What a difference a year makes for the Ballistic United U-12 Premier team.
Last year as a U-11 team, the group made the trip down to the NHB Cup, an event hosted by the North Huntington Beach Futbol Club and came home without winning a game.
Fast forward to Labor Day weekend of this year and this time, as a U-12 squad, the team came home with the tournament championship.
“We’re just playing well as a family,” said coach Anthony Villegas. “This team is learning how to win games – like the second game in a day or the fourth in a tournament.”
This year the team won the Ballistic tournament and then played well in the extremely tough Davis tournament.
That led to the trip down south for the NHB Cup.
In bracket play, BUSC went 2-1, beating Albion FC 2-1, and NHB FC 4-1. They also dropped a 2-0 game to the Total Futbol Academy, but by finishing second in their bracket, they advanced to the semifinals.
In the semi’s they took out the other bracket winner, Santa Monica Surf 3-1, setting up a rematch in the finals with Total Futbol Academy.
This time Ballistic took down the team from Southern California 1-0 to win the championship.
“It was great to redeem ourselves with that win in the finals,” said Villegas.
What’s the biggest difference for the team in Villegas’ second year of leading the group? The belief that the team can win with any combination of players on the field.
“Everyone is getting the opportunity to play,” said Villegas. “I feel that’s important so they can all develop. I am not sacrificing playing time just to try and get a win. Now I have a special team.”