Athlete of the Week is back and we're kicking in the weekly series with a senior wrestler who is getting the job done on the mat and in the classroom.
Marvin James introduces us to Michael Garcia from Mount de Sales.
Garcia has been wrestling with Mount de Sales since he was in the sixth grade, and he doesn't shy away from competition.
"I just love the physicality of it and the grind of it. You definitely have to a have heart for these practices, which I love and have a passion for it," said Garcia.
His coach, Carsten Franklin, says Garcia has always been a great team leader, and this year as the only senior on the team, he continues to lead by the example.
"He started putting his mind to it, doing the little things and got his body in shape to be dedicated to the program and teammates, and has had a lot of success. He's been a big team leader and catalyst for us in duals. When we need a big pin, he's the guy we turn to," said Coach Franklin.
Garcia is a two-time area champ wrestling at 132 pounds. He helped guide the team to their first area team championship and a fourth place finish in state duals last week here in Macon.
Garcia said, "I'm definitely a vocal leader, but I like to lead by example, too. I like to be the first one in and last one out and like to make sure everyone is taped and shaved before every match."
"He's done a great job holding them together and keeping them together. He's always had those juniors coming after him in the rearview mirror. He's really pushed some of these lower weights and we're all proud, but Garcia has been the linchpin holding it all together, so it's been nice," Coach Franklin said.
Garcia also letters in football and lacrosse, and in the classroom, he averages a 3.7 GPA. He knows education is key to his overall success and that actions speak louder than words.
"Grades are definitely number one, and it's not easy to do homework when you're tired, but you have to embrace the grind," said Garcia.
Garcia is a career Cavalier using his best finishing move to graduate and prepare for college.
The team captain hopes to reach 100 career wins before the end of the season. He's currently stands at 98-37.
After high school, Michael plans to attend either the University of North Georgia or Georgia College to study nursing.