The boys of 18 Elite headed down the 5 freeway for the SCVA Boys Invitational with only one thing on their minds—capturing a Junior National bid. With only 7 available, and a crowded field of stiff competition, they knew it wasn’t going to be easy. They knew they couldn’t simply rely on training. They’d have to be gritty. They’d have to fight. And fight they most certainly did. All the way through the championship match.
“I saw strength from them this weekend that any coach can only hope will be there in the biggest moments. These are moments that you can train for conceptually, but that cannot be truly replicated in practices. They showed true grit in high-pressure situations, battled a lot of talented teams, and persevered through illnesses and injuries,” said head coach Henry Lee.
18 Elite entered the championship match a perfect 9-0, picking up wins against familiar foes Coast, Vegas United, Forza, MB Surf and 949. Having already secured a bid, they shifted their goal to winning gold, coming up just short in a nail-biter against a stellar Pacific Rim team (13-15 in the 3rd). And although 18 Elite barely missed out on a championship, they have nothing to be disappointed about. They learned a lot. Mainly about who they can become as a team.
“They’ve come a long way and the sky is still the limit. I believe that they’re only scratching the surface of what’s possible for them and it’s a result of all of the hard work they’ve put into improving their game physically, mentally, and synergistically. We are no longer the supporting character in someone else’s championship story. It’s our story,” said an appreciative Coach Lee.
“I am so proud of the boys. Above all else, this is a great group of people and I consider it my privilege to guide them,” he finished.
18 Elite will now begin prepping for the Chicago Qualifier (Jan. 18-20) where they’ll compete in the Open Division. We wish them luck.
18 Elite celebrates their silver medal on the podium at SCVA Boys Invitational!