Leilehua’s Senior Slot Back Raising His Game At Season’s End

With his eligibility clock ticking, Leilehua’s Nick Rodriguez has saved some of his biggest efforts for his final games. In his last three games, the senior slot back has scored two touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 209 receiving yards. The last three weeks also have seen no shortage of drama with back-to-back overtime games versus Campbell (a loss) and Waipahu (a win).

“It would be better if we could win by a lot, but these games draw us closer for playoff time,” said Rodriguez. “I trust my teammates a lot. We all have a good connection.”

On the eve of the OIA playoffs, Rodriguez took some time away from practice to visit with MidWeek’s Central Oahu Islander.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My mom (Lori). In my sophomore year, my parents divorced and she was there for me during a hard time. She’s always positive, and she’s always there for me.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? When I first moved here, I didn’t know many people and still had a funny accent.

I was playing Pop Warner, and the kids treated me as a friend. I’m still playing with a lot of them (at Leilehua), and we still have that bond.

How would you assess the season so far? I think we’ve done pretty well. If we do the little things, we can do even better. There’s still a whole lot of improvement we can make.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through athletics? To never give up — especially when you’re in the weight room and you’re hurting. You know it will pay off if you don’t give up.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? Facebook.

What is your least favorite household chore? Cleaning the bathroom.

What’s in your iPod? I usually listen to hip-hop or rap, but I listen to everything. I have a good variety. I like Eminem.

What movie could you watch over and over? Invincible. I’m an Eagles fan.

What are your favorite video games? I have a PlayStation 3. I like the football games — Madden 2013 and NCAA Football 2013.

What celebrity would you choose as your prom date? Kim Kardashian.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? McChicken from McDonald’s.