Unsung Hero: David Rodriguez

Saint Joseph Academy’s David Rodriguez exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete in every sense of the word. The senior participates in six sports, several clubs, completes various volunteer work and is an honor student with a 93 grade average. He doesn’t just participate in a variety of things — he excels in everything that he does.

“I’ve known David since he was in the seventh grade and it just seems like he’s good at everything that he does,” Saint Joseph head football coach Tino Villarreal said.

David’s father, Jose Rodriguez, said that he believes that David’s years of taekwondo taught him self-discipline and ultimately made him the person that he is today. It also helped that he had tons of success in the sport, winning first place in the state of Texas and third in the nation as a black belt.

“Taekwondo is what made him the way that he is today,” Jose Rodriguez said. “It taught him to respect rules and to want something then to go and achieve it.”

When David was a freshman, Saint Joseph’s decided to start a competitive shooting team. At the time David didn’t have any prior shooting experience but he knew that he wanted to compete. Thus, he worked hard and last July he won state and placed third at nationals in Ohio in the individual competition.

“He had heard that they were starting a shooting team at the school and he said ‘hey, I want to do that,’ Jose Rodriguez said. “So, he started going to the shooting range every day and he placed third at Nationals after having no experience.”

David is involved in an immense amount of activities but still manages to take care of his school work and blocks off time for a social life with his vast amount of friends. In order to balance all of this he has developed strong time management skills — but with everything on his plate Villareal still doesn’t know how he’s able to get it all done.

“David’s one of those kids that is sometimes involved in so many things and that’s a good thing,” Villareal said. “But, every once in a while I look at him and say ‘David, how do you have time to be doing all of this?’”

One of the ways in which he is able to be an integral part of so many activities is his sheer desire to do whatever it takes. His desire is shown in a multitude of ways but perhaps the most glaring can be seen before school. David often has meetings before school during football workouts. However he doesn’t skip the workouts, he gets to the school at 6:00 a.m. to complete the workouts by himself so that he can attend his meetings.

“His work ethic is just incredible. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to maintain all of his commitments,” Villareal said.

David has quite the athletic skill set and has lettered in five sports: football, soccer, track, baseball, and powerlifting. But what makes him stand out to Villareal isn’t his athletic ability, rather the way that he goes about his business and the leader that he is in the locker room of whatever sport is in season.

“He’s a guy that leads by example, kids see him and know that he doesn’t take shortcuts,” Villareal said. “He plays so hard in every sport and kids take notice of that. He is just such a natural leader.

Villareal says that the most incredible thing about all of David’s achievements is that he doesn’t do them to try and get credit or any sort of spotlight. Rather, he does them out of the goodness of his heart.

“I don’t think that he does so many different things for any sort of personal gain or anything like that,” Villareal said. “I believe that what he does fills him and fulfills his purpose. I think that if he wasn’t doing all of this he would feel an emptiness.”

After college, David hopes to attend the University of Texas at Austin. Villareal is confident that he will be able to achieve anything that he sets his mind to.

“David doesn’t know how to disappoint. He’s never going to back down from a challenge,” Villareal said. “He delivers in everything that he does and he doesn’t know how to lose or let people down.”

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