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Enid’s Marisa Chavez – Soccer Spotlight – Presented by Bay Insurance

Marisa Chavez’s graduation from Enid High School won’t mark the end of an excellent soccer career — it’s rather the end of its first chapter.

“I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Northern Oklahoma College in Enid,” Chavez said. “I have committed to play college soccer, and I will be pursuing a degree in elementary education.”

Chavez picked NOC-Enid because of family.

“It’s so close to home. My mom is my biggest supporter and I’ll be seeing her at all those home games! It just felt right for me,” Chavez said. “My brother is close friends with Coach Cesar [Zepeda]. They played at NOC together, and he is now the women’s head soccer coach. He has watched me play several times, and we sat down to talk with my mom and he offered me a spot. Coach Cesar took me on a tour of the campus and I made my decision to commit on February 13th!”

Chavez’s family can best be described as a “soccer family.”

Her dad played; her cousins play; and siblings Angel and Nadia Chavez both played at NOC when the soccer program was based in Tonkawa. That was when Marisa discovered a burning passion for the game.

“Soccer means so much to us, and without it, I don’t think our family would know what to do. We always support and show up to relatives’ games and cheer them on,” Chavez said. “They always do the same for me. We bond so much by just being there for each others’ games.”

Like any high school student-athlete, the talented Chavez has had her share of bad days on the pitch. “Definitely the most heartbreaking thing to do” is scoring an own goal, something Chavez has done thrice.

“It makes me feel like I’ve let my team down and everyone,” Chavez said. “That has to be the toughest challenge I’ve been through. I feel like I’ve let my team down, but my teammates have always said ‘It’s okay,’ that it wasn’t my fault and that I just have to push and keep playing my game.”

Between her team, school and family, Chavez has an excellent support system. Her siblings have lent her practical advice that has taken her game to new heights.

“My older sister Nadia has always told me to just play my hardest and use all of my anger out there on the field. She tells me to be aggressive and play my game,” Chavez said. “My older brother Angel has coached me and he has made me a better player I believe. I’m not the fastest but he tells me I’m smart and that I know what to do on the field. They both encourage me so much and tell me I have so much potential to be even better.”

Five years from now, Chavez sees herself lending her skills to the school district that has provided so many opportunities for her success.

“I see myself living by myself and working the 7:45 to 4 p.m. job at Taft Elementary,” Chavez said, “and loving my job!”

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