By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
A playoff warmup game served as the perfect opportunity for the playoff-bound Waxahachie Indians to get in a little extra work on the soccer pitch. It also provided the group with a chance to help seventh-year head coach Seth Riley reach his first of what is sure to be many career coaching milestones.
Six goals and one Gatorade-cooler ice bath later, Riley and the Indians had officially secured his 100th career coaching victory. The Indians ultimately defeated the visiting Corsicana Tigers, 6-2, on the turf field at the Bill Midkiff Athletic Complex in Waxahachie.
Landon Gilmore scored the final Waxahachie goal off of a free kick in the 52nd-minute. He connected with the ball just a few meters to the right of the goal and snuck a low strike by the Tiger goalie for a 6-nil Waxahachie lead.
The goal was his fourth of the match to go along with one assist.
Gilmore was also one of the Indians nearby when the final buzzer sounded and Riley received his icy congratulations.
“These 100 wins have a lot more to do with the types of guys that have come through our program over the past seven years,” said Riley, who now boasts a 100-37-24 career record. “They have all bought in and continue to lay the foundation for the group that comes behind them. Our coaching staff gives them the tools and guidance, but our success comes down to the kids. This is their milestone.”
For those who have yet to meet the head coach, Riley is not one to miss the details, whether those come in a match or in his locker room.
Following the match, Riley noted he had noticed one fewer still-packaged practice ball and an old jersey missing from the locker room. He had just assumed that one of the assistant coaches had borrowed the items for his kids.
Instead, Riley was presented with a shadow-boxed commemorative “100 wins” jersey along with a team-signed soccer ball — both of which had been in his locker room previously.
Riley is a 2000 Waxahachie graduate and returned to his alma mater as an assistant soccer and football coach in 2004. He eventually took over the boys’ soccer program ahead of the 2014-15 season.
Since leading the program, Riley first helped the Indians snap a 22-year playoff drought during the 2015-16 season.
He has since guided the Tribe to three 5A playoff victories, a first-ever regular-season tournament title (Alamo Heights Invitational, 2016-17) and the only two district championships in program history (2016-17, 2017-18).
Waxahachie will enter the 2020-21 postseason with a 13-9-1 overall record after a 9-4-1 run through District 11-6A.
The Indians will face (13-1-5) Belton at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Waco Midway High School.
Tickets will be sold at the gate. The online stream can be accessed here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCEoUl7EYYS7747sBqyEhobQ