Oscar Davila cried along with many of his teammates Sunday afternoon at the Costa Mesa Farm Sports Complex.
He had just drained all his effort during the boys' fifth- and sixth-grade gold division championship game of the Daily Pilot Cup.
The Whittier Elementary sixth-grader was one of the best players on the field, a quick forward battling against Mariners. He served up a perfect pass, an assist for one of Whittier's two goals in the 4-2 loss.
Oscar would rather not be treated differently or singled out, especially in a loss.
But Oscar is different. Special. He was born without a right arm.
He said there are moments that the disability makes him work harder.
When people do treat him differently or when a reporter asks multiple questions about competing without a right arm he doesn't get angry.
"I know that all people are different," he said. "I have to understand them too."
Oscar struggled to talk. After the loss, he was devastated.
But a smile came to his face when he started to talk about Whittier's big semifinal victory earlier in the day. Oscar helped lead Whittier to a 3-2 win over Rea, which had won four straight championships and nine of the past 11 titles in that division.
Whittier trailed, 2-0, against the Sharks. But Davila was a part of Whittier's three-goal run. He had another sweet assist and helped put the finishing touches to end Rea's reign.
Yes, that made Oscar smile.
He's usually happy when he's playing soccer. He's been playing since he was 5. He's always loved the game.
Why does he love it so much?
"I get away from school and everything else and I get to play," he said.
He was upset Sunday, but still happy to play the game.
I maybe should've been upset after listening to a message left on my voice mail Sunday morning.
A man was asking for more coverage for Mariners at the Pilot Cup.
That's fine I understand that. It happens.
But the man left the message with a statement that actually made me laugh.
"This constant coverage of Rea is ridiculous," he said.
For the record, the Daily Pilot covered Rea twice during the tournament. Yes, there was a preview of the tournament with the Sharks as the focus, but they've earned that with the amount of success they've had.
I honestly went to their game Saturday thinking their run was about to end against Lincoln in the quarterfinals and I was going to write about it. But Rea advanced.
It looked like the Sharks were going to the final again, but Oscar and his friends had something to say about that.
There is a lot of credit to hand out for the huge tournament that featured 207 teams. But there's one name I don't think I've seen mentioned during the week.
I'd like to thank Pam Garrett for her tireless work throughout the week. She posted all the scores on the Daily Pilot Cup website.
On Championship Sunday, the final day of the six-day tournament, you'd think Garrett would be tired. But she was at her best, posting the final scores faster than the winning kids who run those parent tunnels after games.