Fabian Chaparro is already a dominant force. With three years left, greatness may be in Fabi’s futur
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 21:10
For some people, soccer is just a sport, but for Plattsburgh State freshman midfielder Fabian Chaparro — or “Fabi” as he is known to his teammates — it’s a way of life.
Chaparro, who is currently ranked second on the team in goals scored (5), said soccer is something he has done his entire life.
“I basically grew up with a soccer ball on my foot,” Chaparro said. “It’s basically a family thing.”
Chaparro has been around the sport for as long as he can remember, and he attributes his passion for the sport to his father.
That passion led Chaparro to become one of the most dominant players in New York state throughout his career at Mamaroneck High School. While at Mamaroneck, Chaparro achieved all-section, all-region, all-state and league MVP honors.
Although the 5-6, 135 pound Chaparro seemed destined to play soccer at the next level, there was a time when he wasn’t sure if he would pursue soccer further.
During that time, Chaparro was playing the for FC Weschester U-16 club team, but his coach Edgar Quiroga (“Coach Eddie” as Chaparro calls him) wouldn’t let him stray away from something he was so talented at.
“I was kind of shaky (about playing soccer) at that time,” Chaparro said. “He got my interest into soccer again.”
From that time on, Chaparro made soccer one of his biggest priorities. When it came time to decide on a college, Chaparro knew he would be playing soccer.
It was just a matter of where.
“I had looks at D-I colleges and other schools,” Chaparro said. “But, when I came to visit Plattsburgh, I liked it and coach was really interested in me, so I decided to come here.”
For some, it may be surprising how quickly the freshman has adjusted to playing at the college-level, but for PSUC head coach Chris Waterbury, it hasn’t been a surprise at all.
“We knew he was a good player,” Waterbury said. “He might fool you in his looks, as to what kind of size he has and things like that. But in the same breath … he’s a very technical player and he just has an engine. He never stops working.”
Although Waterbury thought Chaparro would be a contributor early on, Chaparro himself admitted that it was a little bit of a surprise.
“I thought I would ease into it a little bit,” Chaparro said. “But once I got my first goal, it just started coming natural, and my confidence was up there.”
Chaparro also said that he owes his early success to his teammates, mostly because they were very accepting of the newcomer.
“My teammates were there (for me), they were good teammates (from the beginning),” Chaparro said. “Just because I’m a freshman, they weren’t bagging on me and stuff.”
Since joining the Cards, Chaparro has been a key component to the team’s offensive attack. However, he suffered a dislocated elbow against Potsdam Sept. 22, and has been sidelined in the five games since. But Chaparro is scheduled to return to the field this weekend against Fredonia and Buffalo State. Although he has missed a good amount of time, he said believes that he will be back to normal soon enough.
“The first few games where I come back, probably I’ll be a little cautious not to fall on it (his elbow),” he said. “But I don’t really think it will be a big deal later in the season because I’ll just get over it and move on.”
There is one person who has no doubt that Chaparro will be scoring goals again soon: Defender Omar Fernandez, who also is a freshman from Mamaroneck High School, has known Chaparro for about 12 years and is his roommate.
“He is working really hard,” Fernandez said. “Honestly, I just can’t see him going downhill from here. I think he is just going to keep progressing up and up.”
Now that he is healthy again, Chaparro has high expectations for himself and his teammates as the season edges closer to the playoffs.
“My expectations are to go far, and to win a championship,” Chaparro said.
As for his expectations and goals for his college career, Chaparro is focused on winning a few championships while at Plattsburgh State.
Chaparro said he isn’t looking to life after college yet. For the time being he is going to put his focus on soccer, which is the one thing he truly loves to do.
“Really soccer is everything I do,” he said. “I train and hang out with friends, but my focus is soccer. I don’t know if you would call soccer a hobby, but it’s basically what I do all the time.”