Sweat drips down his face. Adrenaline pumps through his body as he sprints up and down the field. A game plan runs quickly through his mind as he decides his next move before an opponent attempts to steal the ball. Once he feels he’s in the right position to go for it, he kicks the ball, and GOAL! Sophomore Frank Rodriguez has earned his team another point.
Frank has been on the varsity soccer team since his freshman year playing center attacking mid-fielder. Though Frank is younger than most of his other teammates, it hasn’t affected the way he plays, because his abilities and love of the game has earned him his spot.
“Leadership can come from any age,” head soccer coach Tommie Allmon said. “Frank’s ability places him in a position to take on the role of a leader. Being a sophomore does not hinder him.”
With the hard work and dedication that Frank puts into soccer, his work ethic outside of the sport has allowed him to influence the team’s work ethic as a whole.
“Players look up to Frank as a leader because he is not distracted with things that most teenagers do out of school,” sophomore teammate Isaac Diaz said. “He always puts school before soccer and manages to pass with high grades to play.”
With all of the great attributes that Frank has, he was chosen by his Houston Texan club coaches, to play in Spain with other people who share the same passion as him.
“My team raised money to go and my family came with me,” Frank said. “I played against some of the best young players around the world and I got to see where I matched up.”
Playing soccer since he was four, has made Frank improve over the years, and makes him stand out to other teammates he has played with since the beginning.
“I’ve not only seen Frank grow as a player for the past year,” Isaac said. “I’ve seen him grow as a player for eleven. Each year his ability to open up the game and create game changing moments improves more and more.”
With Frank balancing out school, playing for a club league, and a school league, may become difficult, they all come together and make him the player that he is today.
“He has become stronger as he ages,” Allmon said. “His soccer senses have grown as he plays more as a Viking and as he plays outside of school.”
Frank’s success on the field is aided by his natural abilities and skills, but ultimately it his his character and mindset that set him up for success.
“He is always positive and works hard,” Allmon said. “He is not a selfish player, he plays for the team, and he is always in attendance at practice and games. He wants to be a Viking.”