Lance Kriesien: Serbian Championship Recap

Two teams, labeled "Eternal Rivals", arrive to the championship game taking two very different paths. 

Kragujevac was a team that had been tried and tested each week leading up to the big game, Vukovi seemingly strolled in to the match without facing much opposition along the way. Though we had played twice before, those became distant memories with each day the match grew closer. Finally, as game day arrived, we looked at our opponents with fresh eyes not tainted with the results of the past. You could see our intentions by the way we flew around the field and feel our intensity during warm-ups; Vukovi Beograd came to play.

The atmosphere was electric. A packed stadium ushered us onto the field with cheers as starters were recognized. After a vibrant welcoming, the national anthem was beautifully performed. Though midway through the performance there were a bit of technical difficulties, the crowd didn't hesitate to pick up where the artist left off. By the end of the song, certain sense of nationalism swept through the stadium: Serbians stood taller and sang louder. It was a great moment.

A successful coin toss allowed our defense to set the tone early. We punished them from the first snap and made our presence felt. Kragujevac seemingly played with a bit of hesitation offensively. Throughout the game there was an obvious frustration and they struggled to put consistent drives together. The Vukovi defense played fast and with confidence throughout the first half, limiting touches to their key players.

On the other side of the ball, the story was very different. Kragujevac made it very clear what the game plan was: limit touches to import Tony Washington, and contain the quarterback. Kragujevac boasts a solid group of defenders and athletes. Their execution slowed our offense down a bit on our first drive, but afterwards were outmatched in different areas of the game. I was proud of the way we executed offensively to maintain our balanced attack on our way to a victory.

The games fate was determined early, but that did not detract from the experience of the victory. Players, coaches, and fans alike erupted as the clock read 00:00. The game was over. Months of hard work and dedication manifested itself into one moment as teammates hugged, players celebrated, men cried. A perfect season had been achieved - champions have been crowned.

Lance Kriesien