By Matt Mauney | Staff Writer
Guillermo Garcia, a 2012 graduate of Strawberry Crest High, committed to play football for Concordia College-Selma, a Division II school in Alabama. He made the decision after long uncertainty whether he would be given the opportunity to play in college. Ultimately, it came down to three schools — South Dakota, Alabama State and Concordia — with Garcia choosing to follow Plant City graduates Jalen Butler and Antwon Armstrong to Concordia. He three seasons for the Chargers after transferring from Durant High in 2009.
Explain your recruiting process.
The South Dakota coach kept calling me, but South Dakota just seemed too far away and too cold from what I’m used to. I took a visit to Alabama State and was going to commit with them, and then later on, the Concordia coach called me.
What made you ultimately choose Concordia?
I found out my friends, Jalen, Butler and (Antwon Armstrong) were going there, and because (Armstrong) and I had such a good connection at the (Hillsborough County) All-Star Game, I figured Concordia was where it’s at.
Did you take a visit to Concordia and what do you know about the team there?
They’re an up-and-coming program that’s only six years old, so all three of us are looking to go up there and play ball.
When you had the choice of staying at Durant or going to Strawberry Crest, what made you choose SCHS?
I figured that it was a brand new school and a brand new program and would let me take on a leadership role and meet new people.
After going through several coaching changes and a 1-9 season last year, do you have any regrets?
I never regret anything. I just learn from my mistakes. I didn’t know what it was going to be like and knew that it was going to be a big risk. It was a tough senior year, and I wish it went a lot better, but I would have never left my team hanging. These kids look up to me and look to me for advice.
Who would you say is your mentor?
My best friend, Daniel Wisneskey, rest in peace. It was during the football season when he passed away. There was a lot of adversity with family, school and football this year, so it was tough. It all helped me mature and prepare for college. I wasn’t the biggest or fastest my sophomore year, and a lot of people would tell me I wouldn’t make it, but he always saw something in me.