again, yes, we are sad, but we have to realize and appreciate the level of our sadness. We are only truly sad because we were truly happy before; one cannot simply be sad without any contrasting happiness. The only way we can be this down now is that we felt something really good before, and that is a beautiful part of life.
Our season is over, and our lives go on.
I am grateful for all the work put in by our parents. Our parents are the best around, and, at the end of the day, I always feel supported. I certainly appreciate that! Thank you all for allowing me to coach your children!
To our support staff, our BreckLive commentators and HUDL operators, I want you to know that I will miss you dearly next season. So much of what you all do goes unnoticed by most, but I want you to know I see you and appreciate every minute you dedicate to BCHSFC.
To the players, I simply say: thank you. The sport does not work without you, and I hold fast to the thought that I have the best players to work with in the state. I feel privileged to stand with you and watch you, and it has brought me much joy (and perhaps a little hair loss, but I’m good with it) over the years. Thank you to all of you. I think back to little six-year-old me pulling up my socks over my clunky shin pads at a summer soccer camp. That boy had a love for a sport that the world loves, too, but he could never have imagined the chance to coach such a fine group. This chapter in our journey together ends, but you all will go on! You have so much to enjoy, and to be, and to do! I am proud of all of you, and I thank all of you for spending part of your lives with me sharing a love for the poetry-in-motion nature of the beautiful game.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
Our regular season has come to a close.
At the start of this season, we had high hopes. All our goals hinged on qualifying for the regional tournament. When we sat in the auditorium way back in July, we set that goal.
That meant we would have to get out of the first round of the tournament for the first time in club history.
Monday, we get that chance.
When we take the field Monday, we will do so as the most successful team in the history of the program.
Our team this year has…
Scored the most goals ever
Allowed the least goals ever
Provided the most assists ever
Achieved the largest margin of victory ever
Scored the most goals in a match ever
Had the best goal differential ever
Recorded our first 10-0 ever
Had the most individual goalscorers ever
Had the most individual assist-makers ever
Been the most competitive ever
I could go on and on about individual accolades from you all this year, but our TEAM has been the BEST the school has EVER seen. That is hard for me to type, because I am quite fond of the teams of the past, but this team has been on another level.
Currently, we have gone four matches without tasting defeat. That, also, is the longest such stream in team history.
We ride this momentum into Monday night, when we travel to Brandenburg to play our greatest rival once again the the tournament. That is a team that we have outplayed twice and beaten once this year. This is also a team that has beaten us in the tournament each of my seasons as coach. That will not be the case this year.
This time, we are ready.
This time, we are the best team in school history.
All eyes to Monday night.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
Every team has a signature moment.
We have told one another all year that our team is a strong team, and that it is a special team. I have made it no secret that this is the best team I have ever coached.
And yet, we still lacked that signature moment.
Coming into tonight’s match, we were looking for ours.
At tonight’s match, check out some of these team accolades.
Our 10 goals scored is the most ever scored by a BCHS team in history.
Our 10-goal margin of victory is the biggest such margin in program history.
Our 25 goals (and counting) rank as the best goal return in a season in program history.
Five of our players scored in the match, which is the first time that has ever happened.
We knew that if we put it all together, we were capable of greatness. Tonight, we played a complete match. If you did not get a chance to watch it, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GehOF86bI7Q
From our five goals, we had some interesting occurrences. Check them out!
Chloe Peterson and Autumn Rogers collected their first career hat tricks (3 goals in the match) with some excellent finishes.
Skylar Tucker recorded her first career goal (and what a beauty it was) and assist in tonight’s match.
Amber Miller had two assists from throw-ins, the first time that has ever happened for us.
Aubrey Tabor and Kate Adkins added to their goal tallies with nicely taken finishes.
Mariah Stephens picked up an assist on Kate’s goal to end the match. It was a great pass!
Aside from these statistical aspects, and these girls above would be the first to say this, soccer is a team game. Individual greatness is something that doesn’t really exist in this sport. We truly are a team.
I want to spend a little time thanking this year’s seniors for their contributions.
Abby, Paige, Amber, Olivia, Autumn, Meghan, Isabella, Aubrey, Morgann, Anna, and Chloe, you are far and away the largest senior group we have ever had, and you are all crucial components of this greatest side in our school’s history. You all show up and bring great attitudes, great effort, and great desire each night. I told you after the match that it had not hit me yet that you all would be finishing your careers so soon. I told you that when it did hit me, it would hit hard. I’m still not quite ready to release the floodgates on you all yet, because we still have some business to take care of…
See…the thing about signature moments…yes, tonight was definitely one for us…but I do not think we are quite through writing our history just yet. We have some more signatures to collect this season.
Who’s with me?
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
In Kentucky, we are familiar with the term derby. When we encounter that word, we think of a horse race in Louisville on a Saturday in May. Maybe we think of some other stuff.
In soccer, that word has a different meaning.
A derby (pronounced DAR-bee in this case) is a match between local rivals who share the same proximity.
With some of our broadcasting class at BCHS (John and Noah), we came up with the term “Rough River Derby” to serve as a match between us and Grayson County.
They are our most local rival, and Rough River quite literally splits our two counties.
Needless to say, these games mean a little more than others.
Coming into tonight’s match, our minds were focused. We knew we had lost by two goals against them at our place, but we felt like we played well enough to win that night.
Tonight, we took the field with hearts full and minds sharp. Here is what you missed if you didn’t get a chance to make it.
Abby made several great saves (Again. Like. Seriously. All the time!) to keep us in this match. In the chaos surrounding the goal, her voice echoed loudly across the Grayson County hills.
Lauren made many excellent defensive reads, and she has grown into a premier soccer player for this, her first year. She took several great throw-ins as well, springing us into many attacks.
Aleigha slammed several doors shut on opposition counter-attacks, and she always seemed to turn up at just the right moment to get crucial clearances away to relieve the pressure.
Skylar showed once again that few players are as fast and strong as she is. Many Grayson County fans’ voices rose as their players apparently broke through for a goal, only for Skylar to hunt them down and clear it.
Amber’s work rate on the left of the defense was masterful, and she made several great throw-ins, too, to give us attacks down the left flank. When the game started to get stretched, she stood tall.
Olivia proved that she can scrap in any midfield, and she will never pull out of a challenge. That grit and determination rubbed off on our team and provided that little extra bite we needed.
Autumn wore the armband and filled her role as captain wonderfully. She made cutting passes all night, and her corner kicks provided danger at the offensive end for the field. An excellent shot forced an excellent save.
Marcy put together her second fantastic match in a row. Her motor never stopped, and that is just what we needed tonight. On a night when the midfield battle was crucial, Marcy did her part amazingly well.
Kate made several darting runs down the right, fighting often in 2v1 situations and emerging with the ball, and she distributed the ball well to the middle of the field to keep attacks going. She had a goal ruled out for a foul.
Aubrey scored two fantastic goals, the second of which secured the win with a beautiful strike into the top right-hand corner. After being battered, she kept going, and has more than earned a rest.
Chloe P. covered just about as much ground as anyone, making several sharp runs down the left. Excellent passes came from her right boot all night long, and she picked up an assist for our first goal to settle our nerves.
Meghan once again proved that she can work the midfield area. When she came in, she found the right positions time and time again and made sure to distribute the ball to her teammates in great locations.
Morgann provided wonderful support for Aubrey when she came off in the first half. Without her help, we would have been too tired to continue, and she once again proves she belongs with us.
Isabella came on and immediately made a great pass to Chloe on the wing that led to an attack. In a match like this, everyone must be ready, and she did everything asked of her tonight.
Paige put in a great shift in the left hand side of the defense, and her team spirit was contagious. She was always leading the cheers from the side, and the team heard it and found an extra gear.
Mariah provided excellent positivity, and she knows it is only a matter of time before she is back out there mixing it up with our opponents. That time will come very, very soon. I can’t wait!
Chloe D. continued to support the team while she is sidelined. She has a truly rare soul, one that gives the other girls encouragement, laughter, and joy all at the same time. We wish for a speedy recovery!
For everyone else missing for whatever reason, we felt your presence tonight, too. Anna, Delaney, Isabel, Caleigh, and Sydney, we wish all of you all the best and hope to see you back soon; this win was for you all, too!
As I conclude tonight, I remain, as ever, proud of this squad. The results are starting to turn in our favor, as we knew they would. As we focus on the end of the season, we must stay humble and keep working. Tonight, though, we can enjoy ourselves through a win in the Rough River Derby.
In the words of “HUDL Guy” John Smith…
“Rough River is Maroon tonight!”
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
The dust is settling on tonight, and I find myself looking backwards and forwards.
Against Fort Knox last year, we played two matches, and we lost by a combined score of 0-6 (0-2 in the first match; 0-4 in the second match).
Against Fort Knox this year, we played two matches, and we won 4-3 on aggregate (2-1 in the first match; 2-2 in the second match).
It goes without saying (though I’ll say it anyway) that tonight’s draw felt like a positive for us. Twice we went behind, and twice we responded with quick goals of our own. The game was very back and forth, and it was a great one to watch. Both teams could have emerged with a win, and a draw was a fair result. It felt better for us, though, because we came from behind twice to get the draw.
That gives us some momentum going into tomorrow’s second installment of the Rough River Derby. Rivalry matches throw records out the window.
It will be a battle tomorrow.
I’m looking forward to it.
See you there.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
When I sit down at the computer, I usually reflect on the events of the day and leave a rather long comment.
Today, I’ll reflect briefly.
We played a good team and lost 3-1. That is nothing to be ashamed of. We created chances. We had moments. We had a good time eating together. We came home. We go again. I’m proud of you all today.
Tonight, though, is about looking forward.
Let me share with you our run-in to the tournament.
Six matches. Six matches we are more than capable of winning.
One month from now, when our tournament begins, do not be surprised if this team is riding a six match win streak. They have shown that they can hang with the big teams. I know you have seen this, too.
I tell this team a lot; this is the best team the school has ever seen from a competitiveness standpoint. We are in every match.
Let’s all get behind them 100% as we march towards the tournament.
I am looking forward to it!
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
In a first for the blog, I turn it over to assistant coach Beth Ann. Here are her thoughts tonight…
I realize this is unorthodox, but tonight more than any other night has affected me. Like usual, I am picking apart and putting names to what I’m feeling. This is how I cope with great emotion. In high school and college I journaled. A lot. (Unlike Mr. Garrett, I have experience being a teenage girl… not just any girl. A Breck Co. girl.)
It’s a blessing to have emotions. Even sadness and heartbreak serve as reminders that you’re alive and participating in life. Therefore, it becomes necessary to have outlets for those more… aggressive or volatile… emotions. As I just said, my outlet was always journaling. For others it may be driving really fast. Or baking. Or eating. Or shopping. Or being sassy. Or macrame…. Or sports.
For many of those girls tonight, maybe yourself included, emotions were poured upon the field. What emotions did we read from their play? Frustration. Pettiness. Cruelty. You would know better than me. That’s just what I picked up upon.
What does that say about their quality of life? They may be the sweetest, most unassuming people walking the fancy hallways (and breezeways and gymnasiums) of everyday life. They have favorite colors, weird parents, crushes, old friends, dogs who are happy to see them when they come home. They’re just ordinary girls.
But they’ve bared their souls to us by unleashing their pent up emotions. We’ve suffered through the junk and the burdens they carry.
But you carry junk and burdens yourself. And yet… you carried yourselves with dignity and self-control. For that, I’m proud to call myself a part of this team.
So thinking back to quality of life, my heart aches for those girls. But my heart aches more for you girls. Growing up, I didn’t think much of being from Breckinridge Co. I often felt less than. After gaining some life experience and perspective, I realize inferior, superior, loser, or winner has nothing to do with it. It’s about what you do with the cards you’re given. Breck Co deals an interesting hand. Sure, our stuff might not always be the nicest. But we have grit. Yes, we live in the (huge quotation marks) “boonies,” but the air we breathe is fresh, with just a hint of cow. In the end, there’s no such thing as “perfect,” anyway. Adversity is inevitable. It may feel like we get a heavier dollop of adversity… and yet we still have grace and perseverance. We hold our heads high because we can take pride in where we are from.
In any situation, especially the unpleasant and hard ones, the ones where you’ve made the mistake, the ones where you’ve endured an injury or injustice, find the lesson. Find what you can take with you that will make you stronger or smarter. And leave the rest. Be the hydra. Be a steel magnolia.
Shine on, you crazy diamonds.
As I sit here now, our season is halfway over.
To look at our record, and just the record, one would get a certain impression about our team.
They would look at our record of 1-9-0 and think: Wow…only one win out of ten? That team must not be very good.
They would not be more wrong.
At our parent meeting to start the season, I encouraged our parents to see that the first half of the season was going to be difficult. We had some opponents in there who had beaten us easily before, and we had a lot of new faces. My hope was that we would survive the first half of the season to become competitive in the second half.
Little did I know, we would change the narrative of soccer in our county.
In our ten matches, we have been competitive in eight. Eight out of ten where we had a realistic chance to win the game.
My first season, we had eight competitive matches ALL YEAR.
Last year, the current greatest in school history, we had eight competitive matches ALL YEAR.
This year, with ten matches REMAINING, we already have equaled that mark.
Here is the good news: the second half of the season was when I thought we would turn the corner. We already turned it weeks ago. We are already a competitive side that I want to see against any opposition.
Tonight’s result did not go how we wanted it to. We need to keep our eyes on the big picture goal, though. We are playing better. We are outplaying teams. Wins will come with that formula.
One of our toughest remaining matches is Wednesday night at Barren County. They are a good side.
I’m not afraid to face them, though.
I have the Lady Tigers on my side.
See you all soon. I remain eternally proud of you all.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
Let’s go preseason.
This week in particular.
Three matches in four days.
Fort Knox (tough last year)
Warren Central (last time beat us 9-0 and always tough)
Warren East (beat us every time big and always tough)
I was worried about this week when I made the schedule. I was not worried because I did not believe in our team; I was worried that we would be almost halfway through our season and this could be a potential derailing week. If we had some positive moments, this tough week could be a trip back to a low point.
Here is that week in reality.
Fort Knox? We beat them.
Warren Central? We lost 4-2, but we were by far the better team.
Warren East? We lost 2-0, but we created many chances and played just as well.
Now, here’s the thing: If I had been offered those results before the season started, I would have taken them. Beating Fort Knox and going toe-to-toe with two Bowling Green schools? Yes, please!
Now that we actually did that, I am proud to say that there are going to be no more moments when I am worried about competing with a team.
I know we will show up and compete with everybody. We just have to understand that it will never be easy for us, and that we must work hard and work together each night. If we do that, we won’t be that school in the middle of nowhere that people look forward to beating. We are not that team.
We are not that team.
We are not that team.
We are not that team.
This team is a special group of girls. Cherish every minute you get to see them playing, and cherish every minute those of you who are playing on that field each night.
I’m proud of you all. You are changing how our school and community views the sport of soccer. That can seem like a lot, but I know we are up for the fight.
All eyes to Monday night…
Coach (Mr.) Garrett
Have you all ever had a favorite movie? Book? Food?
There’s something about the things we love that just gets us going and makes us happy.
I have a favorite sport.
Do you know what it is?
Let me give you some hints.
You’ll know you’re watching my favorite sport…
When you see Kate scoring her first varsity goal.
When you see Olivia not giving an inch in midfield.
When you see Paige giving good defensive help on the left.
When you see Chloe D. make excellent defensive reads.
When you see Meghan pressuring on the left wing.
When you see Lauren excelling defensively each week.
When you see Morgann putting in a great shift up front.
When you see Amber stepping up bigtime in any role.
When you see Aleigha win seemingly every ball in the midfield.
When you see Chloe P. put those silky sweet feet to work.
When you see Autumn leading by example as our captain.
When you see Marcy refusing to back down, setting the tone.
When you see Abby make incredible saves look routine with her skill.
When you see Isabella tracking the ball and holding great positions.
When you see Mariah eager and hungry to defend our goal.
When you see Aubrey scoring yet again as a center forward.
When you see Skylar redefine the word ferocious.
When you see Sydney do well in her varsity debut.
When you see Anna supporting loudest of all.
When you see Delaney helping keep the game flowing.
When you see Caleigh learning more each week.
When you see Isabel supporting from the stands.
I have a favorite sport.
It is called soccer.
Tonight, we outplayed a team from Bowling Green. Yes, we lost, but we are turning corners with this team that our program has never turned before. We owe a lot of that to the players* (*both present and past), parents, fans, and all things great in our county.
I love soccer, and I love you all.
See you tomorrow.
Coach (Mr.) Garrett