The Westchester Blue Jets completed a rare three-peat capturing the Western States AYSO soccer championship for a third consecutive season.
The Western States Championship brings together the top AYSO soccer teams from California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington for a tournament to conclude the season. The Blue Jets first captured the Western States Championship in 2019 and maintained their championship throughout the pandemic-shortened 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The Blue Jets competed in the U-13 AYSO Extra boys division for the 2021 season. The team finished in first place in the spring regular season for Section 1, despite playing against older competition, and earned a return trip to the Extra Championship Match in May in Redlands, California. There the team defeated Menifee 3-2 in the match.
The Blue Jets finished the 2021 spring season with a 13-2 record and also captured a tournament title at the City SC Temecula Wine Classic in June. The team had several impressive victories over local club and Extra teams from San Diego, Cathedral City, Santa Monica, Glendale and Alhambra. Over the course of their three years together, the Blue Jets amassed more than 100 victories and captured more than five tournament championships throughout California.
The Blue Jets formed in August 2018 and represent AYSO Region 7, which consists of players from Westchester, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, Marina Del Rey and Mar Vista. The diverse team competed in the AYSO Extra Program, which provides a more competitive and progressive soccer experience from the recreation core program.
“The Blue Jets simply nailed it. The boys had a remarkable three-year run together,” said Coach Robert Milligan. “We stayed in touch throughout the pandemic and began to train as soon as we were able. The team showed a great deal of resilience and sacrifice, practicing social distancing, and using masks and a variety of local fields to stay in form. We integrated a few new players, worked on our development areas, and by the end of the season, we really hit our stride, capturing the Western States Championship again and a club tournament in Temecula against a nationally ranked club team. The team’s perseverance, patience and dedication during an unprecedented and unpredictable life event paid off with a third consecutive state championship. They’re a special group with championship hearts.”
“We are very proud of the boys. The Blue Jets are a family, and we will have lifelong memories of fun, hard work, and success,” said Coach Harvey Galvan. “I almost didn’t come back [for the third season], but I am glad that I did. Over the course of three years, the team was simply unbeatable and embodied a winning culture of excellence. Their victory in the championship game was not a surprise and a demonstration of their championship character. They bonded as a group and never let any team outwork them on the pitch. Their success was no accident. It was because of their learning, studying, sacrifice and love of what they were doing. We will always remember Westchester’s Blue Jets. They are the champs!”
AYSO Region 7 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season. Team formation and practice for Region 7 begins in August, with play beginning on September 11. Visit ayso7.org for more information about the league and about joining a team.
Posted July 2021.