April 4, 2008

Chavez Hopes to Continue Playing Lacrosse in College

By John Philip Wyllie

Life is one continuous sports season for Hilltop High’s Joey Chavez, but the energetic senior wouldn’t have it any other way. It started back in August when he excelled as a tight end for the Lancers (4-5) football team. Up until this year it continued throughout the winter on the basketball court. Now spring finds him out on the Lacrosse field. One of the team’s few experienced players, he serves as a leader and the team’s primary scoring threat. And while this team has yet to enter the win column (0-5), lacrosse is the sport that first caught his attention and the one he enjoys playing the most.

“Lacrosse is a lot faster and has a lot more movement. It is also much more physical. You don’t spend your time standing around like you do in some other sports,” Chavez said.

“My brother played at Chula Vista when I was younger, so I started practicing with him when I was in the third grade. I have been playing club lacrosse ever since.” he said.

Hilltop lacrosse captain, Joey Chavez Photo: J.P. Wyllie

As one of the senior captains he strives to keep his teammates focused. Playing up front in the attack position, he shares the team lead in goals with four. He knows that as a captain he is expected to set a positive example.

“It has been kind of frustrating this year with so many young players. I try to keep the other players from messing around in practice and get them focused on winning. We have problems passing the ball and often find ourselves playing defense. As a captain everyone looks to you, especially when you aren’t winning.”

While Chavez stands 6’1” and tips the scales at 185 pounds, he believes he is a bit undersized for the collegiate game.

“The coaches at San Diego State have been looking at me, but I think I might take a year off because I am kind of small.” He would then use the additional year to bulk up.

“Joey has a lot of potential and a lot of room to still develop,” said his coach, Pete Bishop. “He is a real aggressive guy and his skills have really improved. His skills have gotten to the point where he can get the ball and take it to the net. He has become our go-to guy. When the situation gets tough, he is the guy that you want to have the ball. He has a lot of athletic ability and the basic skills that a college coach could probably build on, so I think he could find a home somewhere.”

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