CLOSER LOOK: Poly MF Eduardo Garcia

Take a closer look at Riverside Poly senior Eduardo “Eddie” Garcia and you’ll see the Bears’ offensive motor.

Garcia controls the Bears’ share of the ball, and constantly must wade through calls of “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!” almost all the time.

He does well, though, and creates just enough on his own to get the rest of his teammates involved. That is, his touches create confidence. His team feeds off both his energy and his ability to link up. And if he’s playing well, Poly is probably playing well.

I caught up with Garcia following Poly’s 2-0 victory over Riverside King last Wednesday at Bobby Bonds Park.

What were some of the things you think your team did well today?

“On offense in the second half we played really simple. We could’ve scored more goals. The first time we were playing quick up top and taking chances and putting them away. On the set plays, the corner kicks, we took advantage. Defense we did well, too.”

You beat King three times this year. Talk about the Poly-King rivalry.

“It’s always a hard game against’em. We just have to go and give more than 100 percent to beat them because it’s King. And especially because there’s the chance to win league. It was a lot of effort to beat them.

What has been the difference between last year and this year?

“I think last year helped us a lot with our experience. We were really young, and now we just have the motivation to do better, to succeed. This program has a big history and we want to represent.”

Does the fact that Poly has such history factor into the player’s thinking?

“You always have to have pride and play for the team. Always 100 percent out there. Always go out for the win.”

What kind of effort will it take to win a league title and make a deep playoff run?

“Just concentration. Only have a few more games so we’ll take them one at a time.”

That refrain, the “one-game-at-a-time” creed, has become something of a universal theme among athletes faced with expectations of success. It seems to lessen the pressure of the moment, and allows the athlete to retain focus.

Garcia and the Bears are focused, and they have a third Big VIII League title in four years in their sights.

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