When Denis Rivard decided to coach one of the under-10 boys teams within the Coral Springs Youth Soccer league several months ago, he didn’t know how it would turn out.
Not only did the team go undefeated, they won the league championship title. Not bad for a first-time coaching experience, according to Rivard.
“We had a great season and every one of my kids got better as the games progressed,” Rivard said of his team, “These kids had so much fun together and we truly had a great group of families.”
Rivard’s Team 17, who called themselves Code Blue since they donned blue jerseys, defeated Team 6 with a score of 5-1 in the championship game. Including their playoff games, the team finished the season with a 15-0-2 final record.
During their entire season, Code Blue scored a total of 104 goals and did not allow more than four shots on goal after their first game. During the post-season, the team went 7-0, scored 45 goals and only gave up four.
“I think that shows that my group was dominating out there,” Rivard said. “We scored more and played better defense while we had some tough teams to contend with.”
However, complete success wasn’t how the team started the season. At the beginning, Rivard quickly discovered that he had work to do in order to get his team’s chemistry balanced.
“I didn’t have all of my players getting on the ball in the first five or six games like I wanted them to, but then they all began to realize that in order for us to really succeed, they all needed to do their part,” Rivard said. “Once they each became responsible for their jobs out there, it seemed like we were impossible to beat, despite us having a tough schedule, especially in the playoffs.”
Rivard chalks up much of his team’s success to his leading goal scorers. John Carrow, Deni Rivard and Jack Kollwitz combined for a total of 96 of the team’s 104 total goals scored.
“We got better fast. We knew who and what we had, but in the beginning of the season, the kids came onto the team as 11 individuals,” Rivard said. “They quickly learned their roles on the team, gelled as a unit, got aggressive on the ball, and because they knew their positions, we started thriving.”
Rivard said Kollwitz was an integral part in allowing only one shot on goal during the championship game.
“My favorite part was watching him mature and grow into a team player, and he learned that scoring isn’t the most important thing when playing a team sport,” Terri Kollwitz, Jack’s mom, said. “It was the outcome at the end that proved to be the most important.”
Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel