With effort and selfless love for your team you can create magic. Make no mistake, these young men put years and years into developing their skill and conditioning but it takes more than skill to play that well in the big games and under the big pressure. As a young man myself, I was fortunate to be on some championship soccer teams (SHP ’89, USD ’92), but as a coach, these boys reminded me and clarified for me that it is not how well you pass the ball, shoot or dribble or how many sprints you do in the off-season because every competitive team and player must focus on doing those things just to be in the conversation. The secret is both those things AND how much you are willing to give of yourself so that teammates can flourish. It’s not about you and your goals it’s about leaving no doubt that you gave your best to your teammates, then, redefine your best again, so that your teammate can be experience success. If you do that, win or lose the game, you and your team are true champions. Boulder’s first Boys Soccer Colorado 5A State title in 32 years of soccer is a tribute to the spirit of what it means to be a part of a community — a team. Now each of these young men knows what it also takes to be a leader in life. Yes, I do believe that sport exposes character and one special season and one special game can change lives. Boulder High came so far this season after a 2-5 start and the toughest out of conference schedule in the state. Then they won the most competitive 5A conference in Colorado and 12 of their last 13 games. It’s not just that they won, it is how the played the game — before, during and after each match. Tonight, in the State Championship, they played the beautiful game. At times tonight, I wish I wasn’t the coach, so I could just sit back and watch the dance they put on display. “The dancer may not be the ultimate athlete, but the ultimate athlete is a dancer.” Tonight they danced — for each other, their school, families, the soccer community and Boulder, Colorado on the biggest stage, on the best field, in the biggest soccer stadium in Colorado. They did it this season and tonight when nobody expected them to do so. Every season I repeat this quote I first heard in college to my players, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” As these young men move forward, they have all learned that the “difficult” part wasn’t the sweat of training or games, is was being vulnerable enough to love their teammates like brothers, which, when they let it happen, really was not that difficult at all. And in return, they all became more than they could ever have expected. La Familia, I’m Proud of You!