YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Orange County Prep Player of the Week : Garcias Play 'Me and My Shadow'

October 28, 1987|BARBIE LUDOVISE | Times Staff Writer

Motivation to succeed has never been a problem for Joaquin Garcia, a senior running back at Anaheim High School. Inspiration seems to follow him everywhere.

It even has a name: Che Garcia, Joaquin's 13-year-old brother and star of the Anaheim Rams, a Pop Warner youth football team.

"He always tells me he's going to break my records. I just say,'No way,' " Joaquin said. "It's sort of an ongoing thing between us."

Garcia, The Times' Player of the Week, had plenty of reason to perform well last week. On Oct. 17, Garcia watched his younger brother score five touchdowns in a game against the Fullerton Tigers.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," Garcia said. "He played great. I had to do something."

On Thursday, Garcia carried the ball 15 times for 115 yards and 5 touchdowns, including a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown, to lead Anaheim to a 33-13 Orange League victory over Magnolia.

This season, Joaquin has rushed for 933 yards in 143 carries and has scored 12 touchdowns for the Colonists (6-1, 2-0).

Che, a seventh-grader, has scored 23 touchdowns this season for the Rams, also 6-1.

Both are known for their quick feet and great moves on the field, as well as on the dance floor.

Two years ago, Che, Joaquin and the four other Garcia children formed a professional break-dancing group called Rockin' Wizards. Che and Joaquin danced in movies, on television and in commercials.

Though each admits to copying the other's moonwalks, Che says he is the one who emulates the other's style on the football field.

"I remember, as soon as he got the ball, no one could ever catch him," Che said. "I wanted to be just like him. Especially his moves. They're wild. They're all over the place. Some are up in the air."

Though the Garcias have two other brothers in football--Cuauhtemoc, a junior outside linebacker, and Dean, who was an all-league receiver for Anaheim in 1984--Joaquin and Che are the ones who have an ongoing rivalry.

Joaquin attends Che's games and collects the Rams' newsletters that chart Che's performances.

Che goes to the Colonists' games and keeps a scrapbook of Joaquin's newspaper clippings.

"The first thing I do every morning is run down the block to get a paper to see if Joaquin's in it. I have to know how he's doing. It makes me work harder.

"Every week, I tell Joaquin how far behind he is in touchdowns. Then he makes sure I know how much harder it is in high school football."

As the season continues, the brothers discuss different strategies and goals for their teams and themselves.

Che's Rams need a victory over Garden Grove Saturday to qualify for the league playoffs. Joaquin wants to surpass his total of 1,106 yards of rushing last season.

But both share a more immediate goal.

Said Joaquin: "We both want to be the first one to score six touchdowns (in a game)."

Joaquin Garcia

Anaheim High School

Position: Running back.

Height, Weight, Class: 5-9, 155, Sr.

Last Week: Garcia rushed for 3 touchdowns, caught an 18-yard touchdown pass and returned a punt 69 yards for another touchdown. Garcia's 115 yards in 15 carries and 5 touchdowns led Anaheim to a 33-13 Orange League victory over Magnolia Thursday.

Season: In seven games, Garcia has rushed for 933 yards in 143 carries (6.5-yard average) and has scored 12 touchdowns for the Colonists (6-1, 2-0).

Los Angeles Times Articles