Not so with Steve Cogley and his stepson Chance Strom, who took the field Thursday wearing opposite team colors when Aberdeen Central faced Groton Thursday night in the first round of the state soccer tournament at Swisher Field in Aberdeen. Cogley is the head coach for the Aberdeen Central boys, while Strom is a junior goalkeeper for the Groton Tigers.
Aberdeen Central claimed a 4-2 win over the Tigers to advance to the state title game tonight.
Thursday was not the first time that the two have faced each other from opposing sides of the field. The two met three times last season — twice in the regular season and once at the state tournament — and three more times this season, including yesterday’s game.
And while the rest of the world may view it as family against family, for Strom and Cogley, it's just business as usual.
“(Other people) think that we get all serious and into it and that we argue about it later, but we really don't talk about the game at all. We just talk about normal stuff like other families do," said Strom, who has grown up attending the Groton schools since the family lives in Claremont, 17 miles north of Groton.
"We have such a good relationship," Cogley said. "He knows my job is to coach the Golden Eagles, and when we step on the field, I know his job is to do the best he can for his team, for Groton. We hug after every game and we shake hands beforehand."
Not that it never crosses Cogley's mind that his son is on the field, but the thought process is much the same as any other parent watching a son or daughter play ball.
"I worry about him, more than anything," said Cogley, noting that Strom has suffered his share of injuries in his career with the Tigers, including broken ribs and a collapsed lung after a collision earlier this season.
So despite the outcome of Thursday's game or any other on-field meeting between father and son, one sentiment is echoed by both individuals.
"Family comes 100 percent before any of this," Cogley said.
"No matter what, I still love him 'cause he's my dad," Strom said.
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Finals on TV
Tonight’s championship matches (boys at 5, girls 7) will be shown live on South Dakota Public Broadcasting.
Craig Mattick will handle the play-by-play and Alex Heinert will provide commentary. Mattick is a South Dakota sports veteran, who is a co-host of the popular "Sports Talk with Craig & Chris" of KWSN radio in Sioux Falls. Heinert, a White River native, has a wealth of soccer knowledge who has handled such big-time tourneys as the Summit League soccer championships in Brookings last year for Midco Sports Network.
— Sports editor John Papendick