What's In A Name?
• 5 Anthony Garcia, sr., QB/DB
• 7 Drake Garcia, sr., WR/DB
• 10 Zach Garcia, jr., WR/DB
• 21 Chris Garcia, jr., RB/LB
• 22 Seth Garcia, so., FB/LB
• 30 Nick Garcia, jr., TE/DE
• 56 Isreal Garcia, sr., OT/DE
• 62 Kenny Garcia, jr., OG/DE
PALACIOS - Mike Treybig knows better than to say, "Garcia get over here," at a Palacios football practice.
The Palacios head coach would find himself face to face with seven players on the varsity roster.
Palacios football is truly a family affair with more relatives than Treybig can count.
"It's more than a team," said wide receiver Zach Garcia. "It's a family out there. You know when you have someone's back, it's not just a team, it's your family. I think the team chemistry goes with that."
Treybig admits having so many family members on one team makes for some unusual practices.
"It's just amazing almost how mean they are to each other," Treybig said. "They'll be sort of picking on each other and I'll tell them to leave each other alone because I don't want anything to happen. And they're, 'Oh coach, we're all related and they pull that on me all the time.'"
Pranks aside, the family connection has paid dividends for the Sharks, who are off to their first 4-0 start since 1989.
"I think a big part of it is the chemistry we have," said quarterback Anthony Garcia. "The enthusiasm is great and the chemistry is great. As you can see, we're not very big and we've been outsized in every game we've played. But we just flat out get after it."
Palacios has won three of its four games in the fourth quarter, which was a point of emphasis for this season's team.
"Last year, we were tied or winning eight games at halftime and won three," Treybig said. "Our focus this year was to play a better second half and to give ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter."
The Sharks' biggest comeback came against Matagorda County rival Van Vleck. Palacios trailed 21-0 late in the third quarter before rallying for a 34-28 win.
"I told coach Treybig, 'We're coming back. I just don't how we're going to do it,'" Anthony Garcia said. "I had that feeling in my gut. We made some adjustments and put some more people at the line of scrimmage. They're fast and they were coming on every play. We were able to find ways to block them and that opened up our passing game."
Anthony Garcia passed for 330 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards and one touchdown to spur the comeback against Van Vleck and was named Texas2AFootball.com Player of the Week.
"I am very pleased with what we've been able to do and I think it's been a character builder for the kids," Treybig said. "That we don't give up and we fight all the way through 48 minutes of football."
Palacios switched from the wing-T to a variation of the pistol on offense.
Treybig wanted to throw more after he saw the success the Sharks had in 7 on 7. Palacios advanced to the championship bracket of the state tournament.
"The thing we did differently in 7 on 7 is we let the kids coach themselves," Treybig said. "We had Kyle Hamlin who played on our 2007 state quarterfinalist team as a supervisor. But David Aparicio, who is a cousin to the Garcias, ran the defense, and Anthony Garcia ran the offense. It helped them take more ownership and more control in what we're doing."
Palacios travels to Stafford on Friday before opening up District 14-2A, Division I play on Oct. 12 at Hallettsville.
The Sharks are aware clinching their first playoff berth since 2007 won't be easy and what happened to the 1989 team is a stark reminder.
Palacios won all five of its non-district games before going 1-4 in district.
"It's good to bring confidence into district, but you can't get too overconfident," Zach Garcia said. "I remember in '07 the guys would just come up here in groups and just come work out and lift weights. I think that's what we're doing this year. We took that '07 feeling and just brought it with us."
Treybig won't make any guarantees, but he likes what he's witnessed from this year's team.
"This is the hand we're dealt and we're going to do the best job we can do," he said. "If we have to bluff a little, we'll bluff a little."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.