To get to the Cal South State Cup Governors Girls 2007 Division Championship final is a task that’s easier said than done. The competition throughout the tournament is fierce, with plenty of teams aiming to lift the championship trophy.
For the Nado Select team lead by coach Jerry Ruiz, the group phase was tough as expected, matching up against regionally and nationally renowned clubs. As they gradually built up to the final championship match, coach Ruiz was ecstatic to make it to the final, the highest any of his teams have achieved in State Cup. His team didn’t disappoint in the end, adjusting to the challenges at hand and managing the game to a 1-0 win.
“For me, it’s special because I’ve had this age group for a couple of years now and I’ve been in Quarters, I’ve been in Semis and this is the first time I’ve been in the final and to have the privilege to win it, it means a lot. I think it represents the hard work that the girls have put in,” coach Ruiz said after the game.
“The size of the girls is small compared to other girls and they’ve really understood the concepts and the actual game itself,” he added. “They don’t just play to play, they understand the through runs and the wall passes and when to make themselves look good and when to make other players look good. The understanding that I’ve had, I’ve lacked with other teams, and that’s what makes this team really special.”
In every tournament they participate, coach Ruiz sets an objective for the girls. In one, they might focus on defensive shape, while at another, their focus will be on crossing and finishing. The development process is vital, but for some parents, the wins can’t come sooner, something that coach Ruiz didn’t have many issues with.
“[Parents] want the wins early, but I think [my team’s] parents were onboard and trusted me to lead them in development rather than wins, and like I said, it paid off and the parents were onboard from the beginning,” he finalized.