We may be wealthy in winnings at the moment, but there’s absolutely no luck involved here. Instead, there’s awesome athleticism, extreme skill, acute awareness, run-like-the-wind speed, unshakable and relentless determination, brick-wall resistance, and a team alliance that will never be crushed. Yes, this is the 2012 Rancho Cucamonga Flames U16 Boys Select Soccer Team, and we now hold the 2012 Championship trophy of the Colorado River Open in Bullhead City, Arizona.
This is what we call smooth sailing on the Colorado River:
Sixteen Flames and their families set off on our first road trip to the desert on Friday night for our first tournament of the season — a three-day adventure with six projected and eagerly anticipated games at the Rotary Park Soccer Complex. We kept our word. We crushed both Chino Hills Crew 4-1 and North Torrance United 4-2 on Saturday and remained impenetrable for the remainder of this cruise: On Sunday Hawthorne United went home unhappy 4-0, and San Bernardino United succumbed 1-0. And finally, fittingly, on President’s Day Monday, the Rancho Cucamonga Flames took commander-in-chief charge and again sent San Bernardino United home 3-0 in the semifinal, and in a glorious final match, we bid North Torrance United goodbye 2-0 and said hello to the most gorgeous championship trophy and medals.
It was a warm, sunny and at times cool, crisp weekend River-side filled with our traditional delicious spaghetti dinner, Mary’s calming chicken soup, relaxing hotel poolside, and towel-hunting hallway fun, as always. It takes a village to make these memories, and thank-you’s are always endless. But we must give much gratitude to birthday girl Momma Mary and our dinner hosts Chay, Francine & Velma for taking such good care of us this weekend. Your continuous hard work is forever appreciated and never goes unnoticed.
Coaches, your Flames give you a bona-fide and that not-nearly-mentioned-enough thank-you for your life on the field, your patience and wisdom with heart, your mentoring with might, and your love of the game of good soccer. Because of you, impossible is nothing.
And lastly, Flames, always remember my words to you along the River that one day: Stay humble, remain strong, always be proud. Grasp tightly that respect you hold for each other and fiercely protect it, as it is most important of all. Listen to your coaches as they always know best. You’re amazing. You embrace something special. You’re definitely one of a kind. The jackpots ahead of you will be countless. Never change and the riches will be all yours. 6 wins, 0 ties, 0 losses, 4 shutouts.
Let the games begin. Next stop: Kickoff Classic, Downey, California, February 25th & 26th, 2012.