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17-year-old Grafton High School wrestler dies Friday

Felipe Garcia III was active in extracurricular activities, and especially enjoyed wrestling. He joined the wrestling team in seventh grade and was a state qualifier in 2020 and 2021. He was also a member of the track team and played football for a few years.

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Felipe Garcia III died Friday, Aug. 14, in Unity Hospital in Grafton. (Photo: Tweten's Photography)
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GRAFTON, N.D. – Grafton High School senior Felipe Garcia III died Friday, Aug. 13, at Unity Hospital in Grafton as the result of an asthma attack.

Funeral services for the 17-year-old son of Christina Martinez and Felipe Garcia Jr., will be at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 17, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Grafton, according to his obituary on the Tollefson Funeral Home website. Visitation will be from noon until 2 p.m. at the church.

Garcia was active in extracurricular activities, and especially enjoyed wrestling. He joined the wrestling team in seventh grade and was a state qualifier in 2020 and 2021. He was also a member of the track team and played football for a few years.

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Randy Rice, Grafton High School principal, described Garcia as a humble, quiet student.

“Just a gentle soul,” Rice said.

However, Garcia, who alternated between the 220-pound weight class and heavyweight his junior year, was an intense wrestler, said Brad Larson, Grafton High School assistant wrestling coach.

“Wrestling was kind of his thing, his group that he hung out with. He wasn’t really involved in sports before junior high, and then it became a place for him and he became part of the family program,” Larson said.

“Felipe was a quiet guy who led by example,” said Clayton Dahl, Grafton High School wrestling coach. "He was a good friend to every single person on the team.”

Garcia always was ready to lend a hand to his teammates and was a mentor to the younger wrestlers, Dahl said.

Dahl wrestled Garcia every day in practice, something he will greatly miss this season.

“It’s going to be really tough,” Dahl said.

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Students who are struggling with news of Garcia's death are encouraged to contact Grafton Public Schools counselors, teachers, administrators, coaches or other support staff.

Related Topics: GRAFTONWRESTLING
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