Updated: May 23, 2021
On May 2nd, 2021, the Fairview High School Boys Soccer Team from Boulder Colorado took home the first State Championship in school history!
In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to climb Mount Everest, a dream previously thought by many to be impossible. But Hillary and Norgay would not have achieved this dream were it not for the work and sacrifice of three decades of expert climbers who prepared the way.
I am the coach of the Fairview Knights, from Boulder Colorado. On Saturday, we completed an undefeated season and won the Colorado 5A State Championship. Over the past few days, I have taken a step back to allow parents, players and coaches to share their story of this unique accomplishment. And now I would like to share my story of this Championship, the story of the 2020/21 Fairview High School soccer team and Heartwork.
HISTORY Fairview High School has been around for nearly 60 years, and Boys Soccer has never won a State Championship, despite producing many exceptional players and teams. Winning a State Championship at Fairview has been a psychologically insurmountable feat, like the climbing of Mount Everest in 1953 or the running of the four-minute-mile prior to May 6, 1954. And just like climbing Mount Everest or running the four-minute-mile, we have finally proved that the dream of winning a State Championship is not impossible (for Fairview Boys Soccer). Led by coach Jeff Frykholm (2015-18) and Captains like Sajjan Singh, Myles Ellis, Cooper Harmon, Sam Siewerski, Carter Melton, Jake Ketchner, Alex Mercier, the players and coaches of the past few seasons have made a defining push to lead our program to become Champions, but unfortunately came up short (losing 2x in playoffs to the State Champs). In 2018, Fairview was undefeated, #1 in the state, and lost a heartbreaker to Arapahoe in the playoffs. Last year, my first year as Fairview’s coach, we lost another heartbreaker in penalties to Broomfield. Fairview needed to experience heartbreak to learn what is required to win. The desperation of watching seniors lose and never again wear the FHS jersey, the pain of coming up short in years where the stars were seemingly aligned. This team understands heartbreak. Our fight to avoid defeat comes from an intimate understanding of how devastating it is to lose.
Our mission this year was to focus on fighting through chaos with composure and technicality. We set out to build a culture that could withstand the pressure through intentional preparation, focus on our family, and playing with passion. Traits we looked to build into this team: * Hope, (not despair) * Composure, (not panic) * Focused grit (discipline), (not adrenaline) Winning the State Championship every year is not a competitively realistic objective, because player pools are determined by enrollment, not recruitment efforts. Therefore, there will be many years that are competitively maddening as the task of a coach will feel akin to playing chess with missing pieces. So then, why would high level coaches and players choose to participate in the high school game? What is the value of participating in the competition if you are at a competitive disadvantage most years? The reasons we have defined at Fairview High School are these: passion, family, discipline: “Heartwork”. At Fairview High School, we are committed to developing exceptional players, fiercely competitive teams, and leaving behind a legacy of brotherhood and love of the game.
When faced with the pandemic shutdown, our team dedicated all efforts becoming Champions. When faced with the stress, isolation and uncertainty of Covid, our team decided to focus on what we could control; our daily thoughts and actions. We play in the toughest conference in the state, and we knew that our goal required an undefeated effort (a feat that has only been accomplished once or twice before in 5A), because the playoffs were restructured due to Covid (only top seeded teams advanced from each conference). We have had sessions via zoom, social distanced sessions in 100° heat with masks on. And just like every team who competed this year, we have had to deal with the chaos of Covid closures, season changes, uncertainty, and the stresses that came with a condensed season. This team has remained committed to each other, to the process, and to our culture. As a result, this year will forever be acknowledged with proof of our team’s character, determination and quality with a banner that reads “State Champions”. This accomplishment is a testament to the consistency of our program. Every player, coach, and family member who has supported Fairview Soccer over the years will enjoy this moment together.
I am proud of these boys and the City of Boulder is proud of these boys for fulfilling their vision.