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Home » Environment, People & Places, Sports » Cyclist Derrick Chavarria Featured in Sports Monday, And B.E.B.L.’s Weekend Showdowns
Feb 6, 2023

Cyclist Derrick Chavarria Featured in Sports Monday, And B.E.B.L.’s Weekend Showdowns

Derrick Chavarria

Welcome back to another edition of Sports Monday; I am Paul Lopez. We have a lot to present to you tonight, from cycling to a controversial start to the Belize Elite Basketball League and then on to some highlights from the Central Secondary School’s Sporting Association’s 2023 Football Tournament. So folks, let us get right into what we have prepared for you tonight, starting with our Player Profile for this week. We talked with one of Belize’s most promising cyclists, Derrick Chavarria, who won the Krem’s New Year’s Day Cycling Classic for 2023. Here is that story.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Following in the path of his father, 1981 Cross Country runner-up Joslyn Chavarria Senior and his brother, the 2015 Caribbean Cycling Championship U-23 bronze medalist Joslyn Chavarria Junior, nineteen-year-old George Ville resident Derrick Chavarria is on pace to become one of the region’s top cyclist. Chavarria is currently pursuing a degree at Lees McRae College in North Carolina.


Derrick Chavarria

Derrick Chavarria, U-23 Cyclist

“I began cycling; it was actually my brother who got me into the sport. That was in 2011. I was eight-years-old and he just pretty much invites me on rides. He built a bike for me and I just started to ride casually and I never had any intentions of racing as yet, but as time progressed I started to notice that my fitness increased. My brother said, just try out a race and see how it goes. Now, we are here.”


Chavarria has dominated several races both locally and regionally. His most recent win aws the Krem’s New Year’s Cycling Classic. And in October 2021, the young athlete won the Junior Caribbean Cycling Championship in the Dominican Republic.


Derrick Chavarria

“The point where I notice I started having enough fitness and yes I could be a top competitor was when I was in the youth category and I just entered into youth, leaving and transitioning into you, I was fifteen, sixteen and among the top junior guys at the time. I was in the break away with them, coming around and working together with them. Down the line they ended up letting me go, but the whole point is that for me knowing where I came from, so far, just straight up getting dropped at the start to then being in breakaways. I saw progress. That was one of the key factors that kept me going.”


Chavarria received a big break at the start of 2022 when Lees McRae College awarded him a double scholarship for their 2022 fall semester.


Derrick Chavarria

“I got the opportunity from the college to attend on a double scholarship which is an academic and cycling scholarship which significantly helped me in cutting down some cost. The journey from them in receiving support from huge businesses, cycling community, I managed to be here for the first year. Right now the main problem for me is finance. I am doing my part out here, training, studying, and making sure that everything is done. But, the main problem is getting money to be out here.”


Paul Lopez

“What types of expenses are we looking at?”


Derrick Chavarria

“For the semester the school charges a little over twenty thousand U.S. dollars. One of my scholarship cuts down nine thousand dollars from that.”


The Communication Arts and Design major has been had to rely on fundraising initiatives to support his education.  He says his mother does her part by organizing weekly barbeque sales and other events. Notwithstanding their efforts, to continue studying and training overseas this student athlete must continue to raise the necessary funds to pay his school fees.


Derrick Chavarria

“Ideally being out here was a stepping stone for me to get closer towards what I always want to do and that is to participate and like be a rider in world tour, which is where you see all the big names. That is like the ultimate goal I wish to accomplish someday.”

Wasani Castro

And, while we talk cycling, we would also like to send out a huge congratulation to Wasani Castro. Over the weekend, news surfaced that Castro has signed a contract to ride for the New Haven Angels out of New Haven, Connecticut. That is a big move. Another Belizean athlete is on the rise.


And now for some basketball, the Belize Elite Basketball League hosted its second week of up matchups this past weekend. The Benny’s Belize Hurricanes played its first home match for the season against the San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The Belmopan Taigaz took on the Belize City Defenders in Belmopan. The Western Ballaz went up against the Punta Gorda Panthers in San Ignacio, and the Griga Dream Ballers played the Orange Walk Running Rebels at home in Dangriga. We begin with the matchup against the Hurricanes and the Tiger Sharks on Friday night inside the Belize City Civic Center. The first quarter of that game ended with Tiger Sharks on top.

The story here is what happened inside the Civic at the top of the second quarter. In the first instance, a referee ejected Rico Black, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks coach, from the match after a player on the bench began using obscene language. In frustration, Black walked off the floor, prompting his players to do the same. While that was happening, Alex Carcamo, a Benny’s Belize Hurricanes player, was seen making his way over to the referees, where a conversation ensued. That then led to Carcamo being ejected from the game. He had to be restrained and escorted off the basketball court by a group of men, including police officers, after he attempted to attack one of the referees. We spoke to Carcamo after the incident.


Alex Carcamo

Alex Carcamo, Basketball Athlete, Benny’s Belize Hurricanes

“What had happened was somebody from the Tiger Shark bench jumped up and cursed. That got Rico Black first technical. Rico then actually got a technical. What he didn’t realize is the rule from FIBA is when you get a technical on the bench it goes to the coach. I think he finally realized that now. My big thing was Rico was trying to walk off the floor. To many fans played too much money to let him and his team walk off. I am really good friends with Rico and I tried to tell him, Rico don’t do this that is not the proper things to do. Then I went to the ref and I said ref you got to let us play. This is not about you. These fans didn’t come to see you guys they came to see us and if us as players can’t play and coaches cant coach then you are making the game about you at the end of the day. This is what I said. I didn’t curse the ref, I didn’t say anything. Now if the ref would have given me a tech, me begin as professional as I am, I know to back off, because I didn’t want to get another tech. that was not the case. If we look at the tapes I never receive any kind of other warning. All they did was just kick me out for the game. And, in my eighteen years of playing, I have never had this happen. I have been kicked out for a technical and a technical. And not just throw your arms up with no explanation. And then, it is not justifiable, but the referee gave me this smirk, and I felt it was more personal. And that is when I lost it. And again, things happen. I am pretty sure you probably have something you wish you could take back. This is one thing that I wish I could take back, but I can’t. All I can do is just learn from it and take whatever comes to me.”


When the match resumed, Benny’s Belize Hurricanes would go on to defeat the San Pedro Tiger Sharks by one hundred and five to sixty-eight points. The game between Griga Dream Ballers and the Orange Walk Running Rebels was also action-packed. Dream Baller’s  D’Von Campell led his team to victory, scoring twenty points that night, but this one was a nail bitter. With only twenty-four seconds left in the game, the match was tied at seventy-nine a piece; Dream Ballers was in possession of the ball. It was this massive three-point play that took the team to their first victory of the season.


In Belmopan, the Belize City Defenders defeat the Belmopan Taigaz ninety-one to eighty points. And, in San Ignacio, the Western Ballaz dominated Punta Gorda Panthers, with a final score of ninety-seven to seventy-seven. The BEBL continues this coming weekend.


Now moving on to some secondary school football, the Central Secondary School Sports Association’s 2023 Football Tournament is about to come to a close. On Thursday, the Saint Catherine Academy Girls will play the Wesley Junior College Girls for first place in the female category.

And in the male category, Excelsior High School will take on Maud Williams for first place. On Friday, SCA girls played Anglican College Cathedral girls in the semi-finals and won three to zero. Excelsior’s male team took on Sadie Vernon and won that match three to one. We say best of luck to all the times that have shown us they have what it takes to be in the final four.


Well, folks, that is all we have for you in this week’s edition of Sports Monday. Until next week, thanks for joining us.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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