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Samuel Binogono, Senior and Captain of the Keene State Men’s soccer team, had a unique twist to his college experience.
After his freshman year, he found out he wasn’t able to come back due to his finical aid. But Coach of KSC Men’s team Rick Scott took him under his wing.
Scott said it was an easy and quick decision for him. “I had complete trust in him, I would go away for a couple of days and I wouldn’t worry about anything,” Scott said. Binogono would pay his rent off, meaning he would help Scott with any labor work when needed.
Scott said he didn’t want Binogono to go back home for that year.
“I thought it would be much healthier for him in many different ways to be around the team, I saw how much the team meant to him after his first year,” Scott said. Jacob Chiza, senior and co-captain agreed. “I thought it was a great idea, because it kept sam out of trouble and it kept him close to the team,” Chiza said.
Binogono said it wasn’t easy not being able to play. “It was tough being on the sideline, and since they didn’t make it into the playoffs, I watched them struggle through that whole thing and couldn’t help them,” he said. Moving in with his coach had him on his toes from the beginning.
He said, “I try to be perfect, I didn’t want the coach to think wrong of me or anything, but he’s a great guy and made me feel welcomed, he made me feel comfortable.”
Bingono explained how he wasn’t surprised that his coach was willing to take him in. He explained how Scott had been helping him already: “I was going through a lot and he was there for me through those tough times,” he said.
His favorite memory of living with Scott would be taking long car rides together. “We would be in the car for two hours, Coach Rick is a funny man. He has stories on top of stories. It’s like living with your grandparents, you don’t want to leave, you just want to be around them,” Binogono said.
When asked about funniest memories, Scott chuckled thinking about them.
The first time they went shopping it was quite the experience, Scott explained.
“There were many food items he’s never tried, like eggnog and marshmallows, he goes, ‘Coach, what is this?’ and I told him he would like it, it was eggnog. Then when we got home and I gave him a glass of eggnog, and within two days the whole cartoon was gone,” he said.
Not only did living with each other benefit Binogono, but also Scott.
“I started learning backgrounds in refugees camps and what actually goes on, I also started to learn about another culture — something I wouldn’t have never known what they’ve gone through. You appreciate the hardships these kids have gone through,” Scott said.
Their friendship is like no other. Binogono said Scott is like his parent. When he first arrived to Keene, Scott said he would take care of him with whatever he needed.
“I loved living with him, he’s a great guy – this school is lucky to have him, what he does for his team I don’t see many coaches do for their team,” Binogono said.
Scott said he doesn’t regret this at all, “It was a great experience for me, I would do it in a heartbeat.”
Adriana Sanchez can be contacted