Daily Pilot Cup Boys 3-4 Gold Division Championship:

Carden Hall wins first title

Team scores four second-half goals, but will be remembered more for its cast of characters.

June 02, 2008|By Steve Virgen


COSTA MESA — Mark Sanchez, all four feet of him, never backed down. It didn’t matter that the 6-year-old was playing against boys twice his size and in two or three grades above him. There he was at the Costa Mesa Farm Complex, mixing it up, making believers out of everyone that David did slay Goliath.

Sanchez never scored in the ninth annual Daily Pilot Cup soccer tournament, but his tenacious play and his back story added to the mystique of these Carden Hall boys.


They had several intriguing characters who led the Carden Hall third- and fourth-grade team to a 4-0 win over Mariners Sunday, and the school’s first boys’ Gold Division title. Carden Hall had never played in a boys’ title game before.

“I’m a bit biased, but our little guy, Mark Sanchez, was just a star,” said Mark’s father, Mike, the coach who played three years as a pro soccer player in the 1990s. “He’s a first-grader. He’s 6 years old. He didn’t stop. It fires other people up. When he’s out there working, I can say, ‘Are you going to let a 6-year-old beat you?’ And so the other kids are like, ‘Oh no, I’m getting in there now.’ It’s great.”

Carden Hall had twin brothers who came out looking great in their tournament debut and they just might be the reasons for some more titles in the years to come. Taylor and Dylan Campos also accomplished greatness for the Corona del Mar Green Tigers, a boys’ under-10 soccer team. The twins led that team to the California State Championship in Bakersfield back in April.

The twins, who played midfield for Carden Hall, scored one goal each in the title game Sunday. Their skilled play opened up scoring chances for Carden Hall forward Sawyer Farmer, Mike Sanchez said.

Farmer scored two goals, part of Carden Hall’s second-half outburst that included all of its goals in the final 16 minutes.

Farmer, who played for the Newport Mavericks that won the boys’ under-12 AYSO Area Q championship recently, scored the game’s first goal with a beautiful shot. With 16 minutes left, he connected from 20 yards out on a shot that hit the inner top of the bar and bounced in. Five minutes later, he found the back of the net again.

Yet for all the refreshing story lines Carden Hall provided, Mariners owned a worthwhile tale fit for a book.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles