2003 YMCA Mock Trial
Declaration of Jordan James
I, Jordan James, hereby declare as follows:
My true name is Jordan James, but I go by “JJ.” I am 18 years old. I was born on January 15, 1984. I graduated from Marchmount High School in June 2002 and will attend the University of South Carolina on a soccer scholarship in the fall.
I have played soccer since I was five years old. My parents had played recreationally as adults and got me started right away. I have played for a bunch of different teams but spent the last two seasons playing for F.C. Ignition before transferring to F.C. Red Dog for my final year. I was Taylor’s teammate on F.C. Ignition and first met Chavez on the U-16 state ODP team. Chavez and another teammate recruited me to play with Red Dog while at ODP that summer because they knew I was unhappy with the coaches at F.C. Ignition. Andy was just too intense for me as a coach and I never trusted him/her to look out for my best interests nor to help me get into the colleges that I wanted to go to.
Taylor Garrison has always been one of the toughest players I have ever played with, and definitely the most competitive. We could be doing the most mundane thing in practice, like picking up cones, and Taylor would always want to be holding the most to turn into the coach. S/he is definitely the kind of player you want on your team and not against you. I remember watching his/her high school team play my sophomore year, when we were still club teammates, and his/her team was killing the other team 8 to 0, and Taylor kept after them like they were the best team in the state. Usually when you are beating someone that bad, the high school coach pulls off all his/her starters and lets the reserves and some junior varsity players have a shot at varsity. Taylor flat out refused to leave the field when his/her coach was ready to substitute him/her. I couldn’t believe S/he would do that in front of everyone.
Taylor would also critique his/her own performance worse than anyone else I know. S/he was such a perfectionist and would punish him/herself by running extra lines after practice if s/he felt s/he had a bad day. S/he also used to wear this t-shirt that s/he made to practices before game days that read “Defend or Die” on the front with a big crutch drawn on the back. We all just kind of chuckled at him/her and dismissed it, especially because our coach, Andy Jacobs, seemed to love Taylor’s intensity.
I have also played against Taylor in high school for the past four years and have been the victim of many of his/her “professional fouls.” In our first high school league game this season, s/he sprained my left ankle on an illegal slide tackle from behind. I missed a whole week of high school games and could not travel with my club team to a tournament in Texas that weekend because of the injury s/he caused.
Garrison has hated Chavez for years. I guess their U-14 year of ODP, Chavez beat out one of Garrison’s teammates who was the right age, as Chavez is a year younger, and Garrison was furious. Then this last summer, Chavez was picked for state team captain when Garrison ditched his teammates to hang out with his/her girl/boyfriend before s/he left for Europe. Because of that, this whole season Taylor’s been out to settle the score with Alex. They were both cautioned in our two regular season meetings this year, but Taylor was also thrown out of the last game for a late tackle against one of my other teammates.
That tackle was not nearly as bad as the one in the state championship though. I saw the whole thing. I had the ball at midfield, and Alex made a great run out the wing. I passed the ball to him/her, and s/he totally left Garrison in his tracks. Garrison swore loudly then started right after Alex who was already headed towards Kelly Quoc, the last defender between Alex and the goal. I was making a run around the far side to support Alex, but when I saw him/her beat Kelly, I knew s/he was going to shoot and quickly headed straight towards goal to follow any rebounds in case s/he missed. Just as I crossed the top of the “D” I saw Garrison out of the corner of my eye and looked over to see him/her sliding, cleats up into Alex’s plant leg. The pop was so loud I knew Alex was hurt badly. S/he did not even see it coming. Then Taylor jumped up and kicked Alex in the side and stood over the top of him/her and kept telling him/her to “get up and play.” Kelly Quoc and the referee quickly pulled him/her off, but s/he wouldn’t leave the field, even after the referee ejected him/her. S/he was a maniac.
By the time the ambulance cleared the field, our heads were no longer in the game. Even though Ignition was down a player after Taylor was ejected we ended up losing on a corner kick in the 85th minute.
I know Taylor was frustrated that Alex was beating him/her all day, but s/he still did not have to end the game that way. It was the worst foul I have ever seen.
I have examined the field diagram created by the prosecutor and agree with his/her positioning of Alex, Taylor, Kelly, the referee and me. I do not know where Coach Jacobs was and I do not know the other two witnesses.
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/ Jordan James
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