COMMERCE CITY — It was nearly 20 years ago when a young Jim Davidson was sitting in on a coaching clinic and listening intently to one of Colorado's finest.
Theresa Echtermeyer, who was coming off her second 5A girls title with the Green Mountain Rams.
As fate would have it, the two matched wits on Saturday evening at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the Class 5A boys finals between Davidson's Broomfield Eagles and Echtermeyer's Mountain Vista Golden Eagles.
"It was Theresa who, when I was a young coach, put her arm around me," said Davidson, whose team became the first team to win back-to-back big school title since Arapahoe in the mid-90's with a 2-1 overtime victory on Cody Ewing's goal. "I remember just having so many take away's from that clinic and she is just someone I have always looked up to and admired, but at the same time, I love trying to match wits tactically with her."
Said Echtermeyer of Davidson: "Excellence. Integrity. Clearly one of the most composed and strongest leaders and amazing mentors of young men and women both on and off the pitch that I have ever met. He's the bar and what he has done with this program, that just doesn't happen."
It was the sixth title for Broomfield, which ties them with Cherry Creek for the most in the state and Davidson (who also has a girls title to his credit) has been at the helm for all of them. He won his first 16 years ago against Lewis-Palmer, went on to win three more 4A title before claiming the 5A crown over Boulder last year in his first season competing at the states highest level.
A die-hard Tottenham Hotspur fan, Davidson has always been a student of the game and over the years has put his own spin on some of the training methods of some of the world's best, from Chelsea to the Dutch nationals.
"It's all stuff I have picked up along the way or stuff that I have just kind of invented or stuff that I have tried to modify based on training sessions that I have seen from some of the top clubs in the world," he said. "We also really trust what we do and I think the kids really do as well and they bought in.
"But it is fun every now and then when we say we are going to do this Chelsea finishing drill and they start to think about their heroes a little bit and emulating the Eden Hazard's of the world."
Take nothing away from Davidson's other title teams, but this group was something a little more special. His nine seniors basically resurrected a program that Davidson himself questioned the future of four short years ago.
"We started to question whether we were doing things right and if we needed to reevaluate," said Davidson, who credits his assistants Matt Armbrustmacher, Carl Morreale, Matt Lay, Daniel Weber, Zach Hindman and Rod Muir for keeping him level headed this entire season. "And we had this group of seniors coming through and we just decided to trust it and develop their leadership and here they are winning back-to-back state championships."
Perhaps the one player to take the reigns and run with it the most was Porter Milner. The senior, who was the embodiment of what it took to be a leader for Davidson, was not shy about his feelings for his coach.
"He's an inspiration. I've been with him for four years now and he's be a great mentor to me," said Milner, whose flip throw to the head of Justin Hamm helped Broomfield equalize in the second half. "This is the best we could do for him and he deserves everything and this team deserves everything for what he has built and made it."
Well done Jim Davidson. Well done.