No, Dent was just that kid that coaches love to have on their team, the kind that you felt you could “go to war” with. So perhaps it should surprise absolutely no one that the solidifying presence, the center-back on the Cambrian Golden Shield men’s soccer team, has also served as team captain two years in a row.
Few would have predicted this when Dent first made the jump from the ranks of recreational soccer.
“When I first stepped up to competitive, the coach really didn’t play me that much,” reminisced Dent. “I was working my butt off to get more playing time. Over the years, I started to improve. I tried to get faster, stronger, more physical on the ball.”
“The coach realized that, and started playing me more.” The graduate of St Benedict Catholic Secondary School could be the poster child for the kids whose passion for sport far surpasses the basic package that they have to offer, as a starting point, when they throw themselves headfirst into a pastime they love.
“Aaron is a quiet low-maintenance player, but he has a huge impact through his dedication,” noted Cambrian coach Giuseppe Politi. The decorated local soccer mentor knows his player well. Dent was under his watch as a member of a St Benedict Bears boys soccer crew that made it an annual tradition to qualify for OFSAA championships.
“He's always on time, gives his best effort, plays through injuries, and is willing to put the team before himself. All of the guys respect him for these attributes.”
Still, those who have had to withstand his fierce challenges on the ball, will never sell short the toughness with which their adversary plays the game. “I don’t like playing recreationally in any sport,” said Dent with a smile.
“Tournaments in Toronto, big guys, a lot faster guys, that’s what I play for.” A defensive midfielder or fullback at various times over his soccer career, Dent has, more often than not, found a way to make those around him better.
“I always talk to the guys, try and be loud and supportive. I’ve been getting the minutes, and I have a leadership role on the team, which I really enjoy.” In his third year as a member of the Shield, Dent brings more OCAA experience than any other teammate, and a certain “presence” on the field, a fact not lost on Politi.
“Aaron demonstrates his leadership through example,” said the coach. Not necessarily a recipe for headlines, but a role that is always appreciated by those who rally behind their captain.