ROSEVALE School booters, spurred by the memories of their long-time supporter “Tito” Marlon Casas, dominated the CdO West 1 District football tournament at their home turf at the Xavier Estates football field.
Tito Marlon, the 51-year-old uncle of Rosevale School High School goalkeeper Dave Mendoza, attended the school’s football team practices everyday since his nephew was bitten by the football bug more than a decade ago.
Marlon and his wife Marlen are the guardians of Dave as his parents have been working in the USA since he was a school boy.
Tito Marlon passed away last August 22 after suffering a massive stroke at his residence in Grand Europa subdivision, Uptown.
His remains are now at his parents’ residence Sta. Filomena Village, Pandan, Iligan City.
The Rosevale School boys’ elementary team advanced to the CdO Division meet first after beating West City Central School in two matches of their best-of-three competition.
Vigan Palaro team defender-turned striker Andy Lugod, scored the first goal in their 2-0 win over WCCS in their first meeting.
Another Vigan Palaro veteran, goalkeeper turned midfielder Rawin Gementiza, then completed their win with a goal from the penalty spot.
Lugod once again starred in the second match as he scored early in the first half.
Young but skillful striker Albert Montenegro then completed their sweep of the WCCS with a one-on-one charge and a beautiful flick of the ball to the back of the net that caught WCCS goalkeeper off guard.
It was sweet victory for Rosevale School coaches Dennis Bongocan and Rowen Clemena who lost most of their Palaro players to graduation.
Only Gementiza and Lugod are holdovers while the rest are new.
The Rosevale School Secondary team also looked for inspiration from their beloved Tito Marlon Casas to defeat the hard-fighting Xavier University High School team, 3-0, in their final game.
The XU lads of coach Jersey Miaco and led by former “Little” Azkals Joie Ceasar Gaid Jr., pushed hard for an early lead in the first half.
But an inspired Dave Mendoza between the posts for Rosevale School thwarted XU’s attempts.
Rosevale School boys made several attempts to gain advantage in first half.
XU relied on the heroics of goalkeeper Leon Reuyan to frustrate the Rosevale School boys.
Reuyan, a regular with the Higala FC youth team, had two crucial saves, one from striker JL Cascara and the one from winger Zac Orate.
Inspite of the attempts, the Rosevale boys failed to gain the upper hand and settled for a draw at the half.
They faced a strong pressure going into the second half as they needed to score one goal to advance to the Division Meet.
XU led in the Goal Difference having scored 11 goals in their win against St. Mary’s Academy of Carmen. Rosevale School scored only nine goals against SMAC.
Newly-appointed Rosevale School High School head coach Adoms Deloria made crucial adjustments at the half and his gamble paid off in the second half.
Defender Joshua Barrera was put up front and July Vicente replaced the injured Zac Orate. JL Cascara then was put on the left wing while Ino Butaslac and John Gementiza were moved down to man the back.
Lyle Dy and Dale Anoya then controlled the midfield with precision that provided the passes to the strikers.
Coach Adoms gamble started to pay off early in the second half as Barrera scored from outside the box with a follow-up shot. JL Cascara then made it 2-0 with a swerving corner kick that whisked past XU goalkeeper Leon Reuyan.
Barrera, a recruit from Tubod, Lanao del Norte then completed his head up performance with another goal in the remaining minutes of the match to cement Rosevale School’s entry to the CdO Division meet.
“It was lonely cheering the players without Tito Marlon. That match was for him,” said Rosevale High School coach main supporter Charlston Dy.
Marlon and Dy are with the team everyday at the sidelines with Jeff Cascara watching the kids train with coach Adoms at the Rosevale School field in Xavier Estates.
The Rosevale football kids will miss Tito Marlon, but his memory will continue to live on and inspire them to win more games.