Atascadero’s American Youth Soccer Organization U12 All-Star boys team will be representing California in this weekend’s Western State Championship in Carson City, Nevada.
The All-Stars are the first team from Atascadero to represent California in the championship match. The team formed only a month and a half ago set with tough tasks like building team synergy, limited practices due to rain, and even financial burden on families struggling to pay for player’s tournament fees.
"That’s one of the hardships of trying to get this team chemistry going in such a short amount of time, especially with the rain. We’ve had only a few practices, but they’re very mature boys when it comes to soccer," said Jo Subia, A-Town All-Stars head coach.
One by one, the team did something that caught everyone off guard, they started winning.
"In the past, we’ve noticed that we come into a tournament and go against SLO-A and sometimes it’ll end 5-0, their lead. That’s how we end our tournaments so this is really interesting. This is the first year we came out and surprised some people, including ourselves," said Loreli Cappel, Team mom.
Besides the kid’s dedication and athleticism, team co-captain Maddox Subia says their secret weapon is the team chant that he modestly came up with to energize the team before games. "Ever since we started the chant, we’ve won every single game," said Maddox. "The whole team goes, hoo, hoo, hoo, and then I say, ‘Who are we?’ and the whole team says, ‘A-Town!"
The championship this weekend includes teams representing Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
The Nipomo’s U10 girl’s All-Star team will also be headed to Carsen City.
Atascadero has a population of 29,000 and generally does not excel in youth soccer while Nipomo has a population of 16,000, making the two teams underdogs in the Western State Championships.