By Kiana Gonzales
On Saturday, February 13, Pueblo’s Boy Soccer Team won the Arizona State Championship game against Buckeye High School in Glendale, Arizona, a deserving accolade for a team that has been triumphant all season long—ending with a record of 10-3.
Junior Alex Urtuzuastegui (and the son of the team’s coach), who played center mid-fielder, said, “This championship game was, by far, the toughest game of the season. I think that some of us really didn’t expect Pueblo to win, so when we did, it was a great feeling.”
The final score of Pueblo’s triumphant game against Buckeye was 2-1.
Coach Francisco Urtuzuastegui said, “I’m really happy for the guys, and it’s inspiring for the incoming guys.”
Senior Efren Robles, who played striker-forward, said, “Everybody on the team did an awesome job for the whole season. Our team members were able to bond early on, and we never lost that cohesiveness. This was our team’s most important strength.”
Throughout the season, the team was challenged several times due to players staying eligible, due to their academics.
Coach Urtuzuastegui said this group of young men has been playing for several years together, so they weren’t challenged by not knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, 10 of this year’s team members are seniors, so he doesn’t have any predictions for next year’s season—he just hopes that the team members have the same amount of compassion and enthusiasm as this season.
“I believe that our team next year will have a lot of potential to earn the right to go to State,” Coach Urtuzuastegui said.
Alex Urtuzuastegui said, “I’m excited for next year. I’ll be a senior, and I’d love to be able to graduate from Pueblo with another state championship for our school and for our team.”
Senior Mario Rodriguez, a mid-fielder, said that part of the magic this year came from the coach’s leadership.
“He [Coach Urtuzuastegui] constantly motivated us all throughout the season,” Rodriguez said. “He said that he almost became a pro soccer player himself, so he definitely knows this sport better than anybody.”