PLEASANTON, Texas – Pleasanton High School Travis Garcia, 19, was one of nine people killed late Tuesday night in a wildfire in West Texas.
Garcia graduated from Pleasanton High School in 2021 and was a freshman golfer at Southwest University in New Mexico.
His death shocked the entire community of Pleasanton. Garcia’s former coach, Michael Guerra, said the young man is more than an exceptional golfer, he is a member of the family.
“Losing part of my family has hurt me deeply. It’s very sad, ”Guerra said.
Guerra, like many others in Pleasanton, was deeply saddened and shocked after hearing about Garcia’s death. He was notified of the incident Wednesday morning.
“As a teacher, and as a father, you don’t like to see any young life lost to a young parent,” Guerra said.
Last year, Garcia led the Eagles men’s golf team to a new level. Pleasanton won a regional championship and headed to the state tournament for the first time in school history.
Garcia was named the high school’s most important player in golf. He was a leader and mentor to many of his friends and former friends.
“He was a good friend to all his friends,” Guerra said. “It’s unfortunate that these people are no longer in their lives.”
The Pleasanton Country Club golf course is Garcia’s home a short distance from home. He practiced there day and night but also developed unforgettable relationships and friendships there.
“I was shocked -when I tried to text him right now or call, no one would pick me up. That’s the kind of time when the truth comes to me, ”said Matt Garcia, a close friend and former friend of mine.
Matt Garcia was Travis ’best friend and he spent many hours on the golf course with him. He had talked with Travis the days before the accident.
“He was a really good guy, he wasn’t angry, he didn’t bully anyone, which is what I try to do,” Matt Garcia said.
Another good friend, Lacey Stevens, said that although Travis Garcia had a serious personality on the course, he had a playing side to him.
“(Travis) was always happy and always shared this positive experience with everyone. If you get discouraged, he will come to encourage you,” Stevens said.
Travis ’friends and coaches say he will be sorely missed – a life and a future that is fast passing.
“There’s no doubt in my mind it’s going to go to the next level,” Guerra said. “It’s just a shame he won’t continue to do that.”
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