GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – The boys soccer program at St. Paul Como Park High School is prepared for an encore following an historic season.
"It was an incredible season," says head coach Jonah Fields, who was an assistant last season. "From start to finish we overcame so many challenges."
Como took home the Class-A Title in their first appearance at the state tournament finals. But it's better than that. It was the first finals appearance at a state tournament among all sports in the school's 34-year history.
"There is a lot of energy in our program and we hope to direct it into this coming season," says Fields.
Although the Cougars never lost a game in 2013, they will, once again, have an uphill battle. Coach Fields calls the St. Paul City Conference "extremely competitive" and their section includes some of the state's best in boys' soccer.
"Our goals will be to win the conference and the section again," says Fields. "'Next one' is a program motto to direct all our energy on what we control; the next play, the next goal, the next touch on the ball."
Last season's team defined diversity. Six different languages were represented on the squad, but that unique mix is what they rallied around.
"We treasure that diversity and call it a strength, but we don't dwell on it either."
Coach Fields says it takes leadership among players to unify. This fall, Como will lean on captains Will Kidd and Israel Castillo Guzman.