Europe athletes of the week
Last week: Garcia, a 6-foot, 180-pound junior outside linebacker, stepped into his first start of the season by intercepting a Heidelberg pass in the flat and returning it 40 yards for the deciding touchdown in a 14-7 road victory that kept the Royals unbeaten and tied with Patch atop the Division I standings.
The game-winner was the second interception of the showdown game for Garcia. Ramstein coach Carlos Amponin said an earlier theft by Garcia, who was filling in for the injured Daryl Smith, stopped a Heidelberg drive deep into Ramstein territory.
Amponin also was quick to credit Ramstein’s pressure on Heidelberg quarterback Matt Howard-Darling, for the backup linebacker’s success.
“We preach 11 men playing their individual responsibilities …,” Amponin wrote in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes on Tuesday. “Michael Kelly, Eddy Lott and J.H. Frasier occupy the people on the line, and our linebackers — Joel Smith, Marcus Cherry and Daryl Smith, along with Garcia — make the tackles. The pressure from the line leads to the interceptions. Our ‘D’ is the stingiest in Division I at 26 points allowed (in four games) and is second in Europe only to Ansbach.”
Kacie SchoenCross country
Last week: Schoen, a freshman who turns 14 this month, broke a 6-year-old course record at Aviano, Italy, by 91 seconds Saturday in winning a meet against Aviano, Vilseck and Würzburg.
According to her coach, Karen Porter, Schoen, who clocked 20 minutes flat and finished 33 seconds ahead of runner-up Shelby Yoakum of Aviano, took the lead one kilometer into the 5k race and held it from there.
“The starting line was quite narrow, so I wanted Kacie to get out front right away,” Porter wrote Monday in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes. The strategy worked flawlessly, and even Schoen was surprised at her time, Porter wrote.
Schoen, an honor student who’s been running since she was 5 and has run with the Wildcats as a middle schooler for two years, only looks as far ahead as the next race, Porter wrote. Still, look for her to be a factor in the European championships at Tompkins Barracks in Schwetzingen, Germany, on Oct. 28.
“She works hard in practice,” Schoen wrote, “running with my boys team, and takes running very seriously.”
— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff