Congratulations to our Tiger family

........................................................................................................................................................................................

It would have been very easy to focus on winning at the University of New Mexico Arena this weekend. After all, the Los Lunas girls had just won the Class 4A state championship game over Roswell, completely dominating the Roswell Coyotes.
The Los Lunas boys reached the semifinals, a feat never before accomplished by the Tiger basketball team. They lost to St. Pius in one of the more exciting games of the tournament. The Sartans won the boys side of the bracket over Albuquerque Academy.
But, as they say, winning isn’t everything. The way that these two teams came together is remarkable and goes way beyond winning on the court.
Ben Romero, the point guard for the Tiger boys, said through tears after their loss, that the team had become a family. He said that they had built relationships that would last a lifetime.
Teige Zeller, the post player for the state champion Lady Tigers, called her teammates “my girls.” The closeness of this team became apparent by five girls huddling close to each other in the post game interview, sharing just three chairs.
Their faces were beaming, and not just because they won the state title, but because they won it together.
It wasn’t lost on those in the room that all of this talk of family and lifelong friendships came from two players that moved into the district this past year. It speaks well of the students and teammates who accepted them with open arms and open hearts.
According to the great Disney philosopher Stitch in the movie “Lilo and Stitch,” ohana means family. It means that no one gets left behind and that no one is forgotten.
Stitch uses the Hawaiian word to note that as a newcomer, he is still part of the family. It may be little and broken, but it is still good.
Of course, all of our community is proud of the girls’ championship win. This Lady Tiger team is now part of history that will live forever.
Of course, we are proud of the never-quit attitude the Tiger boys displayed in almost overtaking St. Pius.
But what goes on during the games can only be a by-product of the relationships built off the court.
Ohana, Tigers. You are winners of so much more than just trophies. No one was left behind. No one will ever be forgotten. In becoming family, you have become winners in life.