Warriors senior linebacker Angel Garcia works hard in the weight room for the upcoming 2015 season. Photo by The Tehachapi News.

Garcia To Anchor Critical Warriors Defense
In Upcoming Football Season

Posted by John Nelson, The Tehachapi News, on July 6, 2015

It could all come down to defense this season for the Tehachapi Warriors football team, and that means a lot is riding on the shoulders of senior middle linebacker Angel Garcia.

With a new quarterback and new running backs, Garcia will anchor a defense that was probably the Warriors' greatest strength last season anyway.

“We actually have a lot of players returning on defense,” Garcia said, taking a break from weight training on a recent cool,
cloudy mountain morning. “We should be all right. We're going to have a lot of speed, and a lot of brains.

“That could be our real strength. We have a lot of experience, a lot of brains.”

Head coach Steve Denman singled out Garcia is a linchpin of the defense.

“Our expectations on defense are pretty high,” he said.

So are Garcia's.

“I hope to help out as much as I can, especially on the run,” said Garcia, who was listed at 5-foot-11 and 250 pounds last season as a junior.

“The problem is our league is so pass oriented I'm going to have to work on my pass drops, too. I've got a little speed.”

Last season, the Warriors finished one game above .500 at 6-5, and they were 3-2 in the South Yosemite League,
tied for second with Golden Valley and Independence. Ridgeview won the new league going undefeated.

The Warriors lost 35-21 to Redwood in the first round of the Central Section Division 2 playoffs.

Obviously, they would like to improve on those results in 2016.

“We've had a great turnout this summer, and the kids have been working hard,” Denman said.
“We've been getting 40-60 players every morning, but it's hard to tell what we've really got until we put the pads on.”

That probably won't happen until the second week in August.

Right now, the Warriors are working out in the weight room four days a week at 6 a.m. and undergoing speed training.

“Then we'll give them a break starting July 16, and they'll come back on Aug. 3. That's when we get down to business,” Denman said.

About a week later, they'll started getting into their football pads for some real hitting.

Senior Lars Olofson still is projected as the starting quarterback with a push from behind from junior Paul Stephens-Green.
Denman said he still has no idea who the starting runners will be in his wing-T offense.

“I won't be able to get a handle on that until August,” he said.

The Warriors start their schedule with two games in Bakersfield on Friday night, Aug. 21, at South and Friday night, Aug. 28, at Foothill.
They'll play their home opener on Friday night, Sept. 4, against Burroughs of Ridgecrest.

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