ALAMO — The participants at Randy White’s Big Man Camp ranged from age 6 or 7 all the way to high school seniors-to-be, all engaged in the former Cowboy great’s combination platter of martial arts and football.
One of the biggest campers was a face familiar to EHS fans, that of Big Bryan Garza. The 270-pounder is psyched for his senior season with the Bobcats, and he was in attendance Saturday to see if he could pick up a few more tools to use in his battle with District 31-5A interior linemen once the fall starts.
“I wasn’t familiar with a lot of these techniques, and I think I have learned a lot so far,” said Garza, who should be one of the league’s leading run stoppers in 2009, after showing glimpses of real ability last year as a junior. “I’m picking up some stuff, like how to get of my block using my hands. And the feet, too, that’s important. It’s been pretty cool, learning how to counter what the opponent does, throwing your hands the right way.”
Garza says the Bobcat starters have been hitting the weight room hard this summer, meeting as a group each day in the early evening to put in the work they need to be competitive in the district. After a 4-6 near miss in 2008, the team is ready to push on to the next level.
“I noticed that Texas Football had us picked seventh,” he grimaced. “Behind Economedes. But we don’t really listen to that much, it does give us some motivation, we know what we can do and I think we’re gonna have a really good team this year. No matter what the magazines might think.”
A team leader who plays with a fierce fire, Garza can motor, and he has gotten stronger this summer, ranking among the program’s kings in pumping iron. He notes that the d-line should be more than solid this season, as he teams with end Joe Fuentes, Mike Padilla, Bubba Flores and a host of other hopefuls.
“Coach Cortina is great, we love to listen to him because he has interesting things to say, and we are starting to understand the new defense he put in last year,” said Garza of Rene Cortina, the defensive coordinator heading into his second campaign under head man Joey Caceres. “The only problem is, he makes us listen to his music in the weight room!”
Though he’s focused on the season to come, the Bobcat DT thinks that some day he might like to take a shot at college football. He was named outstanding camper at a camp in Kingsville recently, and has chatted with the coaches at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
“They might want to me to switch to center, but that is OK with me,” he said. “I just want a chance to play.”
As for the Big Man Camp, Garza again suggested that he’d gotten considerable ammunition out of the experience. Showing his playful side, he smiled broadly.
“But I do think I’m going to get an autograph from Randy White after all this is over.”
NOTES: Both EHS and North are having camps this weekend for junior high kids and incoming freshmen. North Coach Roy Garza will run the Coog event June 27-29 from 6 to 8:30 each night at the high school, and he encourages everyone to register ahead of time or on June 27. The camp will cost $20 and all participants are to receive a T-shirt and nightly meals. Call 739-3692 for more info.
A local hoopster headed to Austin last week to take part in the Texas Girls Coaches Association all-star game. EHS star Yadi Salinas was among the handful of players selected for the honor, after being a three-year starter for Coach Rachel Carmona and an All-Valley pick her senior season.