OC Catholic Sports League


The Orange County Catholic Sports League soccer team is a real family affair

By RENE GARCIA     3/30/2016

San Andres is a small town in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. It is so small that most people can walk through it in a few a minutes. Unlike Orange County, most pueblos in Mexico are not connected or next to each other. It usually takes minutes to hours to go from pueblo to pueblo.

A strong connection with Jalisco is the Catholic soccer team, San Andres, a team with several players from this town. The majority of the team is practically “family,” made up of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. Their parents are all from this small town and they decided to pursue the American dream, immigrating to the US. Arriving here they kept their Mexican traditions of keeping family together, going to church and of course playing or watching soccer.

The Orange County Catholic Sports League has given them an opportunity to do just that, due to its coed rules allowing for all of them to play together. Since the Diocese of Orange views the category of Young Adults as individuals between the ages of 18-39 this has allowed whole families to play together.

Unlike most leagues that have strict age rules to maintain a fair playing field between players, considering growth and development differences, the OCCSL is more forgiving. Why you ask? Because young adults are no longer developing physically. For this reason San Andres has literally had teams in the past made up of purely family– from uncles to siblings–all on the same field.

This has brought them together and even reinforced their views of keeping the family together. How cool would it be to play with your sister and cousin on the same team? Imagine your family?

Carlos Chavez is the captain of this team and he has brought his family into the league after playing a few years with Crusaders. The majority of the Chavez family is, or have been, involved in their respective churches but a good concentration of them go to St. Philip Benizi.