Sunday, August 29, 2010


Published in The Freeman Newspaper on Aug. 29, 2010 Sunday issue
Reader's Corner
by Jonathan Maximo, Contributor
Manny Villaruel, Sports Editor

Last Aug. 12 during the screening of teams and players, it took CESAFI one lunch, two snacks and six hours to make sure that its players competing in its 10th season are “student first, athlete second”.

The CESAFI Screening Committee, composed of the different athletic directors of the member schools, took pains and extra length in reviewing the credentials of the athletes, seeing to it that before they can play, they have done their homework well – passing at least 60% of their subjects for college students or all the subjects in the case of high school pupils.

I was there because CESAFI asked me to help football event. I am not a member of CESAFI. I am just an outsider, looking in. What I saw made me realize a few things.

School Sports concept

I have been given the opportunity to lead a football organization in the past. We organized tournaments for the youth and seniors. In the age-group youth leagues, all we ask from the players, who are also students by the way, was a proof of age. The academic report card was not required. We have no idea if the student was doing well in his studies. As long as he plays the game, he gets in the tournament. The screening process was done in less than an hour, not the taxing 6 hours plus 1 lunch and 2 snacks.

Looking back made me realize that a sports event can somehow make or unmake a person, particularly the youth. Depending on the thrust of a sports organization – it can make a youth to become an elite athlete, as in the case of the national sports associations (NSA), representing the country in international competitions, or, as in the case of CESAFI and other school leagues - guide the youth to balance academic and sports. CESAFI clearly “uses” sports to mold the youth of today become the leaders of tomorrow.

This is the primary reason why TEAM maX1mo is supporting CESAFI Football, for we share the same advocacy: “building Champions off and on the field”.

To all the parents of these student-athletes who passed the grueling CESAFI screening and earned the privilege of playing for the 10th CESAFI Football Championship, congratulations! Your sons have been a good student all the while.

High school games will start on Sept. 4, while the collegiate games will follow on Sept. 5, 2010 Sunday. The complete schedule can be viewed at under “CESAFI Football – Calendar” category.

This time it’s for CESAFI. Enjoy the games.

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