Running as part of the Texas Lutheran University’s Bulldog track team is a long time goal for Seguin High School senior Jerry Garcia.
When his family moved to Seguin, he was young. However, the moment he saw TLU he said he knew that was home.
“Ever since I first passed by it when I was in first grade, I just fell in love with it,” he said. “Passing by, I just felt like it was home and it was where I belong.”
And home is where he’ll be since he signed his letter of intent last week and made the commitment to run for the Bulldogs track team.
Receiving his acceptance letter was like a dream, Garcia said.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” he said. “Right after, I sent my mom a screenshot of it. I wanted to cry.”
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, Garcia couldn’t have a typical celebration, so his mother Sulema Silva and her partner, Yvonne DeLaRosa, planned a small ceremony in the front yard of their home with a few family members spread around the lawn and on video confercaencing.
The event included a video from Cross Country Coach Guy Nowlin.
“Congratulations Jerry, much deserved for all of your hard work, preparation, time and commitment you made to the sport, to your academics, it has paid off,” he said in the video. “It’s been amazing to watch your journey and watch your growth into a young man over the years. I know you will continue to strive and work hard to become the best young man you can be.”
Garcia is a four-year member of the Seguin Matadors Cross Country team and Track and Field team, but running is something he’s enjoyed his whole life.
“I’ve been running for as long as I can remember,” he said. “Just the feeling of running just makes me feel alive. I know people say that runners are running away from something. I don’t run away from something, I’m not running toward something, I’m just running to run because I love it.”
Additionally, Garcia said he is creating a path for his younger cousins to follow.
“I want to run and do incredible things not for myself, but for my family,” he said. “Especially for my younger cousins, for them to have a role model that they can look up to.”
After Garcia inked his commitment to TLU, he was shocked to hear horns blasting and cheers coming from vehicles as they drove down the road toward his house.
Unbeknownst to him, his family set up a socially distant parade with his coach, friends and teammates to help Garcia celebrate his achievement.
“I got really emotional because I didn’t think I would see any of them again, especially with the school closed and all of us leaving,” he said. “Seeing them all drive by honking really made my heart stop. It meant a lot to me.”
Garcia plans to major in physics and earn a Bachelor of Science degree. He plans to continue his education and earn a Master of Engineering degree in geospatial systems.