Since the young age of five, Royse City High School senior Giovanni Chavarri has always found a way to take on the challenges that life has thrown his way.
His passion is soccer, a sport that his parents George and Mistie have supported since Chavarri’s initial interest in the sport. Last week, the Chavarris saw the product of their trust in Giovanni when he signed on to play for McPherson College in Kansas.
On his high school team, he was the central midfielder -a leader of the team coach Jud Marking said will be missed very much.
“Giovanni was on the field probably 98 percent of the games we played. He plays hard, and he’s a great kid. He was a leader for the group and he led the team. He’s going to be a hard kid to replace,” Marking said.
Chivarri’s skills and dedication to his craft on the field also translated into his work ethic in school. He was honored in April for his high academic achievement during McPherson’s Presidential Scholars Day.
After the signing ceremony at RCHS, Chavarri said that the value of a good education and goals off the soccer field were instilled in him by his family and coaches.
“Coach has always said, ‘Worry about the class first, and then the sport second.’ Balancing that means working in the classroom, taking a few hours after school to practice soccer, and I always put in the extra work when it comes to my homework. That’s how I balance it out,” Chavarri said.
He will be studying biochemistry in addition to playing for McPherson’s soccer team. When asked about having to juggle those responsibilities, he said his high school career has been good practice for the future.
His father, George, called his son’s growth amazing to watch. The two often compete in obstacle course races like Tough Mudder.
George Chavarri said the memories of seeing his son’s perseverance during these races helps him trust that Giovanni can accomplish what he puts his mind to.
“A lot of times it was him inspiring me to push myself to finish the race. There is no giving up in this kid; that’s just how he’s always been,” the elder Chivarri said.
He also said that his son was an intricate part of the family who will be dearly missed. The legacy and strength that Giovanni brings to his family, George said, will be a quality that will be a blessing to his peers and teammates in Kansas.
“A father couldn’t be more enriched with knowing that his oldest son brings forth a legacy, a mold that his younger siblings can follow for success,” he said.
This is not the first time that Mistie, Giovanni’s mother, will be seeing off one of her children.
Giovanni’s two older sisters, Jordan and Madison, have already left home to pursue their college educations.
Mistie, however, said she has begun preparing herself for the day that she sends her first son to college.
At home, she said that Giovanni is just like any other kid with a variety of hobbies, including a recent interest in playing Fortnite, with his two younger brothers, Dimitri and Dante.
“I have to tell them to stop playing all the time, but, honestly, I love hearing them playing together like that,” Mistie said.
She said she will reminisce with the DVDs that she has of Giovanni playing his first games.
“He’s like five-years-old, scoring goals and waving his hand. I’ve been looking back at those pictures and he’s so cute, he’s so little,” Mistie said.
But Mistie has watched her little boy grow into a young adult before her eyes, and said the family has put in a considerable amount of time and effort to make sure that Giovanni made it to his games and practices.
Though it hasn’t always been easy, seeing her son being recognized for his talents is what makes it all worthwhile.
“I know that he will accomplish what wants to accomplish; I know he will. He’s just really focused and committed,”
George, who worked as a police officer for more than a decade, and later as a border patrol agent, said he remembers many of the long drives that he had to make over the years to make it to his son’s soccer games.
“It was hard. It was hard, but I made it work,” George said.
In his closing remarks about what his son means to him, George evoked the famous words associated with the classic novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas:
“All for one, one for all.”