After missing part of last year because his grades fell short of the required mark, Meraz-Rodriguez was careful not to make the same mistake this season.
With some help from his Pasco coaches, teammates and his girlfriend, the sophomore striker is back on track with a 3.2 GPA. With all the work his teammates have put in to help him, he’s more than happy to give back.
“We’re always pushing each other to work harder, and the seniors have helped me a lot,” Meraz-Rodriguez said. “That’s why I keep doing work for them.”
He certainly did his share of work last week, scoring the game-winning goal in a 2-1 overtime victory against Walla Walla and then adding a goal and an assist in a 3-2 shootout win over Richland.
Trailing 2-1 to the Bombers in the final minute last Saturday, Meraz-Rodriguez scored on a precision chip shot from the left wing that sent the game to overtime. In the second extra period, he flicked a free kick from midfield to teammate Hector Magana for the game-winner.
The win kept Pasco in the hunt for the MCC regular-season title.
“He’s very creative, but what gets overlooked is his work ethic,” Pasco coach Matt Potter said. “He covers as much ground as anybody on defense. He’s not afraid to run balls down.”
Favorite food: Aguachile
Favorite athlete: Cristiano Ronaldo
Most like to meet: Ronaldo
Unusual talents?: Freestyle soccer
Sports memory: Scored 2 goals in 10 minutes for Three Rivers U-13 after being moved from midfield to forward in the National Cup X tournament in Boise two years ago.
Favorite class: Mr. Martinez’s World History class
Pregame ritual: Pray
Must-have on the road: My iPod
Favorite movie: Goal!
Favorite TV show: Sportscenter
Best song on your iPod: Coming Up, Adam Sanders
Career plans: Become a coach
Favorite field: Edgar Brown Stadium
Best advice from coach: When things get harder, keep trying. There are good things to come.
With $100 in a mall, where do you go?: Champs
Dream vacation: Europe (to see Ronaldo play)
Perryman admits she’s crazy about pretzels (“I eat them 24/7,” she said) but she sure got the Bombers out of a pickle during an MCC win over Hanford on April 16.
When pitcher Kayla Andrews left with an injury, Perryman came in trailing 6-5 with two runners on in the fifth and immediately ended the inning. Later, she hit a towering three-run home run to put Richland ahead for good.
“I always wanted to be a Bombers’ player,” Perryman said. “I have a great team to get me ready, and I’m excited to be given the chance to step up.”
She was also named the 4A girls WIAA Athlete of the Week after going 7-for-12 with eight runs and eight RBIs at the plate in MCC doubleheaders against Hanford and Southridge. On the mound, she went 2-0 with 11 strikeouts and didn’t allow a run in 7 2/3 innings.
Asked if she prefers hitting or pitching, Perryman says she loves to do both.
“I just love the challenge,” she said. “It’s all about getting in the opponent’s head.”
Q ‘n’ A
Favorite food: Seafood and potatoes
Favorite nonsport activity: Boating, wakeboarding
Favorite athlete: Jennie Finch
Most like to meet: Ben Carson, brain surgeon.
Famous relatives?: My dad, Jim Perryman, played baseball at WSU, Florida Atlantic and University of Nevada-Reno.
Unusual talents?: Pretty good at badminton, ping pong. Can do a handstand for 40 seconds.
Sports highlight/memory: Won NSA state title with Tri-City Diamonds 10U, 12U squads.
Favorite class: Algebra.
Pregame ritual: I put my batting helmet on about 8 batters before I’m up. I wait until the last minute until they have to have it.
Halftime snack: We’re all obsessed with Capri Suns.
Must-have on the road: Big bag of pretzels and pink powerade. And my blanket.
Favorite movie: Stepbrothers
Best song on your iPod: Highway Don’t Care, Tim Mcgraw
Career plans: Want to go to Notre Dame and be a dermatologist.
Best advice from coach: Accept what you’ve done and move on. Take what you’ve done and improve on it.
Favorite restaurant: Shell Shock, in NJ.
Dream vacation: Fiji.