INTERVIEW BY CARL FREDERICK
Jose Garcia III has set records for the McCaskey Red Tornado program. Just notching the schools dual meet record, the young man is just getting started. Under the tutelage of his father Jose Garcia Junior, you can see the potential from a mile away. Garcia Jr. himself is an assistant coach for McCaskey wrestling, set many records in his heyday, he has been an integral part in the rebuilding of the Red Tornado program. The Tornadoes sit at 10-3 overall and with forces like Garcia III, they will be a tough out come league and district tournament time.
Both father and son have a positive influence on the overall program, and were able to stop by for an interview below:
Carl Frederick: Your son following in your footsteps what has this whole experience been like for you and your family?
Jose Peewee Garcia: It’s been amazing. In the beginning, he really didn’t like wrestling. I put a lot of pressure on him as a coach/parent, and that hurt him as a youth. Once I realized that all I had to do was support him and show him love, everything changed for the better. We got to see him enjoy growing into wrestling, and got to watch him medal in all 3 levels at the State level. He took 5th as an Elementary wrestler, 5th as a Middle school wrestler, and 8th last year as a High school wrestler.
At the end of his Sophomore year, at the semifinals of the Regional tournament, he tore his labrum. That was rough for him. After getting surgery, we really didn’t know if he would be back to the athlete he was. He worked hard in rehab, and was able to return 4 months later to the football field, and have a dominant wrestling season right after. Now we get to enjoy watching him lead his team to one of the best records in a long time, and make history becoming the only State Medalist to hit the 100 win mark, and be part of the only Father/Son Section Champs at our Alma Mater.
CF: Tell us what its been like to coach at your alma matter?
JG: It’s a blessing. To be able to learn under a guy like Coach Rodriguez, who’s been around for a long time, has been a great experience. When you talk about family, and support, that’s what you have in his program. I love what we’re building over here.
Coaching you’re on child cannot be easy, speaking with the latter you could tell how much pride and joy he has for his team but especially his son. The next opportunity is where his son will end up in college and his dad just wants his boy to be happy “Whatever makes him happy. Hopefully a school that’s going to help him springboard to a successful career.” Garcia added.
The third Garcia is a pit-bull of a defensive lineman also for McCaskey he talked the adjustment his body has endured going from Football to Wrestling “The adjustment is the hardest part, football shape and wrestling shape are two different forms”. Jose was an all section defensive lineman in football and is one of the top wrestlers in the state, but you wouldn’t be able to tell with how humble the young man is. When we asked him when he knew he had a special talent “When I won my first section title, that was an eye-opener for me, like I can really do this”.
Still that hasn’t stopped the dual-match record breaker from the grind, he is focusing on his plans for after high school. “I was just accepted into a couple of colleges, I work for a construction company now so will see what happens”.
A good student and a coaches dream the Red Tornadoes have a special one on their hands, who does not plan to stop grinding anytime soon. He is the first wrestler to medal in states and hit the 100-win mark for McCaskey. Not only was he the first state medalist for his school since 1992, if covid does not happen he would probably have broken the school record for wins (127). That record ironically enough is still held by his former coach Lex Ortiz. His chances for the overall school record are not on the Garcia’s mind, look for the family to make a bigger splash come tournament time, it’s the only way they know how.