Team Arsenal, a Rockdale Youth Soccer Association (RYSA) recreation team that plays for more than just fun, brought all the stops to reach the Atlanta Peach Classic finals this past weekend and take second place.
Taking second place is a remarkable thing to do for a team that should have been playing in a recreation tournament. The classic is usually entered by only club teams, although any team can enter.
Head coach Jimmy Suburu led his team to a 9-0 record in the regular season of recreation league. Because of his team's performance and his own belief in its abilities, he and the parents chose to enter them into the Peach Classic.
"We took a chance and it came out very well," Suburu said. "Most of the time rec is just for playing around. Most of the feelings are not there when it comes to rec. My feelings they were there for every single game of the season."
Parents were just as instrumental to this team as the players and coaches were.
"One of the parents were named MVP of the season, not even a player," Suburu said. "That's how good the parents were."
Team Arsenal lost 2-0 in the championship, but they gave the opposition a run for their money.
"We really wanted to come back and tie the game but time wasn't on our side," Suburu said. "We didn't go there to lose a tournament. Classic tournament or not, we didn't go there to lose one."
Suburu didn't lose any love for his players after the loss.
"They've got heart. They're well-disciplined and they listen to instructions. From the best player to the weakest player, each one of them listens to instructions. They play together. Even in that tournament that really came together," Suburu said. "They're a good bunch of kids. I am so happy to be their coach."