Page's Walters, Ravenwood's Garcia earn Gateway Tire Athlete of the Week honors

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Page junior Leigh Walters and Ravenwood senior Brian Garcia were recognized as the Gateway Tire Female and Male Athletes of the of Week for the week of Oct. 28-Nov. 3.

Walters finished runner-up in the Division I Large Schools State Cross Country Championships, while Garcia provided four touchdowns in a 40-14 Region 6-6A win over Independence in Week 11.

The two athletes were chosen as part of the Athletes of the Week awards sponsored by Gateway Tire and Service Center of Franklin. One male and one female athlete from Williamson County is selected and featured each week in the Williamson Herald.

Walters improved on her third-place finish from 2018 by racing to second overall in the state’s largest classification at Percy Warner Park’s Steeplechase Course in Nashville on Saturday. Walters finished in 17 minutes, 51.76 seconds.

“We expected her to easily be in the top four, but to be runner-up for the state meet was really spectacular,” Page cross country coach Brydon Groves Scott said. “She had an amazing kick and passed the third place finisher in the last 100 metered of the race.”

Walters, who set a 17:34.70 personal record this season at the Jesse Owens Invitational in Alabama, shaved more than 34 seconds off her third-place time from 2018. Walters will next be prepping for additional meets in the hopes of qualifying for nationals.

“She’s had a great season and we are very proud of her,” Scott said.

Garcia completed 12 of his 22 passes for 157 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season finale Friday. He also gashed Independence for 70 yards on the ground on 10 carries.

“We have always believed he is a true dual-threat, but have had to balance the number of designed carries for him in the form of risk-management over the years,” Ravenwood football coach Matt Daniels said. “As his senior season goes on, more opportunities present themselves in critical situations for him to run and the risk/reward is re-evaluated.”

Garcia converted three fourth downs in the first half against Independence. He hit Andrew Mason for touchdowns of 20 and 14 yards and tossed a five-yarder and 11-yard strike to Jake Brinningstool.

The Raptors begin postseason play Friday when they host Stewarts Creek in the Class 6A first round.

Other nominees for Athletes of the Week included Fairview freshman Alyssa Andrea and Page senior Cade Walker.

Andrea won the Division I Small Schools Girls State Cross Country individual crown in 20:26.71 on Saturday – the first individual cross country crown for Fairview since 2001.

Walker collected three passing touchdowns and one rushing score to lead Page to a 35-21 win over Franklin County.

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