This week’s Scholar Athlete of the Week is Vernon’s Antonio Rodriguez!
Antonio Rodriguez has always been a multi-sport athlete, but this year, he added his name to a new roster.
“Antonio hasn’t had much training with weightlifting in the first three years that he’s been in high school. He came up to me halfway through his senior year and said he wanted to get serious about going. I told him how difficult it was gonna be. He’s worked very hard,” said Vernon Weightlifting Head Coach Lee Richards.
“I mean, it’s senior year. This is my last shot at everything, so I figured do everything you can while you can,” said Rodriguez.
In his first and final year, Rogdriguez made it to the state championships.
“It feels amazing, honestly. I really wasn’t sure I’d make it here. It’s a blessing,” said Rodriguez.
“Just making it to the state championship means you’re a top 20 kind of guy, and for him to be a top twenty guy halfway through his senior year without any other formal training is a pretty significant feat,” said Richards.
Rodriguez also excels in the classroom and attributes his success to work ethic.
“You just work hard in the classroom and come out. You have to be able to separate your lives,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez plans to further his education at Eastern Florida State, before attending the University of Miami to major in music business. He has big dreams of one day owning his own record label.
“Growing up, I watched Michael Jackson a lot. I saw him and everything he did. One time, I saw a live concert of him on TV, and I saw how he had fans jumping on stage. He had people passing out and everything. I thought, ‘Wow, if you can touch somebody like that… If I could touch somebody like that, that’d be crazy,'” said Rodriguez.
“A future in the music industry is well within his reach. He can have whatever he wants, and he’s gonna be supported with whatever he does,” said Richards.