Fearless stopper – Skydiving on list of soccer player’s accomplishments
If opposing soccer teams are wondering just how tough it is to get past Bear River stopper Tiarra Ivazes, know this: for fun she likes to go skydiving and fear is not a word in her vocabulary or style of play.
When Ivazes was six years old she watched a show about skydiving on TV and decided right then and there that she, too, would leap out into the wild blue yonder some day. That day turned out to be March 6 – her 18th birthday, the first day it was legal for her to jump.
Ivazes and her dad, Paul, headed to Davis to make the jump from 13,000 feet. Because neither had enough experience to go solo they were each strapped to an experienced skydiver for a tandem jump.
“It was one of the best feelings in the world,” Tiarra said. “I wasn’t nervous at all. My dad said he wasn’t nervous, but I could tell by his face he was.”
Paul went first as his daughter watched him jealously – giddy for her chance to jump.
“Falling was just awesome,” she said. “Because you are so high up, the ground doesn’t move very fast at all – I expected it to hit the ground a lot sooner than I did.”
Ivazes’ birthday jump is not the only jump she plans on making. Before heading off to the City College of Santa Barbara in August to play soccer, Ivazes plans to jump six more times so she can get her skydiving license to jump solo.
So how does her passion for sky diving demonstrate her attitude on the soccer field?
“I think it shows that I am aggressive and willing to take risks,” Ivazes said. “I think it’s funny, too, that I can get hurt in soccer, but not in sky diving.”
This is Ivazes fourth year on the Bear River varsity soccer team. During the offseason she plays with a U-19 premier club soccer team in Sacramento, along with three other Bruin players.
For the past five years, she has always played defender. She has no problem with not receiving the glory for scoring and would rather play in the back.
“I get a lot more touches on the ball as a defender and it feels like I do more,” she said. “The forwards do a lot of work on top that can go to waste if they don’t score, but I get to start all of the plays and build up the team. I like being able to see the whole field.”
When watching a Bear River practice, it’s easy to pick Ivazes out of the group, as most of the time she is the only one on the field wearing mismatching socks – well, that and the fact that she is a dominant force in the back, rarely getting beat and imposing her will on whichever forwards opposing teams send to her area.
“She’s pretty much a multi-dimensional player,” Bear River coach Dave Barnes said. “She has confidence, ability and leadership and it’s a rarity if someone gets behind her. When she is guarding a player one-on-one, everyone on our team relaxes (because she will not let the opposing play past her). There is no fear or timidness in Tiarra.”
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