During a long and arduous football season, it’s an advantage to have a player that can be versatile and willing to be available at any number of positions.
Keller head football coach Carl Stralow said the team has been fortunate to have what he termed a “Jack of all trades” in senior Jack Garcia.
There are many teams which have players that will assume the responsibilities of a few positions.
But Garcia has a list of about eight positions.
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Having started the season as a slot receiver, Garcia was asked to help out the team by moving to cornerback and fill in where the Indians needed depth.
Since then, Garcia has added outside linebacker, safety, holder for PATs, deep snapper, kick-returner, and in a practice last week, at least, punter.
Garcia said the initial conversation from coaches Stralow, Wes Cope and Kris Price showed they trusted in his ability to perform like they needed.
“I had no complaints, and went to corner and did the best as I could,” Garcia said.
“It’s tough to move around to different positions,” Stralow said. “It’s an amazing attribute. And he’s invaluable to the program.”
Having the right mindset, Garcia took it as a compliment and a vote of confidence as he tried to help the team any way he could.
Making the transition from receiver to the defensive secondary wasn’t much of a stretch for Garcia, who has been a varsity player since his sophomore year. He said his knowledge of what a receiver was trying to execute helped. He does have a reception on the stat sheets, for a five-yard gain.
Garcia, at 5-7, said he’s had a shot at every position except the offensive and defensive lines.
As a senior, Garcia welcomes the chance to get as much playing time as he can and is certainly willing to try anything. He’s seen action in every game this season.
At Abilene last week, Garcia saw action at corner, safety, kick returner, long snapper and kicks holder.
But a memory that stands out for the senior is a play that happened in the first game of the season against Abilene Cooper.
In his first game playing corner, Cooper was inside the Keller 10-yard line and Garcia was facing one of the 6-4 receivers for Cooper.
“I knew it would be a challenge,” Garcia said. “I was 1-on-1 with him and he gave a quick glance to the quarterback, so I knew it was coming. But I wasn’t going to let this happen. I jumped and kept my eye on the ball and climbed up and was able to swat the ball away,” he said.
“It was a crunch time in the game and we really needed a stop. I’m glad I could get one for the team,” Garcia added.
Being responsible for so many positions, Garcia said he doesn’t hesitate to ask questions of the coaches when needed, but said he’s got it all down now.
“The coaches kind of give me a hard time about needing to memorize all the responsibilities, but they’ve been so supportive,” Garcia said.