Sara Garcia, 21, was already fairly committed to attend Davidson College in North Carolina, but it was the magic of March that sealed her decision.
“My family was familiar with the college and I had grown up knowing that it was an outstanding academic school,” she said. “However, what really brought the school to the top of my list was watching their trip to the Elite 8 in 2008, as well as meeting Davidson Alumni and fellow Scranton Prep graduate, Christian Davis. The minute that Christian found out I was looking at Davidson, he got in contact with me and told me everything he knew . He was very successful at a young age and was very adamant about his Davidson experience, so I figured that they had to be doing something right. I am so glad for my family, Christian, and of course Stephen Curry, the star player of the Wildcats 2008 team, for helping me make the best decision I have made thus far in my life.
The Clarks Summit resident believes as she prepares to graduate that she will always be a part of the Davidson Wildcat family and will cherish every memory.
“Davidson is truly a unique and wonderful place mainly due to the immense sense of community on campus and throughout the country,” she said. “I found that when you graduate from Davidson you are always connected… it’s a tattoo that you can’t nor want to remove. My best memories stem from my freshman experience in my freshman hall and my experience as a Davidson College cheerleader. Davidson does a miraculous job matching roommate pairs and putting them on a hall which they are compatible with by allowing each incoming freshman to take the Myers Brigg Personality Test. .
“However, my greatest memories involve my time as a Davidson College cheerleader. It was my first and greatest activity I became involved with. I will never forget those heart-pounding games in Belk Arena, at the Southern Conference Tournament, and at the NCAA tournament.”
Garcia picked up the love for cheerleading from her sister and has enjoyed progressing through the ranks.
“I idolized my older sister Anna, and when she took up the sport I knew I wanted to join too,” she said. “I started cheerleading for the Falcons of Our Lady of Peace School (Clarks Green), and continued throughout my time at Scranton Prep. The sport is interesting because it ranges from competitive cheerleading to more sideline cheerleading like I do at Davidson. I love dancing, choreographing and stunting. It takes immense strength and focus to do the sort of complicated pyramid building that you may notice cheerleaders doing, although my mother held her breath every time one of her daughters went up or put someone up in the air.”
The psychology major with a pre-med concentration was selected as a captain this season, an honor she cherished .
“This was my first year as captain, I was extremely honored to have this opportunity,” she said. “Not only because I got the chance to lead an amazing group of individuals and work with the most loving coach, Jeanette Scire (MammaCat), but also because I was able to connect with vidson fans. I love being able to communicate the “Davidson Spirit” with enthusiasm and respect. My team is amazing and we have grown so much in the last four years.”
Garcia especially enjoyed the teams trip to Portland, Ore. during the 2012 season.
“It was very exciting, because it was the first time I was able to travel to the West Coast,” she said. “It was a cultural experience and my coach did a fabulous job making sure we got to enjoy all that Portland had to offer in addition to cheering on our team against Louisville in the Portland Trailblazers of the NBA’s arena. Also, we got to fly on a private plane with the men’s basketball team. I remember on the way back even when we had just lost in the first round, the team was still grateful and wanted to continue enjoying the experience.
The 2012 Southern Conference championship game against Western Carolina ranks as the most memorable for Garcia.
“We went into double overtime and won with the help of Clint Mann’s memorable dunk,” she said. “It was so exciting and was the first time since Stephen Curry moved on to the NBA that we won the conference and were able to dance in the NCAA Tournamant.”
The daughter of Lea and Joe Garcia stressed the close bond between members of the team and the cheerleaders at the small institution in Davidson, N.C., including a personal note that affected her in a positive way.
“I know most of the seniors and they are extremely gracious and hardworking,” she said. “I know that I would not have passed my physics classes without the help of point guard JP Kuhlman. He, as well as the rest of the team, are diligent on the court as well as in the classroom. That is what is great about Davidson, when you are watching the game you are not just watching a school team, you are cheering on your friends and classmates who you will be studying with for your Organic Chemistry test after the game.”
Despite being defeating March 21 by Marquette, No. 3 seed in the 2013 NCAA tournament, Garcia was overwhelmed with pride for the university and the support the team received.
“It was extremely exciting,” Garcia said. “We were hoping to be a higher seed, but we played a great game and I am so proud of the men for creating this experience for our school. It was so amazing to stand in Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. and see my classmates, friends, professors and alumni surrounding me. It’s a awe inspiring moment that cannot be described with words. Even though we lost in the last second, it was a great day to be a Wildcat.