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20120706 SharylandSoccerChamps-Rings093Members of the State Champion Sharyland Rattler Soccer team put their hands into the huddle one more time after receiving their rings. Courtesy PhotoLA JOYA — Members of the Sharyland Rattlers boys 5A state champion team, the first in Sharyland’s history, received their championship rings during a ceremony at Romos Ballroom July 1.

Sharyland took the title April 21 in Georgetown after a fierce battle against Katy Morton Ranch with a 3-2 win after a riveting shoot-out.

When the team returned to Mission, more than 1,000 fans turned out at Rattler Stadium to welcome the champs home. The team arrived at the stadium in a chartered bus led by police who escorted them to the homecoming.

During that celebration, Sharyland boys soccer Head Coach Reveriano Hernandez said, “The way we won tells me that they have a lot of heart. That’s what kept us alive all the time, a lot of heart and a lot of will. They knew what they wanted and they knew what they had to do to do it,” he said.

Coming into the state tournament, Katy Morton Ranch had not been scored on in any of the five playoff matches. So beating the Mavericks wasn’t going to be an easy deal, and the Rattlers trailed at halftime. But it’s difficult situations like this where a player can turn into an MVP, and that is exactly what Sharyland’s Jesus Olivares did just this when he scored the tying goal with less than five minutes remaining in regulation play, sending the game into overtime. He also tied the score during the shoot-out.

But it takes a team to win games, and that sentiment echoed throughout the Rattler’s victory celebrations.

Freshman goalkeeper Jorge Medina said he was happy about the accomplishment, but added that it took teamwork to do it.

“This was made possible thanks to my teammates that gave it all they had in the championship game,” he said back in April. “Thanks to God for allowing us to win this title.”

At the time, Sharyland Athletic Director Richard Thompson said the team was the pride of the district.

“It was certainly a historical three days up there and you know great moments come from great opportunities,” he said in April. “There was none greater for our athletic department.”

Veronica Ybarra, who was a sponsor on the fan bus, said at the time that the team had true faith.

“What touched me was that they prayed as a team all the time. It’s amazing to see so much faith. You don’t see that so much anymore, especially in public school,” she said in April. “To me that was amazing to see and to watch and to see the fans blessing them and praying with them. It was awesome.”

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