Sports Person of the Week
Buchanan Loves the Competition and Camaraderie of Soccer
Senior captain defender Aidan Buchanan wants to help the Guilford boys’ soccer squad make history once again this year. (Photo courtesy of Aidan Buchanan )
Aidan Buchanan is poised to lead the Guilford boys’ soccer team to another stellar season as he enters his senior year of high school. On the heels of an exceptional year that saw Guilford win its first SCC title since 2009, Aidan has big expectations for his club in the upcoming campaign. A senior captain defender, Aidan is ready to do whatever it takes to help Guilford claim a state championship and cap off his high school career in style, while playing a sport that he loves.
“I have been playing soccer for as long as I can remember. My dad was the person who first got me into the sport. He is a big fan and has played throughout his life, and I loved it from the moment I started playing,” Aidan says. “My favorite aspect of soccer is a combination of the competitiveness of the sport and the community and friendships that I’ve made. I love competing and hate to lose, and I have been lucky to be able to compete at a high level for most of my life.”
Aidan and his teammates displayed their competitive spirit during a 2019 season that saw Guilford post a record of 15-2-6 on its way to winning the SCC Tournament. Guilford secured the crown by earning a 1-0 win over Hand in the conference final, after which the team notched three victories in the Class L State Tournament to make the semifinal round, where it lost to Hand on penalty kicks. Aidan was rewarded for his performance by making both the All-SCC First Team and the Class L All-State Team as a junior.
“My favorite moment from last season was definitely winning the SCC championship,” says Aidan. “Guilford hadn’t won it in many years, so it was great to bring the trophy home. It was also a great feeling beating our rival in the finals.”
Aidan has put in a lot of work this summer to refine his soccer skills in preparation for his senior season. Aidan enjoys working on both the technical and physical aspects of the sport and wants to make sure that he’s quicker and stronger than he’s ever been this fall.
“I have been training with my [CT Rush team] four times a week throughout the summer, which has helped me stay sharp,” Aidan says. “When there aren’t scheduled practices, I try to get out on the field as much as possible, whether it is playing small-sided games with my friends or just training on my own.”
Aidan has been starting at the varsity level since his freshman year. Last year, Aidan made a great impression on Curtis Gullette, who was in his first full season as Guilford’s head coach.
“Aidan is an excellent defender who has been the rock of the defensive line for the past few years. He also has great offensive skills that make him a dangerous midfielder when the game-plan allows for him to move further up the field,” says Gullette. “Aidan is also a great leader. He has the respect of his peers because of his actions and the way he carries himself.”
Gullette became Guilford’s head coach midway through the 2018 season. Aidan says that he appreciates what Gullette has done with the program since stepping into the head coach’s role.
“I have a great relationship with Coach Gullette. I believe he has helped us all become not only better players, but better people,” says Aidan. “I also think that it is important for players to feel comfortable talking to their coach about tactics and things within the game, and I think we all do.”
Along with soccer, music is a big passion for Aidan, who plays the piano and trumpet. An honors student, Aidan is also a leader in his Pilgrim Fellowship group.
“Outside of soccer, I have been playing piano for about 10 years. I also play trumpet in both the jazz band and wind ensemble at school,” Aidan says. “Music has been very important to me for my whole life, and I hope to continue it in the future.”
Aidan has formed many connections as a result of playing soccer in Guilford. As he gets ready for his final go-round on the high school pitch, Aidan knows that those relationships have helped make him the person he is today.
“I have made tons of new friends through soccer,” says Aidan. “And wouldn’t have been able to meet them if I didn’t play.”