Steve Aguilar and Matt White smiled as they greeted each other last week for a postgame handshake following their boys soccer teams’ matchup at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
For the first time in four years, White and Aguilar were on opposite sides of the field.
Aguilar, now in his first season as head coach at Emerald Ridge, was one of White’s assistants at Puyallup from 2010-13.
The Vikings got the advantage this time with a 2-0 shutout against Emerald Ridge on March 18.
Aguilar said he knew what to expect from a Puyallup strategy standpoint. In the end, it didn’t matter.
Puyallup executed its game plan of pinpoint passes and possession control throughout the 80-minute match.
“I was telling the fellas the things they were going to do and what plays to watch for,” Aguilar said. “It kind of helped out, but the things I said they were going to do, we didn’t stop, and they executed and got the goals.”
White, who prefers his teams play with more of a cerebral approach as opposed to a hard-nosed, physical style, was surprised with Emerald Ridge’s style in the opener.
“I was hoping I would see more of what we do, but instead, they went with more of a physical style,” White said. “I know he didn’t want to lose.”
Aguilar said he enjoyed coaching with White, but he couldn’t pass up an opportunity in December to lead his own program.
“The only head coaching experience I have is with the Ferrucci Junior High School girls soccer program, and we won two league championships,” he said. “I’m excited about having the chance to run my own high school soccer program. I’m glad this opportunity presented itself.”
Hopefully, the friendly rivalry between White and Aguilar will continue for years to come. I’m looking forward to watching their teams battle each other.
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.