The resilience and perseverance that characterizes a team has been shown in all past and present athletes, but none to the degree of the Midcoast team. A team that has been together for over a decade since their high school days, a team that has been a contender for the seat of champion, and a team that has lost many battles, but still unite together to compete for their love of the game.
And, in the end–finally–accomplishing their ultimate goal in their victorious march during the Soldier’s Tournament in St. Paul, Minnesota to take the 1st place seat in that tournament and their first title since their initial start as a team.
I had a chance to talk to my long time friend, Soua Lor, the captain of the Midcoast team and see his thoughts in their 1st championship title, in addition to sharing that with our Hmoodle viewers.
Hmoodle: So, after so many hard fought battles on the field, your team is finally victorious, could you tell me your initial feelings and your thoughts of this grand undertaking being number one?
Soua Lor: It feels real good. It took us awhile to achieve that goal but at least it has been accomplished. We finally feel like champs and that we are on the right road to more victories in the future.
Hmoodle: Time and time again, a lot of people had neglected to see your team as a contender for the champion seat, what do you say now, to these people?
Soua Lor: Everyone is going to have their day. As long as our team has heart, we are going to challenge anybody on the field regardless if you the best or the worst. We are going to give you a game to the finish. People can think of what they want to think, as long as we know what we can do; we are always going to give that 110% to every game that we play.
Hmoodle: With the Oshkosh tournament ending you’re team did place again, unfortunately not 1st this time, but splitting 3rd place, how do you feel about the competition in another state and how does that affect your team’s performance?
Soua Lor: It’s pretty much the same as if it was here. The only thing about out of state tournaments is that it actually makes you play to your limit due to the lack of players being there. So the performance can be a little sloppier than usual if all of your players are not there.
Hmoodle: How devastating was it when during the national July 4th tournament when your team ended up being eliminated by a rookie team by the name of Warriors, can you comment on this?
Soua Lor: It was hard on the team. We under estimated and was too over confident on the game. It was a good lesson for us to learn from it. Like I said earlier, once you take that field, everyone has their days. It could be good or bad. Eventually, it was bad for us and we corrected ourselves and came back strong for the next tournament.
Hmoodle: How elated were you guys after redeeming yourself during the post-national title in Minnesota during the Soldier’s Tournament?
Soua Lor: We were real happy and excited. A lot of our players have worked so hard to at least placed 1st in a tournament and we did it. It gives us a good note that if we do stick together and play it through, we can accomplish more 1st place. At that moment we were just enjoying the moment of being the best team.
Hmoodle: So, why the name Midcoast, because there isn’t a coastal line in Minnesota or are you referring to Wisconsin’s, Illinois’s, Indiana’s, and Michigan’s greater lakes as a geographic part of this anomalous name you guys had coined your team?
Soua Lor: It’s a name we came up with when we were still back in high school. We couldn’t claim to be East or West Coast, so since we’re in the middle, might as well be “Midcoast.”
Hmoodle: I heard about your 4 wide-out attack mode during the Soldier’s tournament that led your team to victory, could you briefly describe how-in this attack mode-other teams may have changed the way they had defended your team in the past? And how successful was it overall?
Soua Lor: A lot of teams play us with a cover 2 defense. So we just utilize what was given and use the receivers we know that can make an impact and it just went our way through the tournament. It’s something we have utilized in the past but just don’t use as much. But defensively, it’s still the same setup with the cover 2; I don’t see much difference in any team defending it.
Hmoodle: So how many years have you guys been together as a team and how many players are in your core group?
Soua Lor: We have started this team when there was no flag football, it was just plain old tackle and been a team for at least 10 years dating back to high school. As of now, we have a total of about 35 players.
Hmoodle: I see that with a male group there is an opposite counterpart that co-exists within this sport (i.e. – X-Conz having Lady-X while IDK having Valkyries), is there an existing opposite counterpart with your team in this sport?
Soua Lor: Right now, there is one that is developing. Don’t have a name yet but it will soon be out there.
Hmoodle: How did your group 1st start, was it friends and acquaintances and is there anything anyone would like to share to Hmoodle.com on how you guys started this great camaraderie and unity amongst yourselves?
Soua Lor: It all started as relatives, who all enjoyed playing sports. We were all related one way or another as in cousins, uncles, nephews, and etc. Then we had friends who love playing the sport and started to add on to make this team.
Hmoodle: Who’s the captain and what’s your objective during these Sunday practices before the big games?
Soua Lor: It’s me, Soua Lor and Sou Vang. Our objectives are pretty much like every practice, show up to know your role and what to do on the field. It’s to get all the players on the same page to win that 1st place.
Hmoodle: Does your team scrimmage against other rivals in the sport and during these scrimmages do you play to your fullest or do you play it down a little bit because of the nature of just practicing?
Soua Lor: We do scrimmage depending on timing. We don’t play to our fullest, it’s just a practice and majority of it is for our new guys to get the experience.
Hmoodle: Would you consider your team a passing team or a running team? Plus in a addition to this, is your team more efficient on the offensive side of the game or the defensive side of the game; or just maybe equally in a sense, could you elaborate on this subject?
Soua Lor: We are a little bit more of a passing team. We are pretty equally on both ends. We like to use each other when on the field to hype and bring momentum to which side is going on the field next.
Hmoodle: Is there a time during tournaments where you see the morale of the team falling and seeing the frustrations in their face, how do you as team captain regain their confidence during these hard times?
Soua Lor: Of course, every team and players knows that there is going to be ups and downs. As a captain, I always encourage every player regardless. As long as we play with heart out on the field, everyone has done their part. It takes a team to win and also a team to lose and that is what I always tell my players.
Hmoodle: Lastly, just like all the other interviews out there, would you like to give any shout outs to or maybe just ending the conversation with anything you’d like to say to our audience at Hmoodle.com?
I would like to thank all of our families, friends, and fans for their support out there on the field. I would also like to thank our players for having heart and stick with the team regardless if we win or lose. Mid what? Midcoast, Mid what? Midcoast! 1-2-3, MIDCOAST! We are still strong and going, keep it up.
First off, I would like to take the time to thank Mr. Soua Lor for his time enduring my nagging calls to get this interview, so thanks gain. Much appreciated for the promptness in getting back to me so soon and I know you’re a busy man. In addition to this, I would like to give a shout out to all the players with the team Midcoast—keep on doing what you’re doing!
And again thanks to all the Hmong athletes out there who has been called by me and the Hmoodle Staff. If you haven’t heard from us yet, don’t stray away too far because we’ll be out there looking for you. Plus, if your team’s an upcoming team in any of the sports that we feature and would like a chance to be heard, holler at me at [email protected]