41 years ago when Ccoach Gillespie took the sidelines as varsity soccer coach he probably never imagined he would make it to 100 wins let alone 600. Considering in his first game at the helm of the program resulted in a ten nil loss, almost unheard of in soccer.
To understand the road to 600 one must look past the milestones and wrecks along the way, to to the fact that the road wasn’t even paved for success. When coach took over Maple Hill still had a football team, and soccer in the 518 was very much a new thing. It wasn’t until 1980 that the area got its first taste of soccer with the conception of Greenbush Youth Soccer. This gave us here at Maple Hill a much needed feeder program that developed players for the future.
It was this program that led the team to 3 state championships in 1998, 2000 and 2006. Along with this state titles have come numerous Patroon conference and sectional Titles. Every year their is hope to add to these records, and this year proves to be exactly that. The wildcats find themselves undefeated and ranked number 1 in the state for class C soccer across the state.
Like many great coaches, Gillispie doesn’t take the milestones and prestige as anything but just another game. “When people think Maple Hill they think of soccer,“ said a former Wildcat. Yet similar to that of long time Patriots coach Bill Belichick, coach Gillispie is always unfazed by the attention his team brings to the school. When asked what the future may hold Mr.Austin(AD) said: “ I wouldn’t put 700 past him”. It’s unclear what the future will hold for the program but the one thing that is clear is the coach will forever live on as as the father of one of the greatest soccer programs the state has ever seen.
By- Dylan Rossiter