“Heart” of Padres Defense Ready To Take Over

When you come to a Marcos de Niza football game, you’ll see some quality football players, a padre mascot reminiscent of the Grim Reaper, loud fans, and Andrew Rodriguez all over the field.

Offense, defense, special teams, Rodriguez is between the white lines so much, it got to the point where his cramping legs were one of the few factors that found him on the sideline during the Padres’ season opening win against Horizon.

“He was cramping up all over the field,” Marcos de Niza Head Football Coach Sean Morin joked. “It’s because he’s really putting it out there, playing both ways.  He’s a competitor”.

This competitor has not only set the standard of play on the field for the Padres, but also leads with an unmatched tenacity.

“I play with a lot of emotion.  The team just embraced it when I went down, my emotion transferred to them and they took it onto the field and it was just like one heartbeat,” Rodriguez said.

Morin describes Rodriguez as the “heart and soul of our defense”.  After three years of successes, Roy Lopez resigning and Sean Morin taking over the program, players transferring out and new pieces to the puzzle coming in, Rodriguez now finds himself as the senior leader of not only the defense, but the entire football team.

“My freshman year, the biggest goal was keeping our class together.  We thought we had something great my freshman year,” Rodriguez said. “Besides that, I saw a lot of talent and a lot of potential for my senior year and my class and I decided to stick around.”

The Padre-faithful hope that the potential Rodriguez saw his freshman year turns into a championship his senior year.