ShareThis Page

Garcia excels on Lock Haven's wrestling team

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Ringgold High School graduate and wrestling standout Fred Garcia is enjoying considerable success in his second season at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

A redshirt junior, Garcia became Lock Haven's first 184-pound wrestler in 10 years to win a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference individual championship.

At the conference meet held at Kutztown University, Garcia earned victories over Millersville's Daniel Cox (21-6), Mercyhurst's Eric Lundgren (13-4) and Bloomsburg's Andre Petroski in the finals, 4-1.

Coupled with sophomore teammate Bobby Rehm winning the125-pound title, Garcia gave Lock Haven multiple conference champions in the same year for the first time since 2005. He also became Lock Haven's 168th individual PSAC wrestling champion. The Bald Eagles finished fourth overall out of 12 teams and it marked the fourth straight year Lock Haven produced at least one individual conference champion.

Garcia also earned a strong third-place at the Brute Invitational held at Lock Haven's Nelson Field House. He suffered a loss by fall to Virginia Military Institute's Jonathan Jones but rebounded with victories over Gardner-Webb's Gray Jones (6-2) and again over Bloomsburg's Petroski, 4-3. Garcia took the bronze medal after a 9-8 decision over Old Dominion's Austin Coburn.

In a 19-15 dual meet win over Eastern Wrestling League rival West Virginia University, Garcia helped the Bald Eagles overcome a 9-3 team deficit with a 3-1 decision over the Mountaineers' Lance Bryson. An Albert Gallatin High School graduate, Bryson was ranked 23rd nationally before that match.

One week later Garcia defeated another nationally ranked opponent, Eastern Michigan University's 33rd ranked Phillip Joseph, 3-1, at the Pitt Duals. He followed that with a 9-6 decision over Davidson University's Scott Patrick as Lock Haven won both dual meets.

He won his ninth straight match with a 3-2 decision over Edinboro University's Vince Pickett on Jan. 19 and was one of just two victorious Bald Eagle wrestlers. The 35-6 setback at 16th-ranked Edinboro dropped Lock Haven to 5-3 overall in dual meet competition and ended a four-match win streak.

Garcia is 20-9 overall this season with four major decisions and two technical falls. He is ranked 29th nationally at 184 pounds by Gregg Henry's/WrestlingReport Division I rankings.

In 2011-12, Garcia went 16-9 overall with two pins and two major decision victories. He won seven of his final 10 matches, including taking first place at the Mat Town USA Open, which is contested annually at Lock Haven's Thomas Fieldhouse.

Garcia was a medical redshirt in 2010-11 at Lock Haven after recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals his senior year at Ringgold. Before having to forfeit that match, Garcia was a perfect 34-0 overall and was ranked first in the WPIAL Class AAA in 2010 at 189 pounds.

He finished his fine scholastic career as Ringgold's all-time leader in career wrestling wins with 124.

Lock Haven wrestling coach Robbie Waller, in his fourth season, is understandably pleased with Garcia's solid season.

“Fred has built on and improved from a very successful freshman year and is doing a great job for us,” said Waller, a graduate of nearby Mt. Pleasant High School where he was a 1998 PIAA Class AAA champion with a 128-3 career scholastic record. “With his continued hard work and determination we believe Fred is just going to keep getting better as we prepare for the post-season.”

Bruce Wald is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.