Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude. ~ Ralph Marston
Our Rancho Flames have completed the Arrowhead Cup at the San Bernardino Soccer Complex, a drug free and gun free park (huh?), according to a local street sign. That may be true, but from my eyes, this admirable piece of land filled with numerous nicely kept soccer fields is something we could get really used to in our city of scattered parks.
With our camp a gentle soccer ball kick away from the action, we hit the first game at 11:00 am against Culver City. Even with a good rush of Santa Ana winds taking over our pitch, the Flames took out the opponent in a shutout of 3 to 0.
Before our second game of the day against Walnut at 3:30, we had plenty of lounging time in our campground of canopies, tents, and lounge chairs, time to enjoy a creative potluck inspired by our awesome Mary.
For Game 2, the Flames put up a good fight. So much so that with Ian injured on the sidelines and within minutes of game ending, goalie Cris took a big kick to the mouth from a rushing opposing player who never let up, and should have let up. With a bleeding tooth and a swollen lip, Cris’ day was over, and Anthony took over goalie duties. In the end, quicker-to-the-ball Walnut had us 2 to 4 at game ending.
As the sun rose above the Camphor trees Sunday morning and cast a beautiful shadow on the clear-as-a-bell Lake Arrowhead mountains — a sight we all admired each minute at the Cup — we prepared for our 8:00 game against North Valley.
This good team had one goal on us the first three quarters, and the Flames knew it was either now or never to take the lead and take the win. And they did. With an over 15-foot tall commercial video camera capturing this glorious moment, our Flames fighters gave us three goals, and a deserved win of 3 to 1.
Proud is the word. And we have it on film to watch over and over.
The Arrowhead Cup has a great tradition. The Attitude Is Everything, awesome sportsmanship, dog tag tradition. After keen observation by all three referees during the game, at game conclusion the three refs hold discussion on which two players they feel have shown a stand-out, positive attitude while playing. The center ref then picks a player from each team and awards them with their necklace.
Congratulations to Aiden, Cris, and Nick for being given this award. To Aiden for being the classy player you are, always respecting the players, respecting the game, and for being so darn good. To Cris for being our fearless ever-communicating goalie who endured being rushed and pounced and stepped on more than once this weekend. And to Nick for changing the outcome of Game 3 of the Arrowhead Cup.
I must say I was nostalgic to see this tourney end. It was a comfortable one. We were able to watch our Flames girls play. And the weather was perfect. But we placed fifth in our pool play, and that meant it was time to go. As we all packed up and left our weekend home, we brought back with us a team that grew stronger, closer, and better. Ready to conquer the season.
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change, rather than allowing it to master you. ~ Brian Tracy
Next stop: The Founders Cup, San Pedro/Torrance/Palos Verdes, CA, April 10th and 11th. GO FLAMES!!!