Soccer player Mauricio Garza looks ahead to upcoming season

Matthew Ogle, Staff Reporter

K-Park soccer standout Mauricio Garza has spent the off-season in a rehab room — exercising with the team to stay fit, doing painful stretches to recover and practicing after school to improve.

All in an attempt to bounce back from a season-ending injury and get into playing form for the 2016-2017 season.

 Garza, who has become the varsity team’s star offensive player since transferring to Kingwood from Monterrey, Mexico, is in his third season of playing for K-Park soccer and looking forward to the regular season.

But he understands the team has some work to do before games begin.

“Off-season has been enjoyable,” Garza said. “Working with the team has allowed us to take it seriously to prepare for the regular season.”

The K-Park senior tore his meniscus during the sixth game of the 2015-2016 season, when K-Park faced off against C.E. King High School.

“It has been difficult recovering my strength and ability back in my knee,” Garza said. “It’s hard to maneuver and have confidence in my knee.”   

Despite the difficult rehab, Garza doesn’t believe that the injury will be a problem this season. Neither does the team’s head coach, Ryan Searle.

“An injury shouldn’t affect the team in that way,” Searle said. “Injuries will occur throughout the season and the team understands that.”

Searle has a lot of confidence in Garza, who he expects will emerge to become one of the team’s most valuable players.

“Garza holds the responsibility of being the team’s leading forward. He will definitely be shooting this season as well as making opportunities for the team to succeed,” said Searle, “He has developed exceptionally since moving here.”

Garza understands that he is going to be depended on this year. As the star player, he realizes what he and the team needs to improve upon in order to achieve success this upcoming season.

“I’m always trying to score, but this year I am going to attempt to give more assists and bring more chances for the team to score,” Garza said. “I’ll help any way I can, but the team, as a whole, needs to have more possession of the ball as well as have a good defense in order to finish. That’s all we need.”

Searle that the team must improve on this as well as their mental approach for this year’s soccer team.

“Attitude is key for the team,” Searle said. “We need to keep our focus ahead and stay united as the team understands what is expected of them and remain organized.”

As Garza looks ahead to his  final year at K-Park, he says he has faith in his team.

“I have a strong feeling that we will do well this season,” Garza said. “I hope we can perform well for all the seniors and for the school.”