FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Defending a championship is one of the toughest tasks in team sports.
"Looking around and right when I was about to kick it that final whistle blew, my head went blank and we all fell to the ground after that," said McLane goalkeeper Luis Enriquez.
McLane goalkeeper Luis Enriquez recalls the final moments in last year's valley championship win over Kerman and the Highlanders are back for more this season.
"We're Valley champions and nobody else in Fresno won the Valley championship last year so everybody wants to beat us," said McLane soccer player Juan Flores.
Few teams have, and as the regular season is nearing a close, McLane is in a position to make a deep run in the Valley playoffs.
"They click. They trust each other. It's amazing to see especially to see on the field how they trust the player next to them," said McLane head coach Ramiro Teran.
"The trust between each other is crazy. I know where he's at, where everyone is at without even looking at them," said McLane soccer player Emerson Hernandez.
Trust built beyond the field keeping the players focused not only on soccer but more importantly their studies.
"We all text each other so we won't fall asleep and we finish our homework. My parents never really got an education, so they want me to be the first to go to college. I just want to make them proud," said Flores.
"We came from a lot of our families not going to college and being the first generation going to college sets the example for the rest of us coming in," added Enriquez.
Setting the tone and foundation of McLane Soccer.
"Not only are they setting for their families but they are also setting an example for this program," said Teran. "That's why I'm working hard for them to get picked up somewhere because they are going to be opening the doors for the younger players we have in our program."