Good luck, soccer Palo Altans Japic, as their lore spreads to Waco, Texas

BLUF: Three months later, I do admit I found it odd that a student from Palo Alto would early-commit to playing intercollegiate sports in Waco, Texas after her junior high school year, and that my comments therefore on the Weekly site were reflective of that. Yet I just discovered, re-visiting, that someone had subsequently slurred me and attacked me for my fair comment.

As reported in the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Altan Chloe Japic who led her team with 14 goals in 11 games freshman year, her only high school season, announced a verbal commitment to the Baylor Bears class of 2024 soccer. She also plays for a club team named the Thorns (e.g. De Anza Force girls). Mom via twitter says she has 3 girls who can really bend it like Beckham (or move it like Modric more likely).

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Japic soccer Palo Alto via Bosnian youth teams

edit to add: shoot, I may have really “screwed the pooch here” — the Tom Wolfe “The Right Stuff”  vernacular that is not at all suggestive for making a boo-boo — in that Luka Modric, the Golden Ball men’s player and hero of the World Cup, is actually a cultural and geographic Croatian who plays for Real Madrid and not, like the Japic’s a Bosnian. I hope there is no offense taken. Back in the day, when the first San Jose Earthquakes were a big deal, in the first NASL, the one that Pele played in (with Beckenbauer and Chinaglia), the team was loaded with Yugoslavians. The owner was Milan Mandaric, a tech exec who loved soccer, and later owned Portsmouth of England and got them briefly promoted to Premiership. There was a guy named Mitic, Ilya Mitic,  who was a goal-scorer. And a couple more whose names escape me (Archie Roboostoff, not a Bosnian; Laurie Calloway,  Johnny Moore, Mani Fernandez, who also played for San Jose State and I think is in San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. Those games were fun! Especially to an 11-year-old.

I have to get straight my Balkanizations.  I know that in 1984 I interviewed the Olympic biathlon skiier Glen Eberle for The Daily Dartmouth about his experience in Sarajevo and he told me that although he was not previously a fan of John Denver, having a private concert, he and his Olympic teammates (“Country Roads” “Sunshine on my Shoulders”) made him happy and proud. (Glen now owns a company in Boise that makes special rifles for military riflemen — it’s not strictly a contractor, sportsmen can buy from them, as well).


Not a young female soccer player but a 1984 Sarajevo Olympic skier

Also I know that my Dad Paul Weiss once owned a Yugo franchise, based on his Chevy car lot in Cupertino, near what is now Apple Computers. Yugo did not do so well. And we were the only Bay Area franchise to be picketed. The pickets were former Yugoslavians who had emigrated here but still held strong opinions about their former country; they purported to be protesting us to demand better wages for Yugo blue collar workes, but years later Mr. Miljevich of Saratoga told me that we were targeted because we were Jews and the picketers were neo-Nazis (like that war criminal guy, SM who a few years later, started a war, killed or had killed got killed a lot of people and I think is now in prison or dead). I met Miljevich — beyond merely driving past his street for many years when I lived near Highway 9 – -because I briefly worked for Coakley Heagerty pr and the Miljevich’s were selling the last of their orchards to a big developer — I was a flack for the developer! SM is or was Serbian  Zizek, the author, is Slovenian, as is the First Lady.

Anyways, I have never met the Palo Alto Japic crew and hope to see them play some time, especially if Baylor plays Dartmouth or Stanford. My favorite ladies player is Callie Withers, of Gunn and Stanford who can or could also draw and sing (and her dad owned a hamburger stand, called — you know, that one at Town and Country that was on Cali Ave, Kirk’s). I also like Kristen Luckenbill the goalie of Dartmouth who I saw play in Carolina for the Carolina Courage.  I sat with Mac MacCaughan of Superchunk and Lane Wurster the brother of the drummer Jon Wurster.

I’ve known Albertin Montoya the famous coach in Los Altos (along with his wife Erin Martinez Montoya) since he was Chloe Japic’s current age. I visited Albertin Montoya his freshman year at NC State where his roommate Kyle Campbell was his U-17 teammate tho he told me then his Firebirds U-19 goalie Jon Cannon was even better.


gotta run…

yes I know that my photo is the younger sister — do all three have website?

There was also the Rafalavich brothers of saratoga and stanford. Paul Hanley of Los Altos High and my little league team I believe is the brother of Hanley the goalkeeper coach. Meiling Yee of Paly is featured in the athletes gallery at the new Paly gym (by that dude Kerr from Google) for her badminton prowess but I recall her as a star goalie in soccer. Also Mary Harvey former US womens goalie and maybe President went to Fremont Hills, Terman Gunn with me, before Cal.

For the record, 3 might be my best as a juggler, alas. Have I ever scored a goal in any level of soccer competition? I played a few months ago for first time in 10 years with Andres Fajardo and three of his family, plus SR, and looked horrible at times but made a few stops too.

edit to add, beyond the BLUF, 3 months later: I admit I am still pretty ignorant and confused about Sarajevo. George Packer, a Gunn grad, had a cover story (and a book) on Richard Holbrooke and the Dayton Accords, that temporarily straightened me out. I wrote to Glen Eberle –the Dartmouth skier at the 1984 Winter Olympics, but got no response. In a red herring, I also recently had reason to bone up on the Rwandan genocide — I cover too many topics.

SR and I watched a half of the Brazil- Peru match and I admit I temporarily forgot about having watched Peru-Denmark on a Saturday morning last summer at a bar in San Francisco eating empanadas and drinking a Pisco Sour.

Meanwhile Menlo High has a girls’ soccer player Sophie Jones who was named Gatorade National PLayer of the Year and will suit for Duke (and take classes, we presume — which was my original joke about Ms. Japic). Consistently, starting maybe with Jeremy Lin, I fret about youth sports being too pre-professional and not amateurish.

So the last word here is I wish the Japics many future goals being met.
It’s a big world. It’s a round world. Sometimes you just want to kick it.

andand: this is totally random but if you research Chloe Japic you find she was profiled for the high school publication by Zoe Wong-Vanharen who is also a singer with her family band and a wrestler. (Daughter of Nerissa and Mark).

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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