STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
SAN ANTONIO — Granite Country Youth Soccer Association has another state championship.
Real Madrid, a boys soccer team comprised of players 12 and under, won three games at the state tournament May 6-7 to claim the title and finish the spring with a 15-0-0 record.
Real Madrid beat North Channel SC NC Academia Tigres from Houston 4-1, ID Dynamo CDP White from Houston 3-2, and Lonestar SC SII Black South 4-1.
Dynamo also entered the state tournament unbeaten.
“They won all their tournament games by a large margin,” Real Madrid head coach Wes Goggans said. “They were a tough team.”
Two weeks earlier, Real Madrid, which consists of mostly fifth- and sixth-graders and a few fourth-graders, won the western district to advance to the state tournament. Assistant coach Chris Allen, the Marble Falls Independent School District superintendent, made good on a promise to allow his players to shave his head if they reached the state tournament.
After winning the western district, coaches decided the team needed to play better defense, so practices were geared toward improving that area, Goggans said.
That strategy paid off when Real Madrid found itself behind in two of the three state tournament games but rallied to win.
Goggans said coaches didn’t say much; the players pumped each other up and never believed they wouldn’t win.
“They were inspired by each other,” he said. “I’m just extremely proud of the boys. They games got physical, and they rebounded and played with a lot of heart.”
In this age group, the games consisted of nine-on-nine players, but the team will move to the 13-and-under age division, which means they’ll begin playing games of 11-on-11.
Tryouts for boys who were born in 2005 or 2006 will happen once the school year ends. Email Goggans at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.