The Chaffee County United Under-19 boys’ soccer club stepped up big to win a tournament May 18-19 in Grand Junction .
The team beat Telluride 7-1, Glenwood Springs 3-2 and a Grand Junction squad 3-2.
CCU then had to play Glenwood Springs again in the finals.
This time, however, CCU was shorthanded. Several players had to leave for other commitments, and a couple more players went down with injuries, leaving CCU with 10 players for the final 45 minutes of the game. A lot of the remaining players were young, between 14 and 15 years old, said Ben Oswald, who was helping out with the team.
The physical contest needed two overtimes before it was decided, but CCU eventually scored the game winner with about a minute left on the clock to beat Glenwood again and win the tournament.
“We put the wood to those guys; it was unbelievable,” Oswald said. “Every kid played incredibly. It was very impressive.”
Chad Gorby coached the team, and their play has Oswald excited about the high school season this fall.
“I can’t give (Chad Gorby) enough credit for the growth of this group,” Oswald said. “The massive amount of growth from this team physically and tactically has been noticeable.”
They went 6-2 in the gold division and won it, Oswald said.
Oswald said the spring club season helps them prepare for fall, as does their summer program.
The team is currently training from 7:30-9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Ben Oswald Park. Any player interested in playing high school soccer this coming year is invited to attend the free workouts.
The team already has a strong foundation.
“This is a technically solid group with good minds for the game,” Oswald said. “It is exciting to see their progress; they make me really smile as they truly show their love for the game when they play.”