Mililani’s Jarrett Razon is a midfielder for the 14-member U.S. Paralympic soccer national team that will play in the world championships starting Tuesday in Staffordshire, England.
The tournament — the 2015 Cerebral Palsy Football Championships — runs through June 28, and the U.S. opens with a match against Venezuela on Wednesday.
In 2001, Razon was Hawaii’s soccer player of the year after the Trojans, under coach Jeff Yamamoto, won the state title.
Since suffering severe injuries as a staff sergeant in the Army in Afghanistan in 2012, Razon has made great strides as a Wounded Warrior.
“When the coaches first saw him at tryouts this year, they asked him back for another look. And then another look and another look and he finally made the team,” said Paul Razon, his father. “His family is so proud of him, and many of his former Mililani teammates are checking the (U.S. Paralympics soccer team) Facebook page and cheering him on with their posts.”
In Afghanistan in 2012, Razon was severely injured when an improvised explosive device went off. He suffered third-degree burns to his legs, a shattered kneecap, shrapnel wounds and other injuries, and he underwent multiple surgeries.
“I’ve got some big, major scars on my legs and knee and I’m pretty sure they won’t bend any further than they do now,” Razon told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in a January 2013 article.
Paul Razon said Jarrett’s rise to the U.S. Paralympic soccer team was far from easy, and that Jarrett also suffered a traumatic brain injury and has battled post traumatic stress disorder.
“This injuries were so devastating and have taken a lot out of him physically, mentally and emotionally,” he said. “He’s trying to let it go. I tell him it happened and that no one can change it and that this (playing in the world championships) is his reward. He gets to live his dream and this is special. Only 14 players were selected.”
The tournament is a main qualifier for the 2016 Paralympic Games (for athletes with at least one of 10 eligible disabilities) in Rio de Janeiro.
All tournament games will be live-streamed at http://cp2015.com
Midfielder Seth Jahn, who is also on the U.S. Paralympic soccer team and is a Wounded Warrior, was Razon’s teammate in college at Saint Andrews University in Laurinburg, N.C.
Stuart Sharp is the U.S. team’s coach.