Wed Feb 23 09:03am EST
School wins 21st straight state title, setting U.S. record ... or does it?
By Cameron Smith
You'll have to forgive the Ursuline (Texas) Academy girls soccer program if it feels a little aggrieved, despite winning what should be a national-record 21st straight state title on Saturday. The Bears have good reason to be upset: Despite the fact that their 21 consecutive titles is a national record, it's not being credited as a nationwide mark because of the association in which Ursuline competes.
As pointed out by the Dallas Morning News' Corbett Smith, Ursuline competes in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools -- TAPPS -- just as all other private schools across the state do. That stands in sharp contrast to most states across the country, which integrate public schools and private schools in the same athletic governing body.
As it turns out, in states that have separate public and private athletic organizations, only the public leagues are considered when determining historic records. Therefore, the 21 trophies currently ensconced in the Ursuline athletic facilities are worth little more than two decades of bragging rights over other all-girls schools, according to the folks at the National Sports Record Book.
According to Smith, Portland (Ore.) Catlin Gable High holds the record for most consecutive girls soccer titles with 11. That's right, the current record-holders have been outdone by the Bears by a whopping decade worth of state titles, yet are still recognized as the most successful streak-owning girls soccer program in the nation.
If there was any question that Ursuline was deserving of recognition, the Bears likely answered those questions in their title-game victory. After falling behind by a goal in the early moments, Ursuline responded with four consecutive goals to run roughshod over runner-up Fort Worth (Texas) Nolan Catholic School, 4-1.
"At this point in the season it's more about emotion then about technical or tactical play," Ursuline coach Jamie Cantrell told the Morning News. "We knew if we got down one, we trained for it."
At that point in the season, Cantrell's team has known exactly what to do time and again. It's just time that the rest of the country acknowledged its greatness.