More Than An Athlete: Eric Rodriguez

Local Sports

MCALLEN (KVEO) – The response you get when you ask a high schooler to sing at football practice is to be expected. 

“I’ll get made fun of massively, I already do for being in choir,” said Eric Rodriguez with a laugh. He may not want to test his vocal chords in front of the camera, but that doesn’t stop the junior tight end for the McAllen Memorial Mustangs from using them on Friday night.

“One thing that I do when I’m super stressed out, even on the field sometimes, bad play or something like that, Ijust take a deep breath and I end up singing a song half the time,” said Rodriguez. “And that’s really what calms me down, keeps me cool, and gets me ready for the next play.”

Whether he’s on the field or in the chorus, it’s always about the greater purpose – finding harmony. 

“He’s very team oriented obviously, being both in choir and in athletics where it’s a team effort,” said Omar Salminiego, the choir director at McAllen Memorial.

When being with his team wasn’t an option earlier this year, Eric still managed to make the most of it. 

“So I took my time to finish my Eagle Scout over the pandemic, and over the summer, so that’s what I really focused on,” said Rodriguez.

For his project, Eric built planters for his former school, Our Lady of Sorrows in McAllen. 

“I think Eric makes the best of any situation, and he just rolls with the punches and keeps on moving forward,” said Stephan Wingert, scoutmaster of Eric’s Boy Scout troop.

“They now have a way to teach something and to do something with the younger scouts for years to come, and they’ll remember that Eric was there,” said Wingert. 

There, and pretty much everywhere else because for Eric – one activity simply is not enough. 

“I love being a well rounded person,” said Eric. “I like being able to say I’m in choir, I’m in scouts, and really show off to everyone else what a person has to offer.

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