SYRACUSE – He kind of knew all along, whether he knew it or not.
Ethan Garza will follow in the footsteps of his brother, Lucas, to play football at Trine University after the Wawasee senior made it official late last week.
“I chose Trine mostly because of their health science program and I just thought that while I’m there, why not just be a part of a winning tradition football program as well?” said Garza. “This decision came pretty easy to me considering my brother just graduated from there in December after serving as a four-year starting kicker for them. I pretty much saw the past and where this team is going and I just felt like I could make an immediate impact if I work hard and stay focused.”
Garza emerged as Wawasee’s top offensive threat in his senior season. Starting as a running back then shifting to wide receiver, Garza amassed 862 total yards between rushing, receiving and kick returns. He had nearly twice as many total yards as the next closest teammate. Garza had two touchdowns in Wawasee’s opening win against Lakeland, then had a five-catch, 122-yard receiving game against NorthWood that also had Garza score a touchdown to highlight his season.
For the season, Garza had 31 catches for 402 yards and three scores.
“From sitting in the stands every Saturday the past four years, I’ve gotten the opportunity to see some All-Americans go through the program and so I thought to myself, why not me?,” offered Garza.
Garza, a 10.71 GPA student (on a 12-scale), has also been a understudy with the athletic training staff at Wawasee and looks to continue that path with a major in exercise science.
“With my senior year high school track season being cut short, there is also an opportunity of exploring the track and field team next spring as well, so that also played a factor in my decision,” Garza said. “Trine just felt like the right place for me and welcomed me with open arms. Super excited for the fall and can’t wait to be a part of the Thunder family.”
Trine wrapped up its 2019 season 5-5 overall and 2-5 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Thunder are coached by Troy Abbs, who finished up his fifth season last fall. Garza will reunite with an old teammate as 2018 Wawasee graduate Hunter Hlutke is part of the roster.