Andy Garcia had his doubts entering the state wrestling tournament last weekend. Back in January, he didn’t even think he would make the final mat at 285 pounds, let alone another take home another state title.
Five weeks ago, I had a night where I dislocated my knee and I couldn’t walk for two days,” Garcia said Saturday night as the mats were being rolled up as the Pepsi Center cleared out for another season. “Everything I worked for for the past five weeks has been for this one match. Everything came into play, everyone was there, everything I needed to happen happened and I did my best.”
The Pueblo East junior snagged a take down in the third period to take a 4-3 lead on Broomfield’s Tyler Carpenter, riding that out to win his third heavyweight state title in 4A.
“We don’t work on being defensive in our room, we work on offense, we work on attacks,” Garcia said. “We attack, we are aggressive, you don’t wait for the other guy to make a mistake – you make the movement.”
That win capped off big Saturday for the Eagles, securing their first wrestling team title in school history with 200.0 team points. Pueblo County took second. Garcia has a chance to become a four-time champ himself next season. If he were to become the 25th member of the four-timers club in Colorado, he would be the second heavyweight to achieve that distinction after Ponderosa’s Cohlton Schultz did it this year.
Garcia was no doubt lifted by seeing his teammates win their respective titles before he even stepped out under the Pepsi Center lights. Senior Zion Freeman and Dominic Robles won the 195 and 220 pound titles, leaving the stage for Garcia to put an exclamation point on the night for the East Eagles.
“Our room is the best heavier weights in the state,” he said. Everyday is a battle, you get taken down all the time, grind back and we beat each other to hell – that’s why we are the best and that’s why we won back to back to back heavyweight titles.”