Coach Andrew Chavarria was recently named the Region 2-AAAAA Coach of the Year in Soccer. Chavarria took over the soccer program at Laurens District High School (LDHS) in 2016 and he has been working to increase the number of student-athletes participating in the program. According to Ed Murray, District Athletic Director, “Coach Chavarria has clearly generated increased interest in the program and we are working with him to provide the resources necessary to build a successful program.”
Chavarria has been playing soccer since he was 3 years old. Throughout his life he has competed at some of the highest levels of soccer in the country. Chavarria was a player for the South Carolina Olympic Development Program for 5 years, played on the Lexington County Soccer Club (LCSC) for 9 years where he was part of a state championship in 2007. The team also won the Region III Premier League and earned the right to compete in Regional and National tournaments. While playing with the LCSC, Chavarria also played varsity soccer at Lexington High School (LHS) for 4 years under Coach Will Gettys. That LHS team won their Region Championship in 2007 (it was the first Championship in 24 years). While playing for LHS, Chavarria was named All-Region for 2 years and All-State in his senior year. Chavarria went on to play college soccer at Presbyterian College where he broke into the starting line-up as a freshman (starting in 8 games that freshman year).
Chavarria began his coaching career while he was still a player. In 2005 he began coaching individual players in one-on-one sessions to help them increase their technical skills. In 2015, Chavarria coached a U-11 C team, at the Liverpool Soccer Club in Lexington, to a winning season and a state championship. At Liverpool, Chavarria also ran a technical skills session every Wednesday for players ages 10-18. Keeping a full schedule during this time, Chavarria was also an assistant coach at his alma mater, working directly with Will Gettys.
In the fall of 2015, Chavarria took on his first teaching job working with the strings program at LDHS. Chavarria is proving to be as successful in the classroom as he is on the soccer field, with 2 of his students recently receiving superlative ratings. But, teaching did not quell Chavarria’s love for soccer. He initially volunteered to work with the varsity soccer team under Denis Balanta; but, he soon took over as the Raiders Head Coach. While victories were hard to come by in 2017, the Raiders showed marked improvement in their overall performance (especially on defense). This caught the attention of the other coaches in the region and led to Chavarria’s selection as Region Coach of the Year. Chavarria’s only comment was simply, “I am working to build a reputable program.”