By Kevin Eickman
Being named to the Top XI in Delaware soccer is quite an accomplishment. Researching around and questioning some people, nobody could recall any Milford soccer player being named to the squad. The award indicates you are one of the top 11 high school soccer players in Delaware. This year Milford senior Luke Bogan has been named to that squad. Bogan was the anchor of the three-man defensive formation, which Milford used with great success this past soccer season. Over an 11-game regular season, that backline gave up five goals.
The unassuming Bogan was thrilled to be named to the squad and was quick to point out that he couldn’t have done it without a lot of help. “It truly is an honor to be recognized with an award like this. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping for it, but to actually earn it is something very special,” Bogan said. “You also need to look and recognize all the great players we had on the team this year. You don’t earn something like this alone. There are 10 other guys on the field that have to do their job too and put you in a spot to succeed like this.”
Bogan, a four-year starter for Milford, played with a fierce determination on the field. A captain for two and a half years, his leadership was mostly in his play. However, when it was time to speak his mind he did. “Luke is the type of player that leads by example. He would make sure guys were doing their job and such, but he was never really vocal about it,” Milford coach Todd French said. “That was a very important aspect to his leadership, because when he did speak up the other players paid attention. He knew when to step up and say something and when to simply let the game flow. You can’t teach that.”
The crowning achievement for the Milford soccer team was earning the Henlopen Conference championship this season. It was an accomplishment both his father and uncle learned while playing for Milford. “To be able to have two generations be part of earning the only two conference titles Milford has won, well that is pretty special and something we were able to celebrate together. My father has always been there for me when it comes to soccer, he was key to making me the player I have become.”
We asked French when he first realized how good Bogan could be. The response was met with a chuckle and an insightful story. “I can remember when I first started teaching in the district and I went down to watch some Little League. I took one look at how Luke played, and it was obvious he was the best athlete on the field. I honestly believe that no matter what sport he would have chosen to play, he would have been a star at. I’m just glad that he chose soccer because it was a joy to coach him.”
Bogan’s future plans aren’t firmly set. He believes that he will be involved in health services in some fashion, gaining his education in school or in the Navy. “I think that it is very important to help people. Healthcare is very important, and I want to be a part of that, it’s simply a matter of how I get there.”
When asked what it was like playing for Milford, Bogan responded quickly. “It was fantastic, I got to play with a group of my friends who most of whom I knew all my life. Also, there is nothing like playing for your hometown, representing your community with pride and dignity.”