Garcia set for strong senior season at Pine River

LEROY — Pine River’s football team has several key returning players this season, including senior lineman Dominic Garcia.

Garcia (6-0, 230) is in his third varsity season and was all-Highland Conference linebacker last year. He’ll be a linebacker and fullback for the Bucks this season.

“I’m so excited for it,” Garcia said of playing fullback. “I did a lot of it in practice. I got my first touchdown last year in my entire career against Lake City. I’m quick, fast and strong, pretty well-rounded. After wrestling season, I was in the weight room six months straight.”

Defensively, “I’m really good at reading on where they’re going to be going,” Garcia said, adding during the summer, “I went to Ferris camp, 7-on-7, weight-lifting.”

Garcia was on last year’s team that was 8-4 and won a district title.

“This team this year, we’re looking fast, mean and just crazy I guess,” Garcia smiled. “We’re always helping each other to improve. Practice has been going great. Any time we make a mistake, we sit down as a team to figure out how we can make it better. After team practice, we name (a list) of things that we’ve done.”

Garcia is hopeful his team can advance beyond the regionals this season.

“We have a lot of talent,” he said. “We are all on the same page.”

Garcia is confident when the Bucks meet perennial power Beal City, Pine River can prevail this time.

“We messed up last year running our defense,” he said. “We put in a new one and we know how to stop that Wing -T.”

The Bucks, 1-0, have their home opener Thursday against Mancelona.