2003 YMCA Mock Trial
Declaration of Alex Chavez
I, Alex Chavez, hereby declare as follows:
My true name is [Alexandra][Alejandro] Chavez, but I go by “Alex.” I am 17 years old. I was born May 21, 1985. I will be a senior in September 2002 at Cherry Point High School.
I am in rehabilitation for a left knee injury I received in the U-18 State championship soccer game on March 17, 2002. I suffered an injury known as the “terrible triad,” which is a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), ruptured medial collateral ligament (MCL), and torn meniscus. I also suffered a fractured tibial plateau. Because of the fracture, my knee will never function properly, and I will always walk with a slight limp or hitch in my gait. I will never be able to play competitive soccer again.
The injury happened in the 81st minute of the championship game between my team, FC Red Dog, and FC Ignition. I was blind-sided by Taylor Garrison, and my left knee was destroyed. All I remember is that I was dribbling up the left sideline with Garrison marking me tight. I knew s/he was going to slide tackle the ball out of bounds so I slowed down, showed him/her the ball and waited for his/her move. As soon as Garrison started the slide tackle, I toe-punched the ball beyond his/her reach, jumped over his/her legs and accelerated away. I cut sharply to my right with my next touch to seal him/her off and dribbled straight for the goal. I only had one more player to beat: the sweeper.
As I jumped over Garrison’s outstretched legs, I heard him/her cuss the “F word” and I remember laughing. I had been schooling Garrison all day with the same moves, and I could tell s/he was getting angrier as the game progressed.
Garrison and I had been going at it pretty good for most of the game. I was booked in the first half on a chippy call by the referee who said I was doing too much taunting. But, hey, at this level the game of soccer is as much psychological as it is physical, so you gotta dominate your opponent mentally. Garrison did his/her share of taunting as well. We were going at it pretty good from the opening whistle. Mostly, the referee was talking to me about shirt grabbing, talking to Garrison about late tackles, and warning both of us about mouthing off.
After I beat Garrison, the sweeper stepped in to defend me. At first, s/he back-peddled to slow me down. When s/he got to the top of the “D” s/he stopped, and I could tell that s/he was going to make his/her stand outside of the penalty area. I saw the goalkeeper move toward the near (left) post, so I decided to go for the far (right) post.
I dribbled right at the sweeper. When I was 6 feet from him/her I slowed and pushed the ball to the left, like I was going around him/her toward the near post. I knew s/he would move in that direction to block me. I waited for him/her to make his/her first step, and when s/he did, I “megged” him/her. As I got by his/her left shoulder, I glanced up and saw the keeper moving quickly back toward the far (right) post. Without thinking about it, I made one last preparation touch and hit a low, hard, right-footed shot toward the left corner of the goal. I remember seeing the ball going just wide of the left post when I felt something crash into my left knee, and I felt it explode. The pain was worse than anything I can describe, and that is all I remember.
I did not see who hit me. My mom told me in the hospital that Garrison did it. I do not remember seeing Garrison standing over me. I did not hear Garrison saying anything. The next thing I remember was being loaded into an aid car that was driven onto the field. The pain was real bad. Everyone says s/he kicked me at least once in the side and stood over me and kept shouting, “get up” until the referee pulled him/her away. I was out of it. I heard from Quinn Carpenter that Taylor planned for weeks before the game to take me out and even kept a daily journal describing what s/he planned to do.
Yes, I was carded in the first half. I guess it was for “persistent infringement,” they call it, but that is crap. There is always some holding, shirt-grabbing and pushing in soccer. All high-scoring strikers like me have to defend ourselves as best we can against the rough tactics used by defenders. They can be brutal and the referees know it. What I did was nothing and should not have been called. It was bogus. At our level, it is part of the game. Goes with the territory. I was not out of line challenging the ref’s calls. I was just protecting myself. Everyone does it. It’s part of the game and most refs just let it go. This was the championship game. The ref should have let it go and s/he should have paid more attention to what Garrison was doing to me for the entire game. If s/he had red carded Garrison earlier, I would still be playing soccer.
I have known Taylor for about 4 years. We first met at U-14 ODP (Olympic Development Program) camp in 1998. I was playing for Arsenal, and s/he was playing for F.C. Ignition. S/he is a year older than me, but I made the ODP team. We were both selected for the state ODP team and became competitors from the start. I was the only 13-year-old to make the team. All the other players were 14 years old and had played together on various teams for several years. One of Garrison’s best friends was cut from the ODP team to make room for me. I think that ticked Garrison off. Garrison was the captain of our U-14 and U-16 ODP state teams, but I was made captain of the U-18 last summer because Garrison missed some practices and a scrimmage without permission, using some lame excuse about needing to spend some time with his/her girl/boy friend before s/he left for Europe.
The intra-squad scrimmages at ODP camp became personal wars between Garrison and me. S/he never could stop me, unless s/he took me out. The coaches loved the battles.
I planned to play soccer in college at Duke or SMU. But that is all history now. The coach at Bogan State University told me a full ride scholarship was waiting for me, but that offer was withdrawn last week. It is not fair at all. Garrison gets to keep playing soccer but I can’t. Just because of s/he is a jerk who could not stand to be humiliated on the field by a better player.
This past season I broke the club U-18 scoring record with 27 goals and 12 assists. I have never scored less than 17 goals in a season of youth soccer.
I have examined the field diagram created by the prosecutor and agree with his/her positioning of Kelly Quoc and me at the time of the foul. I do not know where anyone else was located at the time, including Taylor Garrison. I never saw him/her coming.
I HEREBY DECLARE UNDER PENALTIES OF PERJURY UNDER THE LAWS OF WASHINGTON THAT THE FOREGOING IS TRUE AND CORRECT.
Dated this 20th day of June, 2002.
/s/ Alex Chavez
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