Bulked-up Keith Garcia Looking Better Than Ever At Running Back For Sinton
Sep. 29, 2011
By: Matt Young, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
SINTON-Keith Garcia used to be your protypical South Texas waterbug running back. He had plenty of speed and he possessed moves for days, but his light frame meant his runs ended too soon and they weren't immune to arm tackles.
A summer in the weight room with a no-days-off schedule changed that.
The Sinton junior running back clocked into the weight room for two hours a day, every day. The 20 extra pounds on the scale and the thicker build inside the maroon No. 20 jersey shows proof of that dedication. The defenders left grasping in the dirt so far this season can testify as well.
"I just knew I had to get bigger and get better in the offseason," the 5-foot-9, 180-poind speedster said. "I was too little last year, and I was too easy to bring down. Now, I think people are having a little time taking me down."
With or without the additional weight, Garcia has been no secret in South Texas. He burst onto the scene with a 100-yard rushing game in the playoffs as a freshman. Last year, he came into his own running for 954 yards and 14 touchdowns. But, when District 30-3A play opens next week, the usual foes might be surprised when they first run into the strudier Garcia.
"He's not as small as people think," Sinton coach Tom Allen said. "That's 20 pounds of muscle that he's added, so he's about 180 pounds now. Pound by pound, he's the strongest kid in our program."
Although Garcia has been impressive early in the season, it's easy to get the feeling that the oppositon only has seen the tip of a bulked-up iceberg.
In four games, he leads the Pirates (3-1) with 243 yards on the ground, but he hasn't gotten more than 11 carries in a game yet. That's something that could change when Sinton hits the meat of its schedule.
"I like the way our offense works," Garcia said. "We spread the ball around and let as many people as possible touch the ball."
Even with limited carries, Sinton still tries to get the ball to their playmaker in numerous ways, He also leads the team in receiving yards with 209 on seven receptions. And he has put up video game numbers on special teams, returning two out of four punts for touchdowns, averging 45 yards per return.
"It's the kid that can other kids miss or the kid that can break a tackle- those are the ones that are going to make plays for you, and that's what Keith is for us," Allen said. "He's not only shifty, but he's hard to bring down. You have only 10 guys that are supposed to block 11 defenders. That means you're going to have to beat someone yourself, Keith has that ability."
It's an ability Garcia showed at an early age. As a freshman, Garcia was given his first varsity start when Sinton backfield was hit by injuries and suspension in the playoffs. Garcia didn't shy away from the moment, scoring two touchdowns in his debut. A week later, he broke the 100-yard mark. Garcia has been the man in Sinton's backfield ever since.
"It doesn't matter how old they are, if they have IT, they have IT," Allen said. "You don't know if they have that kind of game in them until they get under the lights, but he proved what he had, and he continues to prove it every week."
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