The Mid-Columbia Athletes of the Week for April 15, 2011.
Johnathan Rodriguez, Sr., Connell
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Rodriguez has scored 20 goals this season. He collected one-fifth of that total Monday, when he scored four goals in Connell’s 9-0 SCAC 1A road victory over Kiona-Benton. He found the net in the 14th, 48th, 67th and 69th minutes, and he also recorded an assist.
“At first it was kind of slow because the field wasn’t that great, but once I got used to it, when the second half started, I just got more into the game, and that’s when the three goals came up,” said Rodriguez, a forward.
Soccer has been in Rodriguez’s life as long as he can remember. “My family says ever since I’ve been able to walk and run.” He used to compete for a Three Rivers team and plays in a league in Pasco. He would like to play for a four-year school — possibly Eastern Washington — after he earns his AA degree at Walla Walla Community College.
Favorite athlete: Raul Gonzalez, Schalke 04 striker, but his favorite team is Real Madrid
I wish I knew how to: Get a hole-in-one in golf
Sports highlight/memory: My first game as part of the Three Rivers club because right when I went in, I scored in the first two minutes and never sat on the bench again
Favorite class: Art
Pregame ritual: I leave my jersey off, and right before I’m about to play, I kneel down and hope for a good game, and when I’m done with that, I do the sign of the cross four times because that’s my number, and then I put my jersey on
Favorite movie: Constantine
Favorite TV show: Family Guy
Career plans: Graphic design (i.e., designing shirts)
Biggest inspiration: My mom, because she’s been through so much
Kyra Brannan, Soph., Kamiakin
Brannan flew by her competition Saturday at the Davis Invitational in Yakima, with victories in the 100 and 200 meters, the 4x100 relay and the long jump.
Brannan, who also plays soccer, began her track and field career in seventh grade.
“I was always fast, so I thought it would be fun to try out,” she said. “I loved it from the start.”
Her favorite event is the 200. “When I run, I get faster as I go, but the 100 is too quick for me. But the 200, I feel like I can get top speed in it.”
Brannan will try to duplicate her Davis success this weekend in the Pasco Invite, featuring elite track and field athletes from the Northwest.
“She’s a young one, so to be put in with the big dogs is pretty cool for her,” Kamiakin girls track coach Cheryl Schauble said.
Brannan still has a lot of time to figure out her future, but speed could factor into her career plans: “I thought it would be cool to be a roller-coaster designer because I love roller coasters.”
Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant
Any famous relatives?: Former world heavyweight boxing champion Max Baer is her dad’s fourth cousin
Any unusual talents?: Can play piano and violin
Sports highlight/memory: My first header goal (three or four years ago in club soccer) because my grandma came down with me
Favorite class: Math
Prerace ritual: Listening to pump-up music such as All-American Rejects, AC/DC and Yellowcard
Favorite movie: The Hangover
Favorite TV show: That ’70s Show
Biggest inspiration: My sister Brianna (she plays soccer at Eastern Washington). She’s always done a lot for me, and I look up to her a lot
Nominations for AOTW can be e-mailed to email@example.com or faxed to 582-1410. Nominations must be received by noon Sunday.