OPINION: Cultural pride vs. private resources: Crete soccer aims to rewrite the story vs. Omaha Skutt


When our Crete boys' varsity soccer team steps onto the field at noon today, they won’t just be chasing a state championship title. They’ll be playing for pride and redemption against a familiar adversary that broke our hearts in basketball just months ago.

The same private school, Omaha Skutt Catholic High School, defeated our boys' varsity basketball team in round two at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. That bitter loss has undoubtedly lingered in the minds of our young athletes (and clearly mine), and now they have a chance to settle the score on the pitch. For the boys of Crete High, it’s not just a game; it's personal. And truth be told, it is for me as well.

I grew up in Omaha and my youngest sister is a Skutt graduate. The stark contrast between the Omaha private Catholic school and Crete High School couldn’t be clearer. Parochial schools have earned a reputation for being sports powerhouses and the Skyhawks are no exception. Simply living in Omaha brings access to private coaching, year-round training and indoor facilities.

But there is something that no amount of resources, training or money can buy that gives our boys an edge. Something homegrown: Hermandad (brotherhood).

Brotherhood is not the same as teammates. It’s not created by matching uniforms or bumper stickers. It’s not available in a protein shake.

The Cardinals brotherhood is built on grit, honor and pride. Pride for their teammates. Pride for their families and cultures. Pride for the game. And not to be forgotten pride for Crete. These young men have a brotherhood that transcends language barriers and backgrounds well beyond the soccer field. When their basketball classmates were on the PBA court, the soccer players were in the stands. I feel like they represent the heart of Crete, a community that unites together and defies expectations. A place that is small but mighty.

Today when the whistle blows, and the ball is set in motion, anything can happen. But there’s no doubt that a Cardinals victory would be extra sweet. So, let’s rally behind our soccer boys and give them the support they deserve.

I hope to see you all in my hometown today sharing your love of Cardinal Nation.

Vamos Cards!