For many high-school athletes, there are obstacles that can stand in the way of playing any sport at the next level — such as not getting enough exposure to college scouts, season-ending injuries or COVID-19.
Those were some of the obstacles Fort Lupton High School senior Reygan Garcia had to overcome this year. As a freshman, she scored 22 goals in 15 games but didn’t play the last two seasons due to COVID and her season-ending injury.
“It was really hard finding a college to play for after I tore my ACL. And with COVID, it was hard getting coaches to reach out to. This year was a blessing, I got to sign somewhere, I get to play soccer in college," she said.
Garcia used that motivation from signing with Northeast Community College in Nebraska on the pitch her senior year, leading the Bluedevils with 16 goals and five assists. The Bluedevils have a slight chance of making the playoffs. Despite the individual and team success, it hasn’t been easy to play at her best.
“Mentally, it was hard because I get scared to tear it again. But my friends on the team are really supportive, and they make me feel safe," Garcia said.
Reygan knows that playing soccer at the collegiate level is going to be more demanding mentally and physically.
Right now, the current season is helping me get confidence with my knee again. And over the summer, I’m going to do workouts to strengthen it again, because one muscle is bigger than the other still," Garcia said. "I’m just going to keep pushing so that I can be where I need to be.”
To surpass the obstacles that Reygan has had to overcome, many people -- such as her teammates and coaches -- have been supportive along the way. But her most important motivators have been her parents.
“We would always have long talks about what’s happening and what I need to do. They’re always supportive in paying for my PT (physical training) and my brace and telling me when to take it easy or not. But they are always there for me. I just want to make them proud.,” Garcia said.