Sal Garcia ’19: Scoring Big as a Scholar and Athlete

Discipline. That’s what it takes to be a successful scholar and athlete. That’s what it takes to do well in the academic rigor of a school like Oak Knoll’s coed Lower School. That’s what it takes to make it to the Little League World Series when you have only just graduated from sixth grade. That’s what it takes to be so polished in the classroom and on the baseball diamond that you commit to Duke University.

Sal Garcia ’19 has nobody but himself to credit for all these extraordinary accomplishments. However, he thanks Oak Knoll for instilling the foundation. 

“I started attending Oak Knoll in second grade,” he reported. “My parents learned of the school from the family of a former classmate and decided to visit. They immediately loved the school and thought it would be a good fit. Especially for me at a younger age, Oak Knoll instilled a sense of organization and other skills that prepared me for high school when the workload increased and sports demands made for longer days. It was a great decision to go to Oak Knoll.”

Garcia played baseball in grades 5 and 6 at Oak Knoll, and his talents were already on display. He also played soccer and basketball and contributed to winning a Catholic Youth Organization championship.

He went on to attend the all-boys middle school at Oratory Prep and high school at Delbarton, where he is currently a sophomore and has been nationally recognized as a star shortstop. 

Garcia appreciates the camaraderie among teammates at Delbarton. He also appreciates the community and support of the faculty.

“I enjoy the brotherhood we have at Delbarton, being able to lean on someone or to talk to them. Delbarton is a challenging school academically, and it is tough to balance sports and school, but our teachers are all very helpful and flexible. It was the same thing at Oak Knoll.”

Garcia also made lasting relationships with his former classmates at Oak Knoll.

“I made good friendships at Oak Knoll with boys and girls,” he said. “We are all still friends. We’re all in high school, and we go to different schools, but we still communicate. We still see each other. Those friendships we made when we were so little still carry on years later.“

He also retains a commitment to the Holy Child Goals. 

“I remember Holy Child Goals being instilled into us at Oak Knoll,” he related. “And I feel like that gave us a different mindset. I carry those goals in and out of school.”

Garcia’s two sisters are current students at Oak Knoll’s all-girls Upper School, and two cousins attend Oak Knoll’s coed Lower School. We are honored to have them in the Oak Knoll community and look forward to seeing the Garcia name on bigger and bigger scoreboards in the future.

NOTE: Watch “The City Behind Us: The Story of the Elmora Troopers” — an Emmy award-winning documentary short featuring Sal Garcia and his Little League team on their road to the World Series.