Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fair Play: Eagles soar above all in 2012

THE first time I saw the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Eagles beat Don Bosco Technological Center in a high school football finals, I thought it was just one of those flukes that won't happen again.

It's a good thing that the Eagles didn't think that way.

If the win was Milo finals win was a fluke, the Eagles subsequent triumph in the Milo National Finals showed it wasn't luck that got them there.

And, to prove that point, the Eagles beat Don Bosco again in the Cesafi finals. 

Why am I surprised with the Eagles triumph?  It's simple, though SHS-AdC is one of the best teams in Cebu, for years, it has always come short when it comes to major tournaments like Milo and Cesafi, and in the Cebu City Olympics (when it was still part of Cebu City.)

For years, too, DBC has ruled Cesafi football, and I think before this year, the only loss DBC had was when it forfeited one match in 2010.

And after playing in the shadows for so long, the Eagles have finally cemented their place in high school football.

And of course, their coming out party in the local football scene also came just as their basketball team snagged the Cesafi title over the University of the Visayas.

Teams like the Eagles don't get strong overnight, or over the course of a year.  There triumphs this year came because of what they they did three or four years ago, when their athletic program went full blast.

Four or five years ago, the Eagles were primarily just a school known for its basketball team, now aside from being a powerhouse in basketball and football, SHS-AdC is now a powerhouse in track and field.

“When we started our track team, we took in the players who were already athletic,” SHS-AdC athletic director Rico Navarro once told me.

And these “athletic kids” were athletes already engaged in sports, natural athletes who only need a few tweaks for the specialized sport of track and field.

Take Rico’s son, Popoy, for example.  I used to write about him in football, then he got to basketball and now?  He’s one of the school’s top sprinters.

You don’t get there by sheer luck but by hard work.

What will 2013 hold for the Eagles?

I think they’ll stop being “lucky” and the other teams will start looking at them and say, “Hey, why don’t we do that?”

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