Garcia has vivid recollection of first Snapple Bowl

Garcia has vivid recollection of first Snapple Bowl


Garcia has vivid recollection of first Snapple Bowl


Playing in the first ever Snapple Bowl in 1994 is one of the fondest memories I have of my athletic life. To be selected to play with the best from the Greater Middlesex Conference was such a tremendous honor.

At the time, the only football all-star game was the North-South game and only a handful of players from each county were selected. I still remember like it was yesterday when Coach Baker told me I was nominated and selected. I gave him a huge hug and couldn’t wait to tell my parents.

Undoubtedly, there are two memories from the experience that stand apart from the rest. First was the way we thoroughly dominate a very arrogant and over-confident Union team. That was a time when Union County produced great teams like Union and Elizabeth, and they thought this game was going to be a cake walk. Even my father, who grew up in Cranford, thought we had no chance. Middlesex dominated from whistle-to-whistle and stunned the crowd at Union High School.

The second was the two weeks of practice leading up to the game. Practices were filled with fierce competition, endless banter and new friendships formed. Rivals were now teammates, but that didn’t prevent the trash talk. Winning the game was great, but those two weeks practice at Sayreville High School is something ill never forget.

I’ve been coaching high school football for 11 years, and every player that’s been nominated from a team I coach for I tell to cherish the experience. For most, like myself, it will be the last football game they ever play in.


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