2003 YMCA Mock Trial
Declaration of Andy Jacobs
I, Andy Jacobs, hereby declare as follows:
My name is [Andrea][Andrew] Jacobs, but I go by “Andy.” I am 53 years old. I was born on March 25, 1949. I have been a machinist at Boeing for the past 25 years. I have coached for F.C. Ignition for the past seven years from
U-12 through U-18.
This was our third straight state championship. I am proud to have 10 of my players committed to play at top collegiate soccer programs this fall, including Taylor Garrison. I will be the first to admit that I demand a lot from my players. I coached my eldest child to a national youth semifinal appearance in his/her last season nine years ago, and I wanted this year’s F.C. Ignition team to go that far as well. I also want my players to be ready to play soccer at the next level in college and ultimately professionally.
I was never given the opportunity to play soccer growing up. Instead, I played football and basketball. In college I first encountered soccer in some intramural games and fell in love with the game. I started watching the English Premier League match of the week on Thursday afternoons. I joined a recreational league team with some fellow Boeing workers, and my spouse and I have been actively involved in coaching since my children were born. I have traveled all over the country to various coaching symposiums on all sorts of topics. I’ve attended the National Soccer Coaches Convention for the past five years in order to learn the things that I need to know to help my players play in college and beyond. I do not have any coaching licenses, but they are really just a piece of paper that show you can regurgitate information after going to class. They do not really say a whole lot about your ability to coach. I prefer to let my coaching record speak for itself. So instead, I have carefully watching college and professional coaches to figure out the finer aspects that make the biggest differences for players to help them get recruited and play in college.
When you get to the next level, it’s little things that make all the difference. I teach my players how to be more competitive than their opponents by using the game to their advantage. We talk about how to use time at the end of a game when we are ahead or behind. We talk about ways to psychologically take your opponent out of the game. We also talk about positive self-talk. I make each of my players keep a journal about their personal successes, their goals for the week, and anything else that helps them focus on their performance on the field. This is one of the things I picked up at last year’s youth coaches convention.
Controlling the tempo of the game and controlling opponents is an important part of the game at the highest levels of play. Psychological and physical dominance of an opponent are equally important factors in winning. Referees control the physical level of play. We teach our players to play as physical as the referee will allow. Every referee is different. On F.C. Ignition we talk about the role of the tactical foul. Some people call it the “professional foul.” We do not expect to get away with cheap shots and assume that if we commit the foul the referee will call it. We even expect yellow cards when necessary. It is all part of the game of soccer. In soccer we teach the players that the tactical foul is intended to deliver a message about dominance to our opponents. So, it is irrelevant what the referee does or doesn’t do. My high school basketball coach used to ride me unless I got at least three fouls every game. He said I was not playing hard enough if I did not make fouls.
I know I have gotten out of control at times. Everyone knows I hate to lose and I hate losers. But I never expect my players to be like me. The bottom line is that I expect them to play hard and competitively. Other coaches may complain about me, but we average about 4 goals per game, so it is not like close games are decided by questionable calls. The score usually speaks for itself, even when we lose.
I know Taylor was psyched up to mark Alex in this game. I talk to my captains about team attitude at every practice. We talked about Alex and how Taylor felt like s/he had something to prove because they had played so evenly against one another all season. Taylor knows s/he is the better player but defenders never get much recognition. I know s/he was still smarting from losing his/her captain’s armband at ODP over the summer. This seemed to focus Taylor even more. I told him/her to use his/her journal to talk through some of his/her feelings, focus his/her mind and, hopefully, enhance his/her performance in the final. S/he was not focused on injuring Alex, just on beating him/her on the field.
Taylor Garrison definitely fouled Alex Chavez, and I do not fault his/her efforts to prevent a goal from being scored. S/he was just doing his/her job as a competitive defender in a scoreless state final match. In my opinion, the foul itself wasn’t any worse than others in that same game on both sides of the ball. The fact that Alex got hurt is unfortunate, but it does not change the fact that hard tackles are part of the game. Taylor will be a good collegiate player because s/he knows how to tackle hard and even to take a yellow card for the team when necessary. It may be an intentional foul, but it’s never malicious or intended to hurt an opponent. Intentional “professional fouls” are part of the game at every level, and we might as well prepare our players now, otherwise they’ll have a rude awakening at the higher levels. The Laws of the Game allow the referee to decide whether a foul is bad enough to issue a yellow or red card. I have attended referee classes and was a licensed referee for one year many years ago. I am very familiar with the Laws of the Game. As a coach at this level, I have to know the Laws as well as the referees do.
I was standing on the near sideline about forty yards away when the foul occurred. I don’t think Taylor knew that Alex was going to shoot. I was in a direct line with his/her angle of approach, and it looked like s/he was sliding in to intercept Alex as if s/he were to going to continue dribbling towards the goal. Because Alex shot early, Taylor slid right into him/her instead. Sure, the tackle was late, but it was Taylor’s job to stop the shot and s/he did his/her best to get there.
The referee made the right decision in throwing Taylor out of the game. I do not teach players to taunt their opponents after a foul, but I can understand why Taylor did it. Everyone knows that Alex Chavez will take a dive if s/he’s anywhere near the edge of the penalty box to try to earn a penalty shot. His/her teammates know it, his/her opponents know it, coaches know it and the referees know it. Taylor thought Alex took a dive.
Taylor did not kick Chavez. I would have seen it. Yes, s/he was unusually agitated and was jumping around but s/he did not kick Chavez. It is not unusual for a player to be escorted from the field by an assistant coach after the player has been ejected. But I do not think Taylor’s conduct after the foul had anything to do with his/her decision to make the slide tackle. S/he was just doing his/her/her job the way s/he was taught.
When you play for championships you have to put everything on the line. Both Taylor and Alex did that during this year’s state final. They are both competitive and took every advantage they could find. In Taylor’s case that meant taking him/herself out of the game to help his/her team. It’s unfortunate that Alex got hurt, but the same thing could have happened to anyone else on the field during that game.
I have examined the field diagram created by the prosecutor and agree with his/her positioning of players, referees and me at the time of the foul. I do not know where Sidney Lee and Jessie St. Laurent were sitting during the game.
I HEREBY DECLARE UNDER PENALTIES OF PERJURY UNDER THE LAWS OF WASHINGTON THAT THE FOREGOING IS TRUE AND CORRECT.
Dated this/her 20th day of June, 2002.
/s/ Andy Jacobs