PHILADELPHIA– Frank Garcia, has been spotlighted as a Chenango County Athlete who continues to shine in Athletics beyond the high school arena.
Frank Garcia, who graduated from Norwich high school in 2015, now finds himself on the Division I wrestling mat as he holds down the 149-pound weight class for the Binghamton Bearcats as a true freshman.
Garcia was on the varsity squad in high school for the Norwich Purple Tornado, racking up a resume including being a five time New York State Tournament qualifier; three time New York State Tournament finalist; two time New York State champion; as well as a three time Section IV champion; along with many other accolades.
Garcia noted the transition from high school to Division I college wrestling has taken some adjusting saying, “Beginning of the season I took a lot of losses, I got a lot of bumps and bruises, I was just trying to figure out how to be a college wrestler. A few things changed, my mindset changed and the coaches really helped me develop a good state of mind, and I was excited to go out and wrestle.”
Garcia earns the Sports Spotlight award for his impressive showing of late on the mat for the Bearcats, where he has gone 3-0 in his last three matches.
Coming off back to back wins against his opponent of Columbia University at 8-4 and an 11-6 win over Hofstra's 157-pounder. Garcia then stepped on to the mat against Drexel's 13th-nationally ranked Matt Cimato, a redshirted junior.
Garcia a true freshman, and not ranked in the national standings at this point, entered into the duel meet against Drexel on January 22, eventually earning a 2-0 overtime win over Cimato, in dramatic fashion.
“They (Coaches) worked with me on this transition, because they know it is hard for someone to transition from being a high school wrestler into wrestling Division I, and starting, and going against the top guy at each of these schools,” said Garcia.
After neither wrestler could secure a take down in the first period, Garcia chose down in the second period. Cimato would wrestle tough on top to ride out Garcia and earn two minutes of riding time going into the final period. Cimato would immediately lose that riding time when Garcia was able to hang with him, riding him out in the third period and forcing overtime.
Garcia, on the offensive in overtime, to what appeared a tired Cimato, would score on an early high crotch double, giving him the 2-0 victory over Cimato in overtime.
“Every match at the Division I level, it doesn’t matter, it is probably tougher than any finals match you’ll face in high school. You’re wrestling grown men and it is just a whole other level,” said Garcia. “The hardest transition was taking the losses early on, after not losing very much over the last few years, then coming in here and getting losses, it kind of changed my mindset. It brought me back to square one. And a lot of it is about the technique. Good things came off it and I got a win against a really good guy.”
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