What began in the fall of 1997, with a dramatic finish of a double overtime championship game followed by a sudden death shootout to decide a winner in the boys U-10, St. Charles Parish Soccer Tournament came to a climax this past May of 2006 at the Louisiana State Soccer Championship in Alexandria.
It was nine years ago that those two St. Charles Parish teams merged together under the coaching of Kenny Tizzard and Ronald Rodrigue to form the St. Charles Tornados.
Over those nine years, the team added and lost a few players, but they always kept that core group of leadership on and off the field together.
The Tornados went on to win many tournament championships; however, the honor of being recognized as the best in the state always seemed to elude them as they lost to the state champs several times in the early rounds of competition.
The Tornados loss in the state finals that year left them even hungrier for that elusive state title. There was still one more year of eligibility and all the players had to do was convince the coaches that they would practice next season even though their teammates would be attending eight different colleges and high schools throughout the state.
The coaches agreed and the rest is history.
The players held their end of the bargain and traveled far each week to practice in order to finish what they started nine years ago. The Tornados went on to win the 2006 State Title outscoring their opponents 25-5 in district and state play. As one player said, “We left no doubt on the field that we deserved the title - Louisiana State Champions.” Coach Rodrique is now a firm believer that talent gets you there, but heart and determination places you on top.
|The St. Charles Tornados, above, completed a long journey by winning the state championship.|