Former Hornet quarterback Aaron Garcia to be inducted into Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame

Aaron Garcia ’94 (Physical Education), a Sacramento native who spent two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Hornet football team before going on to a successful career in the Arena Football League, is one of five local athletes who will be inducted later this month into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.

garcia1Garcia, who grew up in Del Paso Heights and graduated from Grant High School in 1989, spent two seasons as the quarterback for Washington State University before transferring to Sac State, throwing for 1,798 yards and 16 touchdowns in his senior year.

After graduation, Garcia found a home in the Arena Football League, spending 19 years in the league and winning Arena Bowl XXIV with the Jacksonville Sharks while also earning the game’s most valuable player honors. He finished his career as the league’s career leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns.

Following his playing career, Garcia spent one season as the coach of the Las Vegas Outlaws. Today, he is the head of athletics at Sacramento’s Capital Christian High School.

Garcia and his fellow honorees will be formally inducted into the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame during a celebration Saturday, Jan. 26, at Thunder Valley Casino Resort.

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Sting? Rhys Hoskins shows big leagues that Hornets can slug, too

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Among the national media outlets focusing attention on Rhys Hoskins was Sports Illustrated with its story: “Rhys Hoskins is the Phillies’ homer-happy, record-setting rookie outfielder.”

Rhys Hoskins knows how to hit a baseball out of the park. He did it at nearby Jesuit High School. He did it at Sac State. Now the former Hornet slugger is clearing the fences in the big leagues.

The Philadelphia Phillies left fielder is taking Major League Baseball (MLB) by storm. He hit his first 10 home runs faster than any player in MLB history and tied the Phillies record with five long balls in five straight games. He’s also the first major leaguer to hit 14 home runs in fewer than 35 games. Through 31 games, Hoskins’ stat line included a .296 batting average, 14 home runs and 32 RBIs. His hot start earned him National League Rookie of the Month honors for August.

Hoskins, 24, isn’t just making plays with his bat. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Sacramento native started the Phillies’ first triple play since 1953 with a highlight-reel sliding catch.

After playing for Sac State for three seasons, Hoskins was drafted following his junior year by Philadelphia in the fifth round (142nd overall pick) in 2014. After spending parts of four seasons in the minor leagues, Hoskins was called up by the Phillies on Aug. 10. He’s the first Hornet to play in the big leagues since Roland de la Maza, who pitched for the 1997 Kansas City Royals.

In an ESPN profile of Hoskins, Sacramento State head baseball coach Reggie Christiansen said, “He’s a pretty special kid, no doubt.” He said following Hoskins’ performance is “like watching a Disney movie.”

Hoskins, a former Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Player of the Year and three-time Academic All-WAC athlete, shares that special bond with Christiansen and the Hornet Baseball program.

“Reggie Christiansen and his staff taught me the true meaning of accountability, and how a persistent work ethic can set you apart from the rest,” Hoskins said in an email. “They gave me an opportunity to learn about the game of baseball, but also put me in the best situation to figure out what it means to be a good teammate and a better man. I am forever grateful to Reggie and Sacramento State.”

Former Hornet sports stars generating buzz

Stingers up for two former Hornet athletes who are making news this week! Eric Stuteville became the first former Sacramento State basketball player to play in an NBA Summer League game when he suited up Sunday for the Sacramento Kings. The moment was acknowledge via Twitter by the men’s basketball program and subsequently covered by the Sacramento Bee.

The Orangeville native started all 31 games at center for Sac State last season.

Back East, a former Hornet is generating buzz on the basepaths: NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that it is “only a matter of time” before Rhys Hoskins, a first baseman who started 59 games for Sac State during his final season, is called up to the major league Philadelphia Phillies. Hopkins was the Phillies’ fourth-round draft pick in 2014, the fourth-highest drafted player in program history.