SPORTS HEADLINES

Soccer: Parks takes job in Argyle

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, May 20, 2017
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Leading to Top

LEADING TO TOP – Bridgeport coach Ben Parks hugs Eric Aguilar after the 4A state final. In two seasons after starting the Bridgeport program, Parks went 31-11-7 and won two district titles. He will coach at Argyle next year. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

When hearing the official word that Bridgeport was starting a soccer program, Ben Parks jumped at the opportunity to be the team’s first coach.

“I went to Coach [Danny] Henson and said I want to throw my hat in,” Parks said.

He landed the job and in the program’s second year took the Bulls to the 4A final, falling to Kilgore on penalty kicks. After two seasons and two district titles, Parks is leaving Bridgeport to take over the program at his alma mater, Argyle.

“It’s home to me. My wife also works in Dallas, and I was needing to get closer to the Metroplex,” Parks said.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate. When I took the job here four years ago, I had no idea that I’d have the opportunity to coach soccer here. I was blessed with the opportunity to work with a group of talented kids that were incredibly hard workers. It made my job easy.”

Parks will take over an Argyle squad that reached the 4A Region I semifinal, falling to the San Elizario squad that Bridgeport beat in the region final.

Parks leaves Bridgeport with a record of 31-11-7.

After winning the district title and reaching the area round in their inaugural season, the Bulls battled back from an 0-0-3 start to District 3-4A this season to go unbeaten and win the league crown. The Bulls then fought their way to the Region I title and took down Progreso in the semifinals. Bridgeport overcame a two-goal deficit in the final against Kilgore to force overtime before falling on penalty kicks.

“To go from the second round to the state final in just the second year is unheard of,” Parks said.

“It’s incredible. We built something to last. Not only did we set a solid foundation, but we set high standards for the program. It was something the community latched on to, and it inspired the kids.”

Parks pointed out that the cupboard is not bare in Bridgeport.

“Winning builds winning. The opportunity for next year is incredible,” Parks said.

“I’m thankful for the kids and the community. I believe we’ve built a lasting legacy in the community.”

Bridgeport athletic director Shannon Wilson said he has started interviewing for the job. He offered praise for Parks’ work.

“I loved his energy. It was fun to watch his team compete,” Wilson said. “As I was coming in, it was neat to experience their playoff run.”

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