Embracing diversity and unity key to Monett soccer’s winning culture on and off the field

Sports

MONETT, MO. — After a win in the opening round of the Class 2 District 5 tournament, the Monett soccer team is one step closer to capturing their 10th straight district title. So what’s at the core of all their success? Simply put, it’s the love for the game.

For almost a decade, the Monett soccer team has been one of the best in Southwest Missouri.
Head coach Cristóbal Villa has been a member of the coaching staff since their reign of dominance started.

He credits their success to the culture they’ve been able to create within the program. It’s one that emphasizes unwavering togetherness.

“It’s a whole different thing,” said Villa. “It’s a new family. Everybody plays for each other. You know, they have each other’s backs. They respect each other. We play for the love of soccer, the passion for the game.”

The thing about soccer is it’s considered a global game and has a unique ability to bring people of all different backgrounds together. That’s especially true for the Cubs. They’re a culturally diverse team that has six different languages spoken among their players.

“It’s crazy how this game changes a lot of kids lives and the community how it brings everyone together,” Villa said. “The boys love it. We love how we represent our school, how we represent our community with what we like and it’s playing the game of soccer.”

For junior midfielder Alexix Ramirez begin a part of this team has taught him a lot about the game and about life.

“It shows you who you are,” said Ramirez. “It helps you become a better person overall 100%. It builds memories throughout your life and you get to do what you enjoy doing with the people you love.”

Even if their district dominance is stopped just short of a decade, the winning culture they’ve been able to create on and off the field is something to celebrate.

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