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Sideline Report: Garcia's 'Ro'adway to success

By Chris Morrow
On September 28, 2006

Senior Rolando Garcia of the Bronx, N.Y., has become an obvious strength on the Sacred Heart defense. Recognized by his coaches and teammates as a leader, he is focused on bringing that leadership to the field.

More often referred to as Ro, his strong defense and influence for the Pioneers football team landed him the honor of Co-Captain.

"Rolando is someone who wants to win and is not afraid to lead," said Assistant Coach Mark Nofri. "[Ro] is the perfect example of what a captain should be."

As a linebacker, opponents expect his hard-hitting defense.

But Garcia has made an impact on the field as well as in the locker room. "The players feed off his energy and intensity, he is a leader of the defense as well as the whole team," said Nofri.

Garcia has been a strong middle linebacker since his freshman year at Sacred Heart, a year in which he put up a total of 32 tackles, four of which resulted in a loss of yards.

"He is exactly what I would look for in a middle linebacker," said Nofri, who is also the coach for the linebackers.

"[Rolando] leads by example," said Head Coach Paul Gorham, after the game against Iona.

"[Garcia and Corto] give us field position and puts the need to score on the offense," said quarterback Tyler Arciaga, Graduate Student, San Diego, Calif.

In 2004, Garcia improved with a total of 55 tackles causing a fumble.

Garcia in his third year in 2005 put up a total of 75 tackles, 13 of which resulted in a loss of yards. This also included four sacks and a fumble recovery. This was a drastic improvement from his sophomore season that resulted in only one tackle for a loss of yards. Garcia proved he could penetrate the line.

In his first four games, Garcia has started out stronger than ever in 2006. Standing in second on the team with 36 tackles, only behind Jon Corto by one. Two and a half tackles so far, have been for a loss of yards.

In the season opener against Lafayette, Garcia led the defense with 11 tackles. But in the second game at Marist, he set a career high of tackles in a game with 14.

Sacred Heart opens up Northeast Conference play this Saturday home against Wagner at Campus Field at 1pm. Garcia has 198 career tackles and will be attempting to top 200. In last years meeting at Wagner, Sacred Heart lost 26-21. He finished the game with eight tackles and one and a half sacks.

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