2003 YMCA Mock Trial
Declaration of Sidney Lee
I, Sidney Lee, hereby declare as follows:
My true name is Sidney Lee. I am 48 years old. I was born on February 23, 1954. I am the head soccer coach at Dunlevy University in Carson, Indiana, where I have coached for the past 28 years.
I grew up in Scotland and played soccer in the club ranks from the age of seven, ending my playing career with eight seasons as the starting defensive midfielder for Aberdeen in the Scottish First Division. I left professional soccer when I tore ligaments in my ankle in my last season and could no longer play competitively.
In 1962 a friend was headed to a construction job in America. In those days growing up playing soccer in the club system meant that school was often sacrificed, and so I do not have a high school diploma. I decided to join my friend in traveling to America to look for work and just get a change of scenery. Soon after I got here, a Dunlevy player who had been working the same construction site that summer informed me of the coaching position at his school. I was hired there even before I could really apply. I think they assumed that because I was from Scotland and had so much playing experience that I would also make a good coach.
I have coached Dunlevy to 11 National Championships and 16 National Finals appearances. I am also active in youth soccer at both the local and national level. I served as the National Coaching Director for youth soccer for the past three years and have been President of our state youth association for the past five years. Because of my youth commitments and my love for the players at Dunlevy I have turned down countless job offers to coach professionally both in the U.S. and back home in Scotland. My college commitments are what brought me to this U-18 soccer game. I was actively recruiting Chavez, although I know s/he wanted to attend an NCAA Division I school, which Dunlevy is not. I hoped to hang on through his/her senior season so in case his/her top schools did not make him/her an offer, we could be there to snatch him/her up.
This particular U-18 final match was one of the tightest played state finals I have seen in recent years, and it was obvious that these two teams have some history between them. The battle between Chavez and Garrison was a particularly competitive match-up, but, knowing both players, I expected that. I had also recruited Garrison, but she had already orally committed to Barry University by the time the final was played. My first contact with both these players came at U-16 ODP Regional Camp where I was conducting a one versus one defending training session for their state team. It was in this session that I was first impressed with Garrison as a possible recruit. In that training session, they actively sought each other to compete in as many one versus one battles as time would allow. I have to admit that it was fun watching.
I was hoping for the same type of match-up at this state final game, but was in agreement with other college coaches watching with me that Chavez was getting the best of Garrison and his/her teammates for most of the game. Garrison was obviously frustrated right away, but seemed to calm down when the referee finally cautioned Chavez for dissent right before half time.
After halftime, the game between the pair was a lot cleaner for a while, but I expected the battle to heat up again. It had to; there was too much on the line and one of these two players was going to determine the outcome. Yet I did not expect it to end on that type of play. I saw the play, and it was obviously a late slide tackle on the part of Garrison. In my opinion, this type of tackle is well outside the laws of the game and was intentional, making it very dangerous. I have definitely seen tackles just as bad as this, but fortunately the victim has usually walked away from the encounter. I did not see Garrison kick Chavez but there was quite a bit of commotion right after the play. The sweeper, Chavez’s teammate, Garrison’s teammate and the referee all rushed in immediately. You could see that Garrison was yelling something and s/he was extremely agitated. It took several minutes and Garrison’s assistant coach to forcefully get him/her off the field. I have read Taylor Garrison’s declaration, and I do not believe his/her teammate could have impaired his/her view enough to justify this type of dangerous tackle.
As a coaching director on the state level, I have also unfortunately had to deal with Andy Jacobs, Garrison’s coach. S/he is known as a very hard-nosed coach who teaches a very physical and competitive-at-all-costs style of soccer. Two seasons ago I sat on a state disciplinary board which suspended Jacobs on three separate occasions for his/her misconduct and aggressive behavior towards opposing coaches, the referee and even one of his/her own players. We have sent state appointed monitors to almost all of the games s/he has coached in the last two seasons, and opposing coaches have sent countless complaints to the state office. S/he is known in coaching circles as notorious for teaching his/her players how to make “professional fouls,” the art of tactically fouling opponents, in order to prevent advantages for the other team. One of his/her former assistant coaches even told the state disciplinary board that the motto s/he preaches to his/her players is “player or ball; never both,” meaning that if a player cannot stop the ball they should at the least stop the player.
I am not here to comment on the place of “professional fouls” in youth soccer. Yet, even in this context, Taylor Garrison’s tackle was too aggressive and dangerous for this game.
I have examined the field diagram created by the prosecutor and agree with his/her positioning of the players, coaches, referees and spectators on the field and in the grandstand, including me.
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/ Sidney Lee