The Cal South State Cup 2007 age groups concluded play and crowned six champions last Sunday at the SilverLakes Complex in Norco. Additionally, the Mayors Division concluded all age group activity.

For many, winning the Cal South State Cup was unimaginable or perhaps unattainable at the beginning of the year. Such was the case of first-year club Atlante San Diego Barcelona Elite. On their first year of existence, the Atlante SD team, led by coach Robert Casas, won their league and decided to give the State Cup Mayor’s Division a shot. A decision they do not regret.

“[The State Cup Championship] means a thousand different things,” coach Casas said. “We’re kind of a Cinderella story, I’ve only had the kids for less than six months.

“If you would’ve told me last year that we’d be State Cup Champions, I probably would have laughed and not believed it,” he added.

For Oceanside, clinching the Governors Division in their age group was the taste of victory that they had been working for in the past few years and a little bittersweet redemption. In last year’s State Cup tournament, the 2007 girls team led by coach Steve Davidson fell in the Round of 16 to San Diego Surf. However, this year the tables turned as the Oceanside squad was victorious over the Surf in a hard-fought match.

“It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” coach Davidson said about his team. “A lot of work and I’m just so proud of their effort coming from behind in a few games and really showing their resiliency and stepping up. It was amazing.”

Coming back for more

While Atlante San Diego Barcelona Elite became Mayor’s Division Champions in their first year of existence, a feat not all achieve, other teams continued reaping the benefits of their hard work, dedication and strong player development.

When San Diego Surf defeated Slammers FC in Sunday’s Presidents Division Final, the majority of the players were tasting victory for the second, and even some, third time. In last year’s contention, some girls in the San Diego Surf team were crowned 10U Champions in the Governors Division. The previous year, they took over the Mayors Division.

This year’s San Diego Surf was led by coach Craig Barclay, who gave full credit to the girls for their hard work on and off the field.

“For me what I think it’s special is that they work their socks off,” he said. “They’re not just talented individuals they work hard every single day, every single practice and they keep their feet grounded. They don’t let themselves get too high to think too much of themselves and I think that’s massive, especially at the youth [level].”

The Cal South Governors Youngers Division will conclude with six more champions being crowned this Sunday at Galway Downs in the 12U, 13U and 14U categories. To receive the most updated information on State Cup, follow Cal South on FacebookTwitterInstagram and on Snapchat on @CalSouthSoccer.