SALINAS, Calif.- A local high school soccer team is celebrating a big win as they bring home the state championship title. It's a dream season for a group of kids from a typically dangerous part of town. But these kids are working very hard to achieve big goals.
Even though kids have said it can be hard to avoid the violence, the Alisal High School men's soccer team is bright spot, giving students something to be very proud of. With good coaching and tons of dedication, the team has scored it's way to it's second CCS Championship title in three years.
"Its an amazing feeling knowing you're number one in California and you know that schools from everywhere are watching you play," said goalkeeper and junior Andres Camacho.
The team hasn't lost a game in three years. That's 52 undefeated matches-talk a good record to tout around a part of town where violent crime is a common sight to see.
"Sometimes Alisal can get a bad name for itself. So you know soccer give it a good name," Camacho said.
Players said they always strive to be role models on campus. But coaches said it takes a lot of survival skills to be able to do that in this community.
"When the kids can listen and they can be inspired and they can be motivated and they can believe they can achieve, then that's reaching the ultimate goals," said assistant coach Ignacio Flores.
But reaching the ultimate goal is no easy task. During a regular season, they practice just about everyday. Players said it takes a lot of support from friends, family and the rest of the community to steer clear of bad influences.
"Soccer takes me out of the streets and mostly you know every team member I have just focuses on school and soccer and stays away from the gangs and the bad stuff on the streets," said goalkeeper and senior Fabian Narez.
This year nine seniors will graduate, giving next year's team some new opportunities to shine.
"The young group that came about that maybe didn't get to play as much this year, now it's gonna be their turn to step up," Flores said.
On Friday, the soccer team and the wrestling team, which also had some big wins this year, will be honored in a parade ending at the main field. It'll be a campus-wide rally during the last period of the school day.