Aaron Wolfe wasn’t sure he was ready to coach varsity boys soccer at Winslow when the job opened up two years ago. He was coaching at the junior high level and questioned whether he had enough experience.

“They had it open for awhile,” Wolfe said. “At first I wasn’t going to apply for it. I was asked by a few people ‘Why don’t you try it?’ “

Wolfe did try it and so far it’s been a pretty good run. His Black Raiders have posted a 21-1-6 record during Wolfe’s tenure and reached the Eastern Class B semifinals each of the past two seasons. For his efforts Wolfe has been named Morning Sentinel Boys Soccer Coach of the Year. Waterville’s Kerry Serdgenian was also considered.

Like many successful coaches in the conference, Wolfe builds his team from the goal out.

“I definitely believe defense is what wins,” he said. “I try to put at least two of my best athletes on defense and from there try to balance it out on the rest of the field.”

Wolfe’s interaction with many of his players at the junior high level helped foster and monitor their growth and was one of the most rewarding aspects of his job, he said. His players have also seen growth in their coach.

“When I had him in junior high, he wasn’t as outspoken as he is now,” Winslow senior Taylor Roy said. “He’s a lot more confident.”

Roy said Wolfe isn’t a “get-in-your-face type of coach, but we know what we need to do coming in. He sets the tone at the beginning of the season. He’s more motivational.”

He’s also prepared. Roy said Wolfe does research on his opponents and individual players and has a detailed game plan in place. He’s also adept at halftime adjustments.

“He’s very statistically sound,” Roy said.

Wolfe dealt with two distinctly different teams in his first two years, both of them successful. Last year, he had a 30 goal scorer in Gabe Smith. This year, the Black Raiders had to spread scoring around and were more defensively oriented.

“I thought we might take a step back,” Wolfe said. “I wasn’t expecting us to be one of the top teams.”

Hard work in the offseason paid off.

“He did a great job getting us ready in the summer,” Roy said.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638[email protected]Twitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ

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