2003 YMCA Mock Trial
Declaration of Taylor Garrison
I, Taylor Garrison, hereby declare as follows:
My true name is Taylor Garrison, but everyone calls me “Taylo.” I am 18 years old. I was born on June 23, 1984. I graduated from Rock Haven High School in June 2002. I have accepted a scholarship to play soccer at Barry University in Miami, Florida, but the scholarship may be withdrawn depending on what happens in this case.
I have played soccer since I was 6. My dad coached my first team. When I was 12, I was selected to play for FC Ignition and have played for them ever since. FC Ignition is the number one premier club in Washington. FC Ignition has won more state championships than any club in the history of Washington youth soccer. My coach for the past three years was Andy Jacobs.
I am a marking back (defender). I love defense. It suits my personality. I am very focused and demanding. My parents say I am “driven” to perfection in everything that I do. Unlike some players, like Alex Chavez, who are gifted athletes and who do not need to work hard to achieve, I believe that every player has a duty to push the limits of his/her potential. To players like Alex, everything comes too easily and they never push themselves to reach their potential.
I love the individual battles that go on in soccer between attackers and defenders. The reward for defense is self-satisfaction, not headlines. Defenders never get any ink. The sports writers always seek out the goal scorers when there is a soccer story to be written. But that doesn’t bother me. My satisfaction comes from not seeing my opponents’ quotations in the paper after I shut them down and prevent them from scoring.
I have known Alex Chavez since we both made the U-14 ODP team. S/he is an arrogant, self-centered prima donna. But that description fits all high-scoring strikers. They all think they are God’s gift.
Chavez and I have had our share of confrontations over the years. I think the ledger is balanced. S/he has received 3 or 4 yellow cards for dirty fouls on me and I have received 3 or 4 cards for fouling him/her. It’s all even now.
I did not intend to injure Chavez in the title game. I did not assault him/her. We had been going at it hard for the entire game. The referee warned Alex several times about hand checking and shirt grabbing, and I was warned about hard slide tackles. But it was Alex, not me, who was causing all the trouble. S/he complained about every call and verbally challenged the referee on many occasions. The ref warned him to stop talking at least 7 times, and I wondered if Chavez was ever going to get booked for dissent. S/he finally did right before half time. I guess the referee had had enough of his/her talking.
The referee warned me 2 or 3 times during the first half for late tackles, but I never touched Chavez. In the second half, I played it smart and did not leave my feet until the breakaway late in the game.
Jordan (“JJ”) James intercepted a pass at midfield and was dribbling at Kelly Quoc unmarked. I stepped up to defend JJ, who was to the left of the center circle, and Chavez was out on the left flank (to my right). Just as I stepped up to tackle the ball from JJ, s/he passed the ball to Chavez, who was near the sideline at midfield. I immediately sprinted out to intercept Chavez.
Chavez received the ball and started dribbling down the left sideline. I had a good angle on him/her and caught him/her about 35 yards from the end line. S/he started to accelerate and I had to make a quick decision to keep running with him/her or slide tackle the ball out of bounds. The ball was clearly exposed so I went for it, just as Chavez accelerated again. I missed the ball, and Chavez jumped over my outstretched legs. S/he was laughing. I admit I got mad.
I got up and started after him/her. I knew that Kelly Quoc would slow him/her down enough for me to catch up. Chavez megged Kelly and was preparing to shoot. I thought s/he was going to shoot far post, which is what s/he usually does. So I figured I might be able to block the shot by throwing my body into the path of a far post shot. I lost sight of the ball when Chavez went around Kelly. I did not see exactly where Chavez was. I did not expect him/her to take a near post shot. I guessed wrong.
Chavez reappeared in my view as I was flying through the air. S/he did not go for the far post (right corner) as I predicted, but, instead, attempted a low, hard shot at the near (left) corner. Because of my miscalculation, I did not get the ball and struck Chavez with the sole of my left foot right on the outside of his/her left knee. Yes, my cleats were up but that was only because I was fully stretched out trying to reach for the ball. I heard Chavez scream, but I thought s/he was faking, as usual. S/he always takes a dive in the box, and the referees know it. I quickly jumped up and shouted something like, “Get up.” I was hoping the referee would not card me, ‘cause I already had a yellow. I did not kick Chavez while s/he was down on the ground. Kelly Quoc and the referee immediately grabbed me and pushed me away.
I did not want to leave the field because I was concerned about Chavez.
I admit it was a hard, late tackle. Nothing more. I do not believe it was from behind. I have seen a lot worse. Coach Jacobs trained us to play hard and physical without worrying about the consequences. Coach always said that referees cannot help us play the game, so, we should not change our style just to please the referee. I guess I deserved the red card, but I just played hard. I did not commit a crime.
[This portion of the Declaration shall be used only for cross-examination purposes if the court denies Garrison’s motion to exclude his/her journal entries from evidence.]
Yes, I wrote the journal entries. But they were only intended to pump me up. Of course, Chavez was my sole focus. Everyone knew the game would be decided by Chavez or me, one way or another, and it was my personal goal to stop him/her, no matter what. Nothing in the journal was intended to be a plan of attack. The drawings were just my way of expressing my plan to dominate him/her on defense. I did not plan to injure Chavez. S/he is a jerk, but I would never intentionally hurt another player. I play hard, physical defense. But I always play within the rules as the referee interprets them. In soccer, you play as hard as the referee lets you play.
Crutches are a symbol I use to represent total domination over another player. It is kind of like the skull and cross bones that pirates use. It is just my symbol, my logo, my trademark, my calling card.
I have examined the field diagram created by the prosecutor and agree with his/her positioning of Alex, me, and Kelly. I did not see Jordan James or the referee. I heard Coach Jacobs yelling at me but I do not know where he/she was standing.
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/ Taylor Garrison