‘You’re going to be kings’: St. Genevieve wins boys’ soccer title after coach’s most cancers analysis

It felt unusual when Jose Mejia Sr. was not there throughout follow the primary day, missed the presence of the outdated assistant coach in operating laps and leaping in drills and sharing trademark knowledge.

Afterward, Jose Mejia Jr., the boys’ soccer coach at St. Genevieve Excessive, rallied his crew with a heavy coronary heart and instructed them the information – his father had been recognized with bladder most cancers. There have been 4 levels of chemotherapy forward.

Faces fell and tears flowed, a crew of principally seniors attempting to grapple with the fact {that a} beloved mentor may not return. Mejia Jr. was the coach, his father was the ‘professor’.

“It form of broke our hearts,” senior Beto Chavez stated.

If Mejia Sr. spoke, you listened. You have been listening if you happen to have been Chavez, who feels that the assistant coach has taken him below his wing since his freshman 12 months, taught him to make use of his toes and be mentally robust. You listened while you Mejia Jr. who thought that so long as he was fortunate sufficient to have a relationship together with his father, he ought to observe his recommendation.

And with no voice left, it introduced a crew to a small Panorama Metropolis campus with 525 children from a faculty that hadn’t received a CIF title in any sport in over 40 years.

“We noticed it as a motive to do much more, not just for ourselves, but in addition for our coach and his father,” Chavez stated.

You received’t see a lavish parade or elaborate fanfare for a Southern Part Division 7 championship, Mejia Jr. is aware of. However after a 6-20-2 report within the earlier two seasons, the St. Genevieve boys made all of it the way in which to the playoffs – Mejia Sr. made all of it the way in which to the playoffs. made 4 video games again – and beat Oxford Academy 3-1 on Saturday for a title.

His father, Mejia Jr. stated, has all the time been mentally robust. So when the 2 hugged after the victory, Mejia Sr. dry. His son was the one who cried.

“If I by no means win a championship once more, I’ll be wonderful… I’m accomplished,” stated Mejia Jr. “This was one of the best. It couldn’t be higher.”

It could be Mejia Sr.’s final 12 months of teaching, the crew remains to be preventing for extra with a 3-1 victory over Reseda on Tuesday to advance to the second spherical of the State Division 5 match. In mid-March after the season, Mejia Jr. stated, his father should have a process to take away his bladder.

Earlier than the playoffs started, the crew gathered for a speech by Spanish-speaking Mejia Sr., who begged his son to interpret.

“Who’s the King of the Jungle?” requested Mejia Sr., his son remembered interpreters.

“The lion,” the crew replied.

“Why is he the king?” requested Mejia Sr.

They grew to become silent. Was he the quickest, the older Mejia requested? No. The strongest? No.

Lastly, one of many boys understood. It was due to the lion mentality, they replied.

“Should you suppose like a lion, in case your mindset is powerful,” Mejia Jr. recollects. remembers his father’s interpretation, “it doesn’t matter if the opposite crew is quicker or stronger.”

“In case your mentality is powerful,” he continued, “you’ll change into kings.”