On a quiet, warm November afternoon just behind the Quintin Little building off Commerce St, a hidden soccer field is filled with joy and reminiscing on recent tournament success for the Ardmore Dominators.

On a quiet, warm November afternoon just behind the Quintin Little building off Commerce St, a hidden soccer field is filled with joy and reminiscing on recent tournament success for the Ardmore Dominators.

Jokes about fellow teammates and stories of clutch plays filled the pitch, as teammates piled onto the practice field where a group of youth soccer players went from childhood friends to championship teammates.

The Dominators, an affiliate of the G.O.A.L.S. recreational league in Ardmore, visited Broken Arrow early in November, and won the Broken Arrow-Tulsa State Soccer Tournament, the first for this team.

Representing the U-19 boys division, the Dominators won four games overall including a 2-1 victory in the championship match. Filled with pride and joy, head coach Kenneth Rasmussen spoke about how proud he was to see a team of young men, who grew up with his daughter, transform into champions in a single tournament.

“They (Dominators) played their hearts out for four games,” Rasmussen said. “Every game was different, they were physical at times, and end the end won a 2-1 game for the championship. It was quite an experience.”

Rasmussen has been around the soccer scene for years here in Ardmore, and this was not the first time he had taken a team to a big city tournament. Rasmussen has coached the Dominators off and on for three seasons, and knew this team was competitive enough to go play in a big time tournament against stronger opponents. After taking previous teams to tournaments across the state, Rasmussen decide to take them to his home town of Tulsa for a shot to prove how good his team is.

“I grew up in Tulsa, the soccer there I wouldn’t say is better but different,” Rasmussen said. “This team was very competitive and I wanted to find a tournament to take them to. I hadn’t taken a G.O.A.L.S. team to Tulsa before. Everyone is kinda scared of big city soccer, and I thought they could  do it.”

Winning a state wide tournament in soccer may not be the only championship the city of Ardmore will be bragging about by the end of the week. The Ardmore Tigers will be playing in the state championship football game  on Friday, looking for its sixth title in school history. Dominators striker Raphael Interiano has a chance to win a soccer tournament and a state football championship in the same month.

Interiano will line up as the kicker for the 13-0 Tigers on Friday, but earlier this month, he was already celebrating with another set of teammates. 

 Originally not a part of the team, Interiano was asked by Dominator teammates to join before the tournament started. Knowing most of the team and growing up with them, he was ready to go when called upon.

“I was a guest player for this team,” Interiano said. “they asked me to join their team and help go win this tournament.

Interiano grew up playing soccer with Dominators teammates since middle school. Although he has not been a part of the team for long, winning the tournament with his friends was a great experience for him.

“Being with them, I got their back they got my back,” Interiano said. “Winning the tournament was more than enough, just going up there was enough. That was a good experience. The whole thing was one for the books.”

Watching the team interact with each other it is easy to see why the mesh so well on the field. The camaraderie between teammates and the overall skill from the players strikes fear in opponents eyes. 

Whether it’s Interiano, whose leg strength helped him kick an over 40 yard field goal for the Tigers this season, or Ilitch Gomez who will be playing for the FC Dallas U-19 club team later this year, the team is loaded with players ready to compete.

Opposite of Interiano, Gomez was a catalyst on the defensive side for the Dominators during the tournament. As a center back, Gomez helped lock down opponents and helped propel his team to championship status. 

Being from Ardmore, Gomez was proud of how his team was able to head to the big city and put on a powerful  performance.

“It shows that there is a lot of talent here in Ardmore,” Gomez said. “It was pretty fun.”

With members of the team graduating, and others heading to club or high school sports, Rasmussen was happy his team could get this last hoorah.

“It was quite an experience,” Rasmussen said. “We wanted them to have the full tournament experience one last time. Many of them will play for Ardmore in the spring, some may play for us again next fall and I will coach them. Just wanted to enjoy one of the last seasons with the guys.”