Clear Winners:Congratulations, HRVHS soccer

What’s a little fog among friends?

A vaporous environment for a vigorous athletic contest: Tuesday’s semifinal 5A soccer game at host Woodburn.

By a 3-1 margin, the Hood River Valley Eagle boys prevailed, sending them to a historic level for HRVHS soccer: the state championship game.

Congratulations to this skilled squad, and coach Jaime Rivera. Making state achieves a goal they established at the start of the season.

Through a particularly cohesive form of teamwork, and via the stingiest of defenses and sharpest of offenses, the Eagles cruised unbeaten through the second half the season, losing just one game in 2013.

The talent and togetherness they displayed Tuesday and throughout the campaign speak well for these players and their coaches.

You can quantify a “winning” season in a lot of ways: goals scored, games won, post-season status. Sportsmanship is that thing that does not show up in the stats column. Yet is felt by all involved, especially the players themselves.

What reflects well on this winning team is the way they win, with cool-headed sportsmanship. Tuesday’s game, with so much at stake, and in misty conditions, might have resulted in rougher play, but the Bulldogs and the Eagles both competed with respect and class.

That much is clear.

Whatever happens Saturday in the 10:30 a.m. game at Hillsboro Stadium, the Hood River Valley Eagles are winners. They have well-represented their school and community, and elevated the already strong Hood River soccer tradition.

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