FREDERICKTOWN — Wrestler Rodil Rodriguez heads to the 2009 OHSAA State Wresting Championships as the first Fredericktown Freddie in recent memory to gain a berth there. Rodriguez, a 125-pounder, qualified after finishing third at the district tournament.
“It means a lot of burden on my shoulders right now,” said Rodriguez. “I want to be the (Freddies’) first state placer.”
As the well-conditioned Rodriguez practices his wrestling technique with longtime teammate Colt Riley, it is easy to see that he is ready for the challenge. He will also have plenty of support when he gets to The Schottenstein Center today.
“It’s nice to have the guys come on and help me out now that their season is over,” said Rodriguez. “One of my senior buddies is going, just to go watch, which I am happy about. A few people at school said they would go watch and that makes me feel pretty good.”
Riley will stay with Rodriguez throughout the tournament.
“He has been my teammate since I was in seventh grade,” said Rodriguez. “He has been a big part of my success for the past couple of years.”
Rodriguez will face a tough group in Columbus, but there is one wrestler who stands out as a challenge.
“Logan Steiber (of Monroeville) is the one that stands out in everyone’s mind,” said Rodriguez. “He is the projected state champ. He has won it twice already.”
With the task facing him, Rodriguez, who sports a bleach blonde mohawk hair style, has a simple approach.
“Wrestle hard,” he said. “I’ll try to enjoy myself and try not to let everything around me distract me. A lot of state qualifiers have told me that it is a big difference from the district to the state.”