David Garcia is no stranger to business.
He studies it in the classroom and takes care of it on the soccer field.
During his two seasons at Blinn, the sophomore has established himself as one of the premier offensive threats in NJCAA men’s soccer while helping to elevate the Buccaneer men’s soccer program to new heights.
Though Blinn’s soccer program is in just its sixth season of play, Garcia has made an impact that could take years to surpass.
(Pictured: Blinn College sophomore forward David Garcia is the program’s single-season and career leader in goals scored)
The forward from El Paso, Texas, holds the program’s single-game (five) and single-season marks for goals (18), as well as the program’s career scoring record (34). He also is the NJCAA Division I men’s soccer leader with 42 points (totaled between goals scored and assists) and is tied for the national lead in goals scored.
“Looking at the short history at Blinn and seeing how it was growing before I arrived here, I knew I wanted to make a big impact here,” Garcia said. “I wanted to be a part of that process, contribute, and help this team go as far as possible.”
Garcia’s contributions to head coach Michael McBride’s program include two seasons in which he has led the team in goals and total points. His leadership has helped the Buccaneers post back-to-back 13-win seasons and continue Blinn’s streak of playoff appearances since 2018.
Garcia also has excelled in the classroom, both as a high school student at Eastlake High School in El Paso, and now as a collegian on the Blinn-Brenham Campus. Coming out of high school, Garcia’s grade point average was strong enough to grant him entry into four-year schools, but a lack of collegiate exposure in West Texas led Garcia to bolster his recruitment at the junior college level.
(Pictured: Blinn College sophomore forward David Garcia)
“We found David because we went look in a place most coaches don’t, to be honest with you,” McBride explained. “We went looking for hidden gems outside of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. El Paso is somewhat overlooked by a lot of colleges, but we went looking and saw him playing in some early-season high school tournaments and were immediately interested.”
McBride says Garcia’s academic performance as well as his respect for the game of soccer and positive attitude made his recruitment a no-brainer.
“The goals of the player and who he is as a person have to align with the goals and direction of the program,” said McBride. “Between his willingness to serve the community, excel in the classroom, and work hard on the field, we knew that if he came to us, we would have a better chance of advancing ourselves toward being a national championship contender.”
Garcia’s ability to change a program quickly became apparent. In just his sixth collegiate game in 2022, he scored a program-best five goals during a Region XIV victory over Northeast Texas Community College. He finished with 16 for the season.
One season later, Garcia has only become more dangerous on the pitch.
“He makes other coaches in our region nervous,” McBride said. “I know this because they tell me. He impacts the way teams set up against us because of his productivity.”
Of Garcia’s 34 career goals, 26 have come against region competition, including three multi-score efforts against conference foes this season.
Sophomore midfielder Toby Lansdowne, who ranks second in NJCAA Division I with 13 assists this season, has played a large role in Garcia’s success. After assisting on three of Garcia’s tallies in 2022, Lansdowne helped create five of his teammate’s goals this fall. Lansdowne said a trust has developed between Garcia and his teammates that makes feeding him in scoring opportunities an easy decision.
“Every time we give the ball to him near the goal, we believe he has a chance to score,” Lansdowne said. “We feel at ease when he’s near the goal.? Last year he did very well, but this year he’s proven himself to be a leader and shown our freshman how to do a sophomore season properly. His success continues to be a reflection on all of us because we all work together to make this happen for him and our club.”
Lansdowne’s words aren’t lost on Garcia, who attributes his rise to the quality of teammates he steps onto the field with.
“What has really helped me is the environment and atmosphere at Blinn,” said Garcia. “My coaches and my teammates help me on and off the field with encouragement and opportunities to be great. A big part of what I’ve done falls on my teammates and the connections we’ve developed on and off the field.”
Garcia’s future after Blinn is undetermined, but the talented striker’s options are expanding. He is in discussions with several NCAA Division I programs, including Oral Roberts University and the University of Dayton, and could be on the receiving end of several more phone calls by season’s end. Garcia said he will continue studying for a business degree at the next level and hinted at some possible business ideas once he graduates. He also will keep his sights set on a professional soccer career.
“We know he has a desire to make a living out of the game of soccer, and I believe cream rises to the top,” McBride said. “He can truly do whatever he sets his mind to. He’s being heavily recruited, not only by Division I programs but some very good Division I teams. They see the obvious, too. I believe strongly that his success at the junior college level will translate to the next level, and I think the sky’s the limit after that.”
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 44 NJCAA national championships since 1987.