For most of Oregon and the United States, the beginning of September is rippling with anticipation for the coming season of football. American football, that is.
The National Football League is the biggest money-maker in professional sports. The University of Oregon just finished building its $68 million football cathedral.?Friday nights are synonymous with high school football.
In Woodburn, however, things are different. Futbol is the king of high school athletics in Woodburn.
The Bulldogs carry a rich tradition of excellence on the soccer pitch that dates back years before the high school boys recent string of championship play.
Its no surprise that soccer carries a special place in the hearts of Woodburn High?School fans. The beautiful game is revered in Mexico, Central America and South America, where many Woodburn residents have family ties that go generations deep.
The love of soccer in Woodburn continues to build from generation to generation. It can be seen on the fields of Centennial Park and Legion Park. Its seen on the fields at the middle school and high school where children grow up learning how to play.
Groups such as Azul Futbol Club and Woodburn Athletic Futbol Club provide an outlet for young kids to learn the importance of working with others while providing a means to stay physically fit long past the days of adolescence.
As these children grow into young men and women, they bring their love of futbol with them from elementary school through high school.
Its no surprise that the best soccer in the state is played at Woodburn High School, where kids grew up learning to play the sport in tandem with learning how to walk and run.
Many times, it is this love of the game that is instrumental in keeping Woodburn High School students interested in the classroom, if only because it means they can can represent the Bulldogs on the field after the bell rings.
When the sun starts to set in the fall and the lights turn up, it is Tuesday and Thursday nights that are celebrated. When Los Perros take the field, they give the residents of Woodburn something to be proud of, but not just because the team wins.
No, Woodburn residents can be proud because the team represents the very best of what a group of dedicated individuals can do when they come together and work as a group to become the best they can be.