Carlos Aguirre Garcia is at a difficult but productive point in his 18-year-old life. The two-time league champion and Ken Hubbs Award nominee from San Bernardino’s new Indian Springs High School might have to give up soccer for the first time since grade school. He will not play soccer next season because Cal State University, Fullerton gave him only an academic scholarship. Garcia was in the top-5 academically among 291 students in Indian Springs first ever graduating class this year.
Garcia was not offered a scholarship to play soccer at CSUF but did not rule out trying out for the team. “My whole life has been soccer. I keep saying to myself, what is life going to be like without soccer. I have no idea.” He’s been a team captain all four years of high school and a 1st team All-San Andreas League performer his senior year, where he helped Indian Springs to its first league title in any sport. He currently plays for the Corinthians USA Academy whose Fontana-based team is headquartered in Brazil. Garcia plays at the mid-center “point guard” position where he “can see the whole field and take control.”
He explained further, “I do have some opportunities to play soccer but the academics are a sure thing. That’s what I worked hard for. My coaches at Corinthians understand,” said Garcia in a quiet voice. He will enter CSUF with a 4.57 GPA and will major in kinesiology. His favorite class in high school was chemistry. “I learned in high school if you want to be successful you cannot procrastinate. You can’t wait for opportunities, you have to push for it.” He gained the confidence to speak to adult teachers after earning two scholarships to the Hispanic Youth League Institute held at Santa Clara University. “After that I learned to ask my teachers what more can I do. How can I get an A instead of a B.”
Garcia’s soccer playing history lists him as the leading scorer on the seven club teams he’s played. He led his high school team’s in scoring four years, including his freshman year at Palmdale High. He spent a previous year playing soccer in Baja California, Mexico on teams in Ensenada.
“The education system is good in Mexico but you play soccer on dirt fields. It was hard to control the ball because of the rocks. It taught me to appreciate playing on grass and turf in the United States where I can control the ball better. To get good at soccer you just need a ball, two shoes and a rock for a goal,” explained Garcia.
He is closely watching the CONCACAF Gold Cup where he hopes Mexico wins unless its a rivalry match with the USA. “When you see one of your teams lose it can ruin your whole day.” Garcia thinks both the current USA men’s team and the world soccer cup champion women’s teams will help soccer’s popularity even further in America. “Soccer is growing because you see some of the best starting to come to America.” He gave as an example Liverpool great Steven Gerrard’s signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Garcia is impressed with the play of Haiti and Trinidad & Tabago in the Gold Cup. He feels soccer doesn’t need more scoring and otherwise thinks it’s fine the way it is. He did say that teams that rely on defensive tactics to settle for a 0-0 game are not productive. “If I’m the coach we’d go for the win every game. You gotta always go for it!”
“That sounds just like Carlos. Always wanting to go for it and not settling for less,” said Indian Springs soccer and volleyball coach John Arient. “He’s tenacious and always looking to find a way to score. He scored four goals in our first game this season.” Arient commented on Garcia’s good attitude and grades, along with his natural athletic ability. “He never played volleyball before his junior year but made all-league 1st team.” Arient said Garcia was sought by SBVC to play soccer but his strong GPA has made it impossible to turn down the university academic scholarship. “Hopefully, he eventually gets a chance to play soccer at Cal State Fullerton,” said Arient.
Before his high school career was over, Garcia also helped Indian Springs to the San Andreas League volleyball championship and onto its first CIF playoff win in any sport. As a member of the track team as a sophomore he won medals in the 400 meters, 1600, and 4×400. Along with being president of the soccer club, he served as co-chair to four ASB committees. The versatile Garcia has entertained with hip-hop and swing dance troupes.