CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Jaime Garcia became the first Corpus Christi high school wrestler to qualify for the UIL state tournament in 2000. He recently opened his own wrestling club academy Texas Style Wrestling.
He is living his dream of coaching wrestling. "I always wanted to start this program to give back to the kids and give them an opportunity to reach their potential in this sport," said Garcia.
He has dozens of pupils ranging in age from four to high school. Many of them are already getting a head start at learning "folkstyle" wrestling which is used in UIL competition. Others are just improving their technique.
"There was not a certified club where once high school season ended where kids could go and continue training and developing their skills to get ready for the next season," said Garcia.
"Oh it's huge coming here," said Carroll wrestler Ashton Keller. "This is the time when you can make big leaps on your competition. It's a great place to get better."
"For me, I want to be a state champ so this means more time time to achieve that goal," said Veterans Memorial wrestler Abigail Mendoza.
Garcia is still competing at age 40. He won a national tournament in Iowa two years ago and will be competing in Las Vegas at the U.S. Open in April.