Camacho-Ordaz’s lasting impact

By PATRICK MacCOON patrick.maccoon@clevelandbanner.com
Posted 6/17/17

The moment Walker Valley knew David Camacho-Ordaz would become a force to reckon with was even before his teammates knew exactly who he was.

With flashiness, speed and dribbling skills like …

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Camacho-Ordaz’s lasting impact

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The moment Walker Valley knew David Camacho-Ordaz would become a force to reckon with was even before his teammates knew exactly who he was.

With flashiness, speed and dribbling skills like some had never seen, Camacho-Ordaz quickly made the leap from junior varsity to varsity.

“I can remember the exact day when David got the ball and dribbled through half our varsity team to score a goal for the JV squad in a preseason scrimmage,” WVHS teammate and friend Sam Gibson said. “You should have seen (Tom) Bayliss’ face. It was a face that knew some of our scoring difficulties would be solved by this talented forward.”

Camacho-Ordaz’s quiet personality in the classroom at first in a new school and even new country was quite the opposite on the soccer pitch and even in workouts.

“It was weird because although David was quiet, he was running faster than us, lifting more weights and repping more than even some of the bigger players on our team,” Gibson said. “You could tell he came here to prove himself and show off his determination to be better without words, but with actions.”

After growing up in Juarez, Mexico, Camacho-Ordaz moved to the states before his junior year of high school in 2015.

Despite a background on the defensive side of the ball over his first 12 years of playing soccer, the Mustangs found an elite scorer.

Camacho-Ordaz scored 19 of his 30 career prep goals in his first year, which stands as the most in a single season by a male soccer player at WVHS.

“We needed an attacker to compliment Ben Rodriguez, so we tried him out up top even though he came in more defensive-minded,” WVHS head coach Tom Bayliss said. “Obviously it worked out pretty good for us. He learned our system of play and joined a very talented group of players.

David fit right in and it was a pleasure to coach him.”

With a true and vast love for soccer, known as the most popular sport in the world, Camacho-Ordaz hopes he can take his talents to major levels.

“Back in Mexico, soccer is simply a passion for everyone,” Camacho-Ordaz said. “You go out and play everywhere in the streets and wherever there is a ball.

“I brought my passion for the sport here to play in the United States. I want to accomplish my dream of playing in the Major Leagues.”

Gibson and Camacho-Ordaz grew close as friends in their senior year, as they both heavily contributed to the highest winning percentage in program history.

Gibson accounted for 12 goals and eight assists, while Camacho-Ordaz scored 11 goals and assisted a team best 11 scores to help make for a 12-2-1 (.857) record for the Mustangs.

“David taught me so much about the game and how much of a lifestyle it was back home for him,” Gibson said. “He would also tell me how sometimes in Mexico when things got rough he could always go back to soccer and everything would go away. Everyone finds their own escape in something they love.”

Even in the classroom, the two challenged each other to be the best.

“School wasn’t a problem for David,” said Gibson, who was this year’s District 5-AAA Midfielder of the Year. “In our classes we would both help each other and compete to get the higher grade on tests. At the end of the season I got to brag because I scored more goals than him.

“I am just thankful God brought him to Walker Valley and we were able to build a friendship playing soccer together. I hope we can find a way to play soccer again together.”

Camacho-Ordaz set a career-high of four goals in a 13-0 win over Sweetwater on May 4, 2016. He also displayed his passing skills with a personal best four assists in a 9-0 win over Grace Baptist on May 2, 2017.

Camacho-Ordaz had three hat tricks (3 goals or more) as a junior and scored at least two goals in four different games as a senior. He also had four goals and three assists in four playoff contests.

Despite a four-game scoring drought during the middle of his senior season, his good friend was there to help calm him down.

“A couple times I could see David getting frustrated and other people had no idea why because we had the best season at Walker Valley yet,” Gibson said. “David didn’t score for a few games and was a little down.

“I would go over to him and talk to him about it and just encourage him to keep working hard and that goals would come.”

The goals did come as he started this past postseason with two goals and two assists in a 6-0 defeat of county-rival Bradley Central at WVHS.

His self-described ‘change of pace’ play was difficult for opponents to stop as teams often could not keep Camacho-Ordaz in front of them due to his finesse and crafty moves.

“I liked to go out there and frustrate opposing teams and use my speed to beat them,” Camacho-Ordaz said. “I sprint and try to get down the field before anyone else. You have to keep attacking and find a breakthrough.”

With an average of one goal scored per game over 30 career high school contests, the WVHS record holder and recent graduate has every intention of playing soccer for as long as he can.

Camacho-Ordaz and Gibson both have shared the idea of trying out for the Chattanooga Football Club, a semi-professional soccer team that has had great success since starting up in 2009.

Both WVHS standouts were selected by coaches to play in the Tennessee-Georgia All Star match this Thursday at Finley Stadium.

CFC has changed the landscape of soccer in the local community and even drew a U.S. amateur soccer attendance with 18,227 for its NPSL National Championship match against the New York Cosmos on August 8, 2015, at UTC’s stadium.

“I have been to CFC games and it is a dream of mine to play at least semi-professional soccer,” Camacho-Ordaz said. “I’ve seen a lot of growth in soccer here in Tennessee since I moved here. I think it has become a popular sport in this area. It would be an honor to play for CFC.”

With a mark left in the Mustang history books, Camacho-Ordaz’s aggressive play and hustle he hopes can leave something for future WVHS players to try and reach.

“Setting the single-season scoring record is something I will always remember,” said Camacho-Ordaz, who was the first in his family to play soccer at the high school level.

“I hope my accomplishments serve as a challenge for other guys to break my record. I hope it can push someone to the next level.”

Bayliss feels lucky to have come by a scorer like Camacho-Ordaz.

“I met him and his dad during their visit to Walker Valley a couple years ago,” said Bayliss, who has been a head coach at WVHS since 2004. “I didn’t know much besides he was a soccer player, but he turned out to be a really strong one.”

With dreams of playing for in the MLS one day, the journey for Camacho-Ordaz will be one where he will look to prove himself again.

“This sport is my greatest love and it will always be a part of my life,” Camacho-Ordaz said. “I am very thankful for the teammates I have had at Walker Valley and coaches. They helped me a lot to become the player I am.

“I still think there is a lot more room for my game to grow, so I really am motivated to continue playing soccer.”

While his prep career lasted just two seasons with the Mustangs, a legacy has been left in the back of the net by Camacho-Ordaz.

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