RALEIGH (WTVD) --CASL is a juggernaut in youth soccer. Three teams from the Capital Area Soccer League are headed to the National Championship next week - the second most of any group in the country. Among the local hopefuls, the fellas on the U-12 Boys team.
The initial reaction for the U-12 Boys team was to celebrate. Even Head Coach Jordan Dickerson got caught up in the moment.
"Just, I ran out onto the field like I was one of the players. Like, 'Woo! I'm out here on the field with them!' So, it was exciting," Dickerson recalled. "It makes you feel like a kid again, it really does. It brings a lot of joy back into coaching."
"I mean, it feels great for our whole team to get there," said David, a player on the team. "All the hard work and countless hours we've done to get there? It feels good."
The Juniors Red South team won their state and region title, and next they head to Tulsa as one of the four teams left battling for a national title.
"Work as hard as we can, do everything that we can. Scrap, fight, everything, 'till it's all over, and hopefully we accomplish a national title," said player Marshall.
North Carolina will be well-represented. CASL as a club is sending three teams in different age groups to compete for titles, a rare program feat.
"I think it shows that we work really hard to get where we want to go, where we want to be," David explained.
"It says a lot about CASL, you know. They do a terrific job of developing young talent and seeing it all the way through," Coach Dickerson shared. "And, you know, we sign a lot of Division I kids to top Division I colleges."
While this group's skill set has played a big part in their success, they say another quality actually propelled them to this point.
"Togetherness. You know, to be together, to work together," David stated.
"We've created a bond as brothers, and no one can break that bond," echoed Marshall.
As the team preps for Oklahoma, there's no flashy rituals, and the pregame message is clear.
"Just soak it all in and enjoy it, and live for the moment and have tons of fun!" Coach Dickerson said.