SPORTS | November 3, 2021
George Washington High School has always been one of the top Chicago Public League soccer programs in the district, and the Patriots proved that once more by securing the Boys 2A Super Sectional Title for the third time in school history.
On a cold November evening, the Patriots played one of their closest matches of the season against top-seeded Walter Payton College Prep. Just a few weeks back, the Patriots and Grizzlies played for the City Championship at Lane Stadium, where the Grizzlies took home the title with a 3-1 victory.
Fans packed the stadium with noisemakers and vuvuzelas as they cheered on the top two teams representing CPS.
While the cold weather and nerves made for a slow start, Washington found its first goal midway through the first half. Sophomore defender Christian Ramirez had not scored a goal all season for the Patriots, and through a great offensive attack and pass, the ball found his foot and then the back of the net.
“All I remember is kicking it up and I just kept running and the ball just got to me. [I] took the chance and I shot…and that was my first goal of the season, so very good timing,” Ramirez said.
Washington head coach Alvaro Perez was also impressed by the goal from his defender.
“Not only did he score, it was a beautiful goal, one for the ages,” said Coach Perez.
Credit: Reno Miller – CPS / X2XSports
Coach Perez has been at Washington High School for over 25 years and has been a tremendous advocate for soccer in his community and the city. The foundation he set has led Washington to reach the Super Sectional Final six times, the State Semifinals three times and secure a 2A State Championship in 2013.
The work ethic he instilled in his players has been pivotal. His signature phrase is “a los pies” (“on your feet”) and reflects the team’s commitment to playing with purpose.
Washington finished the game with a 1-0 victory.
“Years ago, I would’ve been nervous, but not this time,” Perez said. “This is becoming the new norm…We knew we came here as underdogs…so I told the guys: ‘Hey, no pressure, we’re not supposed to win, [so] let’s go show them otherwise and we did.’”
“It means a lot; we’ve been working for this since day one,” Ramirez said. “We’ve been practicing, studying different teams and now we actually did it!”
The Washington crowd in attendance consisted of family, friends, school staff and alumni, many from the 2013-2014 state championship team, who were able to celebrate with the 2021 team on the field.
“They call it a team…but a team is a team. The moment you make it family, it is heaven,” Perez said. “This has always been a family.”
CPS was guaranteed a team in the IHSA State Semifinals. Washington will now play Rockford Boylan Catholic for a spot in the IHSA State Finals.
Perez and the Patriots are ready for whatever comes next. And, no matter the outcome, they will be proud of their tremendous 2021 season.
“CPS is making history, simple as that,” Perez said. “And, no matter where we place in state, we’re coming back with a trophy.”