Championship coaching: former BHS soccer players return to the field


Rida Kori’s team gathers around him after winning their final game of the seasn. Photo Credit: Georgia Wool

Georgia Wool, Staff Writer

Matthew Burbo and Rida Kori won the Boys Varsity Soccer state championship for BHS in 2016. Earlier this year they walked back onto the field- this time as coaches. 

“I love soccer, and the opportunity presented itself, so I decided to come back and coach,” new BHS JVA boys soccer coach Kori said. 

Kori continued his education at Castleton University and Central Connecticut State University where he played on the men’s soccer team and graduated with the class of 2022.

BHS Boys JVA Soccer coach Rida Kori.

“[The players] are around my age, but show me respect because they know I have played at a high level and they want to improve as players and let me help them out with college coaches,” Kori said.

Fellow 2016 state champion Burbo had been taking classes and working in Burlington when he heard of the coaching position at HMS.

“It seemed really intriguing to me and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved and give back to the community,” Burbo said. “I have always been open to trying new things and different aspects of soccer- as long as I am involved in the game it gives me joy.”

Post-high school, Burbo attended NVU Johnson State to play on the men’s soccer team. He says middle school sports require more than just teaching the game because you also have to prepare young teens to enter high school. 

HMS Boys A Team soccer coach Matt Burbo.

“I am here to give these players the knowledge and improvement they need so that when they are ready to take a step to the next level [at BHS], they will be ready,¨ Burbo said.

Both Kori and Burbo want to be role models for these young men.

“I want to help them improve their style of play,” Kori said. “But also get schoolwork done and go to classes because they are student athletes.”

Burbo agreed. 

“I have a good sense of humor with them and a very open relationship,” Burbo said. “We can talk about just anything.”

Only time will tell if their student-athletes will be the next generation of BHS state champions, but having the experiences of coaches such as themselves and other alumni coaches- including Grace Mazza for girl’s volleyball and Emma Dubuc for Field Hockey- certainly can’t hurt. 

“Sometimes I will show off a little bit and it opens up their eyes and gives them different aspects of what they can set out to achieve for themselves,” Burbo said. “From what I have seen so far, it is a great group of kids who are motivated which makes me want to come back and help them again in future years.”