Garcia an integral part of Cathedral

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 20, 2008

There is no way I could add enough appropriate words to those already written honoring Roy Garcia for his long and selfless service to Cathedral School and its athletic programs.

All six of my children were involved in sports at Cathedral and all six were coached at one time or another by Roy. Roy and Sara Garcia’s children and mine were classmates, teammates, and close friends throughout their entire school careers.

Not only has Roy been an integral part of Cathedral, Sara Garcia has been a driving force involved in the River City Run since its inception. Both Roy and Sara will be missed by Natchez and Cathedral, but our loss is their children’s gain.

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On a sadder note, I was sorry to note last week the passing of two of Natchez’s older citizens. Wesley Caldwell was my dad’s long-time CPA at Silas Simmons Company and was his close friend.

Caldwell’s son, Chuck, did the accounting for my business. Chuck became involved in running, and I think he was a regular participant in the River City Run.

Also passing on was Charlie DuPre. Charlie was a regular on the Natchez golf scene for many years. I think I recall that Charlie DuPre played golf at the University of Alabama. Charlie and Mimi’s second son, Frederick, used to be a sought-after scramble team member at the old Belwood Country Club.

With all of the older partners in the woods, the very young Frederick could be counted on to be right down the middle, even if short off the tee. Frederick went on the play golf in college and spent some time on various mini tours honing his game. Too bad the mini tour opportunities now available did not exist then.

NCAA football rules changes for the 2008 season continue to be hammered out. To quote the Rules Committee press release, “The Rules Committee is directing game officials to strictly penalize head-down contact as well as players that target defenseless opponents.”

To quote the SEC’s Rogers Redding, secretary-editor of the Rules Committee, “Specifically, the committee is addressing players that use the crown of the helmet and players that target defenseless opponents when making contact above the shoulders.”

The committee has also changed the chop block rule to make it easier for officials to determine that violation. LSU fans will remember that foul (uncalled) in their Auburn game last season that caused their best defender, Dorsey, to miss several games.

There will be a couple of changes in the instant replay rule for 2008. Hereafter, a fumble leading to an immediate recovery may be reviewed.

Also, a coach who is successful in a replay request will retain one replay request availability.

In 2008, a kickoff which goes out of bounds can be played from the receiving team’s 40-yard line instead of the 35-yard line.

Also in 2008, all face mask violations will carry a 15-yard penalty. I guess this means there will no longer be the incidental face mask violation. The official will have to decide there is either no foul at all or else there will be a 15-yard penalty.

Moving closer to the NFL rules, in 2008 college football a horse collar will carry a 15-yard penalty.

The horse collar occurs when an opponent grabs a player by the back of his jersey collar or the back of his shoulder pads.

Also mirroring the NFL, college football will now have a 40-second play clock as well as the old 25-second play clock.

Again as in the NFL, the clock will start on the ready instead of on the snap after a runner goes out of bounds, except in the final two minutes of each half.

And, That’s Official.

Al Graning can be reached by e-mail at