2A soccer MVP: Energetic Carlo Garcia scored big for Manti
Did you see the little boy in the early morning? Running the streets of Ephraim? Dribbling a soccer ball? Chasing his uncle?
Did you see him grow up? Did you see him score all 22 goals this year? Did you see him score any? How about the free kick against Gunnison that curved big like a rainbow and past the best goalkeeper in Class 2A?
Did you see him win a state championship? The first sanctioned title for Manti? The first of any kind since that uncle, Juan Vasquez the goalkeeper, won a club soccer championship all those years ago?
Carlo Garcia was still chasing his uncle.
"He'd like get me to do some drills like passing drills, heading, shooting, running with a ball, dribbling it, juggling it," said Garcia, Manti's junior leader. "All sorts of things."
When Manti won the Class 2A championship on May 12, becoming the first public school to do so, Vasquez was in the stands.
That was one of the few games Garcia did not score. He scored five goals in the Templars' first three tournament games. He scored five goals in one game against Millard on Feb. 28.
"I've practiced really hard," he said, "and I've worked really hard this year to score this much."
That's when he told of the early mornings with Juan and working harder than most kids should. But, like he said: "I was a kid. I had a lot of energy."
Not much has changed since then. He still has a lot of energy. He bounced past defenders all year, most of his goals coming in one-on-one situations. The result bespoke work.
"I don't think it was luck," Garcia said.