Grape Creek’s Rodriguez seeks success in senior season

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GRAPE CREEK, Texas — The Grape Creek Eagles are entering their third year under head coach Tanner Thiel, and as the team’s family culture develops, so is their senior quarterback Jorge Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is a four-year letterman and is ready to achieve something the school has never done before— win a gold ball.

“It’s just going to take a lot of motivation,” Rodriguez said. “We just got to keep grinding because it’s really easy to get discouraged right now.”

The senior is entering his last dance at Grape Creek and is coming off a dominant season that saw him combine for 1,228 yards and nine touchdowns. He was second team all-district in 2019, but it’s not all wins and losses for Rodriguez.

Thiel says the quarterback is a role model off the field.

“He’s one that we preach to the kids,” Thiel said. “Follow this guy. This guy is going to do things right. He’s in the upper 10-percent of his class as far as grades are concerned. He’s never going to get in trouble. He’s going to do things right and so we use Jorge a lot as a guide.”

Rodriguez’s actions on and off the field garners praise from his teammates.

“It takes a lot of talent to be on the varsity level as a freshman,” senior linebacker Isaiah Briones said. “He brings a lot of niches to this team as a defensive and offensive player. He’s been a leader.”

The senior quarterback is set to become a two-way starter this season and his work ethic is a credit to that achievement.

“I work really hard to be the athlete that I am and just to see that people can recognize how hard I work, it really means a lot,” Rodriguez said. “It pushes me to work harder for this team and to have a great senior season.”

Grape Creek will kickoff the 2020 season against Stanton and Rodriguez will be ready.

“He’s here every day,” Thiel said. “He works his tail off in the weight room. He’s grown. He’s developed. I mean from his freshman year to his senior year, he’s just developed into a man.”

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