Atlético Paso, the team that beat lava

This is how Atlético Paso celebrated its promotion. / CHAP

Atlético Paso sealed promotion to the Second RFEF after a season marked by the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which forced them to stop and fight against nature

Kevin Fontecha

Sometimes fatal stories end with a happy ending. This is a story that was written with letters of fire. On September 19, 2021, at 3:10 p.m., the La Palma volcano erupted.
At that moment, life became cloudy and the island began to fill with ash. The river of lava that ran and took everything in its path paralyzed everything it could.

Nearby, relatively nearby, rested the El Paso Municipal Soccer Field. The small theater of black-and-green dreams, which had been born on June 17, 1952, appreciated how the earth shook under its lawn.
Only one day after spitting flames from his mouth, the evacuation of affected families and animals began.

In the Canarian Third RFEF only three days of the new competition had been played.
Atletico Stepwho had formed a squad to compete for promotion to the Second RFEF, saw how suddenly his hopes were shaken by the noise of the explosions. The club suspended training and the competition postponed matches. Staff, coaching staff and management watched the hours and days go by with the uncertainty of the laundry.

With La Palma isolated, Atlético Paso, which
I trained as well as I could, I looked at the calendar and the classification with the perplexity of someone who wants to but can't. But also with an infinite desire to enjoy every race, every dribble, every save and every goal when normality returned.

With matches in the air (up to seven postponements) and many teams already above in the qualifying table, the team coached by Jorge Muñoz clenched their fangs. I wanted to make history in a complicated year of competition. So it was. Because
what came after the storm was absolute glory for a group that never gave up and that it defeated the lava that swallowed everything in its path. Since the eruption, on La Palma everything was different. And at Atlético Paso it was not going to be less. Postponed training sessions, undated games and sleepless nights.

Playing like locals, but not at home

“We don't train or rest like before, we lost players from the volcano and we couldn't sign because nobody wanted to come here. Before, the opposite happened due to the reliability of the project. We are playing as locals, but not at home and everything is a roller coaster”, defined coach Jorge Muñoz when the natural phenomenon beat in all its splendor. It was not easy for anyone. Team members saw family, friends, and acquaintances lose their homes, jobs, and farmland.

Edu Cruz's goal against Herbania (0-1) last Sunday in Los Pozos, added to the unexpected defeat of Las Palmas C against Buzanada (3-1), unleashed madness on the island, declared Atlético Paso as group champion and consummated the heroic promotion to Second RFEF. Something that he celebrated throughout the Canary Islands, since he decreed the triumph of courage. He had to learn to deal with the impossible and to haggle over the rivers of fire in the club presided over by William Nazco.

So that,
after seven decades of history, the green-and-black team will exhibit its name through peninsular fields in the quest to keep writing new pages in his book. And after what they have experienced, let no one doubt the real possibilities of this team.

"Not a fire. Not a volcano. No one could beat us, we are champions, we are from the Second RFEF», exposed the defender Edu Niebla after achieving the category jump with the palm entity. To the cry of "champions" Atlético Paso, in the center of La Palma, on Avenida Islas Canarias, celebrated the feat.

No one wanted to miss it and it was a total mass bath. There was no longer the fear caused by the volcano. There was only room for joy and ecstasy of illusion that left the victory against Herbania Majorero.
Everything concluded as leader of the Canarian group of Third RFEF, with 59 pointsone more than the second classified, Las Palmas C, and maintaining an accurate regularity during the 32 days played.

«The omen of what was to come»

«The preseason started with a fire that took many homes in the town of El Paso. It was only an omen of what was to come later...»narrates
Agony Gonzalez, direct architect of the rise of Paso Atlético. Then, with the explosion of the volcano, came chaos.

“We had to reinvent ourselves, go to the other part of the island to continue training. Without knowing what was going to happen, full of fear, unable to sleep due to earthquakes and seeing families lose everything," continues the
Pirate with the heart in the fist, still with the memory in the retina.

“When we returned to normal, with training and playing in El Paso, after having to compete every three or four days for almost two months, we responded well.
We were all united when we needed it most. Not only the team, but all the people of the town»says the footballer from Gran Canaria with a lump in his throat, still celebrating the club's milestone.

«All the fans, even losing everything, were with us. We were going to La Breña and they were there. We traveled to Tenerife to play and many people traveled with us. In that time when we were on the pitch, they could smile again. Even if what we could do for them was insignificant," says Agoney.

In the end, there were smiles. Many. And a deserved luck after the agony. «It was the least we could do, we reached the last day and we played everything.
This promotion goes out to all the people of El Paso. We are going to continue helping those most affected by the volcano”promise.

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